Not in Man

When Jeremiah stated, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23), he summed up the failure of humanity from Adam to the present.

When Satan tempted Eve, there was a “not” in his tale (Genesis 3:4), it was “not” right. As Aaron molded the golden calf, all that glittered was not gold (Exodus 32:20), and made it hard to swallow. When the children of Israel “did what was right in (their) own eyes” (Judges 21:25), they were simply blind, and stumbled again and again. Even religious leaders oft-times failed to see the futility human innovation (Matthew 15:8-9) and were ultimately rejected by God.

These historic failures have evidently not put a dent in humanity’s attempt to improve on God’s revelation. Men and women from all walks of life still dedicate themselves to alternative messages based upon what they claim to be right, promoting and propagating doctrine found nowhere in God’s revealed will. It is sad, really.

Perhaps people who do this do not realize that changing God’s way of doing things is arrogant; it assumes an alternated instruction is an improvement on God’s Word or why else would someone change God’s directives? To make them worse? I think not. Further, amending, altering or adjusting God’s revelation is self-serving; what one is really saying is that what God thinks (and has revealed) is not sufficient to our happiness or desires so God’s will must be replaced by the will of the people. Christ’s Kingdom is not a democracy; His commandments are not up for vote.

It is humbling, to be sure, but we just don’t have the answers because “the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). So, “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17).