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GIVE ISRAEL ITS PLACE,
AND BE GLAD TO ACCEPT YOUR OWN,
IN ONE COVENANT
THAT NEITHER SWALLOWS UP THE GOSPEL
NOR THE HONOUR OF THE WORD OF GOD
Confusion is part of the harassment techniques of the evil one. He uses it smoothly, roughly, intrusively, invisibly, according to the case, like any expert guerrilla.
With this type of warfare, it is best at times to refer after a recent raid, to overall strategy and become aware anew of the travesties which enemy propaganda plus confused persons jointly present.
Take now Jeremiah 33:19-26,and then add Jeremiah 31. There are things to learn.
Here we see a people formerly chosen, received and the Lord's have a future specified. They are at one time to return, despite being cast away before that, from an earlier blessed condition before God, and to do so as descendants of Jacob, under the royal presence of what in the flesh is David's offspring, the Messiah, distinctively focussed in Jeremiah 23:5.
The two component groups, North and South, comprise the nation, and these will be the recipients of this grace.
There are also two components elements for this people.
1) A New Covenant will rule, but the old people will return.
2) As in Jeremiah 31:38-40, this restoration of the people under review, is to be the secured with a physical assault on assailants, one of great and historical, particular and overwhelming character. Its results will include not only return to base, but carnage in the process (as in Micah 7).
Why is one or another of these facts so plain in the group Micah 7, Isaiah 1-2 (see next Chapter), 59,66, Deuteronomy 32, Ezekiel 36-39, and Jeremiah 30,33, and Genesis 12-22, to name a few, often either removed by what are called theologians, seeming to their blurred vision, to countervail against the divine assertions, or instead, enhancing the text so that to Israel is given more and more, as it is virtually advanced to sovereign national status in the international field. This is at the other extreme! If Isaiah 30 does not remove any such misconception, what would!
To be sure Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-4), site of the working out of salvation by the Saviour, will be conspicuous, and Israel will be by that time, largely converted (Zechariah 12:10-13:1), so that His presence and their convictions will be in harmony. But it is HE ALONE who is to be exalted, the rest for Jew or Gentile, a purely reflected glory (cf. Jeremiah 36:22, Isaiah 2:17-19, 30:8-12).
The sins, sinfulness, point, place and purpose of neither set of sinners with common and necessary salvation (Acts 4:11-12), will generate glory, but the Saviour will inhabit it, these the fruit of His will, works and triumphant donation of eternal life, achieved through agony, delivered through resurrection of the very body smitten, the greatest of what might be called His healing triumphs.
The word of God written, is not smitten. BOTH the elements, national and Gospel, are present to the end, as in the promise to Abraham at the first, and kept to the last. Both are part of God's honour, and His name is incorruptible, integrity and reliability shining with the full intensity of the sun blasting a drought stricken desert (Genesis, 12:1-3, 15, 17:7-8, 22, Micah 7:15-20, Ezekiel 36). It escalates to Revelation 19 in its scorching and saving scope, for the overthrow of evil against God and His word (and you can assault the first by attacking the second) is to the uttermost, and His name is rightly declared to be "faithful".
Therefore, to delete His earthly rule, and dealings, with the sovereign selectivity of the autonomous, is as large a lapse as assault; and parallel in intervention where it has no place, is the glorification above others, of any one nation. Faithfulness given is not hegemony attained - and as in Isaiah 19, it is anything but that! Yet
neither is the operational
rescue of any people,
nor the endowment of the site of
the sovereign sacrifice of God
nor the salvation of many in
Israel in a great bout,
These things are in it, like clouds on an overcast day, searchlights in a perilous sky. To delete selectively against indomitable text, comes close to setting out to imitate the Lord as such, not in behavioural humility but quasi-regal and insufferable assertion.
There is a reflected glory (Isaiah 60) for one as for the other, where the city has walls of salvation; but it is neither to be truncated in its scope nor exaltative for the recipients. The glory is reflected like light from a mirror, from the returned Saviour (Psalm 72, Isaiah 59:20-21), and nothing is omitted which He has carefully defined in the contexts of His word in history, in that which is to be. God is competent, in expression; His word is truth. Definition transcends mode and mirrors, like imagery; the latter adorn, but do not direct. The context is not capturable by cavort, whim or caprice. It is as solid as rock, as is all His word.
Is it so hard to realise that Zion means Israel unless the context requires otherwise, since this is its norm in historical background and in many initial contexts. If as in Isaiah 60, there is obvious development into the generics of salvation amidst Messianic focus and glory (59-61), what Zion ought to have had, and will in massive impact shown in Zechariah 12, then such figures are natural where Israel comes back to the Messiah who constituted the base for the Gentiles as they come in their own remnant to Christ, so that the Christian Church, properly defined in Christ, becomes amplified by a transformed Zion.
Similarly, as in Psalm 87, it is not wrong to see the bud and flower as in one vivid splash of historical colour, and even to use the physical to draw attention to being born in Jerusalem literally, and its application as further principles of the joint Israel-Gentile heritage in Christ become apparent, to being born into the kingdom of heaven, this and that one being divinely known and noted (Psalm 87:5).
It is not breadth of vision, but rupture of context, destruction of indication, disruption of content in the interests of exclusion, that is foul. The one does not dispel the other, evacuate it, delete the textual designation and definition; nor does it exclude application to future developments within the principles given and made much more obvious, later. Academic tyranny linked to zeal without knowledge has defiled so much that might have been good, and narrow, partisan, theological fist-fighting has marred such wonders, that many demand what is blatant disfigurement by insisting on allegory without warrant, or on rejecting all due application, contrary to the tenor. It is so reminiscent of the various mutual diatribes of Sadducee and Pharisee; but sad to see it among professing Christians.
Again, is it so strange if indeed Israel (the term, with distinguishing phrase added for the occasion) can be used as a category for what is sound, as it once was in terms of being the ordained messenger from the Lord, as in Galatians 6:16, and will be, so that this term then indicates the temporary resting place of the name of the Lord, amid Gentiles, substituting until the blindness departs from Israel and it resumes its place, now amid the others grafted into the tree ? Why abase contexts in order to generalise, when in theology as in logic more generally, witless generalisation outside the context of actuality is mere fraud! Imagination is not paralysed. What is made as fact sure in one context is not expelled by another; but used, so that the thrust of inspiration from a given contextual base may be appreciated. Contexts may confirm each other, but diverse ones do not annul.
This, one has called the method of textual fidelity, being true to each text in terms of its context irrespective of what theories any may have, letting resultants be faced, not presumed in advance. It is only then that everything without omission or distortion, fits so superbly; and it is not grievous at all, but very straightforward.
All is in its place, time, series, sequence, fulfilment, culmination, in the eventuations of history, and that of the earth's removal, each dignified without intervention from the nervous or intrusive dictations of man. Whose word IS IT!
Interpretation does not include flat contradiction and innovation by undisciplined imagination is out of place: for that is a gift of wonder; but the word of God is communication commanded, not a site for the fictional fabrications of intrusive man.
The Christian Prescription Ch. 5,
Red Alert Ch. 10, second part, Highway of Holiness Ch. 6,
SMR Appendix A,
Department of Bible ... Vol. 5, Ch. 4, Ch. 5, and
Vol. 1, Ch. 10,
Vol. 6, Ch. 12,
The Bay of Retractable Islands ... Chs. 18 - 19 on ideational islands returning to mainland.