1 Why standest thou afar off, O Yahweh? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
The veiled hand
The whole situation in Eden required the visible hand of God. The veiled hand-the indirect guidance-would not have been adapted to a time when there was but as yet a single individual, and be in harmony with the Superior Will which had given him being.
The ways of Providence were for after times, when men had multiplied, and sin had introduced that confession out of which the Divine wisdom purposes the evolution of order, and the highest good.
The veiled hand belongs to times of evil only. When the ministry of reconciliation-
("to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them")
shall have accomplished its object, there will be no need for God to hide Himself from the inhabitants of the earth.
His power and wisdom are now manifest, for they cannot be concealed; but His existence and His love have to be laboriously discerned. He has withdrawn the open manifestation of Himself, both from Israel and the Gentiles; but on the day that He has appointed-on the day when His earth family is complete and His will paramount everywhere under the sun, there will be an end to concealment.
This is one of the great and precious promises-that we shall know as we are known (1 Corinthians 13: 12)-that heaven will be open-(John 1: 51); that the tabernacle of God will be with men, and His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face, and there shall be no night there (Revelation 21: 3; 22: 5), that God will be all in all (1 Corinthians 15: 28).
The visible hand of God Ch 4
3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom Yahweh abhorreth.
Covetousness is desiring to have something that belongs to someone else.
No covetous man will be allowed to enter the Kingdom of God.
This is Paul's teaching (1 Cor. 6:10; Ephes. 5:5), and his teaching is infallible.
Are we covetous? If so, we must alter or for ever die. The covetousness which God condemns is the hankering after things which we ought not to possess. It extends to anything and everything for which the heart should not crave.
Israel's law shows the comprehensiveness of the divine meaning-
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, wife, manservant, maidservant, ox, ass, nor anything that he has" (Exod. 20:17).
Covetousness goes even farther than this - it touches the yearning for things, which, under certain circumstances, may be justifiable enough for us to have, but become forbidden things in virtue of the wrong use to which we intend to put them.
To long for more than we can faithfully or wisely use is covetousness. It is not wrong to make money, but it is wrong to make money for purposes of hoarding, or spending lavishly or improperly on self. "Covetousness," says Paul, "is idolatry" (Col. 3:5).
This confirms what has been said. A covetous man ignores God, and worships self. Covetousness is not stealing, but if not watched soon leads to it. Covetousness is a deadly microbe, and if not energetically destroyed quickly develops odious consequences - grumbling, discontent, unprincipled scheming, cruel grinding, carnal wantonness.
There is, therefore, solemn significance in Christ's warning-"Beware of covetousness." But let us note in considering this subject that a rich man is not necessarily, as is so often harshly said, a covetous man, nor is a poor man necessarily free from this crime.
Abraham was rich, but not covetous. Gehazi was not rich, and was covetous. Both rich and poor in Israel gave themselves over to covetousness, which, alas, is a common sin of all generations.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Sept 1902
4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after Elohim: Elohim is not in all his thoughts.
Gratification is their rule of action, and that on the lowest plane -- self indulgence and mutual glorification for advantage. They worship and serve the creature in one another. They enjoy the things God has made without any reference to God. His worship, His fear, His love, are sentiments totally foreign to them. Their likes and inclinations are the law of their actions. They are not subject to the laws of God. They look no higher than man in all their dealings and all their relations.
Nazareth Revisited Ch 53
15 Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.
The Man of Sin - see also v 18
The Spirit in David makes the following address to him in Ps. 52
"Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O Mighty Man? The mercy of AIL is all the day. Thy tongue, deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue!
But AIL shall beat thee down forever, He shall take thee away, and pluck thee from thy dwelling-place, and will root thee out of the land of the living. The righteous shall see and fear, and upon it they shall laugh, saying, Behold the man that made not Elohim his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness."
Daniel styles this Mighty Man, "THE KING "--a man of power ; ruling potentially and sovereignly over nations, during many centuries to the epoch of his destruction in the time of the end. He is thus described in Dan. 11: 36-39.
"And the King shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every ail (or Power); and shall speak marvellous things concerning the AIL of ails (the Power of powers, or the greatest, and the source, of all power) ; and he shall flourish till the indignation shall be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
Neither shall he regard the gods of his ancestors, elohai avothahv; nor the desire of wives, nor regard any eloahh, " or god." "But upon his place (or throne) shall he do honour to the mahuzzim eloahh, eloahh mahuzzim--the god of guardians: and to an eloahh, 'or god,' which his ancestors knew not shall he do honour with gold, and silver, and with costly gems, and durable things. Thus shall he do to the Bazaars of the guardians pertaining to a FOREIGN GOD (eloahh) whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall give them authority over many; and shall divide the land for gain".
Thus, we see exhibited in the ancient and remarkable oracle of the Deity, an Absolute Sovereign Power, which repudiates the gods of his predecessors, and sets up in their place a god of foreign origin, who becomes a constituent of the power by which he is enthroned. Hence, the power consists of, or is represented by, the King and his god; who exalt and magnify themselves above every power, temporal and spiritual, claiming sovereignty and lordship upon the whole habitable.
16 Yahweh is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.
17 Yahweh, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
18 To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth [The papal Man of Sin] may no more oppress.