The DEEP

Thinking Like an Atheist

lies at the root of many sins.

Hosea 12:7-10 (NKJV)

“A cunning Canaanite!
Deceitful scales are in his hand;
He loves to oppress.
And Ephraim said,
‘Surely I have become rich,
I have found wealth for myself;
In all my labors
They shall find in me no iniquity that is sin.’

“But I am the LORD your God,
Ever since the land of Egypt;
I will again make you dwell in tents,
As in the days of the appointed feast.
I have also spoken by the prophets,
And have multiplied visions;
I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets.”

God is accusing Ephraim of something much worse than just not following Him. He’s accusing them of being Canaanites (or at least acting like them).

They’re thinking like atheists. They can use deceitful scales and still say, “They shall find in me no iniquity that is sin.” How is that even possible?

It’s only possible if there isn’t a God that sees all. Their deceitful scales evade human detection. They’re thinking like atheists.

“But I am the LORD your God,
Ever since the land of Egypt;
I will again make you dwell in tents,”

God needs to do much more than just get them to stop whoring after other Gods.

They need to learn that He’s real.


Most sins can be described as thinking like an atheist.

Consider adultery. That’s often described as a moment of weakness. Is it not also a moment of atheism? How can anyone do that while being conscious of God. It would surely “ruin the moment.”

This highlights how deeply sick we are. All our sins are just as stupid. Our minds simply don’t work right when it comes to sin. We doubt things that we know are true even if we don’t realize it.

Doubt was the key to Adam and Eve’s first sin in the garden. It was the serpent’s point of attack. That’s why he started with trick questions. He had to get them confused about the meaning and trustworthiness of what God had said. Only then could he say, “You will not surely die,” without getting laughed at.

Sin clouds our minds to an amazing extent. Doubt and confusion are the essence of how sin works. Its goal is to undermine our faith. Faith is the opposite of doubt and confusion.

Now faith is being sure of what is hoped for and certain of what we do not see. — Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)


All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

The Job book is on Amazon and is eligible for Amazon Prime. The Kindle edition will be out soon.

https://www.amazon.com/Higher-Purposes-Lesson-God-Job/dp/1684719534

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.