Israel’s Sin…Song Of Moses pt 6

But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.  They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.  They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.  Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.(Deuteronomy 32:15-18)

We come now to the third stanza of the Song of Moses, (the first  and second being vs 1-6, Ascribe Greatness to our God and  vs 7-14, The Tender Care of God for Israel). In spite of the abundant and tender care given to the chosen nation, by God the Father, we are told by the spirit of Prophecy that Jeshuran would wax fat and kick…. .

Jeshuran is the special name given by God to His people, it means “Upright One“, and it reveals His ideal for the priestly nation. After his description of the victory which the LORD had given him, and the many delicious fruits that Israel would be able to eat as a result of God’s favor, we are warned that Jeshuran would wax fat, grow thick and become covered with fatness, like a spoiled calf which kicks at the one who fed him so well!

The blessings, security and abundance of good things would cause Israel to forget God, and to lose the fear of God, and ultimately to forsake him. This was put into the national song, which all of Israel was to learn to sing!

…thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

The Hebrew verbs are stronger than the KJV suggests; forsook could be rendered, pushing away, or abandoning in indifference, (Vayitosh). Lightly esteemed (va’nabel) contains the Hebrew root NBL which means fool. Va’nabel means to treat one as a fool.

Who did Jeshuran push away in contempt? God, lit Eloah, the God of Majesty and might! WHo was it that Israel treated contemptuously as a fool? The Rock of his salvation!

 

The song speaks of this defection in the past tense, the ‘prophetic perfect’, as if it had already happened, but it was composed at the very dawn of Israel’s long history.

They would forsake the Rock! The faithful, reliable, unmovable, unchanging One who had been their salvation. They would take Him for granted, and the good things He had given to them, would only make them fat and forgetful. Soon they would become wanton and lusty, as on a full stomach, and put themselves to the service of false gods, demons.

They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.

Israel is God’s wife, there was a covenant which all of the prophets would call the wayward nation to return to, as one would counsel a straying wife ;

Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:(Jeremiah 3:14)

O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.  Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.( Hosea 14:1-4)

The “strange gods” were rivals for Israel’s affections. The worship of foreign ‘deities’ which could neither save, nor even speak, was an affront, and insult to the one who had taken such tender care of them. They were utter abominations for the worship of them involved the most disgusting and degrading practices.

The jealousy of the LORD  for Israel was holy, He alone has exclusive rights to the worship and affection of the Holy people. It was He who sought them, redeemed, and wedded them to Himself under the canopy on the holy mountain. How could they bring these abominations into the marriage?

They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not…

False gods are actually demons. To traffic in any spirituality but the worship of the only true God is to consort with the enemy of all that is good and holy, for behind every false God is a Demon.   Baal, Ashteroth, Chemosh,Moloch may be the ancient names of the detestable gods of the heathen, but behind these “Nothings” is something, an evil entity, a fallen Angelic intelligence, an unholy being. To traffic with such is to defile oneself deeply. False worship is actually Satan worship and their can be no concord between Christ and Belial.

…to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not…

Notice that the emphasis is upon novelty. The people would become bored, restless and full, and would hunger for the new and unique. They would not want to remain in the everlasting Rock, their lusts would entice them to seek the exotic. Is this not the appeal in the formerly Christian West, to Zen Bhuddism, or to Islam? Has this not even led Christian congregations into mysticism such as the Toronto Blessing or Spiritualism>Moses predicted that the sin of Israel would manifest as boredom; fulness would lead to boredom and boredom to restless wantonness, and eventually into  spiritual adultery,

 

Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.   Jeshuran grew careless and overfed, sated by the good things the LORD had given him, soon would forget God, and seek after other ‘gods’ who would make no moral demands upon him, and of whose worship all of the sins of the flesh were deeply involved.

Moses’ song predicts that eventually Jeshuran, the ‘upright nation’, would kick at God himself ,(The cross of Jesus?), like an angry but well fed heifer.  Thus the sin of Israel would reach a climax and expose the nation to all of the sanctions of the covenant.

 

 

 

 

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What The LORD Did for Israel…Song of Moses pt 5

He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.  As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:  So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.  He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.(Deuteronomy 32:10-14)

We are looking at the song God gave Moses to teach all of Israel, impressing upon the mind of the nation the future history of Israel, all of the way to the “Last days”.

Thus far the future of Israel will show, that God is good, faithful, generous and upright in all of His dealings with Israel. However Israel proves ungrateful, perverse in her dealings with God, even in the face of the abundant generosity of the LORD!

We shouldn’t cast any stones at the children of Israel, for in truth they are a microcosm of the human race. If Israel proved unfaithful to God, how much more the church which He so favored, and which He purchased with His own blood? Have we not also been proven to have been unfaithful, apostate, and perverse? Isn’t church history a sad retelling of the books of Judges and Kings?

What did God do for Israel, according to the Prophetic Song  ?

He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

This is not merely a reference to the Exodus experience in Israel’s history, for literally he refers to “A desert land’ not “THe desert…”. The LORD is speaking metaphorically.

Israel is seen as a man stumbling lost through the wilderness that is this cursed, idolatrous world. There is nothing to eat and drink and this is also a world in which at anytime the wild, dangerous beasts can be heard ferociously howling. It is a world of death and danger.

The literal tense is present perfect;  He finds Him…He leads Him…instructs him and keeps him… .When it says He leads Him , this could also be rendered He encompasses Him, He surrounded Him as a protective wall, he made Israel exclusively His.

In the wilderness He gave instruction,  the LAW of the LORD which is perfect, elevating Israel above all other nations. The ultimate lesson in the wilderness of the Exodus was, “…. man shall not live by bread alone ,but by every Word that cometh from the mouth of God”. 

But the same word for instruction could also mean “He attentively considered Him”, or as the Revised Standard Bible renders it, “He cared for Him”. He provided everything they needed, as a father would a son, He treated them tenderly, in kindness and grace.

He guarded them as the apple of His eye...the tenderest, most sensitive and protected part of the body. The retina, surrounded by the iris, called in the Hebrew, the ishon, (Little Man), because we can see our own reflection looking into the retina of another.We take great pains to guard this most sensitive and precious of our members. So also does the LORD watch over Israel.

Is this not the story of our own life? Didn’t the LORD himself seek and choose we who have been saved? Has He not taught us also and shown us the path of Life?The 107th Psalm echoes this verse of the song of Moses,

They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.  Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.  Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.  And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!(Psalm 107:4-8)

The LORD’s training of Israel, is likened unto the education a mother Eagle gives unto her chicks, removing down from the nest, lest the chicks get too comfortable and refuse to fly. When the Eaglet does take wing, the mother is there, ever watchful, ready to fly underneath and bear up the chick on her wings, should she have any trouble taking flight! This she will do until the Eaglet is strong enough to fly on its own.

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

 

The LORD alone was sufficient for Israel, they needed no foreign gods! He, the almighty God,  bore them up on Eagle’s wings.

He made him ride on the high places of the earth,  This is a military expression, meaning, that the LORD would allow Israel to get the victory time and again. Israel would be given control of the higher ground because of the LORD’s intervention.

…that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape…

Kiel and Deleitsch in their excellent commentary make the point that the reference to honey out of a rock and oil out of flinty rocks, is a poetic way of saying that in the Promised Land, God caused abundant delicacies to come from unlikely places;

Honey out of the rock and oil out of the flint-stone, i.e., the most valuable productions out of the most unproductive places, since God so blessed the land that even the rocks and stones were productive. The figure is derived from the fact that Canaan abounds in wild bees, which make their hives in clefts of the rock, and in olive-trees which grow in a rocky soil.  http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/view.cgi?bk=de&ch=32

This is how the Most High blessed and favored, and even sated Israel. He wanted the nation to sing of it, He preserved the song to this day, Israel was to consider its message until the last days.

 

 

 

 

 

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Israel Is Central Among Nations …Song of Moses pt 4

Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee? Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.(Deuteronomy 32:6-8)

 

The last verse of the first section(vs 1-6) of the song of Moses asks an ironic question of Israel; ‘Is this how you repay the LORD ‘?  The question is asked in a spirit of stark unbelief, as if to ask, are you aware of who this is that you spurn?  He is the LORD, i.e. JAHWEH, the personal covenant name of the infinite self existent God of the universe! He went to the trouble to redeem and establish you…and you can only repay his love and care with pride, rebellion and ingratitude?

Yet the LORD does not disown them entirely, because he asks in the present tense;

Is He not thy Father who has redeemed thee?

Though the communion is temporarily broken, he still insists that He is their father. Though the national blemish testifies that they are (presently) not Sons of His, He claims them yet, in grace and mercy. The severance is not absolute, there will yet be a reunion between God the Father, and His rebellious and ungrateful children.

The next section describes Israel’s high calling and blessings, which the LORD has bestowed upon them.

We are called to think deeply the meaning of Israel’s history, Can we grasp the meaning of Israel’s miraculous birth and calling? Can we see the hand of God in the events which transpired in the days of te Patriarchs, the Exodus, conquest, apostasy and all that has followed?

*Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. 

We are told to ask our (earthly) Fathers, and to inquire of the elders, the sages and teachers of the nation.  Thus there would always thus be an accurate record. Israel was not destined to be utterly bereft of truth, God would see to it that for the honest inquirer after truth, there would be abundant witnesses, elders, prophets, teachers and scripture to inquire of.

*When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

The seeker would be able to perceive that though Israel was created by God some time after the tower of Babel incident, really it was central in the original plan of God for all of his dealings with the nations. From the beginning he had planned the priestly nation, it’s role and even its geographical position.

The nation was perfectly situated between three continents, Asia,Africa and Europe, in order to facilitate the spread of the Word of God. When Israel was faithful to God, she was inviolable although the land’s strategic value as the crossroads of world trade, no doubt tempted the many gentile superpowers which would rise up.

When Israel proved unfaithful , her position would prove to make her vulnerable, a literal doormat in the wars between powers such as Egypt,Babylon, Assyria,and Rome.The Egyptians would trample under Israel to get at the Babylonians and vice versa.

The song of Moses makes plain that in all of God’s dealings with the nations, Israel and her place are central to understanding and perceiving God’s good hand n history, and that holds to this very day.

Paul would refer to this in his sermon on Mar’s Hill in Athens,

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;  …  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:( Acts 117:24-27)

God put the nations in their place and times of prominence in history, in order to maximize their opportunity to seek and find Him,(Salvation). Israel is central to this purpose in God’s economy.

Israel, are the miracle people , chosen by the Most High as the priests to the world, the mediators of the Divine self revelation, the custodians of scripture. Thus their central geographical location, and their turbulent history must be seen through this consideration. God had promised Abraham from the beginning, that “…in thee shall all of the families of the earth be blessed…”.

God would have (and did) use Israel as a light shining on a dark world, a city shining on a hill! The law was to pour forth from Zion, and people from the ends of the earth would flow into Jerusalem to meet God!

This was the ideal, but the Song of Moses predicts otherwise, except for a few years of exception. Ezekiel echoes the sad reality that would come, in fulfilment of Moses’ song;

Thus saith the Lord God; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.(Ezekiel 5:5-6)

Who can sin as thoroughly as a backslider?

However at times, Israel did indeed shine as a light in a dark world, even though the apostasy that this song has predicted did considerably dim her light. Consider that even in spite of apostasy, there has always been a faithful remnant, useful to God, and thus beneficial to the whole world. Where would we be without the contributions of Israel?

Where would we be without the Pentateuch? The Prophets and Psalms? The Wisdom literature of the Bible which Israel faithfully preserved at great cost to herself? Would there be anything resembling Western Civilization without the Jews?

The church also is the fruit of a faithful remnant of Jews. This is Israel’s contribution, in a fallen state! What will the world be like when she is restored, born again and fully reconciled to God? Paul tells us that for the world, the restoration of Israel will be nothing less than the resurrection from the dead!

For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?(Romans 11:15)

 

 

 

 

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They Have Corrupted Themselves…Song of Moses pt 3

They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee? (Deuteronomy 32:5-6)

The Song of Moses, given to him by God himself, to impress upon the memory of Israel forever, opens with a contrast. The greatness, faithfulness, perfection and beauty of God is contrasted with the faithless treachery of the chosen people in their dealings with Him who is Holy,Just and Good.

The nation of Israel was created by a miracle, for a barren couple, Abraham and Sarah received strength to concieve a miracle child. The True and living God revealed himself to Abraham, when he was Abram, a moon worshipping Sumerian. God chose Him and blessed He and his miracle son Isaac, granting them favor and blessing in all of their travels.

Isaac had twin sons, Jacob and Esau.God chose Jacob also, calling and blessing him. Jacob had 12 sons, one of which Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt, by his shepherd brothers. God used that act of treachery to preserve the family, bringing them into Egypt during the worldwide famine, and giving them favor with Pharaoh.While in Egypt, the family was isolated, in their own sector, Goshen, where they grew from 70 members, into a nation of more than a million!

With a mighty arm and in great power, God judged Egypt for enslaving the nation, bringing them out of Egypt with great wealth. Out in the wilderness, the LORD married the nation; Israel would be the wife of Jahweh.Under a canopy of glory, he gave them His law, and pledged himself to them there.

Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.(Exodus 19:3-6)

But as the Song of Moses predicts, (from the beginning), Israel would for the most part , only act corruptly towards the Rock, the faithful one who gave her life, and blessing.

But Israel is a microcosm of the entire human race.

David Baron talks about the difficult translating the first five words of verse 5;

The first five words of the fifth verse have been variously rendered and interpreted, and by some commentators have been given up as almost hopeless, because of the great variety of possible interpretations.Yet they are in themselves sinoke enough…

(1) shicheth – “He hath corrupted”; (2)  Lo – “to Him”; (3) lo- “not”; (4) banav – “his sons”;(5) Muman- “Their spot”, or “blemish”.

(Israel In The Plan Of God,David Baron, Kregel)

Baron points out that the verb Shecheth means not ony to corrupt, but to destroy, as in Hosea13:9 “O Israel thou hast destroyed thyself., but in me is thine help”. or possibly as the Revised Version renders the same verse; “It is thy destruction,O Israel that thou art against me, against thy help”.

The next phrase lo-Banav  means “not his Sons”.

The last  word of the five is simply “their blemish”.

The KJV renders this awkwardly in my view- “…their spot is not the spot of his children”.

Baron points out that the Revised version is a better rendering-“They are not his Sons, it is their blemish”.

Though this is written in past and present tense, keep in mind this is prophecy, this is what Moses saw concerning the future of Israel. She would corrupt herself more and more in relation to God, as the centuries progressed, in the face of countless mercies and deliverances, and in spite of the utter reliability of the Rock who saved her time and again, and who called and favored her, Israel would ruin herself. It was all laid out for Moses to see.

Though called, elected and adopted by God, there is no likeness to the Father, Israel does not bear the mark of Sonship,  rather they are “A perverse and crooked generation”. This perversion is in the very face of the faithfulness of God, His miracles, provision, favor, love, mercy and goodness.

The Song  then asks of the foolish and unwise people,

Is He not thy Father that hath bought thee?

Didn’t Jahweh redeem Her? Hasn’t he purchased her from slavery time and again?

Didn’t Jahweh create her out of nothing? Has He not established her into a mighty nation?

We should all fear God dear reader, for this song isn’t merely the airing of Israel’s sordid history of failure and faithlessness. One cannot appreciate this song unless we realize that Israel is but a microcosm of the human race, and that God’s dealings with her, are a billboard written large of his dealings with all of mankind!

 

 

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Ascribe Greatness to our God…Song of Moses pt 2

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.(Deuteronomy 32:1-4)

In the song of Moses, he prays that his doctrine would fall as the rain, and distill as the morning dew upon the herbs and the grass (All men are as grass) . His prayer has been answered for all over the earth, the revelation given to Moses is prevalent, either to be accepted or rejected by man.

All of the tribes and tongues of men have been exposed to the teachings of Moses; the account of Creation, the fall, the flood, the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the exodus and the ten commandments, the law of God, sacrifice, and these all as a preparation for the reception of the “Seed of the Woman”, the promised Messiah of Israel.

The faith revealed by the teaching of Moses is not merely a Hebrew faith,  it is universal.

Moses has published the name of the only true God.

In another of Moses’ songs,he taught the people to ask,

Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?(Exodus 15:11)

Everything good comes out of the knowledge of of the only true God. All true love, morality, virtue, truth satisfaction and joy comes from knowing God. The determining factor of every man’s life is what he knows or thinks of God. All of his problems are at root theological problems for a man’s life is controlled by his view of God whether accurate or inaccurate.

To publish the name of God is to bring forth the revelation of God’s perfections and attributes.There is no higher use of the faculties than the contemplation and worshipful beholding of God. Man has been endowed with intelligence, will, emotion and moral responsibility that he might know and enjoy God.

In his mercy and goodness, God is self revealing. The pinnacle of Moses’ career came upon the mountain after Moses had prayed to see God’s glory. The Lord’s answer was that He would proclaim His own name to Him…

And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee...And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.(Exodus 33:19)

Truth, beauty , Infinite mercy,absolute Justice, righteousness,everlasting faithfulness, generosity,forgiveness,compassion, kindness and holiness are all summed up in the name God revealed to Moses, JAHWEH. These attributes were only revealed in a more complete form in the person of the Messiah  Jesus.

The fourth verse of the song could literally be rendered,

“It is the name JAHWEH that I Proclaim,

ascribe greatness to our God .

The Rock!- perfect is his work;

For all of his ways are justice:

A God of Faithfulness and without iniquity;

Righteous and upright is He!

The LORD is called The Rock 5 times in this song, underscoring his unchanging, immovable, firm and reliable character.The Psalmist echoes this theme in many places,  such as when he proclaims, “The Lord lives, blessed be my Rock, exalted is the God of my salvation!”.(Psalm 18:46)

The prophet also exhorts us to

Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock”.(Isaiah 26:4  NASV)

Through the wilderness wanderings of Israel, a Rock followed the children, out of which when stricken with a Rod, water flowed in the desert! Paul tells us in I Corinthians 10, that “The Rock that followed them was Christ”.

Psalm 92 , the Psalm for the temple Sabbath service, ends with the line-

To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him

The Psalms are full of supplications for refuge in “The Rock”-

Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress.Psalms 71:3

The LORD is not merely ‘ a rock’, He is ‘the Rock’ of salvation, steadfast, reliable, unchangeable, a refuge for all who seek Him!

 

His Work is perfect- Everything He has done has the stamp of absolute perfection upon it. Creation, even in its fallen state, under the temporary curse of vanity, is perfect in all of its aspects. As we look over the course of the History of Salvation, the dealings of God with the nations, the miracle of the creation of Israel, and the way God has worked in Israel’s history to bring forth the Word and the Messiah, we must marvel at the perfection of God’s work.

The ultimate work of God is how he made a way for sinful men to be reconciled unto Him, redeemed, reborn, set free from sin and brought into fellowship with Him who made them, and then purchased them with His own blood! No man could ever have concocted the plan of redemption. How could the demands of God and the desperate needs of men be satisfied in one and the same work, the work of the cross?

In that one act of obedience, the Holiness of God and the mercy of God were satisfied, once and for all. The Righteous God found a righteous way to save sinners! The work of God is complete also, in all of its parts. Every attribute of God was expressed on the cross, His wrath, His mercy, His Holy Justice, is tender compassion, all were expressed without contradicting each other.

All of His ways are Judgment He is the perfect Moral governor of the universe. Every one of his decisions and decrees will be revealed to be in accordance with what is righteous and true, everything he has done in all of his dealings with man will be seen and acknowledged by all, as having been in the right.

A God of faithfulness and without iniquity- The LORD is absolutely reliable, and trustworthy. He has kept his Word and promises, both of blessing and of judgment, and it would be impossible to have trusted in Him and to be disappointed. He is the God of Truth, and “in Him is no darkness at all”. There is no iniquity, or evil in Him, He cannot be charged with evil, He doesn’t lie or deceive, and everything he does, speaks, intends and purposes is Just and true.

Good and upright is He- God is good, he is generous, Kind, merciful and slow to anger, He is apt to forgive, to forbear, his patience is our very salvation.

This is our God, this is the revelation of His name, He is good, true, upright, merciful, a ROCK for all of those who come unto Him.

 

 

 

 

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Calling The Universe to Witness…Song of Moses pt 1

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: (Deuteronomy 32:1-2)

In the latter part of his life, Moses, the servant of God, taught Israel a song which prophesied the entire future of the people of Israel. The LORD had called Moses and Joshua into the tabernacle to announce Moses’ death, and to impart to Moses the song, which he was to teach Israel, as “ a  witness for me (the LORD) against them“.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.  Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?  And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.(Deuteronomy 31:16-19)

This song would be impressed upon the imaginations of God’s people, to serve as a point of reference through Israel’s darkest future days. Particularly when tumultuous future national experiences and events (such as the holocaust) would literally call the reality of the goodness of the God of Israel into question.

The Most High God lays out the entire future of His elect people. In their darkest days they could yet be mindful that all of their troubles were foretold and  that though “weeping may endure through a long, long evening…”, in the end, joy really does break forth in the morning.

He calls upon “Heaven and Earth” as covenant witnesses to the marriage between the LORD and His Wife,Israel.

The received teaching of God entrusted to Israel,  is intended to bless the whole world. The Word of God revealed through Moses shall fall as the rain, upon the just and unjust alike, through the grace and generosity of God. The teaching of God shall refresh fallen men everywhere, in every nation , even to the very ends of the earth, as the dew on the morning grass.

A later prophet would tell us that “…all men are as grass”,  for the most part withering and  blasted in the arid wilderness that is this sinful world. But wherever the doctrine of Moses and the prophets and apostles has fallen, the brown turns to green, and the parched souls burst forth into life.

“My doctrine shall fall as the rain…” says the Lord of the universe, the God of Israel. Whenever Israel would in the future forsake her Lord, one of the consequences would be drought and famine, signifying the spiritual reality.

Whether he realizes it or not, man lives by the Word of God, every Word that comes from the mouth of God. Thus there is no drought as severe as a drought for the Word of God, nor is there any more severe famine as that of the Word of God.

But the purpose of the benevolent God is stated at the outset, that through Israel, the lifegiving teaching, the Torah of God should descend from heaven upon the sere earth, and that over the earth the teaching of life should distill, and refresh the cracked and thirsty hearts of sinful men…

 

 

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False Freedom…pt 3

false freedom…

“While promising them liberty , they themselves are the slaves of corruption, for by what a man is overcome, by that is he brought into bondage” 2 Peter 2

“Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles!” Karl Marx

“All the world over, so easy to see, that people everywhere just want to be free…”(The Young Rascals)

We live in an age of revolution. Everywhere on this planet people have been “breaking off the shackles” in one “liberation movement” after another in the quest for that elusive goal, which is freedom. The American revolution was followed by the French revolution, which in turn spawned successive waves of bloody reversals of the so called ‘existing order’, which ripple up unto this present day.

But almost invariably, whenever the “order” is successfully overthrown by the latest “Liberation” movement, the old order is replaced by something even more oppressive than the previous one. The French Jacobinist movement ended in the dictatorship of Napolean,The Marxist “liberation “, resulted in the 70 year slavery of Russia and the subjugation of her neighbors. Mao set the Chinese free into the nightmare of His own reign, Who can forget the brutal “liberation” movement that has strangled Cuba since 1959? There is a false freedom, that leads to bondage.

Culturally as well as politically, we have been subjected over the last 100 years to various forms of ‘liberation’ which is in fact bondage. The Women’s liberation movement, the sexual revolution, Homosexual liberation, and etc.,have all promised us liberty, but I dare say there is a lot less true liberty today than ever before.

Take the sexual revolution; did throwing off the norms and habits born of the Judeo Christian ethic really make us any freer? Sexual revolution promised us a loving, freeer world, but it has actually killed love, as well as romance. Where is the love in sexually transmitted desease? Is “hooking up” romantic? What about illigitimacy and the problems compounded by it? has the debasement of marriage, the encouragement of various deviancies liberated our society? The sexual revolution has enslaved millions and made everyone’s life uglier.

This is the bitter fruit Peter warned about when he decried the false freedom, which eventually enslaves. It would do us well to define it’s charachteristics, because the siren song of false freedom , luring people into the shipwreck of life, is one of the defining marks of our age.

* False freedom is an end in and of itself… The point of false freedom is the removal of all restraints. It is the freedom to “do your own thing”, providing no else’s freedom is impinged on. Therefore there has been a relentless war on any inhibitions, any restraints whatsoever, and above all , on any moral judgments. It is insistance on this false freedom which has given us the coarsened,balkanized, pornographic, in your face culture that we live in today.

*False freedom is not seen as a Gift from Godbut rather as something to be siezed. There is a famous sculpture, in which the upper body of a man is seen using a hammer and chisel to emerge from a block of marble. In the modern world, we liberate ourselves, we make our own lives, we define ourselves.

That is why the various ‘liberation’ movements have had to foster a kind of ‘consciousness’. Blacks have to be kept angry at whites, women have to induced into resentment at the patriarchy, sexual deviants have to be encouraged to hate the churxh, etc. Satan as well, had to lure Adam and Eve into a ‘consciousness’ also, to get them to resent the limits the Creator had put on them.

*False Freedom is rebellion against the very laws of our being… Remember that true freedom, is liberation to be what we were made by our Creator to be in the first place. False freedom is actually rebellion against the Creator, therefore it often manifests itself as rejection of the God ordained uses.

Picture an astronaut making a spacewalk, and really having an existential experience in the process. There is no North ,South .East, or West not even Up or Down! No weight, no boundaries, nothing but pure freedom! Ah, but wait a second, not quite absolute freedom…for the astronaut is still tethered to the spaceship by his supply line, he is not quite 100 percent free…not until he pulls out the utility knife he carries, and cuts the tether that held him back from pure freedom.

Now he is free…free of air, water, companionship, a trip home…this is the end of false freedom. This is the sense that for example the sexual revolution set so many free…Woman were liberated from motherhood, from marriage, from nurture, care, affection, love and committment! Likewise men were liberated also… from virtue, responsibility, maturity, love, selflessness in short the liberation was from humanity as God intended it to be in the first place!

God didn’t make women to be man like, and vice versa. The liberation movement, has gone far past the adultery and fornication stage, now modern man and woman would free themselves of their most basic identities, the God assigned sexual roles. Now we know words like “Transgender”, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual. This is the spaceman, long cut free of the ship, without north,south,east or west, no longer a point of reference, no longer any boundary, taboo or inhibition, “free” to the point of insanity. And saving for the grace of God , with no point of return.

The most liberated man in the bible, in that sense, would have to be the mad man of Gedara. He was so free, “that no man could bind him, not even with chains”. He was free of convention, free of civility, even free of clothes! And yet where does Jesus find him? “Among the tombs…crying and cutting himself…” a True metaphor for this generation, for he is depressed, suicidal, self destructive, demon possessed and obsessed with death.

Do you not see him in the miserable masses of our modern world, the heavily tattooed young women, or in the effeminate and confused young men? Is he not to be found in the heavily medicated, psychologized and tranquilized populations of our day? Behold the end of absolute freedom from all restraints, inhibitions,customs and morals;depression,self destruction and death. As Proverbs 8 tells us, “All them that hate me ” (God’s Wisdom),” love death”.

 

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