The roots of some perplexities
For reading & meditation: Isaiah 55:6-13
"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord." (v.8)
We continue examining the psalmist's graphic description of the so-called successful "man of the world": "Their eyes stand out with fatness, they have more than heart could wish, and the imaginations of their minds overflow with follies. They scoff and wickedly utter oppression; they speak loftily - from on high, maliciously and blasphemously. They set their mouths against and speak down from Heaven, and their tongue swaggers through the earth - invading even Heaven with blasphemy and smearing earth with slanders" (Psa. 73:7-9, Amplified Bible
). How perfectly these words describe the person who brazenly flaunts his arrogance and rides roughshod over the rights of others. Note the phrase, "their eyes stand out with fatness", or, as the International Bible Commentary puts it: "Their beady eyes bulged through folds of fat as they busily schemed. Superior and cynical, they engaged in malicious talk and threats." We see the same kind of people today -irreligious, self-centred men and women who live only for themselves and view God as an irrelevance. Why does God allow them to get away with such attitudes and behaviour? Perplexing, isn't it? We must realise, however, that it is only perplexing because we are dealing with the ways of an eternal Being whose thoughts and designs are infinitely greater than our own - as the text at the top of this page clearly tells us. Think about this as you make your way through the day: half our perplexities would never arise if we were prepared not to understand immediately the things that God does or the things that God allows.
O Father, what unnecessary perplexities we carry within us because we try to trace the reasons that lie behind Your designs rather than just trust them. Help us in our quest for a more confident faith. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
For further study:
1. How did God deal with Nebuchadnezzar?
2. What was his final conclusion?
More in Every Day Light, with Selwyn Hughes
Every Day Light 1/29