Dale Carnegie wrote a book in 1936, entitled, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” This book is invaluable for those who would be versed in human psychology and who seek by such to enhance their effect and appeal to men in this natural world, whether it be in business or relationships in general.
Unfortunately, this same psychology is thought, by the multitude, to be both desirable and necessary in the proclamation of the truth of GOD in the hearing of men. The theme of most preaching that we hear today is based on the notion that we need to present GOD in a light which makes HIM appealing to men. To this end HE is set forth as a doting grandfatherly like figure who loves all of HIS creation with the same love and would never do anything which is not considered as “fair” to them.
The thought that HE would perform HIS exact will and purpose in the earth in the creation of some men unto destruction while manifesting HIS specific love to HIS elect which HE created as the objects of HIS mercy does not fit this “stereotypical” notion of grandfatherly DEITY. Yet the scripture clearly states not only HIS prerogative to do so but the fact that HE has done so.
To this end Paul writes to the Romans, (in a seldom read and inconvenient passage I might add) “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” (Rom 9:13-18)
Paul understood the natural reasoning of men and foresaw their collective gasps and objections with this response, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.” (Rom 9:20-23)
It is completely unnecessary for men to defend GOD’s actions or to make excuses for HIM. HE makes none for HIMSELF as HE declares who HE is and what HE does. “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isa 45:5-7) “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” (Deu 32:39) “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isa 46:9-11)
If the LORD was seeking to win friends and influence people HE would, perhaps, have hired a PR firm akin to the modern day “gospel hucksters” that roam the countryside. HE would not have clearly and definitively set forth HIS character and purpose as HE has in the scriptures. HE would not have told Moses that HE was a jealous GOD, and that HE would not share HIS glory with any. But HE does not direct men to soften HIS image but rather to declare HIS majesty, power and purpose in the Earth so that men might tremble in fear before HIM. “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” (Rev 15:4) “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.”(Rev 20:11)
The proclamation of the gospel, which is indeed good news to sinners deep in debt and bereft of any help from themselves or other men, is set against the backdrop of GOD’s unfailing purpose to save unworthy wretches. That which gives a man hope of a true salvation is found in the fact that HE has both the power and the will to save weak and helpless sinners who have despaired of finding salvation through their own will or power.
This is exactly what the Psalmist declares when he writes the sixtieth Psalm. This GOD of whom HE writes will in no wise fail to accomplish exactly what HE determines to do and faces no hindrances at all in carrying out HIS deliverance of those whom HE has purposed to save. The LORD herein declares what HE will do; and not what HE is waiting or hoping that men will do.
The Psalmist says in verse 2, “Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.” (Psa 60:2) HE prepares the ground that HE is pleased to possess and does cause the hearts of HIS elect to tremble at the mention of HIS name. It is these bruised reeds which HE will not break, for weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning as HE is pleased to manifest HIS perfect REDEMPTION in CHRIST.
We read in the second Psalm the declaration of HIS purpose to establish the kingdom of HIS dear SON and redeem HIS people from out of every kindred, tribe, and tongue. “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” (Psa 2:8) It is here in Psalm sixty that we see that purpose manifested as HE names some of the tribes of Israel and then three heathen lands which HE claimed for HIS own.
“Moab is my washpot”. The Moabites were smitten by David and he divided them into two lines, one line which he slew and the other he made to be the servants of HIS kingdom. (see II Sam. 8:2) This is a picture of the electing grace of GOD, who said, “Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated.” Who is sufficient for these things?
“Over Edom will I cast out my shoe”. The inhabitants of Edom are the descendants of Esau. The LORD hated Esau but laid claim to many of HIS children. HIS salvation is “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13) The casting of a shoe was a practice in ancient times which sealed the deal for the purchase of a possession. (see Ruth 4:7) This is a picture of the REDEMPTION of that people which the LORD loved with an everlasting love and purchased with HIS own blood, as of a LAMB without blemish or spot.
“Philistia, triumph thou because of me.” The Philistines were pagans who worshipped the god Dagon. Dagon was humiliated and shown to be no god at all when the Ark of the Covenant was brought into his temple. Yet here a broken and humiliated people, sitting in darkness are brought to the LIGHT. This is a picture of those who are made to triumph in the victory of the LAMB. “he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Eph 4:8)mam