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Bruises are Disorder: but By Design
Blessing is Order, and With Purpose
Celestial Perspectives for a Scorning Earth
October 29, “Uncovering
Getting Behind the News to its Spiritual Sources
Psalms 82-83 and the Curse of Consequence
Aided by Human … Creativity
INTIMATIONS OF MORTALITY
Psalm 82, that chestnut of perverse misinterpretation that turns dire exposure of pompous folly into some kind of accolade, with 83, provides a valuable insight into the ways of the Lord, which in turn explain the whole nexus and relationships of this earth.
There is nothing particularly difficult about it, except sin which blinds, provides vested interests for confusion and inherits that species of disorder which is discipline, or worse, rejection, whether for a nation, a system – leprosies of the body, the spirit or the mind. In Psalm 82 you see the field. What is to be seen there ? Presented to the viewer is the outrageous self-satisfied contemplation of power and importance, the self-importance of man, of flesh, of the disenchanted.
Disenchanted ? Yes, but not with themselves. They gather. They faces, their countenances are grave, filled with an internal accolade to their pride. Power walks in with them; and with them, it recedes as they depart!
Unseen, in the midst, however is God. HE is judging the judges! HE knows what each one of them does in private life, the oppression, the pride and the supercilious assumptions of raw power, of being in charge, as if God were no more than a stage whisper, while they roar. Hence, ”they do not know, nor do they understand. They walk in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are unstable.” The term for ‘unstable’ is ‘moved’. In other words, such is the woeful folly of their prestigious ways, even before God, that there is no strength, no security, no future for such emblems of arrogance. Their secular humanism, touched perhaps with a tincture of religion, yet without faith, it is a parade of the pseudo-piety of pomposity, a horror of blindness. They ? in their own eyes, they are the operational ‘gods’!
What then ? God has already been assessing them for He “stands in the congregation of the mighty” or the gods. “I have said, ‘You are gods’ ”, is pronounced in derisive contempt, in His accounting of their disastrous courses of inflated conduct; but there is a judgment from the Judge of all, and it is this, “But you shall die like men.”
One may ask, But how could Christ have used this psalm to refer to His own declaration that He is the Son of God, if it is ironic ? In answer, one must realise that the very sort of thing being done here, was done to Him. HE as God, WAS actually and physically in His human format, standing in the midst of the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees, the great and the mighty mockers whose sanctity tended to stop in word, and end without deed, their faith often being, in James’ term, “dead”.
That irony is now applied. If men, in just derision, might be divinely mocked for their pretensions, in being characterised as ‘gods’ parading in blind ignorance in the very (unseen) presence of God Himself, how much more might the contrast be made when God Himself has taken the trouble actually, AS one of them in form, to be in their midst.
Then and of course, if the aspirations of the human heart to be gods were to be an allowable diction, expression, since after all it is but a perversion of their being made in His image, then how much more is the actual GOD who in spirit was ‘standing’ in their midst, to be called by His divine name when now in human garb He was there Himself! (John 10:34-37). THIS is the ONE allowable exception for a man to be in the guise of a ‘god’. It is when GOD becomes THAT MAN in incarnation.
Here then is a double irony. If in irony God could call them in derogation of their pompous pretension, gods, gods who would however die like men, then how much more might He who IS God be called by His name, when still unperceived, as He always had been in such gatherings, though they might use His name, He was there in their midst!
In effect, this became a sort of atomic bomb to sleepiness. If the mocked pretenders should have such a name, only to be exposed, what then are YOU when I am in your midst and you do not even know. If they did not see the invisible, YOU do not notice the visible. If their eyes of faith were shut, what is happening to your eyes, which have no optical power to see their own God in their own form, and miss the infinite in preoccupations not only of the mind, but of the very power of sight. What blindness is this! And that, of course, is precisely the sort of impact that you have in John 15:21ff., where it relates strikingly and directly to judgment. What ELSE could it well do!
This presented them with the usual dilemma. Christ had what they lacked: blazing spiritual sincerity staggeringly linked to immense and invincible spiritual power and peace, fatally associated with a discerning eye which X-rayed the heart as if it were an open book. They were vulnerable before Him; unstable in their foundations. He simply WAS, went on unimmersed in deceit or pretence. They could not touch Him.
Yet… His body ? After all, He was in a human form.
Did not that give to the carnal strategist an
idea ? His body could not be invulnerable, or He COULD not be a man. Hence from time to time the little idea of showing that they really WERE gods, could DO things, occurred to them. You see it in John 11:48-51.
The people concerned for the traditional additives to religion which was substituted for godliness, precisely as in the Romanist case then to come, COULD not abide such a man. He had to be moved about by their power, whether to the cross as then, or to bread, as allegedly now*1 (despite John 6:60-62). It struck to the heart of their religion and their cold political craft, bent by their own wisdoms on political and religious survival. You get the same thing now: a denomination makes concessions, say on creation, on separation, in order to keep most of its people happy. It dies and the shell lives.
Hence the High Priest decided that the ignorant among the church goers should be educated. In effect he was as if he were saying:
Ø Fools! Don’t you see that there is no problem at all. To be sure, this Lazarus having been raised from the dead is inducing a ground swell of absolute adoration and worship of this Christ, but we, the ecclesiastical back-room boys who know how to handle things, the gods, we will simply do a little arithmetic. What ? one man ? only one to die so that we might all be safe ? A piece of cake! Let’s do it!
There is no point in trying to dignify crime, or to elevate asininity! They thought they were as wise as cobras, and perhaps they were. The poisons of this earth are one aspect of the curse, of the putting of good things – like beneficial bacterial workers – into a form, format or place, a function or an adaptation which brings their potency for good, to bane. You need means to do it, this curse: God chose to adapt things, not a little.
It happens in the heart of man, by his own will and contrivance, as with Caiaphas, and shows the curse in the conduct. It happens in the mind, and shows in incredible confusion of thought, not a result of poor mental equipment but of a distorting spirit, which is the third field of curse. It happens in the will, where the contrivances of folly are blessed with academic, political or military pomp, and sent forth like bands of locusts, ideological locusts, to consume. And they do, they do! The last century has seen them swarm in Europe, in Japan, in Korea, in Afghanistan, in Africa, where they are now developing special new stings; in Yugoslavia in particular, with its enduring results of the vast holocaust wrought with the Croat-Nazi works of slaughter (cf. SMR pp. 951-952. and and horror of Stepinac’s involvements.
It circles from Saudi-Arabia, it convolutes like a dust-storm in terrorism, where by recent report, al-Qaeda, with plenty of access to money, some possibly Saudi, can come to a local terrorist what ? enterprise ? and say: Join our anti-Western ideology and there are funds for you, my boys *2 Hatred seizes the rampaging hearts of the ‘gods’ and they seek to act as if they could control the earth, chanting now ‘Allah’, One, as if the invention of a god using the very name of God could in some way dignify the myth (cf. SMR pp. 829ff. and Ch. 4 above).
“I have said, ‘You are gods,’ and all of our are children of the most High; but you shall die like men’ ”, Psalm 82:6. There is the divine contempt for arrogant pretension, as if one could make one’s own gods, or be them, according to taste and style, and then seek rampaging, to cover the earth with your will!
“Arise, O God. Judge the earth: for You shall judge all nations,” the Psalm ends. ALL nations are the inheritance of their Maker! The gods, we recall who did NOT make the heaven and the earth, who did not show themselves in word or deed, these will perish, yes and be famished, under the heavens and in the earth (cf. Jeremiah 10:11, Zephaniah 2:11). These blusterers and their religious manufactures (cf. Deuteronomy 32:15-19) who exported their fallen ways to wayward Israel when it found divine rebuke for its straying, they continue to this day, and in the same areas.
The restoration of
the Jew to
A ‘sound infection’ ? Yes that is the way of it. The foundations of the earth are indeed shaken, for the good has got a new name, evil, and the evil a new name, good. It is as in the topsy-turvy ways of Isaiah 5: and as to that, God hates it.
All of this will get its come-uppance. It hastens. The nations are becoming like a test plane exceeding its limits, and while Mugabe in ex-Rhodesia ensures famine by removing catastrophically those who farm, without too much thought to the farming capabilities of those who replace them by the gun (which is not a good plough, lacking power in that dimension), Africa aches with Aids, which is no help. It adorns its medical hindrance with the political, the military, the social. It forms an investment in evil. It exhibits the curse in its various dimensions.
Man does not like it; but he adds to it, now in this way, dimension, depth and horror: now in that! Now in this continent, abusing its special powers, now in that. So the disorder, the disorder of discipline working in the disorder of sin, equipped with nothing less than the judgments beginning to mount on the judgable, this continues till the crescendo and the coda come. It works, but WHAT it works seems disastrously ignored, worry replacing repentance.
The curse is looming on the lordliness of man; but there is more.
THE BENEDICTION WHICH HAS POWER
The Lord does not cease to be good because He is just.
Thus in Psalm 82, you see this in the last verse, concerning the Lord: “You shall judge all nations.”
In Isaiah 45:18-25, you see this in its blessed composition with mercy.
“For thus says the Lord,
Who created the heavens,
Who is God,
Who formed the earth and made it,
Who has established it,
Who did not create it in vain,
Who formed it to be inhabited:
‘I am the Lord, and there is no other.
‘I have not spoken in secret,
In a dark place of the earth;
I did not say to the seed of Jacob,
“Seek Me in vain”;
I, the Lord, speak righteousness,
I declare things that are right.
‘Assemble yourselves and come;
Draw near together,
You who have escaped from the nations.
They have no knowledge,
Who carry the wood of their carved image,
And pray to a god that cannot save.
Tell and bring forth your case;
Yes, let them take counsel together.
‘Who has declared this from ancient time?
Who has told it from that time?
Have not I, the Lord?
And there is no other God besides Me,
A just God and a Savior;
There is none besides Me.
‘Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall swear.
‘One shall say,
“Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength.
To Him men shall come,
And all shall be ashamed
Who are incensed against Him.
Lord all the descendants of
Shall be justified, and shall glory.” ”
Consider what this provides for mankind.
v There is found
v a) the creation,
v b) the power,
v c) the word of rectification,
v d) the rebuke to false religions,
v e) the counsel to look to Him to be saved from the sin,
v the babel of voices,
v the confusion, the profusion of contusions, the bruises of the disorders which arise from discipline and deviation mixed,
v and the call to receive the goodness of the Lord, freely.
v This brings justification, the divine declaration of righteousness, so that “in the Lord” do you have righteousness as in Isaiah 27:5, where you have to ‘take hold of’ the strength of the Lord,’ in order to ‘make peace with Him,’ and 52-53, where He who is Lord, yet bears the iniquities of the lost for whom He is the sacrifice and the restitution, the mighty God (cf. Heart and Soul, Mind and Strength Chs. 4-7).
Amidst all this judgment, is vicarious atonement for man, through the Messiah, murdered and mighty, life over death, being its source and origin, Himself taking to the fray to flay folly and restore the beauty of holiness into man, freely pardoning, fully undertaking. That is the clear message of Isaiah 50-55, and all of the New Testament. It is for the Jew, for the Gentile (Isaiah 49:6). It is one, as the race is one; and its solution is one (Galatians 1, Ephesians ). There is no one else to give it, and there is nothing else to have.
THE REALISM WHICH HAS SOLUTION
Just as Israel must RETURN to the Lord, so the Gentile must COME to the Lord, by faith in each case, to the one Lord, the one Gospel, that of grace, where through HIS knowledge Christ the Messiah, justifies many, but not all, by no means all! (cf. Isaiah 53:10-12, Matthew 26:28, John 8:24, Ephesians 4:4).
Of ways, there is one example and prototype, one performance and one paid-for highway. Of works, there is but one that counts (Romans -27, Galatians 3, 5), that undertaken and finished by God Himself (Hebrews -28); and the folly of imagining otherwise is like trying to invent a new system of thought, in which logic has no place: BY LOGIC. It is methodologically insane. As it is such, be assured, man is likely to have tried it; NOT because of a lack of power or talent, but because of carnal disorders, the feverish fretfulness of sin (cf. Ecclesiastes , Hosea 9:7).
If man then fails to repent, then there is likewise to be expected in due course, the divine dealing of discipline. In joint disharmony, but to one purpose, this purposive disorder and this divinely wrought rebuke engulfs man, as the Gulf waters engulf the shipping which runs into missiles. It is not that the ship is not well-made (the work in man’s body alone is exquisite cf. Psalm 139 and the findings of science 3000 years later), that focused for man in the image of God.
It is not that anything is wrong there; it is rather than it keeps hitting things, or vice versa, or both!
Meanwhile there is a special
The whole intemperance of imagining that because Israel has offended against the Lord, that therefore others CANNOT do the same, and are in some inane way immune, is like someone having an inoculation for tetanus, imagining that there is nothing to fear in cancer! (cf. Ezekiel 39:25-29, but see also 39:22!).
Psalm 83 must now bring us its correlative teaching.
This brings in this theme in a way which is regionally and historically endemic.
Ø “They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of
Ø “They have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You …
“O my God, make them like the whirling dust…
And frighten them with Your storm.
Fill their faces with shame,
That they may seek Your name, O LORD…”
There, in those days before the Messiah came as sacrifice, there was not the broken covenant, one which God nevertheless is to honour (cf. Ezekiel 36, SMR Appendix A). Now however there is a NEW resolution as in Deuteronomy 32 and Romans 11, Isaiah 66. It has all the force of the old; but a new application to our times.
Thus, the time
eventually comes when a restored
Trifling with man is one thing; trifling with God is another. And when God, as is the case, loves His people, Jew or Gentile, and seeks the lost, the situation for the oppressors, whether the oil-rich, hatred-fed jihadic invaders (for it is only an indirect form of invasion with which they make war on Israel to this day), or other, this is not improved by the sheer insolence of the spiritual insolvency which makes of riches, as if a divinely blessed credit, the means of oppression.
Notice however in the latter part of the above quotation from Psalm 83 (bold), that there is more to it than that. Far more!
PART of the spiritual reason, the divine program for the coming deliverance, sought in this Psalm, the escape from the hateful invasions, the multi-national invasion counsels, the conspiracies, is that those guilty should
Ø be ashamed and
seek the face of that actual Lord, who more than
Their prey wrested from their wrestling, they are abased. Such is the realm of sin in general, unrepented; and such is the glory of the Lord that He should yet find concern for the aggressor and seek for him as for the victim, now escaped.
Hence love is the One; hate is the other. Construction is the end of the curse, through its being borne for all who receive this exemption; but unbelief is man’s insistence that he himself should bear it. Alas, poor manikin, he is unable to do so; and every tick of the clock of history merely confirms that this arrogant pretension is the acme of disorder.
It is, however, purposeful disorder; it is an option instead of blessing.
Such is man. But God, He also is as He is. As the one seeks in passion the disorders which come from alienation from the blessed One who overflows with blessing (cf. Micah 7:19ff., John 3:16), and in some slight measure gets them (compared with their deserts for such violation of the One who became vile in appearance that the villainies of men might be pardoned); so the Other seeks in passion the cumulative blessings which come to His people, Jew or Gentile, saved from this mordant sin or that one, as from all sin.
The day of grace, as
it is called, that of unwarranted kindness coming from abundant compassion and
provided in love, is drawing to a close.
Is it not then lovely to find the age-old realities, way back in Psalms 82-83!
Of course you see them in their setting. This, it is only one of the multitudinous marvels of the word of God (but coming from one Mind, what would you expect), that everywhere all the time,
§ it relates,
§ it inter-relates,
§ it resounds,
§ it picks up this signal and amplifies it somewhere else, always in phase, in harmony, and with a fascinating fullness in the eventual resultant, when you follow the leads, which is like a symphony past all symphonies:
with its parts,
§ its theme,
§ its sub-themes,
§ its variations and
§ its instillations of topics with an energy and sometimes a poignancy all but unimaginable,
§ its codas,
§ its message,
§ its lilt,
§ its passion,
§ its coverage,
§ its interlocking grasp to the heart of man,
§ its analyses,
§ its syntheses,
§ its originative power,
§ its elemental force, its personal polish,
§ its fundamental consistency,
§ its persistence,
§ its abundance.
These, in theme and variation, are exultant in Salvation offered from the Source of man, to the source of his sin:
his wayward heart.
as noted previously, and in early times by a Christian martyr (recorded in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs), if Christ’s body really were intended to be bread, then in breaking it, He would be committing suicide, since He was indeed in the genuine form of man as a compellingly necessary part of the plan of salvation (Hebrews 2).
There is no escape.
If HE MEANT break = action on His own body, then He BENT and snapped that body. (He would of course have had two in that case, which is contrary to human specification and defiles the incarnation.)
If He did not, then making of bread a thing to be worshipped (in any case forbidden in the 10 commandments), is idolatry. Since He died ONLY on the Cross (Hebrews 9) and ONLY ONCE: then it is idolatry.
Words cannot overly condemn this distortion, which adds to the shame of sin in making a thing of spiritual repugnance, not merely physical horror, out of the very act of Christ’s redemption. It is rather like worshipping antibiotics instead of using them. You have the name, the access and the knowledge; but you misuse even all of that.
See SMR pp. 1088Bff..
CNN October 29, “Uncovering
The wheel turns. The discipline of Israel soon grows into the discipline of her tormentors, detractors, the ‘gods’ who know no obeisance to the word of God, ignore and despise it, dealing as if they had actually made the territories, and as if for that reason, they are under their control, diplomacy and jihad jabbings. You see this in the utmost drama, not to say justice, and with no small measure of divine retribution, in Deuteronomy 32:39-43, Micah 7, Isaiah 66:10-16, Habakkuk 3, Joel 3 cf. Galloping Events Ch. 8, including *3).
Like all the rest that comes, this will come. One can only in the love of Christ seek that those who follow this course of disaster, might find a better way, a sounder spiritual solace, one that works wonders and not woe. It is to be found where it has always been discoverable, in the One whom God has provided, in a word which does not vary, but remains like its Speaker, one and the same (cf. Psalm 90, Malachi 3:6 SMR Ch. 1, pp. 1080-1081, 809), filled with the grace of redemption, of vicarious atonement, of free pardon, and the direct and personal, individual knowledge of the Creator-Redeemer who having come to man, seeks men to come to Him.