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Them and Us May 29, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Random Musings.
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Joe,

Looks like it didn’t take you long to swing back into old form on the blog, brother!  I knew you’d be back with a bang this week, and you wasted little time in bringing a tough Scripture before us.  The verses in Isaiah you shared and your words along with it made me think of two things:

1) Great spiritual food is found in the hard texts of Scripture.  It is natural to read verses like the ones you shared and be inclined to read right over them, looking for something more palatable and easier to understand.  There are not many people who like to give thought to the idea of ‘judicial hardening’; God giving people over to their hardness of heart by blinding them to further revelation.  People like to think even less about the fact that, though we are all equally condemned by the Law, alienated from God because of our sin and objects of His just wrath, that God does not judicially harden all of us, but some He graciously and miraculously awakens to new life in Christ.

While these truths aren’t popular, your post reminded me that there are precious, valuable lessons to be found in the hard places.  One of my favorite Piper quotes is that ‘Raking is easy, but all you get is leaves.  Digging is harder, but you might find diamonds.’  So true, isn’t it?  There are diamonds to be found in the Bible’s hard sayings.  Let us not neglect them, to our own soul’s harm.

2) We must first apply the Scriptures to us, not others.  I was especially struck by the ‘us’ which you placed in italics in your last sentence: “May the Lord grant us repentance soon.”  I was thankful  for your awareness that we must start dealing with our own evasiveness in dealing with God’s truth, because in much of what you wrote leading up to that last sentence, it seemed like a lot of the focus was on pointing the finger at others.  There was a lot of ‘They’ and ‘Them’ in your post, so I think it was very valuable that you brought it back to ‘us’ at the end.  How easy it is to read the Word, or hear a sermon, and think of how someone else needs to hear that word, while never looking at our own hearts.

Very dangerous, I know you would agree.  So while I loved your reflections on this passage, let’s strive to apply it first to our own hearts,which are soft only by the grace of God,

Larry

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