Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every intent of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Genesis 6:5-6 NKJVThe earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. Genesis 6:11-12 NKJV
Like many who are familiar with how Jesus describes the last days, I have often considered His reference to the conditions to be found on earth at the time of Noah and wondered what the root causes of them might really be. Not a week goes by without hearing or reading something from other believers wondering just what this world, and especially our own country, might be thinking to explain the actions of many people. I am reasonably sure many if not all of us would agree that we are fast approaching, if not already arrived, at a place where today could be described in the same manner as this passage from Genesis; “the wickedness of man was great” and “the earth was filled with violence”.As I thought about these things this week, and tried to understand how the world could arrive in this situation, the Spirit reminded me of a phrase found many times in scripture which, as I thought about it, seems to explain just how easily man has arrived back at the same place as the men in Noah’s day. Rather than seeking God for the answers to questions about acceptable behavior, men have decided that those standards are to be found “in his own eyes”. I think today will be one of those times where I do very little talking, and instead will allow the Word to explain what the Father thinks about where we are to look for guidance.
…in his own eyes,
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but He who heeds counsel is wise. Proverbs 12:15 NKJVHow often do you make a decision to do something without seeking the advice of God? One of the hardest things I went through as a father was watching each of my daughters mature to the point where they slowly began making decisions on their own without coming to me for advice. Of course, as they grew this was to be expected and I learned to accept my new role as the occasional source of counsel, but spiritually, do we really ever reach a point where we no longer need to look to God for guidance? Truthfully, with my track record I know I need to look to Him for everything.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7 NKJV
…in his own eyes,
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits. Proverbs 16:2 NKJV
Is the motivation behind your decisions based on what is pleasing to God, or pleasing yourself? The spirit of this world seems to revolve around self-gratification as the gold standard by which we measure our decision making. If the only law which governs our actions is whatever makes us happy, in reality there is no law and just as in Noah’s day the earth will be “filled with violence”. As believers we have been given the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us know what will be pleasing to God, and in turn guide our decisions.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:12 NKJV
…in his own eyes,
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts. Proverbs 21:2 NKJV.
I think we would all agree that when you truly love someone, your heart is always filled with thoughts of how to please them. If you look at the condition of the world today is it really very hard to come to the conclusion that most are motivated by self-love? Not a week goes by without hearing someone use the word “entitlement” to describe someone’s motivation for doing something. The heart of the believer on the other hand, should be focused on searching the scriptures to find ways to please God, and do His will here on earth.
For the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
…in his own eyes,
The rich man is wise in his own eyes, but the poor who has understanding searches him out. Proverbs 28:11 NKJV
If you read the first ten verses of this chapter you will see that in this verse the “him” that the poor man searches for refers to the Lord. The picture painted for us here is one of a rich man believing he is wise because of his success and therefore needs only look to himself, and a poor man who understands that true wisdom and understanding comes only from the Lord. How much better would this world be if every man sought out God and tried to walk in such a way as to please Him? It was Paul’s prayer to the Colossians, and may it be our prayer as well both today and in the weeks ahead.
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing [Him], being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; Colossians 1:9-10 NKJV