Free Offer of a False God (Full Address of the Texts)

Watts quotes the verse –
Psalm 34.8: O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him

What is the context of this verse?

Psalm 34:4-7
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 THOSE WHO LOOK TO HIM are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps
around THOSE WHO FEAR HIM, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, YOU HIS SAINTS,
for those who fear him have no lack!

This passage is clearly, CLEARLY not addressed to everyone. Rather, it is addressed exclusively to those who fear God, to those saints who are poor and in need of His deliverance. Clearly, Watts has sought to do damage to the Word of God by deliberately twisting the context of this passage in an effort to make it assert something it clearly does not.

Watts quotes the verse –
Proverbs 1.24: ‘I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.’

What is the context of this passage?

Proverbs 1
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
6 to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
9 for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.

Obviously, the teacher is instructing his son.  He is not directing his instructions to everyone, but rather exclusively to his son.

The teacher continues –

20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

Now, unless one is intending to assert some foolishness about free will, one will have to confess that the teacher here is NOT telling his son that wisdom was offered to all men, but some men, by their own free will, turned it down. No. Rather, the teacher is saying that all men were COMMANDED to listen to wisdom’s reproof, but the simple refused; therefore, wisdom is going to laugh at their destruction. One does not offer reproof.  Ask any parent whether reproof is an offer.

Watts quotes the verse –
Isaiah 55.1: ‘Come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’

What is the context of this verse?

Isaiah 55
come to the waters;
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,

6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

12 “For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

Come everyone who thirsts. It doesn’t say come everyone. Rather, it specifies those who thirst. As Christ said, “I did not come for the well, but for the sick.” Not everyone thirsts. Not everyone is poor in spirit. Or at least, not everyone thinks they are poor and thirsty.

Notice that the Lord tells these poor and thirsty folks that He has made an everlasting covenant with them. Is Watts really trying to tell us that God’s everlasting covenant is with everyone, even those who are predestined to eternal perdition? How could it be, when the text says, “I have glorified you”?!

Look at verse 11.
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

How can an offer that is sure to be rejected by at least half the hearers not come back empty? How can it not have accomplished its purpose, if the reason God sent it in the first place was to offer salvation to everyone who hears it?

The COMMAND to believe the gospel most certainly does go out to everyone. But God’s purpose is to use that command to harden the hearts of the non-elect, and to open the hearts of His elect. This is what the Psalm clearly demonstrates.

Watts quotes the verse –
Isaiah 65.1-2: ‘I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people.

The Spirit Himself interprets this particular verse for us, in Romans 10 and 11.

Romans 10:17-21 – Romans 11:1-10
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”

19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

“I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” 4 But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. 7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8 as it is written,

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that would not see
and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”

9 And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
and bend their backs forever.”

The nation of Israel was not founded upon an offer. It was founded upon a command!

Exodus 19:4-5 4 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine.

That covenant typified Christ. The Tent of Meeting and all its instruments of worship foreshadowed Christ. But only the elect saw Christ in the sacrifices and in the instruments of worship. Everyone else in Israel beheld only bloody sacrifices that stole the best of their flock and a law that restricted them and made them to stumble. THE SAME COVENANT WHICH WAS LIFE TO THE ELECT, WAS MADE DEATH TO THE NON-ELECT! Romans 11:7 says this! “What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened.”

So God was not holding His hands out in a gesture of offer. Rather, He was holding His hands out in command! Obey My covenant! This is the same effect we see today with the preaching of the gospel. See my previous comment. The gospel command goes out to everyone, and it hardens the non-elect and opens the hearts of the elect. Isaiah 65 is repeating Isaiah 55. But of course, if we’re going to ignore the Spirit’s interpretation of Isaiah 65, then we can pretty much say it means whatever we want it to mean.

About David Bishop

Gospel of Grace Church
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One Response to Free Offer of a False God (Full Address of the Texts)

  1. Pingback: The Free Offer of a False God | Cornbread & Bourbon

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