English translations

4. Moschiach in modern times


Moschiach * modern times * science * pride * modesty * idolatry *


  Present-day people feel somewhat embarrassed at the Messiah. So-called Christians try to make him appear as a historic figure, who led an exemplary life and who left a moral creed to the world. In this sense he is one of the main, perhaps the main, historic figure. But he remains a man from the past; a man whom we nowadays may judge; we may even be willing to judge him favourably. This implies that we feel authorized to give our opinion on somebody as the Messiah. Modern Jews suffer from the same fault: They do not want to see the Messiah as a special figure. They speak of a certain time, when the world will come to peace, as the time of the Messiah. Or they think that some day – in this case a day in the future – a special figure will arise, who through his wisdom will set the world right again.


Both of these opinions actually come to the same thing, viz. they make of the Messiah a human figure, whom, as we are used to with all humans, judge. Especially in modern times man cannot bear the thought of being helped by an external factor. This attitude is fundamentally nothing but the worst kind of atheism. It is true that people are reluctant to admit that they deny God the honour of leading the world, but they make this guidance so abstract and so far away in upper regions, that they are not bothered by it, so to speak. Leadership on this earth, on the other hand, people want to retain in their own hands, and even very firmly so. If the Divine guidance from Heaven should reveal itself on earth through the Messiah this would be a kind of interference in our sphere from upper regions; and although hardly anybody dares state that he is opposed to this kind of interference, in practice people mostly do not tolerate it. They think the Messiah is nice to talk or preach about, but they do not feel inclined towards daily reckoning with Him in such a way that every effort is aimed at Him, whether they – as Christians - see the Messiah in the past or – as Jews – see Him in the future.


This attitude towards the Divine interference, the actual interference on earth, is the same attitude as man’s attitude towards the Tree of knowledge in the very first beginning. It is not tolerated that something is reserved to God, especially the standard, the judgement about good and evil, positive and negative, about contrasts, etc. But man wants this standard for himself, he wants to judge and it is precisely this assumption of judgement to him that brought death and suffering. And thus man is always – sometimes more, sometimes less – inclined to assuming this judgement to himself, to feeling, somewhere deep inside: “I do this, I have achieved this, and although there may well be a Divine guidance somewhere, all the things that I do here, are done by me.” In this way deliverance by God is rejected, and man is only content with delivery by himself, or even by other people, since a human being is something which we consider equal, which we may criticize and which we can understand. We do not want to be in this helpless and humble position in which we are judged without being able to exert much influence. Already during the desert trip the people are told that they will inherit the land not because they are so worthy and so good, but only because God wants it this way, because God promised this to the patriarchs in former times; a promise which the people in the desert and in Egypt have actually nothing directly to do with. Indeed they are told not to imagine that they get the land because they are so much better and therefore deserve it. This inheriting the country is moving on from this to a better world; therefore this moving on does not at all depend on our high level; on the contrary, we are moving in spite of the fact that we have even a very low level.


But man does not want it this way. He makes alliances, Leagues of nations, United Nations, etc., etc. in order to deliver the world by these means; and the more man wants to deliver himself, the more in fact he eats from the tree of knowledge and the further he seems to remove the world from its purpose.


That is why the fact that the world is delivered and has been delivered has nothing to do with the achievements of man, but is simply the plan for the world, which man with his human logic cannot understand anyway; the only way he can understand is by renouncing this human logic and accepting the Divine standards as the only right and possible standards. Only then will he understand, with much stronger and much more profound logic, how and why everything is as it is; then there will not be the least doubt. But it is indeed this step, giving up one’s own throne, which for most people is a step too far.


Translation Mrs. Duynstee



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