When early civilizations developed, deities were used to explain the mysteries of the physical world, such as having a god for thunder, rain, death and creation. Changes in secular circumstances, religious power and cultural diffusion changed how early peoples saw God. As people’s concept of God changed, old ideas were either incorporated into new religions or dropped completely.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
How many times did you hear that proverb during your years in WCG? How often do you COG folks still hear it today? I heard it a lot, and I’m sure many of you still do.
Well, it’s straight out of the Bible, isn’t it? The literal word of God, if we are to believe God actually inspired that sainted book. But does it make any sense? I mean, really?
Think about it. Just think what that second phrase actually means. “Lean not on your own understanding”? Why not? What could possibly be wrong with your own understanding?
After all, if you understand the Bible, and you understand what you’ve been taught, why shouldn’t you lean on that understanding? I can see trusting God with all your heart, if you are so inclined, but what is so bad if you “lean on your own understanding”?
Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?
Fiftieth. Can any sane man believe that the sun stood still in the midst of heaven and hasted not to go down about a whole day, and that the moon stayed? [Josh. x, 13.] That these miracles were performed in the interest of massacre and bloodshed; that the Jews destroyed men, women, and children by the million, and practiced every cruelty that the ingenuity of their God could suggest? Is it possible that these things really happened? Is it possible that God commanded them to be done? Again I ask you to read the book of Joshua. After reading all its horrors you will feel a grim satisfaction in the dying words of Joshua to the children of Israel: “Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land.” [Josh. xiii, 13.]
Fortieth. Can it be true that God was afraid to trust himself with the Jews for fear he would consume them? Can it be that in order to keep from devouring them he kept away and sent one of his angels in his place? [Ex. xxxiii, 2, 3.] Can it be that this same God talked to Moses “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend,” when it is declared in the same chapter, by God himself, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live”? [Ex. xxxiii, 11, 20.]