Monday, August 30, 2010

Isaiah 63:17, the Active Decree of Reprobation

"O LORD, why do you make us wander from Your ways and harden our heart, so that we fear You not? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage."

I am not sure which of the doctrines of grace are most hated by the lovers of free will: reprobation or particular atonement.

The doctrine of reprobation is the biblical understanding that God actively hardens the hearts of some, to the glory of His justice. We see it in the verse above. While this quote is from the ESV, it is closely parallel to other Protestant translations, such as the KJV and NASB. Young's Literal Translation reads, "Why causest Thou us to wander, O Jehovah, from Thy ways? Thou hardenest our heart from Thy fear. Turn back for Thy servants' sake, The tribes of Thine inheritance."

However, opposition to it is so strong that other translations avoid such wording. For example, in the God's Word Translation, the verse reads, "O LORD, why do You let us wander from Your ways and become so stubborn that we are unable to fear You? Return for the sake of Your servants. They are the tribes that belong to You." In the New Living Translation, the first sentence reads, "LORD, why have You allowed us to turn from Your path?" Notice the change in wording: "let us" and "allowed us."

Notice how the more-literal translations give active verbs, "make us wander" and "harden our heart." In contrast, the looser translations water it down to "let us wander" or "allowed us to turn." The pride of the human heart turns them from biblical truth to self-empowering error.

I say, Let God speak, and all men keep silent!

1 comment:

James M. Lawson said...

Yes! Must definitely agree! I am a former Salvation Army officer and former liberal seminary instructor... God saved me after and revealed this truth to me from His Holy Word as well, creating the fear of Him required for the beginning of wisdom. A good cross ref. for this is found in Is 45:7, where God testifies Himself that this is true, creating light AND darkness, good AND evil (Hebrew word: ra, actual, moral evil). God isn't evil to create and to be in full control of evil. He, again, glorifies Himself with it, crushing it and punishing those who are it.
See our paper on the subject:
Thank you! [: )