Hymns I’m Angry I Didn’t Learn as a Child (1)

And Can It Be that I Should Gain
By Charles Wesley

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain-
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

‘Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace-
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray-
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Isaiah 8:11-22 & Judge Dredd

In case you haven’t watched a horrible movie in a while and are longing to waste 96 minutes of your life might I suggest the 1995 flop Judge Dredd. Thankfully Stallone has since realized that he has all the film material he will ever need within the Rambo and Rocky franchises, bring on the sequels. To save yourself the pain, Stallone plays a perfect, genetically engineered crime fighter who must combat his twin gone wrong, the ultimate criminal. Basically he shoots all the bad guys and says a bunch of corny one liners such as “I am the law! Put down your weapons and prepare to be judged.” In the end I am left with no dread for Judge Dread. Aquaman could likely beat up Judge Dredd. That is the ultimate cut down in the world of superheroes.We dread a lot of things in America:

Credit card bills
Report cards
Bank statements
Driving an unreliable car
Leaving the house to an undesirable work place
Coming home to an unhappy spouse
Giving blood

God tells Isaiah to let Him be his dread. Do we dread God? When the high Priest came before God on the Day of Atonement with the bells ringing around his ankle as signs of life I think he did so with a smattering of dread. God is not requesting that we live in a state of fear, looking around our shoulder expecting to be zapped at any moment. I think He simply wants to be taken seriously. His threats are not empty, His promises are sure, and his gospel is that precious. Do we think God corny, unthreatening, and goofy like Stallone when He threatens?

How much time do we spend worrying about:

How we might be failing God
Unconfused sin
Discovering the sin we are blind to that is still in our lives
Insincere worship
Unsanctified affections
Hardness of heart
Lack of devotion

in proportion to the stress over the credit card bill?

But the LORD of hosts, him you shall regard as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.  – Isaiah 8:13

A Gift For You, a Gift For Me?

I ran across this quote in R. Kent Hughes commentary on Hebrews.  It is from Lewis Bayly’s Practice of Piety, a book which I found out greatly influenced John Bunyan and was the book to have along with Pilgrims Progress and Foxes Book of Martyrs.  Unfortunately the book is no longer in print…but there is one used copy on sale at Amazon for just over $400 just in case you wanted to buy it for me!

Soule. Lord, why, wouldest Thou be taken, when Thou mightest have escaped Thine enemies?

Christ. That thy spiritual enemies should not take thee, and cast thee into the prison of utter darkness.

Soule. Lord, wherefore wouldest Thou be bound?

Christ. That I might loose the cordes of thine iniquities.

Soule. Lord, wherefore wouldest Thou be lift up upon a Crosse?

Christ. That I might lift thee up with Me to heaven.

Soule. Lord, wherefore were Thy hands and feet nayled to the Crosse?

Christ. To enlarge thy hands to doe the works of righteousness and to set thy feete at libertie, to walke in the wayes of peace.

Soule. Lord, why wouldest Thou have Thine arms nayled abroad?

Christ. That I might embrace thee more lovingly, My sweet soule.

Soule.Lord, wherefore was Thy side opened with a speare?

Christ.That thou mightest have a way to come near to My heart.

Isaiah 6 & Seraph

Seraph was the guardian of The Oracle in the Matrix. He could pretty much beat up anybody he wanted to in one on one combat. It would be pretty safe to conclude that if someone came along that Seraph couldn’t beat up, you should run too.

The seraphim stood above God’s throne in Isaiah’s vision. They had six wings. They used two to cover their face and two to cover their feet as a position of humility before Yahweh. Seraphim means “burning ones”. So her are these angelic beings, burning ones, but when before God, they assume a position of humility and sing his praise. Angels could beat us up. If burning ones assume a position of humility and praise before the thrice holy God, shouldn’t we?

Addendum:  I ran accross this great quote from Tozer and had to share:

Yet we must not compare the being of God with any other as we just now compared the mountain with the child. We must not think of God as highest in an ascending order of beings, starting with the single cell and going on up from the fish to the bird to the animal to man to angel to cherub to God. This would be to grant God eminence, even pre-eminence, but that is not enough; we must grant Him transcendence in the fullest meaning of that word. Forever God stands apart, in light unapproachable. He is as high above an archangel as above a caterpillar, for the gulf that separates the archangel from the caterpillar is but finite, while the gulf between God and the archangel is infinite. The caterpillar and the archangel, though far removed from each other in the scale of created things, are nevertheless one in that they are alike created. They both belong in the category of that-which-is-not-God and are separated from God by infinitude itself.  – A.W. Tozer in The Knowledge of the Holy

Bible Reading Plans

In Sunday school we were talking about various plans to read through the scripture. Some people opted for the verse a day plan. This must be because they are so spiritual that they see the depths of every verse like few people do. i found varying results for the number of verses in the bible but it ranges from 31,102 to 31,174. Lets just round it off to a nice 31,000. Divide that by 365 days and you get 84.931 years. So it will take you approximately 85 years to read through the scriptures on the verse a day plan.

Conclusions:

1) This is not beyond the scope of human life as some suggested this plan would take thousands of years.

2) it is too late for anyone in our class to begin this plan so you better start looking for another.

Might I suggest the “intense plan”. It is said that the bible can be read aloud in 70 hours. So just take three days off from work, fast, get a big tub of water and a straw and read. After three days you will be done for the year; probably not with the bible, but for life. So maybe its not about quantity – one verse isn’t enough, and the whole bible at one sitting might be a bit too much. Maybe we should shoot for quality instead.

Isaiah 5 & Missing?

You ever get that feeling that something is missing? The strongest you ever get this feeling is when you have one of those dreams where you forgot to wear you clothes to school or work. You apparently make the drive wondering, “What did I forget?”

You pack for a trip. You have double checked everything, but you still feel like something is missing. You are two hours into the trip when it hits you.

The new year seems lacking,

especially in the evenings,

weekday evenings more specifically. What could it be?

NO 24!

In Isaiah 5 GOD is upset that something is missing in HIS vineyard. There is a serious fruit shortage. That something is missing is blatantly obvious, as obvious as a drive to school in your underwear. When we finally snap out of our dream we rationalize its unreality, “there is no way I could walk out the door in my underwear, where would I put my wallet, this can’t be real.” do we fail to rationalize our spiritual state? Are we delusional? Are we running around naked acting as if we had clothes on before a holy GOD?