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LIMITS, LAW, LOVE, LIBERTY AND LOSTNESS
VIRTUE, VICE, VENGEANCE AND VICTORY
Psalm 94 and its Sequel
Let us first simply survey the progression of
thought in the Psalm. Then, consider the themes. Following this, we will apply
its message to our own land, but not to this alone, in terms of Challenge,
Call and Conclusion.
1-3 Punishment for the Proud
Vengeance on the Vicious
4-7 Persecution for the Lord's People
Presumption against the Lord's Person
8-11 Proclamation of the Lord's Performance
Futility of False Fashioners
12-13 Rest in the Ways of Righteousness till
16 Call to Spiritual Arms (cf. Ephesians 6)
17-19 Cure for the People's Alarms
20-21 The Falsity of Fellowship with the Futile
22-23 The Lord both Defence and Refuge II Corinthians 6:14-18
I THE COLLISION 94:1-7
2 THE CREATOR 8-11
3 THE COMPANY 12-15
Composite and Corporate
4 THE CALL 16-23
its Principle 20
Its Crowding by Enemies and Encompassment by God 22
Its Conclusion 23
5 Psalm 95 THE ALTERNATIVE
I THE CHALLENGE
2, vv. 8-11
The Creator - does the manufacturer of ears, not hear!*1
Imagine an inventor carefully formulating the conditions for hearing while neither having it nor having thought of it! God scoffs at such irrational folly (vv. 8-11), as if the world were run by dreams. If you do not have what is sufficient to start a work or a universe, you will never finish. We are increasingly a finished race because our sacred culture refuses our beginning, taking matter from nowhere and mind from the sub-moronic nullity of the thoughts of matter, which are not, and spirit from thin air, yet it is this by which they know! Magic is its name, and method is voided as reason lies void, fallen in the street.
Nothing has no thoughts and is no inventor! Imagine nothing formulating the ear or the product of nothing doing so; far less man! God tears apart the hypocritical vanity and vagueness of spiritual aliens, gifted at the null and the nebulous. The products of nothing are not endowed, indeed, it is even more moronic than matter, in imagination and creation. Shall the most be the product of the least, of nothing ? Shall wonders come from nowhere ? in steps or at once ? Will form and law, serviceability and agility, organic function and multiplied commands, all integrated, 'arise' like a sleeper at dawn ? But this does not sleep. It comes activated and constrained, from nowhere, but has neither consciousness nor forbears. Such is the naturalism which God denounces, as He announces His personal care.
It is possible to be playful with life, imagining a vain thing, as Psalm 2 puts it, and avoiding the solution to the tragedy that is man (Proverbs 1). God however has foreknown all, foretold the remedy in Christ Jesus, and will in due time, pronounce the severance of lies, and of the very earth under them (Psalm 2, Isaiah 24, II Peter 3, Matthew 24:35).
Blessed is the man whom the Lord instructs, we read.
"WHO will rise up for Me against the evil workers ?"
Who will attest ? As Paul puts it, he is called for the defence and confirmation of the Gospel (Phil. 1:7). It must be defended, received, itself the site for transfer of power, as in the Berlin air lift. Our power is of God, who flies it in, not in aeroplanes, but through His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).
"Not by might, nor by power,
but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts."
This was the word when Jerusalem needed rebuilding; how much more when the evil one defames Christ, distorts the Gospel, misdirects many churches, and culture becomes king increasingly in lands where once Christ was revered, which now in subversive substitute, merely means self-worship.
Who will attest ? Is it not enough, in our land of Australia, in particular
to drug the minds of the young
ii) selectively to import those who vehemently reject the claims of Jesus Christ ?
iii) abandon the original rocky foundations sketched and surveyed
iv) take the unbased morals of the United Nations,
wander mesmerised towards vehement assault on man as product of God,
What have I done ? God asks in Micah 6:3, and in what have I wearied you!
As if in a musical counterpoint, the Lord then declares this, through the prophet Hosea:
"He has shown you, O man, what is good:
And what does the LORD require of you,
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God."
Man now tends more and more NOT to be interested in what God has shown Him, to love to try ANYTHING, as if there were thousands of options worth a go, as they say; and none lethal, nothing fatal, while former empires lie listless in the ruins of history, their former vitality a mockery, their sins blatant and their ruin just.
That, says the spiritually illterate mind, is not the point. I do not CARE to know what anything or anyone wants of me, so long as I satisfy myself.
What we need for our developing culture, we must have! they say. What have I done! God exclaims! as of yore, in effect challenging this godless deflection of reality, as if we all contrived in some spiritual state, to invent matter and make ourselves, getting the mind to do it from nowhere, the spirit for it from nothing, nd the meaning of it from the same source. That is man. This however is God,by whom alone he has so much as existence!
If God, on whom we rely according to the Preamble to our Constitution be God, then follow Him; and if these naturalistic mysteries be your foundation, then follow that; but never say you were not warned! Israel was. You are. Can love do less!
And into what is this society developing as it rushes to follow after the world, as Israel did in appointing a king for the wrong reasons ? To what is this profoundly blessed land coming ? Is it not realised that the greater your opportunity, the greater your responsibility! If divinely based words of challenge are simplistically, not to say wilfully rejected, while desire clings to its preference, never let it be said, amidst the voluntary obfuscation, the darkness of unreason, rejection of validated revelation, the downgrading of the works of Christ and of the love which led to these, "I was not warned!" Warning has been prolonged, pointed, presented in multiple formats, shown in reason, attested in revelation, exhibited in its force in history, multiplied in images, set forth in structured logic (cf. Hosea 12:10).
What MORE is required (as the Lord told a generation in Israel, long ago - Micah 6:3ff.)! Alas after mercy, after love's cost-bearing of vast amplitude, after patience and longsuffering, at last comes judgment. Was Sodom spared ? or Tyre ? whether the fault were in the realm of the sensual or pride, it was yet alienation time! Was Babylon extended, and consider what Jeremiah had to say before its fall! (Jeremiah 50-51).
Can sin live ? Do fleas make for skin health ? Does poison profit the stomach ? then does evil before the Lord, make for peace, and does war make for ruin.
Read the first few Chapters of Proverbs (1-8), and consider the principles. They do not go away! Consider the issues as in Messiah, Jesus Christ, Ch 10.
What then of our land (and not ours alone) ?
It is moving to become a land that is a law-unto-itself, despising design, voyaging into vice, teaching what is at war with reason, revering what is never found, and living a fairy story, where the outcome of unrealism is forgotten, until it becomes income, and the nations fail - ready to imitate Sodom, Babylon, Tyre, Nineveh and for a long time, the Jerusalem that is now restored in part. Is this the unheritage listed mutant desired! This would become as common as dirt and as useful, when it is mere mud, or a dry well, broken as in Jeremiah 2:13. It as one who rejects the snowy waters of purity for the sake of emptiness. Has blessing anaesthetised thought ? Are even warnings to be cut off and served with summonses? or is truth to become toxic!
To be sure, there is a battle coming (Revelation 19), but there is no victory in it for vice; only misery. The war to end all wars, is that with God, and self-destruction is its outcome. Ezekiel 33:11 puts it keenly, as does Jeremiah 13:27. Meanwhile the word, wit, wisdom, love, verifiability, veracity and virtue of God remains; and the Gospel remains His challenge now, as for millenia (Titus 2-3).
The world is charmed with happy domestic felicity, steady work, child production from the ordained sources, dutifulness as it looks at the Royal Couple. How It longs for goodness and righteousness, naturalness and self-control. But it must also long for the truth, without which there is no peace! and repent at its violation and that of life. Yet this world surges for justice, disrupts for desire, purges for bitterness, bites for zest of resentment, is irreconcilable. Redemption is the beginning, restoration to the direct presence of His beloved by His Spirit, through His salvation, that is found in the redemption through the blood of Christ. It is this which leads on to what David states in Psalm 94:19.
"In the multitude of my churning thoughts within me, Your comforts delight my soul."
It is good for each individual to be encompassed by the One who knows the directions, dynamised by the power which is given with wisdom, delivered by the rescue operations of the One who made man, liberty, love and opportunity (Psalm 144:7, 14518:. God never fails (Zephaniah 3:5). Every morning He brings truth to light: therefore in the morning, seek Him! He delights in being found, in repentance and faith (Jeremiah 18:31-32), that He might show mercy; and what is found is no foundling, but gains authority to become a child of God (John 1:12-14).You have faith ? use it. Eternal life is gift: then receive it. Christ Jesus is reliable ... then rely on Him. His word is truth ... operate on it.
For an oral presentation in this area of Psalm 94, use this link.
This Psalm 94 has some substance in common with Psalm 139, which is covered in some depth in the work, On Biblical Translations II, including the following.
In Psalm 139:16, an interpretive rendering follows:
"My structure was not hidden from You,
when I was made in secret,
and intricately given diversity of form
in the developmental darkness.
Your eyes saw my embryonic substance
and in your book all
(the particular results of developmental processes,
to form the physical equipment of life, organic, structural)
the (very) days they should be fashioned,
when as yet none (organic, structural members) of them
(so much as) existed."
This is the situation:
none of the noted bodily members is there,
but there the program is,
each day of development being nevertheless determinate,
yes, even when not a member was to be seen in the embryo
in its initial simplicity.
That simplicity in marked contrast with its prepared potential, means this:- Amazingly it is all marked out in His book as to days,
each organic whole is envisaged, prepared, pre-designed,
ready to burst forth, like flowers in Spring,
indeed to be moulded,
not one of the members has as yet appeared.
Yes, it is timed!
§ "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed,
and in Your book my formed parts were all written -
the days they should be fashioned -
when as yet there were none of them."
Thus "Thy book" was divinely inscribed to cover the case, even when these members, to be made and co-ordinated, were visually absent. By vigorous application, what had to be done, was achieved and as we might say in our idiom, "it was all hammered out," an aspect of meaning here. Where it had to get form from active fashioning, it got it, in a sort of secret sanctuary for building. (This of course is precisely what is being said in science now, as the genetic code for a man is considered and claims are made that its content for a single human being, asa contained a a nucleated cell, is worth a thousand large, complex volumes of writing.
Indeed, in Denton's Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, p. 334, we are
instructed that all the information needed for the formation of physical man can
fit into a few thousand millionths of a gram; while it appears that all
that needed for all the living material known to have been on the planet could,
in in this extreme miniaturisation, fit into a teaspoon.
The intense symbolic, code content is prescriptive, directive, executive, integrated, cohesive in kind and synthesising in practice, the most stupendous material design by far, ever visible on earth. It is also, no less, intensively verificatory of the Biblical vision imparted to the prophet who wrote Psalm 139, by the inspiration of God.) Objectively, if this matching of any feasible definition of design were not allowed, nothing else could be, and the word in visible formats, would have to be denied any application, a connotation without denotation. On this element of man, see Deity and Design ... esp. Sections. 2 and 8).
More generally, see The gods of naturalism have no go!