A silly question has been asked, “Can God create a rock so big he cannot lift it?” The answer? Yes, and then he would pick it up. A nonsense response to a nonsense question, but nonsense plus nonsense equals nonsense. Where is the wisdom?
Enter Proverbs, the book of wisdom, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes” (Proverbs 26:4-5). This sounds like two proverbs that do not get along with each other. Which is it? Do I respond or ignore the fool?
Jesus was approached by a group of Sadducees, religious leaders “who say that there is no resurrection” (Matthew 22:23). Fools. They riddle Jesus, “A guy marries a girl, but he dies, so his brother marries her, but he dies, and so on, seven times. Then she dies. After they are raised from the dead, which of the seven brothers is her husband?” A silly question Jesus does not answer according to their folly, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:29-30). Then Jesus answers the question they did not ask, their true folly. “As for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:31-32).
Never allow the fool to set the terms of a conversation. Wisdom sets the agenda, “and when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching” (Matthew 22:33).
My Righteous God, You passionately defend Your Name, because Your Name is good. You come with peace, but also with a sword. You fight for what is right because You care for the poor, the weak, the humble, and the broken. I fight for what is wrong because I care for myself.
Teach me to be passionate about the right things. You have not asked me to be timid, but to be courageous, yet gentle. You gave me a Spirit of power and love and discipline. Give me also the wisdom to do what is right, to keep from sinning when I am properly angry, and to love and promote peace whenever possible.