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August 26, 2012 2012
AND HUMAN OPPORTUNITY
David was a king. Before that he was a youth and a boy. In these latter two phases, he had courage to protect a flock from bear and lion. In the manhood prior to king phase, after being anointed but not yet appointed, he showed great resource and considerable courage facing an army. Yet from the first in the very early confrontation with the giant Goliath, he trusted in the Lord, had awe of His name, considered with God that nothing was impossible, and reaped contumely as a consequence, as well as fame!
In due course, in the service of Israel at the King's command, he became so famous that he was in danger of envious vying, the people being carried away with the power of his youthful zeal in the armed forces, so that to them he outshone the King himself. As you see in Browning's poem on Saul, and directly from the Bible, Saul was no bunch of peaches when it came to a quiet and humble disposition. Alas he strayed under stresses, till repudiated as a rebel I Samuel 15:22-23), his temporary dealings with God appearing almost the work of a dilettante. to the point that in the end he sought forbidden communion with his erstwhile mentor, the prophet Samuel, even seeking to interview him via a witch, brought back in spirit, from the dead.
Saul is the type and perhaps a prototype of the modern false prophet, filled with a sense of appointment, with a sense of mission and commission, but slack on the will and the word of God, speaking much, but veering sharply (I Samuel 10:6-10). Like a poor skin-graft, this new heart did not quite 'take', and the tissue of royalty became poisoned. As in Hebrews 6, he appears to have experienced many things in the stream of his consciousness, but not to have been grounded, and so confounded, even Samuel rebuking his attempt to communicate, after that prophet's death, with him. He may be one who tasted, but did not swallowed, experienced but did not close, opening the eyes, but then wore dark glasses.
David, butt of Saul's envy, in his increasingly disordered and disorganised royal mind, became accustomed to slander, ill-will, persecution, which the Christian may find at times, almost his daily bread! With thousands in pursuit of him, David learned by experience, the meaning of obedience. It is as when Presbyteries, affronted by confrontation for their doctrinal decline, seek to exterminate someone's good name, a close equivalent to murder, and others may take heart to vent their condemnation likewise, for after all, it salves the conscience to blame someone for something, even if he be innocent, for then a sense of guilt can be partially disjoined; and when guilt lies heavy, this can give temporary measure of relief.
As you read Psalm 69, verse1-6, you see what a calamitous condemnation can do, when it comes from seedy spirits and reckless spirits, ensconced in power, but not in holiness! To call someone a fool, said Jesus, brings you close to negative assessment; and to slander ? it is, says Proverbs, the work of a fool. Inventive as is the human mind, it can make new people out of old, by mere verbiage!
A true pilgrim, then, David met undaunted the haunts of evil, and their unfragrant emissions, as he was set at nought, thus becoming a type of Christ, exhibiting this aspect in common with the Messiah. Indeed, he was like a stranger for, though called and commissioned by the Lord, he became as one without home, but the forests and the fields, the rocks and the boulders, as he was hunted down by the many. This shows the TYPE of living for which the Christian must be prepared. You are not to maunder about when woes and wickedness accrue, like interest in a billionaire's bank account; but to meet them at their spiritual level, with spiritual pesticide, casing down imaginations, theories, false doctrines, the evil clamour as did Paul (II Corinthians 10:5). Here you reject and rebuke (as necessary - as when Paul eventually turned on the fortune teller who was naming him - Acts 16:18) and drove out the evil spirit. Again, you bear with it with patience, as necessary (cf. Proverbs 9:8 with Proverbs 19:25).
Pilgrim among men, he was no stranger, however, to God! The Psalm give an account in many places that the Lord is his rock, sanctuary, fortress, deliverer, recourse, resource, the One whose power operates because to Him it belongs, who can draw out of many waters, and rescue the perishing from above, from the toiling storms (Psalm 18, 55, and with a parallel from elsewhere, at Psalm 42). Not only so, but David was the biblically depicted forefather, in the aspect of the flesh, of the one who would bear the Messiah as a son, and thus of that Son in this very way, so that "to us a son is given," as we read in Isaiah 9, it is He whose kingdom will never end, He being in a list of credentials, wonderful, counsellor, the mighty God (Isaiah 9:6, 10:21), depicting the very Father Himself. He knew God, and God knew Him (cf. John 17:1-3), on earth in subordination as the sent Messiah (John 829), in heaven in equality (Philippians 2:1-12).
From this same David in prophetic prelude and forecast, came Psalms of great spiritual scope. They appear on the bodily resurrection (16), preceded by the Messianic mission from heaven (40), and the interval on the cross of salvation (22), just as he leads on, as the Spirit of God inspired him (I Peter 1:10ff.), to the time when judgment smites the earth, when the arbitrators and judges who were the blight of the right become the blighted by the Judge (110, 2).
If you MUST be a transient on earth, because heaven is your home, is in your eye, its principles in your heart, its unction in your function, its impulse in your emotions, its King in the centre of your personality, then though great may be your suffering, yet on solid ground is your joy, which is inexpressible and full of glory (I Peter 1:7ff.). Truth being personal and original, it is like that, loving those who love Him, as with wisdom no less (Proverbs 8, John 14:21ff.).
Now let us be graphic with Psalm 69, another from David, in which the galling horror of false accusation reaches the appalling degradation where the guilty blast the innocent, and in this case, kill Him, His mission to bear sin, and not merely shame it by example. Instead, the task was to ransom from its cost in exclusion from divine acceptance, by meeting the curse with the cure, so that penalty borne, peace could gloriously be transmitted in the freedom of the covenant, the new one in His blood. Just as to faith it is given, so by power, purpose and purity, it was achieved, that it might be free!
Salvation Sought from Deep Waters
As the Psalm commences, we find David in spirit is standing in deep mire, and hence, there is for him in this world, there is no standing. Such for long was his erosion and derogation.
Amidst all these evil endeavours, their butt, there is a great weariness which enervates, dissipating strength, as in verse 3
Those who hate without cause
are like an army,
demanding what has not been taken (verse 4).
This does not posit sinlessness or anything like it. David for his part makes no such claim, though he disjoins as he may, hates as he should and seeks separation from it, as he must.
Yet the vehemence is gross, and this distortion which tries to brand for any real or imagined misdemeanour of heart, is merciless and hypocritical.
Intense is his desire that under no circumstances will he compromise the people of God verses 5-6.
Salvation Bought by Reason of Redemption
We begin that soft merger into the very words and predicted experience of the Messiah to come, concerning whom David often is inspired, and on whom he often muses (II Samuel 23:2). Now it is of One who desires that none stumble because of Him. Why ? It is because "for Your sake, I have borne reproach!" (7). Even his relatives tend to disown him, and "zeal for Your house has eaten Me up," as in 8. His mother's children are as alien to Him (this prediction fulfilled in such testimony as that of John 7:5, cf. Mark 3:21). Hatred of God, altercation with the Almighty (cf. Job's history) on the part of many, is now handed to Christ, its crushing tumult to be borne, till the very air of the Cross seethes in its hinterland, purged in His Person. With their nasty twistings of truth, they prepare alas their own selves for calamitous outcome of their folly.
IF, said Christ, they do it to Me, they will do it to you. The servant is not above his Master. So at this point we see the prophetic centre and Grand Central Station of life, indeed its Creator (Colossians 1:15, John 1:1-3, 8:58), the Messiah becoming a byword, a mocking song source. Riled by his grandeur of spirit and power over sickness, evil spirits and death itself, abhorring repentance, they downgraded mercy to death. Taunting Him on the Cross, they exploded with all the sin which had made the Lord Jesus Christ intolerable to those for whom truth as such IS intolerable. In such ways, as they abhor what is good, revile what is redemptive, mock what is merciful, there is shown their complete immersion in the lie! (II Thessalonians 2:10). So does Psalm 69 proceed from verses 7 to 16. His cry comes in verse 17.
Proceeding from Psalm 69:18 to verse 21, we find the culmination of and in the special and unique set of circumstances which are not only historically fulfilled, but vast in their impact and central in their significance for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the perfect fulfilment of the Messianic. Let us however pause at verse 18.
"Draw near to My soul and redeem it, deliver me because of My enemies."
Capitals are used here because of the direct flow from here to v. 21, certainly Messianic, capable of no other rational interpretation.
The sin blasted Him like a nuclear-tipped rocket, both in spiritual antagonism to Him, and in the crucifixion, as paralleled in Psalm 22.
In retrospect, 69:7-8 shows His rejection, as if
like Haman, His face had been covered,
ready for execution!
As to the sin-blasting (like a spiritual sand-blasting), you see this in Psalms 69:2--21, 22:13-16, 35:15. Here is both the exposure of what sin's nature is, and the cost to redeem from it.
"The reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen upon Me,"
both in transferred hatred and as in Psalm 69:20-21, and in the vicarious bearing of guilt in predicted sacrifice. Thus the consignment of this cargo leaves the cry:
"Reproach has broken My heart,"
as in Isaiah 53:4-6. Psalm 35:21-25 gives the cry for vindication, in the midst of which 69:6 shows the desire for the kingdom. Psalm 69:16-21 is the call.
Clearing Divine Accounts
How does and can the Father righteously vindicate Him (35:24-25) cf. 69:22 ?
He even was pleased to bruise Him! (Isaiah 53:10).
How vindicate Him on whom the squalor of seas of sin sat, laying claim to Him, so destroying His body, but only to death, not to inner disaster! in experience, yes, in status, no! He had to be raised up, freed and pure, without fault. There was in fact infinite ground for it.
First, it was because as in Isaiah 53, He had poured out His soul to death, made intercession for the transgressors and was numbered with the transgressors, even to the point of bearing sin (Isaiah 53:11-12). No sin was to be found OF Him though much was placed ON Him; and He did all things with a passionate completeness which shone like a search-light, not only illuminating the sky, but exposing the evils that sought to bring destruction from evil powers above.
Thus in entire righteousness and utter love and profound pity, He had done all, soared past all restraint, being authentic, had completed as Messiah the entire program of divine love in sanctity and consummation. In this, He accredited Himself again, who already had eternal accreditation by nature (Philippians 2). Righteousness had indeed "looked down from heaven," as in Psalm 85:10, and in unstoppable zest, met every quest; and it was for man that it came, clad in flesh, incarnate, impervious to sin and imperial over it. It attested truth and found its mark in Him, the very centre, flower and efflorescence of divine righteousness.
The payment made being sufficient, the death could not remain, or retain a hold over Him (Acts 2:24); and having in His body paid (cf. Colossians 1:21-22, 2:14), with His body He rose, the exhibition of innocence, victory and just acclaim. Here was the attack barbed in barbarity, and here it was rebutted in disparity, the divine displacing the mortality of sin.
Pronounced authentic in action, Jesus Chrsit was thus covered by the Father's decree, giving warrant to His integrity. In that sense, He was redeemed from the transgressions, His own sin JUSTLY accounted as zero, the death having thus due, fully paid signals placed on the sins of others who would take Him, where faith-acceptance enabled transfer. To them the transfer is made (Romans 5:17,II COrinthians 5:17-21)).
What despised His death, despised its own mercy, and so received nothing (John 8:24), leaving averted life irreparably misaligned. That was the reward of unrepentant malignity, and burning ignorance. God on His side, SO loved, but when man preferred darkness (John 3:19), the love was unimpaired, despite being unreceived, and the Redeemer Himself was delivered from all harassment, for only ONCE ONLY did He suffer, in preparation first, and then in payment; and as to that, it is finished (Hebrews 9).
Death, since He did bear sin, could savage Him, but
His own soul
nothing could touch:
experience could desolate Him
(Psalm 22:1 in prospect, Matthew 27:46 in fulfilment),
but reality rejoiced over Him
(Psalm 69:29-30. 22:21-26).
In the resurrection of His body,
He was declared to be the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4),
vindicated, magnified, accredited
as Saviour whose intercessions continue (Hebrews 7:25).
What as if believing, yet departs from His self-defining righteousness
has another christ, another gospel,
not the One who died for sin biblically defined by the word of God,
not the One divinely authenticated in the rupture of death,
till the rapture confers the wonder of His glory on all who have received Him.
Meanwhile, many innovators, in realms moral, spiritual, move
with fraudulent zeal,
for a forlorn by-product,
creation of man, a perpetual prisoner of their minds,
which in turn perpetually imprison their deluded spirits:
the sin He died vicariously to cover, they love to uncover,
at times even with the gall to use His name.
Their sordid christs exist only in
the mind of those
in the business of making gods (Deuteronomy 32:17),
while many divert
to secular quasi-constructions which never work,
and are liable to be paid for in the end,
in bloods, tumults, depressions, confusions, mayhems;
or to groundless principles, creating nothing,
bred by imagination without foundation,
providing modes of working in what is introduced by magic,
that they might work in it,
a contribution from nothing,
equipped with all the accoutrements of reason
ready to be revealed in it,
so that it might thus be described,
when research at length surveys it:
so making logic as marred and scarred as the Lord,
in this episode of wilful unreason
(cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7, News 57),
ignoring the causative force and wisdom of Him,
from whom, with its results, it is all made to flow.
Their hapless and unhallowed antics
were exposed in advance both
by Peter (II Peter 2),
and Paul (II Corinthians 10-11, I Timothy 4, II Timothy 3-4).
Of the Rock that begat believers
they are unmindful,
just as Israel was!
and have lightly esteemed Him,
even though God "raised Him from the dead and
gave Him glory so that your faith and hope are in God."
THE RUIN IS THE SAME AS THE RESTORATION, BUT MORE IS ADDED
God leaves nothing to chance, but runs on pre-organised tracks
Indeed, they were already laid down a millenium before Christ travelled upon them.
On this, see I Peter 1:20-21 with Luke 24:34 and ponder in the latter, the word "FOR"! WHY should they handle Him and see ? that it might be clear it was indeed Himself, well-known wonder. Then what is the conclusion ? it is that He is no spirit, FOR a spirit does not have flesh and bones. How does He reinforce this ? It is by saying this: "as you see Me to have!" It is obvious; it is testable; tests invited; results are clear, as confirming sight.
HENCE we find in Psalm 69:22-28, the other side of His necessary suffering, so that mercy should serve love. Just as massive was the price Christ paid, so massive is the price of the neglect of His offering. What was needed is vast; what is left is vast no less for those despising redemption, or applying for it to a god who is not there, made by man!
How vast is the tumult for such. The price THESE THEREFORE PAY is seen in typified in 69:22-28, though here it is specific to direct treachery, which has many brothers.
As in Psalm 22, with the work of redemption finished, the Messiah is now free to praise the Father who sent Him in the subordinated and vulnerable form of a man. Since this was a vast undertaking as broad as the human race (I John 2:1ff.) in its offer and desire, "the humble shall see this and be glad," Psalm 69:32). How well the Lord for His part showed that HE did not despise His prisoners, those caught in their own sins (as in Isaiah 61:1-3).
This will apply to a greatly visited and restored Israel not least (as in Zechariah 12:10-13:1), for as in Romans 11, there is to come such an end at a virtually national level, to spiritual blindness that it will be an eye-opener even to the Gentiles!
To many, it has come already as in Psalm 69:32, as in Psalm 22:30-31. The entirety, striking faith, produces praise, liberating an ongoing generation to attest this, as there foretold. Forever will their hearts live (Psalm 22:26, 69:32).
And great is the ruin of the transient, yet for those who know God as He also knows them, saved by grace for their place with Him (cf. Daniel 12:13, II Corinthians 5:1ff., John 14), their redemption, prelude to bodily resurrection, prelude to the dismissal of the old heaven and earth and the generation of the new (Matthew 24:35, II Peter 3, Revelation 20-21), birth by His divine seed (I Peter 3) becomes growth even amid the weeds. They do not however share with them, for just as death silences man on this earth, so resurrection raises his immortal soul to its due immortality, dismissing "corruption" as healing removes the wound, till you do not know it was ever there, looking at its former site! So does corruption yield to incorruption, and mortality to immortality.
With God, even the inglorious can become glorious, when the temporary ceases to be the temporal, and the eternal takes it full place, tests over, trials complete, the fashioning of all an accomplishment now, some delighting in His grace, some preferring their own disgrace. God has long been importunate with man, while man frequently finds it inopportune to come, to be won, to be made worthy by the attribution of the divine righteousness as a gift, to spread like a benevolent bush-fire, intent not on ruin but restoration amid a fresh growth, yes and in this, a fresh world, heaven and earth.
The old one, in a little time when all this is done, will have had quite enough!