Turning Things Upside Down

SIH ICONHave you ever heard the phrase “putting the cart before the horse”; or, how about “closing the gate after the horse has bolted”?  Both of these phrases are saying basically the same thing, they are describing putting things in the wrong order.

Another phrase meaning something similar is the phrase “turning things upside down”.  This phrase is speaking of getting the obvious order of things confused and mixed up.

Let’s take time to see how the people of Judah were “turning things upside down”….

THE SCRIPTURES:

Isa 29:13-16 (KJV)

13) Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

14) Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, [even] a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise [men] shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent [men] shall be hid.

15) Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

16) Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

Isa 45:9-10

Jer 18:1-10

Rom 9:19-21

THE STUDY:

In our text (Isa 29:13-16), we find that the people of Judah were trying to hide their true inward motivations…

Isa 29:13-16 (KJV)

13) Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

They were living pious, religious lives but did not love, nor reverence, God in their hearts (vs13).

14) Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, [even] a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise [men] shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent [men] shall be hid.

They thought they were hiding this from God and that they were wise in doing so (vs 14).

15) Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

Secretly, they lived in opposition to the desires of God for their lives (vs 15).

16) Surely your turning of things upside down

The Lord is confronting them in verse 16, as He states that “Surely (truly), your turning things upside down…”   In other words, He clearly declares they have taken that which was obvious and mixed it all up.

It was obvious God knows all things, including the condition of their hearts.  It was obvious the Lord did not desire outward, hypocritical obedience.  It is obvious that they were exhibiting foolishness and a lack of knowledge of the True God.  It was obvious that they were ignorant of all these truths.  They were “turning things upside down”.

Just like the people of Judah in the OT, the Pharisees of the NT times hypocritically served the Lord as well. (Matt 23:23-33, Matt 6:1-8).  In today’s time there is no difference.  We still have to be on the lookout that we are serving the Lord from a pure heart of love and submission to His will and ways.  (Luke 10:25-28).   This is the only way we can avoid following in the footsteps of the people of Judah and the Pharisees.

But there is more that we can learn from our text…

shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

What they were doing is much like a piece of potter’s clay complaining to the potter about how it was shaped and formed.  Talk about being mixed up!  What right does a lump of clay have to complain to its maker?   Absolutely none!

This applies to each of us as creatures of the Lord.   The Lord is our Creator… because of this, He has a right to make us as He will and to plan a life for us of His good pleasure.  The basic principles of our Creator’s Lordship and Sovereignty over us are spoken of throughout the OT and NT Scriptures…

Isa 45:9-10  – Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! [Let] the potsherd [strive] with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? Woe unto him that saith unto [his] father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

Jer 18:1-10The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make [it]. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay [is] in the potter’s hand, so [are] ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. [At what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy [it];  If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And [at what] instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant [it]; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.

Rom 9:19-21Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

WHEN WE RECOGNIZE THE LORD IS OUR CREATOR, WE ARE RECOGNIZING WE ARE UNDER HIS AUTHORITY AND SOVEREIGN RULE OVER OUR LIVES. This is an extremely important principle… by recognizing His Creatorship we are automatically recognizing His authority over us!

This is why Satan is trying for the world to accept the false teaching of evolution as truth.  By our believing evolution, God’s position as Creator and, by implication, His authority over us is denied.

To believe in evolution is to be in denial of the literal interpretation of God’s Word and the basic attributes of Almighty God. (John 1:1-3, Gen 1:1, Heb 1:10-12)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

We are to always remember that we are our Lord’s possession in two ways.  Our Creator (the Lord Jesus Christ) has given us our physical life (at conception) and our spiritual life (when He purchased us on the cross).  As such, we are under His two-fold authority and should be willing to give our all to Him… (words in italics – my insertions):

1Cor 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (given to us at our physical creation) , and in your spirit (purchased on the cross), which are God’s.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

Keep in mind, your physical existence is the result of our Lord’s work of creation (which was begun at conception in your mother’s womb).   Because of this, you are under the authority of Almighty God.

What is your first responsibility to please and serve Him?  Recognizing the sin that is in your life is hateful to God.  And then, based on a heart of sorrow, turn from your sins.

Come before the Lord with a spirit of humility, knowing that you can do nothing to secure His forgiveness and deliverance form your sins.  Come, knowing that He only can bring salvation to you.  Trust in His work on the cross as the basis of your forgiveness and deliverance.  Accept His forgiveness.  Live your life for Him, realizing what great things He has done for you.

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About Rob Barkman

A retired pastor, Bible teacher and author of 20 years, he is currently ministering through Settled In Heaven Ministries. SIH Ministries is an on-line Bible teaching ministry that was founded by Bro Barkman in 2010. Settled In Heaven’s mission is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by fulfilling two different roles... rendering encouragement and Biblical knowledge to the saints in an effort to enhance their service to Christ; and proclaiming the gospel message to those who are in need of salvation, explaining to them their urgent need to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
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5 Responses to Turning Things Upside Down

  1. Rob Barkman says:

    You are so right… the Lord is always “more than fair” to all of us. There is none who will be able to stand before Him in the last day and accuse Him of injustice, unfairness or evil favoratism in any way. Thanks for your comments. Lord bless.

  2. I am not my own. I was bought with a price . . . and WHAT a price!
    I made a horrible mess of my own life, but when I became a blood-bought, adopted child of the living God, He changed me. He gave me a life of peace, joy, service and a super-abundance of all things good. I am sooooooooo thankful that I am not my own: that I belong to Him!

    We serve an incredibly amazing God who loves us with an everlasting love.

  3. Pingback: Most Influential Blog 2012 Award! « In Love With The Lord Poetry and Prose

  4. ptl2010 says:

    We have a wonderful God who first loved us and when man fell into sin, He took the trouble to send His only Son to reconcile us to Himself ; and yet many would spurn His reaching out to them in love. He gave man a second chance and if man is punished for the penalty of sin he can blame no one else but himself because he chose to reject the Son of God and the price with His own life. God has also given notice on the reward for refusing God’s redemption – how more fair can He be?
    I just thank God He made a way to make things right for hopeless man. I thank God He offers Jesus to everyone who will accept His gift of eternal life.
    Thank you Pastor Rob for making it so simple to understand what God has done for each one of us.

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