THE KING’S BUSINESS
man who fools himself! The special line of self deception against which Paul here warns them is that of trusting their own wisdom (see R. V.) (cf. Isa. 5:2; Gal. 6:3; Prov, 26:12). The world is full of men and women who think they are wise when they really are not. We are all quick to see this in others,, but few of us ever dream it is the case with ourselves. Paul tells us that the way to become truly wise is to renounce our own wisdom, to “become a fool” (James 1:5). It is when we renounce our own righteousness that we get “the righteousness of God” (Phil. 3 :9 R. V.; Rom. 10:3; 3:30, 31; 4:5); it is when we renounce our own strength that we get the strength of God (Isa. 40:29; 2 Gor. 12:9, 10); and it is when we renounce our own wisdom that we get the wisdom of God. If we would become truly wise there must be an utter renunciation of our own wisdom. “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” How we pride ourselves in this twentieth century on our wisdom. To most of us the learning, and culture, and science of this great twen tieth century is very marvelous, but God laughs at it and says, “all FOOLISH NESS.” Even in the Old Testament it had been said “He taketh the wise in their own craftiness” (Job 5:13). Paul here quotes the Old Testament as confirming his own statement. But not only had God taught in the Old Testament but He had further more said “The LORD knoweth the thoughts of men, that they are vanity” (Ps. 94:11). The word translated “thoughts” in the R. V. is rendered reason ings. How proudly we talk about our "rea soning” but the LORD “knoweth the reasonings of the wise, that they are vain.” How amused the Infinitely Wise One must be at all of our boasted “Science” and “Philosophy” that will soon go the same road that the science and philosophy of the past have already gone. We smile at the wisdom of past generations and the coming generations will smile at ours, and God laughs at them all and says, “All vanity.” This being so (note the “therefore” in v.
21) “let no man glory in men.” They may appear to us to be very great and very wise and very eloquent but, except in-so- far as God may graciously use them, they are only vanity. All things are ours, all men whom God sees fit to use, be it Paul or Apollos or Cephas, they all belong to us. They are for the help of the believer and not only they, but the world, and life, and death, and things present and things to come, all are ours. Better yet, we “are Christ’s,” that is, we belong to Him, we are his property; and, therefore, we may be sure that He will provide for us and take care of us. And Christ on His part is God’s. Saturday, October 6 . I Corinthians 4 : 1 - 4 . Paul would not have any man boast on his behalf. His one ambition was to be regarded as a servant of Christ and one entrusted with the “Mysteries of God,” but that was a high position. Who would not be willing to be a servant of the King? How much more to be a servant of the King of Kings, and to be put in trust with this greatest mystery of the Gospel which Paul points out to us in his Epistles. That was surely honor enough. But not only was Paul a steward, every dear child of God is a steward (1 Peter 4:10). Just this one thing God requires of His steward “that a man be found faithful.” He does not demand that we be successful as the world counts success, but he does demand that we be found faithful. Has He found you faithful? He may hot have entrusted you with as much as he has some, but has He found you faithful with that with which He has entrusted you? It was a “very small thing” to Paul that he should be either approved or condemned by man’s judg ment, and we too ought to care very lit tle for man’s judgment. Not only had Paul set very little store by the judgment of other men, he set little store by his own judgment of himself. He knew nothing against himself (v. 4 R. V.), he had a conscience free from all self-condemna tion, but he says he was not justified by the
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