There is an unquenchable desire within each of us to know the complexities of the world around us. We all desire to know the who, where, why, when, what and how of the existence of matter, and whenever an explanation rises up that “seems” to fit the mold, we are satisfied…for a little while. It does not take long until some guy from Canthackit, AK, concocts a new theory from his basement to explain the way things are, and a million people follow him. In Acts 5, Gamaliel recounts circumstances where two men (Theudas and Judas) rose from the multitude, “claiming to be someone,” and drew large followings. Similar circumstances occur even in our modern times with certain cults and followings, but notice the outcome of all these situations, new and old: strike the shepherd that has the wild idea, and the sheep scatter.
Still even today, men act with pride in trying to speak where God has not spoken, attempting to “fill in the gaps” of things that God has not revealed to us. But yet this is the very definition of presumptuousness! Numbers 15:30 dictates the law and punishment to that one who acts presumptuously: to be cut off completely from his people. And yet we think this unreasonably harsh! But yet the punishment fits the crime, for in that presumptuousness of his mind he “despises the Word of the Lord.” The words of David fit perfectly, and fall in line with what we should think as well: “Keep back your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.”
However, I believe firmly that God has given us a tiny glimpse into a portion of His thinking, in books such as Isaiah and Revelation – books of prophecy written in highly figurative language. While these books are written for our instruction and learning, they are written in a way that would describe perfectly the events to someone who desires honestly to know. But yet what has man done? We have taken a book of comfort and victory, such as Revelation, and turned it into the Left Behind series. Spinning a web of end times prophecies from one verse is fast becoming a favorite past time of our denominational friends.
It is plain not only from the examples around us but also in the scriptures that man is never satisfied with the simple. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 describes the wisdom of man as inferior to the foolishness of God, but yet man has it backward, rather considering the wisdom of God to be utter foolishness. “Certainly a Messiah from God would not die on a cross, would He?” “A loving God would not allow his followers to be burned alive in a Roman Coliseum, would He?” This foolhardy approach stems from a desire to make things too complicated, and, having only a fraction of the whole picture, man deems it necessary to speak in areas they have no business getting into. Enter: false doctrine.
The philosophers at Athens in Acts 17:21 were said to do nothing but listen to strange doctrines; stories of religion and philosophy that would tickle their ears. Instead of living the life that they preached, many saw fit to critique from an armchair, choosing to debate minute details, not for exhortation, but for entertainment. For this reason, Paul commanded Timothy (and us) to stay away from these kind of things, and spend your time rather living the life that God has told us to live (1 Timothy 1:4-7). I don’t know about your life, but I’m having a hard enough time keeping my own life free from sin, without having to worry about thirty different definitions of the word “paint.”
So what is the answer? Simply to let God’s dominion rule over our lives and not to seek to go beyond the scope of our own wisdom granted to us by Him. God’s realm of wisdom far exceeds that of our own, and, contrary to us, He has the whole picture, along with full command over everything that is visible and invisible. If God says “go,” we go (Exodus 3). If God says “baptize,” we immerse (Matthew 28:19). If God says “speak,” we become His prophet (1 Peter 4:11). Why make a simple thing hard?Last modified: February 22, 2019