"Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says 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. (Isaiah 55:6-9)
The greatest sin man commits is exalting himself above God. At the root of every sin is the rebellious heart that rejects the commandments of God and seeks to establish its own law by the nature of man. Eve took of the fruit in the Garden of Eden after the devil convinced her to put her thoughts above the thoughts of God (Genesis 3:6). The thoughts of man in Noah's day "was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). The Jews continually rejected the blessings of God as they put their thoughts above the thoughts of their Savior (Exodus 17:3; Numbers 11:5,6; Deuteronomy 1:43; Ezekiel 20:32).
The Bible is given to man to show him the consequences of following his own law. How can man (the creation) believe that he can exalt himself above the One who created him? Paul wrote about the problem of man exalting himself above God in Romans 9:20 - "Nay but, O man, who art thou that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?" Jehovah God made the world and all that is in it. Man is nothing more than a small speck of dust in respect to the grand scheme of creation - yet, he finds it within himself to think of himself as greater than his Creator. The thoughts of God and the thoughts of man are so vastly apart from one another. The ways of man are no comparison to the ways of God. Everything that man creates fails; nothing that God establishes fails.
We want to put God on our level and make Him rule with our thoughts. Our idolatry is to make God like one of us. Rebellion against God happens when man puts God on the level of man's will. The Bible is no longer the word of God for man but mans will to do as he pleases in accordance with what he finds in his own thoughts. The greater tragedy is that man uses God's word to establish his own doctrines and suggest these are the commandments of God (Matthew 15:9). The Jews of Jesus' day were more concerned about teaching the thoughts of men rather than the thoughts of God. "Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men" (Isaiah 29:13).
Why do we have so many religious bodies in the world today? Why is immorality an accepted norm of life in our society? What drives men to accept homosexuality, divorce, lying, cursing, immodest dress and a myriad of other things that God clearly condemns? "But he said to them, 'You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God'" (Luke 16:15). The root of the problem with each one of us is when we decide that our thoughts are greater than the thoughts of God, we sin. "These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you" (Psalm 50:21)
Everything that man exalts in rebellion against God is an abomination to God. Just because man believes it to be true does not mean that God does. What will judge us in the last day - man's word or God's word?
"He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day" (John 12:48).
By Kent Heaton
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