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Archive for January 23rd, 2010

source: Jonathan Edwards sermon preached in 1753 to Stockbridge Indians "The Pure in Heart Blesssed" Edwards, Vol. 2 p. 905.

 

Spiritual Sight

The saints in heaven will behold an outward glory … and there will doubtless be appearances of a divine and inimitable glory and beauty in Christ’s glorified body, which it will indeed be a refreshing and blessed sight to see. …

So the sight that they will have in heaven will exclude all doubting. The knowledge of God which the saints have in this world, has certainty in it, but yet the certainty is liable to be interrupted with temptations, and some degree of doubtings, but there is no such thing in heaven. …

[The] sight which the saints will have of God will make them as sensible of his presence, and give them as great advantages for conversing with him, as the sight of the bodily eyes doth an earthly friend. Yea, and more too. For when we see our earthly friends with bodily eyes, we have not the most full and direct sight of their principal part, even their souls. We see the qualities, and dispositions, and acts of their minds, no otherwise than by outward signs of speech and behavior. Strictly speaking, we do not see the man, the soul, at all, but only its tabernacle or dwelling.

But their souls will have the most clear sight of the spiritual nature of God itself. They shall behold his attributes and disposition towards them more immediately, and therefore with greater certainty, than it is possible to see anything in the soul of an earthly friend by his speech and behavior. And therefore their spiritual sight will give them greater advantage for conversing with God, than the sight of earthly friends with bodily eyes, or hearing them with our ears, gives us for conversing with them.

God as the supreme object of one’s happiness

The love of God is also the most suitable entertainment of the soul of man, which naturally desires the happiness of society, or of union with some other being. The love of so glorious a being is infinitely valuable, and the discoveries of it are capable of ravishing the soul above all other love.

It is suitable to the nature of an intelligent being also, as it is that kind of delight that reason approves of. There are many other delights in which men indulge themselves, which, although they are pleasing to the senses and inferior powers, yet are contrary to reason. Reason opposes the enjoyment of them, so that unless reason be suppressed and stifled, they cannot be enjoyed without a war in the soul. Reason, the noblest faculty, resists the inferior rebellious powers. And the more reason is in exercise, the more will it resist, and the greater will be the inward war and opposition. …

The happiness of seeing God is a blessing without any mixture. That pleasure has the best claim to be called man’s true happiness, which comes unmixed, and without alloy. But so doth the joy of seeing God. It neither brings any bitterness, nor will it suffer any.

This pleasure brings no bitterness with it. That is not the case with other delights, in which natural men are wont to place their happiness. They are bitter sweets, yielding a kind of momentary pleasure in gratifying an appetite, but wormwood and gall are mingled in the cup. He who plucks these roses, finds that they grow on thorns. He who tastes of this honey is sure to find in it a sting. If men place their happiness in them, reason and conscience will certainly give them inward disturbance in their enjoyment. There will be the sting of continual disappointments, for carnal delights are of such a nature that they keep the soul, that places its happiness in them, always big with expectation and in eager pursuit, while they are evermore like shadows, and never yield what is hoped for. They who give themselves up to them, unavoidably bring upon themselves many heavy inconveniences. If they promote their pleasure in one way, they destroy their comforts in many other ways. And this sting ever accompanies them, that they are but short-lived, they will soon vanish, and be no more.

And as to the pleasure found in the enjoyment of earthly friends, there is a bitterness goes also with that. An intense love to any earthly object, though it may afford high enjoyment, yet greatly multiplies our cares and anxieties through the defects and blemishes, the instability and changeableness, of the object, the calamities to which it is exposed, and the short duration of all such friendships, and of the pleasures thence arising.

… Even the sight of God’s vindictive justice will add to their joy. This justice of God will appear glorious to them, and will make them prize his love. …

But the fountain that supplies that joy and delight, which the soul has in seeing God, is sufficient to fill the vessel. Because it is infinite. He that sees the glory of God, in his measure beholds that of which there is no end. The understanding may extend itself as far as it will. It doth but take its flight into an endless expanse and dive into a bottomless ocean. It may discover more and more of the beauty and loveliness of God, but it never will exhaust the fountain. …

A desire to be pure in heart

… To those animals which are of a filthy and impure nature, as swine and dogs, ravens and vermin, those things that are filthy and nauseous to mankind, do not seem at all disgusting. But on the contrary they love them, it is food that suits their appetites. It is because they are of an impure and filthy nature. The nature of the animal is agreeable to such things. So it is with men of impure hearts. They see no filthiness in sin, they do not nauseate it, it is in no way uncomfortable to them to have it hanging about them, they can wallow in it without any reluctance. Yea, they take pleasure in it, it is their meat and their drink, because they are of an impure nature. But he who has become pure in heart hates sin. He has antipathy to it. He does not love to be near it. If he sees any of it hanging about him, he abhors himself for it. He seems filthy to himself. He is a burden to himself. He abhors the very sight of it, and shuns the appearance of it. If he sees sin in others, it is a very unpleasant sight to him. As sin, and as committed against God, it is grievous and uncomfortable to him wherever he discovers it. It is because his heart is changed, and God has given him a pure nature. …

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(1 Kings 2:2-3) Strong manhood defined as keeping, walking God’s statutes, commands, rules, testimonies as they are written in God’s Word.

(1 Kings 2:27) Solomon expelled Abiathar fulfilling God’s God re: Eli’s house as spoken by Samuel so long ago.

(1 Kings 3:3,14) Solomon’s first compromise – high places – and a condition of obedience for a long life – he dies young at 60 years of age.

(1 Kings 4:20, 25) Judah and Israel as many as the sand by the sea – ate and drank and were happy. …every man under his own vine & figtree

(1 Kings 6) The temple is decorated with engravings of flowers and fruit trees throughout i.e. reflecting God’s presence in Garden of Eden.

(1 Kings 7:21) Temple pillars are not structural. Boaz = He strengthens & Jachin = He establishes.

(1 Kings 8:11) The cloud of the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. A very high point !!!

(1 Kings 8:24) God speaks with his mouth and with his hand he fulfills. (8:27) The temple is only a shadow, a condescension of God.

(1 Kings 8) Uses the covenant curses in Leviticus and Deuteronomy as the subjects of his prayer. This chapter is very very important.

(1 Kings 9:12) Giving away Promised Land (10:14) amassing gold (11:1) too many foreign wives (11:28) forced labor of northern tribes-no good

(1 Kings 10:19) Calf head for back of throne and lions as armrests – strength and royalty.

(1 Kings 12:15) … it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that he might fulfill his word, which the LORD spoke by his prophet.

(1 Kings 12:28,30) It is too much effort to go to Jerusalem … "the people went as far as Dan to the golden calf" – like Exod. golden calf.

(1 Kings 13:24) Disobedience to God’s word results in being killed by a lion.

(1 Kings 14:4,6) Ahijah’s eyes might be dim but he sees good – unlike Jeroboam.

(1 Kings 14:10) Jeroboam’s house burned up like dung.

(1 Kings 14:13) Dying young can be a sign of grace and God’s favour.

(1 Kings 14:21,31) Rehoboam did evil, twice told his mother was an Ammonite – what else could one expect.

(1 Kings 15:20) Some of the Promised Land is conquered including Dan, site of one of the golden calves. Sign of things to come.

(1Kings 16:31,34) Ahab married Jezebel and in his days Jericho was rebuilt – cannot be a good thing.

(1 Kings 18:21,26) Israel limps between two opinions and false prophets limp around the altar.

(1 Kings 18:27) Maybe Baal is on the toilet – Elijah uses humor to mock.

(1 Kings 18:38,45) Prayer without ritual, fire falls like tabernacle/temple, rain falls -sacrifice for sin accepted, covenant curse removed.

(1 Kings 19:7,9) God purposes for Elijah to go to the place where the now-broken covenant was first made – even to the cave.

(1 Kings 19:13) God’s presence is not in the theophanic signs but in his spoken word. Elijah is invited to prosecute Israel.

(1 Kings 19:17-18) God’s response – judgment and a remnant.

(1 Kings 20:33) Some people you should not call ‘brother’. Disobedience to God’s word = eaten by a lion like chapter 13.

(1 Kings 21:24) Ahab’s house = dogs and birds. Sold as slave to evil. Repentance has an effect even for this wicked man.

(1 Kings 22:23,34) God sends a lying spirit to enter the mouths of Ahab’s prophets. The arrow was not entirely random!

(2 Kings 1) Before Elijah had called fire from heaven in grace on the altar, now he calls fire from heaven in judgment.

(2 Kings 2:8) Elijah parts the waters and crosses on dry ground – a prophet like Moses.

(2 Kings 2:18,22) Elisha, name means ‘God saves’, reverses the curse on the waters of Jericho for the remnant.

(2 Kings 3:14-15) Elisha stands before the LORD and his hand comes upon him. God provides both water and wrath on Israel.

(2 Kings 4:42) First fruits brought to Elisha rather than Israel’s temple. Widow’s oil, deathly stew & loaves = life for sons of prophets.

(2 Kings 5:1) By Naaman the LORD had given victory to Syria over Israel. Who would have thought!?!

(2 Kings 5:12) Healing could not come from any river in Syria (or god of that land). Only from the Jordan (and the God of Israel).

(2 Kings 5:1,27) The Gentile has become clean and the Israelite has become unclean.

(2 Kings 6:17-18) A mountain full of horses & chariots of fire all around Elisha. Elisha asks for one man’s eyes to be opened-others closed.

(2 Kings 8:1) Now a famine of 7 years !! (8:10) A deceiving message from a true prophet. (8:11) Necessary judgment but still Elisha weeps.

(2 Kings 9) Jezebel paints her eyes and does her hair but the dogs eat her leaving skull and hands.

(2 Kings 10:28-33) Baal worship gone – his temple is a toilet – golden calf worship continues – Israel begins to lose her land inheritance.

(2 Kings 11:1) The House of David is almost wiped out. Jehoshaphat shouldn’t have made a marriage alliance with Ahab all those years ago.

(2 Kings 13:4-5,23) God hears the prayer of an evil king because he has compassion on his people and raises up a deliverer.

(2 Kings 13:14,21) Elisha dies from sickness but a man is raised from the dead by touching his bones.

(2 Kings 14:13-14) Jerusalem’s wall broken down, temple treasures carried off and taking away of people – foretaste of Babylonian conquest.

(2 Kings 15:29) The northern most tribes of the 10-tribe kingdom of Israel go into exile in Assyria. But there is still a northern kingdom.

(2 Kings 16:7) If only Ahaz had said these words to God rather than to the king of Assyria.

(2 Kings 17:18,20,23) God rejected Israel and removed them from his sight.They had rejected words of the prophets. A sad summary chapter.

(2 Kings 17:25) Lions are killing again. How could a Israelite priest teach? Samaritans do exactly same things as Israel-described same way.

(2 Kings 18:5) Hezekiah – unique among the kings of Judah for his trust in God. He held fast (cleaved i.e. a covenant word) to the LORD.

(2 Kings 18:31-32) God given vines, fig trees, cisterns to be replaced with a new Assyrian Promised Land !!

(2 Kings 19) Hezekiah prays 3 times. Spreads letter before God. Will be a remnant. 185 000 dead enemies. A high point in disappointing Kings

(2 Kings 19:36-37) Sennacherib said God couldn’t save praying Hezekiah but now Sennacherib is killed praying to his gods who didn’t save him

(2 Kings 20:17-19) Despite this high point with Hezekiah the coming judgment of exile will not be averted. Hezekiah trusts God even in this.

(2 Kings 21) Manasseh is really bad. Judah to be judged like a bowl being washed up and all ears will tingle.

(2 Kings 22:8,11,14) "I have found the book" .. tearing clothes seeking the word of a prophetess. Amazing that it had been lost!!

(2 Kings 23) A long list of spring cleaning – removing idolatry. Josiah even cleanses the old northern kingdom of Israel – fulfills prophecy

(2 Kings 23:33) The whole kingdom only has a single talent of gold. Solomon used to get 666 talents a year.

(2 Kings 24:2-3, 20) God sent bands against Judah to destroy the kingdom and remove it from his sight. "Cast out from his presence."

(2 Kings 25:13f) Details of temple furniture being taken away – same descriptions as from Solomon’s reign. Like bookends for 1-2Kings.

(2 Kings 25:21) So Judah was taken into exile out of its land … sad end to the story that began in Joshua.

(2 Kings 25:27-30) Kings ends miserably. The Exodus is undone! But is Jehoiachin’s release a sign of hope for the house of David and Israel?

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