Changed the truth of God into a lie - In the place of the true worship of God, they established idolatry. In various places of Scripture idols are termed lies. Isaiah 44:20; Jeremiah 10:14; Jeremiah 13:25. The true God was known among the primitive inhabitants of the earth, those who first became idolaters literally changed the truth of God into a lie: they did know the true God, but they put idols in his place.
Who changed the truth of God - This is a repetition of the declaration in Romans 1:23, in another form. The phrase, “the truth of God” is a Hebrew phrase, meaning “the true God.” In such a case, where two nouns come together, one is employed as an adjective to qualify the other. Most commonly the latter of two nouns is used as the adjective, but sometimes it is the former, as in this case. God is called “the true God” in opposition to idols, which are called false gods. There is but one real or true God, and all others are false.
Into a lie - Into idols, or false gods. Idols are not infrequently called falsehood and lies, because they are not true representations of God; Jeremiah 13:25; Isaiah 28:15; Jeremiah 10:14; Psalm 40:4.
The creature - Created things, as the sun, moon, animals, etc.
Who is blessed forever - It was not uncommon to add a doxology, or ascription of praise to God, when his name was mentioned; see Romans 9:5; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Galatians 1:5. The Jews also usually did it. In this way they preserved veneration for the name of God, and accustomed themselves to speak of him with reverence. “The Muslims also borrowed this custom from the Jews, and practice it to a great extent. Tholuck mentions an Arabic manuscript in the library at Berlin which contains an account of heresies in respect to Islamism, and as often as the writer has occasion to mention the name of a new heretical sect, he adds, ‹God be exalted above all which they say‘” (Stuart).
Amen - This is a Hebrew word denoting strong affirmation. So let it be. It implies here the solemn assent of the writer to what was just said; or his strong wish that what he had said might be - that the name of God might be esteemed and be blessed forever. The mention of the degrading idolatry of the pagans was strongly calculated to impress on his mind the superior excellency and glory of the one living God. It is mentioned respecting the honorable Robert Boyle, that he never mentioned the name of God without a solemn pause, denoting his profound reverence. Such a practice would tend eminently to prevent an unholy familiarity and irreverence in regard to the sacred name of the Most High; compare Exodus 20:7.
In His teaching from nature, Christ was speaking of the things which His own hands had made, and which had qualities and powers that He Himself had imparted. In their original perfection all created things were an expression of the thought of God. To Adam and Eve in their Eden home nature was full of the knowledge of God, teeming with divine instruction. Wisdom spoke to the eye and was received into the heart; for they communed with God in His created works. As soon as the holy pair transgressed the law of the Most High, the brightness from the face of God departed from the face of nature. The earth is now marred and defiled by sin. Yet even in its blighted state much that is beautiful remains. God's object lessons are not obliterated; rightly understood, nature speaks of her Creator. COL 18.1
In the days of Christ these lessons had been lost sight of. Men had well-nigh ceased to discern God in His works. The sinfulness of humanity had cast a pall over the fair face of creation; and instead of manifesting God, His works became a barrier that concealed Him. Men “worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator.” Thus the heathen “became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:25, 21. So in Israel, man's teaching had been put in the place of God's. Not only the things of nature, but the sacrificial service and the Scriptures themselves—all given to reveal God—were so perverted that they became the means of concealing Him. COL 18.2
Christ sought to remove that which obscured the truth. The veil that sin has cast over the face of nature, He came to draw aside, bringing to view the spiritual glory that all things were created to reflect. His words placed the teachings of nature as well as of the Bible in a new aspect, and made them a new revelation. COL 18.3Read in context »
Through the man of God that had appeared before the altar at Bethel, through Elijah and Elisha, through Amos and Hosea, the Lord had repeatedly set before the ten tribes the evils of disobedience. But notwithstanding reproof and entreaty, Israel had sunk lower and still lower in apostasy. “Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer,” the Lord declared; “My people are bent to backsliding from Me.” Hosea 4:16; 11:7. PK 281.1
There were times when the judgments of Heaven fell very heavily on the rebellious people. “I hewed them by the prophets,” God declared; “I have slain them by the words of My mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against Me.” Hosea 6:5-7. PK 281.2
“Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel,” was the message that finally came to them: “Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against Me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.... I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.” Hosea 4:1, 6-9. PK 281.3Read in context »
The gospel message does not win a single soul to Christ, or make its way to a single heart, without wounding the head of Satan. Whenever a captive is wrenched from his grasp, delivered from his oppression, the tyrant is defeated. The publishing houses, the presses, are instrumentalities in God's hand to send out to every tongue and nation the precious light of truth. This light is reaching even to heathen lands, and is constantly making inroads upon superstition and every conceivable error. 4T 595.1
Ministers who have preached the truth with all zeal and earnestness may apostatize and join the ranks of our enemies, but does this turn the truth of God into a lie? “Nevertheless,” says the apostle, “the foundation of God standeth sure.” The faith and feelings of men may change; but the truth of God, never. The third angel's message is sounding; it is infallible. 4T 595.2
No man can serve God without uniting against himself evil men and evil angels. Evil spirits will be put upon the track of every soul that seeks to join the ranks of Christ, for Satan wishes to recover the prey taken from his grasp. Evil men will give themselves over to believe strong delusions, that they may be damned. These men will put on the garments of sincerity and deceive, if possible, the very elect. 4T 595.3Read in context »
“‘Ye are not your own.... Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). Will you give back to God that which He has ransomed with the price of His own blood? Will you give Him your reasoning powers; will you set them apart for His glory? They are His; He has bought them with a price. Will you place yourselves in the school of Christ, that your conscience may be enlightened, that it may be a good conscience, a faithful sentinel to guard the highest interests of the soul? Christ has purchased the affections; will you trifle with them, will you pervert them? Will you place them upon unworthy objects, center them upon human beings and make the creature instead of the Creator your God to worship? Or shall your affections be purified, ennobled, refined, and made to twine about your Creator and Redeemer? ... TMK 63.2Read in context »