Hopelessness Love and grim determination answering same Copyright Doug Blair, Waterloo ON, 2020
Concerning Eunuchs (Isaiah 56) Posted on February 28, 2020
See Matthew Henry on Isaiah 56 (a dissertation countering hopelessness): Note, Ministers must have answers ready for the disquieting fears and jealousies of weak Christians, which, how unreasonable soever, they must take notice of. Others were discouraged because they were not fathers in Israel. The eunuch said, Behold, I am a dry tree. So he looked upon himself, and it was his grief; so others looked upon him, and it was his reproach. He was thought to be of no use because he had no children, nor was ever likely to have any. This was then the more grievous because eunuchs were not admitted to be priests (Lev. 21:20 ), nor to enter into the congregation (Deu. 23:1 ), and because the promise of a numerous posterity was the particular blessing of Israel and the more valuable because from among them the Messiah was to come. Yet God would not have the eunuchs to make the worst of their case, nor to think that they should be excluded from the gospel church, and from
being spiritual priests, because they were shut out from the congregation of Israel and the Levitical priesthood; no, as the taking down of the partition wall, contained in ordinances, admitted the Gentiles, so it let in likewise those that had been kept out by ceremonial pollutions. Yet, by the reply here given to this suggestion, it should seem the chief thing which the eunuch laments in his case is his being written childless.Now suitable encouragements are given to each of these.I. To those who have no children of their own, who, though they had the honour to be the children of the church and the covenant themselves, yet had none to whom they might transmit that honour, none to receive the sign of circumcision and the privileges secured by that sign. Now observe,1. What a good character they have, though they lie under this ignominy and affliction; and those only are entitled to the following comforts who in some measure answer to these characters. (1.) They keep God’s sabbaths as he has appointed them to be kept. In the primitive times, if a Christian were asked, “Hast thou kept holy the Lord’s day?’’ He would readily answer, “I am a Christian, and dare not do otherwise.’’ (2.) In their whole conversation they choose those things that please God. They do that which is good; they do it with a sincere design to please God in it; they do it of choice, and with delight. If sometimes, through infirmity, they come short in doing that which pleases God, yet they choose it, they endeavour after it, and aim at it. Note, Whatever is God’s pleasure should without dispute be our choice. (3.) They take hold of his covenant, and that is a thing that pleases God as much as any thing. The covenant of grace is proposed and proffered to us in the gospel; to take hold of it is to consent to it, to accept the offer and come up to the terms, deliberately and sincerely to take God to be to us a God and to give up ourselves to him to be to him a people. Taking hold of the covenant denotes an entire and resolute consent to it, taking hold as those that are afraid of coming short, catching at it as a good bargain, and as those that are resolved never to let it go, for it is our life: and we take hold of it as a criminal took hold of the horns of the altar to which he fled for refuge.2. What a great deal of comfort they may have if they answer to this character, though they are not built up into families (v. 5): Unto them will I give a better place and name. It is supposed that there is a place and a name, which we have from sons and daughters, that is valuable and desirable. It is a pleasing notion we have that we live in our children when we are dead. But there is a better place, and a better name, which those have that are in covenant with God, and it is sufficient to counterbalance the want of the former. A place and a name denote rest and reputation; a place to live comfortably in themselves, and a name to live creditably with among their neighbours; they shall be happy, and may be easy both at home and abroad. Though they have not children to be the music of their house, or arrows in their quiver, to keep them in countenance when they speak with their enemies in the gate, yet they shall have a place and a name more than equivalent. For, (1.) God will give it to them, will give it to them by promise; he will himself be both their habitation and their glory, their place and their name. (2.) He will give it to them in his house, and within his walls; there they shall have a place, shall be planted 2
so as to take root (Ps. 92:13 ), shall dwell all the days of their life, Ps. 27:4 . They shall be at home in communion with God, as Anna, that departed not from the temple night nor day. There they shall have a name. A name for the good things with God and good people is a name better than that of sons and daughters. Our relation to God, our interest in Christ, our title to the blessings of the covenant, and our hopes of eternal life, are things that give us in God’s house a blessed place and a blessed name. (3.) It shall be an everlasting name, that shall never be extinct, shall never be cut off; like the place and name of angels, who therefore marry not, because they die not. Spiritual blessings are unspeakably better than those of sons and daughters; for children are a certain care and may prove the greatest grief and shame of a man’s life, but the blessings we partake of in God’s house are a sure and constant joy and honour, comforts which cannot be embittered.
Isaiah 56: 4-7
Just take hold of his Covenant And trust with thankful heart And honour full His sabbath From common set apart. He looks not at your wounding But offspring of your faith Will bring a mighty heritage Forgotten sad disgrace. So say not all is hopeless Believe that children come So glad you’re in His program
Astoundingly you’re Home.
Note: The first line of this poem suggests that the part we play in regeneration and fruitfulness is so very small. We are to emphasize the sufficiency of our God and Father much more than the dictates of the fretful holiness “yard stick”. It was the same with the Covenant cut by Jehovah for patriarch Abraham. (Genesis 15). Saints, never forget that holiness is birthed in a love response and not in a sweaty road of duty and legalism.
Intimate Knowledge Posted on January 11, 2020
Still the Age of Christ’s humiliation Still the kiss of betrayal From those who mouth “Master, Master”.
Vain repetition for prayer In spite of His warnings. Broken sufferers Passed by on the other side. Supposed warriors, builders Side-tracked by “business is business” By “this will never sell” By “don’t get carried away with it all” And He deserves so much more His touch renews His smile is sunrise His visit awakens His words the only platform Of honest hope. The Way, the Truth, the Life Singularly And the Agenda moves forward Quietly, humbly Compassionately Forgivingly
To the parting of the skies The arrival of the King triumphant The filling of the earth With the knowledge of The glory of the Lord As waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2: 14
Posted on â€‹October 3, 2019 I have this life And eyes to see The beauty and the colour Surrounding me I hear the birds And happy children
In the park I have the sense To know that Sunrise will defeat the dark I have some friends Who take a stand for me My mother Land Is known as home To fair and free And God finds room To have His hope So kindly shared And I rejoice That Jesus came And cared.
In the Key of Love
in a cold seasonâ€Śbreakthrough
It almost seems pointless
The call to prayer now
My thoughts so far scattered
To reign them in how?
The duties come closer
The fretting hard felt
The images varied
But Lordâ€ŚI have knelt.
I want to make contact
I want to help friends
I want to give rich thanks
I know how this ends.
For Christ you have suffered
And come back alive
You intercede for me
And guiding thoughts give.
So I will remember
Your precious helps now
As Love brings the victory
And lifts me somehow.
hilippians 4: 6, 7: Be careful for nothing; but in every thing P by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The Best Part
Could it be?
Far ahead of all striving
All citing of verses holy.
This silence and trembling
Waiting in a private place
Kind disclosures of
Your dear Face, your plan
And purposes shown
To this man?
This adoptee, rescued one
Oft taught rich stories
Of your Son
And marveling at His energies
Obedience, clarity of Hope.
Here I sit
Words of thanksgiving
Need, quandary, remembrance.
And that part played by silence.
Respectful and confident
Of your arrival Father.
Yes the best part
Dare I say
The most productive?
God is No Laggard
You have asked in sincerity and truth. No polished words that do not match who you are. No iniquity purposefully kept hidden and un-confessed.
I am happy to tell you that our Lord is most assuredly on the case. No delay; no wondering whether or not to render the best of help.
Problem is, we often cannot see what that “best of help” might look like. As the picture comes into focus (like the old Polaroid snaps) we panic. Things are not developing as we expected. Right you are, but it is still His best answer and it has been forthcoming since the time of your utterance.
He does want you to speak it into this earth. Can’t merely think it. Must pray. That is how important God considers words. He made the earth with them. He promised Messiah through them. He will arrest the devil and anti-Christ in the power of them.
And you are in partnership with this Great Speaker.
Consider Daniel’s pressing dream and request for understanding in the 10th chapter:
said he (the angel) unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to
chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
13 B â€‹ ut
the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
14 N â€‹ ow
I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
Love and grim determination answering same.