TruthInvestigate

“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.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Our Father of justice

The kingdom of God is like a woman who feared God and loved her fellow human race. So, being owner of a large ranch, every time she went into town to buy necessities for her horses and other farm needs, when she would see a homeless person or couple sitting under some awning apparently without purpose, she always made an offer. “If you come work for me, I will put a roof over your head, you’ll sleep in a warm bed, and I’ll feed you good home cooked meals.

“You will work 6 days and rest on the 7th; this will be mandatory. My family has morning and evening worship every day, which you will be obliged to join. There will be no access to drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol. It will be an opportunity for you to get cleaned up and get your life straightened out. If you like this arrangement, please get in my truck and come to my place. And at any time you want to leave, I’ll bring you right back here and you will be free to move on. But, I must say, that I’ve done this for a lot of people, and most of them have left my ranch much healthier and happier than when they started out with us; and many made a nice living after they went back into the work force.”

Many of her workers were roughed up by life when they came to the ranch. She had to be firm and enforce the rules of the home and farm. Attitudes had to be reigned in, language had to be cleaned up, and work had to be done. She wasn’t a blustery, belligerent woman; but she could speak forcefully if she had to. Often there was a test of wills between her requirements and the mendicants’ laziness, sometimes it was like verbal alligator wrestling; there was thunder and lightning back and forth. Her iron will was as inflexible toward principle as her heart was full of mercy toward their shortcomings and mistakes. They all saw her as the strictest sea captain that ever was. In this way, she broke the hardiest willfulness like she had broken many a stallion.

Sometimes she had to offer stubborn workers the return trip to town that would end the work agreement. But, as often did they hear the threat, see her loving care for them, and they stayed on. Her love for them was obvious and irresistible. And her husband and kids reflected her same love and care. They viewed her songs of praise to the Lord and open heart for her workers as an attraction worth every effort to overcome their flaws; and their growing faith in God helped them to overcome sin. Her reliance on her Father in heaven only confirmed the workers’ loyalty to her.

And through this way, she dealt with a large group of men and women, coping with their addictions, working through the withdrawals together with them, and loving her brothers and sisters with the toughest, deepest love they had ever experienced. It was what movies were made of. Everyone working for her and her husband and young adult children—a holy family—were daily being reconciled to God, delivered from the traditions and practices of men, and sanctified in heart and soul. What she didn’t tell them at her introductory offer was that many were converted to God and reconciled with their families. But, Jesus came to mean everything to them, and they went forth as missionaries for Him. Both in teaching His word, and in earthly matters, they were consistent witnesses for the holy life of faith, the life of Christ.

She loved them and her faith in God was genuine. The workers saw her and her family as “the Priests of the LORD” and “the Ministers of our God.” (Isa. 61:6). She and her little family rebuilt wasted lives, “the desolations of many generations.” (vs. 4). And the growing crowd was happy to abide under her government and rules, and to receive of her leadership and motherly care. Isaiah 61:5 was fulfilled in , “strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.”

Our Father is a God of justice. He is the God of love; but His love can be tough sometimes. His standard is higher than Mt. Everest (29,000 feet high), but His love is deeper than the Marianas Trench (36,000 feet deep). “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.” (Isa. 54:7,8).
“Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed.” (Isa. 56:1).

“Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
And come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?…
Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by My name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.
And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.” (Jer. 7:9,10,14,15).

“To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days.…
Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.” (Jer. 6:10,11,21).

“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of My people?
Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.…
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.” (Jer. 9:7,8,15,16).

Our God is a God of justice. To most people, even to agnostics and atheists, this is nothing new. He is holy and understandably wants His children to be holy. So, He wounds them for their disobedience. But He doesn’t punish us because He enjoys punishing. He doesn’t hurt us for the sake of hurting us.

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isa. 45:7). He brings on the evil day of judgment, but always in view of the day of peace that He knows will one day follow. God only wounds to heal. He only wounds to heal!

How many of us would refuse the physician to reset our compound fractured leg, and live with the agony and that disabling unusable limb for the rest of our lives? None of us. We would endure the horrendous pain of the resetting to ensure a correct mating up of the two fractured bones parts, and then a slow, but full healing, and one day have full use of the leg. God only wounds to heal. His Law and condemnation and shame are the only way to full healing and enjoyment of life. But, as with physical resetting of fractures local anesthesia is used, the knowledge of God’s grace and love anesthetize our pride, so that our natural rebellion is sedated through the whole procedure.

He glories in His discipline because He knows that only our good will result. He sees the end of His hardship−“charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” (1Tim. 1:5). His punishments, the consequences to sin, are our schoolmaster. He is firm for our happiness’ sake. In all of His punishments and our misery is His vision and purpose, our rejoicing in goodness and righteousness. “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before Me.” (Isa. 48:17-19).

And is He wrong to desire righteousness in us, to see us relishing loving-kindness and glorying in unselfish service to everyone around us? Can we fault our Father in heaven for desiring us to be washed clean of self-indulgence, self-exaltation, self-pity, and selfishness? Is not self-forgetfulness and self-sacrificing love the true pursuit of happiness? It is self-evidently so. He only wants us to be happy, even if sin won’t let us see the happiness in selflessness.

So, our God works and works on us to get us to the holy character and to keep us there. “The Spirit [strives] against the flesh.” (Gal. 5:17). For all who have the slightest interest to be delivered from the flesh, the LORD says, “My Spirit shall…always strive with man.” (Gen. 6:3). “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.…
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:…
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.…
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.…
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.…
He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:11,16,19,21,22,28,32). “And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favour have I had mercy on thee.” (Isa. 60:10).

After the dust has settled and the jealous love and fury of God is assuaged, we see that His interest all along was our best interest. He envisioned in us what we could never see possible—a humbled and happy people. In our supernal joy we comprehend God’s joy in justice and discipline. In our peace we are finally able to see that His jealousy is good. Our minds are cleansed “with the washing of water by the word.” (Eph. 5:26). We see from God’s perspective; we think His thoughts; “we have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor. 2:16). We perceive no resentment, aggravation, or revenge in God for His work of correcting us. Then we know that God is good, and only good. And “the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering” “[lead us] to repentance.” (Rom. 2:4).

“For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.
As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward His servants, and His indignation toward His enemies.
For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.
For by fire and by His sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.…
For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see My glory.
And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.
And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD.” (Isa. 66:12-16,18).
 “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1:5,6). “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.” (Isa. 66:22).

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