Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Hawks Are Gathered

Seek and read from the book of the LORD:  Not one of these shall be missing; none shall be without her mate.  For the mouth of the LORD has commanded, and his Spirit has gathered them. -- Isaiah 34:16

The context of Isaiah 34 appears to be the certainty of God’s wrath falling upon the descendants of Esau in retaliation for Edom’s animosity and frequent treachery toward their Semite cousins in Israel.  Judgment will fall and the land of Edom will be turned over to the various wild beasts and birds for there will be no human inhabitants to trouble or disturb those creatures. 

Looking at verse 16 from this perspective, we see that the Spirit of God will gather all those creatures to overrun and inhabit the desolated territory.  There are numerous prophecies alluding to this so a person can go through the Scriptures and see that each creature listed will indeed be present with its mate, ready to multiply in the absence of human dwellers. 

Or, consider the birds and beasts as manifestations of the prophetic word.  We can find these words in the “book of the LORD”.  None of God’s words will fall to the ground to be lost or fail.  Each word He has spoken will have its “mate” – its fulfillment.  The Holy Spirit works to gather those words into the Holy Scripture – so that we may trust it to be truly the word of God.  But He also works to bring about the complement, to cause the word to come to pass. 

If an owl or a hawk, a porcupine or a hyena is used by the Spirit to fulfill and complete the word of God, are we thinking too highly of ourselves and those around us if we think that He is working in us to build the kingdom, to accomplish His will and to live out His truth in this world?  The Word is alive in His people. 

An owl, being a creature of instinct, will tend to follow the opening that is before it apart from hesitation caused by caution.  We, as creatures of intellect, imagination, and will, made in the image and likeness of God, may choose to rebel against the Spirit’s urgings.  Kind of a sad thought, isn’t it?  I suspect there are many, unaware of the Spirit’s work among them, thinking to do their own will, who end up furthering the purposes of a God they disdain.  Origen says that Christ was put on the Cross by God, by man, and by the devil, but the intentions were vastly different. 

Whether we are aware of it or not, the Lord has called to us and spoken to us about our destiny, in Scripture, in circumstances, and from the lips of those around us.  If we are willing to follow Him, not one of those words will be missing from our lives and each will be present with its fulfillment. 


julie said...

Judgment will fall and the land of Edom will be turned over to the various wild beasts and birds for there will be no human inhabitants to trouble or disturb those creatures.

For another bit of word and idea play, I'm reminded of how those who are determined to do what is wrong are turned over to their lusts, unnatural desires, etc. In essence, their very minds are given over to the beasts within our nature.

That said, I far prefer your take.

John Lien said...

I get a chuckle sometimes when someone creates a song, or movie, that has an anti-God intent but ends up being used by believers as a source of inspiration. "Personal Jesus" by Depesche mode and, one of my favorites, the movie Hellboy come to mind. (Hellboy may be double-reverse, backdoor, sneaky, intentionally, pro-God. I'm not sure.)

julie said...

I think you're right about Hellboy. And the really funny thing about "Personal Jesus" is that I'm pretty sure the lead singer of Depeche Mode, at least, is a serious Christian now. So presuming he still sings that one on tour, it is utterly unironic.

Another good one was the Ricky Gervais movie that came out a while back, I forget the name now, about the world where nobody could tell a lie, and so everyone was an atheist until some guy was born who learned to lie. Then he invented religion. I was surprised to find myself enjoying that one, but it really hammered home the emptiness of a faithless, mechanistic world, and I think made pretty much the opposite point from what he had intended.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Indeed, if one ignores God because ome thinks he knows better, he jest may get what he wants and he wn't like it.

Speaking of films, I always womdered how Joss Whedon, a flaming progressive, could ever make a film like Serenity, where the conservatives are heroes and he doesn't realize it.
I'm sure it was unintentional. The good huys were supposed to be liberals but they sure didn't act like liberals.
In fact, the libs were the bad guys, and the Reavers were like the radical jihadists that infest the real world. :

Most of the Star Trek the original series was very conservative, and
i know Gene Roddenberry never meant for that to come across. Oddly, when libs make conservative films they are unaware of it.

mushroom said...

Good stuff, my friends.

To Ben's point about Whedon and Roddenberry, these guys think of themselves as "liberals". We are Classical Liberals in the Chesterton mode. The modern liberal is still OK with classic liberal values, but only for those they deem to be of the "right kind". We want everyone to be able to do as they please, for the most part.