In 1st Corinthians 1:25 Paul writes, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” What does Paul mean by this?

To be sure, Paul is not saying God is in any way foolish. Rather he is saying men who are vain in their thinking consider their worldly wisdom superior to what they read in God’s word. But does God teach foolishness in any way? Of course not. In the second half of this chapter Paul refers to the “foolishness of God” in order to explain how limited man is in his understanding. The mighty and the powerful seek their own wisdom . The simple straight forward statements by God in His word are rejected as uneducated and unenlightened.

Possibly, the most maligned portion of the Bible is chapter 1 of Genesis. Without embellishment, this chapter proclaims God to be the source of all things that exist. It does not explain how each aspect of the creation came about. But does that mean these statements in Genesis 1 are scientifically inaccurate and are thus a myth? Are they just so much “foolishness”?

Further, can Christians accept that the foundational chapter of the Bible is a myth? Is that possible for someone who also believes in the resurrection proclaimed by the Bible as the ultimate goal in life? The answer is no, we can’t. A Christian must, rather, be careful not to be selective in his acceptance or rejection of the straightforward matter-of-fact statements God gives to explain his actions or his plan for our lives. So let’s examine why we can accept the simple statements given in Genesis 1 as a true account of creation—statements many, including modern Christians, dismiss as myth.

In the first chapter of Genesis Moses wrote the following in verse 16: “and God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also.”

Moses said the sun was the greater light. That is scientifically accurate. We know the sun is about 6 million times bigger than the moon. But how did Moses know that? Moses could not have reached that understanding through observation. The sun, without modern astronomical instruments, appears smaller than the moon. We have all seen the huge harvest moon. Its size is impressive. To Moses and all those of his day, the logical conclusion would be that the moon is the greater and larger light. But through revelation from God, Moses stated accurately that the sun was in fact the greater light. It took thousands of years after Moses before scientists began to understand the size and power of the sun. Until Copernicus, the science of the day explained that the sun orbited around the earth; we now know that is not true.

In stating the fact the sun is the greater light, God was not informing mankind of a detailed scientific fact. He was directly making the point that He brought our world into existence, and only gave the barest of details of its placement among other astral bodies in the universe.

If understood properly, the scientific accuracy of Moses’ statement is even more impressive. Moses didn’t say that the light of the day was the greatest light in the heaven; but he only compared it to that of the moon. His greater understanding was revealed by what he did not say. It is apparent he knew there are much greater lights in the heaven. These are suns (stars) that are 60 million times greater than our sun. These stars appear as small twinkling lights to man as he stands and observes the heavens at night. There is no way that Moses or the scholars of his day could have known that the sun was not the greatest light in the universe. Only through God’s revelation to Moses could his statements have been accurate. What he was inspired to write then, has come to be common knowledge today.

God revealed many facts about the universe to Moses that are based on true science. However, God did not have Moses write three thousand pages of explanation about how the universe works, the distances in the universe from one point to another, and how the different bodies of the universe relate. He inspired Moses to write only the foundational fact that He created it all. He left the discovery of the awesome breadth of His creation for man to study and to marvel at. Unfortunately, most of mankind has rejected God’s simple statements about creation to come up with their own explanations that often prove to be without any basis in fact – amounting to chosen foolishness that attempts to make sense of God’s awesome creation. How foolish they will all appear when they stand before God.

David O’Malley