W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page What is New
"COMFORT YE, MY PEOPLE!"
After the Night, the Day,
The Day of the Lord
The night comes and then the day, the Day of the Lord.
Call to the Comfort of the Lord
with good Reason
Rev. Dr. Robert E. Donaldson
World Wide Web Witness Inc.
ISBN 09751761 -1 -0
History is not having hiccoughs. Nor is it a heart attack, for it has long lost its heart, because of the players in the game. It is facing the Face which made man, with whose offspring under divine control but not compulsion, history happens.
History is drawing near to that Face, and finding it harder and harder to face it.
That is the Face that last time it tried to efface, as men thrust it and shoved, seeking to find survival or even glory in the process. It is not effaced. This is the Face that sees the sin of man, who tries to hide it, explain it ('I was sick,' 'he deserved it' or 'it was in my genes'); but sin is not effaced. Genes do not construct spirit but body, and body is not forced to think hate, to seek its own glory or to embark on a thousand inane activities because its spirit is sodden with psychological goonery, like a blanket drenched in alcohol
(cf. News 45, Lord of Life 5, News 166, 153, Licence for Liberty Chs. 6, 8,
Beauty of Holiness Chs. 7 , 8, Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 13,
TTT 10, Ancient Words ... Ch. 9).
Does the drawing room create its participants ? or is society found in the liver ? is the power to think the making of thoughtlessness ? do cars control their drivers because they are strong ? or does the realm of thought in its misfire capacity, derive from the unprincipled interaction of atoms ? Does logic grow from motion ? or is validity an offspring of action ? Does will find its source in the willed, the controlled, or is the defiance of law its product ? (cf. Little Things Ch. 5, It Bubbles ... Ch. 9).
It is one of the joys of being alive in this twenty first century that the madness of man's spirit is seen with ever decreasing radii in its circling, to be forced to face its well-loved lunacy (cf. Hosea 9:7), the disease which arises in the heart, infects the mind and finds its channel from the rebellious spirit. It will say literally ANYTHING in order to find escape from responsibility. It will tell you that we are all responsible for irresponsibility, and that we should according act to curb it, change the universe, and invest it with what is found by magic and to be exported by motion. The invisible realm is the source of the thought, the criterion of its validity, but it is being denied by invisible means so that visible facts can be the ground of escape ... the invisible ground. It argues for invisible reasons with invisible validity for valid results, and is altogether in such a contortion, distortion out of all proportion, that it is better than any One Act Play, glorying not in the sufferings of its infirmities, but in their nonsensical effusion. Boundless in the groundless, it yet tries to stand its ground, as the world erupts with wickedness and threatens to end because of it.
In the midst of these urbane antics, the truth without which none of these reasonings could even possibly be valid (cf. SMR Ch. 3, TMR Ch. 5, Repent or Perish Ch. 7), continues the real source of the otherwise inane assurances of man's philosophies, and it continues to judge, as it has always judged.
The Maker of Man is on record to come, and that shortly (Answers to Questions Ch. 5); though just how shortly no one is permitted to know (Acts 1). The Headmaster does not broadcast his itinerary as he walks about the school! But he comes, oh yes, he comes... (cf. Matthew 24:36-51, I Thessalonians 4). He does not wait on ceremony; the ceremonies are His own. Last time He came to this earth, man took charge of the ceremonies of indictment, the controlled convictions, the lavishness of lashings; this time, having given to man his head, the Head of all mankind gives to man his due.
It is precisely here that the COMFORT comes; but it is not like the food of charity, handed out without regard to the recipient. The love has been more like that, in that it has not measured itself, but has been infinite (cf. Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2, Matthew 23:37); but now the justice is as the case requires; for that is the nature of justice. It is never good to be naked in its hands, for it does not move, carved in truth: never is it good to be there, that is, except where there is first the comfort of the merciful heart of the Judge. This does not destroy truth in order to be kind, but destroys presumption in order to be true. Hence there is nothing but comfort for the repentant believer who has acknowledged this assessment - death is your merit - and taken the remedy, the Redeemer Himself; and nothing but that discomfort which truth breeds for the self-acclaimed, who are too good to return to their Maker, to ascertain the terms of the Redeemer, and so short-circuiting mercy, find judgment unswerving (cf. Proverbs 1). It is not a thing to be desired, but much of this world seems infatuated with it.
"Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
‘How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
‘Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
‘I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
‘Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
‘Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.’ ”
More COMFORT is to be found in this, that those who are NOT in this blessed condition may readily find it, in repentance and realisation of the truth, accepting the Saviour and owning Him Lord, receiving His words and resting on His works (Ephesians 2, Luke 6:46, Matthew 7:15ff.), becoming inheritors by grace alone (Titus 3:4ff.). It is no mere aristocratic attainment; it is a plebian promise, to one and to all; yet there is no promise in its rejection. This promise you cannot break, but by it, you may be broken (Matthew 21:44).
Comfort in that ? Certainly: for the truth is clear like an arrow, coursing deftly to the target. You deny the Truth of the Lord, whose word alone is self-attesting in all history, in the excursion (the first) of the Messiah ? So be it. It is there. It is not lost. Turn again and receive it. You do not wish to ? This is in one sense glorious, the delicious creation of liberty. So be it, if your preference is that darkness which is the logical outcome of refusing the Light of life (John 1, 3), then while this is lamentable, it is not as if some strange thing had happened to destroy you. You destroy yourself.
In all of this, there is comfort. In the world's woes, this is even one measure of comfort amid the outrage and the horror, and it is this: that it is as sin brings it to the hearts that know no repentance, or invent gods of their own. They cannot save. That is why they do not do so. That is why history is what it is!
Comfort ye, My people! says Your God (Isaiah 40). The race is nearly run; the human race is being dehumanised because it is has forgotten its God. It may well breed iniquity as if there were some new invention, some SPIRITUAL cyclotron, ever faster spinning the atoms of sin in the flurry of turmoil. Was it not similar in the worst days of ancient Israel (cf. Isaiah 5:2-7,18-24) ? Let not the Gentiles boast (cf. Romans 11:18ff.). They are no better than the Jews. Many Gentiles for their part are trampling underfoot the blood of Christ: that is, eccentrically essaying to depart from the remedy, and doing so with sin irremediable, if it has its course (cf. Hebrews 10).
So be it: let us who are His love and seek if by any means many more may be found in Christ. Yet be comforted in this, that He has found you, has the answer to history, and in Himself wears a crown which was not made with diamonds, but freely given by the human race, first Roman and Jew, and latterly, by the nations which ignore His protestations, despise His pity and make their road abominable. They have Road Maps and in justice, Cat Naps; but this does not heal, nor does it follow Him whose word rules (cf. Overflight in Christ, Ch. 6, Galloping Events Ch. 4).
Such grandiose humanistic plans, wrought in man, devoid of divine right, these will not remain. The free rein of history will be terminated, by a reign manifest, and now overall despite the degradations of misused liberty. The end comes; and in this is the ultimate comfort, for then the One whom the Christian has known all his or her spiritual life, becomes manifest on earth, and to His people in heaven; and then at length the very earth departs, as one that is weary. Then the beauty of holiness, which had informed a million sunsets, a billion flowers, tribute to Him who made it, no more comports with the consequences of the curse, let alone its worship, as if discipline were deity or punishment peace!
So we proceed in the very house of peace, in the way of holiness, in the paths of purity, in the domain of righteousness, though this world lurches; and the comfort of the God of all comfort is enlightened by His word, which happens constantly, history heedless of its constraints but still in hand, it conformity to His biblical prophecy more sure than the sun which rises. Not only is it more sure, but it is blowing like sea breezes on the heart which knows Him, unspoilt by the dizzy environment, unsoured by spiritual evils innumerable, clad with love, filled with kindness. Who would not rejoice in such a Lord, whose word rules, whose rule is love, whose gift is grace, whose donation is life eternal! (cf. I Peter 1:5ff., Romans 5:1-11, John 10:9,27-28).
THE DIVINE PRE-ROGATIVE
What is right
Where truth, mercy and justice abound
WHEN TRUTH JOINS HANDS WITH REASON,
and staring into the eyes of MERCY,
with PITY SMILES
Dumping principles and Demonstrating Moral Nudity
The Effects of Sleep and the Blessed Dawn which will Awake!
The Australian, December 11, 2003
GOD ONLY WISE
but many seek to spend wisdom like children's pennies, on muck
The Advertiser, December 10, 2003
NOT HOMOGENISED 'LIFE'
BUT THE BRILLIANT FIRE OF GOD
WHO FORMED IT
Channel 2 ABC TV, December 15, 2003
THAT COMFORTS THE MIND,
BLESSES THE SPIRIT
AND BRINGS THE SENSE
OF THE TRIUMPH IN CHRIST,
WHOSE ANSWER IS UNFAILING,
WHOSE TRUTH IS SECURE,
WHOSE WAY IS RIGHT
The Explosions of Spring in Isaiah
A New Coverage of Thrust in the Book
A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE OF COMFORT
THE SON OUT OF
INTO THE LAND OF HIS LOVE, AND HIS OFFERING:
THE WORLD OF HIS OFFER
THE WORLD COURT RUNS THE RISK OF BEING
THE WORLD CAUGHT
The Advertiser, Dec. 20, 2003
THE NAKED AND THE LIVING
WHAT A MAGNIFICENT START
Going with Mark 1:1-34
for the New Year