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Shavua Tov

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  • Daniel Botkin

Exposing Uncleanness & Weighing the Spirits


“All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits” (Prov. 16:2).

To rationalize means to try to justify your behavior or your beliefs with reasons that seem legitimate and logical to you, but are really just lame excuses for your inappropriate behavior or your erroneous beliefs.

In polite terms this is called rationalization. In more blunt terms it is called self-justification or self-deception.

When I think about people lying to themselves, I am reminded of a line from “The Boxer,” an old Simon and Garfunkel song:


“All lies and jest,

Still a man hears

what he wants to hear

and disregards the rest.”


This is exactly what so many people do. They hear and heed only what they want to hear. They listen to the voices that proclaim information they prefer to believe, and they ignore the voices that proclaim information that exposes the error of their thinking or the sinfulness of their behavior.


Internet to the Rescue!

In today’s information age, people can go online and find dozens of articles, studies, videos, and websites to “prove” almost anything they wish to believe.

Vegans post information that proves the vital importance of eating an all-vegan diet and the evils of eating meat, while the carnivores and omnivores post information that proves the physical and psychological dangers of eating a meatless, eggless, dairy-free diet.

Anti-vaxxers post information that proves the extreme dangers of vaccines, while the pro-vaccine people post information that proves the dangerous, selfish, foolhardy risks of shunning vaccines.

Conspiracy theorists post information that proves 9-11 was an inside job perpetrated by our own government, while others post information that proves the utter foolishness of conspiracy theories like this.


Professor Google: He has Whatever Answer You Need

Step right up, folks! What would you like to believe? That the earth is flat? That the moon landing was a hoax? That the Roman Catholic Church removed the Book of Enoch from the canon of Scripture? That King James was a queer? That the Mark of the Beast is a microchip implant? That Bill Gates rapes and murders children?

Step right up! There’s proof out there somewhere for just about anything you’d like to believe! And much of that proof will be accompanied by doctored photos, misleading graphs and charts, testimonials from people you never heard of, and lots of other anecdotal and unverifiable data, but who cares? Information doesn’t need to be verified by going to the library and looking stuff up in encyclopedias, books, and other reliable sources anymore! Just believe and post whichever internet information matches your own personal preferences, and you are all set to go, justified freely by the Grace of Professor Google! Hallelujah!

I’m being sarcastic, but sarcasm is not a sin. If you don’t believe me, I bet I can find an article somewhere online that proves sarcasm is not a sin. And if you find an article that says it is sinful, I’ll disregard that article.


Facebook: Providing an Open Pulpit for the Proclamation of any Doctrine from any Source

I avoid theological debates on Facebook, but I cannot help noticing other people arguing

there. I find it appalling but also somewhat amusing to see some of the things people say to each other, and the insulting names they call each other, as they hotly debate various Bible doctrines.

Often people will provide a link to some online article or YouTube video, and tell their opponent, “This proves I’m right. Period.”

I guess that word “Period” denotes finality, and proves there is nothing more anyone can say to disagree with them.

Sometimes I see people on Facebook make statements like: “I’ve spent over 400 hours researching this subject, so I know what I’m talking about.”

I have a suggestion. Instead of spending 400 hours doing online “research” looking for unverifiable information to confirm what you personally would like to believe, try spending 400 hours praying and reading straight Scripture without commentaries.

I have nothing against commentaries. Commentaries are helpful sometimes, but the Bible is helpful all the time. The Bible is God’s Word, while commentaries are just men’s words about God’s Word.


Back to the Bible

Bible believers need to get back to the simple, fundamental, clearly-proclaimed truths of the Scriptures, and quit deceiving themselves with unverifiable information from questionable sources.

The Bible is our Touchstone of Truth. A touchstone was originally a dark stone that was used to test the purity of precious metals. Gold would be used to draw a line on the touchstone, and it would leave a visible trace. The color of that trace revealed the genuineness and the quality (i.e., the purity) of the gold. In a similar way, all our beliefs and behaviors need to be tested by the Scriptures, our Touchstone of Truth, to reveal the genuineness and the quality (i.e., the purity) of our beliefs and behaviors.

“All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes” (Prov. 16:2a). Whether or not the ways of a man are clean in God’s eyes is revealed by the Bible, the Touchstone of Truth.


Back to the Prayer Closet

We need to get back to the Bible. We also need to get back to the prayer closet, because that is the place where “the LORD weigheth the spirits” (Prov. 16:2b).

A head full of Bible facts without the anointing of the Holy Spirit can be dangerous. The religious leaders of Yeshua’s day knew a whole lot of Scripture, but when the LORD weighed their spirits, they were exposed as spiritual lightweights. Yeshua exposed their spiritual rottenness in Matthew chapter 23. Seven times He cried out, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” He also called them blind guides, fools, serpents, and a generation of vipers. His was not a seeker-friendly ministry.

Like the religious hypocrites of Yeshua’s day, you can have a head full of Bible knowledge but still be walking in self-deception. You do not need to be a Pharisee, or even a Jew, to walk in self-deception. All your ways might be clean in your own eyes, but if you do not let the LORD weigh your spirit in the prayer closet, you may be walking in ways that are unclean in God’s eyes.

Your time alone with God in prayer is the time when He weighs your spirit and deals with your inward life. During your prayer time God searches your inward parts and reveals to you the true motives and intentions of your heart. You might be very active doing many good works of a religious nature, but what really motivates you to do those good works? Is it your love for God and for your fellow man that motivates you, or is it your desire to impress people with your piety, like those people Yeshua mentioned, who did their alms, prayers, and fasting to be seen by men? The Lord will reveal any impurity of motives to you when you lay bare your soul before God in the prayer closet and let Him weigh your spirit.


So Take a Break

Take a break from your internet “research,” and start re-searching the pages of the Scriptures once again like you did as a new believer, when everything was new and fresh and pure. You might be deceived by fake news on the internet, but there’s no fake news in the Bible!

Get back to the Bible and the prayer closet. Let God expose any uncleanness of your ways and any impurity of motives as He weighs your spirit. Then go forth with pure motives and walk in ways that are clean in God’s eyes, and the blessing of the Lord will be upon you.


| DB

 

Image: Psalm 75 by Daniel Botkin from his Psurrealistic Psalms Pseries. See this whole Pseries and all on Daniel’s art pieces on his art website, DanielBotkin.com.

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