“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, July 28, 2017

One more thought on the movie, Johnny Lingo

One more thought on ugly Mahana.

At the very wedding reception the village boys, like haranguing imps from hell, sing their destroying insults. They seem compelled to perpetuate Mahana’s sorrow and misery.

“Johnny Lingo had a cow, traded for an ugly wife.
Johnny Lingo married now, he’ll be sorry all his life.”

They sing their jingle and run away while Johnny, like Jesus in the temple, angrily puts the fear of God in them. But, the damage is done. Their condition illustrates the human condition.

“There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Rom. 3:11-18).

Done in fun and mirth, and in the dew of their youth, changes nothing of the destructive power of their childhood antics.

“Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1).

“The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born.” (Ps. 58:3).

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6).

Mahana is fully confirmed in the reality of her lack of acceptance from her people, a reality with which she has lived all her life.

Johnny―“Don’t cry Mahana.”
Mahana―“It’s true! (I am an ugly wife!)”

It’s true that Mahana was ugly. She finally spoke the truth. She was unconverted; she was estranged from eternal love, without the Spirit of God and without hope. That lack of conversion to the Spirit of Jesus left her ugly in her heart, as well as on her countenance, her body, and in her life. We are all ugly if we haven’t submitted to the love and righteousness of God. But, God is working to win our souls back to Him and to learn our true, rebellious relation to His righteousness. Before we are able to finally see ourselves as we really are, it can take years of malicious treatment from the world that we have chosen to serve instead of our Creator. If we choose not to go to the Law of God for that enlightenment, or if we have never heard of the Bible and the Law of God contained in the Bible, then we need something that God can use to humble our natural-born pride. And the miserable, cruel gods of this world will be sufficient substitutes for our being humbled by the Law of God. This principle we see in the rebellion of Israel and in the consequences from the Lord.

“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.
Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten My word to perform it….
For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah. And I will utter My judgments against them [the Jews] touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken Me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.” (Jer. 1:11,12,15,16).

“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard My words,
Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.
And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon....” (Jer. 25:8-11).

This was Mahana’s experience. She had many flaws. She needed to be humbled, as the whole human race needs to be humbled and convicted. “That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19).

The call of a loving God to rebels. But, will we accept His chastisement of our peace? Will we accept His punishment for our iniquities?

“And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me;
And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” (Lev. 26:39-42).

“In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.
They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.
My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.
All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.” (Jer. 50:4-7).

Mahana had great failings. And all that the islanders could do was to react with unmerciful justice and truth. Instead of Gods Law reflecting her flawed character (see James 1:23-25), they were her mirror to reflect back to her the misery she had presented to them. And they all, especially Tulo and her father, felt perfectly justified in venting upon her. As Mahana pined away in her miserable life, her selfish misery was a burden to their selfish happiness. She must be ostracized until she was driven away from the island, into the jungle, or married off.

I am thankful that Mahana’s uncircumcised heart was humbled and she accepted her punishment for her part in the oppression. Accepting the humbling and the truth from the oppressors prepared her for her ultimate surrender to Johnny and to the Spirit of God, and to eventual blessing.

I realize that this movie is a fiction and not even based on a true story. But, I also see in the pattern illustrated by the movie the one constantly repeated scenario in life and throughout biblical history. So, the movie’s scenario is an extremely relevant one. In reality, as seen in the movie’s old and young, male and female islanders, most sinners do not accept the humbling call of God. Rather, they continue on in life pleasing and appeasing the perverted will of the group around them. But there are some who look to outside aid, even to a temporary human intercessor, such as Mahana did with Johnny Lingo. Those few turn from their natural self-centeredness to the real, saving Lord. In their extremity, by faith they look to Jesus as they depend upon their human advocate. Under the Lord’s oversight and supervision (see Job 1:12; 2:6), when the world has ground them down into conviction of sin, into repentance, and surrender to meekness, then Jesus can deliver them from their oppressors.

“Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people: for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land, and to His people.” (Deut. 32:43).

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; 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....” (Isa. 61:1,2).

“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.
And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.” (Isa. 61:2-7).

He hath sent proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God.” (Isa. 61:1,2).

“He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” (Jas. 2:13).

“For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace….
The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken….
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.” (Ps. 37:9-11,14,15,17,18).

The day finally arrives when the oppressors are oppressed.

“For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain. And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD. Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of Mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls.” (Jer. 50:9-11).

“He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” (Rev. 13:10).

The archaic language from the land of ancient Israel may seem not applicable to Mahana, but really it is. Her captivity may have been an individual’s, instead of a nation’s, but the deliverance from the Spirit of the Lord in her behalf was no less remarkable than His salvation of the ancient Jews. Mahana’s joy and happiness were also equal to theirs.

The combination of human oppressors and her own conscience led to Mahana’s ultimate brokenness and submission to God’s will as expressed in His Law. “Before faith came, we were kept under the [‘curse of the Law’ (vs. 13)], shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the [curse of the] law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under [the curse of theschoolmaster . For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:23-26). Being ignorant of the Law and the Bible, Mahana’s consequences to her sins must teach her. “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that My fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.” (Jer. 2:19).

Only those who finally bow to the truth of their ugliness are brought to Christ to surrender to the knowledge of His beautiful self-sacrificing love. In Mahana’s case it was her surrender to the knowledge of Johnny’s self-sacrificing love that finally gave her the strength to trust his love for her. It took months away from the heckling crowd from home-town, but Johnny’s consistent self-sacrificing love transformed Mahana. His love for Mahana reveals the love of Christ for us.

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jer. 31:3).

“Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is [Hagar].
For this [Hagar] is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” (Gal. 4:24-31).

“That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Rom. 9:8).

The God of love reconciled with resistant hearts among mankind! The above precious promise is for everyone who believes that the Son of love wants to win their heart, even all the Mahanas in the world, male and female. They will accept Him as their loving, personal Saviour from sin. And He will transform them with His comfort and love, as Johnny Lingo’s loving assurance transformed virgin Mahana. Their lives and appearance will be fixed up and made wonderfully beautiful. They will find in their Saviour a quiet restingplace. They will be happy, very happy.

“At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people. Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest…. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.” (Jer. 31:1,2,4).

All who have been transformed by love will seek to cooperate with the Spirit of Christ to transform others with love. The Spirit will use us like Johnny Lingo to win hearts back to Himself. Jesus is our example, who was constantly mingling with others in order to let them know they were loved from the eternity past.

“The world needs today what it needed nineteen hundred years ago―a revelation of Christ. A great work of reform is demanded, and it is only through the grace of Christ that the work of restoration, physical, mental, and spiritual, can be accomplished.
     Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’
     There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. The poor are to be relieved, the sick cared for, the sorrowing and the bereaved comforted, the ignorant instructed, the inexperienced counseled. We are to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, this work will not, cannot, be without fruit.” Ministry of Healing, p. 143.

Through the redeeming power of love and conviction many will be glorified and happy, as we saw with Mahana when she came out to see Mr. Harris.

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev. 19:6-8).

“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: and they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” (Rev. 22:3,4).


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