George MacDonald on "The Temptation in the Wilderness"


#1

Most of GMacD’s preceding sermon (from Unspoken Sermons vol. 1), on “The Heart With The Treasure”, can be found here on the boards. (Or, go here for a list of links for directly accessing all his published material for free from an American publisher, or to buy some nice hardback copies.)

Today’s excerpt (catch up from Jun 20):


Is Jesus God or What?
#2

Today’s excerpt (catching up from Jun 21):


#3

Today’s excerpt (catching up from Jun 22):


#4

Today’s excerpt (Jun 23):


#5

Dang, catching up again… :mrgreen: (But I’m not complaining. ‘Work’ work pays the bills.)

Excerpt originally intended for June 24:

Sidenote: personally, and very much apart from the usual preference among presenters, I much prefer Luke’s ordering; not least because it seems so anticlimactic yet without obvious explanation, that on text critical principles this weighs toward originality. Readers curious for how the Temple-jump temptation can be read as a thematically fitting climax to the temptations, can read my harmonization chapter here; the temptation scenes are first. I especially recommend reading the comments for notes on why I went the way I did, however.)


#6

Excerpt originally intended for June 25:


#7

Excerpt originally intended for June 26:

My own note: obviously, stones change into bread, too, through natural processes, or at least into grains that may be “rubbed together with the hands” and eaten, as from a field. But MacD’s other points hold well.


#8

Excerpt originally intended for June 27:


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Excerpt originally intended for June 28:


#10

Today’s excerpt (June 29):

God knows, I have often been in much the same situation, in pain…


#11

Yesterday’s excerpt (June 30):


#12

Today’s excerpt:


#13

Today’s excerpt:

I will add here that this has been personally one of the hardest and most necessary lessons of my own life; one I have only even now begun fitfully to have some success in truly applying. I can see the reason in it clearly enough, but my pain keeps distracting me–the pain of my selfishness, not the pain of God’s punishment on my selfishness, which though itself is necessary in my case is really very secondary to the goal of God in my life: that I should be a righteous and faithful man, to God and to all the ones He loves (which is all creation). I am only very slowly becoming someone other than a man who would change stones to bread to feed myself…

MacD will be having much more to say throughout his volumes, about this principle of asking in prayer “what would You have me to do?”


#14

Today’s excerpt:


#15

Today’s excerpt:


#16

Today’s excerpt:

As a sidenote, I observe that in the paragraph ending “all is blackness”, MacD tacitly and in an untechnical way affirms the positive aseity doctrine that the very self-existence of God Himself depends on the unity of the Father and the Son in fulfilling fair-togetherness–and first, to each other. If the Son rebels against the Father, it is the end of everything with no recourse.

Not that Satan would have wanted that; but he has convinced himself that he “can be like the Most High” and so can continue in existence “apart from God”. Once an entity has convinced himself of this, it is no far step to “Look! Here is the heir!–come, let us murder him and have the vineyard for ourselves!” The only bar would be an acknowledgment, grudging though it is, of greater power. Notably, Satan does not challenge the Son directly by force, but tries other forms of the old temptation: to schism loyalty from the Father. Should the Son ever fall, then God would cease to exist and, from Satan’s perspective, the game is won.

It should also be noted that from the perspective of entities who have willfully shut their eyes and stopped their ears, all that would seem to perceptively remain of their contact with God would be power-effects, especially the Holy Spirit testifying against them: perceived as a limitless ocean of fire, perhaps. But a mere power-effect could be outlasted perhaps if the One producing the power-effect would cease to exist. Consequently, the death of the Son would seem a lot like victory to rebel angels: God just died, right? And they’re still going! VICTORY!! All they must do now is outlast the providence of the fire-effect, or at worst tolerate it forever. Resurrection?–feh, some kind of charade, played by the loyalists: who barely even dare to capitalize on the attempt!

Every once in a while the truth may occur to them, or be forced rudely upon them; at which they have yet another opportunity to repent and sorrow and be healed. But at which they also have another opportunity to squint their eyes and ears tighter.

(It is no coincidence that the demons in my novels are typically working along this line… :wink: )


#17

Today’s excerpt:


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Today’s excerpt:


#19

Today’s excerpt (next to last for this sermon):


#20

Today’s excerpt (finale for this sermon):

Next sermon: The Cry From The Cross


George MacDonald on "The Cry From the Cross"