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Revelation 13:18, “Here is wisdom.  Let him who has understanding compute the number of the beast; for it is a man’s number; and his number is 666.” 

   Jeremiah 17:5, “The LORD said; ‘Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD.’”
   Man has a notorious weakness; his “Achilles' heel” has caused heartache and sorrow every since he fail in the Garden of Pleasure.  The weakness I speak of is self-reliance.  God told the Prophet Jeremiah to speak to Israel about their self-reliant attitude, God reminded His people that if they continued to act independently that they would invite trouble into their lives.  Simply put, they would be cursed.  This curse was not sent by God to the children of Israel, this curse was incurred by self-reliance.

   Throughout history, man has been his own worst enemy.  We frequently speak of achieving tasks through trial and error.  We often tell our children, that if they would listen to our advice, perhaps they could avoid trouble.  Good advice, better when applied to our relationship with God.

    God holds the blueprint for our lives.  He knows what’s best for us.  He is not far removed from our world; He is the Creator of it.  Will we ever learn to trust Him?  In Exodus 20:1-6 God instructs His people to rely on Him for all their needs.  God also commands His people not to have any other gods before Him.  Today, few people believe in the plurality of gods, most understand that there is one God, (though we often disagree on who that one God is).  The problem comes when we think of ourselves as the masters of our lives.  We refuse God and parade self as the answer to our problems.

The age of enlightenment.
   Around the beginning of the 18 century (1701) or in the middle of the 17 century (1650), something happened.  Man began his “coming of age.” Regardless of were you stand in the unfolding of the age of enlightenment, one thing I’m sure we’ll agree on is that man found a broad new highway that allowed him to travel, without hindrance, towards self-reliance.  A German man named Immanuel Kant described this age as freedom to use one’s own intelligence.  Progress was made; tolerance found wings and the removal of abuses in the Church and state was welcomed.  We advanced knowledge through science, opened the door for debates, and yes, we opened Pandora’s box; our self-reliant attitude would become our curse.

   This brings me back to Revelation 13:18.  I’m not sure anyone knows what the number 666 exactly means, but I’m sure many will be quick to tell you.  Perhaps everyone has a piece of the puzzle, and if we put all the pieces together we may find a picture of ourselves.  This self-reliant man, cursed because we revel in our achievements while we forget about of God.

   Jeremiah 17:5, “The LORD said; ‘Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD.’”

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