Article of Faith

May 16, 2021

The Strange Ways of God

Walking by faith and not by sight (1)

By Femi Aribisala

When we come to Christ, we must forsake not only our ways but also our thoughts. Isaiah says: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:7). We must also jettison the traditions of men. Jesus berated the Pharisees for teaching: “Man-made laws instead of those from God.” (Matthew 15:9).

God says: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Therefore, child of God, forget your logic, your conspiracy theories, and your principles: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

You ask a Christian a question and he answers by saying: “I think…” Nobody cares what you think. The question is: What does God think.”

You seek someone’s counsel, and he tells you: “In my opinion…blah, blah, blah.” Nobody is asking for your opinion. Your opinion is irrelevant. We are only interested in the opinion of God. What do the scriptures say?

We never need man’s advice. We only need God’s advice. The counsel of man is irrelevant. It is designed to land us in the ditch.

Stranger than fiction

The ways of God are strange. Indeed, in so many instances, God’s ways are foolish. But the scriptures tell us that: “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

Does this mean God is foolish? How can He be? On the contrary, the bible affirms that we serve the only wise God. (1 Timothy 1:17). But for God to be able to relate to man, he must become foolish. For God to fellowship with man, he must come down to our level.

You cannot dangle a baby on your knees and discuss Quantum Physics with him. No! You might start making idiotic cooing sounds and might even start making stupid faces.

God is El Shaddai: The Almighty and the all-Sufficient. But surely, the all-sufficiency of God must include the ability to come down to man’s level to relate to us, communicate with us and interact with us. If he is unable to do this, then He is not God, for surely God is able to do all things.

And so there must be foolishness to God and that foolishness must be to man’s advantage and justification. Certainly, the wisdom of God must be far beyond man. Therefore, there must be a foolishness of God to accommodate man’s foolishness, so that the all-wise God can also be the God of foolish man.

For as David said: “O God, you know so well how stupid I am, and you know all my sins.” (Psalm 69:5).

The incarnation

The God who created the earth decided to visit His creations on earth. In His foolishness, He then decided to come as a man. He did not fly down from heaven like an angel. Instead, He came in through the womb of a woman.

Can you imagine how foolish that was?

And so, God was born of a woman as a baby. God sucked a woman’s breast. God crawled on the ground and learnt to walk and to talk. In His foolishness, God grew in wisdom and in stature. God then died a shameful death on the cross as a man. But in His divinity, He rose from the dead with power and glory.

Isaiah asks: “Who has believed this report?” Without the help of God, we would not have believed it either.

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In conversation with God the Father: “Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight’” (Matthew 11:25-26).

I did not believe the story of Jonah spending 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a fish until one day God demonstrated it to me. He took me by revelation under the sea and kept me in an air bubble. I looked up and fishes were swimming all around me.

Peculiar goodness

The God of the bible is not nice as men define niceness. He could not have been because His kingdom is not of this world.

What kind of father tells his son to marry a prostitute? What kind of person tells Ezekiel to announce to the world that his wife would die the next day in order to prove a point, and he tells him that he is not allowed to cry? What kind of person tells the Levites to carry a sword and kill members of their own family and relations?

What kind of person instructs Isaiah to go around without his trousers for three years? What kind of person instructs Saul to attack Amalek and kill all the men, women, children, babies, sheep, camel, and donkeys? What kind of person kills off the Israelites one by one over forty years in the wilderness? What kind of father sends his children into captivity in order to teach them a lesson?

God is that kind of person.

David sinned by numbering Israel. For this, God killed 70,000 Israelites without including David. Was that fair? The Ark of God was falling down, Uzzah tried to prevent it and God killed him. Was that nice?

If God were a man, He would not be a nice man at all. God’s concept of goodness is different from that of man.

Rock of Offense

When through Jesus, God became a man, the bible describes Him as a rock of offence.

As a twelve-year-old, Jesus stayed all day and night in the temple for three days without telling his parents where he was. He called Peter “Satan.” He made a whip, beat the people in the temple, and smashed their wares. He did not just lecture them or tell them that what they were doing was wrong.

He called a woman who came to request healing for her child a dog. He encouraged Judas to go and betray him. He refused to help John the Baptist when Herod arrested him. When told that his good friend Lazarus was sick, he said he was glad. He refused to budge until the man died.

He always kept company with disreputable people. He took sides with a woman caught in adultery. He asked a woman who had been sick for 38 years if he would like to be healed. In a crowded scene of the sick, He only healed that one man and left all the others unhealed.

He pronounced woe on the Pharisees and abused them, calling them white-washed tombstones. He called people fools. He told the Jews that the devil was their father. He denied his own mother and brothers.

Nevertheless, this same Jesus is now our righteousness: “For (God) made (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

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