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PITY, PROBITY AND COMPASSION
as revealed in the Lord God Almighty
What a revelatory treasure is to be found in Isaiah 48:15ff..
Here we find
1) God is speaking and has been for some verses.
2) He is reviewing some past events and episodes.
3) He expresses grief, profound
regret, heartfelt sorrow that Israel,
having had some marvellous opportunities, had blown them all far away in
futile aversion, and listless drift, so that now these things no more offer.
4) Predestination did not force it;
it found it from foreknowledge (Ephesians 1:4)
and merely ensured that it happened as shown.
5) God did not lack motivation and
pity, passion and desire,
did not in fact fail to feel a profundity of pity for Israel, in view
of their so acting that vast wonders are now lost, that HE would
delightedly have given to them (II Samuel 12:8).
Instead of gushing follies, there
would have been coursing righteousness,
instead of forced emigration, there would have been blessing,
instead of slaughter, there would have been an expanded populace.
Such are the divine statements of grief (Isaiah 48:18-19).
Now, all that is gone, like a
thunder clap. Here is sovereign grace in place
even for those who failed to come, to respond, to be recipients of His offers,
and enriched by His vast desires for their good. He would have delighted in dealing most abundantly; but they would not listen, or act in His way, and so denuded their future, and despatched blessings like Autumn leaves, colourful but fallen.
As Colossians 1:19ff. shows, ALL things in heaven and on earth are what, in terms of the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Saviour, God in His willingness would have reconciled to Himself, with estrangement over, with acceptance of the way in, assured. There is no mystery about this. It is a direct statement. That God IS love (I John 4:7) does not mean that He is not. Thus the least that can mean is that there is nothing essentially contrary to love about Him, however hard (as in the case in Isaiah 49, as for that matter in Jeremiah 48, and Matthew 23:37 and Luke 19:42, with Ezekiel 33:11 and I Timothy 4:2) grief may strike Him, and blight lax rebels and over-weaning upstarts, as He continues merciful and just, in dealing with mankind.
Why any might make to make it appear a mystery what He is about, when in fact, He has shown and stated what He is about, though He does not provide handbills concerning every individual sorrow and His motives and provisions, is one of the sorry mysteries: the woeful wandering of man. Yet man has been made free, and his freedom though soiled, is not eliminated as you see in Hebrews 10, for there is nothing the Lord cannot penetrate, there is no darkness the Lord cannot enlighten beforde His eyes, no tangled way He cannot understand. Indeed, there is through His divine and pre-temporal foreknowledge the penetration whifch supervenes, His mind baulked at nothing. When God is in the midst even of the averted, perverted, diverted, yet He not only knows the truth concerning each and all, preventing any error. When God intervenes, by His own presence, He surpasses any natural obstacle for the effecting of His rules and principles, which sin might have striven to seduce.
You cannot get to hell (John 15:21-23, Colossians 1:19ff.) WITHOUT managing it CONTRARY to the impelling love of God. He does not falter, nor does He 'capture' unwilling souls as foreknown in truth, contrary to their preference (John 3:19).
It is always necessary to realise that not only does God do what He says, but He knows with what He is dealing, though sin snuggle up, and seek to strangle truth. NOTHING prevents ANYTHING from being manifest to Him, neither pathology nor other power. It is when one realises this that the natural realm is not so imposing; for though it has grievous impacts, neither these nor anything else can usurp, deter or determine what is to be. As He who knows all, unconstrainable, He acts, fulfilling ALL His own will (cf. Ephesians 1:11); and again, according to what He states, so He does.
If anyone does not at last enter the kingdom of heaven, it is not because the love of God was too short, but because his or her refusal was too long. IF He had not come among them and done the works and spoken the words no man had done, then those ignorant would "not have sin," that is, not be past all hope in judgment; but when it was clear they HAD heard and seen such things, and yet not believed, then the verdict was clear. There was now NO CLOAK for their sin (John 15:21-25).
THAT is the word of God. Why worry about the words of man spoken amiss as from the first, even if contentious, corrupt, moulded in rebellion, riotously unruly. To rebel is not to reason, and to imagine is not to identify fact. Satan did it, this distorting deceit, from the first. He has his followers and is more than welcome to them.
God is fair, just, and exceedingly
loving, but is not duped. There is no mystery about the extent, depth or quality
of His love, the wonder of His actions or the staggeringly unrestrained nature
of the cost He bore, which speaks for itself (cf. Romans 5:6ff., 8:31ff., I John
2:1-2, Galatians 2:20, Proverbs 1, Colossians 1:19ff., John 15:22ff.).