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WISDOM MADE YOU AND IS NOT SILENCED
THE PERILS OF SPIRITUAL PROFITEERING
Find wisdom. This is the crucial question.
Solomon correctly emphasises this.
In Chapter 1 of Proverbs, he shows wisdom crying in vain to the autonomous who regard its protestations as needless, while heedless they go to their unrewarding non-rest! Look at Proverbs 1:20-23, and ponder its delicacy and bounty! Wisdom is like that, delighted to impart, solicitous with concern. You see this in any natural work of mankind, where the mother considers her babe with investigative tenderness, the father with ascertaining acumen, the coach with alert analysis of the sportsman's play, the teacher with an eye of perception for the student's understanding.
"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.' "
Then, with this amazingly bountiful offer on record, not the least part of which is the last, where the point is this: TURN at the correction given, "Turn at My rebuke!", and what ?
THEN the spirit of wisdom will be POURED OUT on you. As if this crucial feature is not enough, gaining the very spirit of the utterance, perhaps the most demanding of all in any field, and the most crucial, wisdom proceeds to redouble the efforts, declaring that its words will be CAUSED to be known!
Let us ponder these promises. Turn at the rebuke, repenting and turning in faith to the One who speaks correctively from heaven, providing for need, and what then ? Then "I will make My words known to you." It will be caused to happen - spirit and word in combination alike ensuring understanding. There is assurance of this result. Power will operate, personality will be endued, changes will occur and consequences will be made apt for a new standing and understanding that goes with it. You see more of this in Proverbs 8:34ff., as in John 3.
What bounty! How lovely! What glee to receive such an assured gift as this of wisdom, in so friendly and intimate a style as this; and that not reluctantly, but with passionate concern!
What a marvel is that! It is one thing to ponder, cogitate, meditate, consider, pause, and renew one's efforts to grasp some theme, but to have it put into words, this is like lecture notes, having it easy. Yet then again, to have a tutorial class in which there is the definite work of MAKING it known, making the words to be grasped, comprehended and apprehended securely, this is the height of liberality, joy to the seeking heart. One remembers a university course in which one did particularly well, in which the lecturer seemed rather odd, to say no more. Hence one missed nearly all the lectures, but had a large body of lecture notes and an excellent tutor who made the things known. The case, then is not unfamiliar.
However, despite this lavish offer of wisdom made in Proverbs 1, there is an uncouth, a rude (in the old sense of unrefined, untutored), a rough and unthinking sort of answer. What then is this response ?
In essence, it is this. Not in the least will we have you, wisdom! God, says the spiritual fool, can keep His wisdom, His help and anything else He has in mind (not inclusive, of course, of the body, mind and spirit of the speaker, who seems to imagine that total control over these abides in him or her, despite the perils such as the occasional jaunt of some car over the median strip, in the face of oncoming traffic).
Like a war--time profiteer, such people USE what God has provided, to advance their desires, indulge their preferences, secure their situation and utilise the resources, as if there were no war, no Creator and on responsibility. However, the war and the witness, the wonder and the power of God are all present, and ignoring them is no more effective than ignoring a squad of 1000 bombers over European skies, during WW II. It is not merely the power that confronts, it is the skies that convey it, the reality behind it, the ignorance which is neither tidy nor true.
There is cost in casting discretion to the winds, reality to the ruins and truth to the dust-can. It is symbolical only now, in this, that it does not alter its actual placement, any more than spitting in Europe would have removed the bombing squadrons where justice aloft, meant destruction below.
The symbols however are indices of realities. The word of God is like that. The letters are combinations of symbols, but their meaning is consequences in history, plus or minus, blessing or cursing, abating or exacerbating, rest and redemption or ruin and bathos.
Moving on to verse 32, then, one finds this:
"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 ..."
For convenience, we look at this response in the above three sections, A, B and C.
Attributing DISDAIN to the unreceptive sportive type of person, who has "no time for all that", wisdom using scorn at such scruffy refusal of spiritual understanding by what, after all, is a spiritual being (cf. Little Things Ch. 5, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, SMR pp. 348ff.), replies. Surveying what is to come, it declares to the point: When your calamity comes, wisdom will laugh!
Now you may think this undue scorn, but you see it. Someone with great promise callowly and with a sort of callous indifference to GOOD and VIRTUE and USING your gifts, if not also to humility and serviceability, will reject the good path of development, and follow perhaps pleasure, or preference idly found, or instead, a cynical indifference. Such a person may then act as if life were one's own invention and one owed nothing to anyone, let alone its Creator (cf. TMR Ch. 1, SMR Ch. 1, Secular Myth and Sacred Truth Chs. 1, 7, Wake Up World! ... Chs. 4, and 5). Withering scoffing, or witless intemperance, lofty disregard or even specious disdain is found exuding itself from the eye. It scorns wisdom.
When, then, the reality comes home that an undeveloped piece of dough is far from the cake it might have been, there is a certain irony, as self-exaltation, chameleon-like, turns into realistic dashing of dreams.
So wisdom scorns the scorner. Wisdom is too high for a fool ? Is folly to be exalted ? Is this the testimony ? Yes, but then not of truth! Truth hurts only when reality is rejected.
You might say, Oh but why did not
wisdom allow the foolish person to come back,
even at that late stage ?
It is perhaps because in this presentation we are facing the TYPICAL rather than the TOPICAL case. It is the one where THIS IS THE SITUATION from the rebellious, and THIS IS THE RESULT. In fact, if there is repentance, as was the case even with Manasseh, a king of a wickedness which, on the negative side, is like the obverse of the case of rubies and sapphires, one of truly startling magnitude in the abysmal. Yet into this chasm comes transformation, even for Manasseh; and restoration of heaven bathes the arid earth of his soul with divine vitality. Exuberant Spring replaces Winter, and the cruiser of vice becomes the contrite canoe of lowliness.
When the king called, the Lord heard and delivered him!
You see this in II Chronicles 33:10-13 (that is the deliverance - his prior history precedes this text!).
"And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen.
"Therefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon.
"Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God."
Let us revert to Proverbs 1. They will, says Proverbs 1, of the unrelenting and unrepentant, seek the Lord even diligently and will not in that case, find Him. Why not ?
Following the concept that this is the classical case, that of the type of rebellion, we see the ultimate fruit of it all. God will not listen to a merely superficial cry of pain, not backed by faith, in this erring and erratic scorner. You see that case in Hosea 7:13-16.
"Woe to them, for they have fled from Me!
Destruction to them,
Because they have transgressed against Me!
Though I redeemed them,
Yet they have spoken lies against Me.
"They did not cry out to Me with their heart
When they wailed upon their beds.
"They assemble together for grain and new wine,
They rebel against Me;
Though I disciplined and strengthened their arms,
Yet they devise evil against Me;
They return, but not to the Most High;
They are like a treacherous bow.
Their princes shall fall by the sword
For the cursings of their tongue.
This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt."
(Emphasis added for our present point, to make it easy to see.)
The 'cry' is here not from the heart. Trouble comes, cry responds, but it is of pang, not of repentance. Still is the same heart throbbing in its own throes. It is avoidance programming, not actually coming to the Redeemer, to Christ (cf. Proverbs 8).
With God, author and origin of truth for His creation, and Himself the truth, superficiality is not real, and its edicts do not prevail. You might say, What about the word diligently concerning their seeking, observable in B above ?
This too one finds. Just last night someone who had seemed to come to Christ, but did not, apparently the case of the seed in the shallow ground (Matthew 13), in Christ's parable, at that time at any rate, appeared on our doorstep. Soon he was in tears. He had played the fool, had left his jobs, had drifted, had indulged his cultural desires, had become 'gay', and so on. Yet he felt that deep down he still 'believed', and assuredly the pangs of hell seemed to him in no need of expression by another.
Yet when the issues of repentance arrived, instead of romancing, there was a tendency to shelve, to diverge, to divert even. Who knows how the Lord will act ? We will plan to do what we can this morning, but he plans another 6 months of going here and there ... It is, then, perfectly possible for someone to seek the Lord diligently, but not with the heart. It is possible, and all too easy, to be intent and even intense in seeking, and yet not to add the full weight of desire to this psychological scurrying. Alas, there is often a HIDDEN AGENDA which of course CANNOT be changed!
Why cannot it not be changed ? It is because the preference of the renegade heart in such cases, is quite fixed, neither is there yielding to the Lord not to the truth; and if there is any feeling, it is of woe and writhing, not of wisdom and return. They remain in this instance, like a treacherous bow: do what you will, it will not be corrected. Its heart is where it is, and not about to yield to anyone or anything in any way at any time and for any reason.
The Lord comes in second place, now, perhaps, rather than at the rear of the runners for the prize of one's heart! Yet of what avail is that ... He still does not hear; for what is there to hear! There is no cry from the heart, for it is otherwise engaged; and it does not plan to break off its engagement.
Let us hope it is not so in this case; but there are cases enough where it is so!
Now we must ponder the next stage in the development, in C.
One of the worst results of folly is this, that you can "eat the fruit" of your own ways. What could be worse ? You have not only CHOSEN such ways, but now in all the intimacies of the historical developments in your own life, you TASTE them, in the mouth, in the intimacies of your life, and after all, are they not sour! Was it not folly to choose such a barren path!
Not only so, if they are unprotected by divine aid and strength, unstirred by the ever present divine grandeurs which one finds by His Spirit and in His works, in one's own Christ-directed and enabled life and in the marvels within all creation, and in His saints, they are like chaff blown by the wind (Psalm 1). If the eyes are closed to specifications and the sluggish spirit is yet asleep to all that is deliciously divine, then one finds that the 'turning aside of fools', the useless vagrancies of others caught in the follies of culture or the failings of kingdoms, commercial or political, philosophical or psychological, even these are too much. Such trash will triumph over them!
What is cheap, this is the domain of the present inheritance of such persons, and this is fatal, mortal, inept, barren, or even increasingly invasive of their lives!
So does the world treat its very own! Faust found the rewards less than splendid; and so they are.
Indeed, it may come to the point that those who are barrenly complacent, rapt within their cotton wool wrappings, spiritually dissident from deity and cultivatedly self-assured, that these will 'slay' the rebellious, as when the USSR (with indeed no little 'help' from the great Allies) was able to act as a victor over the far more cultivated Germany. In the grip of all but inconceivable arrogance, led on by Hitler, that land lost its grip and itself became a prey, just as it had made the Jews a prey.
To be sure, this is just as prescribed in the Bible, but it was a lesson in philosophical madness, was it not! Jeremiah has it, and has set it forth from long ago, the principle involved, and even to this hour there are many who still have to learn it, and they will find, they too, how barren is this rebellion against reality. What reality ? That GOD IS THERE and has a WILL and is - He who created speech in man, and logic for it, and expressiveness beyond it - QUITE ABLE TO SPEAK!
What then is this word of old from the prophet Jeremiah*1 ? It is is this, as in Jeremiah 30:13-17, and it is speaking to Israel, having first excoriated that nation for its follies before God.
" 'There is no one to plead your cause,
That you may be bound up;
You have no healing medicines.
All your lovers have forgotten you;
They do not seek you;
For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy,
With the chastisement of a cruel one,
For the multitude of your iniquities,
Because your sins have increased.
" 'Why do you cry about your affliction?
Your sorrow is incurable.
Because of the multitude of your iniquities,
Because your sins have increased,
I have done these things to you.
" 'Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured;
And all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity;
Those who plunder you shall become plunder,
And all who prey upon you I will make a prey.
For I will restore health to you
And heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord,
‘Because they called you an outcast saying:
"This is Zion;
No one seeks her." ' "
How amply this describes the situation. Some one might say: NO ONE SEEKS HER! Why, the USA so seeks her that al Qaeda seeks and devises plans for the extermination of that protective Power, presumably the better to be enabled to eat Israel! With due regard - though not respect - to the most inflammatory and mordant words of the al Qaeda leader, that is, the human side of the leadership of that body, we find in all of this much of the fulfilment of prophecy in Revelation 6. On this, see Lord of Life Ch. 8! Death stalks, ruin seeks prey; the earth heaves in mordant fatalities as a theme and a topic! So is the disease of disbelief becoming the pathology of the spirit and the anguish of the mind, and with this, the ache of the heart.
However, as to the objection concerning the USA, that in fact it is seeking to take the part of Israel, the case is not of this kind. The situation for the government of the USA here, in recent times, has been that it simply joins the throng, indeed creates with some help perhaps, the Road Map which is the map towards the further disintegration of robbed and pillaged, tiny Israel (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 1, Ch. 10, Regal Rays ... Ch. 1, Beauty for Ashes Ch. 1), left without the majority of its biblical territory, its League of Nations appointed territory, its victors of World War II donated territory, its ONLY territory. Bereft, but alive through several triumphant wars, as predicted for this period (Zechariah 12), over vastlyl superior seeming enemies, Israel is now internationally being led to give up more and more of what she saved from utter destruction. And this, a matter where the USA is leading in the Road Map with such kind friends as the EU, Russia and UK, is taking her part ?
On the contrary, it is taking her part, and bringing an international pressure to ensure that her triumphs in war, despite her diminutive size, achieved over belligerent and bullying States with their own vast tracts of land for homeless Arabs who share the religion in large measure, become losses. This is simply to 'help' the bullying to become more effective. Helping bullying is a dismal occupation, and orating in its favour is a dire defalcation.
What then of the USA in this matter, concerning Israel, America with its Road Map ?
Is that to regard her, that the appearance of the plan is somewhat less than Hitleresque total destruction, such as many Arab nations seem to desire, or tolerate, and some to pursue, and that it makes leaner what is almost skeletal already!
Scarcely. It is true that President Bush has become somewhat more clement as the wrath of the blood-letters becomes more and more obviously insatiable; and has spoken of not giving back ALL of the West Bank provided Israel DOES give up Gaza, and some of the West Bank; but then, this is mere concession that ameliorates. It fails to remedy the direction of flow; and her allies, the Quartet with its plans for Israel, so kindly provided, it is far from convinced that even this is acceptable. Give back and we will see what happens next! they cry, with all the acceptability in view of past dealings, of someone who asking for your wallet, indicates that whether or not you will have to give up your car as well, is something yet to be determined.
With this illustration in mind, we may reflect that it is ease itself to disregard wisdom (and regarding the word of God is ultimate wisdom cf. Galloping Events Ch. 4). Yet there is a greater question.
THE NECESSITY OF HEEDING WISDOM
Where then is wisdom to be found ? Proverbs 8 speaks of this, and we read moreover that the fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom (you can forget the progress if you do not begin); but let us investigate the arena.
Wisdom ? It is VISIBLE in works of profound brilliance in the realm of natural objects and subjects; yet this is like seeing books. What of the author ?
What of its source ?
As to 'Nature', this does not even exist. There is a series, a system, a multitude of myriadfold makings, but there is nothing seen to be making them. They cavort and multiply; this and that stimulus turns them this way and that, but the information content for design is not turning into something more advanced. Facts are sometimes important, even in 'science'!
What is the source of all of this completed, sensitive, accommodating but not advancing effusion of marvels, set in a system, like stars in the sky, interactive like light on the surface of the lake, intricate more than any lace, and advanced more than any theorist among man can contain ?
Where does its wisdom find itself, what is its address, and where does its dynamic impel and impart itself, de novo, not just in maintenance, as when one paints an out-house now this colour, now that. Maintenance is fascinating; but not at all so in comparison with MAKING the property.
What then of the builder of the thing!
Where is it to be found when one would call on it, to discourse on its wonders and consider its ways, and so learn from it, itself ?
Job speaks with eloquence here:
"But where can wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
Man does not know its value,
Nor is it found in the land of the living.
The deep says, ‘It is not in me’;
And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
It cannot be purchased for gold,
Nor can silver be weighed for its price.
"It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
In precious onyx or sapphire.
Neither gold nor crystal can equal it,
Nor can it be exchanged for jewelry of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral or quartz,
For the price of wisdom is above rubies.
The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
Nor can it be valued in pure gold.
"From where then does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
And concealed from the birds of the air.
Destruction and Death say,
‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’
God understands its way,
And He knows its place."
Assuredly as to mankind, it does not
know its value; for in our race is not to be found this innate facility for
automation, and though it struggle long, this wisdom is not to be found in its
libraries, nor is it vested in any of the culturally productive institutions of
searching man. It is found in the word of God written, and in the work of God
wrought, as it is in the Word of God incarnate, all from One, and all His
exhibition, the last definitively, of Himself. These three, agreeing in one,
cover all: they do so in validity, in verification and in logical rationality
But the criteria of truth, people often despise, and they continue in rank discontinuity from evidence, logic and the very acme of attestation, to think blindly and blankly.
Someone says, I know where wisdom is ... but as their own thoughts mill, so is the result nil, and nothing remains in a little, but history of thought. There is no evidence to corroborate, nor attestation to confirm. Mere opinion speaks, and does not do the works.
Is wisdom then dumb ? Not at all, for finding nothing is not finding that there is nothing.
But dumb ? Does man imagine that he can determine the values of things, construe the measure of all things, and decide that wisdom is dumb, and do so with such wisdom deriving from nowhere that he expects us to believe him! Is nothing to be the mother of invention, and absence to be the necessary presence ? Is magic to become the minder of man, and the only problem, that it is not seen.
Is folly to become king then, that one who denies what is to be found, acts as if possessing it himself! Is arrogance to find no relief, and is humility to become enemy number one, threatening 'state' security, the state of egotistical self-infatuation!
If YOU are deemed better able to see good, or the correction of a wise way, as criterion and hence as critic, then is a product to surpass its source, and an exemplification what makes of it an example ? Are you to be better than what has exhibited the fabulous power to make what surpasses man's powers as the heavens the earth (cf. SMR pp. 114ff.) ? and attests it in you and your universe, as you, mere product that you are, do not and cannot ?
Or if you do not like to think that this epitome of brilliance has no source, you merely join the alogical throng, desiring that there come, somehow, for no reason, what is best of all, whilst WE to achieve anything have to give what is required. Is it then to be attested that what surpasses all in the power to make concepts and orders symbolically expressed, the activating force of things beyond our ability even to construct, when it is laid out before us 'arises' from the void and is accounted for by reason, on the grounds that there are no grounds!
This is to defile and defy reason, and hence to exclude oneself from any reasoned dissertation or discussion. It is hence from a logical point of view, self-destructive, and worthy of zero. The wise may seek for the adequate cause of crime or disease, of invention or triumph; but they do not find it in nothing, but in carefully constructed adequacies, joined in systems of models, which have what it takes. As these fail in this or that, they become susceptible to criticism. Nothing is never worth more than nothing as an attempt to explain realities that are not nothing.
FROM NOTHING YOU
GET WHAT YOU START WITH,
AND IF YOU ARE THINKING OF THE UNIVERSE,
YOU DO NOT GET YOU
NOTHING ? then is the source. Impossible by definition. Nothing needs to be assigned to the systems then ? System without source is the same, something for and from nothing, as infantile in misapplication of any logic as the other. The very construction of the rules and courses of matter in its myriad methods and routes, this has no source ? Nothing once more comes the arrant echo, this is the basis ? Impossible by definition.
What then is the position ? It is this. What is adequate is necessary, and it is never possible to avoid this without avoiding logic, which voids its validity in your own speech, so that you CANNOT any longer have any case at all.
As to space, it is a mere component, and as for magnitude, it is an aspect: space cannot delimit it nor size assign it. Wisdom is not thus.
Remove it and the atoms fall apart, life is extinct, geometry fails, order-actualisation symmetries disappear, interpretation devices for construction in the body leave, dazzlingly brilliant order-execution systems wrought in symbol and achieved in substance, shimmer like light as the sun goes down, and are no more, dumb with shock at the exclusion. The sun goes down on all such irrationalities; but it continues to rise in reality.
Where is the author of such wisdom ? Has He spoken to us ? Evidence ?
You can stop only seeking for the source of wisdom and its works, when you find the eternally adequate, from which all therefore comes, with ANY logic.
It is when you DO stop there that you find the place of wisdom; and it is not nearly as hard as it would be if Wisdom were not wise, and had left this world, brilliantly equipped with the powers of speech by that apparent joint provision of logic and imagination (which really does not make itself, and if it did, would need not to be made by itself, necessarily, before it was there, since there are problems of a rational kind with things that are not there doing ANYTHING), without speaking. It would be so if it had in short, spoken merely INTO it, and not TO it. Our DNA is full of verbalisations and commands, symbolisms and performance criteria, right down to the correction procedures.
This however shows us the call for such controls, not the way we use the results.
This is a babe of wisdom; but where is the wisdom itself!
This is a product of wisdom, but what is wise for man!
In fact, the case is well treated here by scientific method. IS there a word which has sufficient consistency, power and predictive operational provision, to be TESTED ? Yes there is, and it is the Bible, and there is nothing to compare, even remotely.
If He had not spoken, then are men wiser than He, that they speak and discover from nothing but themselves, products, in all major human disciplines concerning human conduct and obligation, and determine what is wise! They even affect to know that it is all just systems, when in such a case, this could not be known, since they would merely be operational oddities in one of them, not viewers in truth of all of them. Again they affect to know, there is no system, whilst they speak only by means of it, and can reason to this or any other effect, only because of it. When they say, There are no rules, do as you please; this is the rule, and magic itself has shown them. Where they say, There is no account: this is the account. They always know what cannot be known in such truncated models, which hence, appealing to reason, are always slain by it.
Or if they say, There is no wisdom! then how are they wise enough to know this!
Wisdom closes in on you like an elephant with white tusks gleaming in the dusk of escape; but there is no escape. It is on all sides attested, and only ignorance can seek to despise it. Ignorance however is far from bliss.
What then ? Test what conveys evidence. The history of philosophy and politics has little to display, but failure and fiasco, with more or less pathos (cf. SMR Ch. 3, Predestination and Freewill Section 4, Spiritual Refreshings Chs. 6, 13, Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 3 ). You must determine by test what it is that is wisdom talking.
Is there then a failure of wisdom,
that it is muted ? But power is there, in what is the adequacy eternally
required for anything at all! Is speech to be denied the illimitable, and power
to declare the One who created declarative ability in our tiny systematised
programs, all set up and enabled for learning on the logic instilled and the
perceptions pre-disposed! It is not difficult to prevent creation, if it
is to be deprived; but it is impossible to prevent the Creator from having the
powers He imparts. Nor is it logically possible to conjure up some fiasco of a Creator of
this universe, deprived of sufficiency, for who then has so apportioned it to
Him ? since He alone is there, and creation is His, He is sufficient for
whatever He performs, whether directly or indirectly, and knows no constraints
but what He is pleased to impose in His own wisdom!
Where then does it speak ? We come back where we began, in what reason requires, evidence attests and test affirms.
As already indicated there are three major channels, the work of creation investigated for its mental prowess, intellectual fidelity and competence above men; the witness of wisdom in the Bible, with enormous vulnerability to test; and the core of the Bible's depiction, the incarnate God, who not only communicated by came to do a job in our midst, with wisdom!
IT IS BEST IN QUEST TO TEST
Test then the Bible ruthlessly (cf. *5 below).
Is not even science given to that in its ways ? It is a phase of knowledge, so apply it.
Theories in science and philosophy come and go, but the Bible comes only; it does not go. This site has shown this*2 in myriads of details, in history, science, in prediction, in retrodiction, in principles, in judgments fulfilled, in exemplification of principles, in complete coverage of all intellectual areas of disquiet which any coverage of man and his universe, requires (cf. SMR pp. 419ff., Ch. 5, Predestination and Freewill Trilogy), in a way so total and so totally unique that it is not even a quest or question any more, once the test is made. It becomes like comparing Einstein with a child of three. Biblical wisdom provides all answers to the unanswerable in principle, and to the humanly unachievable in practice.
As to such comparisons, man's words and God's: It is ludicrous even to have tried; but then, the stakes are high, so TRY, TRY and TRY again.
God in Isaiah 41, 43, 48 most vigorously entreats you with all kindness to do just this! He has done it so often, this validation of logic, this verification of the empirical, that He refers to what He has done already, in the 8th century B.C.! Now, of course, the lists are far longer. Wisdom in the Bible doesn't dither, like a Ph.D. student trying to protect himself from ignorance and inadequacy by evasion or wording; it is clear, forthright, secure, decisive. Far less is it like some not over-subtle politician seeking to make a case where hardly a box exists on which to stand, or a speech to deliver. It states; it does: it portrays, it pronounces. It directs man to God.
Its message develops, coherent, consistent, like a High School course over the years, culminating in the crux, this too made clear from the first (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17, TMR Ch. 3, News 87, The Biblical Workman Ch. 7); and it proceeds like the best of chemistry courses, but here in divine revelation and impact on this earth, in intricately mutually enveloping details.
Its focus is not gods, which it despises as a chemistry teacher might despise molecular atoms, in some paper! God in His wisdom, deposited in what is more precious than fresh water, the Bible, what He wishes to say TO MAN. There He makes words as He made men, and He makes words for man, giving them by inspiration of His Spirit to man in the setting He developed and chose: and in accord with these words, He has been turning history or knowledge this way or that, over the millenia with the ease of some glider pilot on a particularly good day, moving adroitly over the darker fields, and rising, only to fall and to swing this way and that until he arrives at his desired end.
With God, however, this is announced in advance; and He has done it whether it involves being crucified in fleshly format, a work for His incarnate Son, or being resurrected. It is all one. There are neither cultural limits nor physical, neither psychological nor political. He tells the empires what they are to be (as in Daniel, cf. Highway of Holiness), and then there they are. They cannot do otherwise. He tells this world where it is going, and it follows like a lamb in love to its mistress, meek as a cloud of mist. Yet man is no lamb, though in this at least, puny but not with impunity, he follows! In this, we cannot ignore the words of Christ from the heart, as seen in Luke 19:42ff.. So many imagine that the Jew alone is to suffer; it is not so. It is just that his innings came first (cf. The Biblical Workman Chs. 1 and 3). .
THE WISDOM OF
AND THE NECESSITY OF REMEDY
Test, He says, test! Test His word.
Its focus is not least on sin, that it is the woe of this world, and that nothing short of acknowledgement of it in repentance and faith, to receive HIS pardon, will resolve it. It may be buried, multiplied, it may be renamed virtue (as in Isaiah 5, in Communism, New Age ego boosts and so on); or on the contrary, it may be paraded as a paragon, it may be guttered and sluiced like some butcher's shop in a mutinous mess, as if to force God to ignore it by virtue of its incredibly blatant viciousness. It does not matter. It is shown, its course defined, its end exhibited, and ways to that end, expressed in sequence. Sin never dies because definitions change. Its dynamic continues, its cost is not qualified.
Test, He says, test, and again, test. TEST ALL things, says Paul in I Thess. 5. God loves truth in man, since this is what he is made for; and lies about God merely make his world seem meaningless to those who follow them; which as it often happens now, is another verification of the word of God. Where truth is evacuated, what is left makes no sense, can make no sense, and senseless is the world of those who rightly deplore it (cf. SMR Ch. 3 where this is traced in some detail). It is not however God's world, but one of their own; and in God's world, the cost continues to be paid, and the anger, resentment and anguish continues, as the cost rises, like some drunken kid with a car, ramming it over and again, into posts in an ecstasy of revolt.
The Bible depicts the nature of the universe, of man, of sin and of the results. He tells it and it stands; man ignores it and finds it hard to stand, or even understand. In a similar way, try not breathing, and this too will embarrass you, this time physically. Ignorance is not merely not bliss, it is defiance when it is cultivated, as in the gardens of philosophy, materialistic, naturalistic, evolutionist, humanistic (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7, News 37, Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 3, Ch. 5), desiring from what does not have what it takes, to take what it cannot have, lest being converted, it should find God and serve Him. It is as in Matthew 13:15., their eyes they have closed, lest He should convert them.
"Their ears are hard of hearing,
Their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them."
As with the Jew, so with
the Gentile (Romans 2, 3:23ff., 6:23, 5:12ff.), so that the human race is lost,
with no hope of prize. It is therefore imperative that they find the One who HAS
won, leaving no competitor in the field (cf. Christ, the Wisdom and the
Power of God Ch. 8, Repent or Perish
It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Ch. 8).
In every field, from the fall to the detailed data on the Messiah, to enable His identification when He came, to the rolling waves of history and the state of both our world and the nation of Israel now, from the engorgement of knowledge without wisdom, lust without law, death insanity without mercy, it is as it had to be, and as it was delivered in word, so it has come in fact. The Bible prescribes from the first, and its prescription stands, has stood to the last.
Nothing else does this, or has this majestic sweep. Science can laugh at itself (in a rather subdued sort of a way, after a decade), for its chameleon changes; but God is not effectively laughed at over millenia while the milling minds of mankind make efforts to short-circuit His power, subdue His word or direct His world. Indeed, in the species of knowledge which has as one sub-category, science falsely-so-called (I Timothy 6:20 cf. Victory 8, esp. *4), a common brand nowadays, there is a sterile self-magnification, which is boring, inane, inapplicable, mouthing without knowledge or hope of it.
Humanism without basis seizes evolutionism without warrant by the hapless hand, and the two seek from vacant hangars to take off without a flying machine from ground that is not there. It is excruciatingly pathetic, and the more so when they act to darken the mind of school children for the next generation with such delusion*2A.
This pathological substitute for scientific method and its due quest of test, is sometimes used as if to compensate: portentous, there is much of ludicrously available mirth even now, a testimony to the capacity of spiritual blindness to cover up light (cf. Earth Spasm ... Ch. 1, Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, TMR Ch. 1, Wake Up World ... Ch. 6). Here, philosophy puts on white gown, an illusory effect for an obliterative thing, which in result and function is instead like tar (cf. II Corinthians 11, where Paul describes this type of phenomenon, where darkness masquerades, consciously or not, as light).
Deeds should justify words, or words reflect them, be they visible or invisible for us; words cannot in themselves substitute. The word of God ACTS. ONE of the ways in which it acts, is for those who reject Him, to find irrational substitutes to their savour (Romans 1:17ff.), so that despite unquestionable brilliance, many become the butts of their own misrule. Man is liable to confusion without his Maker; and this in turn is further verification of his errant absenteeism, that turn him where these issues arise, and the demise of logic becomes, where necessary, almost predictable.
Not so is the logically precise and methodologically exact testimony to the Creator (cf. SMR pp. 140ff., Ch. 2). This sings with effusion in the areas concerned, and indicates with persistent insistence, the things which are harmonious and which are not, with the evidence (cf. TMR Ch. 1). The word of God in august parallel covers all due tests with a precision that is paramount. So do mercy and truth cover the case with a facility that far transcends mere need, majestic in power, glorious in harmony, certain in coverage.
As to the subverted, these things are spiritual, and they bear no merely individual texture of this man or that; for they are generic (cf. Ephesians 4:17-19) to those rejecting the God of creation and wisdom, of remedy and revelation. As to the Bible, however, its foci are critical to all understanding.
Its focus, then, is not only on logic, on tests, on triumphant results, on clear attestation; it is also on most needed remedy. This is necessary for wisdom, which when divine and with omnipotence, never lacks an overcoming of contrariety, an answer for spoilage or ruin, for the dispersion of truth with its inveterate exposure and inexorable manifestation. What then for man and the case for this creation of God ? If in wisdom, liberty is granted to him, then by wisdom remedy is found for its misuse; and when in wisdom, liberty is suffered to remain licentious, damaging goodness and misusing strength, then remedy is the more profound in not violating the integrity of what is damaged in its cure (Jeremiah 13:27)! Such is a necessary criterion for the remedy of wisdom (cf. *6 below). Such is the wisdom of God (cf. Matthew 23:37).
Thus there come for damaged goods, pardon, resurrection and realisation of potential, with the hallmark of divine adoption for the children of men (Ephesians 1); or else simply judgment, when remedy itself disdained, the destiny of exclusion from light comes like the smothering of the pit. If it is desired, it is to be found. Perhaps for such a case, the word of God which simply says "they shall never see the light" (Psalm 49:19). In a Psalm filled with advice concerning redemption from God and Him alone, this is for the inveterate, all but overwhelming in its quiet funeral notice. Who could not grieve for such outcomes where light is abundant like water in Canada, like its lakes by the pine-clad forests, with contoured skies and vast grasslands holding it all as a jewel in the hand! Yet it is not wisdom but wickedness which so flaunting itself, finds such destiny.
There is never a drought with wisdom; there is merely a covering by man of the tanks, lest the rain should come in! Mercifully, there are many who welcome it by the grandeur of divine goodness and the facility of divine wisdom which, knowing all, seeks all, and saves what is restored by the receipt of salvation (Titus 3:3-7).
Wisdom's remedy is historical (cf. SMR Ch. 6, Appendix C), testable (cf. SMR p. 339, and 347, Christ, the Wisdom of God and the Power of God Ch. 8, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -7). It is an indefeasible exhibit, one which stays the same, the more men try to make it move. It spreads itself inviolate and inviolable over history, from first to last (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17, TMR Ch. 3).
In vain they reconstruct, in vain they hypothesise, but the testimony remains (cf. SMR pp. 857-877). It shows why the God, whose will created the intricacies of man, has tolerated at all the patience-demanding epochs, where He has been contradicted by His creation (Hebrews 12:2-3), which for its own part, spoils itself in surfeits and swervings, slanders and caricatures.
Persons may be, and are, divine property; but it is not a popish property, lorded over; it is a property of personality which has its own schema and its own integrity. Liberty is not lassoed into lordly precincts; rather does it place itself in its own rebellious corral, and God, who knows all, leads those whom He will without violation, to His own restoration. He does it beyond man, but in love He knowing all, knows His own, and where wisdom stays its hand (cf. The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 4, Tender Times for Timely Truth Cttt11.html).
If then the remedy be costly, does not wisdom pay for what is needed ? Wisdom is no tight-wad, since sacrifice may be needed to secure the wonders in view and in mind. Wisdom, the wisdom of the Creator is not in vain; it knows what it does and does what it knows, and man in self-destruct mode is met by God in remedial mode, as an alternative to destruction of the race. God has known the last from the first (cf. Isaiah 46:10), being not subject to the culmination of potential known as growth (Psalm 102, Hebrews 1), having none to create it, being Himself the Creator from eternity (Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 90), the actual option of which 'nothing' is the irrational counterpart, and invented godlets the cheeky pretence (Deuteronomy 32:17).
Quite in vain is the defilement of His being in senseless caricature, the defilement of His truth, what He has done - in ludicrous mockery, the pretension of man in usurpation at which he is a monumental failure, successively exposed, never composed, a rustler of his own race from the fields of the peace of God. All this is suffered for liberty, by the Creator of the same, that priceless gift; but it is not tolerated in itself. Thus does it inherit judgments as Israel has shown in detail (cf. SMR Ch. 9): history and the word of God locked in an embrace which nothing ever separates.
Thus does the word of God portray the judgment which must terminate our history, also, Gentiles no less, on this planet (cf. Psalm 50:19-23, II Thessalonians 1, Matthew 25). It is well that the Creator having created us with liberty, having set about redemption with love and power, also makes a new heavens and earth at His specifications, and eternity has its place for one and for all of His people (John 14:1ff.). Liberty is not for nothing. It is for love. Meaning is in every aspect of the entire work of the Lord.
In the interim, thus does remedy have its proclamation, and remarkable and prodigious have been the efforts of His people, the work of His grace and the Gospel of His pardon (cf. Isaiah 52:7ff.). It has circumnavigated the globe, attested in space, covered the centuries with pink writing, tinged with the blood of sacrifice.
His remedy is sure while man lasts, and man is sure if he takes it.
Wisdom, the wisdom of God ...
If it calls to man, this is love.
If it pays - this is the procedure of love and the method of mercy.
If it appeals rather than forcing, it is the testimony of the reality of liberty.
If it centres on the life of man, with reference to the life of God,
this is what to expect when man is made in the Lord's image, fit for fellowship.
Its counter is counterfeit, and works neither*3 in biology, nor in politics, nor in economics, nor in soul-science such as*4 Freud's extrapolation or Jung's introspection thrust into mankind. We have seen this in several sites.
No one can depict the heart of wisdom but its possessor, whose it is, and in whom it dwells; for it is HIS heart and HIS wisdom. When you open the validated and verified, the unique exhibit, you find what reason demands, remedy; learn what love has given, remedy; see what was required, sacrifice; and learn how patient God has been in providing this wisdom, prefacing it with Isaiah 29's hilariously horrible exposure of the dead proponents of a language which is not God's, even when ostensibly they hold to His word. Here you see the culmination of the specious 'wisdom' of Isaiah 28:10, where God must seek as if from babes, for those willing to learn, not walled in by blinding licentiousness and cultural whims.
You WILL not gain the wisdom which is available in the word of God, you REFUSE to show forth its meaning in your deviousness, He declares of ancient Jerusalem: very well, HE, the Lord will show the necessity of recognising wisdom in its place and not confusing it with human violations and pride, by having men babble, as they do when they speak in 'tongues':\
"with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people..."
(Isaiah 28:10-11, I Cor. 14:21).
How ludicrous is the current trend in our own Age, on the part of many to glorify 'tongues', this divine rebuke to stultifying obfuscation, to learned drivel; and small wonder Paul curbs it in so severely as we see in I Corinthians 14 (cf. A Question of Gifts).
This, in Isaiah, which Paul cites in describing it, was a divine prescription to rebuke, to make a point, to show that the Gospel comes at His OWN wisdom, not ours. Some glory in it, but this is like Midsummer madness - Paul would rather speak, he declares five words with his mind than 10,000 without it, in any public place. Thoughtful of him! Nevertheless, the testimony of this fulfilled prophecy remains and such a thing can on occasion occur, thus fulfilling Isaiah's prediction (Isaiah 28:9-12).
Baby-talk to demean the self-exaltation of man!
This shows how deep is the disease in the heart of man (cf. Jeremiah 17:9), that it can and often does prevent the administration of the very remedy He has provided, by those who assign themselves in His name to the task. 'Scholars' so often have intruded with simplistic and irrational substitutes for the word of God even when pretending to present it, and what generation has been more guilty of that dishonourable discharge of duty, than this one and its immediate predecessors!
This is the par excellence case, where man can see for himself the extent of his sin, and the profound need of the remedy, and the reason for its cost being no less than it was. He even works out ways to foul the remedy, like a nurse insisting on immersing an antibiotic in hot, concentrated aqua regia before giving it to the patient. False prophets have been an index to the depravity of man for centuries, millenia; but their modern spread is a criterion, with the rest of the final pattern, of the coda of the Age (Matthew 24:24 cf. SMR pp. 842ff., 852ff., 864ff.).
When however, you look in the wisdom of the book of the Lord, and you find the answers individually and compositely, to each test; then the more you find, the more you find all the questions, whether you have before asked them or not, sublimely resting, like waters from snow, passing in these blessed and protected channels, in the midst of industrial pollution.
THE NECESSITY OF RECEIVING THE DIVINE REMEDY
It is God or judgment, wisdom or woe, remedy or ruin, Christ or catastrophe, empty pride or humble acceptance. There are no options that invention can command. Wisdom is to be found in Him whose it is; and is not subject to human innovation. God is who He is; and His wisdom is what it is; and in wisdom He made man, who in unwisdom spoilt himself, but he from wisdom divine in depth, dimension and heart, is given one offer from one God for one reason: the merciful love that would restore to Himself.
Test then, in each of these domains, in all of them; only test and see for yourself. It is not magic, but tragic that man insists on following an illusion scientifically shown to be so in a blatant manner; and will not follow the Lord, and this in his spiritually migrained millions.
This, as a matter of fact, is precisely what man has done, and when more abundantly, with more invective, with more coruscating flashes of fury than in the last couple of hundred years! He tries to subvert it, to patronise it, to make it a national aspect, without actually doing it, or else even to make it a nationally excluded aspect, he seeks to hammer it with 'science', to hammer it with history, and the more he does so, the more uproariously funny*5 it is. It is precisely like our three year old intent of PROVING that Einstein is wrong and he is right. You pity the kid and wonder what in the world has got into its peevish and petulant heart.
The Bible has answer for this too: sin, that defiant desire, at its height, to displace God and be a god without God so that all that God made can be formed into functionality for man, without any sneaking feeling of being a ROBBER, this is part of the scenario. Theft is always devious, and its arguments colourable by desire, not truth.
It has been from the first, when woman listened to the adversary's suggestion that God really was only prohibiting some things to their glorious liberty, for the sake of keeping mankind below Him; and should they merely opt for their optimal power, they would BE LIKE HIM! Listen to that and what can you expect!! Yet they listen to this day, whether in the form of removing God, or removing accessibility, or relevance, or power, or glory, so bringing down what they aspire to reach. Yet in the process there is but one that they drag down, and their own hearts bear the burden: and how burdened now they are! That too is as it was predicted to be (Luke 21:26). Everything is covered ; it is always covered; there is nothing that is not covered (cf. Matthew 24:12). BECAUSE EVIL WILL ABOUND as the day for the Redeemer's return approaches, the Lord indicated, many would grow cold of heart.
Love would become at a premium. It is so. Hatred is becoming the in-thing, starting with Islam and ending with reactions to its vastly destructive substitute for peace (More Marvels ... Ch. 4*5A).
Not all of its name follow these teachings; but they are there as shown in this reference and those noted in it.
Remove Him by verbal manipulation, and He is still there; re-write the history of Him 600 years later by some kind of insight, and HE is still there; ignore Him and He is still there, brazen out some dismissal from your mind, make Him a good teacher (in that case, obviously insane in that case in view of His claims, and obviously infinitely more than simply sane in view of His power of word and deed - cf. SMR Ch. 6), and you end in not-so-merry-go-rounds of irrationality. Take over His works by killing the prophets and Christ while you are about it ? This has been done already.
Surely, if this is His best, His definitive self-exhibition, the murder of it must mulch Him and make take-over easy, some seem to think. Not so. He not merely rose from the dead, but said He would before He did it, by about one millenium, and said when He would do such things, by about 6 centuries, before doing it, and then a few days before it. He is patient, thorough and does always precisely what He says. There is nothing to compare.
That is what is called Majesty, and there is another form of verification, for if God is to be God, then there is to be nothing of the same order whatsoever. And that, it is precisely how the matter stands (cf. The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 4, SMR Ch. 5, Spiritual Refreshings Chs. 13, 16, News 100, Coming King Ch. 5). Ironically, the more man tries to sever the arteries of God, to speak metaphorically, but not so very much so when you consider Christ, the more man afflicts himself, and where does man do this more than in poor, smitten, disenfranchised Israel.
Here too His word overthrows many nations, who in 1948 being set to invade, were defeated by the infant State. The failure of even returned Israel at first to return to its Lord, and of the other nations to wish to leave it alone, all this is as predicted (cf. Zechariah 12).
To Israel God promised the land; to them He gave it; from them He took it as He said, to them He returned it, from them man seeks again to take it, but God has other ideas, and even while He chastens Israel still, He teaches man that multi-tasking is as nothing to Him (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 11, Ch. 2, News 152). He is well able to chasten what He delivers, and to smite those who would smite Israel, and playing God, seek to set Him at nought. He can do both at once!
It is all happening before our very eyes. It is better to use one's eyes. Such is the scientific approach to testing. Closing them makes the matter only more difficult! On the contrary, importunity gives opportunity, and seeking is not from One undisposed to hear (cf. Psalm 145:18ff.).
"The Lord is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them."
All these things move towards purification of heart from the Lord Himself, and in this, HE ALONE is the doctor! He alone explains guilt, and removes it; for man is not so stupid that he imagines it, or is the butt of manipulators who fool all of them people all of the time. Guilt is psychologically immovable because it is real. God alone removes it, since He alone can (cf. SMR Ch. 4). After all, it is towards HIM that above all, it exists (cf. Psalm 51). This is His teaching, this is the finding, this is the way of it, and so the matter goes (cf. SMR Ch. 4). It does not move differently, as if a horse should walk like a donkey.
Wisdom is indeed available from the source of man's creation, whose power and mind is shown in His product: on the one hand, man, and on the other, His word written TO man. What monumental folly for the one written into existence to ignore the plain and incomparable writing of Him who then wrote TO him, as existent. What predictable disorder, dire evils and horror would come from such a massif of madness; and as it would be, so it is; and it becomes even more so, as the folly reaches its maturity, like some ravening cancer, a cancer in this case, of the spirit of man. It is both self-inflicted and in large measure, self-preserved.
To seek to invent this divine wisdom outside its source is like 'inventing' a mind for a moron. It may seem noble; but it is better to seek mind where it came from, indeed where truth alone could be found, with which to contend: in what exists, not in miasmas of relative reactions, but in the matrix of that absolute who being it, can confer the knowledge of it and hence of truth, and that uniquely*6. He does not force; nor would reason acknowledge this as the solution to the mysteries of man. What wishes to avoid it and to use the 'wisdom' resident in man as his goal, god and grace, he is as vain as scientist imagining the atomic bomb would resolve the ills of mankind (cf. SMR 50ff., 65ff.).
The ultimate is not procedure, but principle, not hope but power, not pretence but truth, and not at all product elevating itself into Producer, but finding from the Producer what are its requirements. It may disdain it. SO be it; this is the scope of the invention called man; he can do so.
Liberty has a lover in God who made it; and He does not abuse it, however much man may do so. He needs neither force nor delusion, and seeks nothing without test that triumphs, presentation that prevails and has prevailed for more than 3 millenia. He requires faith.
He calls, wisdom calls (Proverbs 1,
God declares that His Spirit will not always strive for man, because human life would not be able to sustain it, would fail (cf. Isaiah 57:15). Thus the Age proceeds precisely to the predicted end which is verifiable from His never erring word as near (Answers to Questions Ch. 5); and man moves recalcitrant, rebellious, irrational, self-deceived, enduring, inured, immiscible with truth, as forecast. Such is the way of the stream of distress, anxiety, bombast and empty pomp, disorder and eventual death (cf. Luke 21). "There is," says Proverbs, "a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (cf. Proverbs 14:2).
Yet some come to life everlasting. Why not you ? Or you have come! It is the delight of heaven (cf. Luke 15:7). He has come for you, offering to one and to all; it is time to go to Him. His patience waits until the time comes, as when He first came (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4). The world whinnies like a horse sensing action, and it acts with a precision to His predictive word, for His return, which is the more marvellous since on the whole, it does not even believe in Him for whom it so slavishly prepares, in this, that it is doing just what He said it would do, as testimony of His coming now as Judge. Passionate rebellion with highly specialised following of the divine prognosis: it is impressive, it is majestic, and it is fatal in this case!
To be followed is the Lord Himself, who being personal understands persons. To follow the prognosis of a fatal disease, this, it is not wise, but popular is it!
On all sides, in all things, reason and reality, empirical and the heuristic, the impactive and the solicited, the elicited and the ongoing, they speak one language, that of the Bible. No other is known. This, if you will, is the spiritual esperanto, not from Shaw, but from his Maker!
The word of God written stands alone as written truth impregnable, essential to logic, delighted to meet its highest challenge and sate its deepest longing. In perfect parallel, came Christ, God Himself in fleshly format (Isaiah 48:16, John 8:58), the personal God in His Express Incarnation and Being, as man: overcoming in all things, whether lies, or sickness, whether death or deceit, officialdom or hypocrisy, and meeting all things, whether physical or mental, spiritual or historical, fulfilling what was the Written, and writing His own name on history without colleague or comparison.
As to the reward and blessed result of His work (cf. Isaiah 5310), its testimony is wrought in man by His Holy Spirit which changes lives on the basis of the divine sacrificial labour of Christ, who expressly brought the love of God to man. Not satisfied with word, He proceeded to make in this world, a citadel because of the truth, a city set upon a hill, where the light shines till its Sender comes, the Light of this world, to judge it, and to receive His own people to be where He is: an eternity most blessed, which He, having made man at the first, has kept for him, as many as receive Him (John 1:12, 14:1ff.) to the last. The kingdom of heaven is in the midst of His people, not those who CLAIM Him, but those who name Him and know Him and so follow Him!
"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth,
a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs
which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—
Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God,
you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death,
because it was not possible that He should be held by it" - Acts 2:22ff..
Again we hear this:
"The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say,
‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you" - Luke 17:20-21.
(Cf. The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 2, News 23).
If with all your heart you truly seek Him, you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13, Matthew 7:7ff.); and start with repentance for not knowing Him sooner, turning to Him as a man to a helicopter hovering above, and seizing the rope He presents, receive Him, the Gospel of grace. There is no other saviour and no other access to God, but through salvation (Isaiah 43:10-11, Acts 4:11-12): that filter for sin, that gift of grace, that provision of pardon, that costly consequence of the divine mission in which Christ came and did what was necessary, even confronting sin on the Cross, with the life it claimed, and giving to those who receive Him, the life eternal which is His (John 1:1-14, I John 1:1-2:1).
On the context, see The Biblical Workman, Ch. 1.
AND THAT INVISIBLE MAJESTY
THAT IS INSTRUCTIVE WITHOUT STRUTTING,
AND KINDLY WITHOUT WEAKNESS
See SMR Chs. 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8-10.
Matters here are taken in sequence, each phase exhibiting and each deploying itself in perfect harmony of components, discovering itself in correctness of declaration by all records, whether things past, then future or principial, and revealing itself in comprehensiveness for the purpose and style.
Style ? It is part of what a thing or person IS that makes it; and according to what you are, there is a style. Ocean breakers have style, and this can vary, but taken in all, there is in them a certain rollicking assurance, a sense of bloom and fulfilment, of energy and fearlessness, of dynamism contained but neither vexed nor intimidated, rich and pure, surging in a power that is strenuous, without being riotous, untamed without being unlimited.
When God speaks, there is a majesty: it is not the tinny aspiration to glory which so defiles and disfigures the ambitions of man in so much and so very often, thereby stimulating hatred, envy, resentment and bombs. With the word of God revealing Himself, there is a majesty which so many love to see, assured, intense but commodious, gracious yet tempered by unrelenting truth, merciful yet expectant, neither clearing the wicked nor conniving with the devious.
Man loves to see anything suggestive of majesty in spirit rather than in mere name, and so often love coronations, with great expectation, where misuse of rule has not soured the hope.
When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne, many were moved in hope for a true concern, a generous disposition, a sense of leadership to be touched by humility and inscribed with patience. More recently, how the papers revelled in the marriage of Maryy Donaldson as Princess recently, to the Crown Prince in Denmark. How they relished in that land a sense of hope, of an example to come, of muted leadership and undisputed grace! Such was the hope and such is the expectation of many. Man is moved by such things, because even among ourselves, there is a sense of latency for such things.
With God, however it is infinite, pure, patent and glorious. It is however necessary to find Him, not to be soured by those who have misused His seal, misled in His name, teaching contrary to His word and practising in abhorrent contrariety to His will. From Him has come the very meaning of parenthood, family, grace, mercy, beauty and truth. THERE is majesty. It does not strive. It reveals itself clearly because it is there.
Thus, when the majesty is not that of a position in a small country, but one in heaven itself, that of Creator of all the wisdom available to man, arching over man as His creation, and over time as eternal before any creation, then such majesty need not aspire. It is there already and always has been. It is like an author in this, that not a book but a universe is written and brought to be, and its characters are given life.
It may urge as in Isaiah 40, so that the blind may see and the deaf hear; but there is no sense whatever of strain. Would a lion strain against a mouse ? (cf. Amos 3:3-8, Jeremiah 23:28-29).
What does Amos declare ? This ...
"You only have I known of all the families of the earth;
Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
"Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
Will a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey?
Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he has caught nothing?
Will a bird fall into a snare on the earth, where there is no trap for it?
Will a snare spring up from the earth, if it has caught nothing at all?
"If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid?
If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?
"Surely the Lord God does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
"A lion has roared!
Who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken!
Who can but prophesy?"
Whether in word, or the attestation of history and thought to such words, it is the same. There is a sense of unlimited power, and that is how in just one aspect, it differs from the STYLE of breakers in the ocean. They suggest power, and have much of it; God expresses power and has all of it. Even opposition has its limits, and those who seek to limit Him, in the end, limit only themselves.
Such majesty is quintessential to the style of utterance in the Bible, concerning God and His ways; that there is NO LIMIT. God avoids ONLY what He does not desire, and that of course is the answer to the old chesnut,
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object ?
In a word, the answer is this.
As it is written, HE WORKS ALL
THINGS AFTER THE COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL
Authors do not have to be overcome by their books!
There is nothing abstract about God. He is what He is, as He continually affirms (John 8:58, Exodus 3:14, Isaiah 40-46). He organises both the systems and the situations.
When then do we find ? There IS no irresistible force when HE acts; there IS no immovable object when HE is set upon, to make Him move! Possibility is the weak effort of some to envisage what they do not know; but actuality is the key. God does not WANT what is contrary to His reality, having eternally been the same, knowing all, obtaining all He desires, with no limits from no source. He makes the reality He wants. Hence the 'possibility' of it 'arising' to overthrow His will is not actual.
Sin is rebellion, but this too is taken in advance, including such items as the murder of His only begotten Son, many of the details, including the date for which, He exposed centuries or even a millenium in advance (cf. Highway of Holiness Ch. 4, Heart and Soul, Mind and Strength Chs. 4ff., Joyful Jottings 22-25, SMR Ch. 9). In the same manner, when He came to earth in the format of man, as Jesus Christ, the incarnate Eternal Word of God (cf. Micah 5:1-3, John 1:1-14, 5:19-23), the Judge to be for all mankind (Acts 17:31), He told history what it would do, which as always, it does (Matthew 24, cf. SMR Ch. 8).
Sin does not overthrow God, but its proponents; and what is more, God makes of it a teaching instrument on the nature of the unholy actions which it propounds, the evils it does and the quality of its products (cf. Ezekiel 29:18-21, Isaiah 44:24-45:7).
He does such things
"that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting,
For Him to fail in anything on which He has resolved would require a different universe and a different creator, one with a small 'c', which is merely beside the point of the question. BOTH irresistible force AND immovable objects CANNOT exist except in the reality of God, who gives form and force as He pleases. The mutual impact would imply a god in pieces, without wisdom. This is never found as His word continually attests over the growing millenia. He says it, it happens. End of story. It reveals itself.
Degrees of irresistibility and of immovability are ACCORDED to things at His good pleasure and will. HE ONLY could have either, and is not beside Himself, being uncreated! His children can be enabled to use such power for His purposes, but their creaturely fashioning is shown, as even in the case of Moses (Numbers 20), when a failure to give glory to God led to his exclusion after all that time and effort, not from heaven but from the promised land. Into this, the people were led by another, namely Joshua: indeed because of unbelief among the people, that entry was delayed for a generation.
God knew what His people Israel would do, and told them about it in detail many times, especially in the days of Moses, in Deuteronomy 32 and Leviticus 26. It was not pretty, but God did not subvert the reality of the will accorded to man, by countervailing history in advance. He did however inject into it the miracles, the deliverances and the doctrine of mercy and truth; and He did sent His only begotten Son definitively to initative the last days, the Age before His judgment should supervene.
God has made this clear in the events which His word specifies, concerning His nation chosen as a mode of presenting His will and wisdom to man (cf. Isaiah 43:21) and in principle alike, as in the precision of all His predictions, that He and He alone is God. It would be the height of unwisdom for there to be any confusion in the minds of mankind about who is Creator, who and what is irresistible and what immovable, and who is not. God only is both irresistible and immovable, knows what He wants, and acts both with mercy and pity, and authority and when the time comes, finality. He reveals enough of this to show the finality is thought out in advance. Authors know of such things! God does them for the universe, not a book.
The gods, He declares, who have not made heaven and earth will perish from under the heavens and on the earth (Jeremiah 10:11). That is the way it goes. Cultural gods like Darwinism become stultification masterpieces, ludicrous past all comics
(cf. Wake Up World! ... Ch. 6, as cited, Chs. 4, 5,
SMR pp. 127ff., Chs. 1, 2, TMR Chs. 1, 8,
Secular Myths and Sacred Truth Chs. 1, 7,
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, Wake Up World! ... Chs. 4, 5,
Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 6,
Earth Spasm ... Ch. 7,
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9).
Historical theories based on it, like Hitler's, become mere ashes and memories of rapine in Berlin when the Russians came, and millions of Russians slaughtered as they came to their dread task.
Whereas philosophy hits endless quagmires (cf. SMR Ch. 3, Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 13), biblical teaching solves all intellectual tussles (cf. SMR Ch. 5), resolves antitheses (cf. Predestination and Freewill Section 4), gives enlightening and clarifying perspective to all things without exception at the level of system, is like a long division with nothing left over, a perfect fit. In the case of predestination, determinism, and freedom, for example it provides the entire resolution of the issue, and the only means possible for this to be done*3.
Its august eminence is such that it reminds one of moving to some profound specialist whose mind is not shocked, because it is prepared. To be sure, one has perhaps not met one such, but one has found some begin to approach to this sort of thing in some small measure, and the classic case can readily be envisaged. In written form, in the biblical presentation, this is the case that is entirely found; and not only so, rather it provides light which as it were, gratuitously resolves, even when one is not so seeking. Its perspective works for all that works, and fails in nothing. On the other hand, the other 'options' lacking in this or that, and without the merit of testability in manners outside mere verbal control and self-defining outages, comprise nothing to the point.
Empires come and go as commanded (Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 4). It never misses. The word of God comes and is never countermanded, the mere ebulliences of rebellion making ripples on the waters before the storm comes. The Cross came as predicted in date and in nature; and the resurrection showered its power on the church which arose, likewise, as from the grave. The Church itself and the Gospel came as specified (cf. Isaiah 50-55, 49:6, 42:6), and though many love to seek to make artificial works to resemble them, subtle approach to the issue for both, their works declare themselves, and only shut eyes can in the end be confused.
As Christ put it (Matthew 24:24), "if it were possible the very elect would be deceived", but it is not possible. The test however proceeds and its results accure as judgment approaches.
The End is approaching as if some Tornado Warning were out, except that the nature of it has been 'out' in the sense that it has been shown, for two millenia. What is new is the fulfilment as normal, of the criteria of this particular one, something which by its very nature had to wait until the acatual end of the Age arrived, jettisoned into its terminus by the return of Jesus Christ. In such a case, the preliminaries of the matter are the warning. They are abundantly present, in their unique pattern, most saliently, Jerusalem being back in the hands of Israel (Luke 21:24).
This fits like the stones of an arch into its place now, and all the other stones need only be surveyed to be realised. We have seen this in some detail in Answers to Questions Ch. 5, and in Little Things Ch. 6, SMR Ch. 8). Through that arch the living God returns, Jesus Christ the Judge of all. Of this too, and its preliminary taking of the people of God from the venue of judgment, He has given due warning (Matthew 24:36ff.), and in this occasion, since surprise is an art, there is not date given, only the criteria of accompanying circumstances, in their pattern unique and infallibly clear.
Warnings are given to be heeded! When the Twin Towers were collapsing, the intention was not to frighten, but to brighten the day of those to be delivered.
Cf. Wake Up World! ... Ch. 6, as cited, Chs. 4, 5,
SMR pp. 127ff., Chs. 1, 2,
TMR Chs. 1, 8,
Secular Myths and Sacred Truth Chs. 1, 7,
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, Wake Up World! ... Chs. 4, 5,
Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 6,
Earth Spasm ... Ch. 7,
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9.
See for example:
SMR Ch.5, pp. 423ff. ;
The Christian Pilgrimage Ch. 3;
Marvels of Predestination ... Ch. 6, *2, will and meritless operation;
Tender Times ... Ch. 11, esp. pp.172ff.;
Great Execrations ... Ch. 9;
Sparkling Life ... 7,
Earth Spasm... Ch. 6.
Spiritual Refeshings 9, incl. End-note 1
(esp. programmatic psychology and its ilk Marvels of Predestination . ... Ch. 7, including *1;
News 80; 44, SMR 4;
Repent or Perish 7, Extension 1
See also SMR Index under Freud and Jung;
NEWS 51, 52, 152, 166, LORD 5, ALERT 1 ;
Beauty of Holiness Ch. 2 (human psychiatrists)
Secular Myths and Sacred Truth Chs. 1, 7,
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9,
TMR Ch. 1, Ch. 7,
The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 4.
See also Bible Translation, End-note 3,
SMR pp. 68ff., 377-378, 712ff., 1004-1007, 1180-1181, 1185-1186C.
See also Red Alert Ch. 16, End-note *1, cf. Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 4,esp. *2, Highway to Hell.
See Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -7, Divine Deliverance ... Ch. 5.