Eternity Online: John Edmiston (Editor)

Eternity-Inspiration for Friday 5th  December 1997

(Ecclesiastes 7:29 NRSV) See, this alone I found, that God made human beings straightforward, but they have devised many schemes.
'O what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive". Sin makes life so complicated. The upright godly man lives a "straight life". The saint lives without schemes.

I became a Christian later in life when I had acquired an admiration for cunning ways. Part of the renewal of my mind has been to trust God and renounce manipulation in all its forms. This is not as easy as it sounds particularly in threatening situations. To trust God and be simple, straightforward and honest under pressure and not play politics is very contrary to "the flesh". (Galatians 5:19-20 NRSV) Now the works of the flesh are obvious: ....enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions." Scheming is the sinful flesh looking for "salvation" (for life problems) by its own wits instead of through faith in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 18 spoke to me and helped me see the folly of shrewdness and manipulation and the value of the innocent and trusting life. (Psalms 18:25-29 NKJV) With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; {26} With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. {27} For You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty looks. {28} For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. {29} For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall.

'With the devious You will show yourself shrewd". Who could stand a chance with God against them? The thought terrifies me. Not only is He infinitely subtle and intelligent but He can make Nature turn against you. If God decided to outwit you - your ruin would be great indeed. There is a long list of people outwitted by God -look what happened to the devious satraps who got Daniel put in the lions den - they were eaten alive and look what happened to wicked scheming Haman who was hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai? In fact the whole book of Esther demonstrates how God shows Himself shrewd with the devious. Those who plotted against Jesus were undone by a resurrected Saviour - a shrewd and unexpected move from God! In the end Satan's conspiracy to take over this earth and rule as "god of this world" will be crushed. He will rule over rubble as the world is demolished by judgements then he will be cast into the lake of fire. The shrewd are doomed but the upright will prosper.

How then are we to live? Going back to Psalm 18 we see God is merciful to the merciful etc. He treats us according to our character and not our status. God's blessing will rest on our lives if we are humble, upright, merciful, blameless and pure. Not only will we be blessed but we will have more guidance and more power than the shrewd. "..For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. {29} For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall."

Lord give us the faith and courage to let go of manipulation and trust you completely throughout our life. Let us live in holy simplicity of character and be full of truth, mercy and purity that we may be guided by You and victorious in all we do. Amen.


This devotional may be freely distributed for ministry purposes

Questions and comments may be sent to:
[email protected]
(not to the list please)

John Edmiston ([email protected])
Editor - Eternity Online Magazine
A Biblical Corner of The Internet
Eternity Inspiration - Free daily devotionals
Tell your friends to subscribe!