Genesis 34-35 / Psalm 37 / Matthew 22
The days of the blameless are known to the LORD, and their inheritance will endure forever.
Who receives an inheritance except a son, so the sons of God are blameless which is something that David knew because he was a son of God. His position as king was not as important as him being chosen to know the Father, as a true son whose heart was turned toward His way and away from the animal. That is the highest a human can go in this natural existence, despite all of the lies surrounding the value the humans put in the natural and all things relating to what they love, what they run after and get for themselves to insulate them from their simple and temporary fate. The sons' existences are stripped of those layers of the animal's insulation they have accumulated and so become simple in their pursuit for what is revealed to them just a little. Then their lives become focused upon getting that one thing while everything else becomes of little consequence compared to the treasure of that revelation of the Father.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
The purity of the heart is in their search for what matters to them when the Father is revealed. Before that, they are much the same as all the other wild animals running about, searching for more of what they consider valuable to wrap themselves in the insulation that appeases their need to feel like they're surviving adequately, physically, emotionally, mentally, etc. Purity of heart is an internal honesty that is increasingly gained in those who are being transformed—kind of a funneling and constricting of what they love and run after. When they were thoroughly human they learned what to place value on and run after from the humans around them, who taught them what was valuable and what wasn't and they became indoctrinated into that system because it was all they had, and all they knew. When the Father's reality and choice is revealed to the son, the transformation of the new covenant is like a pyramid turned sideways clockwise, with the big end at the left which is all the things of the former life that were once so valuable to get and secure for themselves.
Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.
At the right is the tip of the pyramid, which narrows to a point. That which the sons learn to love and run after becomes increasingly smaller as they understand they can't carry all those things with them on the path that goes to the Father. Before, when there was no real truth about anything (though they were looking), all they could do was adopt what the animals taught them was the right things to wrap around themselves for skin and insulation—anything to keep them from being exposed as naked and alone. The secret revelation of their true Father is giving them life that they immediately recognize as not natural, and because they are allowed to become mature animals before it is given, they are able to know that they've spent their lives looking for what is true and haven't been able to find it in anything they've ever seen or experienced. So when He comes they know that what has happened is true, and they have to choose because they can't have both.
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
The lie is that we can have both, even though the words of the Son run contrary. The abandoning of the old way to run after the new is not giving up what the "bad people" do, but what all the people do. It is giving up the life of the human animal that we took into ourselves when we became that mature animal who learned to carve out its way in the hostile world full of other animals. The path to the Father, which only they can see, is the life of the son of God. Nothing else matters. That is the process of being transformed from a dead animal into a living son, to having his heart made pure—a singularity of what he loves and runs after.
Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Our delight lies in that purity, not that we have money, safety, acceptance, respect, honor, positions, children, intelligence, beauty or anything else the humans love and run after (wrap themselves with); but that the Father's intention to remember us lives inside our heart, and we know it is alive and growing. The giving up of things we learned to love and try to secure for ourselves isn't because of anything except helping that process of transformation, so those things aren't allowed to live in our heart—a moving toward that purity of heart and singularity of purpose. It is the same process that the Son kept referring to, losing our lives (what we love and are defined by, our identity) so that we can gain the life that is truly life (what Jesus gained as the firstborn Son, and then made possible for the rest of the sons—us).
Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;
The sons will be tempted to fret because of the circumstances surrounding them. They have to remember that the humans are the wicked because they are ruled by a nature that is hostile to God—even those who might seem good, because they are ruled by the animal nature which keeps them from separated from the good, which is knowing the way to the Father. If we continue to have our lives all bound up with them in purpose and actuality, then we will be at the mercy of the reinforcement of the way of the animal that relationship brings. All they can do is reinforce what is evil in us, what the sons must move away from in order to come near their Father.
"Come to the wedding banquet," said the king (the Father). But they (the humans) paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.
The field is where the humans work, the physical land that defines them as an animal who is bound to the land, the earth and eventually the grave forever as they become integrally bound to the natural creation by that process of decaying back into the earth which will hold them. The business is what the humans love, how they survive better and what they run after. They learn to love so many things, which keep them busy all their lives. Running after the truth about finding the way to the Father is the last thing they want because it's not valuable to them like all the other things that contribute to their survival. The idea of finding God must always be just a conceptual thing, secondary to what they're always so consumed with—the things of the natural, what the humans love.
The meek will inherit the land
and enjoy great peace.
Jesus knew this Psalm, which shows in his own words. David may have been thinking of Israel when he wrote it, but the words he wrote were as directed by God's helpers for the Son's sake, to teach him about the secret life that was in him and what he was for—a living sacrifice for the sake of the family of God's sons, whom he would save and present to the Father.
The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.
The humans can't teach the sons anything, or deliver them from anything because they don't know anything real, only what they have learned about the natural world they need to control to find their agreement within. They have no knowledge of what's true, nor any power to keep themselves from rotting in the grave and being forgotten by God, though they often claim to be able to control the way to God. They can only reinforce the lies they want the others to believe because that validates their egotistical survival pursuits, and reinforces what they are trying to get for themselves—eternal life, the ultimate form of survival. And the reinforcement of the others helps them to believe what they want to be true. They're too proud to do anything else because they think they must have something because the other humans tell them they do.
The things we should be looking for throughout the text are the hidden things, the intentional copies set up by God, the things He set up and made to be, and the words He preserved by which He taught the Son about His way as opposed to man's way. These are the concepts that formed the consciousness of the Lord and allowed him to know what the Father desired from a son, a member of His true household. The life of the Son of God is the example for all the brothers who would follow him to the Father, not any human.
And God said to Jacob, "Rise, go up to Bethel and dwell there and make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from Esau your brother."
Consider the mind set of Jacob—coming back from Mesopotamia, being greeted warmly by his brother, and already established as a household. He had intentions of settling into the land as Esau had, who had become blessed by God with a lot of material things. He bought a parcel of land, not an unreasonable thing for a man seeking to establish his name do, even thinking that it must have been part of the plan of Abraham's promise—right along on his way to one day becoming the great nation God promised to him, his father and his grandfather.
But the intention of God was different than the earthly mind set Jacob naturally assumed, a condition that holds true for all God's sons because of the way of the natural that still lives in them. He didn't want Jacob to settle in and live peaceably among the Canaanite and Perizzite, buying land and becoming great and prosperous, marrying their women and becoming mixed in with them who weren't the same as God intended the descendents of Abraham to be and remain. He made sure that wouldn't happen by the circumstances surrounding the rape of Dinah and the events that followed—the emotional reaction of his sons—causing him to flee once again (as he had fled before from Esau) to Bethel. The sojourning nature of Jacob, who would ultimately never settle down to live and die in a place he called his home, was the same as Abraham.
It is this connection that Peter picks up as the condition that must be the identifying mark of the true son of God, that of a sojourner in this world—constantly being set apart from it, not being wrapped in the same insulation that the human animal wrap themselves in. It was the condition of the Son, who never considered this world his home, ultimately displayed in his desire to do the will of the Father and die instead of live, by which he overturned the overpowering drive of all the animal to survive at whatever cost, so that the family of his true brothers could survive. That's why it's so important for us to understand the animal nature, that it is the way of man, and it goes against the way and desire of God because its purpose is to keep the animals away from Him. So it works against the sons, which is why they have to claw their way out of the hole of being a dead animal to continue to search for their heritage and inheritance.
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
Why would God want His own sons to be different than all the rest, to be set apart as a holy people for His good purpose? The same question could be asked of Israel, whom He chose as His own, to be holy and blameless in His sight—an honorable and faithful wife of His among all the nations around them. The reasons aren't as important as the fact that He desired it for them, as also He does for us who have been chosen to be set apart as His in this world filled with those who are separated from Him. However, one explanation is because He wants us to live as though we truly believe that this world is not our home, in our hearts and by the way we live. Merely saying that we do, when in reality we don't, is just the inevitable hypocrisy of the animal, the enemy of God.
When we look we actually see another reality working among those who desire to be sons of God and want to assume the role of godly, meek, respectable and good; yet actually can only live as settlers and citizens in this present world. It seems as if they think that the only option available to them is the way of the healthy, normal, responsible and mature man. Like the animals around them, those who can only claim to follow the Lord do not shun the way of man, but embrace it. They dive into the rite of passage as though it were not merely an option, but a prerogative to be gained and celebrated when attained.
I would guess that the community which claims to have exclusive ownership of "the truth" could not keep itself alive if not for its own inbreeding—its ability to churn out new members by way of years of goodly indoctrination which seems on the outside to work pretty well. By the time they are of age, the way of securing a woman, buying a house, securing their good name and career, and raising a family—indeed becoming a fully pledged member of the society of animals who live as if there is no other place to call their home—has fully engulfed them. Sure they might mouth the words of a disciple, but what is the value of words? What's the good of pretending to be meek and accepting, when in facing a crisis they turn into a pack of wild dogs who politely kick the inferior ones out of their midst in the name of protecting their brood, and the pattern of natural family they seem to worship. It is by one's life and actions that tells about the content of his heart. The decisions a man makes, what he runs after—these are what show who he is, as opposed to merely speaking words which change according to his every situation.
The animals who desire to be followers of the Lord but who haven't been called can only attempt to mesh the old life with their conception of what the new must be, according to how they've arranged it. But because they don't have the new life, that isn't even possible. All they can actually do is try to make the old life look like what they think the new life should look like. If they had the new life growing among them, they might understand that the two lives cannot be meshed together—either one has to rule or the other will. It's like a zero-sum game in politics or economics, a situation in which a gain by one side must be matched by a loss by another side.
We who have been given eyes to see have to make a choice for either the old way of the animal, or the new way of God. We cannot have both, and words are cheap. That should create comfort for us, who unlike the others have not been given mere words meant to ratify the covenant between God and His sons. We have a very tangible and powerful kind of collateral from God, a deposit which guarantees the life that God wants us to know we have been given, by which we can base our hope as citizens of another world, while we move away from this one. If it were only words that we possessed to produce our hope, then we would have nothing to hold on to but words, which aren't enough.
Even though the written words have been preserved for us to read, they cannot change us into sons who are clean from the ways of man because of the Teacher, the living word. We can observe this about the animals who claim to have His life, but live like all the others who are living only to die. Mere written words aren't enough to allow us to overcome that very powerful condition of the animal nature that God put in place among men, as powerful and effective as His mighty angel who guards the way to life with the flaming sword. If we only had His written word, we would still undoubtedly live like all the rest of the unclean animals who do not know Him.
We have the living word in us, which is why His life in us is such an incredible gift; imperative actually if we are to be freed from that nature which makes us sons of darkness, unable to see the hidden things. His life, in spirit form, isn't something we can comprehend with our natural mind, because it is not a natural thing. That is why so many expect the spirit of God inside a man to look like this or that, but they're totally wrong because they are trying to define it and comprehend it in natural terms, according to their natural powers of observation and deduction.
Maybe this seems like too much to bear, that it is too hard a thing to not participate in the world as a normal member of society, to not necessarily claim the rights to having a family, but to be regarded as someone whose life amounts to nothing—a solitary dreamer who knows that this world is not his own, who is instead hoping to be a citizen of another world which cannot be seen. But if we cannot see that as what it means to lose our life for the Lord's sake, then we do not have the vision of another, better world, which Jesus had, and we are not worthy to call ourselves his followers and brothers. Nor can we claim the name of a true son of God who knows that He cannot be found in this earthly creation, and loves Him enough to be willing to lose his rights in this world for His sake, so that they can be found in another. Without the vision that only God can give us, there cannot be any hope for another.
Man's way is what Jacob sought to do in his mind, to settle in and become the great nation that God had promised. He had already secured 12 sons, which to the earthly mind of his time would have been a good foundation on which to build up Israel. God's way was something hidden to Jacob, and will be to us too and our earthly disposition to want to live like the humans. However we are different than all the animals, set apart even by the many gifts He is giving us now, and pointing us to something better which cannot be realized in the world.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.