The Sinking of the Titanic, The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse and any of the tragic space shuttle disasters…
As we look back at all these tragedies, modern forensics helps us to see in, hindsight, how it all could have been averted…
…or could they have, at least with the information they had at the time?
Now some say, The Titanic could have demonstrated better judgment, more adequate safety measures could have been applied and they should have heeded repeated warnings. (www.contractingbusiness.com/galleries/titanic-disaster-could-have-been-avoided)
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge could have been solved by the use of differential equation of the vibrations of a mass on a spring free damped and undamped motion, and the resonance phenomena. (www.Chugg.com/Tacoma-narrows-bridge-collapse)
Ya, I hear Y’all thinking, tell that to the poor man fleeing his car as the bridge swayed up and down in 25 foot high swells in 1940’s film footage.
If he had just checked the vibrations of a mass on a spring from a free damped and undamped motion, and the resonance phenomena…well obviously he wouldn’t have driven onto the bridge on that unbelievably windy day!
And the space shuttles? Well my father in law had something to say about that. His son Chuck actually worked on the insulation that was used on the shuttles before he retired.
So Clare asked him after the lasts disaster, “So son, did you make the space shuttle blow up?” Chuck replied, “Nope, but I know how hot it got before it blew!” Magnificent monuments of man’s malfeasance; can they be avoided, in the time the mistakes were made?
Paul in his letter to the Corinthians might suggest…probably not, for so many things have been brought down by so many moronic mistakes that are easily overlooked… after all nobody’s perfect, we all make mistakes; and sometimes the littlest of mistakes cost lives.
Watching the unfolding tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School has likewise created a lot of after action reflection.
The availability and action of armed deputies at the school, authorities’ lack of response to reports of the shooters self-proclaimed intentions and the possession of weapons in his presence has all been pointed to as factors in the loss of life.
The refrain comes out again and again, could this have been prevented? And more importantly; what can be done to prevent it in the future.
Governor Scott has suggested a 500 million dollar investment to strengthen school security.
Some have proposed letting concealed carry teachers bring their weapons to school so they can at least defend the students and themselves with equal force.
Others have demanded the banning of all guns; after all, if there are no guns, there can’t be any shootings.
Deep down we wonder if any of these or even all of these solutions will actually solve the problem, but doing nothing seems to be impossible in the emotion of the aftermath of the event.
We may even ask ourselves, are we building yet another monument dedicated to the magnificent malfeasance of man?
Anyone that speaks with absolute confidence that they know how to solve the problem is the most likely candidate in the room for being the only person that doesn’t know what they are talking about.
It’s as if Paul is talking to them today, “Ok, where’s the wise? Where’s the scribe? Where are the ones gathered in debate today?”
Sure the pundits are on TV, the blogs are firing up our email, and the focus groups are meeting in the tiny little studios gathered in front of the radio host.
But without God, ALL THE WISDOM IN THE WORLD IS UTTER FOOLISHNESS.
In a world that increasingly; rejects the need to consult God’s Word, neglects praying to the one true God and skips worship for trivial entertainment…that begets a world where demons run amuck and innocent lives are lost temporally, and even worse than that, eternally.
But that never seems to be on the minds of people after tragedies like this.
Almost immediately there is the insistence on building yet another magnificent monument of man’s malfeasance. They say things like, “We must do something”.
They inspire false confidence in their efforts by suggesting their efforts; will never let another tragedy happen again.
And finally they claim that this is their opportunity to make history.
Now the last thing I am gonna tell you this evening/this morning is that I know what the solution to this particular tragedy is, or that I have any clue how it could have been prevented.
I don’t know, and I would never even suggest I should be asked to make that call.
But what I do know is laws will be made and already have, in the spirit of preventing similar tragedies in the future.
And what I can say, with great confidence, knowing how sin works in this world…tragedies will happen again.
When we think we are wise apart from God, it is time to repent; it’s time to change the way we think and act.
The foolishness of God is wiser than anything we think, say or do apart from him.
Consider all the things done that suggest we can be like God!
Laws are made over and over again with the idea that people will obey and there by no longer sin.
Security is increased to the point of suggesting it can thwart even the most demonic forces.
Some social scientists manipulate minds and bodies to the point that they think they can create better lives than God did!
The honest individual and by that I mean the forgiven sinner knows, no we can’t.
Even if politicians promise utopia to the unwashed masses, and security insists they can successfully restrain evil, and science thinks they can somehow create, clone or continue to make better people, Paul has something to say to them…
“You fools, your moronic thinking fixes nothing! God has made it clear, what you think is something is nothing at all.”
Nothing in verse 28 is much scarier to the Greek in Paul’s day than it is to us in our day. For in Paul’s day, a more contemptable expression in Greek thinking was not possible. For them, being is everything.
If Paul just got done calling the Greek Corinthians nothing, they would have been aghast; at least they would have been if they did not know Christ!
In the church in Corinth, they were all too familiar with magnificent monuments of man’s malfeasance.
Whether it was the malfeasance of inappropriate relationships, the arrogance of the noble born, or the wacky wisdom of the fallacious philosophers who kept coming up with answers to problems that did not exist, the people of the Corinthian church saw it all.
Yes they knew none of the magnificent men could save them, not a single monument was worthy of their worship, and malfeasance never mitigated the sins they committed and saw in their church.
Only one thing was capable of carrying away their crass and incredulous lives and that was the cross, and only the God/Man crucified would crush them into oblivion and raise them as pure as Jesus is.
The cross was foolishness to the gentile, but salvation to the sinner!
Paul cries out today that it is time for the magnificent monuments of man’s malfeasance to come down.
It’s time to quit looking at nothing and say it’s something when it’s not!
We can’t look to the heralds of Hollywood who ignore God, know nothing, and insist that they are morally something, when the majority of actors are just morons!
It’s time to stop looking at the noble born and the elitist rich as superior leaders whom we are beholden too.
Luther Says, “Riches are the most insignificant things on earth, the smallest gift that God can give man. What are they in comparison even with the Word of God? In fact,…what are they in comparison even with gifts of the mind? And yet we act as if it were not so! The matter, form, effect, and goal of riches are worthless.”
So we look not to riches for wisdom, but for wisdom; in the richness of faith, in Christ.
And it’s time to quit looking to the strong, as if they have the strength to solve anything. It isn’t the NFL, The NBA, the UFC or the NCAA that takes the most magnificent athletes and accomplishes great feats for mankind.
Rather it is those who “Run with endurance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1b-2
That’s Godly Wisdom; worldly wisdom crushed by Christ’s cross and magnificent monuments of man’s malfeasance toppled once and for all. AMEN.