Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD, And their works are in the dark; They say, "Who sees us?" and, "Who knows us?" Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, "He did not make me"? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"? (Isaiah 29:15-16, NKJV).
These two verses from Isaiah certainly address the philosophy of many men today. It is amazing how much such a short passage can say. This is certainly not an attempt to exhaust the meaning but only to briefly give attention to a few significant points.
1.) Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD… It is absurd for man to think He can hide from or deceive the Lord, the omniscient, omnipotent One. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3, NKJV).
2.) …their works are in the dark… Men tend to dwell “in the dark” so as to attempt to accomplish their foolish aim of hiding their evil works from God. …the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19, NKJV).
3.) They say, "Who sees us?" and, "Who knows us?" As men walk in darkness in their futile attempt to hide from the One who knows all and sees all, they deceive themselves into believing they can actually accomplish such a thing. David recognized that there was no possible way to get away and hide from God. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? (Psalm 139:7, NKJV). The answer to David's question is obvious. The all-knowing, all-powerful, present everywhere God ...knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him (Daniel 2:22, NKJV).
4.) Surely you have things turned around! If this does not describe the state of man's thinking today, I don’t know what does. Man seems to have just about everything turned around. “Man created God in his own image.” “Truth is relative.” “There are no absolutes.” “Man evolved from lower life forms.” “The universe is billions of years old.” “It took millions of years for life to evolve.” “All living things have a common ancestor.” “There is no evidence of a global flood.” “The appearance of design does not mean a design actually exists, so it does not mean there is a designer.” “Man is getting better and better.” “Man is basically good.” “There is no such thing as sin.” “There is no resurrection from the dead.” “There is nothing beyond the grave.”
These are only a relative handful of the foolish statements based on wishful thinking made today by alleged “scientists” and other supposedly “educated” people. It is all summed up on one brief statement from Scripture: … because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things (Romans 1:21-23, NKJV).
5.) Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay…? Much of humanity today sees itself as the ultimate end, the “measure of all things,” as stated by Protagoras, a Greek philosopher who lived over 400 years before Christ. Even though his statement is very old, it is certainly adopted today by many who hold to a humanist philosophy of life. William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) wrote the poem “Invictus,” in which he states, in part, “…I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul…It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” This is the same philosophy that elevates man to the status of equality with God and makes the true and living God powerless, and therefore, non-existent. No amount of flawed human reasoning can make God go away. He is real. He is there. He will not put up with nonsense. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision (Psalm 2:2-4, NKJV).
6.) …shall the thing made say of him who made it, "He did not make me"? Such an idea relative to a potter and his clay is, at best, absurd. However, it is no more absurd than the idea of weak little man, who views a fallen world through the sinful eyes of a fallen nature, saying, “There is no creator. Everything came into being by natural processes.”
Consider this – there are four faces of
Presidents on Mount Rushmore. No one is his or
her right mind would say, “Those four faces got there by the forces of nature –
wind, rain, lightning, etc.” Such a thought is ridiculous. For even one such
face to form by natural processes is clearly impossible and certainly would
cast doubt on the intelligence and common sense of anyone propagating such a
far-out idea. And what are the chances that the one face that formed by
natural processes would be a U.S. President? But wait
– there are four such faces, all representing presidents, which multiplies the impossible odds against such a thing happening.
All people with any measure of common sense would readily admit that the faces on
Rushmore were designed and formed by intelligence. However, many
of those who recognize that George Washington’s face could not appear by
accident on Mount Rushmore would say that the
actual man George Washington was a product of evolution through natural
selection. This borders on the insane when one considers that a real person is
literally billions of times more complex than any rock formation, which makes
belief in evolution billions of times more absurd than believing in the clear
impossibility of Mount Rushmore forming by natural processes.
7.) …shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"? Humanity thinks far too highly of itself. We all have far too much of that humanistic thing we call “self-esteem,” which very quickly degenerates into extreme arrogance. It is hard to imagine anything more arrogant than for men to say that God “has no understanding.” That is basically atheism, because if God has no understanding, He is not God, and if He is not God, then there is no God. The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1, NKJV). This can also be translated, "NO, God!" Either way, failure to believe in the obvious existence of God and/or rebellion against the sovereign rule of God over His creation identifies an individual as a fool.
Even though the book of Isaiah was written more than 700 years before Christ, this passage has great relevance for today. This illustrates the unchanging nature of Scripture. God, through the prophet Isaiah, has communicated a statement about the foolishness of man’s thinking. It all boils down to the arrogance of man as he pretends to know better than God about everything, when in reality, man does not know better than God about anything. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness (Proverbs 15:2, NKJV). The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness (Proverbs 15:14, NKJV). …the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25, NKJV).