Posts for March 2011
3 Posts found

Matthew 11.25-26 and Proverbs 9.10 – The dubious wisdom of modern man
Posted: 3 March 2011 in Matthew, Proverbs

“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”

There is probably no single thing which does more to prevent modern man from coming to God than the sense he has of his own prudence and wisdom. A large part of this stems from the illusion that science and technology have made us masters of the universe. That is really fallacious. Wisdom is not about being acquainted with the laws of nature, or knowing how to manipulate them for our own ends. It is about knowing how to live. In particular, it is about knowing how to live in the presence of God, and in the light of Christ.

We may be way ahead of the ancients in terms of our technology, but we are way behind them in terms of wisdom and the fear of the Lord.

On British television the other night, the biologist Steve Jones remarked that, although we imagine ourselves to have conquered disease, at any moment a virus could mutate, and cut great swathes through humanity in a new black death. He thought it was only a question of when that will happen, and not if it will happen. When it, or something similar, does happen, it will remove at a stroke the prevalent illusion that we are the new gods, and in charge of of all creation.

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Proverbs 3.5-7 and John 1.1,10
Divine Wisdom and human understanding
Posted: 2 March 2011 in John, Proverbs

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”

Reading the above passage from Proverbs, I was reminded of the frequency with which I nowadays hear professing Christians saying things that, in the past, both Protestant and Catholic churches have regarded as heretical. A favourite target for such comments is the doctrine of the Trinity.

There is more than a little arrogance in ignoring the collective wisdom of centuries, and deciding that we ourselves can discover the truth, which has eluded everybody else for millenia. Clearly the Christian scriptures are incompatible with a unitarian view of God, and John 1 is a glaringly obvious example of that incompatibility.

Quietness of heart is the appropriate attitude when we are in the presence of God and his word, or even of the credal formulae which have been deduced from the scriptures. If we do not understand, we must nevertheless be prepared to accept what God has revealed. The reward for doing so will be a divine wisdom that gradually discloses itself in our hearts – even though it remains a complete puzzlement to our heads. In religion the understanding of the heart, and the ability to love God which comes with it, is of infinitely greater value than any understanding the head may be capable of.

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Jeremiah 2.10-17 and Revelation 7.9-12 – Sin and Salvation
Posted: 1 March 2011 in Jeremiah, Revelation

“For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled? The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant. Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head. Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when he led thee by the way?”

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”

Ever since the Fall, sin has been a defining characteristic of humankind. We may no longer bow down to images of Baal, but we have no trouble finding other things we can serve and worship, in place of the one true God. Money and prestige are amongst the leading contenders here.

When Jeremiah prophesied against the ancient Israelites, and called them back to the proper worship of God, it brought only judgment, because fallen humanity is fundamentally incapable of mending its own ways.

Nevertheless, we who live in Christ are now not subject to the same condemnation. God had a plan for his creation, and that plan was not that all mankind should be condemned. For that reason Jesus Christ came into the world, that whosoever believes on him should not be condemned, but should be saved. And now the elect of God have the motive, as well as the duty, to be thankful to God, and to worship him unconditionally. Perhaps, like Job, we will sometimes find that difficult, but the duty will remain. The passage from Revelation depicts this worship as it will continue for all eternity, and it is in this eternal worship that Creation will have fulfilled its purpose.

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