I said at the end of the last post that we would be thinking about what God thinks of those who enter into covenants and fail to perform the words of those covenants. But I find am going to put that subject off until next time, until I am satisfied that I have driven home my point about the disingenuous god whose word is something of a rubber mask. A mask behind which this god’s real intentions lurk. I do not believe in this god. I believe that God means what He says! I trust such a God. I believe what He graciously promises me in the Gospel. But I don’t see how I can trust a god who misled thousands of pious Jews (and Christians) into believing the plain-sense of his words and then “fulfilled” them entirely differently. If he can do that to others, he can do it to me.
1. When we posit a god who uses words which lead people to believe he means one thing, when, in reality, he means something very different to what those words would naturally convey, we are dealing squarely with a god who equivocates. This was illustrated in the last post, but let’s have another example, just to show how pervasive this characteristic would be if supercessionism were true. This one concerns the well known incident that happened at Baal-Peor in Numbers 25:
6 And indeed, one of the children of Israel came and presented to
his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the
sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were
weeping at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
7 Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the
priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a
javelin in his hand;
8 and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both
of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her
body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel.
9 And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.
10 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has
turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was
zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the
children of Israel in My zeal.
12 “Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace;
13 ‘and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant
of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God,
and made atonement for the children of Israel.’ “
The promise is most explicit. Furthermore, Psalm 106:28-31 is evidence that God was taken at His Word; at least by the Psalmist. We should not miss this: one OT author interpreting another OT author literally. We implied three more instances of this in our last post when in commenting on the promises within Jeremiah 33:14-26, we observed:
4. The Davidic Covenant is expressly quoted
5. The Priests will also offer to the Lord continually [probably a reference to the covenant in Num. 25]
6. God’s intention to fulfill these promises is underlined by His intent to uphold His creation [cf. Gen. 8:22]
So what is God doing in these passages? Well, either the Lord is continuing the charade, or He means exactly what He says. Those are the choices, like it or lump it.
Have a look at Psalm 106:10-12. Notice that the people who experienced the deliverance at the Red Sea “believed His word” when they saw what God did. They may have had their doubts before the waters started doing strange things and the dry ground, which had been the Sea floor minutes before, appeared. But now they knew that God meant what He said and they believed Him. God is glorified when His people believe Him! He wants us to have faith in His Word. Quite how that is possible if, as supercessionists say, His words are filled with double-meanings, is anyone’s guess.
2. When I write my posts I want to use words which convey a particular thought-content to the people who read my posts. I do not want to use words that would likely lead my reader(s) to a conclusion that I myself am not driving at. If I wanted to say one thing and mean another it would be quite easy for me to do it. But why would I do it? And if what I was writing was a promise to a named person or group; – nay, a covenant oath – what would possess me to use words which I knew would make them think something other than what I had in mind? Why would I equivocate?
This “God,” whose very nature is to equivocate, is, it seems to me, a theological and philosophical quandary of colossal proportions. (more…)