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Perhaps Isaiah 51:10 to 52:6, a great comforting passage, is not so famed as it might be, because it is so near to, and tends to be overshadowed by the ultimate of Old Testament messages of salvation, Isaiah 52:13-53:12, together with its vast hinterland of glorious revelation to the end of Isaiah 55.
PENETRATING THE SHADOWS
But its beauty must be appreciated, and though Israel the nation is the immediate target*1, yet it is the same God, the same human race, the same TYPE and STYLE of sin which is in view, the same pardon with its same ground. As noted earlier, it is thus rather like some of the dictionary procedures, where the meaning of a term is given, and then as if by aside, there is additional information. "By extension," it indicates, "it may also be applied to mean such and such," which may be a metaphorical, or co-ordinate movement to the more general, specifically picturesque or whatever the development in the land has assigned.
It is moreover, as if this 51-52 prelude is in the foothills of Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12, which as in the announcements of Isaiah 42:6 and 49:6 makes it clear that when the Messianic is in view, the Gentiles are part of the total burden, target, thrust; for though one nation led to the brink of this ultimate sacrifice, wrought by God and not (intentionally) by man, the lake of its loveliness is for all. This appears in Isaiah 55 and 66, and in the transfiguration of Isaiah 60, where the very walls of Jerusalem become salvation.
Nevertheless, the issues are very emphatically Israel-based in the onset, though leading far further on in the upshot.
BREACHING THE WALL
Since when, any observer might ask, have such features as these been generic and not national ? when someone tries to elude the locality and individuality aspect of Israel, by making not an application to, but an immersion in the Christian Church the whole point of such passages. It does not fit. It is far worse than the Cinderella case, for the item here is a glove, and some try to put their foot in it, and in one aspect succeed too admirably; but not in the relevant respect!
What features does one have in mind ? Take the following. There is the localisation not only in Abraham but Sarah in 51:1, in terms of the hole in the rock from which you were dug. Now the place is a matter of wilderness and deserts (51:3), we read, which is not the bower of His beauty in the Christian Church, for this place by contrast is denuded, dilapidated and strewn in the dust, the lot of Israel the former, nation, during its absence from its land. The same sort of consideration applies in 51:14, where the captive exile hastens AS PART of the body in view, to be loosed. Of which body may it with relevance and clarity be said that "these two things have come to you; who will be sorry for you ? - desolation and destruction, famine and sword!"
True Christians like Paul in particular, indeed suffer, but the LOT of the Church is not defined by famine, but abundance, desolation but springs of water spurting up to eternal life, life more abundantly. With the body in view here, however, this appalling loss, decay and desolation is the generic, this is its current STATE, a just picture contrasted with the coming peace and civility instead of servility, everlasting joy instead of deep gloom and anguish (as in the interface between Isaiah 8 and 9). Is it the Church as ONE WHOLE (51:22), which has drunk of "the dregs of the cup of My fury," ? for that is the nature of the body addressed as Israel, with its Jerusalem.
Is the Church to be outlined as "the captive daughter of Jerusalem" so that WHILE BEING ALREADY Jerusalem in nomenclature, its freedom by the Son as in John 8, becomes instead a direct opposite, even a captivity. On such a wanton basis, if the Son shall make you free, will you be a captive indeed! It is worse than wry humour so to apply the text, to interpret the context.
Is the extension into Church from a cited 'Jerusalem' to fit with such utter disregard, contradiction, elemental clash as this, and the whole topic to become the drag ground of the fast cars of undisciplined thought ? Yes it may, but not wisely. This is shameless shambles when it comes to just and due ground for 'extension'.
There is in any such models, which omit the main topic and squash the data where it is into an abhorrent distortion, the horror of calling by the name of liberty and salvation and peace and grounds for it (Jerusalem for example) what is in the view presented in the text, still sunk in non-salvation, desolation and wrath. Such antics bring disrepute to the wonder of the precision of the Bible, where jot and tittle AND the great things of the law alike need diligent, total and not alternative attention.
That however being said, there is scope in various places, for some extension, and in some this is systematic, as noted in Isaiah 60 and some of 51-2. Here Israel, not excluded but USED, can become a site for application more broadly: not as a substitute for it, but an inclusion in the basic generalities applicable, with it. Here is the point of using some of the declarations for Christians as well as for Israel. It is not a contention, as with an arm wrestle, but an available extension, as with a family. They are, each one, not the same, but there area various strong elements in common. These at times add distant but beautiful stars to the sun and moon of light, in some passages.
Now let us savour some of such
passages, in the light of this overall disposition.
ENTRANCE BY PASSPORT
Once then, we have got rid of the unscientific, inaccurate, counter-evidential distortion programs so readily available, we may appreciate some of the extensions. Look for example at Isaiah 51:3. In some period like that of Peter in prison, Paul in shipwreck, where the telling time is for the moment vast, there is indeed the Lord comforting this piece of Zion, and issuing His joy and gladness amid the threatening desolation of the individual. The whole earth is to go, all races, every people, and the issue at THAT time is one for all; and the perspective in view is the entire earth like a worn garment, but the salvation of God for His own on earth shall indeed be for ever (Isaiah 51:6); and the salvation for each and every soul ransomed "will not be abolished," for as in Titus 3:1-7, the Lord has another repository and another body, and another universe (II Peter 3, II Corinthians 5, I Cor. 15). In such a setting, "the ransomed of the Lord ... shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away," and their joy in His glory is inextinguishable.
To be sure, as in Isaiah 51:10-11, the IMMEDIATE action is the everlasting joy on the heads of those ransomed of the Lord, but NOT in the city, but coming to it! that is, Jews outside it in buildings, but already His by spiritual action. Hence it is a national matter; but the application by extension is immense, though not all-consuming (John 16:22). The applicability of sin and its content, and salvation and its portent is found in Isaiah 52:3, for whether Jew or Gentile there is the same susceptibility to sin, payment and redemption. How beauteous, then, "You have sold yourselves for nothing, and shall be redeemed without money," as in Isaiah 52:3.
Then Isaiah 52:5 can be relished, "What have I here!", the Lord asks. "My people are taken away for nothing, those who rule over them make them wail," as is true of some, such as those in raped African countries, assaulted by moral criminals in which heartlessness is becoming a virtue to be prized, and inhuman madness a prime possession, as if the exquisite magnificence shown in the construction of the human body, beyond all that man can do, were to be dishonoured, deprived, tortured, and hell could come in anticipatory clouds. There is an end to this fire of faithlessness, and presumption of glory on the part of vainglory and hideous hatred; and the fires of God are they which await (II Thessalonians 1).
SOWING WINDS IS A GOOD PRELUDE TO
REAPING WHIRLWINDS BEFORE GOD
Even on earth, the Hitler, Stalin, Putin*2 push can continue as if it were a supreme and contemptuous calamity creator; but there is an end to it all, when the flourish is gone and the disregard of slaughter, pangs and torture reaps its own prototype in a crop of parallel rebuke (Micah 7, Ezekiel 38-39, Isaiah 66, Deuteronomy 32). Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind, is one of the sequences God notes, and does not recommend.
The Protestant Reformation, including such works as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, stretching over many centuries, was an answer even on earth to a morass of torture, death, psychological warfare on individuals, mass execution on groups, and this is as in SMR pp. 946ff., merely a beginning. God does not forget; and while His mercy is everlasting, its conditions of entry include a repentance which the Lord Himself can recognise as such. The evil will not enter into heaven (cf. Rev. 21:8). There is no place found for it; and indeed, that is the case with the entire smitten world in the end (Rev. 20:11). Isaiah 52:10 tells us that all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of the Lord, and this is by bud or bloom, Jonah to Nineveh or Paul to Europe, Mayflower to America or missionaries to South American Aucas.
Here then are precious things, when the envelope has a forwarding address, the primary target an extension, and many are they so comforted when the addressees are found and the message delivered (Isaiah 60, 66). Meanwhile, the chief participants in immediate view are not lost in the spreading glory, for as in Isaiah 55:12-13, and 57:11-15, you see both the depths and the wonders, even to the famous forests in Israel - they are not growing in the air - which fulfil the prophecy. Indeed, these have become, it is reported, an object of attack for some Palestinians, as if even to destroy the redemption of the land from its former barren state to its current wonder.
And for what ? is it in baleful insistence that Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey were not enough for landspace, lebensraum as Hitler expressed it, and the tiny allotment currently left after treachery to Israel, concerning the Palestine given in 1917-1920 by Britain and the League of nations, were too much.
But no! Size ? keep reducing it! It is not an issue for murderers, sending thousands of rockets into the civilian aggregations in Israel, though most be baulked. EXTINCTION altogether is the aim in some whom the USA in prodigious blindness more recently expects to become participants with it in removing other things like ISIS, which specialises in preventing confusion about its savage aims, fit partner in that, with Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, all genocidally inclined. Nor is this by any means to the obvious concern of the UN, which continues as if demented, to ask for this and that as if this were a normal situation. .
It is as if Jordan did not gain way over half of it, the donated Palestinian homeland for Israel, and it had never offered citizenship to Palestinians who were willing to be that, rather than making Jordan a land base for more assault on the little left to Israel. So these, welcomed to Jordan, obvious site, lost their privilege through preoccupation with terror, even in the presence of a veritable glut of provisions*3.
Rarely in the history of nations, has such hypocrisy, savage evil, pretentious twisting, vile degradation been surpassed, and in the realms of deceit at the level of nations, has such preposterous twisting been seen. Even the USA seeks military action (with what this involves at the minimum) with the genocidally inclined Iran, and expects all sorts of trade between Iran and Israel or the Palestinians when these do not even recognise Israel's existence, and seek in many cases to have it annulled. Helps to survival may be given by the US to Israel, while escape for a reviving Iran to regain commercial standing and continue with much of its equipment for radioactive hatred, abounds.
What then ? Make an
experiment. Measure the distance from Iran to Israel, and put this, as a
duplicate situation, into the USA and have that kind of action in the
looming segment imagined in USA, similarly near to Washington D.C., and HOW LONG
would it allow such an enormity to overshadow its existence ? and what would it
think of those who made allies of the looming radioactive weaponry so very near
to Washington ? Compare and consider!
IN THE END, HAPPY ENDINGS ARE ALSO HOLY
It is all a part of the Lord's action plan, for as Micah 7:15 declares, His own divine action, in its time, is to be a case parallel to that of the Exodus, when the sheer power of the Lord will expose the null basis of the enemies of His restored people (that itself according to prophetic plan as in Isaiah, Zechariah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel as often seen on this site*4). Their humiliation will parallel their current self-exaltation; for it is now as if there were no God of the Bible, no prophecy, no answer, and man could rate as old fashioned rubbish what remains of the fashioning of man and universe alike, as recorded in the Bible and required by logic. This, contrary to arid speculation did not arise from nothing, which has no future, and is an impossible source, mere antilogy; but it came as it had to come, from what being adequate, had power to provide entire mastery for mind, spirit, body, matter , energy, endowing what is with what it has.
The name is God, the Lord, and the verificatory testimony is called the Bible.
One of the things He has ordained is this, that in a former time (cf. II Peter 3), a flood should usher in judgment into a wildly harassing and foolish earth in the day of Noah, that a wild killing of kids by a deeply wicked king should usher in the coming of the Messiah (courtesy of Murderer Monarch, Herod), and a land should be a lair and base (like a satellite platform) for various parts of His salvation available to the earth, both in the prophets of Israel, and the site for the sublime spiritual sacrifice of Christ. It was wrought in flesh and it was brought to Jerusalem, bought in death and confirmed in resurrection
The devil loves to contend with Him on this, as on the other obvious legacies of His power and testimonies of His Bible; but as for him, he is angry because his time is short (Revelation 12), and his enormities, instead of sinking the spirit of man on earth, are finally met only after the last battalions of martyrs, objects of blind hatred, are disposed, and he himself is dispossessed of the world of his envy, and the tremulous triumphs of his temporary, vainglorious ascent to what has expelled him (Revelation 12:12,17).
The everlasting joy upon the heads of the redeemed is one more attestation of the infinite divergence between what WILL NOT respond to the salvation of its Maker, and so diverge from the follies of this world, its false philosophies, religions, gurus, prophets, idols and leaders. The leader, the commander sent, saving, authorised, authenticated may indeed by left for dead; but since He rose, you are assuming if you ignore Him, all the wantonry of what WILL NOT face facts, deal with provisions of the Lord or come to heel, as if the world held place for a myriad gods, and none need bow to anything but vanity, pride, desire of any or every kind.
Cf. Ch. 16 above which uses a different approach, but complementary in much.
Department of Bible
... Volume 11,
Ch. 16 and Ch. 19.
Putin is noted for his view that the great tragedy of the 20th century was the end of the USSR. This is indicative of values ... as works like those of Solzhenitsyn singularly attest, and the murdered millions confirm. Now, not only is attested the effort at a second rape series for Ukraine, following the famed USSR starvation-slavery-Siberia eruption from the netherlands of all evil, but now in Russia is the reported testimony of the rehabilitation of Stalinism, at least as a more popular consideration. In Russia is this exhibited. Thus in The Australian for January 30-31, 2016, we have evidence of this phase found under this heading, "Putin brings 'our saviour' Stalin in from the cold."
A new bust of the tyrant, a new museum for his alleged military exploits (US money and equipment, British help, multiple war theatres on the part of the Allies turned the tide which was near enough, very close to Moscow for all that, by their vast impacts). Similarly reported is the closure of the Memorial Historical Centre of Political Repression, in Perm, under the guise of its being a foreign entity, the changing of text-books to reflect the new effort at rehabilitation for this outstanding example and sample of reduction of the human race (other than the rulers) to coffins for statistics. That is, as depersonalised puppets of ... Stalin, who escaped the human race in order to occupy this pseudo-divine megalomanic position.
Reported alike is the point that Putin considered it unfortunate that the Soviet rule over Eastern Europe after the war, should be regarded in some text books as a Stalinist occupation. He is very much in line with his indulgence towards the USSR arousal of human humiliation by those who use all that man has got in power, to reduce to spiritual puppetry all the rest. Thus you had the battalions of those repressed by them, the tortured, directed, soul-take-over masses who prefer to capitulate to suffering and yet suffer, or are simply manhandled by pseudo-religious ruffians, rather like ISIS now.
Selling the soul does of course at times bring temporary profit; for it is very valuable and many are the forces and powers, spiritual and earthly, which love to buy for nothing (cf. Isaiah 52:3, "you have sold yourselves for nothing, and shall be redeemed without money.") The demand is great. However, the sheer logical folly of accounting for matter, time, space, energy by simply imagining it there, sourced from nothing, nicely set up, ready for action, product not of Britain or the world or an inventor but nullity, like a sports car on a lawn with no manufacturer, it is this which makes kindergarten look majestic in its teaching of simple reality, by comparison.
This something, then, is there, for nothing CAN HAVE no future, such as this world constitutes. That Something, more aptly in view of the power and brilliance needed, Someone, resides eternal, for without Him there is nowhere to come from, creating not only matter and time and energy and intelligence and logic, but thought, the faculty of imagination and truth and understanding.
Nothing is not good at any of this! It fails by compulsion. With nothing always from nothing, and much instead really from a sufficient cause, for something always has to be accounted for, the way is shown to make the creation productive for man actual, and not nugatory. Man ? a race which is able with straight face to deny the obvious, with such freedom, as if to attest the lie in the mouth, or as the Bible puts it, "in his right hand," Isaiah 44:20. Imaginary and unattested gods are no better.
In this predicament, for the irrationalists, what is so often found, and monotonously in the last century ? It is this. FORCE is the answer when neither reason nor revelation, nor both, nor any consideration of logic is available, and those who try to argue for their nullity, their magic, their inadequate source and empty thoughtlessness of irrationality, use the very logic as if valid, which they so despise as a thing of nothing, literally. Yet it rules them!
Force then is applied. Hypnosis is hard to maintain.
Force is what gives matter impetus, but in what direction ? It is what forsakes truth, preferring ruin and riot, blood and tears in the service of some anything that has grabbed it. The force so used is despicable, a ruffian attack on reason, whether in battering brains or having bodies broken (other of course than one's own). Thus is the self-contradictory use of the spirit of man by some destroyers with their own spirits confused and malevolent to millions, these treated as a refuse to be removed as profitably as possible, perhaps in Siberia, where their work rate may exceed their decay rate, while for oneself, what heavens are to be invented as a reward for such mega-murderous missions.
Freedom has been given enormous scope with man, but his abuse of it personally, nationally, religiously has been so great for so long that it is no surprise that there is an end. Much that is indeed wonderful and courageous and consistent and sound has come in the meantime, but the potentates who kill by the million, savage lands and imperialise over the impotent do have a final Act to face. The most awesome part of it is this, that it is acutely deserved from the hand of the Maker of the freedom so misused, its sting ineludible, its poison internal, its odium overpowering. As God said of Assyria in this domain, at one time, "you are vile."
To treat the soul of man in this way BY the soul of man who
does not even recognise what he is using, while he continues
abusing, confusing power to push with knowledge and wisdom to help,
making a gospel of power without glory,
governing in the interests of subservience
without end, power the flag,
Your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria; Your nobles rest in the dust.
Your people are scattered on the mountains, and no one gathers them.
Your injury has no healing, Your wound is severe. All who hear news of you
Will clap their hands over you,
For upon whom has not your wickedness passed continually?
God who made freedom made also the answer to its misuse, which comes as in Genesis 15:13-16, as in Matthew 24, as in the parable of Matthew 22:1-10, precisely when He is ready! Time may for a time repay tyrants, but the corresponding eternity becomes irreparable. Inventing gods to fit the need for such twisted gargoyles of horror, merely aggravates the offence. Yet God does not rest in chains, but having done all and ruptured the cost of sin for the converted, offers relief even to the sin-mastered, should their hearts change and their ways ... should mercy be sought where it may be found (as in Isaiah 52-55). To one and to all, the counsel of the Lord is clear: "Seek the Lord where He may be found!" It is no use inventing sub-stations. There is no authorised intermediary (Matthew 23:8-10, I Timothy 2:4-6). Jesus Christ came on time (Christ the Citadel Ch. 2), returns in His own time, and time is for Him an instrument, like a toaster or a party, a gift or contempt for it.
Among the provisions made for Abbas or Arafat, were those of 2008 and 2000. As noted in Oren's work, ALLY (pp 46, 111), some half of Jerusalem, most of the West Bank and statehood were twice offered to the assailants of Israel. Once it was with President Clinton and Arafat in the ambience of Camp David, but Arafat refused it. Again in 2008 it was an offer of Israeli President Olmert in the day of Abbas, but it evoked no interest. Again, even more than this was offered by the UN in 1947, making Jerusalem itself an INTERNATIONAL CITY with parcels of land here and there reserved for Israel in a patchwork. But this too was not enough.
Moreover, after the rejection by Abbas of this September 2008 plan, by December of that year, rockets were pummeling Israel in their forsaken clangour and incredible immorality, as if to say, Do not think even the most irenic offers will ever dampen our burning desire for your extinction. What else! Unrecognised, liberal in offer, unaggressive but merely defensive, occasionally striking when defence demanded some depth in deliverance from these endless seeming rockets hammering home detestation, derision, destruction and undying hatred, seething with irrationality in cause, the insatiable enemies continued to harass one of the most remarkable land recoveries, both political and agricultural, of all time.
See for example:
SMR pp. 939-942,
973A, at *24,
Waiting for Wonder Ch. 7, The Christian Prescription Ch. 2;
Let's Be Reasonable ... Ch. 5; Department of Bible, Vol. 11, Chs. 2, 13, 16; The Bright Light ...Ch. 4; It Bubbles ... Ch. 10.