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Vision of Truth
and Vindication of Vision
Moses tells Israel by the Word of God
and History tells man to listen!
Deuteronomy 32 Speaks,
Ahead of Time
I THE FIRST CONTRAST (32:1-15)
First, we learn that God is filled with righteousness, void of iniquity. He is THE ROCK (farewell Peter, the magic mock-up of Rome), and His work is perfect. The Rock NEEDS to have His work perfect. Man in his fallen estate is a mass of yearning, turning in the wrong direction, aspiring for the right, feeling doom in the wrong, missing the point, being out of step with spirituality, going from God, casting longing eyes in His direction, inventing gods to short-circuit the problem, using force to put their ways into the mouths of the distressed, in order to increase their fallen power, envies and idolatries, cunning and nobility, self-sacrifice and sacrifice of all to himself, that the muddle is like a mountain inverted, obscuring the sun.
It is well that God is the Rock, not the Peter who was rocked by trouble, and had again and again to be hauled out, whether from the sea where he was drowning, or that spiritual sea where he had already gone down twice, till Christ looked at him, and he repented with piercing grief for his weakness and folly. It is well that Peter is that stone, in the Greek, manifestly CONTRASTED with the Rock, another word meaning living rock. This contrast is readily apparent in our hiking, where fine stones attract, but huge masses of rock, embedded as one in the hillside or the mountain surround, inspire with their greatness.
The Rock is Christ, as I Corinthians 10 advises us, and the appeal to any other is merely a symbol of what has already been rocked! Christ, seen by faith and received in reality, sound and sure, steadfast and unchangeable, Lord of love and author of comfort, exhibition of the invisible God, and His only begotten Son: HE is the rock! He is the very Prophet of whom Moses spoke, who would fulfil his own testimony, the One to whom all must turn (Deuteronomy 18). Then as now, it is the Lord who is the Rock. Small wonder, man being fallen, that we next find in this passage in Deuteronomy, the contrast between the Lord and man in his own ways, at 32:5.
Then we find that so vast is the corruption of THEMSELVES by mankind in general, by Israel in particular, that they are "not His children." God is a SPIRIT, and whatever promises He may make will never contravene His insistence on a new birth, in Christ, a new life and a new Spirit in the heart, for new features and focus, with renewed strength (Ephesians 3:16). God does not require form (Isaiah 1), but FACT. He is the God of facts and acts (Acts 4:19-20), and no one who does not enter the home in Christ, need bother about attacking the windows. There is one door (John 10:9), and entry through this is final and glorious, ensuring salvation and keeping. Using pictures of doors does nothing, and inventing them is worse yet.
This teaching about man as such NOT being the children of God, applied to the unbelieving nation of Israel, is the message of Hosea. Yet here, in the end, there is the glorious grace of redemption, the only way to restore anything of mankind, and those who receive Him, thus are restored to the nominal place of the race, but now in reality, to that from which they rushed in riotous seizures, amidst judgments which though restrained, at last became catastrophic.
From all of this, the Lord asks them to reflect on former times "Remember the days of old!" Ask father and elder, and realise that God in early history appointed places for the nations, boundaries, and of these He gave one to Israel (32:7-9). Although the Jewish race started in adverse circumstances, God not only took 'him', but "encircled him, He instructed him, he kept him as the apple of His eye."
Tenderness was vast.
"As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young,
spreading out its wings,
taking them up, Carrying them on its wings,
So the LORD alone led him, and there as no foreign god with him.
He made him ride on the high places of the earth."
"But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked ... You are obese!"
There was the travail of tenderness, the amoury of amour, the patience of watchful parenthood, the empathy with strivings to learn, the comfort of power to assist, wrapped in the love that inspires effort and contrives comfort. But what happened when the strength grew and the bird could at last fly ?
Self-will, injustice, self-preservation, self-regard soon led to direct rebellion in the complacency of spiritual obesity, fatness of heart, a bulging spirit.
II THE CRUDE DEVELOPMENT AND THE REFINED REBUKE (32:16-21)
What then ? "Then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation. They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods, with abominations they provoked Him to anger." How abominable are the devices instead of deity, with which mankind loves to populate his fallen heart! "They sacrificed to demons, not to God, to gods they did not know, to new gods, new arrivals"
They carried on with infamous and imperious innovations, making gods as they went, as if their memories were atrophied. What were these human constructions which to this day make up the vast types of religion which appal the earth, and lead to endless violence ? Naturalistic gods, gods of war, gods of splendour, reflecting childish desires, atheistic gods of ideological illusion and strutting assertion, making man god to utter truth while denying the God who alone could give it: all these came on the scene.
Without the spirit of Christ, man is ready to dupe and be duped, to deceive and be deceived, and lacking spiritual power, employs armies of insurgents, whether from sects or with guns, to solace sin and extend its domain. Small wonder God was wrath (cf. Romans 1:17ff.), and He is provoked in no less way to this very day in nations like the USA and Australia, like those of Europe, who have known better but done worse, as by others who simply use force to make false prophets rule, as in Iran and other virtual dictatorships at the spiritual level (cf. More Marvels ...Ch. 4). The Rock of salvation is less than slightly esteemed, and folly forces a faith which being of the hart, is not relevant to such imperiousness. .
So has man in masses, followed the errors of early Israel as accounted in Deuteronomy 32.
Whatever it is, they think of it, as a child its dummy, new gods, new arrivals, gods they did not know (Muhammad coming around 600 A.D. was millenia too late with the 'solution', which could not come by relying on the Old Testament prophets, as he did for forerunners, since these wholly contradicted his teaching (cf. Isaiah 53).
God proceeds to deal with Israel in Deuteronomy, and declares: "Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful." The child forgets its mother, and man his Father. If it were a car, it would be like forgetting the designer, the draftsmen, the conferences, the engineering expertise that preceded its application, the co-operation of mathematician and scientist, of industrialist and work-relation specialists, of testing and refinement that led to its creation: it would remember only its power and the road! This sort of attitude: It is not mere folly; it is an atrocity against reality which has then its parallels within the race, as they dissect and dismember each other, slaughtering as if cattle, and killing as if murder were a way of life.
Anything will do, as long as it is not true. Such has been the SA Government's approach in educational curriculum, since 1988, in the field of science and religion. Defining religion as void of testable truth, and worthy of abstract reverence, but of no place in empirical reality at all, it then miraculously knows all this, presumably by guesswork and glory. Of God who begot them, they are unmindful, filling youthful minds with fables as foretold (II Timothy 4:4). This is parallel to the early falls and to Israel's in particular, where myths substituted for reality, and symbol for power. Hence they fell.
III DESERTS AND DESIRE (32:22-29)
With no response but heel-kicking in mindless oblivion of fact, they inherited the ruins of rambunction; for "when the Lord saw it, He spurned them." Yet doubtless they complain.
Complain ? It was "because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters." So the Lord resolves to hide His face from them. This is that awful situation when "your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze" (cf. Leviticus 26:19). A fire which will "burn to the lowest hell" is incited (Deuteronomy 32:22). Plague and pestilence disadorn the ordered landscape while the bounty of the Creator is despised. As with Egypt, but here with more gradual impact as appeal after appeal was launched, and as an expression of the curse given after the early fall of mankind, so does this whirl of calamity traverse the nation. That is what God foretold and did.
For this perennial rebelliousness and gross abuse of privilege, justice, wisdom and grace, this treachery, as if spending divinely given capital on palpable disgrace and obvious untruth, results at last would come, were foretold, and came. Thus catastrophe, as scheduled for such riots against reason and righteousness alike, commenced her stolid walk in their midst. As they were indifferent, so would indifference seem to scorn them, each in its turn, like a dance.
Moreover, they were forewarnd!
Indeed, their obliteration from memory itself was an appealing option: would God simply destroy them (Deuteronomy 32:26) ? Yet God does not desire man to exalt himself, as if this or that people or nation were powerful, and this were Israel's reason for weakness and defeat, as if man were the nemesis, rather than sin! "Void of counsel," yet Israel is still contemplated by the Lord with sorrow. "Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end." Pity pours out like a lake set free; but the citizens are vanished. No one stops to drink. They are on vacation from the Lord.
IV FUNDAMENTALS OF FACT (32:30-32)
When it comes to religion, exactly as in the SA case noted, they ignore the practical realities of God, sunk in symbols, myths and ignorance. HOW, God asks, "could one chase a thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had surrendered them!" Just as Australian education, according to the nation's PM, has lost track of how it was constructed, the ways in which it was founded and hence what it is all about, as if schools were shielding from fact rather than strengthening them in these areas, so has man forgotten still more ultimately the God of creation.
Is it imagined that the vast and prodigious deliverances of Israel, from Egypt on, were some sort of statistical nightmare ? as if a vast factory assembly plant just strolled up one day and began 'creating'! It is no longer realised that these victories of early Israel (like the more recent ones - cf. SMR Ch. 9) were foretold, enabled, prophetically conducted and powerfully fulfilled. Peoples who fell, having forsaken the Lord, were in turn forsaken, but He aided Israel. As to this land, it is like a vine of bitter grapes, and "their wine is... the cruel venom of cobras." Such is the tenor of the Lord's charge, and it applies to this day, and not to Israel only, but to many who in person or in populations, turn the back on righteousness and smack the face of Truth.
Ingratitude vies with self-fulfilment, and power-hunger with voidance of creation ties. They have forgotten their Rock. The number of times in which the Lord delivered Protestant England with the Bible as its officially recognised book of Wisdom at coronation time, from the remarkable victory over the Spanish Armadas (yes there was more than one such), to the win in the Seven Years War, and a remarkable turn-around, Waterloo where Wellington escaped unhurt in his endless encouragements to many units on the front, and French Marshals failed in liaison*1, to Dunkirk, meeting that other 'Napoleon', the German one this time, Adolf Hitler, on no less a scale, back and forth: it has been prodigious.
Yet England has turned towards secularism and symbolism, formalism and an unknown destiny in Europe*1A.
Unbowed in martial conflict, it still bows in cultural confusion and mist! The chunnel is only a funnel, and Europe is pouring into this drifting land, its demeaning indifference and vague relativism, already ordering once Protestant Britain into new immoral infamies*2, as if the dictator had won after all! There are spiritual battles far more imposing and important than military one; for when the heart is gone, what use are the legs and thighs!
That is made clear officially, as to the EU, they do not know where they are going. It is this which is indicated in their aversion from religious statement and commitment to a common destiny undefined, on the other, a cultural adventure, in the preliminary rejections and debate, and in the result in a version of their Constitution. and begins to fall. Gone is the reality of the basic Rock in the national affairs. While the British Empire has gone, much more importantly, so has the living scheduling of the Christian faith as any clear authorised guidance for the nation. Now the big three false prophecies seek to find their place, one, Romanism beginning to fail and not at all honoured by the EU in its Constitution, in line with the prophecy of Revelation 17*3, one seeking to intimidate as before, by irrelevant force, in itself showing the folly of its militant posture even in the Koran*4, and the third, though being eclipsed, yet seeking a formal face in a merely brutalised China, mouthing the words but contradicting them in its actions.
The world has no more cushion, but awaits the antichrist, who will take by surprise all of the aspirants, of whom the world is not a little weary in their vile extremes, whether now or earlier or both, as he exalts humanity in his own self, and his own self in the ruin that was once a man. This is to come; and it is well to do better than Israel, which did NOT heed Moses' warning. The whole Gentile world is warned (SMR pp. 644ff.).
Australia is basking in amazingly low unemployment, high wages, increased standard of material living, and scarcely can manage even to agree on a national water approach in the midst of a vast national challenge. South Australia talks of 25 years, or this or that number for leisurely water programs, as if afraid to protect the billions of dollars of capital in their State, by relatively small outlays, and to laugh while the future fulfils itself. It seems as though no trends were seen, like a mute Churchill, so that it begins to grow more like a land without little boats ... for the Dunkirks.
But the Lord has still the power and the pity, still yearns for His people, still implores them to consider their ways and not optimistically to minimise sin and judgment. They should not laugh in the face of reality, but consider the past of this nation, and of its Protestant mother country in terms of founding, and what has been the criterion of its call into being! (cf. Journey to God or Fantasy's Flight to the Infernal Ch. 7).
Back to the Book, that Bible which is the Book of the Lord, to the Christ, the Lord of the Book, to the Cross of sin cancellation, the path of pardon, to repentance, the door to faith, and to the resurrection as the greatest practical demonstration of the power of God, of all time, this mixed with the mountain of His mercy, like a paradise of glory.
Futile is non-faith; functional is faith; but necessary is the Lord as its object, without idols, without other books or boast! The body that Rome could not hold, Jerusalem could not sufficiently kill and history could not contain, spectre of atheism's nightmare, fulfilment of Bible's forecast, and that of the slain Messiah wrought into life, resurrected the very THIRD day specified*5, following the crucifixion: it still haunts the huntsman for killing the Lord!
It is still the awakening that stings the conscience of those who still kill, in mind, in spirit, in ill-will, the knowledge of God to this day, as in Romans 1:17ff.. Millenia of warning from God, and what happens ? They CANNOT produce the corpse, and the Church, fulfilled and commissioned, rushes like a torrent in the power of truth, vitalised by that stark fact of the royal resurrection (cf. I Corinthians 15:1-4. Romans 10:9, Luke 24), crown of His Messianic wonders, consummation of the thrust of precision and power which attended all God's works, whether from heaven, or in Christ, on earth where healing and resurrection of such as Lazarus were the prelude to this movement from the gory to the glory of His power... *6.
Christ's resurrection was a test of truth, and He continued to attest (cf. Acts 1:1) in that very same irresistible power amid mercy and grace as the apostles proclaimed by the Spirit of God, with His gracious working to confirm, the very things that having happened. Thus they made abiding testimony to the love of God and the self-imposed bane of this world (cf. Galatians 1).
Yet the nation of Israel, which scorned it, was dispersed for two millenia, Jerusalem itself destroyed as Christ in lamentation, foretold (Luke 19:42ff.). So has the positive thrived, while the negative waited its day of restoration (cf. Micah 7's poignant rehearsal of that time!).
It is life which flows and floods, not guards who insanely know what happened in their sleep (Matthew 28), who cannot keep a corpse; and it is life which penetrates to the heart of this earth; and if, reflected like sunlight from airplane paths lit across the skies, its saving impact is destroyed, yet it is merely the madness of self-destruction, mockery of meaning and tirade against truth that rejects it. God cannot be held in the puny power of dissident man, but remains in dynamic and directive power, which He shows in the majestic performance of His word, while He invites man to repent (Acts 2:23-24) into reality.
He could not do more: love is ever restrained. He has come in empathy, suffered in the grip of what is antipathy to His rule, that some might be found, becoming a sin sacrifice itself: fascination for the morbid, delight to the jurist, cleaning the follies which murdered Him with the same zeal that He ended the profane fear of death by breaking its ground, sin, in Himself, and rising in that eternal life which being His, is His to confer (Hebrews 2, I John 1:1-4, 5:11-13).
His word, written, inscribed and ineluctable, through the gaunt history of the world in rejection and alienation, has continued to come to fulfilment without cease, like waves striking on the shores of time, this world awaiting the convulsion of judgment.
That same biblical word rings true at every turn, phase and craze, in mercy and in hope, in the final cascade of judgments, like storm clouds relentlessly assembling, while man remorselessly proceeds to stir the skies with his follies, and frown in his faithlessness (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
All this He has done as He has moved in the times of the Gentiles, who have had the second innings for humanity, an innings nearing its terminus in encroaching darkness (cf. John 9:4).
Ah for that little but important nation of Israel, itself one of the testimonies to the truth of God's almighty word, its city destroyed, then rebuilt, crowned with the abominable horror of a flase prophet's emblem, in the very Temple mount, which was to come, and is in itself a testimony of no mean import to the developments foretold in Matthew 24, II Thessalonians 2. It was left desolate as foretold (Matthew 23:37, Luke 19:42ff.) with such lamentation by the Lord, just as He had lamented earlier in its history when judgment could no more be deferred (cf. Jeremiah 9, Isaiah 48), while truth told its tale, and mercy was rebutted with relish by a wayward people (as in Isaiah 30!).
Back to their land, Israel attests the near return of Christ (Luke 21:24), and not yet back to its Lord, it attests the convulsions to come (cf. Zechariah 12:10-13:1). These are both spiritual and martial (as in Micah 7:15ff., Ezekiel 38ff., Deuteronomy 32 cf. SMR Appendix A, It Bubbles ... Ch. 10). The all-encompassing hand of the Lord, is not weakened by the crucifixion, and continues in its resurrected power *6., death itself a mere remnant; for where guilt is removed on the Cross, death has no more power (cf. Hebrews 2).
Thus while death stalks, life rollicks, is grand in vitality and deep in love, filled with mercy and achieving its vast spiritual harvest in the souls of men, while the world totters and truth rules (John 10:10, 16:22, I Peter 1:5-8, 4:14).
Meanwhile, earnestly oblivious, man in masses witlessly gloats over the despatch of God, while without any truth to find, in an imaginary world of reactions which excludes absolutely the power to know it, one in which he is felt to be a mere particle*7 as he alogically tells it to us as he shuts the eyes that see, and the ears that hear, in order to shout about new gods, 'nature' and 'self' and 'evolution' and 'survival of the fittest', as if the power and the skill in this world's construction and life's array arose from fatuous and irrelevant phrases. He invents phrases and crazes, but never once does any experimental verification arise*8; never once does information increase of its own free accord *9, never once does that series of irresolvable conundrums which leads to unending and lethal attacks by the partisans of this and that hypothesis of evolutionism, on each other; and never does there lack anything in resolving power and harmony of concept in the biblical faith, examinable at leisure, verified in continuity such that volumes are required merely to record it!*10
Worship God! All else is fiasco. Act in faith; all else is futile. Act with reason; for God who made man made also his mind. Act in repentance: arrogance deserves the doom that Israel suffered, and humility is the option of life. Act to receive and follow Christ crucified and risen, for here alone are credentials that stand, and cannot be overthrown; and here is life that spurns the grave, life eternal (Romans 6:23, 5:15). It is free and its method of gift is free; it is the pathway of holiness, dealing with God (Isaiah 35:8).
Parallel chapter, in part: Let God be God Ch. 4.
This point is strongly attested in the extensive account of the Battle of Waterloo to be found in Sir Edward Creasy's 1851 work, The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, From Marathon to Waterloo.
Marshal Ney, suddenly and belatedly brought up from Paris to the front line, not only had little time to familiarise himself with the details of his new task and extensive army, which was to liaise with Napoleon, but despite the impassioned pleadings of one of his subordinates, did not relate at the right time, to the embattled emperor, continuing merely on his primary assignment.
This was almost as remarkable as Dunkirk. While many elements featured in this war, such as a detestation for the provocative imperialism and derring-do of Europe-infesting Napoleon, in striking parallel to the case of Hitler, always, behind the scenes, there are timings and episodes and events extraordinary which, superadded to the contest in context, can bring differing conclusion.
In this case, it assuredly helped to made the conclusion conclusive.
On this topic, see for example
The Wit and Wisdom of the Word of God, the Bible True to Test Ch. 6.
On the extent of Britain's fall, see Deserts and Desserts ... Ch. 6, with
The Wit and Wisdom of the Word of God, the Bible True to Test Ch. 6,
Wake Up World! ... Ch. 3.
The world is currently convulsing. Terrorism, religiously speaking, is merely a flex of ancient muscles and hopeful aspirants, destroyers who want power they did not create, to rob and grab it in religious settings, in which they may or may not believe (there was, for example, real question about Saddam Hussein's Moslem convictions, but little about his parade in the precincts of power, wherever it was). Its falsity is shown in the irrelevance of force to faith, in the midst of its 'faith' type alleged orientation, as in its failure for any kind of verification.
The Moslem like the rest, fail having no background in fact to demonstrate the claims, whether in book, or in sufficiently early arrival of the book, or in the testability of the book. All we see is the failure of what it does specify in terms of the Almighty, and in ardent contest, reminding one of that of Pharaoh in Egypt of old, with the word of God as recorded in the Bible (Exodus). Israel as Mahathir of Malaysia so well pointed out, has had a remarkable triumph in continuing unruined before the myriad Moslem forces for so long (cf. His Time is Near Ch. 10).
This is as it had to be, in the face of WHATEVER forces, after its return, as clearly and repeatedly biblically predicted (SMR Ch. 9). It is as useless to seek to have people believe by faith, because of bombs, what is failed in test and in testability except where power lacks and cries to the Allah fail for so long, precisely as shown in the prophecies of the Bible, as to hack off their heads, and seek to instruct them.
The big three false prophecies with papacy, Marx and Muhammad leaders in them, like the three hopping frogs coming from the mouth of the false prophet, seen in Revelation 16, account in population and formal terms, for nearly half the globe of this cursed planet, in which the Gospel shines like relief from cancer, through ONE ONLY operation, that of God! (Galatians 1, Romans 1-3).
On this biblical prediction concerning the three, see Overflight in Christ Ch. 3.
On this see the following.
More Marvels ... Ch. 4, esp. *4,
SMR pp. 829ff. ,
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A
Lord of Life Ch. 3 (and force), 1081ff. (and faith), Outrageous Outages ... Ch. 5;
His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch. 4; 3
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8 (in perspective), see also *1,
Divine Agenda Chs. 6, 3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran);
Highway to Hell (Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in perspective, in the former; and in the latter, futile depravities in endless ideologies such as Sudan has shown so significantly, Islam ablaze without glory),
cf. Overflight in Christ Ch. 1 (and the Koran's musings).
See SMR Ch. 6.
Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 5
Dastardly Dynamics ... Ch. 11
Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch. 1
Things Old and New Ch. 2, Excursion 2A
Ancient Words: Modern Deeds Ch. 8 (on resurrection and Lazarus, yes and both with Jerusalem); contrasting Greek bodily terms - GBG 2 ;
The Magnificence of the Messiah, Endnote 1,
The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 9,
Bible Translations 33 ,
Joyful Jottings 25
Biblical Blessings Ch. 15, Extended Endnote 2.
The gods of naturalism have no go! Ch. 36,
Repent or Perish Ch. 7,
Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 13.
See SMR pp. 140ff., Ch. 2, TMR Ch. 1, and The gods of naturalism have no go!
The Desire of the Nations Ch. 2 EPI
Little Things 3 (esp. *3),
Beauty of Holiness Ch. 4,
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Chs. 3, 5
See on contrasts in confusion in the naturalistic wake, such works as:
Wake Up World! ... Chs. 4-6,
TMR Ch. 1,
SMR Chs. 1-2.
The gods of naturalism have no go!
See on the biblical faith, for example, the approx. quarter of one million word volumes:
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST; and with these,
REASON, REVELATION and the REDEEMER
The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy.