How Can Man Understand?

For Thursday, February 22, 2007
Proverbs 20:24

A man's steps are from the Lord;
how then can man understand his way?

How can a man understand his way apart from the Lord who works all things for his glory and purposes? The secular philosopher, despite his intellectual prowess, takes the wrong first "step" in his contemplation as he tries to understand his way. One may build insight upon insight, but if the foundation is not the Word of God, it is but a make-believe building.

Our own lesson as Christians is to accept that the mystery of God's secret counsels and his way of ordering man's steps is beyond our ability to understand. How is it that we will make our decisions today about the steps we take and every step will serve God's purpose? How is it that today we will ponder how to answer someone, what weighty decision to make and then later look back and acknowledge God's purpose in what took place?

Even then we will not have full insight. It is good to explore the ways of God and of man. But it is critical to do so in humility; even more so to do it in trust - trust that God is good and in control. If you are tempted to doubt, then look to the Cross; for there is the mystery of election and freedom, of wrath and mercy, of violence and justice, of sin and love; there is the mystery of God's way that is higher than ours as the heavens are higher than the earth.