The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile.
Isaiah 40:27; here it is the reproach of the ungodly. The doubt of the pious soul is properly met by Divine comfortings and assurances; the reproach of the ungodly is properly met by scornful and withering reproof. "So far from 'not seeing,' 'not regarding,' as these brutish persons fondly imagine, Jehovah reads their inmost thoughts and devices, as he reads the hearts of all men, even though for a time they are unpunished" (see 1 Corinthians 3:20).
I. SUCH THOUGHTS ARE VANITY BECAUSE THEY ARE UNTRUE. They do not answer to the facts. If God be God, he must know what is going on; he must be controlling everything; he must be working toward the blessing of the good. Such thoughts are untrue if tested
(1) by right knowledge of God;
(2) by the assurances and promises of God;
(3) by the history of his dealings with men;
(4) by the personal experiences of believers.
II. SUCH THOUGHTS ARE VANITY BECAUSE THEY ARE UNWORTHY. The men who encourage them are not in a right state of mind. Men ought to trust God, not doubt him. Men ought to be quick to observe everything that can nourish confidence. If God's ways ever seem perplexing, our assumption should always be in favour of their wisdom and loving kindness. It is unworthy of men to doubt God in one thing, seeing he gives them such abundant reason for trusting him in a thousand things. He is "too good to be unkind."
III. SUCH THOUGHTS ARE VANITY BECAUSE THEY ARE UNSTABLE. They are but the feelings of the hour; they are based on no careful considerations. Men take them up when they are vexed at not getting what they wish, or not having things according to their minds. The moods of the hour may well be called "vanity." - R.T.
The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
I. GOD IN THE TEXT BRINGS A SEVERE CHARGE AGAINST OUR THOUGHTS. We are taught that only the blood of the Lord Jesus can cleanse them.
1. Consider what thought is, and how far and swiftly it can go. It allies us to the spirits above. It can go so far that the bounds of the infinite alone can check it; so swiftly, that it can distance an archangel in his most rapid flight. Think of its achievements!
2. This thought, so marvellous in its capacity, God charges with vanity. It is a heavy indictment.
II. THERE ARE MANY PROOFS OF THE CORRECTNESS OF THE CHARGE.
1. This vanity appears in man's persistent seeking to pry into the mysteries of God.
2. It is seen in this, that when man cannot see, he proceeds to conjecture; when he cannot know then he guesses.
3. It is seen in the many ways the thoughts of men lead them into arrant, nonsense. — Self-importance. Pleasures of sense, and appetite, etc.
4. It. appears by a review of our past. In manhood, how foolish the thoughts of our childhood appears! We have then put away childish things. So the past period of our lives appears to us at every succeeding stage.
III. TWO THINGS ARE NEEDED,
1. Purification of our thoughts.
2. Regulation of our thoughts, by —
(1) (2) (3) (M. Dix, D.D.)
(2) (3) (M. Dix, D.D.)
(3) (M. Dix, D.D.)
(M. Dix, D.D.)
(J. Todd, D.D.)
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