GRACE GAZETTE
Volume XVIIssue 40
Published occasionally for Zion’s mourners
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Hebrews 12::12-13

MAKING WISE THE SIMPLE

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) John 2:9

One truth that is seldom if ever heard preached by modern day mud daubers (see Ezekiel 13:8-12) is the fact that the LORD is pleased to, actively, hide the truth from some while, just as actively, revealing it to others. The LORD HIMSELF, was not ashamed to declare this truth and even to thank HIS FATHER for doing so. “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” (Mat 11:25-27)

On more than one occasion HE told those whom HE had healed to tell no man of it. “And he charged them that they should tell no man.” (Mark 7:36) (see also Mat.8:4;Luke 8:56). HE also told HIS disciples from time to time not to make HIM known. “Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.” (Mat 16:20) (see also Mat.17:9; Mark 9:9)

HIS disciples asked HIM why HE taught in parables and, “And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” (Mar 4:11-12)

Isaiah was given this very prophecy which was particularly applicable to the nation of Israel as the LORD would demonstrate that they are not all Israel who are of Israel. “Tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” (Isa 6:9-10)

These verses cause the free will mongers to tremble and scratch their heads in dismay, as the scriptures plainly indicate that an understanding of the truth of GOD is sovereignly dispensed by HIM who said “I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy.” Even as the LORD told Nicodemus of the necessity of being born from above. “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13)

The only folks who have a problem with this doctrine are those who believe they possess some measure of righteousness in their persons which they believe they can bring to the LORD in order to influence HIM to bless them. The man who is convinced by the SPIRIT of GOD that he has no shred of worthiness before GOD, will rejoice when he discovers that the LORD is the ONE who provides all that a sinner needs to be justified before HIM. This is a revelation that is surely hidden from the wise and prudent (especially those that glory in their religion, faith, and works.)

Those that believe not are blinded in four ways. (1) They are blinded by sovereign decree. The LORD alone reserves the right to cause men to see. There is no remedy for this condition, for they that are such will not come to HIM and will not believe, (see John 5:40) even though ONE be risen from the dead. (see Luke 16:31) (2)They are blinded by their very fleshly nature, being conceived in sin and spiritually dead. This condition is also that of those who are caused to believe, (i.e.; the elect) but even though they are dead in trespasses and sins, HE is pleased to quicken them (i.e.; give them life) from the dead that they should believe. Otherwise they would perish even as others, without any regard to the glory of GOD in JESUS CHRIST. (3) They are judicially blinded. The LORD does pass judgment on those who will not believe. “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.” (John 8:24-26) (4) They are blinded because HE withholds the TRUTH from them according to HIS sovereign purpose which we mentioned in our first point.

The natural religious man will grow angry when such a doctrine is preached. We see this illustrated when the LORD HIMSELF taught this doctrine in the synagogue. “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.” (Luke 4:25-29) These Jews recognized that HE was sweeping away their righteousness and fleshly endeavors and showing them that apart from the sovereign grace of GOD they could not be saved. They would have killed HIM then, but the time was not yet right, and HE passed through their midst as they stood there powerless even as all men are before the sovereign decrees of GOD.

One of the best illustrations of the hiding of truth in plain sight from those to whom it is not given and the revelation of it to those who are; is seen in the very first recorded miracle which the LORD JESUS CHRIST performed at the wedding feast at Cana of Galilee. There were a great number of people gathered at this feast which we can deduce from the quantity of wine which was furnished by the LORD JESUS. There were six water pots containing “two or three firkins” each into which HE instructed the servants to fill with water. Now we are not certain exactly how much a “firkin” is in our present measure, but likely was about four or five gallons. Conservatively that would be about sixty gallons of wine. An ample amount to be sure especially when at least the same amount of wine had already been consumed. I am sure there were some happy folks at this feast.

The whole gathering of people were greatly benefited by the LORD’s provision of this wine; even as the whole world in general is greatly blessed by the provision of all things by the hand of HIM who created all things. Even further the whole world does benefit from the redemptive work which HE has performed in the behalf of HIS elect. No man on earth can say that what CHRIST has done has in any wise harmed him. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:17-18)

The great ruler of the feast was one of the first to taste this wine and commented to the host that he had saved the very best wine till last. He is much like the religious multitude who speak about the things of the gospel but have no real knowledge of the ONE who has provided the TRUTH and in WHOM is all of its blessing. They embrace the “gospel” because they believe it will do them good and find many positive life lessons in the word of GOD. Yet they do not see the glory of GOD in the gospel, preferring to consider the works of men in attaining it. “They received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2Thess 2:10)

The humble servants likely did not get to even sample the splendid tasting wine, which those in their finery and higher station did as guests at the wedding. Yet they received a greater blessing than any of these whom they served, for they saw the creation of this wine by the hand of HIM who formed the light and created the darkness. The wonder of this wine was not in its taste or clarity but rather in HIM who spoke it into existence, which none of the guests even knew. These lowly servants were shown more in just a few moments than all of those who drank copiously of that wine which they poured. “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Rom 9:16)

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