Pour Us Another

When your predictions come true in the moral sphere, this makes you less believable, not more. And when all your predictions come true, you are guilty of hate crimes.

There were two basic elements of the prophets’ vocation to Israel. One was that of foretelling, and the other was that of forthtelling. The first predicted the future, and it was the calling card of the true prophet. “Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified” (Is. 41:23, ESV; Deut. 18:21-22). This is how a prophet would establish his bona fides to the satisfaction of anyone who had integrity.

The forthtelling spoke to the people about their standing before God in the present (Is. 40:27). Prophecy in this sense was simply good preaching. Sometimes the people repented, and other times they did not. That repentance, when it happened, was itself a gift of God. When they did not repent, all the true predictions in the world would not soften a hard heart.

What prophet was more vindicated in the event than Jeremiah was? And yet, when he was down in Egypt with the refugees of Israel, it was always possible for someone to make a contrary claim, and then simply brazen it out. “But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine” (Jer. 44:18). “You want to know what my interpretation of recent events might be? I think we didn’t worship idols enough.”

Jesus predicted that He would come back from the dead after three days, and His enemies knew that He had made this prediction. “Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again” (Matt. 27:62–63).

Note what they call Him — “that deceiver.” He is a deceiver, the liars all said, and so they had a guard posted. Those guards were the first witnesses of the resurrection, and they lied about what happened. The first congregation to hear the fact of the resurrection declared to them were these same people who paid the messengers of that great event to lie about it. Facts, even the most remarkable facts, bounce right off a hard heart.

This is why we get exasperated by the insolence of wicked men, and we hunger for God to intervene — something, anything.

“Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, That the mountains might flow down at thy presence, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, To make thy name known to thine adversaries, That the nations may tremble at thy presence!” (Is. 64:1–2).

But this nation will only tremble at His presence when the Holy Spirit is poured out in reformation and revival. It will not happen any other way. Our politics are diseased, and so there is no political solution. We are drunk on our own conceits, and every election we say to the man behind the bar, “Pour us another.”

When the foundations are destroyed, what shall the righteous do (Ps. 11:3)? We are ruled by kleptocrats, who no longer care that everybody can now see them. Fulfilled predictions just make hard hearts harder. It is broad daylight, and they are ransacking the Treasury of our great grandchildren, the Constitution is a smoldering ruin, our federal judges can no longer clearly state the difference between boys and girls, our medical profession doesn’t know the difference between boys and girls and lumps of tissue, and the testimony of administration officials before Congress can be summed up as falling under two main headings — “or what?” and “so?”

The answer is Jesus, and I don’t mean their Jesus. I mean the one they know as “that deceiver.”

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Bro. Steve
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Bro. Steve

Spoken a bit like one of us pessimillennial guys. It’s certainly true that this state of affairs would turn around if God sovereignly poured out His Spirit to make people repent. And may it be! But the return of the Son would achieve the same effect, and even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Dan Glover
Guest

I am currently reading Eric Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In it, he mentions a famous sermon Bonhoeffer preached in London while he was pastoring two ex-pat German congregations. Bonhoeffer preached on the life and calling of Jeremiah, which was a call to preach the truth and suffer for it. The sermon was also a thinly veiled reference to himself and the calling he felt God had given him: to stand up to the Nazi regime as it bullied the church and persecuted the Jews, the weak, and anyone who didn’t Heil Hitler as lord and saviour of Germany, and… Read more »

Travis M Childers
Guest
Travis M Childers

Great article. Readers may not be aware that there exists an alternative to the Republican and Democratic parties. It is called the Christian Liberty Party (formerly Amercian Heritage Party), and its platform is Biblically sound. From the website: “The Christian Liberty Party exists to help reclaim America’s political institutions and culture for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith. To this end we: Equip Christians as Statesmen Mobilize Christian Citizens Advance Christian Solutions” If you wander onto the site, you may think that the CLP is a political ghost town. Currently, only two states have organized… Read more »

Andrew Lohr
Member

Not calling it a political solution, but Paul appealed from the Sanhedrin to Caesar, which sort of amounts to a vote for the lesser evil in the circumstances (our strict brothers at Still Waters Revival Books deny this), so that seems a legitimate option. Voting for 3rd parties may bear witness to the truth, and serves the practical uses of offering the older parties (1) ideas, and (2) votes if they adopt the right ideas–if you care enough to vote for a 3rd party, this tells the bigger parties, trying to get from 49% to 51%, that some votes are… Read more »

timothy
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timothy

“Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, That the mountains might flow down at thy presence, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, To make thy name known to thine adversaries, That the nations may tremble at thy presence!” (Is. 64:1–2). I pray such prayers frequently, nowadays. Brazen bastards aren’t they? Theey expect to be obeyed and worshiped, forgetting that obeyed and worshiped rhymes with ‘flayed’ and ‘horse-whipped’. Pastor, I speak only for myself, but we are at war with these guys and it will come to killing. I… Read more »

Dan Glover
Guest

Timothy, sounds like you are ready to draw your sword and cut off someone’s ear. I wonder what your Lord would say to that. Consider these passages before you use the same weapons that stand behind the threats of the state: Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” – Jn. 18:36 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to… Read more »

David Douglas
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David Douglas

Wasn’t Augustine’s City of God written in response to the contention that the sack of Rome was due to the abandonment of idol worship?

timothy
Guest
timothy

@Dan Glover.

Like Jael, I reject your pacifist take on the nature of our God.

best.

t

Jane
Member

Hey! The comments just switched from oldest at top to newest at top. I don’t know if I like this.

Dan Glover
Guest

Timothy,
I’m not a pacifist. You might have to read my comment a bit more carefully. Also, you ought to interpret OT narratives and examples in the fuller revelation of God through the person, words and deeds of his Son, your Lord and mine, Jesus Christ, rather than justifying your preferred method of action by pulling examples of something that seems similar from the OT. Where is Jesus in your ethic?
Blessings.

Dan Glover
Guest

Doug, on a thread to one of your posts quite a while back I asked if you would be interested in working through what a Christian response to a godless state might look like (for example on issues like abortion). I suggested that, rather than starting from complete scratch, that you might want to do it in the format of an extended interaction with Francis Schaeffer’s classic, A Christian Manifesto. I reiterate that petition. I imagine that it would be a very fruitful discussion which could take the format of your extended chapter-by-chapter reviews/interactions with books, like the one you… Read more »

timothy
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timothy

@Dan Glover

I’m not a pacifist. You might have to read my comment a bit more carefully.

You wrote:

I am not saying that there is never a time to take up physical weapons,

I retract my charge that yours is the pacifist take.

You continue:

but it seems to me the church is currently in no fit state to understand when that is.

I agree. You do not.

Dan Glover
Guest

Timothy, I appreciate your wit, even though it appears to be a substitute for your actually making a biblical case for your position of taking up arms against the state. If you don’t prove yourself able to explain your position through a faithful handling of the text of Scripture (rather than tossing out a couple of pithy allusions), I have absolutely no faith in your ability to discern the prodding of the Holy Spirit over against your experiencing heart burn from watching the evening news. Until you make some sort of a case for your position, I’m hiding the tent… Read more »

timothy
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timothy

@Dan Glover. Chesterton has a wonderful take on The Lion and The Lamb–it is not pacifist. Chesterton masterfully–and correctly–shows us how God is both The Lion and The Lamb–fully violent and fully peaceable. You ask me where Jesus is in my ethic. He is my Lion and my Lamb. He is making me a lion and a lamb–into His image; its what the Holy Spirit does. My opinion of your take is that you make The Lion a toothless vegetarian and that when Our Lord roars, you cower instead of run with the hunt. My take is this…the organized church… Read more »

Dan Glover
Guest

Timothy, I am not offended at your response. I am glad there was some substance this time. That means there is something to discuss. And I am also a great appreciator of Chesterton. A bit of context: I am not a conference attending professional clergy or theologian and I hope my hair cut isn’t bad. I am husband, father, and a bi-vocational pastor (who co-pastors a church plant) and holds down a full time job. I am also a gun owner, for what its worth, and I believe it is my right to defend my family and my duty to… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Not at all Jane, difficult to read and follow. Better to have comments ascending by date/ time (how it used to be) and place the comment box at the bottom.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Hi Dan.

I am bone tired. I will continue our conversation tomorrow.

Grace and Peace.

t.

JDA
Guest
JDA

What jane and bethyada said!

Giovanni Maresia
Member
Giovanni Maresia

I love it that at Mablog we are occasionally treated with absurd webpage arrangements, where everything is the contrary of what it should be, just to test if we readers are awake and our sense of right and wrong is working. I like to think that also this latest twist has everything to do with the cultural wars we are in. The comments should definitely be displayed and readable from top to bottom, in chronological order from old to new, the old way. An inverted chronological order has arguably the one advantage of ensuring that the latest comment can always… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Hi Dan, I do believe there are times when taking up arms is justified and I would like this discussion to go in the direction of figuring out when and under what conditions that would be. Will you help me convince Doug to explore this? Sure. I am curious though. Our founders where fearful of what the Federal Government has in fact become. They recognized and built our government with the hope that its design would prevent what has happened. They did however, establish the second Amendment–which does not bequeath a right–but recognizes what in fact already exists. It appears… Read more »

Dan Glover
Guest

Hey Timothy, I won’t be in a place where I can continue the conversation for a few days…my apologies. However, some considerations: In your position, what is the difference, if any, between taking up arms against the government, and large portions of the population that voted it in, as an American, and taking up arms against those groups as a Christian, especially when there will be many Christians on both sides? Is our first duty to Christ and to gospel advancement or to protecting our constitutionally defined rights and freedoms? If the persecution and restriction of freedoms serves to emphasize… Read more »