OPPOSING ONESELF (Part 4)
2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; As we consider the problem of opposing oneself, we pause here upon a sobering point. The person who opposes himself may only be delivered from his contradiction "if God peradventure will give [him] repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." The acknowledging of the truth is entirely by the discretion of Almighty God Who reserves the right to speak parables (dark sayings, per Psa 78:2) to those to whom it is not given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, "...lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted..." (Mat 13:10-15). "Light is sown for the righteous..." (Psa 97:11), but dark hearts are accommodated with dark utterances and the very truth is darkness to the wicked: "the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not" (Joh 1:5). If the Lord should withhold repentance to the acknowledging of the truth by way of an imposed judgmental blindness (as He has done with the non-elect portion of natural Israel, Rom 11:7-10), He is altogether just in doing so and if we find fault with Him for it, the Spirit snaps back, "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?..." (Rom 9:20). The proper attitude towards such sovereignty and discriminating mercies is not one of misgiving but of thanksgiving: Mat 11:25-27 (25) 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. (26) Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. (27) 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. Perhaps it was with such things in mind that the poet wrote: "The vision of Christ that thou dost see Is my vision's greatest enemy. Thine is the friend of all Mankind, Mine speaks in parables to the blind." (William Blake, The Everlasting Gospel) It is also to be observed from our text that repentance obviously precedes acknowledgment of the truth. Indeed, the acknowledging of the truth is "after godliness" (Tit 1:1). Malice, guile, hypocrisies, etc. must be laid aside, sins broken off by righteousness (as Daniel so eloquently put it to Nebuchadnezzar, Dan 4:27) before one can benefit from the sincere milk of the word (1Pe 2:1-2). "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (Jam 1:21). The very elect are hindered from the acknowledgment of the truth if they are not fully submitted to God: a vail is upon their heart. But bless Him! For, "when it (the heart) shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away" (2Co 3:16). Let the prayer of the righteous, humble heart ever be, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psa 139:23-24), and "turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented..." (Jer 31:18-19). Then the darkness and self-opposition shall give way to the acknowledging of the truth. "Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness" (Jer 13:16).