The Lord hath rejected thy confidences.
Proud flesh has no place in the work of God. That message is not a popular one nowadays, when even professed ministers of Christ have jumped on the humanistic bandwagon of self-love, self-esteem, self-expression, and self-gratification. However, it is still the message of God, and people desperately need to hear it.
The Lord rejects all confidence in the flesh for salvation. Some people have an easy confidence that it is well with their souls. They rest in carnal security. They fear no judgment, for they have never felt any great burden of sin. They have easy methods of dealing with guilt, ranging from denial, to vain excuses, to blaming someone else, to adopting just enough religion to salve their conscience. Such people may expressly state their dependence on their own good works. Or they may place their confidence in a “decision” that has never yielded a true heart relationship with Christ. In all these cases, unsaved people are confident of their soul’s salvation. To all such, today’s text comes as a thunderbolt: “The Lord hath rejected thy confidences.” If you would be truly confident of your salvation, you must come to the end of yourself and unreservedly cast yourself upon the merits of Christ. Only in and through Him have you access to and acceptance with God.
The Lord also rejects all confidence in the flesh for Christian service. It is “not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6). This condemns so much of what masquerades as Christian service nowadays—the Hollywood entertainment, the preacher personality cult, the man-centred messages. On the other hand, the Lord’s rejection of all such reliance on the flesh is an encouragement to all of us who desire to see a genuine work of the Spirit. We may confidently trust the Lord’s promise that we have access to Him and His power through the blood of Christ (Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19). He rejects all confidence in the flesh, but He rewards all true confidence in Christ.