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PICK ON PEOPLE
AND YOU NEED TO CONSIDER WHO THEY ARE
Rhymes of Unreason, Reasoned Revelation and Ridiculous Oppression
In Ezekiel we find some examples of lilt of guilt as peoples approach Israel with undisguised venom, while it yet carries the flag for the Lord. In what way ? In this, that the people were NOT annihilated by their many foes, 21st century, or 1st century; were NOT prevented from returning; were NOT swept into the sea, by Nasser or anyone else; did NOT collapse when assaulted on their holy day in 1973; and have not been bombed out of existence by blatantly and religiously blasting Iran, and continue as Christ insisted they would, till the very stage of His return (Luke 21:44). Even before they return SPIRITUALLY to Him (It Bubbles ... Ch. 10), they have returned according to His PREDICTED mercy in this respect, to their homeland, and the world can hardly stand it, because it is just one more flag of the Admiral of Truth, whose declarations are in the Bible, waving vigorously in the wind, even the storms of our time.
As to Israel, there are various opportunities either to oppose God as He worked through it, or as He made a testimony by it, or a restorative mercy as exemplar of that divine fashioning (e.g. as in Ezekiel 36:22), and many have used and do use these with an indiscriminate passion, an obliterative orgy of violence. But it is still there.
There are times when God Himself has disciplined the nation; and alas, it is a grief but inevitable, that when they killed as a nation, their own Prince of Peace, until they repented, war would be a criterion of their continuance. When however nations indulge in illicit ferocities, obstreperous and inveterate assault formations, to take advantage of this situation, or to oppose the plan and mandate which God has made and given to Israel, at any point, in any phase, then you might almost as well attempt to fight God directly. This, indeed, is precisely what is being done by ALL those who mention a god or God, using even His own name, and yet seek to give this name or glory to another being, whether a few centuries after Christ, as did Islam, or many, as is the work of the various anti-Christian sects proliferating as if they could not hope to found anything worthwhile after Christ, without in some way taking hold of His name, and illicitly printing on their spiritual creations.
It is not only Islam which does this, currently massively assaulting both Israel, through its militant phase of seeking to subject the lands to Allah, whom they articulated in the 7th century A.D., but others, by other means, whether diplomatic or dictatorial. Rhymes of unreason proliferate: Israel must be destroyed, is the line from Iran. It reminds one of Cicero's little idea, Carthago est delenda! Carthage must be destroyed, which added at the end of a speech, served to remind Rome of the need to remove its mortal enemy.
Iran's President however is no Cicero, nor is Israel any Carthage. This is no contest between rivals, but like a continent attacking an island, tiny Israel versus an an armada of Arab and Islamic peoples, determined to tear down what God has built up, and so not risking, but ensuring confrontation, unless they repent. Biblically, the powers involved will not relent, and Ezekiel speaks of one vast, multinational effort, a sort of Herod against the babe, Jesus, translated in our day to an international surge against Israel! The result (Ezekiel 38-39) will of course be overwhelming, and Micah 7, in touching on this theme, notes that it will be in scope and power, parallel to the Exodus. It is not that Israel is so good (currently not even a believing nation for all its past), but that God is so faithful. When He lays down a program, and the more especially, when He designates mercy, it will be; and when He holds a nation in being for millenia, following its attack on the Messiah, it is not that some galavanting series of angry pawns will attack His castle (speaking in chess terms!).
When God has purpose, to create (the universe for example), to destroy (all but 8 souls in the flood, for example), to deliver (as from Egypt in the case of Israel, or from Assyria), to rebuke (as with Jehoshaphat, in II Chronicles 19), or to remedy (as in the babe whom Herod did not kill, but who died as appointed as in Psalm 22, on the Cross as Redeemer for any and all who come in faith to Him as He is): it is impossible to appoint otherwise, except in empty words, declaiming to a dismissive air.
One HAS to pity all those persons who will contribute in delusion and profusion to the vast devastation that will be, when God once more so acts. Take pity on yourselves! one says in one's heart, and deliver yourselves from daring to assault the God of the Bible, and to touch that to which He has assigned mercy, already in phase one (as in Ezekiel 37 cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 10). In its divine application to that people; for, He is marvellously kind (as even to the foul regal operator, Manasseh II Chronicles 33:10ff.), and delights in mercy, having no desire to afflict the children of mankind (Lamentations 3:33); but when He assigns a determinate response (as in II Chronicles 36 for example, where centuries of folly were the lead-in, and He knows in advance what is will be), He performs it (Joel 2:11, Isaiah 43:13, 10:5-12, Ezekiel 38:17-18, Matthew 5:17ff.). The Lord goes and has gone as far as the cross to avoid judgment for man; but where the cancellation of the cross for man's guilt is voided by unbelief, "he who does not believe is condemned already" (John 3:18). It was to AVOID this that the answer came; avoid the answer and the judgment cannot be avoided.
So do the rhymes of unreason assail Israel, as indeed attack the Church of God, in the one case because it inveterately reminds of God and obstructs, even though itself currently astray as a nation, the ditties of dynamic which man loves to invent; and in the other, because Satan was a murderer from the beginning (John 8), and where nothing else will do (as in the case of Christ on earth), murder is a method, against one, against many.
It is not only Israel which has been assaulted because of Israel, but the USA, because (as bin Laden made so clear) that latter nation has DARED to protect it. Bin Laden however appears to have some yen to gain many of the old lands back to the scimitar's traditional role, with whatever variation of weaponry may now seem discreet. As to current means, it seems they may include such things as body parts with nails adjoined, or any other ideas such as planes loaded with petrol, directed at a work place.
What then ? War being brought by many, through this religion in terms of the Koran which has much on the topic (cf. Divine Agenda Ch. 6, More Marvels ... Ch. 4, with Ch. 3, above, *3), it would have seemed wise to ensure that any who come to any nation under this hammer, immigrants, would be required to acknowledge that they have neither desire, nor plan, nor commitment, religious or other, to make physical attack, directly or indirectly, to assault, by raid or subversion, distress or engage in any type of war or weaponry or intelligence assault on the nation which receives them. Moreover, every mosque in any such country should, as a matter of warfare and attack in waiting, be required to make the same affirmation. If it is peaceable to this stringent degree, let it at least proclaim this and show in speech and action that this non-militancy absolutely applies to it. We are at war with a variable body, and it is necessary to know who is who in it, and at least to issue laws to cover the violence case, and make reasonable precautions. Trojan horses can be made as readily now as before, and you do not need an immense number among immigrants, to fashion them...
While this commitment by law, as above suggested, would not in itself stop such attacks as might otherwise form, in terms of which every new entrant to the country presents a potentially formidable if unknown peril, it would at least reduce the glamour of being a terrorist, or being subverted into becoming one; and those who went down that track, would at least be direct liars and without truth, who would then so turn to attack. Moreover, questionable cases in mosques would be removed. Those who used mosques or religious positions for any such national assault, in terms of violence, or its endorsement of such ends, would be required to leave the country forthwith (give a few days under supervision!), or with mosques, to close or give sweeping change immediate effect. THIS is war. It is well to realise it and not to succumb to sickening strategies of guile, corruption and abuse of kindness.
War is like that. Consider World War II and what some foreign nationals bore, because of perils! While this is not to comment on the morality or otherwise of such action at that time, it was at least in the direction of protection. What is here in view is far milder, and far more necessary if a nation has any vigilance at all!
However, that is merely one aspect of the matter; the point being that attack on Israel, defence of which nation against some assailants has statedly fired bin Laden and his rich Gulf supporters, is one way to seek an inveterate doom. This might appear strange; but while the weapons of terrorism may seem dangerous, and are, small is their power compared with the One who in this opposes them! In the interim, however, while evil on Israel continues to be advanced by many Islamic nations, and efforts are made to attack and intimidate those who oppose such genocide or deletion of the Jewish State, a multi-pronged work wrought by many Arab and Moslem organisations or nations, it is well to watch those engaging in it with a careful eye, and not to further their fruitless devices, or shut the eyes to its implications, or in this, to join them! Israel is in their sights; and now supporters of its existence and capital, alike.
It is with pity as well as care they are to be considered, since when God is against you and has programmed and predicted what He will do (and much of it has already happened, but only as a prelude), what can be for you!
We will now seek to find from the Bible some the divine attitudes in this matter. h
Consider now in Ezekiel, following on some of our discoveries in the last Chapter, some of the biblical appointments for Ammon (with Moab), because of its inveterate hostility towards Israel.
"Appoint a road for
the sword to go to Rabbah of the
“And you, son of
man, prophesy and say,
Polished for slaughter,
For consuming, for flashing -
“Say to the Ammonites,
" ‘Hear the word of the Lord God!
the Lord God:
'Because Moab and Seir say,
"Look! The house of Judah is like all the nations,"
'therefore, behold I will clear the territory of Moab of cities ... to the men of the East
I will give it as a possession , together with the Ammonites,
that the Ammonites may not be remembered among the nations.
And I will execute judgment upon Moab, and they will know that I am the Lord.' "
Related by ancestry to Israel, the Ammonites were idolatrous, cruel and rebellious, a trouble and a bad example to Israel, once putting out the right eye of those in Jabesh Gilead (I Samuel 11:2). They joined with Moab in gaining Balaam to curse Israel, and later opposed the work of Nehemiah in restoring the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:10,19). Assailed by Judas Maccabeus, they came to have no more record. So it was to be and so it is.
In Ezekiel, however, the Lord appoints a major cause for their devastation. It was this: When the sanctuary in Jerusalem was devastated by Babylon, a time of inordinate mourning and grief, associated with vast cruelty (as in Jeremiah's book of Lamentations), they said 'Aha!'. They spoke against the now captive people of Judah THEN. In their pandemonium, in their crisis, they exalted!
There was an unmeasured odium, an all but unspeakable cruelty and crudity as they looked at a fallen Israel, a sense of seeing a close people, become enemy as they passed into the wild idolatries themselves, now humbled, humiliated, devastated, scarified, being exported to another land. Sweet to the eye was this ? triumphant to the satisfactions of hate did this become to the people of Ammon ? Very well, the Lord indicates, THEY themselves will fall to the people of the East.
Indeed, Jeremiah 40:11-16 indicates that the Ammonites were involved in the sending of a slayer to disrupt the government remaining in the small sector of residual Jerusalem after Babylon had stricken it, a mordant and rapacious work. So was even the residual shell of government under the appointed ruler disrupted! There were results.
In his 23rd year, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon warred against Moab and Ammon. Gloating over Israel could not longer become obsessive in their own distress. After all, IN THAT Israel was, for all its faults, appointed by the Lord for a sacred task to the nations, inveterate hatred and disruptive dynamic against it readily becomes an indirect effort against the Lord, who so appointed to them their task. When the class bully tries to incite a fight with another student who has just come from receiving 6 of the most vigorous from the Principal, it is not merely distasteful, but in the actual case here, disruptive as well - as in the case of the murderer sent from these enemies, to disturb even the residue when Jerusalem fell.
Rhymes of unreason are no pretty ditties, and obeying blinding seizures of aggressive thrust against Israel: so to surge into it, sink it, into the sea with it, devastate with dynamic, or whatever other charming thoughts, are but the irrational results of a greater disrelish, that for the One who appointed it in the first place (cf. Galloping Events Ch. 4). When hatred blinds, when instead of being grateful for the GOOD THING which an admittedly sinful Israel was sent to give to the nations, and more importantly, listening to the message of the prophets to one and to all, no small coverage being found in Jeremiah 25, they invested the more heavily in croaking their acrid jubilation at its downfall, what followed ? It was so that they secured the more certainly, their own demise; and in the case of Ammon, a permanence to add to it, not of continuity, but of discontinuity!
As to Moab, we considered them in Ch. 3 above, for though the race might continue a while (Moabite women appearing in terms of wife to some in Israel - Nehemiah 13:1,23, Ezra 9:1), they had much to consider beforehand! Despite this measure of relief, their nation passed out of living mention. The captives would be brought back, but not the nation in the end. It vanished as did Ammon. See SMR Appendix A, p. 1111.
As noted in Waiting for Wonder Ch. 9, there was a certain lustreless, but lordly arrogance about Moab and Ammon in their attitude to the Lord's appointee, erring Israel. There seemed to lurk against Israel, an insulting swagger, a deprecatory and denunciatory venom.
Moab and Ammon enter the lists in Zephaniah, as we see in our first area - 2:8-11 (red for emphasis).
" 'I have heard the reproach of Moab,
And the insults of the people of Ammon,
With which they have reproached My people,
And madearrogant threats against their borders.
" 'Therefore, as I live,'
Says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,
'Surely Moab shall be like Sodom,
And the people of Ammon like Gomorrah -
Overrun with weeds and saltpits,
And a perpetual desolation.
The residue of My people shall plunder them,
And the remnant of My people shall possess them.
" 'This they shall have for their pride,
Because they have reproached and made arrogant threats
Against the people of the Lord of hosts.
" 'The Lord will be awesome to them,
For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth;
People shall worship Him,
Each one from his place,
Indeed all the shores of the nations.' "
The sheer gall in Ammon and Moab to dare to seek to dispossess Israel, insulting, reproaching, we see from this prophecy: this will bring perpetual desolation. In fact, this dire result faces all who try to invent gods, or being deluded, just do so, including worship of naturalistic gods which never arrive, of derivative copy-cat gods using some form of imitation to give an ostensible measure of respectability, as in the surrounding nations then and now to so large an extent in so many! The Lord will firstly, reduce such gods - as He did expressly in Egypt: reduce them to nothing where they belong in His own assessment; and then ensure that not some parts of the earth but all parts acknowledge Him who is the Creator, whether this nation or that. Such likewise comes from Isaiah 45:22ff., in the saving context:
"Look to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth,
for I am God and there is no other."
In the case of Moab, though it would undergo devastation, yet for individuals of this people, there would be a way back (cf. Jeremiah 48:42 with the immediately following 48:47). The name is gone, but the scope remains on another basis. Indeed, as noted, they disappeared as a nation, though could still be noted as a race (cf. Ezra 9:1). So does the Lord assess arrogance, inveterate hatred, indirect disruption and the reliance on false gods coupled with attack on the truth. The power of delusive exhibits of human invention applied to religion, the more devastating when the makers of these myths dare to use the name of God for them, has always this difficulty: "The gods," said the Lord, "that have not made the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth, and from under these havens," Jeremiah 10:11. As that prophet declares (2:128) from the Lord:
The people of Israel had to learn this; and many others have the same lesson: many had it then, and many will have it now!
Israel, it will be observed, in all of this, is a great place for securing assault apparently with seductive ease, against the Lord. After all, it was there the Bible was in large part presented, both in the Old and in the New Testaments, the Christian Church, for all the murder of Jesus Christ, in fact being founded in that very land. It was there that the Messiah was born, that the death-date was predicted and fulfilled from centuries beforehand (cf. Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2), and it is there that the restoration would come, despite what was done to the Messiah, in God's own good time, as it did in 1948, 1967, 1973 (Zechariah 12, Luke 21:24, Ezekiel 36-37) as a prelude to Christ's own rule on this earth (Psalm 72, Isaiah 11, Zechariah 14:5ff.), and there it will be consummated when the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea, which is a very substantial thing indeed, a certain totality being in view, as Psalm 2 makes so very clear! (Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 11).
Not only then will this and that part of what the Lord has in view for this earth be unveiled; but the full glory of the Messianic rule will be exposed, both vindicating the Lord's ways in the midst of a murderous earth and a recalcitrant people, the nations afire, and bringing the wonder of His presence to the people (Psalm 72), till the earth itself is sent away, like a staging when its time is past. In these things, it is no use making thing up, with whatever cultural conformity; unless you deal with the One who made the creation and has died for the remedy for man, responsible, alert, fulfilling all He says, verifying and validating His word continually, you might as well deal with air, and trust in megaphones.
In the case of Israel, a high profile nation of enormous focus in the Bible, and one where God has had and does have stated intentions, here is a snare to many. Assailing it on its return is particularly sound as an investment in devastation, not for it, but for the attacking bodies; and if the death wish is to be entertained at the national level, there is little more sure to indulge it than so to attack. It may take a little time, but the fuse is very short now (cf. Micah 7, Isaiah 66, Luke 21), and the return of the Lord Himself will bring a certain immediacy to the disruption and judgment of the nations (cf. Revelation 19), who love to imagine that the word of God in the Bible is poetic, but their will is martial! Alas and alas, what negative dividends blindness pays, when it is merely wilful (cf. SMR Appendix A). It is not Israel which is to be feared, but Him who made it! It is indeed precisely when their strength is gone, that the Lord will use His own (Deuteronomy 32:36ff.). He has made this clear for several millenia (as He did for the sufferings Israel would long inherit, sequentially, in Leviticus 26, for that matter); the one has come, the other is near.
Indeed, as in SMR Ch. 9, the prelude to His return, and His preliminary works in the now geographically restored Israel are of vast, world-wide impact, as seen in the wars of 1948, 1967, 1973, and the 1990-1 war was of no small relevance in the overall rebukes to the aggressors, like Iraq. It is that nation, which, before devastation in the Gulf War, made it immensely clear that it was since 1948 STILL at war with Israel. Delivered from the American build-up of Saddam Hussein in Iraq (in its day, intended to help contain Iran, it appears), by the ensuing break-down of the same man, Iran is now bidding fair for an inheritance from the word of God, except it repents.
God, though staggeringly patient (II Peter 3:9), is well able to discipline unbelief in any quarter, Israel or other; but He has a certain plan programmed and presented for millenia (cf. Ch. 3 as marked above). What mocks it, by becoming lordly enough to seek to thwart it, makes grabbing high tension electrical wires, and so providing an easy earth for the electricity, almost to seem the height of wisdom by comparison.
In Ezekiel 25:12-14, we find the all-important read-out of the Lord on Edom!
"Thus saith the Lord GOD:
'Because of what Edom did against the house of Judah by taking vengeance,
and it has greatly offended, and revenged itself on them:
'Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD:
'I will also stretch out My hand on Edom,
and will cut off man and beast from it;
and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword.
And I will place my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel:
and they shall do in Edom according to My anger and according to my fury;
and they shall know My vengeance, says the Lord GOD.' "
Firstly, the pride of its heart has deceived that nation; so that though it set its nest among the stars, God is determined to bring it down. For example, there was Petra, amazing civilisation centre set in rock; but though it was ingenious, it could not last. In Isaiah 34, you find the forlorn and coming scene of judgment in its ghoulish intensity (cf. Isaiah 34:6,11-17); and indeed the Lord chooses to make this desolation of the once so arrogant and spurning people an illustration of the accuracy of His word. How is this done ? In this way: Each of the appointed agents or exhibits of desolation is to be, bird, snake or whatever, just like the adjoining parts of the word of God, is made a persistent apparition. As with the Book of the Lord, the words gathered by His Spirit (Isaiah 34:16), so is it with the actions of the Lord, they will be there, each one, as in pairs of haunting creatures of the desolatory ruin, with its mate!
This is in some ways an Old Testament equivalent to Matthew 5:17-20, as from the lips of Jesus Christ. God does not change, and His words taken effect. His words are gathered not by culture, intellect or cunning considerations of man, but by His own supernatural, omniscience; and just as none of these will fail in its site and portent, content and occasion, so none of the things which they designate will fail either. That is the way of it. That is just one of the ways that you know when God is speaking, that over millenia, what He says goes.
What a testimony against Edom!
What then did it do ? Why, in the very day when Jerusalem had been sacked, and people were taking captives for their internal, and aggressive rejoicing, taking spoil from another's spoil, even that of Babylon, in came this conniving apparition of opportunism, Edom. There in this desolation it was to be seen in its own dynamic. What was it doing there ? Why, it was there taking its share of the spoil, like a hyena! and this, though it was in some ways closely related to Israel (Obadiah 10-12).
"You should not have entered the gate of My
people in the day of their calamity!" the Lord protests.
|"You should not have gazed on their affliction."|
Heartless, scornful, opportunist and without natural feeling, as they treated, so they will receive. Indeed, it is worse:
"You should not have
stood at the crossroads, to cut off those among them who escaped;
nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained."
Pitiless, incompassionate, evilly zealous without feeling, was this nation to which the Lord gave this assurance:
|"AS YOU HAVE DONE, IT WILL BE DONE TO YOU!" - quite fair for an impenitent people!|
Further, "the South shall possess the mountains of Esau," or Edom, which involves the Negev, an agricultural triumph in modern Israel. Indeed, in the days of the Maccabees, huge territories were conquered for Judah, almost a mini-empire, and tributes were paid TO these new rulers! So it was to be, so it came to be. Indeed, as to fate, Edom will be "as though it had never been." His words turn the world.
ISAIAH, JEREMIAH on the
LORD'S THOUGHTS ON NATIONAL ASSASSINS
We turn in our theme to the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah.
Isaiah 51 is on track for one of the greatest revelations in word ever made to the human race, from its God and Creator. With Isaiah 50, behind, on the sufferings of the coming Messiah and His faithfulness, and 52-53, ahead on His sacrificial and vicarious atonement, 54 on the security of His salvation and 55 ahead on its freedom, on his all but incredible donation without charge, these last two Chapters focussing on His coming pre-eminence, even the Messiah, what do we find ? In company with all of this, here in Isaiah 51, we find a warning.
Indeed, we enter into a quiet but sure word on another topic. What the Lord thinks about and what He will at last do to the disciples of hatred, the persecutors of the errant Jewish people, the opponents of Zion, the deleters (in mind) who seek to remove Israel as a Jewish State and an enduring task-site for the Lord: this is exposed. It is part of His sovereign intention and He is far from hiding it; for HE will occupy Israel, at His pleasure, as Ruler of the world, in His time (Micah 4, Psalm 72, Psalm 2, Isaiah 2, 11, 66, Zechariah 14). This, as in Zechariah, will surely come, so wait for it (cf. Habakkuk 2-3, Joel 3).
What then does the word of the Lord say on harassment and hatred of Israel here, in this setting, in Isaiah 51:17-21 ? It is this.
" Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem,
who has drunk at the hand of the LORD,
the cup of His fury;
You have drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.
" There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth;
neither is there any who takes her by the hand of all the sons that she has brought up.
" These two things are come unto you: who will be sorry for you?
desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword:
"By whom shall I comfort you ?
" Your sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets,
as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.
"Therefore hear now this, you afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:
"Thus says your Lord the LORD, and your God who pleads the cause of His people:
'Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling,
even the dregs of the cup of My fury;
you will no more drink it again:
but I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you,
who have said to your soul,
Bow down, that we may go over -
and you hast laid your body as the ground,
and as the street, to them that went over.' "
It is the principle of parity. YOU suffered, Israel, being due for discipline for killing the Prince of Peace and thousands of years of cumulative rebellion; yet you DID present the Bible and were a site for the coming of Christ. So the nations have become inveterate enemies, and have vaunted their own disastrous vindictiveness against you, as if you were to become a path for their feet, being made to lie down (as by Hitler, the Inquisition and others, such as some of Islam, not without slaughter). Let it be so. As they give, so let them get.
This is the tenor of the divine utterance in Isaiah 51 here. THEY try to make you a thing of trembling before their ostentatious, wild self-indulgence. Then let them become daunted who vaunted, dismal who distressed. Yes, if it were like your being forced to drink a horrible medicine, one of death, let it now be taken, the glass for it, from your hand, and with fresh mixture, be given to your assessors, the aggressors. Let these transgressors, filled with awesome pride in their own majesty, and self-important in their own terrible gloating, drink of the cup you had, gall. Such a thing is not unknown when after almost infinite patience, God acts (Revelation 214:14-20).
Is it so surprising that He who came NOT to judge the world but to save it, when at last the Gospel has gone to all nations as arranged, finds the incalculable viciousness of many, even against His own suffering and not yet repentant people, that He should act in judgment. Indeed, as often noted here, they ARE to come back to where they came from in large numbers in an epochal event (Romans 11:25ff., Zechariah 12:10ff.).
What then of the overall position ? It is this: If a salve for cancerous lungs were found, would it be immune from judgment, if someone not only refused it but attacked many who took it, as if to topple them anyway. Is merry vice to become its own god and shield! Not so.
While many foolishly have tried to limit the scope of God's redeeming love, which is, as in Colossians 1:19ff., John 3, I Timothy 2, TOTAL and wide as the world, as in futile depredations against John 3:16ff., alas a detriment and harassment of His holiness: yet there is a limit indeed when it comes to the postponement of judgment! as in Isaiah 57:15ff.. Love would save and avoid judgment for the whole world, John 3 tells us, but rejection leaves no bounds for the original result of the original sinful condition man managed to manufacture for himself from the first (as in Romans 5).
Thus for those who REFUSE, let alone treat as refuse, His salvation, or assail as if the judges of others (cf. Luke 11:49-52), there is the fateful abiding in the desired and preferentially treated darkness: the preference becomes a kind of negative property with sad propriety! The wrath of God abides (John 3:36) and the worst of it is this, that it is taken, not by lack of means, but for stark love of it more than of the light of Christ! Salvation is not for spiritual aristocrats, mysteriously chosen distinctively, but for ANY, unmysteriously chosen through their foreknown application of the terms of God. What He would have, He gets, but only by the means which are HIS OWN NATURE, who is love, not shove. Thus not many are so very wonderful whom He takes; yes from the very gutters and byways are many taken as in the parable (Luke 14:23). It is not very satisfactory to arrogance, to be so found, but it is most pleasing to repentance. It is ALL of grace, with no hidden components. As to what is what, GOD KNOWS, the glorious result of glorious majesty.
But what of the divine approach to the nations which insist on belligerence to the end on Israel, whatever its state and estate, what of this ? When Israel as a nation at last comes back in massive repentance as in Zechariah 12:1-13:1, even in terms of the crucified Messiah, then the calamity for the hypocrites and assassins of the nation may expect alas, grievous though it is, something of their own determination against this people, to deal now WITH THEM! What was human vituperation, becomes divine judgment. What could not rest but to destroy Israel, faces now the obverse of the coin. Where hate rules, happiness crunches. Mercy obliterated, obfuscated, made into offal becomes judgment highlighted, manifested, made into destiny! (cf. John 3:36).
That is the story of the cup taken from the hand of Israel, the cup of judgment and suffering, and as in Isaiah 51, now handed to those who spurned and scorned, and did evil to her, like giant mastiffs that cannot rest.
We turn to Jeremiah for more information in our theme.
Here there is a categorical odium for the false prophets who speak a word from their own lips, and do not consider the penalty for this transgression, when it is falsely attributed to the mouth of the Lord! If some ignore Romans 11, therefore, which speaks of the restoration of Israel as a nation to the place of grace in the tree of eternal life, saying this, that if its rebellion has made a place for the Gentiles to fill in the tree, then its restoration coming, is like life from the dead: and if these ignore its lot, plague its works, assault it along a similar spate of hate from the 'Babylon' of currently unbelieving nations, do they not indeed ASK for the fate of Babylon themselves, or something along the way!
Is mercy to be exploited while this former people of the Lord who are in large measure to become one with His own once more, currently in the midst of the Lord's restoring mercies, is subjected to EVEN MORE attack ?
One can only tremble for presumption in this area: for does love hate, except sin, as in the end, what is ultimately consolidated past redemption with it! And do people who hate Israel, who seek to deny it a secure existence, who condemn it with added virulence for what it has NOT done, despite its earlier guilt, and add their own intemperance to folly, expect to be guiltless ? Do not trade on the mercy of the Lord! While it is sure to His people, let those who are the Lord's quit iniquity! (II Timothy 2:19). It is one thing to be weak; it is another to be evilly pugnacious against the Lord's people, not for their good, but for their detriment, against His stated plan, against the site for coming mercy and the fulfilment of vast wisdom from of yore.
Further, it is one thing to warn; but it is another to work evil for His people!
Thus when those come as if from the mouth of the Lord, to assail Jerusalem now, not only is there the fact that Zechariah 12 spells out precisely what you are to expect in THIS particular case (for it is central of His historic working in the field of information, indoctrination and salvation); but Jeremiah 23 gives you the false-prophet award very readily, if you twist and insist on afflicting the nation further!
Let us hear Jeremiah 23:26ff..
" 'How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies?
yes, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart,
who think to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams
which they tell every man to his neighbour,
as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
" 'The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream;
and he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.
" 'What is the chaff to the wheat?' says the LORD.
" 'Is not my word like as a fire?' says the LORD; 'and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 3
" 'Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets,' says the LORD,
'who steal My words every one from his neighbour.' "
One cannot but feel sorry for those, such as many in Islam, who are doing precisely this, taking some of the words of the living God, via Jew or Christian source, and mingling them with other words, as a matter of empirical fact in terms of the Koran. Nor is pity absent in considering such misdirected persons even within a Church body, as appears the case with some Presbyterians of non-orthodox type, in the USA, and perhaps of some others who become active in the light of their misconstructions (cf. SMR Appendix A): for if ANYONE persists in pursuing such a mixed misuse of the divine word, and ACTING on it against Israel, be it religionist or worldling, this becomes a detrimental act. Moreover, in this case, not only is it against the word of God, but against a nation called Israel, appointed for a determinate history, leading up on its return, to a massive conversion which is to add much to the population of the Christian Church in its day, as in Zechariah 12.
Provoking the Lord, as even David found, is not a loyal action; and though for His own people, He mediate mercy, what had Jehoshaphat the King, to do with helping evil, as he was charged by the prophet Jehu! (II Chronicles 19:1ff); and what has the servant of the Lord to do now, with association with alien forces, against the word and witness of the Lord, in their extravaganzas of assault on Israel, as if in their misled zeal, they wished to exterminate all they can of the historical testimony of the only living God, the only One to whom logic and testimony point unerringly, conclusively, testably! (Light Dwells in the Lord's Christ, Who Answers Riddles and where He is, Darkness Departs).
God is sometimes seen scorning the scornful! (Isaiah 28:14-22). His word rules all, and violators though they be pitied, alas and alas, are like those who attack the suppliers of oil, though their car needs it. There is no other such oil of grace as His, which helps the heart not to harden, as if midges were to assault steel girders. It is God who directs all, scornes included,back to the stone laid in Zion (Isaiah 28:16), needed by all, a basis for any, inescapable (Matthew 21:44), inviolable (Matthew 7). It is foolish to cast oneself under the wheels of an express train, or to help those who seek to derail integrity, and reduce the reality of the word of God. As to that, it does not change nor does it wilt.
God does not need works of violence, directed to help the work of the Messiah, as if war were the method. When judgment comes, it is soon enough! Nor does His word need violation. It continues to roll, regardless, and history, like a crowd of eager, yapping dogs, demonstrably follows it. There is nothing else it can do. Neither liberty nor folly can alter it; though both are given enormous scope (cf. Proverbs 1, Isaiah 48:16ff., II Samuel 12:8-9).