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De Moor IV:45: God's Unfailing Truth and Faithfulness

But, although this Truth of God implies the Infallibility of the Word revealed by Him; yet it does not likewise imply the Infallibility of Human Reason or Perception. If you should say, Reason is from God.

Responses: 1. God is to be contemplated here, not only as Creator, but at the same time as Judge, who in the very creation of the soul inflicts upon the same punishment because of Adam’s sin. 2. Reason, with respect to its act, does not exert itself without the cooperation of fallen man.

But, if God by His Veracity is never able to reveal anything false, it follows of itself that He is also never able to promise or threaten anything false: but this Veracity of God in His threats and promises is specifically called Constancy, and with respect to His confirmed Promises yet even more specifically Fidelity and Faithfulness. That Constancy and Faithfulness of God is further asserted, α. Through the Name attributed to God, the God of Truth, אֱלֹהֵי אָמֵן, Isaiah 65:16, indeed, through the Proper Name of God, יְהוָה/Jehovah, which also includes the Immutable Constancy of God in keeping His Promises and all His words, as it was seen in § 7 of this Chapter. β. Through the denial of Repentance to God, although we saw the same sometimes ascribed to Him Anthropopathically, § 26, 36, Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29, according to the observation of the Most Illustrious SCHULTENS related above in § 31, the consummate or purest and most sincere Truth of Israel does not lie, neither will He repent: etc. γ. Through the assertion of His Immutability, Malachi 3:6. δ. Through the Oaths often added to the words, Hebrews 6:17. ε. Through the Event confirming the promises and threats. ϛ. Through express testimonies, Romans 3:3, with Faithfulness also conjoined with Righteouseness, 1 John 1:9; indeed, with Righteousness denoting Faithfulness, and expressly posited in the place of the latter, Nehemiah 9:8; Psalm 31:1. Certainly God would be unjust against Himself, if He should deny His own Veracity by promises and threats unconfirmed.

David Kimchi

Neither is it to be Objected against this Righteousness of Faithfulness in God, that sometimes His Words appear not to be fulfilled. 1. For, sometimes the Fulfillment of the divine words does not so much fail, as is wisely deferred. 2. Sometimes also the Event does not follow after God’s promises and threats, not as though God’s Word failed; but because of some Condition added explicitly or implicitly. So it stands with all the promises, having regard to temporal life and bodily things, given by God to the pious; compare 1 Timothy 4:8. These promises are fulfilled, as far as this is able to serve the utmost glorification of God, and to be advantageous to the pious for salvation. Similarly, under the threat of Judgment made to the Ninevites and others, a tacit condition ought to be understood, which is found elsewhere expressed, Jeremiah 18:8. KIMCHI, demonstrating great understanding, observes this on Jonah 3:10,וינחם האלהים / כי כל דבריו שאמר להרע לבני אדם בתנאי אם לא ישובו / אבל אם ישובו יסלח. וזו המדה היא ממדותיו ית כמו שאמר בתורה. וכן אמר ירמיהו רגע אדבר וגו״ וכן יחזקאל ובשוב רשע מרשעתו וגו״, and it repented God: for all His words, with which He says that He is bring evil upon the sons of men, are with a condition, namely, if they should not repent: but if they repent, He shall pardon. And this condition is one of the conditions of the blessing of God, just as He says in the Law. Thus Jeremiah says, At one moment I might speak, etc. Thus Ezekiel says, And when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness, etc.: Jeremiah 18:7, 8; Ezekiel 18:27: compare WITSIUS’ Miscellaneorum Sacrorum, tome I, book I, chapter XV, § 41-46, pages 155-159.

As far as God’s Righteousness manifests itself in Words, God ought to be acknowledged as Blameless in all His Precepts, which we, attending carefully, discern to be ever altogether fair and decent, and they are not ever able to be opposed to God’s natural Holiness and the obligations flowing from it. Hence it is said in Nehemiah 9:13, Thou (Jehovah God) gavest to them right judgments, and true laws, and good statutes and commandments; and in Romans 7:12, ὁ μὲν νόμος ἅγιος, καὶ ἡ ἐντολὴ ἁγία καὶ δικαία καὶ ἀγαθή, the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Nevertheless, Precepts are given that do not have such a close tie with the Divine Nature that God is not able sometimes to dispense with them, as, for example, it was done in the τεκνοθυσίᾳ/child-offering commanded to Abraham,[1] and perhaps the spoiling of the Egyptians commanded to the Israelites:[2] in which manner the Lawgiver still was not commanding anything indecent; if indeed He is the Lord of life and death, to whom it pertains to deliver sinful man to death whenever He pleases; and it comes to the same thing, whether He does this by sending death immediately, or by the ministery of another man intervening. To Him also belongs the world and all its fullness,[3] the possession of which He is able to distribute according to His own will to His creatures: now, by His Righteousness He was unwilling that the Israelites be defrauded of the reward of their hard labor, which they had furnished for the pleasure of the Egyptians: compare below, Chapter XI, § 28, 29. Compare the four Dissertations written for the prize of the Stolpian Institute on the Question, Whether God exercises His Legislative Power by mere Will; or in such a way that Human Reason might observe the Perfection of the Divine Laws? published in the year 1770.

But Dominical Righteousness pertains, not only to Words, but also to Deeds and the Works both of Creation, and of Providence, and of Grace, in all which God is altogether beyond Reproach, as it is declared in various expressions, abstract and concrete, negative and positive, in Deuteronomy 32:4. So that, if anything among the Works of God appear to us to be liable to criticism, all that arises from our ignorance, who do not rightly apprehend the connections of all things, and the ordering of the same toward their ends.

[1] Genesis 22.

[2] Exodus 3:21, 22; 12:35, 36.

[3] See Psalm 24:1; 50:12; 89:11.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
03 de mai. de 2019

Westminster Confession of Faith I:4: ' The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God [who is truth itself] the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it as the Word of God.'

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