my thoughts are
not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For
heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your
ways, and my
thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Naaman the leper is an example of man’s thinking in
conflict with God’s way. When Naaman arrived at the house of
the prophet Elisha
hoping to be
cleansed of his disease, the prophet just sent a messenger out to tell
“Go and wash in Jordan
seven times…” (2 Kings 5:10).
Naaman “was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I
thought…” (2 Kings 5:11). He had expected
something entirely different. But his
servants asked him, “If the prophet had bid thee do some
great thing, wouldest thou
not have done it?” (2 Kings 5:13). Only then did Naaman come
to his senses and
obey the simple instructions of God’s prophet.
These are some other
examples of how man’s thinking
differs from God’s thinking:
often emphasizes birthdays. Yet
neither the month nor day, nor even the year of
Jesus’ birth is mentioned anywhere in the Bible.
of Jesus’ birth was not where man would have chosen. It was
not Rome, the world
capital; or Athens,
the center of learning; or even Jerusalem,
little among the thousands of Judah”
man would probably have had Jesus
enter the world as a full-grown man, not as a newborn baby.
Not Politically Correct
Jesus’ selection of His apostles was not based on what
man considers most important in building a successful organization,
political power, educational status, social standing, financial wealth
important positions of religious leadership. Furthermore,
Jesus’ choices were
not according to modern ideas of “political
correctness.” There was no ethnic
or gender balance. There was no “diversity.” They
were all Galileans (Acts
Consider, too, God’s choice of preachers, in sending
Moses to Pharaoh, and Jonah to Nineveh.
Man would not likely have selected preachers who were so reluctant to
The Plan of Salvation
God entrusted the preaching of the Gospel to the
apostles, and then to all Christians. As Paul said, “We have
this treasure in
earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Man might have thought
it better for God
to speak to each person directly, perhaps through some kind of direct
of the Holy Spirit who would go to each individual to tell him or her
do to be saved.
Man would also have tried to present the Gospel plan
of salvation to make it appeal to either worldly lusts, lavish bright
and pomp and ceremony, as the heathen religions did, or to worldly
human reasoning. God did not do this (2 Corinthians 1:23).
When God sent His only begotten Son into the world to
die for sinful man, He did for us what was wholly contrary to
man’s nature to
do. As Paul told the Romans: “For scarcely for a righteous
man will one die:
yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God
his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for
If man had written the Bible, he would have
de-emphasized or even omitted his own favorite sins. He would have
lofty standard of the Scriptures. But the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible.
not downplay anybody’s favorite sins. If man had written
about David or
Abraham, or other men and women in the Bible, he probably would have
the biographies according to his personal feelings, but God told it
it really was—bad and good—with no partiality!
When the mob challenged Jesus to “come down from the
cross” (Matthew 27:40-42), man would have had Jesus accept
the challenge in a
dramatic demonstration of His miraculous power.
The infidel Robert Ingersoll used to dare God, in
front of large audiences, to strike him dead in sixty
seconds—if He really
existed. Then Ingersoll would take out his pocket watch and count off
seconds. If man had been in God’s position of power, he would
stricken Ingersoll dead the very first time he issued that challenge.
did not lower himself to intervene that way.
A human military adviser would have told Gideon that,
in order to win, he needed an army much larger than the three hundred
instructed him to lead (Judges 7). Yet, through God’s power,
The Widow’s Mite
Jesus said of the poor widow who gave two mites—all
her living—that “this poor widow hath cast in more
than they all…” (Mark 12:42;
Man would have
considered two mites the smallest of all the gifts and might even have
her to keep her two mites, since she was herself so poor and needy.
Of Jesus it was said, “The common people heard him
gladly” (Mark 12:37). But man would have said that the only
way to promote and
advance a movement is to meet the “right” people,
the “important” people.
The Cross of Christ
The cross itself was considered an emblem of shame—reserved
for those who were not even Roman citizens. Yet, it came to be
that Paul could say, “But God forbid that I should glory,
save in the cross of
our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Galatians 6:14).
Jesus said, “But he that is greatest among you shall
be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). Peter’s original
negative attitude toward
this way of thinking represented typical human reasoning.
To carry out something as big as the command to
“Go…teach all nations” (Matthew 28:19),
man’s mistaken thinking would be: “This
job will require a very large organization, an impressive headquarters,
central clearing house, an elaborate chain of command, pooling of
and big finances—in other words, an organization like a
God looks at people as they truly are, but man often
draws his conclusions from superficial outward impressions:
“…for the Lord seeth
not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the
looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Probably every Christian can think of other examples
in which typical human reasoning clashes with God’s perfect