Sunday, December 25, 2011

Foresight, Hindsight, and Folly

"A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord" (Proverbs 19:3). ("A man may ruin his chances by his own foolishness and then blame it on the Lord!" TLB)

“However nervous, depressed, and despairing may be the tone of anyone, the Lord leaves him no excuse for fretting; for there is enough in God's promise to overbalance all these natural difficulties. In the measure in which the Christian enjoys his privileges, rises above the things that are seen, hides himself in the refuge provided for him, will he be able to voice the confession of Paul, and say, `None of these things move me'." S.H.Tyng, Jr. "Look now how mortals are blaming the gods, for they say that evils come from us, but in fact they themselves have woes beyond their share because of their own follies" (Homer, The Illiad, bk.I, 32).

If we consider cause and effect, we soon come to the conclusion that it is our own lack of foresight that hindsight now blames on Providence or our neighbor. Certainly Adam must have often wished he had foregone the pleasure of that tasty fruit in the Garden, for it left a terrible aftertaste. Later Adam's oldest son fretted, "My punishment is more than I can bear" (Genesis 4:13). This was after he murdered his brother. Adam's children have fretted ever since. God's children eventually learn wisdom.

"God made man upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes" (Ecclesiastes 7:29). And when the schemes don't work out, it's so much easier to put it on another's back and heart. "When tempted, no one should say, `God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed" (James 1:13,14). We frequent folly and then fret and fume because of its effects!

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