“(And the Lord shall be King over all the earth; and on that day there shall be one Lord, and his name shall be the one name.)”
God’s Name is the One Name.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, KJV)
Jesus is not a separate entity from God. He has the same Name for there is only ONE NAME. God is “King over all the earth” and He is the “one Lord.” “His Name [is] the One Name.” His is the only “Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” There is no other. There is only One.
“The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”
Perhaps Peter means we are impatient for the Lord’s return; and fret over its delay in an incorrect way. Rather than being ready for Christ and helping others ready themselves for His return, we stamp our feet and wring our hands, wondering why He tarries. Some of us even set the time for His return, announcing that on such and such a date, Christ will come for His own. We don’t seem to care that everyone else will be doomed.
On top of this impatience and imprudence, we forget God is patient. We ignore that God is kind; that He does “not want any to perish but all to come to repentance.”
In every translation, God reminds us that He is God — the LORD, the Lord, Jehovah, Yahweh. He states this at the end of the verse in every translation. Usually the most important point in a statement comes at its end. So, let’s agree that the key element in this command is that we remember and recognize that God is God! Next, in order of importance, is that we treat others — whether our friends or our neighbors — as we treat ourselves. Finally, we are not to hold grudges or seek revenge or remember and remind others of their wrongdoings. We are to forgive, in other words. Here is the same verse in a variety of translations; read each carefully.
“Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people; but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am Jehovah.” (ASV)
“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.” (ESV)
“Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.” (HCSB)
“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” (KJV)
“Forget about the wrong things people do to you, and do not try to get even. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. I am the Lord.” (NCV)
““‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” (NIV 1984)
“Thou shalt not seek vengeance, neither thou shalt be mindful of the wrong of thy citizens (nor shalt thou remember the wrong-doings of thy fellow citizens); thou shalt love thy friend as thyself; I am the Lord.”(WYC)
“Seek not revenge, nor be mindful of the injury of thy citizens. Thou shalt love thy friend as thyself. I am the Lord.” (DRA)
“Don’t seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people. “Love your neighbor as yourself. I am God.” (MSG)
How do I hide from someone who is everywhere? Well, duh — the obvious answer is: I can’t. Why? Because it is impossible to hide from someone who is with me in my hiding place. God almost laughs at our efforts to do something in secret.
“Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.”
I remember being admonished to “practice the presence of the LORD” — I think I heard that in Sunday School. That’s not a problem. I am keenly aware that He sees me — He sees not only my outsides, but all that stuff I try to hide on the insides, too. He sees all that stuff on the insides because He lives there, too.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”
Now and then, in some special way, I emotionally experience what Paul means when he writes: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Not to be a spoiler — that’s a spoiler alert, ladies and gentlemen — but toward the end of the movie, SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, Dodge and Penny happen upon a line of people slowly walking toward something ahead. Every person looks at peace as he or she walks. The camera turns to show us where they are heading. We see the ocean open up between two seaside cliffs. In the shallows stands a minister of God; he is obviously baptizing babies in the waters of the ocean.
Suddenly, tears welled up in conjunction with a glowing emotion — what I can only describe as a heartthrob — and I knew God the Holy Spirit was witnessing with my spirit that I am a son of God. That moment in the film — which otherwise is devoid of any mention of God — was so tender, so touching, so real that I sat stunned in the dark theatre.
Dodge and Penny silently sit, speaking with others on the beach. No, we don’t see that they get baptized but subsequent events in the film make that truth possible, perhaps even likely.
God witnesses. His Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are sons of God. Do you know what that is like?
I climb — not as often as I’d like — but being attached to a rope when climbing is smart. Yes, there are people who climb without rope; they are free to fall with any mistake from which they are unable to recover footing or grip. I climb with a rope on belay. That means someone below is holding onto the rope so that if I fall, they will catch me within a few inches.
“But the Lord is true, that shall confirm you, and shall keep [us] from evil.”
Paul’s promise here is amazing. What a comfort — that “the Lord is true.” Jesus never utters a lie for our adversary is the father of lies and Jesus has nothing in common with him. In fact, Jesus “keeps [us] from evil.” He “confirms [us].”
Jesus is belayer and anchor — I don’t plan a climb without Him.
“But they that hope in the Lord, shall change strength, they shall take feathers as eagles; they shall run, and shall not travail; they shall go, and shall not fail.”
What success is the Holy Spirit promising those of us who hope in the Lord? God promises — we are strong; we can fly, run, go without “travail” and without failure. God contrasts us with those — even those who are young — who “fail” or “fall down in their sicknesses.” (Isaiah 40: 30)
God is not promising that those who hope in the Lord never suffer. Rather He promises us renewal of strength even in times of sickness or hardship. He promises us a kind of lifting up as we “take feathers as eagles.” Our hope in the Lord ought to give us comfort for we know we “shall not fail.”
If a man wins the whole world yet impairs his own soul, Jesus rhetorically asks what profit — what gain — is that for the man?
“For what profiteth it to a man , if he win all the world, and do impairing to his [own] soul?”
Every day, people seek profits for the investments they make in time, in effort, in monies. Every day, some people win — what seems to them — “the whole world.” I’m not sure Jesus equates winning the whole world with loss of one’s soul. Rather, I think Jesus implies one’s focus ought not to be on getting “the whole world”, but on getting a relationship with Him so as to keep one’s soul.
William Shakespeare writes:
“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Perhaps it works the other way around as well. If you are not false with others, then doesn’t it follow that you are true to your own self — your own soul? Gaining things means very little if you are false with others and with your own self.
How are you true to your self? By recognizing your nature is to be connected to your creator. Without God, you are literally lost. You wander about like a blind man, thinking you can see when you can’t. Winning the whole world, in this instance, is pointless. You are like a child sitting in a dark corner in a dark room. You may own the whole room, but you’re still blind.
“Men, love ye your wives, as [and] Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, [that he should make it holy; cleansing it with the washing of water], in the word of life,”
Paul speaks to men, but he says something so important here that I want to put aside his commanding men to love their wives and focus on Christ’s love of the Church. Christ loves the Church so very much that He gives Himself for it. And, in giving Himself for it, He makes the Church — that’s you and me — holy. Christ makes the Church holy by “cleansing it with the washing of water, in the Word of Life.”
Yes, Christ is an example for holy living. But Christ is also the cause of holiness. Without Christ’s sacrifice, holiness can not exist in the Church.
“Therefore be ye perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5: 48)
As many parents know, provoking a child is not a good idea. Children are notoriously incapable of handling parents’ emotional outbursts in that children barely handle their own emotions. A screaming parent is likely to trigger a scream in return. Paul, who is not a father, writes:
“And, [ye] fathers, do not ye provoke your sons to wrath; but nourish ye them in the teaching and chastising of the Lord.”
Recall how the Lord Jesus teaches in the synagogue at twelve — He teaches with authority. Recall how the Lord chastises the woman at the well — He chastises with gentleness and even good humor.
Jesus nourishes; and gains obedience and loyalty through love.