I love the narrative of how God led Adam to do His will.
Well, that's not quite how it went, did it? Instead, we read "and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof." God said, "Name them." He didn't tell Adam what to name them. So Adam studied them, and he named them.
Genesis 2 (original KJV)
18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19a And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them.
19not But Adam saith unto God, O no, Lord GOD! I durst not transgress thy perfect will for my life! Do thou tell me what to name these beasts and creeping things, and lo, thus will I name them. Yea, guide me with thine hand upon me, for I would not stray from thy paths! I fain would have an intimate personal relationship with thee, which requireth that all choices be made by thee, with guidance from thine hand, yea, unto the very hairs of my head and the motes of the air!
Perhaps that was a one-off. Maybe everything changed after the Fall. Yeah, that's the ticket. God had Adam use his unfallen brains, and had him study, research, analyze, and make his own calls because Adam could run off the default setting of their unmarred, pristine relationship. That would never happen after the Fall.
That must be why David, in his rousing final charge to Solomon, says this in 1 Kings 2:3—
And listen for the inner voice of the LORD thy God, to walk in his spiritual leadings, to keep his inner urgings, and his checks of thy spirit, and his layings upon thine heart, and his burdens, as it is impressed upon thine inner man, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou allowest LORD to turn thee:Okay, so that's not an exact quotation. Actually, it went more like this:
And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:Hunh. If you didn't watch yourself, that passage would give you the impression that God's word gives all the guidelines, borders, and limitations for which He holds us morally responsible. Then beyond that, we can be assured of His blessing as we make wise, responsible choices and decisions in the areas not specifically covered in His word. No mystical tea-leaf readings, no chicken livers, no flutters and bumps are necessary for this relationship. Just free coloring, within the lines.
(1 Kings 2:3)
But David's son Solomon has a very different idea, and he was the wisest man who ever lived! Surely what he says should be weigh heavily in our thinking. The sage-king famously wrote, in Proverbs 16:1 and 9—
No man must plan,
unless the tongue of the LORD whisper in his ear.
The heart of man must not plan his way,
until the LORD move his spirit.
Okay okay, I suppose those are a bit imprecise. In the sense of being dead wrong. The verses actually say:
The plans of the heart belong to man,So Solomon agrees with his father (cf. 6:20-23).
but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.
Again, an incautious reader might think God actually means us to plan responsibly, and reserves to Himself the right sovereignly to overrule as He pleases. That doesn't really harmonize with modern MystiChristiAnity. Hmm....
Oh, wait; I know! That was all before the Holy Spirit came. Everything would have to change after Pentecost. That's where we get all the floods and rivers of clear Scriptural doctrine that have so engrossed and captivated many of our past Pyro commenters — all that crystal-clear, explicit Biblical teaching that Biblical teaching is inadequate to produce a personal relationship with God; that such a relationship requires the normal, daily reception of extra-canonical semi-hemi-demi revelations, holy hunches, and heavenly fluttery mutterings.
That sort of mystical guidance is where we get direction for crucial personal decisions like... like... like whom to marry! We know from all popular evangelical teaching that there is just one right person for us to marry, already hand-picked by God; and if we don't marry that one right person, then we'll be haunted for all the rest of our days with the sure and certain knowledge that we are Out of the Will of God, because we have Missed God's Best for Us. And since that one person's name is not in the Bible, we have to get it by direct sorta-revelation.
That's why Paul makes it so clear 1 Corinthians 7. Remember what the inspired apostle says? Sure you do!
The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whomever she feels the Lord leading her to marry, insofar as she seeketh and discerneth his perfect individual guidance as to who that one right man might be.Oopsie. That's something of an inexact quotation, isn't it? "Inexact," I say, in the sense of being exactly wrong. What is it that Paul actually says, about this, the one most epochal and colossal choice a human being can make, short only of what he does with the Gospel? What is Paul's apostolic statement?
The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.My, that looks like the same thing we've seen previously, doesn't it? God gives a moral absolute: one may only consider marriage to a Christian, someone who is "in the Lord." No other options should ever even be on the radar.
"To whom she will."
In other words, she's free. It's her choice, without any moral/spiritual onus. Of course, there are tons and reams of wisdom principles that she'd be a barking, drooling, wild-eyed fool not to apply. But she isn't directed to don the swami's cap and go ransacking the ectoplasm.
So there it is: arguably the most crucial decision a human being can make, and she's free to make up her own mind and do her own wise choosing — within the moral absolutes God has laid down.
And so here we see two major and conflicting concepts of the will of God: the pin-prick concept, and Biblical concept.
And so many are so dissatisfied and discontented with the Biblical concept.
Wellnow, that's hardly breaking news, is it?
POSTSCRIPT: you know, if this robust notion of the sufficiency of Scripture ever really caught on, it might save us from de facto morally or materially aiding and abetting men who make absolute fools of themselves and shame the name and cause of Christ, under the banner of continuing, personal, sorta-revelation. (Someone really ought to speak out publicly against such things.)