Another Example

We mentioned that someone can always find an alternate explanation for a bible passage. People have used the bible to prove just about anything. And it's not just the bible; people can come up with reasons for just about anything. Man's capacity for self justification and self delusion seems unlimited.

Now the bible gives a very interesting example of exactly this process. In Psalms 26 you can find two sequential verses that tell you to do the exact opposites. And each one has a good reason given to justify it. [And the question may well be about foolish disputes.]

Prov. 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Prov. 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

The point here is with the letter of the law you can find a reason for just about anything. There are many issues of debate in the church where people on both sides of an issue can come up with scripture to prove their point. [Do we keep the Sabbath on Saturday or have worship service on Sunday, is one example that comes to mind.] Going with the letter of the law, we are just never going to reach agreement. Some of these questions can never be settled by arguing over the scripture. Proverbs 3 puts it another way.

Prov. 3: 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

When faced with a demand for proof by the scripture, you can talk till you are blue in the face and it won't make any difference, without the Spirit to open the ears of the listener. Depending on your own logic automatically means you are no longer trusting the Lord. But when you 'acknowledge him' you admit that you can't figure these things out on your own. He will lead the way, trust him enough to follow.

Is it any wonder that Jesus' would say:

Mark 4:9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Once again, reasoning and logic does not convince people to change their views. Someone who is holding a certain view point can always find alternate explanations or simply go into denial. They are leaning on their own understanding.

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