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TRAGEDY OF TARNISHED TRIUMPH
The TRIUMPH of TARNISHED TRAGEDY
TV August 7, 2001
sadness is to be found in the Dene people of Great Bear Lake
in the Northwest Territories of Canada.
We learn that from here came the uranium to feed the fires of the bombs of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Here laboured the 'coolies' for the devastation for Japan. Here was the exposure to low-level radiation in aboriginal bodies, to ensure the exposure to high-level radiation in the Rising Sun nation, which in its exuberance for control, and its imperial delusions concerning the Emperor in the religious aspect, was getting close to the infallibility of the papacy, and certainly to its historic rapacity and cruelty, as in the Burma railway, and to its imperiousness in the treatment of women and prisoners.
What is it that so infects man that a nation inculcating lowliness of profile could so readily exhibit grandeur of hauteur ? What made so industrious and orderly a nation as Germany so readily submit to the blandishments of revenge, the intoxications of power and the nonsenses of Nazism ? Why did Italy so bow to the pope, and do so many so continue to do so, though his claims are ludicrous and his aspirations absurd, anti-scriptural on the one hand, and based on a cruelty in the past, including this past century, and a way explicitly condemned in the Bible, and predicted, on the other (I Timothy 4) ?
Why did so many nations throw away all humanity and seize with rapacity and recklessness, the lives of other people (of whatever colour, for they were still human) and impress them into slavery, including USA and Great Britain ? To be sure Christianity in Britain, using Wilberforce, was vigorous and sacrificial to overcome, with great contest however, the folly of that nation; but it had lasted long this abomination. True, in the USA, great heart was shown in what was in fact one of the primary bases of the Civil War, abhorrence at the inhumanities practised on so many of the dark-skinned slaves, and so that many white lives were mangled in payment, as man fought man not least for another race. Thus is the account of Lincoln, meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe whose Uncle Tomís Cabin so invaded the hearts of so many at that time, in empathy and concern, on meeting her. It appears that he declared something like this: So youíre the little lady that started all this! At all events, not only she, but the basics of humanity under God, had much to start what ended much of the abuse, but not all!
Oh certainly, the UNITY as so many now claim for themselves, of the United States had not a little to do with that war; but it was a unity which already had a President, and it was a war which was purgative! As one watches one of the truly great laments of history, in the coverage historically of that Civil War in the US on the TV screen, one senses the acute tragedy. There were high principles, various intoxicated seeming perspectives, various courages, affairs of heart, marvels of endurance and so forth: one could never depreciate their reality; but misled, so many were fouled in horrors. It was such a mess.
So too has been this Great Bear Lake disaster. But before we look at this pit, let us at least touch the answer to our questions, just made. What is wrong with man that he so departs from the very things he is saying, or the ways he has been going, in order that he might descend to the spiritual pit and decline to the gloaming that leads to darkness, the rising sun meanwhile the boast ? It is that his heart is away from its specifications! What would you expect ?
If our Holden, so famed in Australia (where in the nineteen fifties in one year, we were told at Sydney University, it paid DIVIDENDS of 200% to the US shareholders), were to be made, say because of some dispute such as that which has just now warped the land, with some false specifications ... ? What then ?
we would not wonder at the poor travelling conditions which might result,
SPECIFICATION AND PERFORMANCE
What it IS in specification relates closely, even intimately, to its performance. Depart from that and what can you behold but trouble, and perhaps death, maiming and reckless ruin for others ! Specifications are vital, and be the thing what it may, depart from them and you may mangle more than imaginable at first. It is so with man. The specifications are simple: Sample for siting with the heart of God, in fellowship and communion, in a vast world of immense variety, enormous discovery potential for mind and body, heart and spirit, glorious beauty, such that , like a child with the father, he may glorify his heavenly friend and walk with his fascinatingly contriving parent, love Him and love one another in the process.
Result: departure from the same, with considerable downward mobility.
Ambition, high-minded disregard, listening to adverse non-wisdom dressed as sophistication, in the very first generation (Genesis 3), so that though man was MADE in the image of God (for the above relationship, accordingly), he was defaced and his specifications being violated, by his strike, he was astray. Breach of trust led to breach of life.
Therefore he WENT astray, like a vehicle made but now warped with false specifications inserted. In due course, he being astray, GOES astray. You can make for him what you will, wealth as in the USA, scientific advance as in the early twentieth century Germany, discipline as in Japan, an Empire as in Great Britain, one of far-reaching potential: do not worry about it. It will go astray. Enormities will be wrought, follies will be dreamed up, pompous pocket-thumpers will disport their riches, we will be told as by one great Australian company, which oddly enough had once a Christian managing director, that it is the DUTY to the SHAREHOLDERS to maximise profit. Incredible distortions of fact will be trotted out as if they were about to do a dressage for a prize.
In vain to tell them, You are NOT duty bound to ANYONE to do ANYTHING, unless it be by law of the land or agreement with your participants. (And even that is not to point out what is far more important: that you ARE duty bound to God, whether you know it or like it or not, these being your specifications, and there being no just cause either, to depart cf. Questions and Answers 1, The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 8, Biblical Blessings 13).
In fact, PROFIT first, maxmised, can be almost as delusive as POWER first, as in China now and in USSR before, and if the trend is not arrested, soon once again. WHO said that investors MUST be immoral, putting what is NOT moral above what is ? WHO said that rulers MUST be immoral, putting cohesion on their schema above all other things, and imprisoning, inhumanely, indeed inhumanly, many who are of fine character, industry and courage, because they constitute a challenge to the pathetic and pathological prepossession with power which grips the deluded heart of the mighty!
On what grounds is it so confidently affirmed that questions of VALUE and CONTENT and atmosphere are not vital, EVEN IF the annual profit sheet, or the decade's, is not so monetarily impressive! Thus one professional worker INSISTED in his control situation, that his people be treated like people, with respect, concern for their spirit, for team work and the like. This he practised in relationships with those with whom he worked, and to whom he had to give some direction. It was not accepted.
IF,however, it had not in fact been highly productive (and it was
vociferously rejected by management, who managed to make things oppressive
for him too), it is a way of treating people.
It is not slack. It is not lax. People being people, are well treated as if they were what they are!
UNLESS we do it this way, they say with bulging wallets or inane and cancerous tumours of arrogant authority (depending on which side you are on, right or left), obviously all will go wrong. Thus they DO wrong to AVOID wrong, and ARE wrong, but do not see it. Neither did Romanism, with its ludicrous equivocation procedures for Jesuits, its well-named and famous, infamous and deluded prescriptions of 'mental reservations' and consciences free in the matter of MEANS so long as ENDS were RIGHT! It is all one. It is passionate preoccupation with what is but vanity.
So has it been with Communism which, out of alleged concern for people, has made people non-persons, not individuals, mere cogs in a State system which in fact is ruled by people, who do not cease to be people who individually think, because they talk, or magically become transformed, because they put matter above men, and then presume to rule men as if material things were their nature and the choice so to rule, were a material thing. So do they wallow in internal disharmonies with their own, often executed, imprisoned, made tools of State, and with their own logic.
The cases and ideologies of depravity are many. What then becomes of the world in such plausible potencies and pawing prescriptions ? What lies where such things are in control ?
Truth is gone, presuppositions rule, and their principles are void, in collision with fact, because their DREAM possesses them, and like a spoilt child, it has endless allowances made for it until the sheer abyss of its folly looms like another world.
The answer is to RETURN to reality, to truth, and to cease to adore the invalid, the irrational, the proud and the pretentious, the pompous and the thought children of the abyss, standing on nothing, validated in nothing, empty aerial frivolities of thought, non-candours of spirit, simplistic and anti-verified surges into the froth of life, dooming millions, destroying the integrity of more, leading astray with panache, and smirking the while, with vacuous grins at their own greatness, until they ask for help, like Europe after WW II, or Russia after the Cold War, and then ? Why not ? Do it again ? Such is the way of sin, and preachers declare it, since the word of God incisively relays it, and the solution.
Solution ? they ask. Solution, it is found in finance as in the World Bank, or in construction, as in the Yangtze Dam (see how big it is), or in new arms distributions from Mr Putin for North Korea whose record of handling power is so ruggedly if negatively impressive, and whose aspiration to terminate the freedom of South Korea is so like that of Russia to terminate that in Chechnya; no it is found in the United Nations, or in the papacy, so that the world population may soar to ever new disregard of facts, and the poor become more numerous where food lacks.
We HAVE the answer, they say, and continue ... but it is sad, so let us simply state that the answer is back to specifications!
There IS no other answer (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 and 7, SMR), and that is WHY no other putative answer works, and none has worked for millenia; nor will work. It is so simple that it is almost an insult to man to contemplate it: yet, when you are near to death, it is worth while to listen to the doctor, in this world's case, the same one who has spoken these last 3 and one half millenia or so, in the one book which works and stands, and does not fall or fail. It is this which states and does, and does not vary, the book of specifications which diagnoses and defines sin, and provides the prognosis for man, which is undoubtedly gloomy (but so is cancer, and this is not the usual reason for disregarding it, but rather for considering action on the basis of evidence and reality and fact), and details those other specifications.
are these ? Those of constructive, creative, and realistic kind, involving
effective reconstruction. How is this to be done, if the specifications
are astray in all men now ? By the power of the Maker. It seems hard for
some to see (but the disease of sin MAKES it so - Eph. 4:17ff., and its
perception is not only an intellectual function, though intellectually
it is demonstrable that it is so, as in SMR). It is hard to see when you
are blinded. Nevertheless there it is, and it is proper to consider
the simplicity of it all, glimpsing at first the grandeur of its form and
the wonder of its pervasive power to answer all things. This is because
of its source. The word of God is like that. It is His. We are His. The
world is His. What He says interprets, explains without remainder.
Nothing else does this because God has given to man nothing else. It is a great boon. There is nothing to choose. It is the only one there is which with preliminary validity to state truth as such, and has a posteriori power and provides whatever it says as it says it (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7, SMR Chs. 1-3, 8-10).
We are made by a design matchless, for a purpose to match the same, have defiled this, and have to return to the designer for the solution. You would at least (or if wilful, perhaps at last) CONSIDER going back to the Holden manufacturers if, from some strike action, it were to happen that cars came out with wrong specifications, wouldn't you! Thus it is necessary to go to the SORT of power which made you, to have the SORT of rectification which has defiled your spirit to trusting in itself, in mankind or in some guru, and finding God, have His remedy applied.
What is that ? It is Christ and Him crucified, the living picture of sin, the ghastliness of the sight of His physically defiled, literally defaced being an attestation of the counter-specification realities of sin, its cost and its terminus. Terminus ? Yes, in principle and in practice that is where the specification restoration procedure is received.
What is that ? It is to let your sin have its terminus of doom and destiny on Him, provided for the purpose, in purity incomparable, in sin negative, in virtue illustrious. Thus because God saw fit to inhabit the human form, indeed to become in His Word incarnate in it, showing the RIGHT SPECIFICATIONS for man, in person, like an author going into his novel and DOING IT RIGHT, saving the situation personally, you assent to this, His plan, accept that His payment for justice and acting in faith, receive Him as your own salvation, personally, propositionally and practically. Yet consider what HE did, without which you could do what you willed, and it would be vain, futile, like a spider in a bird's beak. He came to the situation of His creation to provide for its desecration with deliverance and salvation.
With an author it might be so that he would like to come for the situation; but he might want in particular to save some of the characters in particular, and not just the scenario. After all, when an author loves his characters, might he not want to help ? How wonderful so to conceive each one, yet without violation.
There is a delightful picture (from memory) found in one old National Geographic reproduction, in which Charles Dickens is to be seen with his charming characters (like Little Nell) on his knee, or here or there on his body, or in corners of the room, as ruminating and reflective, he thrills yet in calm mode, to their presence. God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son, via Mary through incarnation, so that He and He alone should be Lord (do whatever HE says, she told the servants in a crisis - John 2, EVERYONE who does the will of God is My mother .... He said, Matthew 12:48ff.), so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Word takes you back to its eternal source to provide eternal life (I John
1, John 17).
That is what it is all about. You are made alive not only to live for ever (it is so sad when a vast and delightful oak tree is cut down), but live in the way which is apt for the purpose! That is the way of your Maker, and the specifications are love, peace, joy, hope, self-control, virtue, faithfulness, sympathy and the like, along with truth and remedy, reality.
Remedy ? yes, and so to the redemption by Christ who died the just for the unjust to bring us to God (I Peter 3:18). It is not difficult to comprehend intellectually, but it is sure to be hard to bend spiritually. Have you ever noted the long, kindly seeming boughs of the oak tree, massive in proportion, vast in domain, with multitudes of little recesses where as children one might 'live', covered with Spring's tassels, the whole reaching to the skies, a harbour for birds, softening the wind ? They bend into comfortable shapes where one may sit, and move about in pleasant paths, where one might climb.
are not stiff and straight, as if a testimony to art-free and simplistic
Rather they bend.
God was willing to look down (Psalm 102:12-18) and bend His arm to the little things, becoming a babe in incarnation in His word, and we have to willing to bend to Him also (Philippians 2). He has given the lead. We must follow: it is full and rich, this oak, and not hollow, but has a heart of oak. Such is the heart of God: immovable, impregnable and wonderful. The remedy is in Him, in His ruin in the flesh for our boon in spirit, and our restoration, not by improvisations of man, but by impoverishment of the Son of God, who though He was rich, yet became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich (II Corinthians 8:9).
WHERE this is not a mere verbal phrasing, but a moral power, a personal realisation in the presence of God, so that sin is indeed by faith dumped on Him and life is indeed taken from Him, so that His specifications are at last followed, and His mouth is no more ripped from His face, if you will face the imagery, in order to use His name and ignore His words (cf. II Cor. 11, John 14:21ff., Matthew 7:15ff.); where this is the reality in truth, THEN it works. It is so with many things. You do not practise accountancy without regard to the law; you regard that as primary.
On the other side, if you are wise and not fraudulent, you do not practise law without regard to justice; you regard that as primary. God is a Spirit, and He also speaks. You must worship Him spiritually and also pay attention to what He says. It is not a burden, but a delight. Would you groan to look at the various paintings of some great artist, to whom you came in order to admire one of his paintings ? Yes, you might, but not if you had art in your heart and he were the greatest of all! Far less if he were the parent of all art and the creator of artistry.
delightful fact is that once you are His, then His word is written into
your heart, and you are FREE as a bird in its flicking wings, its artistries
of geometries and its liberties of fanciful flights, for your place is
certain, your destiny assured, your place in the family by birth, your
life eternal and your friend your Maker (as in Romans 5:1-11, John 5:11ff.).
It is NOT an encumbrance to KNOW your Father and listen, but a privilege.
NOTHING is then impossible, for with God, nothing shall be called impossible.
WEST ? NO ... NORTHWEST
It is hard to bear at the Great Bear
THAT however is not the way of things for the people of the Great Bear Lake, in the Northwest Territories of Canada.
Long they slaved to bring out the uranium that went to the bombs. The humble faces of these aboriginal people, the imprints of their former labours, in the quiet Northern setting, by their great lake were a picture of the dismal, the dark and the suffering. Many had lost fathers, grandfathers, and the local village is called the village of widows. It is not just the loss, and who would minimise that in any one case - it is the manner of it. Slow death to cancer is the price in the northern reaches of Canada of fast death by heat amid writhing, and slow death by cancer in Japan.
It is not that the Japanese did not use the methods of sudden death or lingering suffering in the Pearl Harbour folly. It did not seem so unwise to the powers-that-were in Japan at the time. WOULD their supply of iron (thanks Australia for pig-iron) last long enough; and the joint axis with the European axis of Hitler and Mussolini, would it move fast enough for them all to go far enough to make it to the ... Ah what ? To the top of the tree ? Which tree, with what fruit ? Does no one stop to ask such questions when power and priority, rule and command are in view ? To a dream of ruling Asia (strictly for its own benefit of course) ?
While the Nazis had a dream of ruling the world (strictly for the benefit of the most evolved of course, that picturesque delusion that means death in the 'struggle'), they could parallel it. So the parallel paths to proud pollution led further than intended, and not at all only to those for whom it was intended.
It fell to pieces: the dream, but not entirely, the world. It is tough; but it has sanctions, and radioactivity is one of the plagues which man is destined (because predicted) to inherit.
It was one of the pictures, in Joel 2, of the pillar of vapour which was to characterise the latter season before the rule of God was implemented, when man's tireless seeming but endlessly frustrated soiled dreams were for a little, stilled. It is noted in Pentecost in Acts 2 likewise, that sign, that signal, that pillar, that column, of vapour, of smoke. This is the symbol of decadence, the reminder of arrogance, the testimony of incompetence and the comment on falsely applied diligence, if not in the war, then after it.
We have now had this mushroom cloud, this column of vapour. Unlike the day some 2800 years ago, of its prediction for the end phases of history before the Lord comes, it is now notorious. For those in Great Bear Lake, it is perhaps almost unbearable. So history catches up with man.
That column in the air, it is one of the fulfilments. You do not mention, in a tiny sample, such a thing for a period without its being utterly significant. It is. Ask Japan, ask Russia, so diligent in applying what it stole and using what it could develop, and evidently in using the Arctic ocean as a waste can and Baikal in its East as another.
Ask them among the Sahtu Dene people, ask them in Hiroshima.
There they live in Great Bear Lake vicinity, there they eat the fish from the spoiled lake, and the meat from the soiled caribou which drink the water from the soiled expanse, otherwise beautiful. There they wonder, and ask of themselves questions, HOW MUCH are we being contaminated ? WHEN and with what results will we know ?*1 HOW soon and how much will they clean our environment ? What will become of our constantly exposed children ?
One saw an expert with his geiger counter trying out the air about, and at times the readings rose noisily... So they have approached Ottawa the great, the scene of the sanctions which allowed the mining of the uranium, and sought help.
What happened ?
The scenario was not engaging. Tickets, it was said, were issued to enable quite a good number of Dene people to come to Ottawa for an illustrious meeting with the illustrious: three Ministers of State, no less. Alas! but how odd! Their tickets were issued but not authorised, we heard, and so how sad, they could not come. Their lawyer was seen counselling with them: it is to discourage you! he said. They delay, and then harassments are permitted and there is difficulty, so that you will become disappointed and disheartened and forget about it. Was he right ? One does not know; but it seems sure that this little pageant had the strange confusion of inoperable tickets to airlift the people to a meeting with three Ministers who seemingly could not quite manage to have the thing work, so that they could not come, after all those years of hoping and at last, arranging.
It is a strange world is it not, when such power has such a puny result for people who have waited for so long after such suffering imposed on them!
However one man paid. So a number were swiftly brought to Ottawa. The meeting actually occurred, with such nice formality and interest. But little happened! It is rather like one's endeavours to reach our Australian government, someone, anyone, who will tell one HOW they know that the Japanese prisoners housed in Victoria since the early nineties, those accused of drug trafficking who declare they are innocent and that the stuff was planted on them in Malaysia through a robbing of their cases and a replacement ... were lying.
How DO you know ? Do you snuff the air ? Do you consult horoscopes, or perhaps look at your philosophy of human nature, or do you consider the race, or the religion, or whether this or that looks likely, and then say, NO they are guilty! Or is incontrovertible evidence to their story's explosion, and the denial justly of their protestations, available ? It seemed worth while to find out, and when one over the years has sought from this Premier or that Minister or through the other Member of Parliament for an answer to a simple question, almost childishly simple, one GETS NO ANSWER. The latest case saw someone say, in substance: This is where and when they were condemned, on this occasion and on that in this court and in that.
But this was not even the question.
What then WAS the question constantly put to the officials, concerning this protracted imprisonment, so protested by many in Japan ?
In outline, it was this: HAS their story been BROKEN ? Has it been SHOWN by evidence to be false! If so, please tell me, if possible, on WHAT evidence.
Is that so hard ? It WOULD be if it had not been broken of course, if it had not been shown false by evidence. Some 40 Japanese lawyers have sought in vain for even a royal or Governor's pardon, but it does not come. Nor does the explanation. Perhaps there is one; then why does it not come! Strange are the ways of human power, very often, and often unillustrious.
In the Great Bear Lake matter, it does not seem much better. Little, we are told, has happened. They continue to hear a few words about this or that, but no clean-up seems about to come. They live and die, especially the latter. We who, in Australia, have faced the outcome of the British tests in Maralinga, and have heard of the amazing inundation of Adelaide with a short term radioactive wave of some intensity, as well of the difficulties in the large efforts made to clean the polluted environment to our North: we can empathise with great facility, with the Great Bear people. Their affliction of course is far worse, for it is WHERE THEY LIVE, and it is NOT cleaned up!
An interesting sequel appeared in the program, entitled, Village of Widows - and it emanated from Canada, reminding us NEVER to generalise without warrant. SOME does not mean ALL!
Some of the afflicted Dene people went to Japan, Hiroshima in particular and their visit included some sharing of sorrow, some jointness of grief with some afflicted (even if in retribution to their nation, through efforts to reduce Allied losses from their aggression) there. Each party, from Canada as in Japan, had known the experience of strong and slow sadness, from strong and slow dyings in their midst, from radioactivity. By contrast, pleasant were some of the gentle exchanges at the human level between those two races here brought in sorrow together, some of the sharings of feelings and hopes. Later they were to put, in some Day of Peace celebrations, little paper boats on the water, with little thoughts about peace and hopes ... It is evidently a custom in Japan on that day.
Into the midst of the Dene people, meanwhile, we were taken visually, and shown indications that some ritualistic elements, akin to Romanism but not necessarily from that source, at least directly, and some spiritistic thoughts were moving, and their religion was beginning to recrudesce. How hard it was, one of them explained, to think of the land, their peculiar location in the North, invested by them religiously with thoughts high and beneficial, to think of this as the place where ...
Where what ? Where the executioner of life was dragged out from the soil, where the death warrant to a thousand hopes was exhumed, in the form of uranium, where their toil was to grief, and their reward was to separation from those loved, leaving little children without fathers and wives without husbands and all without the lake and the land and the health, so much of the majesty and purity gone, gone for ever, it may be, in that place, miracles apart. The world indeed is to GO (Matthew 24:35). But what of the remnant, now ?
It is good to see them seeking for meaning and explanation, even though it causes grief, and does not satisfy, for neither can ritual nor human religion ever satisfy: for it is like looking at pictures of food, without having anything actually to eat. It stirs, but it cannot satisfy. It awakens, but not to reality.
What if, then, this people were to be led to the Christ of God, who was not dug out of the ground, but came from heaven; who did not defile but in body was vastly defiled through a violence also slow and agonising, and indeed reaching to the heart and the soul, as His life, betrayed, and His goodness, abused, were dismissed by the lordly authorities of the race which, it too, has paid, with the other lordly ones of the nations, for its pains Ö
When you take pains to inflict pains, is it to puzzling that you receive them! But there is a pain which must be borne, by one, by all. It is this. You must be willing for the operation. You must face its challenge, endure its performance. It is not too hard. It does indeed mean losing your life, but only to gain it. It does mean sacrificing your lordliness, but only to find the ONE and ONLY Lord whose lordliness is innate, and whose power is infinite, whose goodness and mercy are proverbial and powerful, and whose wonder is eternal.
then, there has been a tragedy of tarnished triumph, the horrors on BOTH
ends of the scale,
the producers and the receivers of the atomic bomb, displayed in Great Bear Lake and in Hiroshima*1 : yet there is something far greater and something which solves for both, for all who receive it, the entire mismatch of ruined specifications and necessary folly as a result. It is the triumph of tarnished tragedy; for the tragedy was Christ and Him crucified, the predicted and loving redeemer whose tragic death deprived the people of Israel and of the world of His glorious presence. It was He who was tarnished by the betrayal and the sin which He received freely and in its wholeness from all who receive Him as salvation. The exchange for those who so receive Him is total, life embracing, not episodic, forever, just and final (II Cor. 5:17-21, John 10:9,27-28, Romans 4:25-5:11).
tarnish is borne, and gone as soon as deposited, for in His foreknowledge
He knows His own, and His taste has already been of judicial death
on their behalf (Romans 8:28ff.).
BETTER POWER THAN RADIOACTIVITY, AND CLEAN
The tarnish transfer therefore, with Him, it was in this case planned, specified and spiritually necessary, so that in justice He could and would show mercy and in pity exercise power to grant pardon to those whose tarnish He so received. In that, there is triumph, for one and for all; and in this is life for one and for all who receive it, whether at Great Bear Lake or in Hiroshima, not with little boats of hope on waters of soiled soil, but in the life of the Maker, whose purity is so intense that the whole displays of all the atomic power He enabled to reside (where it belongs however) are as a candle and less, by comparison.
What then does it say, that we may listen ?
What does it say of man ?
in Isaiah 53:
"Who has believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed ?"There is no tragedy, except to ignore Him, or trifle with His truth, which is not turned into triumph by these means. However, they are received by faith, and without ANY works of ANY kind as a contribution for the result (including how nicely you come, or with what credentials - Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2, Galatians 3, 5). HE is the Saviour. He does not NEED helpers in the operation. What ? Contribute to your own birth ...
And then, of those who do receive this revelation ? This:
"All we like sheep have gone astray,
We have turned every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
"He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
yet He did not open His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its hearers is silent,
So He did not open His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation ?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgression of My people He was stricken."
There are certain specifications, known to Him. He implements them:
There is no tragedy but that it is made infinitely worse by recoiling from redemption in Jesus the Christ, the anointed, the appointed, the celestial lover whose love knows better things than emotional passion, but understands every emotion. There is no triumph but what is tiny, tedious and unspectacular in the end, but in Him. Eternity has its own ways and values; and other things do not last. He who remains, as Zechariah says, HE will be for our God.
everlasting to everlasting He is God. There is no other. There is no other
way back. There is no other destination to find, which lasts. HIS is destiny,
and He made it - for us. No radioactivity and no ruin can remove it. Only
disbelief bids fair; and even that, it does not remove it, but merely evacuates
the one so presuming against the truth, from the love of God, and the mercy
which He has provided. Such a triumph is tragedy indeed, and it dwarfs
Horrors, Regional and Mundane, and
Salvation, Immortal and Infallible,
because God is
This is but one regional horror, one doubt, one disquietude, one pathos and one predicament. In the world at large, where immediate execution is not in view, and instant commencement on cancerous affliction of your progeny, as comes near to the Great Bear Lake arena, it is often merely minimised, except when some new events stirs people to awaken, or to forsake temporarily their personas of poise, and relapse into their probings of fact, and pursue their thoughts past the present to the destiny of the race, and the reasons and grounds for that destiny.
It is very apparent that their lurking thoughts are disquieted simply when one considers the all but unbelievable substitutes for valid religion and true faith in which they indulge, angels giving golden plates and evacuating, plus plates, people going on treasure hunts, with superior and religiously given 'knowledge', finding nothing and then 'believing' in their guru or his methods, people making bread into body with no discernible difference and contrary to the text book which they acclaim for their religion (SMR pp. 1086ff.), having thought power by thinking at the same time or eating entrails or hearts or whatever or this or that, or even, perhaps most deluded, looking for dust to manufacture them, and 'life' to make itself and them included, without warrant, model, mind or capacity of any kind, and to do it in terms of a system which exhibits the absence of what they acclaim in model, in internalities and in performance.
It is a restlessness and a disquiet, a tension and an extension of man into the domain of God, whose is humility and grace, as if in the absence of such things, anything of the slightest merit could obtain! It does not because it could not. Inflation brings depression, not only as a manic-depressive trend, but logically. Arise on air, and you fall. Fall and you will be hurt. Be proud of how relatively little you hurt, and your logically necessary falling will proceed. There is no remission of truth, only through it. So does the world display to the pitter-patter of the feet of seeking investigation, what the Lord provides with the pitter-patter of the rain of prophetic events distilled into new testimony on the earth, and in all this commotion, one thing is clear: the truth. It comes but it is seldom heeded.
Thus, without truth, do these idols of the heart, as they often become, and fallacies of the mind, as they always are, these balms but not of Gilead, they betoken the follies of the race, its insistent on what disquiets, and not a score of mad wars can change them. They go like hounds on the blood, looking for the quarry, but alas, it is themselves who are the quarry, and it is their own blood they snuff.
Thus is the world disquieted enough, through follies and the resultant maladies, to fight hundreds of wars since the "Great" World War II and to endeavour in multiplied cases to exhume the dead thoughts of fallen 'sages', replete with their own invalidities and self-contradictions (cf. SMR Ch. 7. pp. 611ff.), and progress in all the contradictions which the self-contradiction ensured would occur, to find out that they do in fact occur.
And that they hurt.
Small wonder they fight and blight, and war and disembowel, and scar children, or cut off their arms as in Northern Africa, or whatever other madness obsesses and possesses them in their millions. In fear, they fight. In fighting, they fear; in death, they look down and in life they look down, and what is up to them is down, for this the age like that of Isaiah, when they call good evil and evil good, and the flood is of folly.
Isaiah 5 has much to say
consider Isaiah 29:15-16:
"Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and
their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth
us? 16 Surely your turning of things upside
down shall be esteemed as the potterís clay: for shall the work say
of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him
that framed it, He had no understanding?
17 "Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
"And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes
of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. 19 The meek
also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall
rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the terrible one is brought
to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity
are cut off:
21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.
"Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house
of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax
pale. 23 But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the
midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of
Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. 24 They also that erred in spirit
shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine."
The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769 - Some paragraphing and attendant commas added, and red lettering, to assist perception.
As explained earlier, it is not only to Israel that this applies, but to all who come to the knowledge of the Lord, Israel being a prime witness but in no wise an exclusive feature, for "WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved," and "Great peace have they who love My law and nothing shall make them stumble" (Joel 2:32, Acts 22:1, Psalm 119:165).