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LIFE IN THE LORD:
OBJECTIVE, PERSPECTIVE, POWER AND PROCEDURE
This follows the effort to denature, remove the family character of the wandering Jew in his historic breadth and scope (Ch. 5 above), to cosmopolitanise him, so that he might just fit in ever so nicely into Palestine and Palestinians, and forget all about Philistines, idols, false prophets, their track record, the Bible, its track record, the scientific evaluation of the faith as shown in this site (as in SMR, TMR, Scientific Method ...), and become one more misfit nation, urbane, inundated, defoliated, eviscerated, put it how you will!
Then, the self-alienating thrust seems to go, he could enjoy a nice good old relaxation of the whole thing, having a voluntarily self-destruct in Israel. In this way, he could become just one of the boys, God forgotten, meaning, truth and life, in a mix-up of atoms having the remarkable facility to understand itself. Whether to adolescents, new to brimming adulthood, or a nation, new to release, this can have quite an appeal. Avoid the issue! Have a psychic blow-out, be irrational, just DO it.
However such a course, like any other form of suicide, and slaughter of truth, unless interrupted by redemption, has ultimate penalties. If anyone knows the cost of slaughtering truth, it is Israel. Inducement to slaughter itself might make it easier for this world to escape the promised penalties for merciless attack on Israel, but it is not to be made so easy. That cost*1 will continue rampant until the Lord draws back Israel as in Zechariah 12, Micah 7, Romans 11, His people, coming for all His saints, and then in that historical moment that ends the Gospel epoch, arrives to rule on this earth as in Isaiah 11, 59, Zechariah 12 and Acts 1 with Matthew 24.
Israel self-destruct ? This world escape penalty for trying to kill it! Is the moon a grain of sand, or truth to be dispelled by wishing it! That merely increases the lie (I John 2), and the depth of deception. Man's ideas, being usually wrong concerning God, embracing idols of the psyche, the mind or the dream, are wrong here also. History will not self-destruct, and the cost of folly will continue in the accounts, for one and for all, until repentance comes (Luke 13:1-3).
Leaving this nonchalantly anti-biblical spread exposed in Ch. 5 above, we looked at predestination in Ch. 6, the knowledge in the deity, which as foreknowledge, is necessarily and biblically behind predestination (cf. Index), and saw in short form how it answers the great philosophic problems in this area, as nothing else either does or even can (Ch. 6 above) , and is an indefeasible force behind history, which conforms therefore to the Lord's word infallibly.
Now we turn to the display of the sheer power of the Lord, as in Psalm 107, and how this which may seem rambunctious ruin, can teach us what we need to know. Next, in Chapter 8, we shall return to life in the Lord, and in this case, to that in terms of families, ordinary families (LIFE IN THE LORD: The Productive Foursome Man, Woman, Child and the Christ, present through the Spirit of God.
For the present, then, let us relish and realise the power of God and His mercy in distresses and what is to be learned by the wise, who would understand the lovingkindness of the Lord, and hence not discount it, just as the young sometimes discount the love of older youth, not understanding.
We proceed now, to ...
LIFE IN THE LORD:
OBJECTIVE, PERSPECTIVE, POWER AND PROCEDURE
In being reasonable, one needs to know something of how a thing proceeds, to what it is directed, by what power it is to be done and in what perspective it is to be understood. Hence in this Chapter, we look at biblical treatments, brief and pointed, on these topics. Hence they become readily examinable.
Elements found are as follows:
UNDERSTANDING THE LOVINGKINDNESS
OF THE LORD
VISION THROUGH VICISSITUDE
There is love and love, kindness and kindness. As to love, what goes by this name can be lust, parade, pleasures of seduction, control paranoia, selfishness possessiveness and many other features. What is presented as kindness can be ostentation, publicity manipulation, social ambition and a dictatorial love of moving others, sublimated into temporary pleasantness.
There is, for most ideal features, a number of erratic foci, of brigandages, of rapes, ruins, falsetto imitations; and these in that, are not different.
To understand the lovingkindness of the Lord, therefore, is eminently needful. As HE is the source of man, of love and kindness, the salutary healing wonders and imbuing glories of the Creator's goodness to our 'kind', and moreover the explanation for such features appearing at times in our race, it is best to have a register and a definition of His love and His kindness, indeed of His lovingkindness, His faithful love, and as it may be presented, His mercy. In Psalm 23, there is a wedding of goodness and mercy, and indeed they are a beautiful couple.
In Psalm 107, there is a series of tableaux, vignettes, occurrences, and explanations and desired consequences; and there is shown to us what is in Psalm 107:43, a nurture for the mind of man, an instruction for his spirit, leading to the summary: "whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD." This translation has LORD in capitals, because it presents not just any lord, or any sort of lordship, in some generic fashion, but GOD, the Creator of heaven earth, the Redeemer for man, and no one else. As to God, there IS no one else, there is no other.
NOW as to God's goodness and kindness and mercy, the Psalm commences with a bugle note, "Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! for His mercy endures forever: let the redeemed of the Lord say." This comes as pulse throughout the various instructive and impactive episodes which follow, like a refrain.
The people who speak (Psalm 107:2) thus are those who have been "redeemed from the hand of the enemy", and therefore freed, from the discipline of cold duty, or negligence, human concepts and plans, for the delight of responsible, loving obedience, past normal duty because seen in its ultimate light, and wrought in its ultimate manner. This is that of love, thankfulness, gratitude, realisation of all that is involved in life in the Lord, for sinners such as we are, and in particular, it is emphatic for those who have felt and found as functional in their own lives, the lovingkindness of the Lord.
Thus we have covered verses 1-3.
1) Wilderness Wandering - 107:4-9.
Here is the case of want, impervious seeming circumstances, affliction upon affliction. This leads to the realisation of personal need parallel to the divine provision, and the necessary acute linkage with Christ in that call that He hears (Psalm 145). This deadly seeming drill is transformed into the deity-centred thrill of divine leading. We recall here that the mercy of God has always been mediated through the Word who became incarnate (Isaiah 48:16, 45:22ff. with Philippians 2:1-11), and as to the Lord, He changes not at all! (Psalm 102, Hebrews 1,13:5-8,Malachi 3:6), His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90:2, 100:5), for just as He does not change, and is from everlasting to everlasting, so is His mercifulness.
What happened then in this series of encounters with trouble, resistance, difficulties, as if to disorient and become a tale of tedious trauma ? They fainted, giving a farewell to their self-sufficiency, brought to realise that an absolute dependence on God is a mere aspect of reality, that a cry to him from the heart pierces the seemingly impervious. They did not just realise. They acted. THEN they cried to the Lord in their trouble. They did not try to depict it in illusory terms. They faced it. "Then He delivered them out of their distresses."
2) Experience of the Sentence of Bitterness, darkness, looming death - 107:10-16.
Here there is something more than mere exposure of insufficiency and orientation to reality, leading to the cry to the Lord. It is deeper. There has been rebellion against truth (107:11), and the personal nature of the Lord has led to trouble, punishments that purge, death as a crow seeking carrion; and haughty and overbearing superiority to the counsel of God has led to strenuous labour that does not deliver. Will an infant cease to suckle, disdaining its physical basis and design ? Will a man disdain the command of God ? Will the engine disregard (if it were able), the engineer ? Will the loved one find tedious the Creator who has loved ? Yes it may, but in this instance, they repented, and saw their folly. He kindly "brought down their heart with labour": then they cry to the Lord, when no one else is helping, and He saves them.
3) Indulgence of Follies, where healing is needed, and divine interposition - 107:17-22.
In this case, folly has misled the erratic, food itself becomes nauseous, affliction becomes a brother, and as death threatens they cry in their anguish and the Lord hears them. Indeed so vigorous was their confrontation with woe and weakness, that 'distresses' and 'destructions' lie before them, as the sight through the windscreen of an aircraft, perhaps like a swirling, blackened tempest. Yet the case is the challenge; the cry is the route to deliverance whatever the crisis. "He sent His word and healed them," for it is inconceivable that there should be mere power, for our design allows for mental, moral, spiritual instruction and physical actions through us, to us, for us as well as to rebuke us. There is no limit to the scope of the Lord's intervention, to meet the case in His depth of wisdom, for His people.
There are several more vicissitudes, to which we shall look later; but for now, there is something we have deliberately left out, so that this feature could receive focus by itself.
Each of the above cases has an additive, individual to itself. Thus while the refrain is the exclamation,
"OH that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men,"
that is not the end of that adventure.
1) Thus, there is for the first case, Wilderness Wandering, this addition:
"For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness."
This gives that personalised, that particularised resonance, that sense of divine feeling in the midst of the troubles, as if to say,
"Yes, lonely and in travail as you were, now you have a sense of spiritual satisfaction which is of a kind not found elsewhere, like cream on bread and milk, sunshine on the sea, peace in the Autumn woods by a lake; there is a repleteness, a wonder to digest, for the gift to you is of the Lord, and in it, there is His touch!
In this way, we see that it is not only that the hand of faith may touch the hem of His garment, but HE may touch the heart of our life, for each one, with that intimate relish of reality which is better than life. That, it is like HIS lovingkindness, it IS better than life, its core, its transcendence, its glory (Psalm 63:3).Notice how in Psalm 63, this is followed by the reflection of the intensity of his longing, that led to such replete results:
"When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You. Your right hand upholds me" (63:6-7).
Love produces zeal. Many other things do, of a type. But this zeal is not only warranted, but safe, sensible and spiritual; and in it is worship.
2) In the second case noted above, verses 10-16, the addition is this:
"For He has broken the gates of bronze, and cut the bars of iron in two."
Thus the constraint, the prison sentence style of rebuke suffered by the pilgrim here, is followed by an exultant liberation, and so vast was the imprisoning force, that now it is as if not mere wood, but bronze gates were broken, not merely forced to yield. Again, it is as if bars of confinement were simply cut, and not merely eroded. It is like the state of mind of Peter, in prison at the crafty will of King Herod (called 'that fox' by Christ), who had already killed James, when an angel came and opened the various doors leading to his miraculous exit. He scarcely realised what had happened, doors that closed in, now simply incapable of holding him any more, in a route march of marvels. When the suddenly awakened Peter understood what had happened, it was as if he were in another world, and he declared this (Acts 12:11):
"Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel,
and has delivered me
from the hand of Herod
and from all the expectation of the Jewish people."
3) In the third case, the addition is this.
"Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving
and declare His works with rejoicing."
There is the exultancy of a divine deliverance so immense and intense, that the thankfulness chimes in like church bells, to announce something that seems parallel for the individual, to the rescue of the British army, at Dunkirk. Thus the national can give a sense of glory; but the personal no less, for each person is made in the image of God, and this being a Psalm for the pilgrim, it is a delight for the pilgrim nation, whatever form it may take, when any one is so led out of darkness into the light. This now shines on the heart brought right through from devious dealings in decline, to delighted understanding and relief.
Had not Britain foolishly ignored Churchill's warning, to a point near that of pure, unabated calamity! That was as it is now with those who warn churches today of their carelessness and seeming indifference to the commandments and fear of God in which there is security by faith, those who do not concern themselves with keeping mere commandments, unless they appeal on cultural or psychological grounds, or seem to pay, or to be cute.
This ecclesiastical and personal case is parallel to the national one noted above, for there is the payment to be made in due course. It is either going to be the removal of presumptuous complacency lacking the fear of God, defying His word, or defiling or ignoring it, or there must be remedy applied. Otherwise, the bane unremoved, there may come altogether, and that perhaps sooner than expected, the removal of such churches altogether as appointed places of shed, reflected light from the Sun of Righteousness, as revealers of the One with healing in His wings, so that they come to appear as mere sites for crafty manipulation of souls, often in an approved, profit-making manner, just like a business (Revelation 2:5). If there is no shame at sham, then shamed indeed is the inveterate clinging to guilt, sin through wilfulness, lacking a vast transformation at the very brink of death.
Remember that in the case of the Church so addressed in Revelation 2:5: this was no vast failure in many things, for it had been seeking to reform doctrine back to its rights, remove those who were false, had laboured patiently, and might have been thought all but a paragon. However, it had "lost its first love", and since the OBJECTIVE of the commandment is love with faith unfeigned, a clear conscience and a pure heart, this was bordering on death. Yet there was the call to repentance and overcoming, so that if the church revived, well, and if not, then of course the godly would have to go out of it as in Romans 16:17. It is not then a matter of rats leaving a sinking ship, but of a rotting ship, sublime in indifference to the seas, warned and unstable, sinking to its due doom, while ex-mariners intent on the crossing, go where the vessel had long failed to proceed. Ours is the crossing of the Cross, which brings land to the lost, as the seas churn.
But what of this Church, that of Ephesus, seen in Revelation 2. No wonder then, if such a church could be delivered back to a fresh and fervent love of the Lord in its beautiful reality, no more wearied in the greatness of its goings, then its other excellent features, so far from swallowing up this one, would adorn it the more! What divine power is involved, for in the case in Psalm 107, "He sent His word and healed them," Psalm 107:20. Always, it is the operation of His word which in the power and demonstration of the Spirit, acts.
Yet whether the fault be false doctrine, false apostles, or lack of the first beauty and reality of love, it is not the one or the other, but ALL of the above which are crucial. Sickness is common; it is health, spiritual health which is to be sought, longed for, not for its mere pleasure, but for the fulfilment of the beauty of divine holiness. This leads to the completion of all He has appointed in His love, to be done by each one of us, and by each Church, indeed by His own body, which is the entirety of those who believe in Him in all simplicity (Romans 12), who follow His word in all longing desire and application (Romans 14-15) and seek His will with all thrust.
Moreover, they do not acknowledge in blind confusion, nor mix with what rebels against and betrays the Lord (Romans 16:17ff.); for rebellion in the ranks, even if it is by high officers, is mere hypocrisy, which has its reward. Who wants that, when sincerity of purpose, fear of God, the love of His holiness and beauty and His peace beckon, as a man to his hunting dog, alight with desire and duty, delight and love in his master's dealings, doing and adventures.
LOVINGKINDNESS OF THE LORD
VISION THROUGH VICISSITUDE PSALM 107
Let us remind ourselves that in Psalm 107, there is a series of tableaux, vignettes, occurrences, and explanations and desired consequences; and there is shown to us what is in Psalm 107:43, a nurture for the mind of man, an instruction for his spirit, leading to the summary: "whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD."
As to God's goodness and kindness and mercy, the Psalm commences with a bugle note, "Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! for His mercy endures forever: let the redeemed of the Lord say." This comes as pulse throughout the various instructive and impactive episodes which follow, like a refrain. We have so far considered three of these, and now we look at two more with some reflections, based on the closing words of the Psalm.
4) THE PROFUNDITIES THAT INUNDATE Psalm 107:23-32
The vignette here is that of a sudden lustiness in the elements, an ocean storm, those who venture on the depths, caught in a tempestuous violence, stunned, faced in awe with their end in terror, calling on the name of the Lord.
Since this Psalm is about understanding the lovingkindness of the Lord, we consider carefully, extend our view. This reminds us of the tininess of the stature of man. The universe has great depth and wonders, great torments since the Fall (Romans 5:1-12, 8:18-23).
It holds great truth (Psalm 19), but it labours under great duress since the curse (Romans 5), and the death which it enshrines. Instead of being simply that marvellous, that magnificent piece of instructibility and awe, of fascinated interest and joy in life, that conjunct to the realities God made, with a mind to investigate, a heart to relish and a spirit to thrust happily into the midst of 'home', man has become a pilgrim and a stranger, like an alien in this world. It is, at the temporal level, largely being run on wholly contrary lines to those of God (John 14:30, James 4:4), to the point that James intimates this: if you love this world, you are an enemy of God. I
if you want, he says, to become a friend of this world, you make of yourself an enemy of God. If Vanity Fair is your friend, God is your enemy (I John 2:15-17).
Hence duress surfaces amidst the magnificence of creation, and strife, which creates nothing, but can cut off what is neither blessed nor needed. Disciplines direct much to the point that some confused philosophers imagine that staying alive is the objective, and that in doing so, we improve. It is nonsense: improvements in the spirit of man are are not a notable feature of our forlorn and reckless, maniacally killing generation. Indeed, even since 1914, man in militant zeal has despatched scores and scores of millions of people, like specks of dust, often with the additional relish to remove the mentally maimed. Moreover, some deem human life better to thrust than dust, since various victims can be made to hurt as an endless seeming stream of zealots kill them. This too is for those who live at all costs, for their accounts in the system. Nor does man's body move upwards, that it might abuse freedom the more, in heart, spirit or body; or else find God. Kinds are the evidence, and the kindness of humankind, even to itself, is worse than spotty.
In short, some seem to worship the curse that sin brought to the earth, and use punishment for vision. Many are the tests, challenges and hard places on the way, therefore, for man in this world. Sometimes the sheer wonder of the power of the creation - visited on it by God in an initial thrust (for the energy did not come from nowhere, nothing ever does or can), this tied up in matter, merely to name one aspect - can be overwhelming. On the oceans those who set forth are readily faced with events towering like vast waves, and they totter and fear. Such is illustrated, even in recent times, by both the unsinkable yet sunk Titanic, and the completely safe and untouchable Lusitania, which was more than touched.
Thus, again, some yachtsmen in the horrendous 1998 Sydney to Hobart race, were not only facing surging waves, but multi-surface cross-waves on waves, towering in rampant disregard of uniformity, venturing into wild enormity, becoming a horror to consider, a breach to experience, some drowning even at that time in our unsinkable century, which nevertheless is sinking fast.
In Psalm 107, such events are depicted, and the afflicted totter and reel as if the whole vulnerability to misplaced passion which is found in man were being given an oceanic depiction, as if the very ocean were crying this, I too, I can rage and fume and leave nothing to the imagination! You like it ? then let me illustrate in watery terms what you too readily produce in your own hearts and conduct, the unthinkable powers, the ruinous thrusts. See and learn, that man is not made for this; and peace and not war is what is prosperous. If you INSIST on provoking the mighty powers of God, then, hold your tongue and purge your heart.
In this Psalm, we see that the message comes through: they are in a place where ONLY GOD can help them. So they cry to Him. It is a step often taken too late, and with too little heart (as in Hosea 7:14, where they did not cry to the Lord with their hearts!), and too lightly, like a formal letter from which you expect but little in return from some stilted seeming government department. God moves to man through faith, and where through your lack, this is your expectation, this is likely to be your response, care of your own frivolously loose approach to your Maker!
Yet in this case, they cry to the Lord in their trouble and He "brings them out of their distresses". How ? In this case, as in that of Mark 4:35-41, there is a command issued by God, so that the waves are still. It is fascinating how God can take a narrative, like this, and simply show His power and prevenience by turning it into an actual episode in life. There were the disciples, there was the storm, their sinking seemed imminent, and Christ was asleep.
So great was their confidence in Him, that they did not hesitate to awaken Him (when the peril seemed in earnest to their very lives, like a typhoon at the start of the shore
line), crying in such a way as to show they fully expected that were He awake, the problem would be met, overcome and deliverance granted. He did awake, rebuking their lack of faith (for while they were hoping for such an outcome, the terror was enough to engulf their attention, just as it threatened to engulf their bodies), and telling the wind and waves to be muzzled.
So in the Psalm, where the story preceded its enaction, like a playwright's script, before it is produced before an audience, "He calms the storm." How often the Bible tells us a principle or provides a picture or vignette, episode or tableau, and we have the imagination: yet for all that, we are too slow, and it has to be enacted before us (in some cases, costing millions of lives, as when people make foolish alliances with other nations who know not God), before we understand. Letting us see such things here in Psalm 107, God is showing us how to understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.
When Christ came, it became inter-personal, Saviour and sinners in the most categorical possible fashion. Where the work of God is concerned, what it takes, He does; where the cry for its completion goes up, the power to perform goes down, whether it be to endure a cross or to win a million souls, in ways expected or wholly unexpected, as the everlasting Gospel is presented (Revelation 14).
Thus God may practically elect to turn a narrative into a happening, or a happening into a warning, a witness or a confirmation. Watch God! more than you watch the rising temperatures, water levels and wars of wild confusion, and you do well; but do not shut the eyes, for this is where you are to act, and as you cry to the Lord, await HIS action, and depend on Him, not on our own wits (Proverbs 3:3-5).
5) THE SIMPLICITIES THAT CAN SUBDUE Psalm 107:33-38
Next the vignette provided in the Psalm is on a more mundane plane. Here is a pulsation, an abundance of fertility and opportunity, then a decline, followed by a pick-up, and re-establishment.
This is by no means something happening by necessary laws and directive principles, as if a cycle were the way to go. Rather the movement from abundant provision to abasement and need is the response to pride, whereas what follows in constructive arising, is for those of a willing spirit, no more drugged by desirers and rotted by ease. When reason returns, as one hopes may be the case in increasingly and sadly volatile Australia, so that no more are ill-researched and slatternly expenditures of billions rushed into place, as if to indulge some dream, when reality calls: then consolidation comes.
A battle is not won by wild reaction, but by intense concentration on reality, and judicious and adaptable care in meeting developments, presented to the Lord and confirmed by Him, adapted or replaced. It is here that fixity without adequate enquiry, except that of purpose, can become merely a prelude to ruin. Money, reputation or opportunity long in the preparation, is gone in months, and things needed are lost, while things unneeded run on like blood from a wound. It needs healing, so that the amplitude of power does not corrupt.
The vignette in Psalm 107 continues with the Lord's quiet and
seemly rescue from that ruin. The people now resume normal ways in a more normal
perspective, and no more to be found are prodigies of arrogance, presumption or
imprudence. Such for example is that of a body vested with control of private
school curricula: they boom, they dictate in this State. You may not refer to mere RESULTS of experiments, oh no, nor
to failures of theories without preference or prejudice, awarding credit where
it is due, nor may you simply exterminate a theory, as in scientific method,
when its forecasts are not verified, nor may you prefer one which has NO
FORECAST UNVERIFIED, as in the biblical case. You may not mention any source
which works for a theory, or any perspective. Philosophy rules science's tools.
A SAD CASE
You must fondle matter as a brother, and ideas as a tyrant, and make truth your captive. This is essentially what the relevant Committee has just done in S.A. (South Australia, not South America), in a virtual buffoonery scarcely to be believed, a scientistic assault*1, based ONLY on philosophy WITHOUT warrant, and free from the discipline of what works! As in aristocracy, it is not what works, but where you come from that matters. THAT evidently means EVERYTHING! It becomes a virtual Burke's Peerage, philosophies anointed ... or not, and the desire included.
In other words, what has to be tested has to come from realms in which their philosophy is invested: exclusions therefore apply. As when Christ Himself, the Truth, came to earth, you could believe many different things (just as organic evolutionists have believed and contest various ideas without joint conviction, quarrelling among themselves), but one thing you could not follow, and that was the Christ.
In parallel now, the creation which Christ taught,
while you may believe a variety of discordant evolutionary views (Nilsson, Gould, Darwin, Simpson, Lovtrup, Lamarck, maybe even Goldschmidt):
this, creation, uncrushed logically or scientifically for millenia, in science, you may NOT believe; or if you believe it, you must in scientific education be a secret disciple. Philosophy has said so, and it is riding so-called science, at the dictate of politics, which has it so.
Not only does a variety of contestants in the field of intra-evolutionary debate, assault the faults of others of its kind, which are indeed there, for none supports itself in laboratory and history, without simply begging the question, but this situation is predictable. Why ? It is because failure to face the fundamentals of logic and empirical research can only lead to the doldrums typical of reductionism. There, nothing works; the choir is there, but not the music. That is why the organic evooutionists are playing different things in clouded contrast and mutual collision. This ? it is to be taught ?
In contrast, creation is confirmed on all sides, meets every requirement.
It is therefore particularly sad that the concept employed in this control dictation, namely that scientific method is not even interested in unselected sources, whatever the results, has annulled its famous hypothetical contests as a badge of honour, honesty and industry. It is in this way that it has debased scientific method and left the field to philosophers. In this domain, they are unable even to support themselves.
(See Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming Chs. 4-6,
SMR Chs. 2, 3 and 5, incl. pp. 140ff.,
Secular Myths and Sacred Truth,
Deity and Design ... Section 8, with 2 and 7,
The gods of naturalism have no go!)
TMR Chs . 1, 7,
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST,
Who answers Riddles, and Where He is, Darkness Departs.)
Sometimes, evolutionists try to go a little further: after all they have no ground for their ideas. You have from big-name evolutionists therefore extreme and wholly unscientific measures, not verified, most bizarre, where every now and again some intense concentration of some kind of rays, it is felt, maybe, just maybe play the builder, and new organisms arise with vastly different construction, involving masses of new information.
Perhaps, it is felt, these happen to come, though science in information theory, disavows such experimentally; or a spectre in some ghostly format, is, rather like a dog's owner, leading creation up and on, almost as if cajoling it; but this fantasy like the other, lacks all evidence. Nothing is categorically moving up, or even displaying new information without intelligence at work. Then again, you have a set-up where things pause, are punctuated in their delicious enthusiasm, for no known reason, to make life and make it abundantly, and then go for it. It is not found, this something... God never is by any other name.
Some like to think that if you could fiddle things at the embryonic level, it would be easier to get great big results in due course. That may be so, like 'fiddling' your small wrist-watch, but it is even harder to do it, when it is so tiny and so intricate, reportedly millions of times smaller than we can manage. It is moreover never experimentally verified; nor do any of these arise from scientific data, such as what really IS there: that vast creativity has sprung huge numbers of designs in one creative phase, on this world, and neither does it continue to do so, nor can it ever be induced to do so now. And it is in this muddle and miasma of oddities that the scientific idea is to be abortively wrapped while creation, which answers all empirical questions adequately and well, is ruled out.
What is it like ? it is like assuming that whatever else 2 + 2 may equal, they CANNOT (by academic fiat) equal 4. Naturally the results of this prohibition compromise the objectivity of research, and amount to authoritarianism, whatever the free play once what works is excluded.
It is THEN, under such duress, that science is no more science. Verifiable truth is excluded by rote and regimen, just as Christ was, by a more total death sentence, in His own day. HE was resurrected, and creation remains incapable of being held by death because in every test, it works, is internally harmonious, continually verified, incapable of invalidation, and this uniquely. It is OUT just as mankind has put certain things IN and other OUT for millenia, and paid the penalty of its obstinacy and its pride.
This is the sort of splendour of spirit without humility of heart which arrogates the powers of truth and makes short shrift of its substance. This can only lead to evils innumerable, in multiplied lives, in offence to children such as Christ gravely warned against, in Matthew 18. As for me, not for the entirety of this world as my personal property would I join in the least part in such pseudo-scientific, scientistic, philosophic actions as have here been taken; for not only is the Lord Jesus Christ the One whom I love, and revere, but God is to be feared; for that is a clean fear. It loves truth and fears no test. What does impious fiction matter, when facts are not faced, and all things are not to be tested for effectiveness! (I Thessalonians 5:21, Isaiah 41, 43, 48). The Maker of facts challenges us to have them tested: taste and see!
It is when people take off airily that they may land badly. Such is the form of the wisdom in Psalm 107 in this vignette, which one has sought to apply to a practical case, one which threatens the lives and minds of thousands of children with folly by mandate, talk by dictatorship. exclusion by decree, making truth to be in manacles, and discussion pre-ordained in direction.
This sort of up and down movement, the quiet grace and labour leading to abundance, the pride that disrupts and disperses, the mercy which picks up the fallen and restores naturalness, is clear in the Bible. Its sustaining grace in fact can only come by being based on supernaturalness, for of such we come, and to such we go, and to walk in that way in the middle of His path, is the way to consistency and quietness. How dramatically Isaiah 30 puts it:
"In returning and rest you shall be saved; in
quietness and confidence
shall be your strength. But you would not, and you said,
'No, for we will flee on horses.' Therefore you shall flee! and
'We will ride on swift horses'' - therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!"
It is in Isaiah 32 that you see one other result that helps to have understanding of the lovingkindness of the Lord. Having scolded the vanity of many, their absurd and false preoccupations, lesser things on top, major things forgotten forlornly, God proceeds in this helpful manner. They will reap what they sow, but the Lord has an answer, and will wait till the time is ripe, and it is then it will be that
"the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the
becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.
Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain
in the fruitful field. The work of righteousness will be peace,
and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever."
Here is the Isaiah 52-53 Gospel where His righteousness breaks sin and brings peace, and to faith in Him who saves, this brings quietness and assurance for ever (Ephesians 1:11). It is then that you gain UNDERSTANDINGS THAT DWARF MISUNDERSTANDINGS, and iniquity shuts its mouth.
The reasonableness of God is profound, intimate, appealing, kindly; and it is the sad and misled part of man in arrogance, self-sufficiency, alliance with evil, intentional or lassitudinous, that leads to escalations so terrible that the static to the soul can become in itself almost a deafening noise. But the Lord is not deaf; and the cry to Him in earnest supplication, placed on the line which is connected, that is through Jesus Christ who came not merely to give ear, but to speak to the listening ear, not only to heal diseases but to speak to those who inherited them, not only to succour but to save: it is this that is heard (cf. Psalm 145:18ff., Mark 11:23ff., Philippians 4:4-6).
It is not the call for mere convenience, outside the place offered, for self-advancement, outside the nature of God, but the call for salvation from sin, restoration to His divine righteousness through the merits of the Saviour, conferred as a gift, through justification by faith, through thankfulness for His atoning death and delight in His dynamic provisions, the call for life in the Lord: it is this that is heard. Life eternal is LIFE, and its qualities and ways, its foci and faith, its source and its springs within, these are some of the beauties that lie in its holiness. Faith cries.
In response the Lord can break the gates of bronze, the bars of iron, remove the intractable, demolish the immovable, transcending human proportions at need. He asks something: it is this, that we declare His works with rejoicing, that we give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, for His wonderful works to the children of men. Suffocating pride, self-will, reluctant grudging, this has a place, but not in heaven. Curmudgeonly self-satisfaction, curling the lip, dripping with scorn or withdrawing in disbelief, these are certainly options. Their end is like their beginning: faithless features find lifeless results.
See Appendix below further on this area and arena.