THE DANGER OF PRESUMPTION

Bible Reading: John 9:1-41

“Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression” [Psalm 19:13 NKJV]

David prayed that God would keep him from presumptuous sins. The word presumption means to believe that something is true on the basis of probability and not fact. It is so easy to have our facts wrong and so presume incorrectly. In John chapter nine there are two cases of presumption.

Firstly, the disciples presumed that the man was born blind because of sin. They asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” Jesus quickly corrected them and said that it was neither the blind man, nor his parents who had sinned!

Don’t assume that all physical problems are a result of sin. All issues of sickness and sin have their roots in the fall but we cannot attribute every physical problem today to personal sin. Having said this, it is without doubt that personal sin is at the root of much sickness.

The disciples had heard Jesus say at least twice, “Go and sin no more,” and in one of those cases it was personal sin that was at the root of sickness. The danger is that because of this we then assume that personal sin is at the root of all sickness. This was a problem in the culture and thinking of Israel and Jesus needed to correct it. To understand the cause of a sickness we need, in each situation, to have fresh revelation from God.

Secondly, the religious leaders of Israel presumed that they were right when they were wrong. In their eyes Jesus could not possibly be the Messiah because He did not fit their image of what the Messiah would be like. But they were totally wrong. The man born blind could now see more clearly than the religious leaders. Presumption had blinded them!

It is so easy to think that you are right when you are wrong. To emphasize this truth there is a verse that is repeated twice in Proverbs. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” [Proverbs 14:12; 16:25]. Because it looks right does not mean it is right. All that glistens is not gold!

The church at Ephesus had an amazing regard for sound doctrine, and had a strong work ethic. They were even prepared to suffer for Jesus. They presumed that they had everything right, but Jesus had to rebuke them. He said, “You have left your first love” [Revelation 2:5]. They had presumed that everything was right, but their thinking was fundamentally flawed.

Questions:

Why is presumption such a dangerous thing for a Christian?

Would you pray today a prayer that David prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts” [Psalm 139:23]?

What are the keys to receiving revelation from God on a specific matter?