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Walking Uprightly in an Upside Down World

“Ah, you who hide deep from the LORD your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, ‘Who sees us? Who knows us?’  You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, ‘He did not make me’; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?”  Isaiah 29:15,16 ESV

As we walk through life as children of the King, and draw close to Him, we find that the world has become very strange.  It feels like we are in a foreign land.  Why are so many things upside down?  When people reject God, rather than moving toward Him, their thoughts are turned upside down.  They believe that right is wrong and wrong is right, rejecting the truth as false, and believing a lie.

In a world such as ours with more and more things inverted, it can be easy to become disoriented and start believing that things that are upside down are actually OK.

Proverbs 10:9a  tells us “He that walketh uprightly walketh surely…”  There is security in walking uprightly.  You can keep your balance and not fall.  Obviously those who attempt to walk upside down are not stable.  The truth of gravity quickly catches up to them.

How should we then live in this topsy turvy upside down world?  

First, notice in the verses from Isaiah that we must be humbly open with God.  We can hide nothing from Him who sees everything.  Our sins are in plain view.  God will not be deceived.  He sees.  He knows.  If you are struggling with temptation and sin, run to God for help and forgiveness.  Don’t try to sneak around and keep Him in the dark.

We can rely only upon God to help us discern the truth in this deceptive world.   Keep your eyes on the cornerstone, Jesus Christ, to know what is right, what is plumb, straight, and true.  Jesus is the living Word of God.  As we read the Word of God and grow toward Christ, we will be growing uprightly toward the light of His truth.

Isaiah asks the question, “Shall the potter be regarded as the clay”?  What is your view of who God is?  We cannot mold and shape God to suit ourselves.  We have no ability to change the unchangeable God.  God is the one who is in charge, and we are the ones whose lives are being shaped.  We are not the One who is great.  We are but clay, there is hardly anything more lowly.  He is the One with knowledge, strength, and skill.  He is capable of making us into something of value, something beautiful.  Most problems in our world stem from an incorrect understanding and lack of acceptance of who God is. 

Notice also from Isaiah that it is important that we acknowledge God as our Creator.  Denying God’s creation is the behavior of those who turn things upside down, saying “He did not make me.”  There are so many ways our society denies the creatorship of God.  Our world takes that which is God’s skillful handiwork, and they explain it away as something accomplished by randomness.  That which is precious becomes a burden.  That which is sacred, unique, and special becomes defiled and common, just a commodity to be used for selfish reasons.  That which evokes worship of God is traded for fear of man.  That which is teaming with the wonder of life becomes dead.

To deny that God created me is to deny that God should set the standard of what is upright.  In reality, when you go the opposite way from God, you have things upside down.

Notice also from Isaiah that the behavior of those who turn things upside down is to say about God who formed them that “He has no understanding.”  

The thing that was made is dissatisfied with what has been made.  There are many people who are unhappy with who they are.  They wish they could have been made as something else.  They may think that God has made a dumb mistake and doesn’t know anything about who they are.  In reality God knows them better than they know themselves and has placed them in the situation that He has wisely chosen for them.  God sees each situation and is observing each person’s reaction.

Experts in many fields refuse to acknowledge the expertise and understanding embedded in creation.   They are often proven wrong and yet they pridefully persist to “hide deep” from the Lord and the truth.  God understands what is going on.  God, who has perfect understanding, created things the way He did for a reason.  Mankind does not have enough understanding to turn things upside down without causing problems.  No one has superior understanding compared to God.  No one can hide deep enough to escape the truth. 

God not only understands what is best for creation, He understands me.  Am I honoring God as Creator in my life or am I denying Him?  Am I acknowledging His creatorship in my attitudes, beliefs, and actions?  Am I honoring God’s wisdom and understanding in how He made me and in how He has dealt with me?    

Part of trusting God is trusting His work in our lives even when that work brings difficulty and sorrow.  Sometimes the potter smashes the clay down and kneads it to get it to be the right consistency.  Are we being formable in His hands?  

God built His tremendous understanding into creation.  It functions as intended.  Let us learn to work with it, to dress and to keep the garden, not destroy and upend.

Ed Brill
Ed Brill

Mr. Brill has spent many years as a tool engineer for plastic injection molds working closely with craftsmen. This experience has given him unique insight into the character traits involved in craftsmanship. His engineering background has taught him to sort through things not readily apparent and get to the heart of the real issue. Mr. Brill has done a good deal of work on buildings, having remodeled an old house and having been on the board of trustees and then as a deacon at his church for many years. He has been a student and teacher of the Bible for many years as he serves in his local church.

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