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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.

Friday, October 02, 2015

The Man Christ Jesus

“But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought Him a man after His own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over His people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.” (1Sam. 13:14).

Why did Samuel call David a man after God’s own heart? What did he mean by a man after God's own heart? Did he mean that the man would love like God loves? Did he mean that the man would follow the example set by God like a hunter chasing its prey? Either sounds like David. David said, My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.” (Ps. 63:8). Was David a man by our definition of a man? No, David was a child at that time Samuel dismissed Saul as king. And even when David was unveiled to Israel he didn’t look or act like the typical man.

“He was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to.” (1Sam. 16:12). The word, “man”, assumes maturity. David didn’t have the look of the typical mature man—careworn, sullen, unhappy. David was every bit the opposite of that. He was joyful, youthful, unmarked by internal conflicts. He was like the King who would follow in his steps, “the Messiah the Prince.” (Dan. 9:25).

The “Son of David” (Matt. 12:23) was childlike as his earthly father had been. He had peace with God like David had, only He was greater than David. His peace was infinitely deep. That childlikeness left Him very unlike the other men, of whom it is written “the way of peace have they not known.” (Rom. 3:17). Compared to the other men who battled with life, Jesus didn’t appear mature at all. His peace left him very youthful in every respect. True, He received a different complexion resulting from His battles in the wilderness with Satan, but, His warm, earnest smile and engaging temperament covered His marred face with spiritual beauty. “He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Isa. 53:2).

David’s youthful appearance made Goliath very angry when the little shepherd boy came out to fight him, a respected warrior. The perceived insult was that Goliath didn’t rate a regular soldier to fight him. Instead of another furious gladiator to make the kill worth watching, in the soft answer that the Lord had sent to turn away his wrath, Goliath saw a sneer at his power and bloodthirstiness. And doesn’t God do everything He can to attempt our needed humilation? When Elisha did the same to the Syrian secretary of war Naaman, Elisha got the same response. If King Saul thought his height made him a great man, and Goliath even a greater man, then the King of heaven will look down upon them all and challenge their self-exaltation.

“Thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.” (Ps. 59:8).
“And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” (1Sam. 17:42-45). To Goliath was nothing more than a pretty boy. A lad. A “stripling” (Vs. 56), a child to be kept out of sight.

The humble approach to defuse Goliath might have been what inspired David to write the verse from his eighth psalm. “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of Thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” (Ps. 8:2). David was poetic and musical. He was everything a “mature” man shouldn’t be. Yet, he was a man like Jesus was a man—neither one accepted by the mature, sophisticated elite.
As it turned out David was a man—but a different sort of a man. He was manly only because he loved receiving grace from God. It was mercy and grace that made David a person of justice and truth. He was jealous for the honor of God who had befriended him and given him the great sign of acceptance—peace, deep peace, “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” (Phil. 4:7).

So David was manly, but unexpectedly so, in a new and living way. “This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORDs, and He will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.” (1Sam. 17:46-48).

David wasn’t gruesome or vengeful when he took “the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem.” (Vs. 54). He was satisfied that the enemy of God was dealt with in justice. A man of war from his youth, Goliath had been trained to destroy the God of love. He perfectly reflected the spirit of Satan who sought to be “great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.” (Dan 8:10,11).

“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Rev 13:6,7).
Yet, despite the warfare David made fighting with the violent servants of Baal, his was not a fighting spirit. He loved peace and sought to make peace. David understood that “the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (Jas. 3:18).

But, Israel was surrounded by nations of Canaanites who had departed from the God of justice and mercy, and they had none of that. Satan’s dark, violent spirit turned them into “natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, [who] speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children.” (2Pet. 2:12-14).

But, neither did other men in David’s cabinet of counselors know the love of God. Their justice was no better than the Canaanites’. Sin can happen to anybody. It can spring up from even the best of us.

“Woe is me…!
My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.
I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.” (Ps. 120:5-7).

Likewise, Jesus, the Man after whose heart David followed so hard, was a Man of peace. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isa. 9:6). Jesus was the great Prince of peace. But, for the sake of His Father’s eternal kingdom, He was also “a man of war” (Ex. 15:3). He had to wage endless warfare against the enemies of His Father’s kingdom who tenaciously strove to maintain human tradition inspired by lawless spiritualism. Nevertheless, Jesuswarfare made me very distraught when I sought to have peace and to see a Saviour of peace. But, most of what I read sounded like Jesus was a trouble-maker, and a lover of debate, a know-it-all who liked to show off His spiritual prowess. Just read John 8 and Matthew 23. It seemed like the gospels listed His warfare in great detail, but His mercy in broad, brief generalizations. I wanted to know the details of “the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.” (Luke 4:22). I learned later that we see Jesus through the people of the Bible.

“And they said, Is not this Josephs Son?” (Luke 4:22). The church people refused to see past His youthful appearance that clashed with the traditional expectations of a man who would be as morose and lifeless as the typical fallen human who was dead in sin. “They rebelled (Isa. 63:10) against the unspoken message from His beautiful countenance, the promise of life “for evermore” (Ps. 16:11), and they “vexed His holy Spirit.” “Therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them.” (Isa. 63:10). “With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall he slay the wicked.” (Isa. 11:4).

Jesus was the Prince of peace who would cut off the wicked in their consciences and be “delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1Tim. 1:20). We don’t feel comfortable about Him doing that because maybe He will turn on us! But, who were the wicked?

Everyone who was not meek, everyone who refused to be humbled were the wicked. A God who humbles pride is not the Saviour that the world wants. We don’t think of a Saviour who slays our wickedness. And that has been the problem throughout all time. The fallen children of Adam have never wanted to be brought to repentance, starting with Cain. But, Cain’s problem has been all of our problem. We own the same carnal nature that Cain and his parents had. Sin doesn’t desire humiliation. It will not be humbled. Sin rejects reproof, because Satan controls the hearts of sinners.
But, God will test every sinner and find out who will back down from their gigantic pride. Therefore, He sent prophets and His own Son. The Son of God was not only a tender plant and a living root in dry ground, but He was a rod of righteousness. And He was the one who David typified, “a man Child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.” (Rev. 12:5).

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” (Jer. 23:5). “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:31).

He would find all the sinners who would back down, everyone whose “mouth may be stopped” and whose conscience might “become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19). Those precious humbled ones would make up His kingdom. They could bow before the Most High who He represented; therefore they would make proper subjects of the Great King who they have been tempted to blaspheme and insult. But, for anyone who would repent, the King, notwithstanding their great insolence against Him, would treat them as full-fledge citizens of His eternal domination. If they would be humbled and keep getting humbled ever afterward until their ultimate humiliation at death, then they could be exalted, starting at their first humiliation giving them a taste of their coming citizenship.

“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” (Heb. 3:14). “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed.” (John 8:31).

All who could stay with Jesus, abiding with Him, despite the prospects of their sins being reproved on a non-stop basis, have the Son. And he that “hath the Son” (1Jn. 5:12) “hath eternal life.” (John 6:54). But, contrariwise, all who stop accepting the humiliation of their pride and sin, leave the Prince and Saviour. No one “that hath not the Son of God” (1Jn. 5:12) “hath eternal life abiding in him” (1Jn. 3:15) because “the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).

And the blessing to those who continue under Jesus’ administration of truth and grace will know great peace and certainty of salvation. “In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jer. 23:6).

Our Saviour is both meek and manly. Our great High Priest is also the King of kings. He is both Prince and Savior. Are you interested in following Him? Will you accept the convicting Prince who judges righteously because you have learned that He is still a tender plant? The Child is born to us as a Wonderful Counselor; though to our frowardness He is the also Word of God whose convictions are “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12).

Won’t we take the candid Prince in order to have the gentle Saviour who immediately perceives the crest-fallen pride and turns to encourage the heart broken in contrition? Will we take the bad with the good, His “evil” with His “peace” (Isa. 45:7)? Will we accept His necessary evil for the blessedness that comes we confess to Him our sin? Will violent pride and sin dominate us, or will gentle humility and grace? Will we be a Goliath with a forehead full of blasphemy? Or, will we be a David with a heart that followed hard after “the God of [his] life” (Ps. 42:8)? “He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” (Ps. 24:5). Will we receive the seal of God or the mark of the beast?

“And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matt. 21:44).

For all who will be humbled, who will sorrow for their sin instead of fighting for their pride, He promises, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because the LORD hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek.” (Isa. 61:1). The meek are not meek because they were born that way; no one is born a meek sinner. Sinners are all born shaking their fist at God, no matter how mildly or ethically they shake their fist. Those in this promise are only meek because they got their mammoth pride humbled. The humbled, who bore up under the humbling process until the day of their death, will be able to hear the beauty of the gospel that the Bible preaches to them; but, everyone else have no ears to hear it. All the promises that are Yea and Amen to the humbled, mean nothing but foolishness to everyone who turned down the humbling. The common people heard Jesus gladly because, after the providential Roman Empire plague, they had endured their heavy-handed father John with his ax at the root of their sins. Are you humbled? You can know by reading the Testimonies of Jesus. Try Testimonies for the Church, volume 2, pages 631-677 and see if you don’t feel like an “unprofitable [servant]” (Luke 17:10). And that is only one testimony! But, the Jews who surrendered to the hardships and discipline from God were worthy to receive the blessings of a Saviour from God. And for us, the same promise from the Father still stands today.

It’s our choice. If we will accept the humbling of God whenever, however, wherever, from whoever it comes (friend or foe), then we will hear the manly and joyful voice of Jesus saying, “He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isa. 61:1-3).

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