God’s Dumbness

by J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Why oh why do it that way — His way — when, more times than not, it is just plain dumb — and sometimes embarrassing?

A stick and the Red Sea

Take, for instance, when He asked Preacher Moses to pick up a stick, then hold it over the lapping waters of the Red Sea. Nice play. Now what can a skinny twig do in the face of a snarling, dog-fight militia coming from behind?

Besides, there are 600,000 men plus women, children, chickens, donkeys, and cats looking on from the hills. Who are they? They are Moses’ parishioners, not to count the dressed-to-the-nines armed services charging on gilded horses. Talk about stage fright!

Yet there he stands — Preacher Moses with stick in hand, calculating how long it will take him to be sucked under by the hungry waves staring him in the face. One push by congregation or enemy fighters will feed him to the whales.

Dumb dumb dumb.

Pebbles in a runt’s hand

God takes to His own nature toys for ammunition. Yet it appears stupid, especially in the face of overriding odds. However, that seems to be His frequent game plan.

Recall those pebbles bouncing around in David’s hand?

No wonder Goliath shook the Israeli hills with raucous roar when eyeing the slender, handsome emptyhead in the valley.

“Your God told you to attack me in a loin cloth, did He? So, squirt, what is it that you carry there between those adolescent fingers? Hmmmm — meat for lunch, I see. How we munch the likes of you for lunch. Dumb dumb dumb is your Chief. Just plain dumb.”

And so it was.

Building a boat

Dumber still was charging a grown fellow to board up a boat for 120 years. For what? A flood? You gotta be kidding. Rain? Really. Now what’s that? Raging tides, rising torrents, threatening thunderclaps? What are they? What do they look like? Where do they come from? Can you draw me a picture?

Add to this that Mrs. Noah went along with her husband’s loony project — day upon day constructing a mammoth whatever in the backyard. If that did not bring down the neighbors’ gales — plus a few tomatoes.

Then add to this their three boys, as well as their wives, buying into it. One would have thought that the next generation would have birthed some smarts. But, no. They were as dense as ma and pa.


A stick. Pebbles. Log strips for a boat.

Demons claw. King of the Pit screams fiery orders. Imps fly like bangy bats around your fogged-in head and all He asks you to do is stand there with a twig between your fingers, or five smooth stones in your hand, or some lumber piles stacked high in your side lot.

No wonder the boys at the office laugh you out of the break room.

Man on a cross

But of course, what takes the cake is when He told a muscled fellow to climb up on a piece of wood, then lay Himself down upon its center. “Now stretch out Your arms for them to pound a few spikes into Your flesh.”

And He did just that.

How dumb?