A Much Better Way
When I was in junior high, I came across Ralph Waldo Emerson, and was briefly fascinated by him, especially, "Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string." I tried it for awhile, and then realized that I was a fool, because I was ignorant, self-willed, and prone to evil. Trusting yourself is like a cat chasing its tail. It may bring a great deal of fun, but it profits nothing and the cat gets tired and becomes tiresome. But the cat does cause some amusement for a while; history is full of such diversions. Emerson was not a wise man.
Later, I found a much better path: Proverbs 3:
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
There are many things that I do not know about the ways of God. I do not presume to understand the "manifold" wisdom of God. I do know that He is not to be trifled with, for He is not only a faithful and loving Father, but He is a burning fire of wrath against those who hate Him. I know this is right and good for there are very evil things, including the Prince and Power of the Air, who hates God and man, and would be equal to God. Satan has nothing of his own, for God is the creator of all things; so Satan is a Deceiver, Liar, Murderer, and most of all, Apollyon [Destroyer], for he takes the things and people that God has created and corrupts them to destroy them.
It is good for God to reveal Himself as the Father and Judge of all the earth. It is good that we learn to fear Him and keep His commandments, and that is the rub. Sinful men will do anything to escape the judgment of God and adjust their own moral sense to fit their own desires. But this does not change the fundamental moral truth of the universe, Ps 119:142 "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth."
Ps 37:22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
Ps 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
Lu 16:15 And he said unto them, "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."
As I grew in my knowledge of the Scriptures, I realized how vain and unprofitable are the risings of the flesh and the vanity of turning away from the word of God. I came to despise all such pretensions and I have not been wrong. I have lived long enough to have seen the ruin of those who think like this. "Trust thyself," is horrible advice to give to young people; we find wisdom and grace in the face of Jesus Christ, whom we see as in a glass as we read the Holy Scriptures. 2Cor. 3.
21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
Those who trust in the Lord have the certain promise of God that He will vindicate them in heaven and in earth. Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Amen and Amen.