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THE DIVINE INITIATIVE
Rev. Dr. Robert E. Donaldson
Published by World Wide Web Witness Inc.
What a delicious topic, initiative which is divine: the work of deity, the option of the omnipotent, and attainment of the omniscient, the work of love, the testimony of truth, the eventful execution of thought, the majesty of the mind of God set forth, HIS choices...
It is not only intriguing, awesome, it is one art show which is compulsory to consider, not for the impulsive moment merely, but for life.
The stage for man is set. It has the groundless follies of flesh, infatuated with its own follies, the tedious provenance of hypocrisy, interested in its own navel, in the midst of a naval battle of epochal proportions, hideously irrelevant, just as it possesses the lusting lordliness of those who temporarily seize power, and in their over-heated egotism or idolatry, are like seized engines, heat and peril alike abounding, till their fatuity is finished, and their follies laid bare.
In Jeremiah 12, we find the prophet expressing his confidence in the Lord, in his dealings with Him, but under constraint to ask why so many flourish, though oppressors, whose treachery appears to bring abundance, whose fatuity takes root as if to stay. Why ?
The Lord tells him in effect, that if he finds these eventuations of human liberty oppressive, these results of sin's options all but intolerable, there is yet more to come; for even his father's house, he will find unfaithful, unreliable, treacherous. In fact the whole nation is in the turmoils of final judgment for the entire generation, and there it is because it has been spoiled, like a vineyard, invaded by foreign cultures, and these invasions have come to its heart. It is as with many a nation today in our own world!
What then is the Lord's answer to Jeremiah ? It is to point out the overview of the situation and the results of it to come!
What does He then say ? It is in fact a sentence on a spiritual seraglio which is in progress, and individual arisings in the process are but the prelude to a doom intense enough for any. The real question is what divine initiative is to be taken. As to that, the Lord in that day of Jeremiah, was about to remove both Israel and its sinful neighbours in a vast judgment (specified in Jeremiah 25 as to the nations), and He would then restore Israel, and give scope for other nations to return, but He gives a caution. These nations will have to realise that it is a provision so that they may seek the Lord. If not, the final result to come is to be inveterate, insoluble, with judgment to the ultimate.
Divine initiative is to create, to redeem, to warn, to offer, to act in founding the ground of the faith in incarnation, redemption and resurrection, to give scope so wonderful, adventures so magnificent, a universe so enthralling, that though it be cursed for its cunning and unfaithfulness, yet it has testimony to the wonder of God that even that same curse does not cover up the glory.
For all that, if the curse be taken as a disappointing exhibit of caning for gods, would-be gods, presumptuous man, and man continues in his sulky and specious way, in his meretricious performances and his devastating distortions, in his idolatries and wilfulness: then there is an end. First there is an end for Israel, but it is delivered; and again later, it comes to an end (Luke 19:42ff., Mathew 24:1ff.), but again, it is to be delivered. Then there is to come an end to this entire world system, from which it too will be delivered, in the midst of flagrant judgments on flaming sins, for a season in the millenium; and then it too will face the finale. One and all will face it, except they repent.
The divine initiative is glorious, the rejection given it inglorious, the faith has the solution, the infidelity can only marvel, and curse, or whine, or become intoxicated as it is to this day, and inherit the curse the more, that it might defame the cure, and continue to the end.
There IS an end. That is another masterpiece of divine initiative; for not for ever will the poor be ransacked, the just afflicted and the honest the object of thieves, of reputation, or goods, of good name (Psalms 9, 72). Yet in the interim there is test for all, for in the very nature of the case, heaven is not for headiness, and the kingdom of heaven is not for hatred, vying or self-centredness, and none COULD live in heaven with such paraphernalia attached!
Thus Christ has indeed taken the initiative in noting that you have to forsake all to follow Him (Luke 14:27ff.). Would a babe insist on the womb, and on not leaving it, and yet look for life if it could ? So it is impossible to have it both ways: you trust in the Lord and follow Him, based on His salvation and following His information, or you trust in your own skill, will, or forgetting all, simply fling your hopes into the pit of seduction, and follow them to their place.
Praise God He took the necessary initiative, so that NO ONE need go to that place of estrangement, where the subjective stealth becomes the objective stench, the odour of death of the spirit that loved to be sullied, and would only trust in itself. His prime initiative is not to come. It has come. It is not looked for; it has arrived. What one must now look for, it is the results of that initiative, and these ? they are His second coming, as King not Crucifiee. We who are His and have loved His appearance look for this, as man for the dawn, and rejoice that it is coming, as the mother the birth of her child. But this, it is HIS child, the child who was born, on whose shoulders will be the government, whose name is called wonderful, the mighty God, Counsellor, of whose kingdom there is no end (Isaiah 7, 9, 11, 61), whose payment is adequate (Isaiah 50-55), whose love is inviolable (John 10, Romans 8) and whose purity is a joy to behold (Psalm 19).
Transience and Eternity
Genesis 1, John 1, 3, 6, Ephesians 2 and Ecclesiastes
THE DEITY, THE DISMISSAL AND THE DEBACLE,
THE DIVINE, THE DELIGHT AND THE DELIVERANCE:
Part II of III
ABANDONMENT AND ACCESS
DISMISSAL AND DELIVERANCE:
SPURIOUS OUTCOMES and GLORIOUS INCOMES:
THE SPIRITUAL INVASION OF
AND THE DEFINITION
with reference to 4
THE BIBLICAL TRUTH AND
THE SPIRITUAL EVASION
The Loveliness of Love
and the Unspirituality of Shove
THE WISEACRE, THE WISE ACRE
AND THE PLOT OF PEACE
REPLACEMENT MODELS ARE TEDIOUS DREAMS