Genesis 16 & The Atheism of Self-Reliance

Famine comes; self-reliance looks to Egypt (Genesis 12:10).

Barreness persists; self-reliance looks to culturally acceptable means. Pragmatism rather than principle rules.

Self-reliance is the seeking to de-God God. It is functional atheism. It says our God is small, He is not in control, we must bring things about. R.C. Sproul said that “Without sovereignty God cannot be God,” for if there is one maverick molecule it might be the one to undo all his plans. Sproul goes on to say:

If a grain of sand in the kidney of Oliver Cromwell changed the course of English history, so our maverick molecule could change the course of all redemptive history… There are no maverick molecules running around loose.  God is sovereign, God is God.  (Chosen by God)

We are humble creatures. We do not orchestrate the dancing of the stars. Volcanoes do not erupt at our bidding. Earthquakes are not prevented at our wish. We are unable to steer hurricanes. We do not sustain the molecules in our own bodies (Matthew 6:27). True, we should eat well and exercise, but herein lies an illustration of humble obedience and prideful self-reliance. Self-reliance thinks your heath is totally in your own hands. Obedience realizes a responsibility to act as a steward, not as Lord.

We are not in control. We are not sovereign. We are not part of a pantheon. He is the Father; we are to act as His grateful and adoring children, not His equals. We are not to orchestrate, but to play our instrument in humble obedience and reliant faith.

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