Most of man’s problems arise from discarding God’s ways and replacing it with their own.
God’s ways are always made out of love and wisdom; hence, it is the best decision of humanity to simply obey Him.
Take the case of Adam and Eve, our 2 ancestors who represented humanity. God explicitly told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Had Adam and Eve followed this simple commandment, we would be living in paradise today (well, that’s if no one else in the blood line ate the fruit). Instead, Adam and Eve rejected God’s way and chose to live out their own. As soon as they did this, the earth became cursed and we became miserable.
This is how human pride works and it has not changed since the beginning. God has reserved the best things for man (such as Creation) but we always want things to be and happen our own way. I see this a lot in counselling as many choose to go their own way apart from God’s love and wisdom. For instance, God explicitly and clearly commanded: “Thou shall not commit adultery”, and yet people presume that their ways are better and go around seeking extra-marital affairs. Where do you think this will lead? What do you think will happen if the instruction manual tells you not to pour water on your computer and you, not trusting the author, did so?
As I pondered on human pride, I came across a great revelation from the image of The Hewn Stone:
And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone,
thou shalt not build it of hewn stone:
for if thou lift up thy tool upon it,
thou hast polluted it
In the olden days (before man has seen Jesus Christ and prior to the arrival of The Holy Spirit), God allowed His people to create an altar of stone so that people can have a visual aid when they pray to Him. Now, at the first thought, we would think that God would want a stone which was skillfully carved by the best artisans humanity has has to offer; that it would be worthy of God’s beauty. Well, that is just man’s pride talking because God forbade the carvings of man. He even said that our human intervention or human effort would ‘pollute’ the stone.
The Law explicitly commanded not to carve or modify any of the stone. Now why is this?
The Hewn Stone is a symbol of man’s pride. It is an image of man correcting what God has created and intended. Man’s pride has the tendency to think that they can add to what The Lord has provided. That probably, we can do better. Well guess what? The Lord will have none of those polluted works. The Hewn Stone made by man is the very essence of idolatry. It brings out man’s need to take over God’s creation and implement their own ways. It is very much what Adam and Eve did in the Garden. It is no different from what Abraham and Sarah did with Hagar or what David did to Uriah for Bathsheba. Everyone presumed that God did not know what is good for them. So, they laid their hands on God’s stone and polluted God’s work.
When God gives you something, take it as it is and do not attempt to change it to how you think it should be. When it comes to dealing with God, we make it a point that we don’t change what the infinite wisdom has presented us and lower it to the level of human assumptions and hypotheses.
God is The Great Father. He will provide for us exactly what we need. Things go awry when we decide that we can do better than Him. With this commandment of The Hewn Stone, God is telling us that He has provided for us and He has provided better than what anything or anyone in the universe can. Our lives will be of rest and of receiving if we let go of our polluting pride and see that we do not need to add or subtract to anything that He has provided.