Beware the Lie
He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Psalm 147:10,11
These two verses address two issues that relate to one basic sin of mankind – self-reliance: 1) Relying upon “our” strength (abilities, fortitude, etc.) to get things done, and 2) Believing that we can save ourselves from God’s wrath as opposed to relying on God’s mercy.
Remember the lie of Satan in the garden – if the forbidden fruit was eaten, the garden’s human occupants would become as god’s, knowing good from evil? “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” This was the offer of autonomy, encouraging a false and sinful perception of a lack of need for the true God. Here it is: As gods you will have innate strength, wisdom, power, and will be able to distinguish between good and evil, because you will actually be above both good and evil (which will make you above God), and therefore you will be able to accurately separate good and evil into the correct piles.
What an offer…to be “like” God if we bow to Satan’s offer – “like” God in strength, wisdom, and in determining what is good or evil. Actually…what a lie! We did not own these qualities before the fall in the garden, and we certainly do not own these qualities following the fall as Satan promised us we would. Only God possesses these qualities and is the bestower of them upon whom He chooses, and in His way, and by His rules. Yes, though we, in Adam, did not own these qualities before the fall, we, in Adam, were already perfectly blessed by God’s strength, wisdom and protection – enjoying His goodness in His creation and in His fellowship. Also, we were made in His image, and already had the ability to know what was good and what was evil because God had told us…. do care for the garden, do be fruitful and multiply, and do not eat the fruit from the tree in the middle if the garden. And even after we fell in Adam, God bestowed these graces of soul knowledge upon His children. Not in the cheap way Satan offered it to us through his lie, but through the precious, priceless blood of God’s only begotten Son. Satan, as always, twists the truth. God, as always, triumphs over the lie.
God graciously reminds His children in Psalm 147 that we are to turn away from our “i am god” tendencies that promote self-reliance for strength and salvation, and instead, turn to Him – the true God – for these things. He does not take pleasure in our self-reliance, but takes pleasure in those that fear Him, in those that bow down in humility before Him as the One who is the Strong One and Giver of Salvation.
May we all take note and be encouraged by this truth as we begin each new day.