“A Time For Waterfall Eyes” : A Response

Reed DePace, moderator and contributor to Lane Keister’s Green Baggins (Reformed Theology Blog), recently posted a short article titled A Time For Waterfall Eyes addressing the need for tears of repentance.  I have watched, waiting for comments, and after a couple weird ones, I think they closed comments on that post.  (Since, comments are again active, though they have no trackback link here…  disallowed as usual?)   I was wrestling with a response to Reed’s very valid questions and since I cannot now post a pithy comment or two, I have decided to post a more lengthy response here…

First, Reed’s complete article:

A Time For Waterfall Eyes

Posted by Reed DePace

Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! (Jer 9:1)

I’m beginning to weep and mourn for both my Country and Church. In the midst of all our energy given to discussion and debates on these things, maybe what we need to do is hit pause and begin to ask God one simple question, “Why?”

After all, He is the sovereign One whose hand is behind all these things.

And maybe, if we listen to the Spirit respond through the word, we will give ourselves over to the only thing that offers any real hope: repentance.

SSM WH rainbow

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1Pe 4:17)

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2Ch 7:14)

We have become like those over whom you have never ruled, like those who are not called by your name. (Isa 63:19)

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: … a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; (Ecc 3:1-4)

In that day the Lord GOD of hosts called for weeping and mourning, for baldness and wearing sackcloth; (Isa 22:12)

“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. (Joe 2:12-13)

Reed’s simple question is “Why?” and the answer is contained within his post over and over.

Before spelling it out, I need to share some quick background information:

I was a Reformed pastor in a conservative Presbyterian denomination, grew up in the church that Lane currently serves and during/after seminary I served as an elder in the same church while under care of the PCA.  Much of my family still attends that church.  I have dear friends and brothers in the Reformed ‘camp,’ and I occasionally interact in the comments section on Green Baggins, though they largely disagree with me and regard me as apostate.  That said, I love and pray for them hoping that we might actually have an honest discussion looking at the whole of Scripture.  The point is, I have walked in Reed’s moccasins and know very well the paradigm he speaks from.

All that said, I offer a response to Reed from the very verses he quotes:

You ask, “Why?,” and I presume you want an answer, though this will be very difficult to hear.

You correctly and compassionately state,

…He is the sovereign One whose hand is behind all these things.

And maybe, if we listen to the Spirit respond through the word, we will give ourselves over to the only thing that offers any real hope: repentance.

So, let’s look at the verses you selected.

Psalm 119:136 says, “My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.”

Does the Word of God stand forever?  Does it mean radically different things to different generations, or should we look at the context of the original giving to rightly understand it?

“…keep your law.”      שָׁמְרו  תוֹרָתֶךָ    The psalmist invests 176 stanzas in extolling the wonder and beauty of God’s Law.  In this very verse he specifically refers to it as the Torah, and being written 1000 before Messiah Immanuel’s incarnation, the author had zero designs on any understanding other than the “Law of Moses” or the Pentateuch.  And, he rightly uses the word ‘shamar’ meaning ‘keep, guard, observe, etc.’  This not ‘observe’ as in ‘I see,’ but rather, ‘observe’ as in ‘DO!’  Guarding and keeping is an outward act, not mental assent or simply studying the symbolism connected.

The psalmist weeps because people are not being obedient to the Torah.  All of it!  There is zero shadow of picking and choosing anywhere in Psalm 119 or, indeed, anywhere ever in Scripture.  The Law of God is never subdivided by Him into different categories such as ‘moral, ceremonial and civil.’.  That idea is entirely a construct of man to create loopholes releasing them from obligation.

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1Pe 4:17)

Where in Scripture has God ever judged obedience?  Israel was only ever judged when they broke or disobeyed God’s Torah.  Obedience ALWAYS brings blessing!  Read Psalm 1 and note who is blessed.  Psalm 19:7ff details the great benefit of the whole of God’s Law.  Psalm 119 is a magnificent pointer back to the Torah.  It is the gospel of God wherein righteousness is revealed and the standards resulting in judgment are based.  Jesus rightly exampled it not so we can eject/ignore parts, but so we can imitate in obedience and walk as He walked. (And, He is our atonement when we fail.)

Reed, your next verse, and a popular one, is 2 Chronicles 7:14,

If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

The context of this passage is judgment as a result of breaking the Torah.  God says, “(If they) turn from their wicked ways…”  What is the author’s understanding of ‘wicked ways’ in that passage?  What did the Author mean?  Does He mean something different for us, or does His Word change?  What are they to turn to?  The only honest answer is Torah!  All of it!

‘Wicked ways’ as defined through our Scripture is breaking God’s everlasting covenant.  In fact, Isaiah 24 tells us exactly why the Lord judges the earth (and this country),

The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws (Torah), violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.

In another verse you cite Isaiah 63:19 which says ‘we have become like those over whom you have never ruled…’  What are His rules?  Have we truly been subject to them?  Where does He define how a kingdom of priests and a holy nation act?

In your final cite, quoting Joel 2:12-13, we see the Lord in an eschatological passage saying, ‘return to Me with all your heart…’  What would the original hearer have been returning to?  What does Scripture say is to be written on our hearts…  in the NEW covenant?  What will the Messiah teach from Zion at his coming in the future?  The answer to each of those passages is the most feared word in Christendom: Torah!

Scripture answers the ‘why’ question over and over.  I recommend two other questions:

  • What are we doing that we should not be doing?
  • What are we not doing that we should be doing?

Each in turn:

What is the Church doing that it should not be doing?

What is the Church NOT doing that it should be doing?

  • How many times in Scripture are we told that the Feasts of the Lord are to be observed ‘in all your dwelling places, throughout your generations, forever?’  Prophecy, in multiple places tells us these will be observed in the future….  Disobedience invokes curses on the land.
  • If we believe the rainbow is a covenant sign forever, why do we not believe the Sabbath is a covenant sign forever?  Why can’t we come to grips with ‘throughout your generations as a perpetual covenant?’
  • Why do we ignore God’s clear dietary instructions that HE says make us holy?

Reed, this is hard stuff to process because it demands that you set aside commentaries written by men, step out of your theological box and truly ask our Father to show you the truth!  The fact is, the repentance you seek runs far, far deeper than you can imagine.  There is much our Father is calling us into account for.

Reed, I challenge you.  I dare you to truly investigate what the expectations of our King are.  Email me. I am happy to talk on the phone and discuss further.

You have asked the question, now I pray you have the temerity to wrestle with the very difficult answer.

Shalom.

About Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ natsab.wordpress.com Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!
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9 Responses to “A Time For Waterfall Eyes” : A Response

  1. Laura Jarvis says:

    Very good post, speaking the truth in and out of a heart of love for our brothers and sisters. Thank you for your courage and warning. May we all take heed in this late hour. Another very somber and serious verses to consider that weren’t mentioned and may want to be looked at are in .Ezekiel 9:4-11, those waterfall eyes are very important to have with all the abominations that are taking place within the midst of us and increasing at a rapid pace.

    In addition, that impacted me some time ago when I read the book The Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn, maybe others may want to ponder as well, is a passage in the end of the book where The “prophet”, in this allegory, has the journalist, Noriel Kaplan, read 2Chronicles Chapter 7:14, which says “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land”.
    Afterwards Noriel asks the “prophet” “what about those called by His name”, “the believers”? Do they also need to repent? The “prophet” says, they need to be the first to repent. From what Noriel asks? The “prophet” answers, “From their apathy, from their complacency…their compromises with darkness…their omissions…their serving of other gods…their sins committed in secret…their withholding of life…and their failure to fulfill their call.”
    Their call, the Noriel asks? And the “prophet” answers. “To be the light of the world”.

    May the light shine brighter and brighter until the perfect day !
    Mathew 5:14, Proverbs 4:18, Philippians 2:14-15, John 8:12

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mike says:

    We don’t need to keep the ceremonial or the civil law. We are under grace not under the Law. We keep the spirit not the letter: the letter kills but the spirit gives life. The Law is legalism and bondage. Jesus kept the law so we don’t have too. The law was for those Jews. No one can keep the law fully so why try. Jesus did away with the Law. The Law was a burden. Did I leave anything out. To me that pretty much sums up my Christian friends excuses. I would like to read Reed DePlace rebuttal. I still can not believe you got out of that ticket. He is absolutely right that we all need to repent and we should be weeping at this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete Rambo says:

      Those are most of the false excuses I’ve heard, often drawn from verses ripped out of context or supported with logical fallacies.

      Jeremiah 16:19ff is right. Our fathers inherited lies and things of no profit.

      It is time, like we are told in Jeremiah 6:16-19 to seek the ancient paths and find the Torah and we’ll find ‘rest unto our souls.’

      Liked by 1 person

    • Julian says:

      I see the word legalism and had just a few thoughts on the subject. Where people go wrong is when the term “legalism” is applied to believers/christians who desire to OBEY all the commandments of God. At this point, salvation has already been obtained by the accused, so “legalism” is a moot issue.

      From the point of salvation onward, a disciple is expected to follow the Master. Jesus told His disciples:

      Luke 6:40
      “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”

      And even Paul says:
      1 Corinthians 11:1
      “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”
      After salvation, we are to continuously work toward being “perfectly trained,” acting like (and obeying) our Messiah at every opportunity. Does this mean that we will be perfect? Of course not, but our path should be brighter and brighter with each passing day.

      Proverbs 4:18
      “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”

      2 Corinthians 3:18
      “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

      It’s when we start to make excuses for our sin, carelessly tossing around words like “legalism” or “grace” in an attempt soothe our guilty conscience, that things go awry.

      Sin is sin.
      1 John 3:4
      “Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.”
      Is it “legalism” to want to obey God? Is it “legalism” to want to see others obey God? Our answer should be a resounding “NO!” Just my thoughts on the subject of legalism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pete Rambo says:

        Julian,

        Thank you so much for this excellent thought. I read it late last night and again this morning. Well said!!

        Shalom and blessings in Messiah!!

        Like

  3. Well said brother!!!
    My thoughts exactly Pete when we spoke the other day. It’s so sad to see folks so plainly blinded to the truth of the freedom “in” Torah, not the bondages ” under” it.

    Shalom,
    Trav.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Mariah says:

    My Heart aches for the returning of the Messiah! this world is so lost… why can’t people see the truth? Yeshua is real. what he says is true! we need to keep our eyes on Yahweh!!! I pray Yahweh will have mercy on me and those that love him and keep his commandments! I am not perfect. I make mistakes but by the grace of Yahweh he has given me second and third chances! 🙂 ♡ I L♡VE My Messiah!!! 🙂 Yahweh bless Mariah Kay

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Your post reminds me to be bold, but gentle. It is tough (for me) when asked by my ‘christian’ friends who are serving pulled pork at a picnic as to why i won’t eat the pork. Do i respond, “because it is against Yah’s law for His children”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete Rambo says:

      Hmmmm.. Maybe not quite that confrontationally… LOL.

      Diet is not generally my first topic… Still, if I had to go that route I would explain that I choose to walk as Messiah walked and He ate clean. (Or, tell them I am allergic to fire and swords… Isaiah 66:16-17)

      Liked by 2 people

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