“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, January 01, 2016

Babes and sucklings

“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).
How is it that babes can quiet the one who wants to wreak vengeance, and adults can’t accomplish the same results? What is it about the young that gives them an advantage over the enemy? It must be their innocence and humble diffidence, and their natural inability to be a threat.
They stand without a grimaced face and they speak from a calm, pure heart. They have confidence from their parents’ love, and they fear no evil. They have sorrow for the sadness of the enemy. They want to be of help. Their purity of heart sends unspoken messages to the perpetrator of danger that their opposition is not toward the perpetrator of the evil, but toward the perpetration of evil. They are full of grace and truth, trained up from their youth. Better than wealth and lands, children who have been loved and taught of Jesus are the badge of love and holiness of God’s Law, the correct example of the family relation, and the original inheritance which God gave to Adam and to all his descendents.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak [H1696 dâbar, “entreat”] with the enemies in the gate.” (Ps. 127:3-5).
The young intercede between their father and his enemies. They speak for their father, and they implore his enemy. They are a city of refuge for their beloved parents until every misunderstanding can be straightened out. These verses reveal the work of our High Priest, who intercedes between His Father and HIS enemies. We have been God’s enemies, because Satan has convinced us that HE has been our enemy. “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of HIS Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5:10). Jesus’ childlike life, His words and actions, His outreach to us from every expression of voice and face and body, all testified of God’s love. In strength and in weakness, love for His Father and for His children graced every aspect of Jesus’ words and actions. He won the people to God by His work until He laid down His life, tasting damnation for every man, and sealing their hearts in His love.
“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength.” (Ps. 8:2). In their weakness Jesus is made strong; by the disadvantage of their tenderness and size, He gets the advantage over the adversary. In the power of His grace their weakness makes them strong to still the violence in the enemies. Their “soft answer turneth away wrath.” (Prov. 15:1). Likewise, out of the mouth of the “holy Child Jesus” (Acts 4:30) God ordained power to cast out the rage that Satan had instilled in his victims. “In the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art; the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.” (Luke 4:33-35).
Like Jesus, godly children have not led a shameful life that later fills their hearts with regret and apparently unpardonable sins. But, many adults have been overcome by Satan. They have wasted their willpower on self-indulgent vices, whose attachment to those vices still lingers because their unbelief in God’s mercy continually feels the filth of their past. But, unlike their hearts which always condemn them and which have insufficient confidence in God to give them victory over themselves, children have never tasted of those forbidden fruits, and are not paralyzed by guilt. This allows them to speak the plain, unvarnished truth in innocent humility and love.
But, not all children have the holy power of God. Many children and youth are the rebellious product of their rebellious parents. Those parents never bowed their self-will and heart to the Law of God. They refused to surrender to the Almighty, and they trained up their children to do the same. Their children’s “hand [is] against every man, and every man’s hand against [them].” (Gen. 16:12). Later, they become the enemies at the gate and are a menace to the godly education of parents who are striving hard to rear up children to serve their Redeemer.
“Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” (Ps. 144:11,12).
Children who are refined by the holy Spirit of Jesus are polished and tender-hearted like Jesus is. They “shall grow up before Him as a tender plant.” (Isa. 53:2). The purpose of God-feared parenting is to make their children like Jesus, who was beautiful on the inside as He was on the outside. They want their beloved little ones to have a character that shines forth from their heart and soul, and which creates a robe of beauty that surrounds them. Simple joy and innocence are the children’s clothing; truth and grace are their meal and drink. This will minister peace to the weighed down hearts of their parents’ and other elders. “He hath no form nor comeliness.” (Isa. 53:2). And as the Prince of princes and the Child of children, Jesus had little for outward adorning; yet, He had the beauty of holiness. The youths’ lacking in outward amenities, such as the so much to-die-for earthly formality and social status, go unnoticed in the eyes of even their enemies because their beauty of holiness gets all their opponents’ recognition.
The strangers to Jehovah heckle HIS children with unending harassment because the gentleness of the godly babes and sucklings disturbs the conscience of the hard-hearted wicked. But, the children and youth are a source of life to a world dry as the hills of Gilboa which have never had dew nor rain. “For He shall grow up before HIM…as a root out of a dry ground… and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (Isa. 53:2,3).
These children are polished and tender-hearted as Jesus is; therefore their love for God and for others bears up under all that they suffer. Their clear conscience makes them willing to serve enemies and friends alike. This is what David sought to make of his children, and we see it in his daughter, Tamar.
“And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her….
So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.
Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon’s house, and dress him meat.
So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.
And she took a pan, and poured them out before him.” (2Sam. 13:1,6-9).
Even in danger of her half-brother’s lust, Tamar sought to serve him and to win his heart to the holiness of God. Yet, despite his violent attack on her, she remained staunchly distanced from the sin that was in his heart.
“And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.
And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel.” (2Sam. 13:12,13).
This sad ending shows that innocence often ends in thinking the best of everyone, even to a fault. The kingdom of God is one of vulnerability and susceptibility to danger while a violent Satan is on the loose. We should be wise as serpents; yet we must not lose the beautiful harmlessness of doves, which to lose it would be the end of the kingdom of God. God will win at the end, and all who suffered with Him will win also. After the great controversy is past, all who have steadfastly practiced the Son’s innocence and vulnerability in this life, and especially in the difficult times ahead, will receive an eternal kingdom without any more dangers that would threaten perfect love and open trust.

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Tit. 2:4,5). Notice where Tamar lived and stayed. “Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now….” (2Sam. 13:7). David’s message to Tamar was sent to where she lived—in her father’s and mother’s home. Even though a woman, she lived at home because she was yet a virgin preparing herself for marriage. What a beautiful picture Tamar paints of the young sanctified life! And what a testament to David, to his sanctified vision for the following generation, and his sanctified influence upon Tamar and her mother. Men, take note.
Tamar was a testimony to the holy kingdom that David loved and fiercely sought to raise up. David was a father to Israel and he strongly enforced the holy Law of God upon the people who were called by HIM to correctly represent HIM to the unsanctified world.
“Justice and judgment are the habitation of THY throne: mercy and truth shall go before THY face.
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O [Jehovah], in the light of THY countenance.
In THY name shall they rejoice all the day: and in THY righteousness shall they be exalted.” (Ps. 89:14-16).
“Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the [Jehovah].” (Ps. 144:15).
All of the qualities of the young listed above properly describe the kingdom of God on earth. The children of God have been troubled and opposed by Satan at every step of their advance in the earth. Yet, what we see in them describes the final army of the Lord, the 144,000.
“These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Rev. 14:4,5).
The beauty of holiness. The gentleness of a tender plant and the polish of a temple pillar. No stain or defilement of character, but without fault before God. Whelmed in the greatest man hunt and persecution since ever came upon the people of God, they have fled to the Rock that is higher than them. He has blotted out their sins and they have a righteousness that is peerless in the world since the day Adam fell. The beautiful character of Jesus is exactly reproduced in them. That last generation are the best and the brightest children of God; as firstfruits, the image of God in them is without blemish. The glory of God lays upon their countenances. Their minds are powerful, loving, and healthy. Their confidence is in God; their faith pierces the darkness surrounding them and reaches all the way to heaven. They see HIS face and HIS name is forever in their foreheads. Their thoughts are free of unsound doctrine and the corrupted traditions of men. Because their whole fear is in God, they fear not men. Because they love God they hate no man, but treat all with due regard. “They shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” (Ps. 127:5). They “speak the word only, and [their enemies are] healed.” (Matt. 8:8). Their souls are free of sin and selfishness. Their hearts have been delivered from miscomprehension of the character and will of God. Their consciences are free of guilt and shame. Their sins have been blotted out and it calls forth from them the most holy, sacred joy.
“They sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” (Rev. 14:3).
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give [to the world] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Cor. 4:6).


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