God’s Love and Man’s Pride; November 4, 2019

Isaiah 5:15-16 So man will be brought low
and mankind humbled,
the eyes of the arrogant humbled.
But the Lord Almighty will be exalted by his justice,
and the holy God will show himself holy by his righteousness.

When we read such passages as this we need to remember that this chapter starts with a declaration of love. God’s judgments aren’t because He is vindictive, they are because He is both love and holiness itself. He loves us, but we forget His holiness to our peril. As is so common throughout the Bible, the human problem here is pride. The moment we forget that we are created beings, that we exist by and for the pleasure of our Creator, we get into trouble. (We get the opposite problem when parents think their children exist by and for their pleasure, but that’s a different discussion.) We have the strange tendency to forget that God is the source of everything good, (James 1:17) and somehow think we generate good things on our own. Creativity is one of the ways in which we are made in the image of God, (Genesis 1:27) but the motive power behind it comes from God Himself. The past 150 years have seen explosive growth in technology, to the point that our everyday lives are the stuff of the science fiction of not long ago. That can make it all the easier for us to forget where it all comes from, and think we don’t need God. The results of such thinking are tragic indeed.

I encounter this all the time, both from people of considerable intellect and ability and people with much less. Recently a teacher of one of the believers here specifically told him that “There’s no God, so stop thinking He’ll help you with your national board exam.” How sad! Thankfully, that was enough of a shock to the believer that he is far more active in church than he was before. God uses even those who speak against Him for His purposes! I well remember how I have been tempted to forget that God’s gifts to me are just that, gifts, and so become arrogant. I’ve fallen for that more than I like to think about! I’ve got to remember that God loves every human being equally, and I’ve got to relate to them as someone loved by God. That is the “identity” that counts, completely wiping out all the identity politics that is so rampant. I see so much evil that is the direct result of forgetting our Creator, and I must not succumb to any of it. Rather, in all humility I must recognize that God alone is holy and righteous, and we become holy and righteous only as we relate rightly to Him.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You did in the day yesterday. I feel like I’m under attack at the moment, but You allow that just to teach me to depend more fully on You. I pray that I would learn better and better how to rest, relax, and rejoice in You, doing Your will on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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