Home | Archives | Guest Book | Links | churches of Christ | Contact Us
Plan of Salvation
 | Correspondence Course | Daily Bible Reading | Store | World Evangelism
Gospel Gazette Online logo

Serving an international
readership with the
Old Jerusalem Gospel
via the Internet.

Vol.  9  No. 12 December 2007  Page 13
powered by FreeFind
Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20

God's Ways vs. Man's Ways

By James R. McGill

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith 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 55:8-9)

    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 in Israel, hoping to be cleansed of his disease, the prophet just sent a messenger out to tell Naaman, “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:

  • Man often emphasizes birthdays. Yet neither the month nor day, nor even the year of Jesus’ birth is mentioned anywhere in the Bible.
  • The place 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, but little Bethlehem: “Bethlehem… little among the thousands of Judah” (Micah 5:2).
  • Furthermore, 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, such as political power, educational status, social standing, financial wealth or 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 2:7).

    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 go.

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 operation of the Holy Spirit who would go to each individual to tell him or her what to 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 displays and pomp and ceremony, as the heathen religions did, or to worldly wisdom and 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 commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7-8).

The Scriptures

    If man had written the Bible, he would have de-emphasized or even omitted his own favorite sins. He would have lowered the lofty standard of the Scriptures. But the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible. He did 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 slanted the biographies according to his personal feelings, but God told it exactly as 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 the seconds. If man had been in God’s position of power, he would likely have stricken Ingersoll dead the very first time he issued that challenge. Yet God 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 men God instructed him to lead (Judges 7). Yet, through God’s power, Gideon won.

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; Luke 21:2). Man would have considered two mites the smallest of all the gifts and might even have advised 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 glorious, so 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, a central clearing house, an elaborate chain of command, pooling of resources, and big finances—in other words, an organization like a Missionary Society.”

    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 Lord 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 way.

Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20