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CHAPTER 7

THE REVIVAL OF HOPE AND THE HOPE OF REVIVAL

 

The spent force, the bruised reed, the smoking flax, the etiolated plant, the mildewed roses, all speak one language. Hope has been dashed. Exuberance has been drained away. Strength is in recess. The bright and happy future is clouded with dimness, and in some cases, has flown away.

Sir Winston Churchill did not want to preside over the "dissolution of the British Empire", it appears; but he did. Europe did not 'need' two devastating World Wars in ONE CENTURY, as if madness were not enough, but it must dwell like the maniac of Gadara, amongst the tombs, naked and raving. Russia was not helped by its 72 year sojourn in a political swamp worse than the deprived swamps and ices of Siberia, to help it from the afflictions of the Tsars; but it got it, and put many of its citizens in just such a lostness, a state depraved, deprived and departed from all truth and godliness. It led to its utter humiliation, this which so high, had told God to depart, and to take His bags and baggage with Him. To what, then, in their lostness did they appeal, but to the wealth of the US (not least) via loans and credits, either directly or via agencies largely reliant on it, or nations with a freedom like its own.

Many a young life starts as roses in Spring, and ends as mildewed strangulation, powder and not fragrance, dulness and not delight. Many a mid-life becomes misguided, disoriented and rigid, unable to relax or to use maturity for the marvels with which it might have been endued. The world does not lament. It is beyond it; for the world itself is mildewy.

Again and again, nations will pick up the laurels, and begin to proceed with some sense of mission, as the US in the mid-nineteenth century, Britain under Elizabeth I, or Victoria. The arts, science, invention, discoveries will flourish. Then the sedateness of middle years, for nation as for man, will often contrive to overcome the thrust of reality; the form of religion comes increasingly to replace the reality, the worship of God to bend to the worship of wealth, success, prestige, power or even so lowly a creature as comfort and security. Shuddering with fear, they may come to seek merely or else, even first to survive, as if life were a byproduct, and its continuance the sole point of its existence.
 
 

ABORTION OF THE CYNICISM OF
CORRODED CORRUPTION ...

and the CHALLENGE TO SINCERITY
in the SEVERANCE of SQUALOR

That,such a concept,  however is merely and truly blind.

Do you drive in order to drive, or to arrive ? Does not the very wind have direction ? Is your purpose to continue, squashed by circumstances, fondled by fate, or else blinded, the cousin of chance and the soup of a moral slush, a constantly changing, chameleon solution, varied to meet the needs of the moment ? Or is it to be subjected to ethical squalor, personality modalities, the feeble lights of fashion or else fathered by the desultory, fostered by society, born of your own pride or pomp, pretension or pettiness ? Are the intelligences so roundly asserting themselves in every corner of creation, a fact not lost on Sir Fred Hoyle, and inveterately apparent, both logically and empirically (cf. SMR pp. 211ff., 252Aff., 252Eff., Repent or Perish Ch. 7), and is the array of contrivances which inhabit it like petals on a flower, to be met by the inanity, urbanity or even spiritual insanity of purposelessness ?

Is this your coin ? is it with this that you pay for you day ? If you do, you will pay indeed, and pay deeply for the very betrayal of life itself! (cf. That Magnificent Rock Ch. 6, Stepping out for Christ Chs. 2, 7-10, Spiritual Refreshings Chs.  13,  16, Wake Up World! ... Ch. 6, Sparkling Life Ch.  8). So the world, inhabited by many individuals, in many groupings, with many voices, does betray itself like a donkey kicking in that stubborn, stiff-legged way so dear to it, braying with cacophonies of philosophy so hideous, that one can readily understand the very creation of the donkey from this angle alone. As parody and satire alike of man, it is magnificent! It has, as the wine lovers would say (they are welcome to ALL of the poison that lurks - cf. Proverbs 23), it has nose!

SO now the September 11th. affair has become something of a political harassment! President Bush with his derring-do feel in his war on terrorism, and virtual re-definition of good and evil, is making the war against 'evil' to be a partnership with much that IS inherently evil, antichristian and given both to cruelty, force in faith and oppression! This evil is AGAINST 'evil'! This is the way of the world: use what you can to get what you need! Define as needed. Follow need.

Need however for what ? For a civilisation which can continue in freedom, with freedom lovers everywhere, and do its thing as the mood, caprice, will or desire may strike its heart ? In one of the Psalms, there is the sensation of Psalmist (88:5), in his persecution and humiliation, that he is "free among the dead". In his case, there is a complexity of issues issuing in this waterfall from brightness of sunlight on the top of the hill, to the dark depths beneath in the rocky shade.

  • "I am counted with those who go down to the pit.
  • I am like a man who has no strength,
  • adrift among the dead,
  • like the slain who lie in the grave..."


"My soul is full of troubles," he laments. However, this slippage into some degree of spiritual squalor, apparently jointly derived from persecution, with a measure of social ostracism and weakness, is not left to continue in its dark recesses. "Let my prayer come before You!" he cries in the still twilight dimness of his heart. He trusts in God: what then is this which seeks to engulf him! "You have put away my acquaintance far from me, You have made me an abomination to them." The situation is beginning to look grave indeed. "But to You I have cried out, O LORD, and in the morning my prayer comes before You."

Thus, in Pslam 89, the next item in that sequence listing these songs, there is a response, certainly from another writer: but as if in an opera, the one singer follows the other, and the message of the script becomes clear.

This is one of the great Messianic psalms, and what less is needed for such "affliction" as seen in Heman the Ezrahite, in Psalm 88. Only the Messiah will do! We at once find the "covenant" made with "my chosen", with King David. First, however, we must realise that the LORD from whom all comes, is available, omnipotent and wise, able to act and acting on His own grounds, according to His own principles, making His own premisses of which the covenant is an apex for man. "I have sworn to My servant David, Your seed will I establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations."

WHO is this who swears ? It is He of whom it is declared, "Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the LORD ?" That of course in one step is the end of the Jehovah's Witness heresy, for of Christ we know He is the exact image of the Almighty (Hebrews 1), whereas it is HE who has NO ONE LIKE HIM! Nothing is in His dimension, far less exactly so. Can the finite mimic the infinite ? Is the immeasurable to be compared with the measure of man! It is only when the immeasurable takes on the format of man, that He exhibits His exact likeness! (cf. Biblical Blesssings Ch. 13, A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 12). Forsaking this, man forsakes all there is, for when you doctor God, it is no more God, but an idol! Small wonder! Paul even in his own day, accuses some of making another Jesus, another Gospel and having another Spirit! (II Corinthians 11:4).

God is the doctor. 'Doctoring' God is mere imagination!

Not thus is the revival of hope to be found, for in the hopelessness of this world, only God is adequate.

To the Psalm again, then. Now in terms of the covenant, proceeding from none less than the ONLY GOD, we find this: "I have laid help on One who is mighty! I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found My servant David..." So do we come to the seed of David according to promise, as in II Samuel 7:10ff., and Psalm 72. He is to REDEEM His people, as God has shown would be His very own personal work, in Ezekiel 34 and Hosea 13:14, Zech. 12:10. It would be costly, and involve a piercing and a contumely, a capricious killing and a deadly wrath against Himself in the process (Isaiah 52-53, Psalm 2).

This is the One who would be the ONLY SAVIOUR, when GOD HIMSELF is the ONLY SAVIOUR (Isaiah 43:10-11, 53:6-12, Isaiah 41-42). This is He whom the Gentile as well as the Jew must find, or else find nothing. To turn to another, any other, is to be equipped with due judgment for such an exploit in travesty of truth, defiance of deliverance and ridicule of remedy (Psalm 2, 110).

This One, sent from God, the Expression, the living and eternal word of God, expressing His source (Hebrews 1, Micah 5:1-3, Zech. 2:8, Psalm 45, Isaiah 48:16), "He shall cry to Me, You are My Father, my God, and the rock of My salvation!" (Psalm 89:26). This Christ did, even at the Cross, declaring as He bore the sin which separates (Isaiah 59:1-2), "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me!" just as it was shown that He would do in the long-term prophecy of Psalm 22
(Joyful Jottings 25).

In this forsaking, however, in due recompense for the sin which He freely bore for the sake of those lost, who should use His redemption, call for His salvation, and in faith find it, He gives hope.

If however, God is against you, do not worry about who else is, or who is for you! That is the end. That is finis, unless by the grace of God, you repent and believe in Him indeed. You may squirm, if a nation, for a century or two, but it is the end. God has set times and limits for the nations, if by any means they should find Him (Acts 17:24-27). It is all worked out, and it is all worked in. In this "One who is mighty" there is deliverance for spirit and life, liberation for the purposes of God, for the strength of the Almighty, for the milk of truth for nurture, and the meat of reality for enduement. With Him ? "If God be for us, who shall be against us!" (Romans 8:31).

What then does disapprobation, derision, disavowal, denigration, slander, suffering or duress matter ? Look at Paul's words in I Cor. 4:9ff.. Let us hear some of these:
 

"For I think that God has set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake ...

"Even to this present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands; being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it; being defamed, we entreat; we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things to this day. I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons, I warn you...

"Now some are puffed up, as though  I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of those who are puffed up; but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. What do you want ? shall I come to you with a rod , or in love and in the spirit of meekness ?"


The apostle then proceeds to expose some the foul sin into which some in that church had fallen.

It is certainly refreshing to learn of such a supervisor as this (cf. I Peter 5), that he is not claiming ever higher superannuation, and higher exemptions, more place and scope, higher respect and the like, demanding that nothing demeaning be ever said about him! It is good to see sincerity isn clothes that match it, and humility in words which neither deny the function he has, nor assert his own person. In this is the love of Christ exhibited. He TOOK THE CROSS, and His followers must TAKE  UP their own!

Surrounded with thorns, though the Christian way undoubtedly is, what gardener is seriously concerned about these, when the roses come, those exquisite creations, their nostalgic perfumes seeming a distinct act of nobility in olfactory creation, incredible until experienced, their subtleties of shade and their crisp but unassertive surfaces like poetry in petal, architecture in botany, and with a passion design florIbund, skipping over all restraint, yet in residual restraint, liberal in loveliness, unattended but presented ex gratia.

Yet it requires some care in cultivation, and Paul was willing to pay that price.

Elsewhere, he says this: "Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, so that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot ,or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blemish" - Ephesians 5:25b-27.
 
 

WHO CARES ABOUT THORNS! PROVIDED THERE IS THE ROSE ...

Who cares about thorns, when he has the truth ? or what is the difficulty with travails if you have peace ? or what is the difficulty about sacrifice if GOD has sacrificed to gain you, and gaining you, give to you the life which is neither parody nor caricature, neither slander personified nor purposeless in retreat, but wisdom and brightness that does not, because it cannot die, for it is infilled with the very life of God, the guarantor and the giver!

This is what LIFE IS FOR - the Maker who made it. Is it then so very difficult to realise that in seditious separation from its Maker, in schematic severance from the Intelligence that formed you, schismatic divergence from the Creator who MADE you, the Redeemer who loved you, there is mere continuance, or the means of life, or the good opinion of your fellows, or some other trifle. If you live by such things ? they may change at the whim and mood of cowards, or the fire of passion! You are then but rubbish. What pride to establish yourself apart, and ignore both the power and the love of the God who formed you.

Now in the USA, there is a national crisis of a somewhat sallow sort. WHAT IF in the very midst of human power and contrivance, liberty and opportunity (even to make male female and vice versa in society, or to make mockery of both by slender transitions, horribly induced, imperfectly produced, a sort of biological rebellion), opportunism and power, yes of initiative and resources, the lonely wolf should come, not in from the wilds of the North, easily shot, but adroitly adapting the very vulnerabilities of your regime, to its utterly depraved destructiveness ? Why not ? If you take liberties with God, do you expect  that no liberties will be taken with your liberty! If you presume to harass reality, do you really imagine that it will not harass you, in turn ? or even out of turn - if your read Proverbs 1, you will begin to realise the enormity of the situation!
 

"Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:

'How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

'Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.

'Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.

'Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.'


Is it not repeatedly found so ? A nation turns from the Lord in its sophistication, wisdom and self-assurance, and is humbled by powers that demean, eating the fruit of its own follies, reminded forcibly of its cant, and its hypocrisy, its pride and its presumption. God dealt just thus with Israel in its day!

Thus not only is this so, but Moses forecast the behaviour and its consequence, long befor,e in this very dimension, before it came to pass! That, it is sovereignty indeed, wisdom that surpasses, unexampled and divine. Here then from Deuteronomy 32 (emphasis added):

"Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you.
And when the Lord saw it, He spurned them,
Because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters.

"And He said: I will hide My face from them,
I will see what their end will be,
For they are a perverse generation,
Children in whom is no faith.
They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God;
They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols.
But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation;
I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.' "


Can you expect the Lord to be your national Shepherd, when your nation is openly combined with Moslem idolatries ? (cf. Lord of Life Chs.  3,  4,  5). It is one thing to HAVE many nationalities and religions, and to be gracious in the name of liberty, to those who want to run their lives, within the law of your land, in this way or that. It is quite another for your President to congratulate an antichristian religion on its good teachings, and to unite with several exemplars of the same, in the name of a war "against evil". This has already compromised the reality of God to the uttermost, not making HIM ONLY the trust. To be sure, the populace have liberty, and a State apportioned religion is not the point. It is a State congratulated religious situation other than Christ, which is the perversion of purity, and the defilement of the divine name. It is a war on an evil which is NOT the evil, with MUCH OF the evil, as allies which is merely a re-run of I Kings 22.

In that case, to be sure, Jehoshaphat, fortunate to escape with  his life in that battle, allied with idolatrous Ahab, was king in a theocracy. That however does not end the parallel, but merely begins it. In each case, there is a nation  which has much to say ABOUT GOD (this President Bush, for example makes claim to be a Christian, just as Jehoshaphat was undoubtedly a man of and servant of the LORD), and a long national history of comparative closeness to God. In each case, on the other hand, there is a gross misalliance with what is starkly contrary to the Lord, and this in a way to suggest that it is somehow a spiritual battle. This combination and synthesis, this sin and syncretism is so provocative that one can only tremble. Already America has been hit, and now she hunches lest more slashings come on the exposed under-belly.

And why exposed ? Principally because liberty and tolerance are practised, instead of dictatorship such as seems near the mark in some Moslem lands, far from democratic, with vested religious and commercial interests aplenty ? Not at all. It is principally because the ONLY SAFETY has been abandoned in PRACTICE at the military and political level to a quite disastrous extent. It is a perilous place, at the outset, and what is antigod now has become an ally! When will the lesson be found ? When it is too late ? Perhaps.

In World War II, the same miasmic mistake occurred. The dictatorial, people slaying Stalin became Uncle Joe, pardner for Uncle Sam, and how they rushed to the kill, while the Cold War was born in their allied arms, and much of Europe was only part-payment over more than one half of a century, for the fearful blight.

And why a blight ? Fear of man instead of fear of God, quite simply. It is in Amos 4 and 7 that you see the measurement of God: the successive rebuke, reproof, appeal, the readiness to hear intercession, and then in Amos 7, the insistence that if the wall REFUSES to be upright, it will fall!

Not at all "free among the dead" is the people in such a case, if they will but put aside their glaring moral atrocities, outrageous defiances and legalised follies, making a stand if not as a nation for God, then at least a people who war on defilements that invade the nation and render it in perils unknown and follies innumerable. There is hope in holiness, and in national SEVERANCE from the follies of Islam as any sort of ally. Is the nation to define which religions it accepts, which are good and re-define goodness, ex-God as some sort of latter-day Moses, in competition with the United Nations, housed in New York. And can it be entirely disregarded that it is precisely in that city disadorned with that immoral atrocity, the United Nations prestigious Headquarters, that the September 11 attack came!

This permissiveness for new morals and new ways with the world's children, so that new brotherhoods without Christ are directly taught and power to implement thunders in the background (see Mystery of Iniquity), is itself a direct affront to the Almighty! per discourtesy of the UN.

The Psalmist in Ps. 88, however,  did not lose faith in God, in surveying his awesome scene, but he CALLED on Him. You cannot call on two gods simultaneously, when they deny, decry and contradict one another. That is mere chatter and verbal licence, abuse of the gift of speech, and of the divine donation of mind to man! HOW LONG, asked Elijah, WILL YOU HALT BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS! If the LORD be God, serve Him, but if Baal, then follow him (I Kings 18:21). There were many Baals (just a term for 'lords'), in ancient times just as now, their stained 'glory' for hearts intoxicated with innovation, inured with folly, implanted with rebellion, installed without reason, replacing the truth with immoral fiction). In Psalm 89, following the personal travails of Psalm 88,  we see the answer is NOTHING LESS THAN THE MESSIAH.

There truth sits, sovereign, sympathetic and full of rest (cf. Matthew 11:28-30, Isaiah 11:10).

Is it in vain that so many in so many cities for so long have appreciated with joy the apt melodies and beautiful compilation from the Bible, made by George Handel, as his life came nearer to its end on earth, and his sight became more difficult ? Is it to be just as a "lovely song" they people listen to such things ? (as in the days of Ezekiel, before utter ruin came to the nation, in his own days - Ezekiel 33:32).

  • "And lo, you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear your words, but they do not perform them!"

said the Lord to the prophet who spoke and was not heeded.

Spiritual squalor must be severed. In Christ, it can be. The Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the only Surgeon in this business. The nails that pierced Him, He bore; YOU must bear the scalpel which severs sin and the Saviour who gives life and abundance. Repentance is a deep thing; it is not a mere mood or affliction of the heart, far less a mere intrusion into the mind. It is a change so radical, that what appeared desirable, or even tolerable, is detested; what was admired is abhorred; what was source of pleasure is occasion for grief! Paul speaks of this in II Corinthians 7:9-10. Let us hear this.

"Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing that you sorrowed in a godly manner. What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you prove yourself to be clear in this matter..."

Foul as were the errors at that time in the church at Corinth, the matters were addressed, reality obtruded, was included, hearts were tested, errors corrected, evil purged. Then there is to be an entire filling of the heart with the Spirit of God, which comes through faith in Christ (Ephesians 5:18-22). Now,  nothing is barred, no loss too great, no admonition unacceptable, provided only it is in the word of the living God, no task to titanic! You see the entire dedication in Paul. What is wrong with that ? Is the current passion for physical health (perhaps not least because of the justified fear of death, in the hearts of the lost, though there is also the moderate desire for good reasons, in many) to be an end in itself ? Is the good running of the machinery to be the prelude to the damnation of the person whose it is ? or is the heart physical to be kept ticking longer, while sins linger, and salvation is distanced!

Are means to be GOD and purposes to be puny ?

Are men to solder all their lives and never discover what it is that they are ... creating!
 
 

IS THE CHILD 'FATHER OF THE MAN',
OR THE MAN FATHER OF CHILDISHNESS ?
Where FATHERHOOD really lies!

It used to be said of a particularly naughty child, that he/she was 'creating'. That is, such a scene and such a scenario was so far from the right way, that it was a kind of creation, a malady that afflicted good sense, marred good living, a novel that was a bad one! not worth reading.

Man does not need to go to childhood to find the case however. Modern man has ben 'creating' for a very long time, in the woeful blindness and blunders of philosophic pantomime, religious riot, cunning revilings*1 of Christ by no small number of misled clergy, equipped as well for the church, as the September 11 terrorists for the land they mocked!

Samson is a good type for some of this diffidence before spiritual duty. Brave (Judges 3-6) ? But of course; misled by lust, naturally, very naturally. Lust is of many types, easily categorised into the mental, the spiritual, the moral and the physical. With Samson it was physical. Endowed already, by divine prediction and preparation, with sublime strength, he allowed ridiculous evils in is life, so that although warned many times, he was betrayed by his forbidden woman Delilah (wrong because Philistine, and hence with heart in the enemy camp, and wrong because mere fornication), with such a ruse that made the poor,misled man look more like an erratic child than the full measure of his race.

Passion unsubdued, subdues.

Yet in Samson there was far more than lust, even virtually idolatrised lust, dulling all other sense. After he had been captured, by loss of strength in ways violating his commitment to God, he was made a thing of labour, of amusement, of delighted gossip and a spectacle, by his captors. In this the Philistines were themselves most unwise (Proverbs 24:18). Pride and self-exaltation is not a part of the spectacle attractive to the God who made man, who being created, needs humility to boast in the Maker, not the work which is himself.

Samson, goaded and made a mockery in a vast meeting in a sports stadium complex, feeling for the great pillars, broke them and killed thousands, including the mockers, the elite and the lordly.

He was willing to die to complete his task, which was to glorify God in the deliverance of Israel. This, in the end, he did; but what needless suffering he inflicted on many, but probably on none more than on himself, except for those with no hope and no way, trusting in themselves (Ephesians 2:1-12)!

Where then is the place of Fatherhood ? Is it at last, in the slithering slippages ... of mortal man ?
No, it is neither the child who is father of the man, being a site for greater powers and resources than his; nor man, in the end of it all, who is the final father of childishness, but a saucy spiritual severance, that clouded inheritance from the engines of evil. It is neither category which ultimately counts.

It is God who is by creation, and spiritually may become, the spiritual and lively Father of a man or woman, or indeed and not least by any means, a child! Yet when a man finds God as his Father, he HAS to become a child, far from childish, but far also from a manly mackerel, splashing his vigour with piscine panache. He has to RECOGNISE his Father, LOVE his Father, realise his NEED of his Father, find the WILL of His Father, and rejoice in the stability, strength and cleanness of heart and soul, mind and strength, so gained, when all being fathered, is likewise fostered in its due and true proportions and design (cf. Isaiah 33:5-6,17).

While Samson's revival was too late, except for a final account, his being in and through actual death, David, the King,  showed in his youth, a spiritually induced self-control which is a relish and rejoicing. He also had to disassemble any self-reliance, that anodyne of actuality, and take his place at the family Table of Truth. Thus when a mere lad, he was informed of Goliath's boastful assault on the name of the Lord, and met it in battle, slaying the giant, very precisely in the name of the Lord, with a sling shot. God was the source of strength, the name of God the source of the stimulus, to secure for it the honour which was - and is - its due (Revelation 5). This reliance was ruthless in truth, as much as the Islamic jihads are ruthless against it, inventing grounds for reckless immorality, and daring like Goliath, to bring in the name of God to debase it with their inhuman mouthings, maulings and boasts.

Later in life (I Samuel 24,26), David twice spared the very king, derailed in mind, misdirected in spirit, jealous in thought, who sought with thousands of national troops, to DESTROY him! He did it, once again, because the name of the LORD was involved. Did not God Himself have Saul, his oppressor, anointed king (before his spiritual downfall!) ? Then who was David, murderously sought or otherwise, to seek vengeance on, or indeed even safety from that King! So did the young man reason, concerning his heavenly Father, His honour and His dignity.

This incessant - or almost incessant - putting of the honour in WORD where it was - and is - IN FACT, was a distinguishing characteristic of David,  the man 'after God's own heart'.

It was just the same with Elijah the prophet (I Kings 17ff.), whose confrontation with Baal-worshippers was short, sharp and decisive, one man against all, or nearly all, in a meeting with hundreds of the false priests.

It is this which is one of the chief ingredients in any revival of true religion. It is a matter FIRST of TRUSTING GOD, and then DOING what He says BECAUSE you trust Him. It is therefore a matter of FINDING SALVATION where it is, in Christ crucified, and POWER where it is to be located, in Christ resurrected physically from the dead, and USING IT, not for that matter, in your own interests, but in HIS, according to His will and plan for your life which BY FAITH, you have to find out!

Did Samson give up because of his folly and sin ? Not at all, he kept at it.

Was he finished because his life was captured ? Not at all, he waited, he endured and then, given opportunity, with rising faith, he acted and accomplished wonders at sacrifice of his own life. In his case, it was physical sacrifice; but many a sacrifice is not to physical death, but to spiritual functionality, which brings not less, but more abundant life! Indeed, no sacrifice, no spirituality! It is not that our sacrifice BUYS ANYTHING; but godliness means that merely independent desires become irrelevant.

It is NOT FOR ONESELF that one lives, so that it is for and from the Lord that one finds the reasons and springs for action. David buried, to all rational speculation - without taking GOD into account - his regal hopes not once but twice; and perilously risked them a third time with Goliath, because the hope of being king was not the point. Being king was the will and would be the work of GOD, and hence the name of God needed to be honoured, since... he TRUSTED in Him!

This is sincerity and integrity. It is also life (Matthew 16:24-27). It is not really so paradoxical: you give up a wrongly directed life, under sinfully improper management, as if you were God, or centre, or the main thing, or your views, or visions, or ideals, being of yourself and your image, persona and penetration. Instead, you take on one which is ordained, authorised, blessed, refreshed, known, enabled and loved by the God whom you love since there is none anywhere nearly as good, powerful, wonderful, and since moreover there is only one who is your actual Creator, who knows you infinitely, though you be merely finite, and has loved you without limit.

Is it so surprising, then that you find life abundant in this way, and have to send on extended vacation, at a death camp, your pride and derring do, your desire for this or that as if you were a godlet!
 
 

THE FATALITIES OF FAITHLESSNESS

It is in this way that a nation, or a family, or a hearth, or an individual, or a church fainting on its way, being spoiled by vocal unbelievers, may be revived. TRUST in the Lord, and all that goes with it. Cease to trust in your own wisdom! is this not a veritable key-note in the Piano Concerto of Peace from the Lord, the composer! Look at Proverbs 3:3-8.

  • "Let not mercy and truth forsake you;


Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.

  • "Trust in the Lord with all your heart,


And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,

  • And He shall direct your paths.
  • Do not be wise in your own eyes;


Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones."

 

Look at the opposite when the ways of the Lord are annealed in the agencies of flesh and desire, carnality and pride, self-will and self-sufficiency, in Isaiah 48:16ff.:

 

“Come near to Me, hear this:
I have not spoken in secret from the beginning;
From the time that it was, I was there.
And now the Lord God and His Spirit
Have sent Me.

"Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:

'I am the Lord your God,
Who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you by the way you should go.

'Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

'Your descendants also would have been like the sand,
And the offspring of your body like the grains of sand;
His name would not have been cut off
Nor destroyed from before Me.'

The situation has not changed, for the nation, the individual or the family. It is true that a nation is no longer at this time, going to be directly theocratic; but its tenor can be moral, its underlying commitment Christian and not clouded, and its liberties bestowed on its citizens, not inclusive of moral revulsion, spiritual idolatry or mental migrations from truth, in the interests of irrational substitutes for rationality, made by means of reason! At least, we would not expect folly to be made mandatory, as some of Clinton's remarks came so near to suggesting, or even folly to be so commended that its detection and exposure would, by some national leader, be made a subject of loathing! And what follows that in the process of multiplied events ? law, a law to prevent loathing, so that sin becomes mandatory for those who will follow such defiled legal diatribes.

Would even Sodom blush, or Gomorrah be ashamed ? Romans 1 makes clear the direction of things, as does, for the end, II Timothy 3, and we need not be surprised, if this is their end, that such commencements are eve now appearing!

What then ? A nation can CHOOSE AS A NATION, certain standards, certain exclusions, if not of free thought, important for criticism, then of corruption in circulating drugs, of the endorsement of squalid sexualities or the marauding militancy of mere force, a farce that loves to substitute for faith.

This is precisely why Australia also is in some peril. In the absurd name of multi-culturalism, this nation is allowing and disallowing so much, as if being a mongrel, it were determined to admit nothing else. 'Being a mongrel ?' The term was, it may be noted, hypothetical. What it is, it is; but this action is AS IF it were a mongrel determined to have no character! The horror of it is simple: in fact, a Christian background had vast part in the development of this nation AND its famed liberties. Christ does not summon to die or believe as some do. He invites.

Now as if the migration of many from many nations in some way affected morals, or the past, or the design of man, or the future , in terms of standards and truth, as if truth were non-existent, and in all truth this non-existence were being affirmed in the usual ludicrous way, the nation is being encouraged to become ANYTHING.

ANY anything ? Far from it. It must believe in anything, or act as if it did. Anyone must be able to bring in ANY standards readily, in the field of morals and religion, since otherwise the United Nations will consider that the brotherhood of ALL men is being impugned. Children should, we are told, be brought up with these concepts, as a DUTY! (See Mystery of Iniquity!). In Victoria, it becoming an offence to deal freely with religion, in case someone be offended; and you can be sued if you indicate things, whatever your PURPOSE, which cause certain traumas or offences in the listener.

What a decree nisi with truth is this!

In fact, if this nation is ashamed, just like the USA, to bring in the actual foundations which led in so many identifiable ways to strength, industry and invention, to stability and law, to liberties all but unthinkable in many lands, and distances itself from its past in terms of some sort of conclusion from the future, a melting pot of morals, a spiritual made-to-order suiting clothing the whole, what is that doing but showing a fit of such ingratitude and contra-realism as to make angels tremble! Tolerance of varied ways of life is one thing, and commendable in measure; but seeking to make a STANDARD of reference of anything, is no way to honour something.

Is God inconvenient, then, even as a standard in a land of freedom ? even in morals ? Is anything to be god, and God to be on leave!

So be it ? What of the next Coral Sea ? and what if the USA is otherwise engaged ? Is the god of anything to be called on, while subtle and more 'advanced' arrangements are made with the moral mafia, the outlandish freakishness of philosophy, which of course has a branch in political affairs, while the land becomes ... anything ?

What has anything to offer ? No God, no truth, no permissions lest somebody be offended by anything, the wrong anything! Is there no insurance by anything ? Is trust to be confronted, dismissed while the countless valorous actions of people who trusted God to found Australia and to develop it (despite many errors of many kinds), is now because of some hypo-logical liaison with anything, to be asked to resign, while self-confidence arrays its loathsome littleness of soul, blindness of spirit, and takes on the universe and its Maker, in the interests of ... ?

Of what!

So do the nations succumb so readily to the speechifying of nothings, the allure of anythings, and leaving God, find their place in the dust. It can come very quickly! It is never by any chance, by any chance! Chance is merely a word, which has nothing to do with the realities, at the ultimate level. It is the absence of RELEVANT purpose to an operation, in terms of that to which it is exposed. With God, there is NEVER the absence of relevant purpose, since He is not absent-minded!

It is time to repent. It is time for Israel, for varied Gentile nations, inheritors of wonders from the goodness of the Lord, for varied churches, misusing and misleading in their turmoils of philosophical invasion, so readily suffered and witlessly confused with the word of the Lord, till they are all confounded. It is time to seek revival of life, enthralled with reviving hope. Indeed, Revelation 13 exhibits that this will be a huge disaster for many in this world: only those who for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, are ready to live or die remaining in their right place... And even that ? It is only till they too are removed, that they linger, as Christ depicted so clearly (Matthew 24:45ff., Revelation 11:12, 12:11), and with such warnings*2.

Then the void is on its own, the abyss can study its navel, and the world can consider its whirling, as the wrath of God makes manifest its putridity. There is nothing worse than just judgment, unrelieved, needlessly received and wantonly pursued. It comes (Revelation 19:15). The renounced remedy Himself is best judge, since He made Himself available to avoid it, and that in love. It is He, the Word of God, then, whom we see thus coming...

There is in all this, no fate, no fate at all*3, only divine disfavour through disbelief.

There is however, in the arrival of revival, a relish as of roses, a savour of reality, access to rationality in its awesome origins from God, the dower of spirituality, the power of godliness, which brings refreshment of heart, restores the mind to its place, takes meaning from the shadows and supplies the spirit of man with light (cf. Amos 4:13).
 
 
 
 

END-NOTES

*1
See SMR pp. 422Eff., 999, Ch. 3, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Stepping Out for Christ Chs. 1, 5, 6, News 122, 121, SMR Ch. 2 SupplementThe Frantic Millenium and the Peace of Faith Chs. 1, 6, 7, 10, With Heart and Soul... Ch. 11, Little Things Ch. 5, It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls... Ch. 11.
 

*2
See Acme, Alpha and Omega Chs. 5,   9.
 

*3 Cf. Benevolent Brightness .. 68,  *1, Divine Deliverance Ch. 7, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Chs.  9  and  13.