We will never find the solution to all our problems, until we find the cause of them.
Today’s reading: Isaiah 39-40; Philippians 4
18 To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him? Isaiah 40:18
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; Philippians 4:4-5
Where did we go off track? Easy question, if you believe the Bible. God made man (male and female) in His likeness (Genesis 1:27), but sin entered into man’s experience when the woman succumbed to the temptation to be “like God, knowing good and evil.” She then invited the man to join her, and he did (Genesis 3).
Now Isaiah asks, “To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?” The correct answer, before the fall, would have been, “Man is like God”, but fallen man responds, “God is like me. I am God. No one is over me.” All sin stems from this attitude of autonomy and rebellion. It results in every evil which we now experience on a daily basis throughout the world: mass murder on campuses, terrified refugees fleeing war by the thousands, hostile legal battles over personal rights, etc. Solutions elude us as a society because we fail to recognize the real problem. We have made ourselves gods, rather than to recognize Him, our eternal Creator as the One whom we must fear, love, and worship.
Paul, in writing to the Philippians, urges them to rejoice in the Lord. Perhaps their circumstances did not contribute to a joyful atmosphere. Never mind. Rejoice in the Lord. He tells them to be reasonable, and then follows that with “The Lord is at hand…” The petty divisions and quarrels, they were apparently having, revealed a lack of conscious awareness of God’s presence (Philippians 2:1-5; 4:2-3). So, we see again, that ignorance of God, who He is, and how near He is, results in gloom at best and great acts of presumptuous evil at worst.
All our troubles stem from sin, and all our sin stems from failure to recognize that God is God. He is near, yet He is far above us, He is holy, He is eternal. Peace, joy, and reasonableness will characterize those who heed Paul’s admonition to be conscious that “the Lord is at hand.” God came in human flesh to save us from our sin, to reverse what our first parents did. Make the gospel of Jesus Christ your focus today. Believe in Him. Live in Him.