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Monday, October 15, 2012

God's Supreme Interest in Man # 14

It is this kind of manhood, which is so different. It is not a composite manhood, which is made up of this and that and a hundred other things, by certain titles, designations, denominations or anything else. It is not a composite man, Paul is not saying, "Where Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, and all these things are included." But he  saying, "they are all excluded, they are not to be taken into account; but the inclusiveness, the comprehensiveness is Christ Himself, the kind of Man to Whom the Holy Spirit is seeking to conform us." And it will search us very deeply and very thoroughly, it really will.

Let us ask the Lord to very, very thoroughly deliver us from those elements only bring frustration and death. If we have a critical disposition, an attitude toward everything and everyone; it is deadly, it is just deadly. It is so easy to get into the habit of finding at once the flaws, the weaknesses, but it is deadly, and it is frustrating. Let us ask the Lord to save us from such a disposition, a disposition which sees where everything comes short and everything is different instead of taking a more positive line of making the most of what there is of the Lord. I say, that is a searching thing, and a very testing thing. And, after all, the measure of our true Christly manhood, our true Christly and heavenly humanity, will be the measure in which we do this: make all that is possible of Christ.

This desire and concern of the Lord to have a man after this kind is everywhere in Scripture. And if you would notice how in a number of cases the phrase, "the man," is used in relation to something of God and illustrating very often Christ. I will give you one or two examples of what I mean. Moses. Now in Numbers twelve it says, "And the man Moses was very meek, more than any man who was on the face of the earth." The man Moses was meeker than all men on the earth, the meekest of men was "the man Moses." And in that statement and that definition and explanation of Moses, you have such a clear and wonderful example of Christ on that particular line. The Lord Jesus said, "I am meek and lowly of heart." The Lord Jesus, "MEEK AND LOWLY OF HEART."  Now the man Moses was meeker than all men on the earth. You see, this is the manhood, the manhood that God underlines. You can say what you like about Moses, and there are many things that you can say about him as a leader and a lawgiver and much more, but when God looks upon him, upon his manhood, He puts the circle around this: "Now the man Moses was meeker than all men on the earth." That is where God's eye is: on the character of Christ-meekness. - By which the pride of lucifer, that terrible thing that disrupted this universe, is undercut in the meekness of a New Man. We do not often think that the mighty, the terrible devil is undone by meekness, but there it is.

Take Isaac again as another example. In Genesis twenty-six there is that very simple statement that you read, and you overlook, "Now the man Isaac was very great." What was Isaac doing when that was said about him? Well, Isaac was reopening the wells that had been filled up by the Philistines. It says that Isaac was sowing and reaping. Isaac, as we know is the type of resurrection. And the resurrection man is concerned with and occupied with the opening up of the wells of life. He is not occupied with dead ends, things that have become stuffed up and shut up and shut down. The Philistines did that. But he is countering this work of the enemy who is robbing the people of the water of life. He is sowing and reaping, he is on the line of fruitfulness, that is what the resurrection man does. Oh, how he foreshadows Christ in this way of resurrection, by opening up the wells of life for the people of God, and producing fruitfulness. That is the way of life, that is the manhood.

Here is another case of many we could mention: Mordecai. Mordecai in the Book of Esther. Before you are through with that wonderful story, you have it stated, "This man Mordecai waxed greater and greater." Do you recall the story of Mordecai from the Book of Esther, of how "this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater?" The man did, you know, as the book closes with this declaration: "And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai, where unto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted o the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed" (Esther 10:2, 3). The greatness in a man.

But what did Mordecai do? How did he come to that place and that measure of stature, "greater and greater?" Well, first of all he sat in the gate, and watched and found out the evil that was at work. You remember the two chamberlains, Bigthana and Teresh who plotted against the life of the king in order to assassinate him? Well, Mordecai watched and got the information about how they sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus, and saved his life (6:2). It was Mordecai who kept his eye on Haman, the wicked Haman. It was Mordecai who was watching Haman very closely in the king's gate, when it was made known to him of Haman's mischief, his evil plotting for the destruction of all the Jews, the people of God. It was Mordecai who acquainted himself with all this that was going on by Haman. it was Mordecai who watched and worked against the evil of Haman who was plotting death, the death of "all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai" (chapters 3 and 8). Mordecai countered that evil working out in death by watchfulness and carefulness, in self-abasement and in a place of humiliation as he sat at the gate.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 15)

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