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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hating God's people

To curse God’s people, to hold them in contempt, is to curse God Himself and to hold Him in contempt. And those who hate God hate God’s children. His people bear a resemblance to Him in character that naturally assiociates them with Him. So His enemies become their enemies. This is why David could be so adamant about and almost arrogant for Israel during the time of the nation’s great revival of grace.

Psalm 123
Unto Thee lift I up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that He have mercy upon us.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Psalm 129
Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say:
Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.
The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.
The Lord is righteous: He hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.
Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.
Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up:
Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.
Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the Lord be upon you: we bless you in the name of the Lord.

“This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek Thy face, O Jacob. Selah.” (Ps. 24:6).

This is hardly to say that Israel was inherently good, as eventually they came to think, after departing far from the Lord. They were no different in their fallen human natures than anyone else. Then how could they have been given a higher status in the Bible? “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?” (Rom. 3:1).

“Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” (vs. 2). It was the light God had shed on them, altering their nature, which changed the hearts of those who believed. For those who sought Him with all their heart and would catch a glimpse of His agape love for them, His salvation came. Power to be like Him filled the mind and volition, to will and to do of His good pleasure. They gained His same agape love; the natural-born selfishness and bitterness fled from their hearts and a fellowship seen in innocent children became their characters.

This enraged Satan and he enraged this earthly hosts. He inflamed the nations with his envy that the followers of Yahweh should be able to enjoy a peace not given to the followers of Baal. Every evil surmising did they imagine against the nation espousing the living God. Israel’s self-righteous form of worship, their restrictive law, their unsightly intimacy between friends, their unfair victories at war and prosperity, and on and on… it just couldn’t be, in the prejudiced minds of the wicked, that the God of heaven was blessing Israel.

In serving Baal, the heathen served Satan. Fellowship with the devil perpetuated hatred toward Israel and Israel’s laws. The natural bent to hate God already made them hate the Hebrews; but by acting on their hatred toward Israel they essentially sealed their eternal fate, as nations, in their hatred of the living God.

The living God is the only true God, the real owner of power to redeem the sinful human heart; Christ is the only God who is seen in the lives of genuinely godly people. To hate them is to hate Christ’s redemption. To hate the righteousness of Christ displayed in His people is to hate His character—to ultimately hate Him.

Though the heathen neighbors professed higher morality than Israel, God saw their bitterness toward Him, which was encouraged by Baal worship. To the whole world, not to Israel alone, came the second commandment

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me;
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.”

In exact fashion, Cain resented Abel for the freedom he had. Abel was free from malice, free from impatience, full of tenderness and forbearance. Abel’s affable and unselfish nature aroused the painful anxiety and unsettling spirit of his brother’s soul. Cain’s heart was surrendered to Satan, and Satan fought to retain his first prized possession. Cain was strategic in the conquest of the new world that the prince of evil had just gained. The evil one must keep this first son of Adam, and make him the progenitor of his character and his human agent to conquer the planet under his dictatorship.

Satan filled him with resentment toward God for having to live under such difficult condition just outside the Garden of Eden where could still be seen the peace and glory within. So Cain was infused with satanic zeal toward Abel, who seemed to have the same peace and glory of Eden. His younger brother wasn’t daunted by the difficult life under the curse of God, and he hated Abel until he held his brother in such contempt that he had to murder him. And let us not overlook the place that his new form of worship played into his hate-filled mind, character, and personality.

Cain’s possessed soul refused the humbling effect of the helpless, dying victim of the lamb central to the religion the Lord God had required of their parents. Though subconsciously, he had fully rejected the light of the Holy Spirit to his soul. He turned down his Creator when he refused the revelation of God’s holy nature displayed in the visible lessons in the ritual sacrifice. Cain’s minchau substitute could not humble him and break his heart and heal his alienation from God.

“Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” “Though ye believe not Me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” (Jn. 10:38;14:11). As accepting Christ’s works led to accepting their Source, Cain’s rejecting the visible works of Christ resident in the dying of the little animal meant a start of the turning away from Christ Himself.

Let us look to His works; let us be changed by His life. He ate with thieves and prostitutes. If they offered Him entry into their lives, He accepted and sought to relieve them of their misconception of His Father that they had gained from the Pharisees and scribes. Simply because they had welcomed Him in, He overlooked their lack of scruples and paltry living. As they touched His person, He was touching their hearts and healing them.

He was taunted by the religious leaders for His quick acceptance of these unsanctified urchins, the cockroaches of the community and nation; the Pharisees vented their devil possessed hatred by the accusation that Beelzebub inspired His actions; but He unburdened His aching heart and mind night by night, as He repaired to His Father’s bosom.

Thus He was always of good cheer in the presence of the animosity inspired from below. Bruised reeds would He continue to heal, and enfeebled ardors would He strengthen. He would not be discouraged until He had reestablished righteousness in the earth. Mercy grace and peace for the needy; theirs was the kingdom of heaven. The banner over His glorious head was love.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Daniel D. Lelong said...

David, you write very well! Those who teach replacement theology clain that Christians replace Jews as God's people. The truth is, however, that Christians are added to the roster of God's people, along with Jews, especially with Believing Jews. Some Believing Jews erroneously regard non-observant Christians as 'false Jews.'

2/19/2011 7:52 AM  
Blogger David said...

Thank you, brother. Christians have a lot to learn. Yes, we do. I will look to Jesus and find in Him my hope for that roster. :)

2/21/2011 7:45 PM  
Blogger Nsubuga Daniel said...

Me too takes Jesus to be my hope

2/24/2011 11:46 AM  

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