Solomon wrote: “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (Ecc. 7:29). Men are very good at trying to blame God for the situations in which they find themselves. From, “God made me this way” to, “If God did not want me to be this way he would not bless me,” man has tried to excuse his way out of the judgments of God by somehow making it the Creator’s fault.
However, Solomon’s inspired observation is well made. God made man upright (righteous, good, acceptable). He described his creation at the conclusion of his work as “very good” (Gen. 1:31). God made humanity in his image, one that was just and righteous, but with the ability to make decisions of their own that would shape their steps.
God did not create man with sin, nor does a man begin with sin; Solomon’s concluding point is that man taints God’s creation with sin by his many inventions (devices). These devices may be physical devices for pleasure, mental devices of deviousness, or many other forms of invention available to the minds and hands of men.
Man is not sinful by nature (by creation), he becomes that way when his choices follow after his own devices. People often talk about a certain sin being the “natural reaction” because of the way God made us. This argument will be used with such emotions as anger, desire, love, and frustration. Friends, this idea is a lie.
We are made in the image of God and the emotions that we have as a part of that creation are not sinful in and of themselves; it is what we do with them that can make them sinful. Sin is not the natural reaction to emotions, it is the carnal use of those emotions: there is a vast difference. What is natural (the emotions with which we are made) and carnal (the physical actions we take) are quite different. The former is given by God, the latter is utilized with the devices of men.
Let us never forget that we are made in the image of God, with the same range of emotions and feelings that he has; but we are also made upright, acceptable in his sight and righteous before him. There is no child born with the burden of sin already weighing over his or her life, otherwise the statements such as Solomon’s in this passage are lies.
When we sin, it is not because God made us that way, it is because we followed our own inventions in carnal reactions to the emotions we have been given. Let us overcome the inventions of men, to serve God with eyes trained on the spiritual not the carnal; that we may use his wonderful creation as it was intended.