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NOT SECOND SIGHT BUT DIVINE REVELATION:
CREATION STARTING IN POWER, MOVING IN POLLUTION,
DRIVING INTO MERCY
AND FINDING WHERE DESIRED, DIVINE JUDGMENT
MATTERS OF ISRAEL, THE CHURCH AND THE MESSIAH
especially in Jeremiah and Micah, with concern
for Isaiah, Ezekiel, Genesis, and the New Testament Collateral
The word of God through Micah has been the subject of a large exposure previously, in several Chapters (such as Possess Your Possessions Ch. 1, Galloping Events Ch. 8). Here a compilation of revelations through Micah and Jeremiah in particular, with reference to Isaiah, Psalms and elsewhere, yes and even the decisive drama of Genesis is presented to aid perspective as we move from germ in Genesis to worm in judgment. Indeed, the glory lies between, in the work of Christ, and in the end, at the completion of the very redemption of the body (Romans 8:23, I Cor. 15:57ff.); but its development has its own dynamic, and in this Chapter we gaze upon it.
It reminds one of General Schwarzkopf's gazing on the Gulf War in his huge autobiography, seeking to find its meaning, amidst its method. In the short term, he found troubles aplenty, but at least for the time, massive deliverance. Alas, Iraq, built up in no small measure by USA to become vast in power, having it go to its head (in both senses), acted erratically. It sought to use its power for other and aggressive, self-aggrandising purposes, amid misery and torture almost as a sport, though a directed one. Invading the oil pandora, it led to its confrontation with a multi-national force on a scale so massive, that we even find reference to just such an episode in Micah 5, as seen as this review develops.
However, the endeavour to USE Iraq to contain Iran, which had been fighting a vast war of years with it, in maestro folly, was thus ruined. Any such design by the USA became a build and ram operation. The ramming left little of the building, however important such a step appeared. However brilliantly and with whatever side benefits to Israel, for example, this left Iran next on the list of devourers, with presidential announcements concerning Israel, difficult to separate from genocidal outpourings, without inventing new meanings for words. To be sure, perhaps he would allow Israel to be somewhere else; but then Israel has a location, just as does London. Having London in Paris would not be quite the same, were it even possible; but having it in Africa would be farce.
Iran then became the massive Moslem blaster of words, concerning the destruction of Israel, to which we have all been treated for some years. Backing terrorist movements, it has sought to remove one nation from the earth. The USA is now becoming far more ambivalent about Israel than in the Bush, Reagan and Nixon days, and the undertaking of the Almighty, so dramatic in Jeremiah, as we shall see, comes to the fore. Indeed, it is when the strength of Israel is gone, that He will act (Deuteronomy 32:36ff.), and what acts He then designated! (Isaiah 66:15-17, Micah 7:15-17, Ezekiel 38-39, Deuteronomy 32:34-42).
Much of these is already past (cf. SMR Ch. 9), and more is yet to come (Zechariah 12-13), when Israel comes to receive almost en bloc, the New Covenant at long last in Christ. The deliverances then as in Micah 7 and parallel divine declarations, with the rebukes for this world, eventually as categorical as conclusive. as in Isaiah 24 and Revelation 19, are scheduled; and preludes are also designed.
Thus, for this world, the vast imperial power of the Gulf Wars scenario, with great effort met a temporary challenge from the false glamour of power lust; only to leave this area, after a little while, yet deeper in trouble with its long-term results. Yet there is a far more blessed Coalition of the Willing in the war of the spirit, man versus sin and devil, able to call on God for salvation. In this war, there is an end of ends and the beginning of eternal blessedness, even that of eternal life. It is to this we look in the return of Christ, first for and then with His believers, willing in the day of His power (Psalm 110). The clash of this entry is as great as might be imagined from the world's treatment of the Lord of lords, when He came purposely vulnerable, as a sacrifice for sin, FOR those who received Him, leaving others to die in their sins (John 8:24).
So for this race, mankind, through many developments, with one great heart and centre, liberty, fall, salvation, payment, test, power and judgment, there is one blessed end available. It is however selective, some preferring a spiritual seduction (John 3:19), being foreknown in their hearts before they so much as came into being, along with what we call time. Some however, also foreknown, were chosen in the love that does not force, and were delivered.
Sad as it is, even the dissidents have their desire, that of autonomy, whether in themselves or for their appointees. It is one of escape from heaven, from the Lord, from, absolute authority and absolute salvation, and resultant friendship with the God of creation. Alas it is not wise or worthy to escape this; but as in the Gulf war of Desert Storm, it has a conclusion; this time perpetual and profound; and in its very nature, this conclusion for those sharing the victory of Christ, is incorruptible.
MOVING IN THE MIDST OF MICAH
THE PURPOSE, MESSAGE AND MERCY OF THE MESSIAH
FROM THE GERM IN GENESIS TO
THE GRANDEUR IN CHRIST
Pre-figured in Prophecy
Looking at the spiritual sweep in Micah leads to a desire, as when passing through the Rockies on that magnificent train journey, to see yet more, to become replete with its wonder. Micah 7:20 finished telling us of the fulfilment of God's covenant to Abraham, which included the two components of assigned real estate as a working base in the missionary program of Israel, attesting God before all, and realisation of the grand destiny available to the human race. This was to be found in the coming seed, or member of the descendants, on the human side from Abraham (and Isaac and Jacob, to whom the confirmation of covenant came). In Him, all the nations of the earth would be blessed: on the mother's side, Jewish-based blood for divine incarnation, used to supply redemption!
Collated with Genesis 3:15, this was that same, and singularly effective seed, who would not merely crush the deceptive and cunning Satan, the adversary of God, one long fallen and ever voracious for power and pseudo-glory (as in Ezekiel 29, Revelation 12), but not getting it except for the pseudo-side of it (Luke 10:161-20, Revelation 20:2,7-10).
Why was he futile at length ? It was because he was a creation fallen, and only a pseudo-god, the "god of this world" (Romans 12:2, cf. Romans 8:38-39, II Corinthians 10-11). By contrast, it was that supernatural signature, even of God Himself, input into this fallen race and world (cf. Romans 8:18-24, Micah 5:1-3) who in crushing the inveterate and vicious power of the devil of devious vainglory, that ascending Satan (Ezekiel 28:12-17) would "bruise His heel". This He would do, crushing the head of Satan (Hebrews 2:14-16, Luke 10:18). The latter, actor that he is, appeared slithery in snake format, in this beautiful new world, awesome in wicked wisdom, though Adam was to rule, not follow, the creation. He should have known better than to listen to sedition against his Creator, proceeding from such a source.
Man has not improved, though this same Redeemer who has overcome (Hebrews 2:14), has fulfilled every part of His divine identikit, presented in advance through the prophets, step by step as it has come, and fulfilled it in spectacular manner in Jesus Christ (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9, Christ, the Wisdom of God, incl. Ch. 8, That Magnificent Messiah). Satan still parades in pomp though in essence not less than a spiritual sucker calling for underlings to follow him, who go, refusing the divine succour for the sake of the delusive and murderous embroilments of the devil. These have led to the death in simple slaughter, or torture of so many millions of persons even in the last 100 years. Thus mount stunningly the statistics for judgment, these being fed from so foul a source.
The seed of deliverance was delivered as forecast in Genesis 3:15, in its time. It has come and been preached to this world for so long (death date for the Messiah Himself being fulfilled as in Daniel 9:24-27, cf. The Christian Prescription Ch. 2). Such a waiting time did II Peter 3:9 indicate; and so it has been.
Now draws near, according to the testimony of this self-same Bible, handbook for man in the creation, the time frame (Matthew 24, Luke 21) for His return (Acts 1:7ff., 3:19ff., Matthew 24), both to select His elect from this world and then to come with them (I Thessalonians. 3:13), to show to this world in definitive fashion, the practical righteousness of God (Psalm 72, Revelation 20, Isaiah 11).
Micah as we have been seeing, throughout the vast panorama of prophecy concerning some of these topics, has given us a wonder of preparation. After this, we plan tol look at Jeremiah in the element there given, for even more of the merging and magnifying divine revelation, true to this day, a continual reminder of the power of God.
Let us then dig a little in Micah now.
PONDERING MICAH 5-7.
for oral presentation in this area, BELOW, see
I THE MESSIANIC
1) 5:2 with Isaiah 9:6-7 The birth of the Timeless into Time
2) 5:1 with Isaiah 53 The battering of the One born
3) 5:3 with Ezekiel 36-37, The banishment of the nation,
4) 5:4 The apostolic Christian ministry and regeneration of the
plight of those who have Come Back,
6) 5:6 The ravaging to come, of the invasive belligerents,
5:7 Christian crusading by Israel
II THE MESSIANIC MESSAGE
8) 5:8-15 After the personal return of Christ (Isaiah 59:20, Micah 4:6-7, Matthew 24, Zechariah 14:5), to His earthly, millenial rule (cf. Ezekiel 37:5, Isaiah 11, 32, 55, Jeremiah 23:5, Psalm 2, Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:30, Revelation 20), the direct power after the God-given victory of 7) above, merges into the millenium (Revelation 20). This is here seen to involve Christ-conducted peace and disarmament, the abandonment of former militant ways.
5:10,14-15 Thus comes peace with an Eliminative
Spiritual Purge by purity, nations held accountable (cf. Isaiah 11:9), the
earth flowing with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Isaiah 11:10, Psalm
72). This is expressed more fully in Micah 4:1-4,6, Isaiah 2, 65. We realise
that there are many vignettes, as in a story that is told, with some
anticipations and reviews.
6:3-5 In Micah it is after so much of this, in the earlier chapters, that the
Lord protests at their current lack of faith
6:6-8 He likewise presents simple and comprehensive
seeming paths of righteousness and faith.
The "deeper matters of the law"
are placarded (cf. Matthew 23:23), an issue Christ focussed
stringently in His confrontation with formalistic
religion (Matthew 23:25ff.).
12) 6:9-16 Moreover, the Lord outlines simple, impure connivances with sin, and the toil in futility it engenders
III THE MESSIANIC MERCY
13) 7:1-9 Now comes recapitulation of the grievously long wait of the believing remnant, partly referring to a mourning spirit of those to be comforted, when the rescue operation came. An overview of many generations is now seen coming to its climacteric clash, confrontation and glory in the faithfulness and mercies of God.
14) 7:10-14 When there will be a famous rebuilding of walls (in the last few years now, heavily focussed, with demarcation lines), then will many (as now) come from various nations, returning to Israel, as long-lost homeland. But this is preparation for international aggressors and Israel's cover..
15) 7:15-17 As
seen in Micah 4:1-6, 5:7, calamity here , God's
covering action, has results. It leads on to the kingdom, now the nurse of the exultant and
repentant remnant of Israel, while fear becomes the fellow of the brash, the
air filled with foundering of false prophets, and gall (7:17).
confrontation of a hostile word (Revelation 19:1-21, esp. 19:19)
for the spiritually inert nations, thus flirting with the lust for power
16) 7:18-19 Now is mercy prized, compassion valued, the Lord's
character of kindness delighted in, just as HE delights in mercy. This reminds
us always to look, turn to the Citadel, as they had been urged (Zechariah 9:6).
Alas, just as those needlessly weak, when strength was available, through lack
of faith denuding themselves like someone making daily blood donations: so many
now are found having a form of godliness without the power of God! (II Timothy
17) 15-20 No let us review this entire segment.
There was a fall for this expansively evil body, our human race, catapulting now avidly into the abyss, in a vast exposure of folly! and it comes not just for one component of it (Romans 5). Only a remnant is left of any race, some more, some less, and even that is a remnant of grace! (Romans 5:15,17,21, 1:5-6).
It is that vast folly of what is human racism, that may be found, an expansive vice; which not least entices the unwatchful; but there is no safety in numbers before God. The confrontation, despite the blessing offered in the Messiah as in Micah 5 and 7, is not avoided however as in 15) above. Instead of one race seeking pre-eminence over others, it becomes a pan-racial confrontation with God, with ruinous results, summed in Revelation 19-20. The epidemic becomes pandemic, the sin ultimate as at the first, God forsaken by man, even contested, not invested with faith
What contradicts God's early appointments to the patriarchs, of land (for Israel despite its sins), as for its mission, and blessing through the mercy of the Messiah, will in judgment pay for its misplaced adventurism Micah 7:15,20). Now is the end, which crass violators of truth always must face. In the coin of their miserable commerce; nothing is much worse than being rebuked by their own errors; and here are found: the lashes that are inward and personal; for God gives no place for lies! (Micah 7:16, Jeremiah 16:16-21). They are as toxic as intoxicating, whether from or within Jew or Gentile.
Thus, with Israel turning back to the divine mercy where it may be found (Micah 7:19-20, Isaiah 54-55), and many of them brought to the Messiah (Zech 12:9-13:1), there comes a battering, not to some only, or to this race only, or to that, but to all those living who reject the Lord of truth, confront His express word, embattling Jerusalem, contending to amend His way, seize or mutate it.
As the truth has come home at this time to Israel in the main, and expressed itself to the least items, so its home-coming is sustained before all. It does not alter. As to those who would lacerate it, these retain the calamity sin brings, while mercy is rousingly open and utterly free (Micah 5:4). The millenium proceeds, where they shall not hurt in all His holy mountain (Isaiah 11), and the sinner dying one hundred years old (Isaiah 65:20), will be accursed. Yet whoever thirsts may drink freely till judgment sits (Revelation 22:17).
The honour of the Lord is now satisfied (Psalm 2, 111:3); for the long term covenant to the early patriarchs (cf. Genesis 12:1-3, 17:7-8) is now vastly fulfilled in a full flush of the divine mercy, both to Jew and to Gentile, in site and in sight. This not only soars, but does so in terms of the unchanging divine nature, love and cherishing kindness. The macro-Messianic message, based on facts and acts (Acts 2, Joel 2:11, Isaiah 44:24-46:10), has found anew many in Israel and amid the Gentiles. God is faithful in all He promised Abraham, and the prophets.
Faith in His faithfulness is like scent in Spring; because it is faith in His truth. It brings outward deliverance to Israel, and transforming blessing to each and to all those who believe Him, and so believe in Him, and thus follow His word as the ferret rabbits - though it may slip on occasion, it goes; with results in blessing that never run away, but continue like a constant waterfall, fluent and forthcoming for ever (John 4:14, 7:37-38).
Now we are at liberty as noted earlier, to find in Jeremiah yet more of the glorious landscape, like views almost visions in themselves, outside the windows of the rail link between Vancouver and Banff. It complements as well as supplements what is to be found in Micah, and the two are just like brothers in arms, in alms, in the arm of mercy. Yet neither truth nor justice is forgotten, and the Messiah is master of ceremonies, as well as maestro of mercy (Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:21, 33:15-16, 31:31ff.)
Vast is the contribution to the written word of God
through Jeremiah, and in this frame of reference, context, it is with Jeremiah
30-32 we have special dealings, with some reference to Jeremiah 33.
deal here with Israel, the Church and the Messiah.
JOURNEYING INTO JEREMIAH
In Jeremiah is no Diminuendo in Divine Declaration
ISRAEL, THE CHURCH AND THE MESSIAH
Jeremiah 30-32 with Extension to 33
Jeremiah 30-32 is in one sense, for Israel what Isaiah is for all. It not that the Gentiles do not enter (as shown in Jeremiah 16), but that the focus is dramatically and constantly consolidated on Jacob (Jeremiah 30:10), the Lord's servant who went astray in the LAW, and is now to have a new law, one for the heart, an internalised covenant so that ANYONE who belongs to THIS one, IS the Lord's, from the least to the greatest. It is an internally regenerative covenant, and you CANNOT be related to it, as one under it, unless God Himself be over you, even your heart, even changing your entire disposition.
Thus in Isaiah 65, even in dealing with the millenium, when they shall not hurt nor destroy "in all My holy mountain," yet there is still the sinner who at one hundred years shall die ACCURSED. It is not a total conversion of citizens that is in view, but the creation of a citizenry so internally and eternally the Lord's, so that a citizen of this kingdom IS the Lord's. There will be the oddities within the landscape, but they are not the character of the thing, now utterly changed (Isaiah 11). In fact, there have to be rebels to institute the rebellion at the very end (Rev. 20:7-10), so precipitating eternal judgment itself (Rev. 20:11). ). Indeed, Christ showed, the tares, the corruptives, the weeds, these do not entirely disappear, however muted, till the very judgment itself (Matthew 13:13-20).
But to return to that day of spiritual sight, at last granted to Israel and leading on (Romans 11:25), the oddballs will be spiritual ones, and the character of the nation will no more be merely political, but under a High Priest who IS the Lord for all His people everywhere, and a KING who IS God. You see this directly in Jeremiah 30:9, 33:5,16, and indirectly in Jeremiah 30:21-22, as in Micah 4:1-3, where in the very flesh of Israel, will come, deity, the true and immutable God of heaven, reigning on earth, as in Psalm 72.
In emphasis, Jeremiah 30 is rather about God coming to Israel, and Jeremiah 31 about Israel coming to God, even through the salvation wrought through a virgin (Jer. 31:22), associated with the New Covenant (in His blood, as in Isaiah 53). As to Israel coming back to the Lord, whom once it knew and served, how poignant is Jer. 31:18-20! Just as the child is launched through the virgin, so what was backsliding is suddenly restored (as in Isaiah 66:7ff.), a nation reborn, not as if from what is then a rejected Israel (Isaiah 65:13-15), as if flesh could launch spirit (contrary to John 3), but born FROM THE LORD Himself, as always in spiritual things.
This restoration rejoices those mourning for a lost ZION (Isaiah 66:10), as in Deut. 32:43. So to the King, to the Covenant, to the incarnate One, now offered as brother they come (Hebrews 2), in the one new covenant of the one God (Jeremiah 31:16,31ff.). For this purpose, the need is for utter and entire regeneration, whether for any or for many amid the human race, for this time, the law is to be written in the heart! This is the spiritual nature of the kingdom, to be potent in Israel as the Lord at length intervenes, not only in bringing them back to their land, but back to their Lord, in their New Covenant.
This Israel, the one formerly the Lord's, it is that of a long history, being the one which slid away, and is now restored (Jeremiah 31:4 - "again will I build you!", paralleled in Jeremiah 30:13-16, "on its own mound" - Jeremiah 30:18, and in Zechariah 12:6, "Jerusalem will be inhabited again in her own place - Jerusalem."). The Lord is SO emphatic that it is almost as if He is addressing rather a dull student and removing any possibility of its wandering, the way some sheep tend to do, even with an excellent sheep dog.
The fallen, forsaken, routed Israel, brought back, is to be restored (as in Jeremiah 30:1 - 31:14), where it first left, and to be made to prevail despite assault (Zechariah 12), in its very own place, as unconditionally appointed (as in Micah 7:20 and Genesis 17:7-8), and then to find its King Jeremiah 23:5, 33:15ff.).
Nor is the happy holiness alone in view; for Its exile is as predicted likewise (Leviticus 26), its mistreatment clearly shown (cf. Isaiah 51:21-23), its return as prognosticated, its tenure as asserted (Jeremiah 31, 33): and the name to back all this ? it is that of the LORD. When you want a guaranteed defeat, the choice is easy: fight against the Lord! So many nations are now doing precisely that, pre-empting victory with an almost obliterative defeat to come (Isaiah 2, Micah 7, Revelation 19).
So it is back to Israel that Israel comes: the denationalised to the renationalised, those forsaking God, the God of their fathers, to become those awakened to Him and in so being awakened (Romans 11), awakened to the forecast New Covenant, of which more anon. No more blind (Romans 11:25), they see, and see in sorrow, Him whom they once crucified, as a nation so that a fountain at last, for sin and uncleanness can be opened even in this self-same Jerusalem itself, a national thrust in the most public of manners (Zechariah 13:1).
Now this becomes a site for a new segment of Christ's people, distinctive certainly in terms of this, their history and land, from the first assigned for display of the testimony of truth, the word of God first written, then smitten (Isaiah 43:21, 59:21, 59-55). The Messiah indeed has made use of it for international expansion, and use of it will made (Micah 4, Isaiah 2, Jeremiah 23, 30:8-9, 33:15), nationally and internationally, soon after Israel's return first to its land, and then to Christ (as in the two stages shown in Ezekiel 37:4-24), and His then imminent return to Israel, indeed to this entire smitten world.
Secure is Israel, but not sovereign, in the autonomous national sense (Micah 4, 6:7ff., Isaiah 19); for its new and real allegiance is to Christ who is all and in all, for any race, any person who trust in Him. Then, all under the one Christ, His kingdom comes. Israel the nation within it, has a new licence for bringing the truth of Christ to the world, as refreshed, do all Christians (Micah 5:6-8). What had become almost puny, in these stages of return, restoration, pardon and conversion, regeneration and redemption, becomes a divine protectorate, not just for survival, but in revival. So it will now play its part in the Christian Church, for the Messiah, whom it killed, was first of all, its own.
Spiritually, it seems almost like a new British Empire, but not just formally, rather functionally and spiritually, a people of the Lord, so made from within. Gentiles will be in their own remnant, Isaiah 11:10 showing their rest and delight in this same Messiah, the Jewish one cited in this SECOND coming TO the Lord, by Israel, as in Isaiah 11:10. As part of this New Covenant in Christ (Isaiah 49-55, Jeremiah 16:19-21), the Gentiles come, casting aside with repugnance and loathing the idolatrous lies they for their part had received in their own vain traditions (often of philosophy as in Colossians 2:8). It is for Jew, it is for Gentile; it is for Israel, it is to all who come (Matthew 22:1-14). THIS covenant was too precious to limit to Israel (Isaiah 49:6), nor is the nation its own basis, but as with other Christians at the end, its remnant becomes one of the beneficiaries.
Thus it becomes part of the entire web of wisdom and wonder in which God first created the law-girt universe, physics and chemistry mere attendants of His creation, like mechanics looking after a manufactured car, so that at last all become one in Christ, hypocrites, nationalists and formalists all finished in their power. Thus Israel is to be rehabilitated, regenerated in the main substance of the nation, so that this is to become its very nature, not in some figurative fashion but in terms of the inward laws of God written on their very hearts.
It WAS to be utterly despised, dispersed and virtually (but not entirely) deleted, with many an evil champion against it (like Saddam Hussein earlier, and the President of Iran, later), these with many in concert, vowing destruction, while negotiating for some illusory peace. Recouping battle losses at the hand of Israel, by 'peace', they sought more land, till Israel should die! But it will not, because it cannot die.
God may overcome a law of nature, by intervention as an author in his own book, making a miracle; but when God is BACK of a program, NOTHING can stop it; and that is the message of Jeremiah 30:18,23-24, 31:35-37, 33:5-22. God will not rest till He has performed this (Isaiah 62:1, Jeremiah 30:10). Here is the Israel, confronted, affronted, once glorious, degraded, to be restored, that unique nation, that primary lesson, that space for grace through the prophets, that centre for the saving work of the Messiah.
The wheel turns. The dispersion ended, Israel, its remnant restored, its place secure, will not be destroyed; but the world will be, all according to the word of God (Matthew 24:35).
Indeed, Jacob is to return (Jeremiah 30:7-11), having fallen away from the God whom he was famous for knowing. It is not someone else in view. Jerusalem is to rebuilt on its own mound (30:18). Nevertheless, the Lord will not leave them "altogether unpunished" (Jeremiah 30:11) in their return, for though they were repudiated from their former intimate relationship with the Lord as emphasised in Isaiah 65:13-15, and so unbelieving as a nation, suffered, yet brought back, the scenario is now sweeter (Jeremiah 31:21-37). The stripping and striping of Zion becomes prelude to restoration of this same defined and nearly deleted but devotedly restored nation, as so pointedly portrayed in Jeremiah 33:5-15, and unconditionally promised in 33:23-26, in such brilliant accord with Ezekiel 37 in its two notable stages (37:1-14), and harmonious alliance with Zechariah 12:4-13:1.
Was she stricken by opportunistic enemies ? Those who have plundered Israel, will be plundered (Jeremiah 30:16), devourers devoured. Just as the world makes mockery of Israel, God will overturn this internationally famous feature of the nation, "because they called you an outcast, saying: 'This is Zion: no one seeks her. '" History intact, on its own mound it is to be built (30:18), but not alone (Isaiah 19, Ephesians 3:4-7).
As to the last verses just cited, how beautiful, pleasant is the accuracy shown through Paul here, for the theme that
"the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body,
and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel",
was not absent in the Old Testament; but this aspect was not there revealed AS it now is in the New Testament where it is exactingly exhibited. So texts such as Isaiah 66:14-24 (cf. Ch. 4 above), and Micah 4, 5:6-7, with Psalm 72:8-14, 67:5-7, 22:25-31 show this communality under this same Lord of Jacob, God of Abraham, God Almighty, LORD, for ALL nations, and specifically show the relationship of Jew and Gentile in intimacy of joint enterprise, yet it was not AS it is shown so systematically in the New Testament.
In other words, the case of the revelation more restrained in this point in the Old Testament, yet there, and most manifest in the new, is precisely as the evidence show it to be. The apostle spoke indeed as in I Corinthians 2:9-13, with the substance of the revelation shown, and the words provided.
But let us revert to the glorious deliverance of an Israel, shown for example most pithily, despite its provocations, in Micah 5:3-4, Jeremiah 33:4-8. How brilliantly does the prophet identify in the name of the Lord, the stricken nation, in its depiction of Judah and Jerusalem, its tearing down to build fortifications, all in vain because of His judgment in the coming onslaught on the same; only to specify this,
"I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them
the abundance of peace and truth.
And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first.
I will cleanse them from all their iniquity ....
Then it shall be to Me a name of joy...".
He proceeds (Jeremiah 33:14ff.), to extend this notation to the so famous Zion that failed Him, the careless Jerusalem so treacherous, indicating a time to come when He will "perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah."
It is the salvation of Judah in the presence of the Messiah, the Davidic descendant also God in flesh (as in Micah 5, Isaiah 48:16ff.). It is not to be limited to this; but far from excluded is this consistent dealing with an exceedingly clearly defined body. Can this promise be altered, or can these promises be filed away in dreams, whether theological or philosophical ? IF you could entirely change the principles of astronomy, then it might be a consideration! Not otherwise (33:24-26).
To the Gentiles God has the same Gospel in the same body in the same Christ, after all sent first of all to act as their Messiah (cf. Matthew 15:26); but on from this to all (Isaiah 49:6). Thus ONE of His giant encompassment of grace is the prodigal ISRAEL in its dual return as in Ezekiel 37, in context 36-39 likewise; another is each person of ANY race brought home from his or her specific spiritual fall, failure and blindness; and a third is the sudden and vast nature of the naitonal shattering of the blinkering mask over the eyes of Israel, so that a large proportion come home at last (as in Zechariah 12:10-13:1).
Let us think about this feature of divine grace, and in particular, since we are in Jeremiah's writings, in connection with the Israel specific, its unique history so clearly defined, as one of the interlocking themes which in textual fidelity, we must open, with the others, all in place.
What then ?
If God so unburied Israel, slack servant and faithless chosen people, and this becomes a remnant, so does He deliver a remnant of the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6), who have broken the "everlasting covenant" as in Isaiah 24:5, where the topic is ALL peoples on this earth (Isaiah 24:4,15,19-20). Thus, just as God bound the laws that make order and meaning possible, so in their rash unbinding from the first (as in Romans 5), and to the last in the finale of folly (as in Matthew 24), when iniquity abounds, as if people were trying to have heart-attacks in outdoing each other in formal, functional and final evils: there is a final penalty. So two cresting waves go to their respective destinies, two-fold the Christian, multi-fold the rest to ruin.
The race (to rule the earth) ends, and the human race almost does the same; but mercy intervenes in the return of Christ, the restoration of His chosen place where He died, race to His side, and the extension of the grace to that race (Jeremiah 33:5-19), an elect body now in substance, as to many races and places with the same hand (Jeremiah 33:15-26), as from the days of the Acts of the Apostles. God does not resile from His promises: let us be thankful for His faithfulness.
He does not resile from His redemption, which is for Jew as for Gentiles (Gal. 3:28-29), nor is any to be exalted but the Lord, when the final race tape is met. It is met, not by a triumphantly glorious human race, in part or in whole, but by those WHOM HE KEPT, in His own name, through murder and martyrdom, till confrontation (as in Rev. 19) led to millenium (as in Rev. 20), and this in turn comes to the finale of all judgment from which all His people are covered (II Tim. 1:8-9).
As to the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:15-21), it is a little like a grand symphony in this, that it has its overture (dramatic enough for Christians in some nations now!, as for some time), its theme, repeated, and its coming coda, this of short duration of necessity, before crashing through all barriers, it reaches its peace. This in history, is Christ, having withdrawn His saints (Matthew 24:31), coming with them to rule at the crucial time of rebellion (Revelation 19:19), in a grand and decisive arrival, so that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:10, Habakkuk 2:14).
Ruling till this earth itself is removed (Revelation 20:11, 21:1), His truth vindicated (Psalm 72), His righteousness shown, His mercy incomparable: He is the Prince of Peace no longer neglected, though for long His peace was despatched if not altogether, then substantially from the nations, which sought to rule their own way, departing from Him.
When following this millenial tract of peace, and the final flair of irrational rebellion has been crushed, the judgment is made, from the book of works and from the book of grace (Revelation 20:11-12), then past all judgment, comes the everlasting haven of heaven. Here and now all who have loved His appearing (II Timothy 4:8), may behold His face in glory (Revelation 22:4), as a new heavens and a new earth (II Peter 3:12-13) show the reality of righteousness from the heart of mercy in the bounds of love.
Rejoice therefore, not in the USA or Great Britain, even though they were once enormous protectors in part of much that was Christian, before like ancient Israel, they fell into what is now an 'evolution' or devilution, of lawlessness (cf. Jeremiah 2:27, 3:22). Now indeed, this is even at the level of the design of the Lord for man and woman, in utter rebelliousness. In dynamic departure in increasingly incontrovertible national terms, now they fall as if it were a form of parachute training; but the air is yielding and the ground is hard. This is just like the case of ancient Israel, which however had a more specific national mission. Thus dreaming, they are making calamitous contrast with the way of the Lord Jesus Christ, King to come.
As to the nations, then, even some once with some zeal for Christ, most have become seemingly addicted to utter rebelliousness, like others in much, and just like that of ancient Israel, which however had a more specific mission. This was so that relief MIGHT come in the double acting redemption of the Lord, first in incarnation and death, with resurrection of the Messiah, then in the calling of a people for Himself, drawn from various streams, but in one current. till the earth yields, just as the body and government of man yield, to the righteousness of the Lord who made it, and man in it, to the spiritual laws of being, for all, whether for a given nation or any nation, which He has made.
Israel had a national mission (Isaiah 43:21; now the flare flames. Christians have an international mission - the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20, and in this later, Israel renewed will join as shown earlier. Never forget Matthew 24:14: "Then the end comes." There IS an end (for His people, vista to glory, I Peter 1:5-8, John 10:9,27-28); and it DOES come.
There is no defence against the LORD! but there is plenty of protection available from Him! (Isaiah 32:1-4, Luke 12:4-7, Psalm 116:5).
Be careful therefore, and do not try to hide from this world, but let your light shine in it, not like a soft glow merely, but as one in which things may be seen, and in this, so that all is of Christ (Col. 1:18, 3:11, Eph. 4:6) - and not of of some unknown or dreamed up origin! (Luke 9:26-27).
On the other side, all lairs and liars alike exposed, man without divinely donated mercy is left without cover, till confrontation. Again, as to the nations, did they not also in bulk, fail! Which has remained faithful, even which began ? Did not Gentiles also have a Gospel and teaching mission, for commandments (Matthew 28:19-20) ? Did they not also in bulk, fail!
But Christ did not fail, nor will He fail to return, precisely as indicated, even this same Jesus, and rule in vindication of the truth of life, where unruly violence is quenched for long enough to demonstrate the hideous nature of wilful sin when at the very gates of eternity, again there is a rebellion, short-lived, hallway to judgment.
Equally, on Christ's return, there is demonstrated the beauty of truth, the loveliness of peace and the necessity of the rule of God Himself, that man might live. Thus at last for a time the earth yields, man bows, just as the body and government of man yield to the Lord who made it, and to the laws, whether for a given nation or any nation, He has made. Then as in Isaiah 26:10, even at the brink of eternity, heartless wickedness splashes its futile dynamic, and meets a judgment demonstrably apt and necessarily final (Revelation 20:7-15), the anguish of guilt irretrievable from unremitted desert.
There is no defence against the LORD! but there is plenty of protection available from Him! (Isaiah 32:1-4, Luke 12:4-7, Psalm 116:5). Do not therefore try to hide from this world, but let your light shine in it, not like a soft glow merely, but as one in which things may be seen, and in this, so that all is of Christ (Col. 1:18, 3:11, Eph. 4:6) - and not of some unknown or dreamed up origin! (Luke 9:26-27).
Let us bring into this survey, Ezekiel 34, the chapter of compassion at its height (not unlike 33, that of compassion in its intensity and immensity). This Chapter 34 is precipitate about the then coming incarnation, while Ezekiel 33, especially as in 33:11, is inveterate in the lovingkindness and desire of the Lord towards His created race, mankind. Indeed, as in John 3:16-19, the latter is the divine ground of the former!
It is well to ponder its wonder rather than illustrate spiritual tragedy
as in Ecclesiastes 7:29, by
irrational rupture from it,
in wandering witless,
performing the blunder of a boastful belligerence towards God,
an indifferent hostility to His compassionate address,
a lurking negativity to His merciful challenge,
or a thankless and graceless ingratitude to the
that we might live and think and resolve,
that we might investigate, reason or rationalise,
till habits become slave-drivers and sin gains a crown;
or grace prevailing, we return to Him who made us.
It is well to ponder its wonder rather than illustrate spiritual tragedy
as in Ecclesiastes 7:29, by
irrational rupture from it,
in wandering witless,
performing the blunder of a boastful belligerence towards God,
an indifferent hostility to His compassionate address,
a lurking negativity to His merciful challenge,
or a thankless and graceless ingratitude to the
that we might live and think and resolve,
that we might investigate, reason or rationalise,
till habits become slave-drivers and sin gains a crown;
or grace prevailing, we return to Him who made us.
JOURNEYING INTO JOY OF HEART
OR THROUGH THE THROES OF DEPARTURE
The Staying Power and Securing Felicity of Predestination
And how ? it is by repentance and reliance on Him, who came to save us, but thrusts free in love, powerful in mercy, appealing though excluding violence from faith, which is contrary to it. He acts as we are made. It is indeed true that such is pathology of the human heart (Ephesians 4:17-19, I Cor. 2:14), that it now naturally veers from God, though not from imaginary gods who are manipulable enough. Nevertheless, though we be crippled, God knows we were made to walk, and though it is He who knows the heart now, it is also He who has known it, and knew it before time was, or man, or the first sin of mankind, or our current situation.
We are judged as those who are made to be able to walk, to discern, discriminate and choose, to erect standards of conduct or misconduct as guide, to ignore or to return to the Lord.
To trifle now in the presence of the supernatural God who has made both our liberty to will and our penalty for its misuse, is deadly; for there is no barrier to God, who can penetrate now, as before time was, any barrier, all pathology, and knowing, so apply the liberty He made and rescues. It is THUS that THIS is the condemnation, that light has come - even that of Christ in John 3 - and man has preferred darkness to the light (John 3:19). For that, he is always responsible.
But that is the dark side; to live in the light, which explains all things, written in glowing letters, shining in penetrating revelation, governed by God and converted through Jesus the Christ, this is the bounty beyond all normal hope, the work of a love which has DECLARED itself. It is well to ponder this and to act, whether to return to the Lord, or being His already, turning to Him, to serve with a joyful gratitude for what He commissions.
In this challenging situation, man has various powers ranged, in addition to his own sin. There are false prophets as shown in some detail in Jeremiah 23, who tempt, taint and delude, some themselves deluded past recall. There is the same devil who made such a work in defiling man as first created; there are circumstances; there is the threat from within, as sin squirms. For all this, however, there is safety in the Lord. Soldiers battle; so does the Christian; but then, he is stamped, sealed, appointed, predestined, every single one foreknown (as in all of Ephesians 1, esp. 1:4, 1:4, and Romans 8:29ff.). There is no need for Islamic style murder, on the one hand, to harass change duly desired, or on the other, inquisitorial torture for failing to measure traditionalised tests.
If a man is of the Lord, he stands, and though he tilt, yet is he restored (Proverbs 24:16, Jude 24, Ephesians 1:11). This is the way of the Lord, and truly, there is nothing like it.
REVIEW OF DEVELOPMENT,
LOOKING A LITTLE FURTHER AFIELD IN THE BIBLE
Frauds and Faith
Just as Micah reveals the manifold marvels of divine interposition in human affairs, which in the end, are merely the exhibits of the created race known as mankind, so Jeremiah produces from the Lord's mouth, the folly of the false prophets, the intense yearning of the Lord, and the way to the heart of the Almighty, so Ezekiel 34 joins Jeremiah 30-31, announcing the fact that God Himself will indeed make a project of nothing less than COMING in His very own BEING, as a PERSON in flesh, to do what the sinful pastoral pollutants so viciously failed to do. In flesh He will come - in fact as in Hosea 13:14 - come to redeem through His own direct personal action.
All these things combine continually, and in this Chapter, we have moved into the midst of Micah, and to a cleft in Jeremiah, just touching Ezekiel and Hosea, to gain a sense of the developing view, finding in the historical releases, a sense of the divine campaign, so that liberty might be adjoined to love, and fidelity with freedom, reality with understanding, and all this without coercion in a divine kingdom that will never pass away, the one that will not end (Daniel 7:14, Matthew 24:35), the words of whose King will outlive the very present character of this scene of trial, the world itself.
What then of such developments ? Let us concentrate on some facets.
Their significance arises closely from the fact that man, being made in the image of God, has an enormous field of action, liberty his blessing and fall. He may even elect to despise his Creator, even glorifying himself, as if he had something to do with the performance characteristics that God created in making him.
Faith and Responsibility
The self-determinative power of God, who is however eternal and has time as simply one of His creations, in itself, cannot be gifted to man. He came too late for that! being contained, but not unfree, conceived, but not compelled, in much. In time, he has been made, in that passage for events that WAIT, and require patience for their fulfilment, having authorship divine: it is this which has been made for man; and rising above these into total autonomy, unreserved power, is not something that can be given to man, since he starts too late and is made as he is, by sanction of the Eternal, direction of the Maker.
However, WITHIN the rule and reality of God, man has been made to have liberty, capacity to orient, to prefer. He both can be and has been gifted with a capacity to make gods, or hay, to be evil or to seek the Lord. He has greatly used this since the germ in Genesis, when that serpentine slitherer, Satan, wrought his grand deception. With this done, at once, God showed the spiritual redemption available in His own way (Genesis 3:15), one that met the deceit and duplicity, the almost comic tragedy of testing and trial and devastation as so mighty a creation as man was misled. It was rather like seeing what atomic power can do when misused. In the end, it has actually led to the use and abuse of atomic power, ready to stain the globe and ruin its habitability.
Man fell, in time. God spoke to the situation (Genesis 3).
What was His promise ? It was this. From mankind would come a descendant as to format, one in the human mould, who would have the power to crush the deceptive devil, whom man should have realised was false, since aat the first, he was directed to lead, not follow the creation. This adversary, Satan, devil, deceiver, king of lies (John 8:42ff.), could not prevail against the Creator who had given him his initial specifications so that he might so much as exist (Ezekiel 29). He sought ruin for man; he gained it for himself; but in the interim, many whom he invited, yielded. But his was not the last word; it was just a thrust in Act One.
Indeed, in due course at the date predicted (Daniel 9:24-27, Galatians 4:4), the coming of this Saviour, babe as in Micah 5:1-3, crucified as in Isaiah 53, Psalm 2, to be raised from the dead as in Psalm 16, as He then was (Acts 2), so that, to revert ot the figure, his "heel" might crush the head of this adversary, provided a huge trial and divine illustration. In man's format, God could avoid sin, arrest it, die for it, rise above it, provide eternal life, all as in a lab test.
He could, He would, and He did. How un-political that sounds!
in fact in a huge trial and demonstration (Hebrews 2), He overthrew in the very form of a human being, as God incarnate, what maimed man. Despite all His power, He endured the vulnerability and the weakness of flesh, in no mere authoritarian scenario, ot provide a path for deliverance. This however was only because of His incorruptible character, which though set in human form, could not be deceived (Matthew 4), though He was exposed as a kite to the wind.
Micah was inspired early to present crucial elements in this revelation, showing that this Saviour for mankind would be in fact the Judge of Israel, the nation chosen for His coming, and for the exhibition of man's sin and salvation alike, Himself constituting it (Matthew 20:28, Titus 2-3). Not only so, He would assuredly be none less than Godhead, eternal in action and being, there from everlasting; moreover, as Isaiah showed (Isaiah 7,9,11, 32, 40, 42, 48:15ff., 49-55), it was God as man in the most categorical character who would do this without any glamour (Isaiah 53:2-3), and in entire duress, thus delivering in truth AS God, man as man, from his weakness. Exemplar and Saviour alike (Hebrews 2), His word held and His truth overcame.
No mere privation would be the test (Matthew 4), but a violence linked to contempt that tested for pride, superficiality and will to endure (Isaiah 53:7-8). Moreover He would be struck on the cheek with a rod (Micah 5:1), as man disputed truth with force, as so often since, resulting in Israel's exile (Micah 5:1-4), and despite this, their return. This very fatal flair of man, to dispute truth with force, was met by Christ's dying BECAUSE He had done no violence (Isaiah 53:9). It was also because He used NO DECEIT. The spiritual squanderings in lies and deceit were as far from Him as the East from the West. Thus those midget morals of man smashed into what did not follow their loathsome bondage, masquerading as power. Therefore He made His grave with the wicked and the rich.
Micah gave much toward these things in prophecy, his words linking freely with others from, other prophets, in that grand symphonic presentation that God has made for man and toward all, in the Bible.
To Jeremiah we then looked, for here two phenomena bloom into existence in this arena.
Firstly, we see that the format for man comes through a virgin (as shown above, indeed in Isaiah (Isaiah 7, 9, Matthew 1), in a prodigious divine act (Jeremiah 31:22, I Timothy 3:16, John 1), leading on to the victorious presence of this same Saviour, the Messiah (Psalm 2), on earth as Ruler (Jeremiah 23:5). It is, one may notice, FOR THE EARTH, that He so acts, as in Psalm 2 and 72, Jeremiah 23.
That is found in Jeremiah 23:5-6, with more of this world-wide genre in 33:15-16. It reaches Israel intimately; but the world ultimately. It was always for all nations (Genesis 12). Israel was a funnel and a functionary, and it DID provide the prophets, however badly it came, as a nation to fall; though equally, many in it, such as apostles and initial thousands, were functioning in the very foundation of the Christian Church (Micah 5:4, Joel 2:28).
It is this, His redemption and return, that will be occasion at last for the Gentiles, the other occupants of this perilously pounding world (Micah 5-7, Isaiah 2, 59:20, 65-66). To these others, these like ourselves, Gentiles, not chosen for the place and grace of having the Messiah come at birth there, who yet have available the same glory (Micah 5:1-3, Isaiah 11:10). Indeed, in Jeremiah, in a sharp vignette, we see the Gentiles at last coming to rejoice, realising that their former philosophies and religious vagrancies had been just that (Jeremiah 16:19-21,Colossians 2:8,I Cor. 1), and that in God, the only God, the unchanging God, was their hope and the truth which rejoices the heart (cf. Isaiah 11:10, 60:1ff.).
Secondly, this King, crucified as in Psalm 22 and tormented to death as in Isaiah 53, is associated with an entirely new covenant (as with the virgin prophecy, so this also is in Jeremiah 31), a gift which would internalise the covenant, so that as many as found God through it, would be godly within, not as in formalistic mis-functioning, often dysfunctional situations of mere externality, but by change of innermost nature.
This time, it is not Moses on the Mount who as intermediary, brings the word of God to associate with the power of God in the Exodus and beyond; but it is Christ on the Mount, in His famous sermon, and then on the cross, in His famous salvation, vicariously suffering for the sin of many, who offers, as in Israel's Passover, High Priest, redemption for pardon for all: though of course neither peace, pardon nor redemption came except to those, as many as they would be, who received Him (as in John 1:12-14).
Indeed as I John 2 points out, there was an offering on behalf of the whole world; yet as Christ indicates in Matthew 20:28 and Isaiah 53 in vv. 4-6, it narrows in efficacy to the believers, to many. You can be offered as many cheques, potential drawing rights as you will, but put them in the bin, and there is no counting for your coffers!
It is indeed as in Matthew 26, a ransom for many; but it is ALSO for any who calls upon the name of the Lord who sent Christ, the Lord who was sent, one God, one salvation, one Gospel, in faith.
Let us stress this. As the High Priest used to offer the blood of the Lamb in the sanctuary FOR all, but effective only for those by faith receiving it (cf. Deuteronomy 29:11-20), so without change in proceedings, but intensively concentrated in meaning, was Christ offered. King in compassion. On His return, He would vindicate truth, having shown in thousands of years, the folly of any alleged alternative, by which man might steal the glory, and set up for himself, like a child taught to control a household by computer buttons, dreaming of glory. Control! man's lack of control begins to resemble someone in a labyrinth, to which new complications are added at each step. It is like an atomic breeder. State up the wrong process, and it is the Almighty whose ways you witlessly challenge. All you gain is loss, for it is your own Maker and your own composition that you fight.
How Jeremiah laments, appeals, in the name of the Lord, and with what imagery. It is the testimony of the truth of love, that it is so. Look at the magnificent simplicity of the offer to Israel in Jeremiah 17, or the prophet's thrust of heart into lamentaitons day and night, in Jeremiah 9, the imagery of Jeremiah 2:13m a cracked well for living waters, and 18:13-14, leaving natural snow waters of cool purity, for indiscriminate quenching of thirst.
In this compilation of vignettes, we find much from Jeremiah 30-32, with reference also to Jeremiah 33. The blending as in the norm of the Bible, not only merges without loss whether with the Psalms, Isaiah, Micah, Joel, Hosea, Habakkuk, but brings a fruitful combination, a fruit salad of delectation and inspiration, instruction and revelation.
Just as. moreover, Satan tried to destroy this Saviour, vulnerable in the flesh for His work of redemption (Romans 3:23-27, Revelation 12), so before His coming, did false prophets act to destroy the testimony of God, to Israel and concerning Him, as in all their delusive substitutes of their own ideas for the word of God (as in Jeremiah 23:20-29), they tested the people. As with students cheating in exams, many followed the responses of others, in fateful folly.
For all that, the word of God in the midst of this writhing scene of deception and declaration, evil and truth, announced as did Isaiah 11, that the Saviour would come at last as King (Jeremiah 23:6, 30:9,21, 33:14-16). Indeed, the writhing torment of truth-tarnishers, the false prophets, had a heritage in the very day of Jesus the Christ, in the form of schools of 'thought', those of the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Herodians, each contributing to the cultural muddle, available then as now in its own formats, if you like that sort of thing, which damns. HOW Christ denounced such (Matthew 23, Luke 11).
How Jeremiah stressed, having shown the folly of heeding false prophets, empty containers who sound from nothing (Jeremiah 23), that in the end, this phenomenon of fraud, false presentation of what is not from God, as though it had some kind of divine honours, that in the end of the Age, this evil would be shown to perfection (like charred lungs for a smoker). Such is the warning of Jeremiah 23:16-20).
After all, such could not stand God as shown by their failing to tolerate the word of God, incarnate, Christ Himself (John 1, Hebrews 1-2).
The prophets, like a giant and explosive thrust from opened reservoirs, released such a torrent of waters, that it was enough for generations till the Lord came, whose work and word has been enough, till the Gospel Age end comes, the Age folding up like obsolete aircraft passing away, so that just as in the day of Jeremiah, fraudulent prophets disadorned the nation of Israel, so now they disadorn the whole world.
The loss to Israel was for a long time (Hosea 1-3), but not eternal; that for the world is for ever. It is time to realise it is all a huge panorama, a series of exposures, growing brighter and vaster, like photos conjoined by the latest in technology, to make one comprehensive picture. The stain and the salvation alike are now so pronounced, like an advanced cancer, or a beautiful symphony nearly finished. They are like different worlds, the one filled with freshness of life, the other with decadence of dying.
It is time to make sure that your preference is not for frauds (John 3:19), but faith in the revealed and verified word of God
(cf. LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST,
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS),
and through this, with purity and resolve, in the Lord and His Christ.
To become part of a long and decaying disorder in history, called unbelief, is scarcely a destiny to be desired. Truth without duplicity or futility, in the abundant mercy of God (Isaiah 55), is infinitely to be preferred. We are so made that it may yet, even this glory and this wonder, be dismissed from the mind and destiny of those whose hearts are not broken, as in the case of the hard soil in the parable of the seed (Matthew 13). In vain was the word of God to those whose minds wee set on trust in themselves or their merely natural appointees.
God has long told one and all: Let the gods who did not make heaven and earth save you! (Jeremiah 10:11).
"The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth
shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens."
It is all too apparent that they can save nothing, not even themselves (cf. SMR, TMR, The gods of naturalism have no go!).
Judgment, as for an examination paper dwelling on butterflies when the topic was steel, is inevitable, where the topic of truth is derided, or even deemed meaningless, which however itself would be meaningless, if this were true, in contravention of its own idea. You cannot even USE truth to deny it. It is constitutionally not available; for the case is this, God made man, man made mischief and the Messiah made a sacrifice for his restoration. Judgment is the name for pertinacious persistent, undying desire to avoid this only avenue of mercy, or to bellow at God, that you insist on another.
You give apple pie to a beggar, and he insists on rhubarb! What would you ? He is taking himself too seriously and the facts not seriously enough.