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THOUGHT AND LIFE RELATE AS LEFT AND RIGHT HAND
IN THE WORK OF GOD
Jeremiah 23:20, Amos 4:13
Someone might ask, Since the Lord knows what is the result for every soul, in terms of alliance with or departure from Himself, why does He bother to go through the rigmarole of history ?
In answer, one first notes that the knowledge is not all; Christ is not only the truth but the life. He is also the way. What is found out is not the same as what is wrought out. What is thought out is not identical with what is bought out, namely the redeemed. There are real people and issues, and for one point, they need to be exhibited to all, that all being shown His power, love, majesty and mercy, there is no danger for the godless to make it "all algebra" to use one person's phrase; rather it has its experimental aspect, not to the mere knowledge, foreknowledge of God, but in terms of the actual life of man. Utterly certain from the Bible is this, that in terms of DESIRE, God is NOT WILLING that any should perish. As in II Peter 3:9, Colossians 1, John 3, the world is in His eye to be saved, and it is human preference for something other which stops this occurring for all, and NOT something else (John 3:19). This is the divine definition of the matter. To leave this out is like speaking of a dragon in your tea, and being questioned concerning your sanity or mirth, being told that you disdain the dictionary definition, and that to you a dragon MEANS brown sugar.
Indeed, God has spoken His meaning in so many ways for so may occasions that misrepresentation here becomes an infallible claim for guilt, bearing resemblance to enemy propaganda in war. To be sure, there are results of His creation and desire, with the limits of love never replaced by mere power; but as to the divine causes in this field in terms of love and saving desire, they are categorically rehearsed again and again: He does not WANT people to die, the world to be lost, man to be condemned and exhorts passionately to the contrary as in Matthew 23:3;7 and Ezekiel 33:11, to mention but two cases of this delightful divine refrain.
Nevertheless, He will not HAVE facades and pretences; He IS the truth; what is merely meretricious or factitious is exposed. Love is not dictatorial nor is it duped, when it is the love of God, as you see for example in Matthew 23.
To aver otherwise is to perform two evils: put something into His mouth that contradicts what He repeatedly and directly states concerning Himself (do some know Him better than He ? is the psychiatric folly to go to no limits, the creature knowing the Creator better than vice versa!); and secondly, it deviously not to say deceitfully removes blame from man, who was made to be blameworthy or not, according to his own actions, before God, for Whom the only possible blame is likewise folly, namely that He should have let heaven and earth go to man to do with what he will. Since man is what he is shown to be, that would have been madness; and even at it is, man is near to obliterating himself with radioactivity and disease, lack of self-control amid lack of self-cleansing by the only available method, of recomposition, indeed regeneration by God (cf. Titus 2-3).
Indeed, to take the major point further, when God has things happen, the chaff detached blowing with the wind, the mind unhinged not opening correctly, the massifs of human pride and power showing the sheer magisterial follies of their heartless and unrealistic laws when a greater people rules a lesser one with force, the result is educational for eternity, confirmatory for the present, and illustrative for all, including devils, and would-be ones. His foreknowledge, so far from making agencies and dynamics unnecessary, has already taken account of them; and His predestination has already ensured that no march is stolen by deceit, that in the end, the truth will speak. In it, the results of foreknowledge appear as in Romans 9:11, predestination being logically further down the line (cf. Romans 8:30ff.), merely enshrining what in already known with that love of God which never changes at the base and heart (I John 4:7), and that truth which never forces in this area, nor seduces nor covers us. God IS light.
Mankind, in his sophisticated follies into which he most naturally falls, since as a race, now fallen, he is apart from his God till he is found by Him, is fertile and even febrile with imagination, often hiding from fact. He tends to make so many adjustments for so many reasons with so many treasons against truth, such subtle, such bold, such untold horrors of lying, that were the truth not given tongue at the end, the whole would be worthless. It is ensured that it does, however, and cover-ups, though prevailing for a time, meet their Nuremberg, indeed their due destiny in due exposure and judgment. Even your car comes up for judgment, if well maintained; and deserves it if not!
In the face of this uncouth misassemblage, dubiety in declaration, dreamland projections of evil philosophies and doped take-in of dreary deceit (as Italians, Germans, Russians, Japanese, and various allies of this one or that have recently seen made so manifest), God lets facts speak, to the last dying radioactive remnant, tortured victim, torturous hypocrite and animated bigot and zealot, lovers of nothing, seeking escape in some philosophic oblivion (cf. SMR Chs. 3-5,10). BEHOLD, He says of what desolations are made in the earth as judgment fits crimes; BEHOLD He says of the Messiah, using Pilate to make this statement of woe (John 19:5,14), as the whipped, buffeted, bashed, stricken, misrepresented Christ is put on display, object of derision as He continues His proferment of salvation, through the way of the cross.
The first presentation from Pilate has this: Behold the man! after the brutal treatment and Pilate's own satisfaction that he could find no fault in Him (John 19:4). The second comes after interview, Pilate the more concerned to deliver Christ, deploring the misplaced savagery and hatred; but he would not hold out against the crowd's passion, and delivered Him up. Much happened here, many thoughts were exposed, realities were sipped, contests slipped in like poison, and passion blew like blustering evil winds. You see it all, feel it, discern it, and come to know the necessity of salvation from these cultural occlusions, tempests, orchestrations and follies.
It is all to be BEHELD, and thereafter, not least the sufferings of Christ's Church are a testimony to man and angel (cf. Ephesians 3:9-12), as was Job before it, of the reality of the love which despises shame and refuge in lies, the Redeemer making a place of peace in the midst of storms of passion, and of meaning amidst the chaotic fluxes of undisciplined thoughts and lives. We are lost without God, the more so being all sinners; and the more we see of it, the better, since when eternity comes, there is no shortage of time. .
History is worthy doing; it has eternal lessons and exhibits the foreknown grounds in the laboratory of history, the more so, as it moves to the predicted point where man would be unable to continue to live on this planet, if Christ did not return ... which in His own time, as with His birth and resurrection, He will (Matthew 24:22). Just as truth has already availed, in the divine provision for justification by faith (Romans 5:1-18), so it then will prevail as in Isaiah 11, Habakkuk 2:14, Revelation 19-20.