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The Deception of Man’s Commandments
The children of Israel had the propensity of maintaining the outward form of their religious duties, but were in truth alienated from God. This is something the Lord made clear through the prophet Isaiah.
“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men.” (Isaiah 29:13)
Quoting this verse Jesus made the following commentary.
“You have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you.” (Matthew 15:6b-7)
These words reveal that rather than having a direct word from God it is possible to have a fear of God from something taught by man, but such a revelation and fear is of little value.
What we need is a direct word from God, and such a word can only come through time spent in prayer and in the Bible, which is God’s word to man.
The principle that emerges is that no matter how true the rule, or how good the tradition may be, apart from a direct word from the Lord God Himself, they will always fall short in their intended goal.
It is only by the Word of God that a person lives.
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
And so while we are to listen to what the preacher or Bible teacher says, we should always take the time to pray and go to God’s word to find out what it may mean for our lives.
The Apostle Paul commended the believers in Berea for this very thing.
“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11)
Wednesday Evening Bible Study