There are a few places in the Bible where God reveals Himself in all His glory in pretty magnificent ways. The chief one is the Resurrection, and there is Creation for sure. There are a number of places in Revelation that are pretty major, the Transfiguration in the gospels is a good one, Ezekiel had visions that were pretty spectacular, and Jesus was as brilliant as the sun in confronting Paul on the Damascus road. There may be really good examples elsewhere that I missed.
One of the most compelling to me is not only how God introduces Himself to Isaiah in his sixth chapter, but what He says right after that, something that is repeated in all four gospels, in Acts, and again in the letter to the Romans.
After Isaiah is overwhelmed by the glory of God in contrast to his own sinfulness, he tells Him that he is willing to carry out any task God gives him. Here's the task: "Tell these people, the people of My nation: 'You could understand, but don't. You could see, but don't. You could listen, but don't. You could be healed, but your hearts are too hard.'" Yes, this is not a literal translation, but go see for yourself, that's cool. This is pretty much it.
Now in the context of the gospel accounts of Jesus' reference to this charge, it makes perfect sense. People are too stupid to get that everything they want is right in front of them. Essentially, "I'm here to heal you and save you and give you life, but, eh, you don't want it, and that does break my heart, but, well..."
The "Well..." part is simply that God isn't going to give us all the beauty and wonder and joy that is His Kingdom unless we see it for what it is, not in the abject reprobation of our sin. As long as we refuse to see it, we will only want to destroy it. We must come to God on His terms, not ours. We can only come to the Tree of Life by the blood of Christ and in His righteousness, not by our feeble counterfeits.
This is precisely why, after Isaiah asks God, "So, for how long should I tell them to continue to be stupid?" (really, that is what this is about) God replies, "Until they look and get it. And the only way they can is if they see..." — and here it is, right from the King James —
Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, and the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
Now certainly this applied to those in Judah, who were about to be summarily dispossessed at the hands of the Babylonians, I got that. And I note that the chapter closes with the promise of a returning remnant, I know. But it wouldn't have been mentioned so much in the New Testament if it wasn't a significantly relevant message for us today.
You will continue to be stupid unless you let God show you the breadth of your destruction, and then firmly decide to take in healing and restoration and salvation in Him.
I watched one of the most frightening horror films I've ever seen a couple weeks ago. It is the perfect metaphor for this very prevalent, prominent, and quite present human condition.
It was Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, and really, it was a horror film. It wasn't just that a whole bunch of people were hypnotically captivated by an immature sideshow salesman (now serving a six-year prison sentence), it was that so many people, mostly Millennials, paid gobs of money merely on the insatiable desire not just to have fun but to neurotically virtue-signal through social media as the most masterful partier ever.
All of them, the whole batch of them, worshipping the god that is their stomach. Just like the slasher-film victim of the marauding chainsaw wielder was the Bahamian restaurateur who wept for all she did for this defrauder — humbly, willingly, industriously — only to receive massive bills to pay and the most crushing ingratitude. I really wonder about those people involved in the debacle and interviewed for the film — what were they thinking when beholding the expanse of the desolation that was Fyre? Really, what are they thinking?
Can they not see the need for Someone Who Is Truth to come and not only share with them both truth and grace but courageously defend those things with His very life?
For you see the Fyre incident was the smallest microcosm of the way things are going out there in the real economic, commercial, political, and social world. Those who got scammed by the whole Fyre thing?
There are millions more just like them. Calcified in their benighted lifestyles clutching empty promises of the most dazzling attention in cyberspace. Captured in an endless loop of the most grotesque plausibility disconceptions. Convinced there is no devil laboriously offering his services as their top "influencer."
This last point, the one about the devil as influencer? It is not hard to tell who is helping them dismiss the devil as a real, live, personal entity who speaks through powerful interests to keep as many in the infernal gulag as possible. Recently the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuit Order of the Roman Catholic Church, announced that the devil is not real, and that he is only a symbol of the evil that is out and about in some people.
It is one thing to dismiss the devil as fantasy and get a Fyre Festival, what about all the other horrific things propped as solutions to the abjection?
Recently Facebook announced it will put out a currency of its own, hey — bitcoin can't get all the cred. It is called Libra, a splendidly fitting name as it is the scales for keeping everything even and just. "Honest weights and measures" can't be more secure! Excccept...
Facebook is already in hot water because of its obsessive desire to gaze into private lives, but that is precisely what autocratic potentates do. Whuh? Facebook isn't a government is it? Well, yes it is. In fact it is more than that. It is a nation. With all the blithering about whether or not Facebook is actually a private company and permitted to do what it wants with its business affairs, or a public utility and subject to regulation such as that required for municipal electricity and water service, no one identifies its true nature.
It is a nation, all unto itself. It has a citizenry and a list of laws and bylaws to which every citizen has acceded. Its army is comprised of the brilliant tech wonks sauntering through the highest levels of corporate power using the best Sun-Tzuan tactics to bend its citizens' will to its purposes. With information technology the way it is today, national borders are practically obsolete and virtually obliterated. You may be dual citizens in any number of nations, Google, Apple, Amazon also among them. The tricky part is that nations are still subject to the perfect judgments of God, and unless they acknowledge Him and His eminent reign over all things, they will be doing their work outside of His presence as divisions of Cain's legacy. Whatever the case, all are footstools of God, set out to fulfill His purposes in the ways He directs.
It is funny, I recently came across a web writing that has gotten some attention, and no wonder with a title like, "The Most Important Problem in the World." Hmm, what could that be? The most important problem? No, the most important problem is when people stridently insist that the devil isn't real. That's really the one. Sure there are problems and issues and incidents and sometimes the most horrifically tragic events. But it is the devil who convinces people he's not deeply involved in gripping you tightly in a vicious stronghold and pulling you far away from a God who wants to grab you and hold you and embrace you like a Father no matter what happens to you.
Anyway, this widely experienced power-broking fully embedded insider, James Gamble is his name, says the most important problem today is that there are quite a few evil people on corporate boards. Yeah, that's it. Please know I'm not saying I'm surprised by this — what I am noting is that so many others are surprised by this. We see a mortifying graphic depiction of a goofy music festival gone awry at the hands of some youthful Svengali — what would it look like if the cameras were on the behavior of those board members?
Oh no worries. This guy's got it all down, the piece is rather lengthy. We also see it sometimes in the newspapers, can't miss it. But because those people are given so much sway over our lives we give them a pass. Hey, they do have to sell us a decent product. They do have to make us believe they are actually behaving on the up-and-up, I mean, our middle-class life of convenience depends on them, our jobs depend on them — my retirement depends on them.
So we're really too fascist (technically: too much corporate power) — then in come the enraged marauding socialists to rescue us yay! Or yeah! Maybe we're actually too socialist (technically: too much "public" power, but with nice smiley autocrats helping out, you know) — then coming on over are the exceedingly patriotic seething crusaders to, to, um, to...
Just before Gamble's section titled "The Seduction is Viral" — I still look at this in amazement and wonder why these people dismiss the power of the devil... whupp, well, wait, they are so readily seduced by the Father General, and it is quite viral, what else could "Catholic" entail?... so yeah, it does make sense — anyway, Gamble bleats the pathetically typical "They're only interested in the bottom line" talking point, then adds:
Corporate persons live among us and exert a powerful influence over how we see and interact with the world. The decision not to address morality and fairness at the corporate level infects real people and contributes to the self-centered actions of individual and society at large.
Does he have the slightest clue about who's influencing them?
So how about more law? "Let's just make better laws!" is always the gleefully hopeful conclusion of System pundits such as Gamble, I never see any other. Sure enough: "We could create corporate conscience directly through a legal requirement that all..." yada yada. "The first act... is the drafting and adoption of an ethical code..." bappity boopity. Don't get me wrong, laws are very very very good things, but only so we can fully recognize what intractable assholes we are, nothing else. At that point we need Someone to save us from ourselves, period. Lesseeee — mention of Christ, mention of Christ... mnnn... yeah. Didn't think so.
We can even peek a bit at Facebook exec David Marcus' comical appearance before Congress on Libra to get the best feel for how ridiculous it is, ultimately, to just worship the law — oh, every World inhabitant does it, they must. Naturally almost every question he was asked was about how Facebook would regulate the currency so it would actually, truly, really, in actual true reality be an honest weight and measure of people's productive value.
He hemmed and hawed and shared how zealously Mark Zuckerberg and company were on board with Caesar's enforcement apparatus, but in the end he could only waffle — it was painful to watch. Don't misunderstand, the gold standard and the PhD standard are just as exploitive as the algorithm standard. As you cannot get blood from a turnip you cannot get righteousness from the law. When it gets down to it only dissembling, equivocation, and confusion spews from attempts to rationalize this idolatry. From the comprehensive Los Angeles Times piece on the hearing, Marcus merely "alluded to the regulatory gray area that Facebook's digital coin could occupy."
These guys are about to roll out the accepted standard currency issue for their superpower nation, and they don't even have a clue about what they're doing. They may insist they'll get it all down, I mean, come on, they've got all the latest fat protocol protections lined up, please!...that's gotta be good!
Deaf and staying deaf. Blind and staying blind. Dumb and staying dumb. As God told Isaiah about them, quite sadly it must be that way.
Until they allow Christ to open their eyes and ears and minds.
All photographs inserted were taken from the web. Forgive me for not including attributions.
I make no money directly from this web effort.
Thanks nonetheless to those who posted them so I may reproduce them here.
This page was originally posted by David Beck at yourownjesus.net on December 3 2019