OOPs! God Wants Us To Think Outside The Box.
And again I say…OOPs! For this week’s blog title, I have used an antithesis form of speech. Why? Because I thought the title above would infuse the curiosity of my readers more than the title: “God Uses Opposites To Express Himself On How To Obtain Righteousness”.
Now I ask you…did it work? Are you still with me? Have I piqued your interest enough for you to read this blog all the way through?
Well, if nothing else, you’ve learned the definition of a new word…Antithesis! That word refers to the juxtaposition (two things with contracting views) of opposing or contrasting ideas. And we all know that the Bible is full of opposites expressed not only by God in the creation story in Genesis, but also by Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, and many other New Testament writers.
Below I have listed a few examples found in Genesis Chapter One that depict an antithesis form of speech or writing:
- Light and darkness
- Day and night
- Earth and Sky
- Morning and evening
- Land and sea
- Sun and Moon
- Male and female
Now let’s apply scripture to the proverb that God disposes but man proposes.
- “Many are the plans in a human heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
- “To human beings belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.” Proverbs 16:1
- “The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster.” Proverbs 16:4
- “In their hearts human beings plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
If you wanted to compose a sentence to share that will better explain the antitheses, you could say that even when man gives his very best to a project, in the end, it is up to fate whether man’s efforts will work out or not. Thus, Man proposes, but God disposes (brings things to fruition or extinction).
So do not be discouraged when you read opposites in the bible. Rather, get wisdom and in all thy getting, get an understanding about God’s word. Study to show yourself approved and allow the Holy Spirit to show you how to rightly divide the word of truth.
The moral of the story:
Recently, I was invited to teach on several scriptures from the Book of Hebrews. The assignment called for me to first read a short story found in Our Daily Bread magazine and use it as the basis for my scripture teaching. Because the magazine story did not fully blend in with the overall theme of Hebrews, I had to pray hard for the Holy Spirit to help me connect the dots. This is the message the Holy Spirit communed with me: Do not reduce holy mysteries to slogans and catchy stories, my sister. In trying to be relevant, you are only being cute and in violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred. Having a knack for generating ‘amens’ from your audience won’t get you anywhere with the Master. In fact, you will reap what you sow. You can imagine, I stuck with the overall theme of Hebrews…the Old Covenant vs the New Covenant. I was careful not to propose anything in my teaching that the Lord would dispose.
My prayer for you:
Dear Heavenly Father, we give You all the glory, honor, and praise for loving us so much that You sent down the Holy Spirit to teach and instruct us in the way of righteousness. For you used juxtaposition terminology to instruct us in how to recognize what is life-generating and what leads to death-infused conduct. Basically, we must embrace faith, exhibit love and practice endurance as we live out our lives and administer hope to our fellowman. It is our prayer that You will continue to shower us with Your wisdom so that we might become more like You. We ask that all of these various teaching methods be a blessing to others…in the mighty Name of Jesus we ask it all. Amen.
Scripture Lesson: “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” Proverbs 21:21