Pride Goeth Before a Splinter in Thy Eye

(Today's post by Keith Senator)

Jeremiah 5,6

As a young man, I had a shop teacher, 7th grade. I can still remember the freshly cut pine boards. Like many other boys, I was full of life and thought I could do anything. The teacher went on to talk about shop safety, wearing glasses, following protocol and accomplishing tasks in a specific order. This was all part of a matrix, or system, that when employed would yield the desired result (i.e.: chair, table, jewelry box, etc.). As the year went by, we forgot the first day of class. We became comfortable with process and in the end, we took it for granted. More than this, we started looking at the safety gear and decided it was no longer needed. I think you know where this is heading. What is it about people to get prideful and even forget where they came from?

I was reading Jeremiah 5 and 6 this morning and was struck with a similar idea. God’s chosen people have turned against God and no longer chose to honor him. Chapter 5 talks about how you can go through the streets and not even find one person who is upright, find one person who is faithful.

Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?
You struck them, but they felt no pain;
you crushed them, but they refused correction.
They made their faces harder than stone
and refused to repent.
4 I thought, “These are only the poor;
they are foolish,
for they do not know the way of the Lord,
the requirements of their God.

What is happening here? Not sure, but if I guessed, I would say that this is second, third, fourth generation from when the Lord was close to them. It is a lot like the first generation was was the first day in shop class for me in 7th grade. I was in awe of my professor. I thought he was awesome. I saw his handy work, his attention to detail, his patience, his carefulness. I was taken aback by his craft. I think this is similar to Jerusalem. But as time went on, as the semester and year went on, we became less in awe, to the point of completely turning from our teaching. I think this is an interesting idea for people in general.

In chapter 6, we see the fullness of this rejection and the natural progression has its way. I think people see it differently, but my instructor may have seen us sawing wood without safety glasses and may have warned us. But in the end, everyone was in revolt. In the end, someone got a splinter in their eye. In the end, the instructor was blamed for the accident. Isn’t that interesting?

In our lives, we can easily take for granted the common grace we all have in our lives. We can pretend that the wealth, and health that we all enjoy is because we have a great job that we got and we have great health because we make wise food choices. But we forget where all things come from, we forget that God created all that is and provided the environment for it to happen. It was the faithfulness of those who came before us that laid the groundwork for our success.

The converse of prosperity happens when we turn from God. I am not into the prosperity message as far as monetary gain, but I do believe in it from a grace perspective. When you give God credit for what He has done, by living a life honoring to him, things go well. When you decide to take credit for what God has done, when you decide you made what you have and you are the captain of your life, this my friend is a bad place to be.

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