Wisdom of God in a Watermelon
Think of God as you eat one of summer’s best treats, a watermelon. There is no denying an Awesome, Wise, and Powerful Creator. “O Lord, how many are your works! In wisdom You have made them all” (Psalms 104:24). Meditate on the words of the famous statesman, William Jennings Bryan:
“Once, when I was going to Columbus, Ohio, I stopped to eat in a restaurant and ordered a slice of watermelon. I took the seeds home with me to plant in my garden.
That night a thought came to my mind. How many watermelon seeds would it take to make a pound? The next day I weighed them and found that it would take about 5,000 dried seeds.
A few weeks later, I planted just one of the little seeds. Under the influence of sunshine and shower, that little seed had taken off its coat and gone to work. It gathered from somewhere two hundred thousand times its own weight and forced enormous weight through a tiny stem and built a watermelon. On the outside, it has a covering of green and within that a rind of white and within that a core of red; and then it had scattered through the red many little seeds each one capable of doing the same work over and over again.
What architect drew the plan? Where did the little watermelon seed get its strength? Where did it find its flavoring extract and its coloring mater? How did it build a watermelon?
Until you can explain a watermelon, do not be too sure that you can set limits to the power of the Almighty. The most learned men in the world cannot explain the watermelon, but the most ignorant man can eat a watermelon and enjoy it.”
Wisdom of God in Redemption
We are familiar with “mystery” novels such as the Hardy Boys and Sherlock Holmes. Suspense begins early in the story, with the revealing of the case to be solved, and captivates the reader until he finishes the book. Little by little, throughout the mystery, clues are given to the reader to point him toward the solution. But, only at the conclusion of the book is the solution revealed. Then the pieces of the puzzle suddenly fit together.
Such is the case with the greatest “mystery” ever written- the Bible. In just its third chapter, the problem is presented. Adam and Eve sinned. The consequences were that they were spiritually separated from God (Gen 3:8), became subject to physical death (Gen ), and were driven from their paradise home (Gen -24). The rest of the Bible is the revelation, little by little, of God’s plan to reverse the consequences of sin- to forgive man’s sin, to give him victory over the grave, and to welcome him into an eternal paradise home.
The N.T. reveals the mystery. Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, “that by revelation you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made know to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit, to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Eph 3:3-6).
Now that we can see the solution of the mystery, salvation for both Jew and Gentile through Christ, we can clearly trace the development of God’s plan throughout the Bible. God chose Abraham to become the father of a great nation, Israel, through whom He would bless all nations (Gen 12:1-3). Israel inherited the rich land of Canaan that God had promised to them, but then eventually they were either destroyed or carried away from the Promised Land because of their disobedience. However, a small remnant of Jews was preserved and returned to Canaan. Out of this remnant came Jesus. He was envied and hated by the Jews who misread the clues God gave them about the coming Messiah (King). They crucified Him. But, this death did not defeat God’s plan, but rather accomplished it!
Jesus’ blood redeemed man from sin (that is, purchased man out of bondage to sin so that they could belong to Him). The re-deemed or saved group of individuals from all nations is known as the church. The existence of the church declares the manifold (many-sided or multi-faceted) wisdom of God and is the fulfillment of His eternal purpose (plan) that He purposed to accomplish in Christ Jesus (Eph 3:8-11).
As Paul reflected on God’s plan of redemption, he broke out in these words of praise, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (Rom 11:33-36).
Wisdom of God in Instruction
Before Moses died, he rehearsed both the history of Israel’s wilderness wanderings and the law that He gave to the Israelites. Among his remarks, he gave instruction about how to pass the law down to the next generation.
When their children would ask them what God’s commandments meant, that is, “Why do we have them?”, they first were to relate God’s mighty deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Then they were to tell them that God’s commandments were just another sign of His continued care for them- “So the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today. It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us” (Dt 6:24-25).
God instructs man because He cares about him. The One who created us knows what is best for us. He has shared His wisdom with us so that we might lead a full, happy life. He has not imposed restrictions on us and given us assignments to load us down with burdens or to cause us to miss out on the “fun” of life.
Peter told the Christians to whom he wrote that God had called them to inherit a blessing. He quoted David, showing that this same principle applies to men living under the Old Testament and the New Testament just the same. He wrote, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Pet 3:9-12).
As Jeremiah, we must realize “that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (Jer 10:23). We must take to heart the words of Paul, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor 1:25).
For the creature to question the wisdom of the Creator, to defy Him, to rebel, and to go His own way is to turn things upside down! Isaiah asked, “Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, that what is made would say to its maker, ‘He did not make me’; or what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding?’” (Isa 29:16).
We must forsake our own ways and thoughts and return to God. God’s ways and ours are not the same. God Himself put it this way, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa 55:8-9).
Let us heed the warning of the wise man Solomon, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov 14:12).
Who Are We To…?
Without a doubt, God’s wisdom is “manifold” (Eph. ). The Greeks used the word “manifold” to describe the intricate beauty of an embroidered pattern and the endless variety of colors in flowers. God’s wisdom is intricate, endless, and beautiful.
So why are men quick to recognize God’s wisdom in Creation and in redemption, yet rebel against His wise instruction? If indeed God is all-wise, who are we to-
- Form and maintain denominations, when God condemns division?
- Establish headquarters and synods and write our own creeds?
- Instruct men to be saved by some other way than what God has said?
- Change the worship God has specified?
- Declare things to be moral that God has said are immoral?
- Add or take away from anything God has commanded?
May we be humbled by God’s words out of the whirlwind to Job-
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.” (Job 38:1-4)