Throughout time, God has been accused of many things. I’ll attempt to sum them up with this insulting question.
“How can your God force you to do things His way; making you submit to the way He wants your life to be lived? He gave you this life and freedom of choice so you could do things your way, didn’t He?”
I’m taking a step back to see this from a point of view other than what my limited carnal vision can see when I focus on ‘what I want’.
How incredible is it that the God of the universe loves me too much to allow me to live in my own righteousness without extending me the grace He generously provides, freely, so that I can walk in His righteousness?! His mercy is beyond my understanding, as are many of the other facets that make Him Who He is.
How cruel would it be to give someone the opportunity to do anything he wants to do, without providing the option of doing whatever he chose to do – the right way?
Rather than bind us up, submitting ourselves to God and His ways, actually sets us free to live abundantly and in liberty. His ways are not our ways (For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8 KJV), and sometimes seem paradoxical to us.
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6 KJV
I was taught that the phrase “filthy rags” in Isaiah 64:6 was literally translated as soiled menstrual cloths.
("All our righteousnesses are as a polluted garment ..." (Isaiah 64:6). This is inferior to the KJV which has, "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." "The word rendered `garment' or `rags' here has the literal meaning of "vestis menstruis polluta", that is, a soiled cloth of the type used by women in their monthly periods." The reference could not be to "garments," but to "rags." http://www.studylight.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?book=isa&chapter=064 and http://www.deepbiblestudy.net/2007/03/isaiah-646-menstrual-cloth/)
In God’s mercy and through His grace, we can rise above our own righteousness (living as if clothed in those filthy rags) and walk in His righteousness; His glory.