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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Greenberg

Man Thinks, Man Messes Up: Are You Thinking God’s Thoughts or Your Own?

Because of my work on the Tree of Life Version (TLV) of the Bible as a part of the theology team, I am often asked about theology.

My immediate response is always the same:

“My theology rests upon one statement: G-D is smart. There is nothing you or I will ever think about that G-D hasn’t already thought before. There is nothing we will ever come to know that He didn’t know already. G-D knows the end from the beginning and there is no place in time we will ever arrive at that G-D wasn’t already there.”

I follow up this statement by saying that if you want to understand the Bible, there are only two things you need to know. The first is what I just said, that G-D is smart. The second is “Every time men think they mess up.” By men, I mean mankind which includes women. In my statement about thinking, I mean every time mankind thinks that they have thought of something G-D might not have thought of yet, it causes catastrophic problems.

Abraham was told to leave all of his family and go to a place that G-D would show him. Abraham thought “It won’t hurt anything if I bring Lot with me.” The people Noah preached thought “It has never rained before.” Sarah thought “I haven’t had a baby, maybe Abraham should have a child with my servant Hagar.” David thought “It won’t hurt anything if I stay home instead of leading my army to war.” Solomon thought “It won’t hurt to have a few wives.” Moses thought “It won’t hurt if I hit the rock.”

Each and every one of these “thoughts” were contrary to G-D’s word and G-D’s promises. It is clear from each one that the person knew G-D’s word and yet they “thought” that their “thoughts” were better either than G-D’s thoughts or that G-D just had not reasoned the matter through enough to come to their “thought.”

Ultimately, we as believers spend every day making the choice between two thoughts, G-D’s thoughts or our thoughts. We can choose to either believe that G-D is smart and therefore we simply submit to his instructions for our life or we join the many many people throughout history that forget that every time we think we mess up.

What are you thinking?

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