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Isaiah 26:13 in context
LORD our God,
Other lords besides You,
Have had dominion over us;
But by You only we make mention of your name."
is as if someone were making a declaration rather after the following mode.
We will not refer to You in synthetic terms, as if Allah and You were one, the NOT GOD, and GOD just a combination, a complex (cf. Lord of Life Ch. 8).
We will not think of You in terms of words implying a goddishness, of which You have a share.
Not so is our line, for You are not so.
Nor will we think of You in analytical terms, as if some mercy and some goodness, some pardon and some power will be practical terms, and You are somewhere to be found out, as by a flame test, as so much mercy, though other compounds have more or less.
NO! We will make mention of Your name as belongs to it: unique, solitary and unconfined, unconfinable and unalignable. Your testimony is in your words and works, the latter in us and in other creations, and in these terms only will we make mention of You!*1
The specifically UNSYNTHETIC, the especially unco-ordinatable, that is Yourself. Nothing is Your make-up, for You are NOT MADE up, and nothing is Your analysis, since You are not a compound, but One, who is what He is, and whose delineation is divine, from Himself. The requirements of being God are not less than being without beginning or end, limitation or statute of confinement to be sure; but these, they are the habiliments of sovereignty, not the specifications of kind. YOU are not a kind; You are but One.
Others have had dominion, this sinful thought of some -ism or other, some philosophic postulation, some final desire, some ultimate figment, fashion or fiasco; but we who know You, we will not concern ourselves with such muck. When you have a garden of flowers, do you rate manure as part of its nature, even if there is much about ? When you know God, do you consider the interminable seeming substitutes, even if they steal here a thought, there a facet, and make themselves, idols though they be, into something that yearns to be reminiscent of God, or a smuggled in god who does not acknowledge either his source or his system, a plaything of the playpen of man, a philosophic essence, wrought in thought, taught in classes, but never found in the work of creation, its requisites or the dominion which directs all.
Freedom is directed; but not in licence. It is the fashion of personality, but not its authority. It is authorised to exist, not to be abused. Its way is light, and not darkness, and when it is dark, how great is that darkness.
In Isaiah 26:13, then we see that these 'other lords' who have wrought their fiascos, their mesmerisms in the hearts of the people, have indeed ruled their thoughts, hearts and actions. "THEY ARE DEAD!" NOTHING is not able to subsist. The thoughts die with the philosophers, the ideas grow stale like bread, and taste the dust like the surface of the moon, dead and dry.
"They will not live", comes the notation of these 'notables' (Isaiah 26:14).
Indeed, "they will not rise."
It now seems perfectly clear where we are going! In adjacent Isaiah 26:19, as we have seen at length in the last chapter, "Your dead shall live. My dead body shall they arise," was the motif. There was a vast plenipotentiary of power which would do even that, just as it is so obviously implied in Isaiah 52-53, where the most excruciating of deaths, the most massive pulping of physical form is to be followed by rule and dominion, power and glory, indeed salvation to be GIVEN by the victim to His people.
HE did arise, because His name is GOD. These 'other masters' of Isaiah 2;6:13, they do NOT arise. They are dead. That is one of the infinite and infinitely important differences. A supportive framework kept them going in the pleasure of duped philosophers, as is the case with organic evolution, communism, Islam and so on, as we have explored and exhibited many times, as indeed in the sects (cf. Ch. 4 above, SMR Chs. 1-2, pp. 825ff., Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ Ch. 9, Tender Times for Timely Truths Chs. 7, 8; The Frantic Millenium and the Peace of Faith Ch. 9 , Things Old and New Chs. 9,10 Epilogue, Appendix - sects, politics and philosophies, their tedious, torturous tapestries). This however does not, because it cannot confer life.
When it comes to life, the one who is God is the one WHO DID RISE. As, with and through 'MY DEAD BODY', indeed, will HIS SAVED PEOPLE, ARISE!
THEY who have been misled (Isaiah 26:18) have been as if they would have a child, a live entity; but they were merely misled, and burp not boy was the result. That is their image, their model, their sort of situation!
But the actual child as in Isaiah 9 is filled with light and glory, and His peace is not a mere potential but a profundity which is reflected still in Isaiah 26:1-3. "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You." Peace and power are merely two of the results of being in and with the living God, on His terms, which were spelt out in Isaiah 9, and indeed directly or indirectly, in Isaiah 1, 11, 25, 28-29, 32, 33, 40, 55, 58 and so on.
Thus in Isaiah 26:13-17 we see the fraudulent, the virtual; in 26:19 the genuine, the virtuous.
we proceed to our target area, let us extend a little from With Heart
and Soul, Mind and Strength Ch. 4
at this point
What does Isaiah say ? Read Isaiah 26:13:
"O Lord our God, other masters besides You have had dominion over us,
but by You only we make mention of Your name."
What does this require ?
Even the environment of terms is for the divine: IT IS BY HIM that mention is made of His name. The Spirit is not for invasion, the worship not for secular direction: the whole is under the sole panoply of God Himself.
Communism is quite simply an idol-master, precisely as in Israel, steeped in superstition, asking of its determinative powers, gods over the earth, the provision of 'miracles' predicted in the name of its nubilous powers, which do not have the advantage of existing, so that the results do NOT come to pass.
It is as with Baal of old, like Molech too, swallowing up children by 'necessary' imprisonment for disagreeing with them: and how one mourners for the imprisoned Chinese youth, butts of Communist folly and brutality. Ignorantly as with Romanist Inquisitions in the past, it tortures and trumpets, demanding submission this time not to the Pope (cf. SMR pp. 926ff., 950, 1032ff., 1088F-G, 1065ff., 1069ff.), but through marauding, murdering, to the Party.
In it, however, in vital areas, it is routinely condemned in its 'manifestation' of 'lord', as was Stalin by Krushchev and Mao by Zeng. This then is dominion! Dominion of mind, of body by artful pushers, Fagins of the soul, and devious devisors. By its rule, it sickeningly steals the souls of men.
What then is the application here of Isaiah's words ? Quite simply: making mention of God's name by State permission, in State terms, by State control. It is not by Party permission and rule that the name of Christ is to be mentioned, but by the authority of God, with the liberty of God to rule His Church as He wishes. It is CHRIST only who is head of the Church, which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28).
Hence although one cannot approve of war in which a Church might participate by Solemn League and Covenant, nor on the other can one do other than condemn categorically in God's own name, any truck, traffic or participating treatment in terms of oversight and control, by any Government for a Church.
In this, the Scotch Presbyterians were entirely right: CHRIST ALONE IS HEAD OF THE CHURCH. While the Government might indeed institute righteousness (NOT " 'faith' by force", that ludicrous imposition of militant pretence), the Church is free directly to its Head, Jesus Christ. Other lords may not be mentioned in terms of His name. By HIS NAME ONLY may we make mention of His name. That is what we are instructed to believe, and hence to DO!
It is faithfulness exhibited in fidelity of government and utterance to HIS name, to HIS specifications, in HIS phrases and by HIS will, that is required. Indeed, ALL things are to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:17). There is simply no other name which is allowed by God to intrude in the things which are His, delving into the site which is HIS in the souls of men, bustling into their adoration and worship, hustling into their life control and aim, emphasis and rule. Hence, despite the blindness of a lecturer we had in a related field in Sydney University, who professed himself incapable of knowing what we learned from Christ's word, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things which are God's" (Matthew 22:21) - the facts are not only clear but simple.
God does not allow any component of theology, of worship or church affairs in their teaching, spiritual and proclamatory phases to be entered by Caesar - the 'sovereign' State. Any such action is direct war on God Himself. It is not really apt for Christian organisations to act as if all were well, in such times; for governments to suggest it to be plausible and inoffensive, or pragmatically ... correct.
He, Christ Himself died rather than compromise. He had, after all, only to say that He was NOT the Son of God to escape all, a matter of ... doctrine! It was because there was no deviousness, no deceit in His mouth that He proceeded to die (Isaiah 53:9, Mark 14:62). Those who are ashamed of Him, of them will HE ALSO be ashamed (Luke 9:26).
Some of course like to roll their own, even though you cannot get God out of it.
Some try courage. Let us just be courageous ...
Obviously, we might not be wise, realistic or understanding, and hence stress and strain to no or small effect.
Some try wisdom. This needs power or nothing gets done.
Some try truth. This is great, but if by this you mean just the current contemporary read-out in the anti-God glitches: they do not work, never did, never would, because they never could. If you do not have illimitable time and power and an uncreated nature, you do not and cannot of yourself know. You are limited in type, adjusted in scope, and only if you find the SOURCE is there any hope. To do this, you go to God, which is the other option for any or all, if you can find it (cf. SMR Chs. 1-3). Sin is an excellent deflector, reason a good detector, but the former usually blights the latter (cf. Ephesians 4:17ff.).
Others are keen on intelligence. Very good: do you mean the sort that birds suggest, rapid fire take off, take on ? Or do you mean understanding, which may take time; or do you mean a synthesis of both ? and if so, what are you going to call it ? Let us call it intelligent-wisdom. You still need power.
It is time to consider power with intelligent-wisdom. You still need purpose. Intelligence shows you what is about and how to operate it, and wisdom sound ways of living; but to what end ?
us add depth of purpose. Still a problem. Deep ? Seeing far ? understanding
others ? to what end ? to get your own way, to find the right way, and right in what terms ? cultural statistics which is merely a misnomer, meaning mere popularity which varies, and is often vitiated when its time comes ? If you mean 'right' in the sense of the thing which the universe is FOR, then you need God, which as above is the other option. (Cf. That Magnificent Rock, Ch. 6).
You prefer perhaps a solemn soup of the day: a synthesis of major world religions ? Try no God and God, no truth and truth, no reason and reason, no Son of God and definitive son of God, keep out of trouble and pay any price and so on. It is some synthesis, like one of fowl manure and diamonds. It is meaningless. You need the code to find the cohesion; and that assumes there is one, and that of course brings you back to God, the other option.
Now you may be of an observational turn of mind. Very well, observer Hitler, Mao, Krushchev, Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, all most 'successful' if by success you mean getting power to do what YOU want with some of this globe, rather more than most do. But that pre-supposes that 'success' is right. You say, But surely to fail is wrong ? Not if you fail to murder someone. You need therefore an independent criterion of good, which requires the Maker of the Universe, who alone understands it and knows its base, basis and purpose. That is the other option, God. (Cf. SMR pp. 582ff..)
There is however one step you can take, if the taking of thought provokes you (as in SMR, which proves that God is and that the Bible is His word). In the interim, if this be the case with you, before you come to terms with thinking, you could just consider Jesus Christ. On His historical reality, see SMR Chs. 8-9, showing His operational efficiency, and His programmatic scope, and Appendix C, showing the evidential realities.
Now take SMR Ch. 6. Here you see that it is not possible to find anything even remotely plausible to 'explain' Him, except truth. Now consider what He provided. He had wisdom and truth, beauty and holiness (not an interest in ruling for His OWN sake, but for truth's sake), peaceableness and fearlessness to adjust error at any cost, capacity to suffer for the results, instead of simply imposing suffering, non-use of force in order to present the way, kindness, compassion, divine power which could break death, healing scope which nothing could daunt, perceptive and oral power to meet any argument or lawyer, and win in terms of truth, fidelity to the written law, the meeting of other's failures in Himself on the Cross, so that their sins could be remitted freely, if they took His offer, power to overcome the grace and attend to His duties on earth beyond it (cf. Resurrection Index).
He had no desire to be 'king' in the sense of a popularly elected person, dependent on a power base which He would seek to 'maintain' (John 6, 18:36). He was infinitely dutiful, responsible, reliable, trustworthy, honest, fearless.
There has never been anyone who could compare even a little, when you look for the wisdom and the truth and the power and the compassion and the honesty, the integrity, the purity, the knowledge and the understanding, the concurrence with God and the acceptance in God, from whom He came as He stated, in those words which no one ever managed in the laboratory of history, to overturn (cf. John 3:16, 8:38-47, 58). He proves a remedy for sin, insufficiency and past incitements in present power and knowledge, so that our desire for truth is not denied by God's lack of it, but confirmed by His meeting the case of evil by the cutting of systems of evil, with His own life. God is not then seen as our inferior, which is a contradiction in terms, but we as inferior to the One who far from ignoring our plight, provides at His own personal cost in His word, His Son, what is needed to remedy what we have done wrong.
He removes the problem of determinism and freewill. We are NOT the ones on whom the 'choice' of God depends, so that our own inferiorities do not become our jailers, precluding the largeness of heart ever to know or even want God! Yet HE does not merely govern a system in which codes and grades operate, so that once again we are mere platoons of robotics in the swirls of history. HE wants us, and HE chooses us, and OUR insufficiency does not DETERMINE the issue, but HE resolves it with knowledge, taking those whom He foreknew, having desired that all might be saved, but violating NONE.
Indeed, there is no problem in life and truth which He does not resolve; and in this, He is the thrust of the Bible, the living WORD fulfilling the written word. NOTHING else (cf. SMR Ch. 5) is able to meet all problems in all things. He does. There is no problem with the Biblical teaching in its consistency, validity and adequacy, and of NOTHING else can this be said; and further, its self-identification as the word of God is not only from its unique validity (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -7, That Magnificent Rock Ch. 5, 7, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, SMR Ch. 3), but from its operational perfection, never failing in its multitudes of self-exposures. It also TELLS us that this is so and CHALLENGES us to fault it (Isaiah 41, 43, 48). No one has ever succeeded, and this site is one living testimony to that fact, as it proceeds over the years; yet it is by no means the only one.
If then you are looking for a practical example of what does not fail, while exposing itself to multiple tests over time, what is doing just this over thousands of years, what even for millenia has had a personal face to present in the performance of these things, what had a millenium of clear forecast before the practical example, the Messiah, the Christ, arrived, what has had two millenia or so for His words to receive test, what even predicts the misuse of His presentations by people who misuse His name (II Cor. 11, II Timothy 3, II Peter 2), as has occurred ad nauseam, then you have arrived at the answer.
of course are not what all want. One well remembers one irate clergyman
listing my unacceptability to himself, with prominent mention of being
always right. Now this could mean an opinionated ass; but in the context,
which had involved various interchanges on topics, one had been shown in
fact to be right. It was no special cleverness; just an insistence on fidelity
to the Bible. People sometimes do not want an answer. The reason could
be varied, but one example is this. The desire is for the UNKNOWN, the
unlimited, that which is OPEN at all costs, to which one can always hope
there will be something unexpected so that one may arrive at destinations
of the most marvellous kind, unthought of earlier, and so on. This however,
life, is not a game, nor is it a self-indulgence stall.
The truth is never vexed, never falls, never fails, never wanders, needs no recomposition, is right from the start, coheres and affirms to the end, is unflinching before any evidence, gives from itself the evidence of its testimony, the depth of its content, the details of its knowledge, rebuts all argument, continues in all circumstances, is the gift of God, before whom alone such knowledge is even possible. The Bible, the word of God, is thus in principle, practice and performance; and so maintains itself. Being from the mind of God, through the Spirit of God, it moves not at all; but as it speaks, so do events fall, and so does nation or mankind arise, or fall (cf. SMR Chs. 8 - 9 ). Yet God always preserves His people, though He chasten them, and they suffer for Him, that His love may be known, a light in darkness and a joy in grief.
If then you do not want the truth, then 'the lie' is the other option. It is noted expressly and clearly in II Thessalonians 2:10. Those, it declares, who did not receive the love of the truth are prone to the lie, which is a state of delusion, which in turn explains in one hit, the incredible credulity which characterises sect and false religion alike, the amazing vehemence of their often physically oppressive presence, and the sadness of the world inhabited by such things. It is literally tearing itself apart, and the only reason why the rent does not yet appear, is this, that the tears are progressive. It will not because it cannot endure, because it is not made to last (Isaiah 51:6), as we have been told these several millenia. The world ? It is a stage. It is necessary to play one's part; but it is no merely comic or drama stage. The stage of the stage is summary and final.
Watch, then, your act, for if it is alienated from truth, you merely misuse the stage and are not in the case; rather in such a case, before you looms this: being cast away. Who would want this for you or for any ? The wonder is this, you need not a deep cheque book, a marvellous education, a prominent place. You do not achieve 'Honours' status, as one organisation offered, by a cheque for several thousand, however genuine the attainment. It is all in Christ, the victorious victim, the arm of the Lord exposed, the ultimate soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice with all the magnificence of eternity His home, (Micah 5:1-3), and salvation His gift.
Rejection is a responsible act. Love does not push.
lords have had dominion over us, but in You only will we make mention of
This is precisely the style of sense in Psalm 56:10 - "In God I will praise His word!"
the NKJV spoils this with the needless and gratuitous addition of brackets.
It is no extraneous praise, no merely philosophic inclination, or theosophical penchant. In the refuge and reality of God, knowing God and immunised from debasing Him, in the source and original of all, dependent on nothing and with nothing added, GOD is to be praised.