Genesis 48-50 / Psalms 51-52 / Romans 5-6
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
This is the whole deal about what the son's purpose is—not to be good so we can feel righter than those who aren't as good, which brings a kind of egotistical agreement that the animal craves; but to move away from what we hide in our animal hearts so that we can become true in the inner parts and secret places known only to God, so that we can become a child to Him instead of a fearful animal. These are the things that are definitely not known to the humans around him, and most probably not even known to him for a good long while, because that life is all about the hiding, and the convincing even to the self that a certain lie is true so that we can align with the instinct of fear and hiding that drives us because it lives in our little animal hearts.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
The crux of the humans' dilemma is to hide from what's true, what they inherited from the first humans whose first recorded act after they died was to hide from God, because of their new nature, being afraid. That nature is what all the humans have, so thoroughly set into them that they aren't able to detach from it to observe that it's even there, so of course they're not going to be able to move out from under its domination of all that they are, were and ever will be.
I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That is the sinful nature that Paul writes about, what he means by being led by sin and a slave to it—not being one of the "good people" who don't sin—whatever that means because in christian terms it's so abstract and puritanical that it boils down to not being like what the rest of the group has agreed to be like so that they maintain their animal agreement with one another that props up the lie that humans made up long ago that the good people all go to heaven while the bad people go to hell. These are the lies that the humans must create and hold onto as though they were genuine; when it's obvious by the lack of resolve, the conflicting information, the picking and choosing of which words to obey and which to uphold and the general wishy-washiness that what they're so desperately trying to hold onto and control isn't anything except what has been generated from within themselves. This is what they have convinced others is true just because it cannot be proven to the otherwise, and what they're promising these others is something that sits well within the animal because its need to find that animal agreement about how it's going to continue to survive once it cannot survive any longer is significant and strong. The liars get their information from themselves about the way they decide they want the things of their gods to be, which gives them the agreement they desperately need because they can control that.
The sons of God know a different definition of what sin, the sinful nature and being a slave to it actually is, because the information comes from a different place than the humans. What the sons know comes from a secret place because the Father is and always has been secret, hidden from the humans. A reading of the preserved words will show that the humans don't come to God, but He comes to them when He wants to reveal Himself. All the stories of the sons of God that were recorded and preserved reinforce the same principle, that man cannot forge his way to God but can only make up gods after the image of how he wants and needs them to be, for his own good. The living God isn't ever just open to public consumption, to be named and renamed according to man's whims. He is hidden until He reveals Himself to the one(s) of His choosing. He raised up His prophets by whispering in their ears about who He is and what He wants; they do not decide that they are going to become prophets, then do it. The living God raised up Israel; they did not decide that they would become a nation. He raised up David and Samuel, who were given the same revelation and message from Him, about Him—He is hidden from the humans and His way is against their way because they are animals who don't know any better than to just be animals driven by instinct. The sons of the living God, however, cannot be mere animals driven by instinct, which is the definition of the sinful nature for them—being led by whatever craving, lust, need wells up within them like any dumb animal does without even having to think.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
God's sons inherit, because they come from human stock, the same across the board, totally ubiquitous and dominating wild animal nature which lives in the humans for a good reason—to keep them away from God because they're unclean, unaware and dumb—driven by the force of instinct to be and remain the self-loving, self-preserving animals they were meant and will continue to be. Only the sons to whom the Father's reality is revealed are supposed to and are therefore able to find their Father, who otherwise remains hidden and unfound. In the Romans part of the reading Paul is trying to encourage those who lived concurrent with him, a special tiny group of those he believed to be sons, to keep moving toward the Father and His purpose for them. It fits into the larger argument of him trying to convince them not to go back to the law for the salvation they had been chosen to inherit.
There was nothing the law could do about the nature they were born into, what they were being pulled out of (the copy being the Israelites being pulled from Egypt), what he calls sin. Not what the "bad people" do—those who are a threat to the "good people" because they don't lend them the validation and consensus they aim to get from each other—but what all humans are born into because of the curse. The humans don't consider themselves sinful, which is the whole point of the confusion of what happened a couple hundred years later when the Romans confounded the truth by making Jesus a god and wiping out the meaning of everything. Because that one fundamental thing, out from which the whole story flows, was changed into a lie, so the whole thing becomes a lie, unable to be understood because it cannot make sense anymore.
I am about to die, and God will surely single you out and take you up from this land to the land He promised to Isaac and to Jacob. When God indeed singles you out...
Another clue for the sons, about being singled out from all the humans to become something special to God, set apart from all the rest of the humans. The sons are special to God because they are the true sons whom God wants around Him as His family. The natural creation was made in such a way as to reflect that truth, as a clue to how God is. The natural version is only temporary though, because it's just a cheaper imitation of the better thing, that God wants a family of sons, and He wants them to know and love Him. Whatever is of the natural always goes away, because it was only ever meant to be a temporary thing with its infinite seeming little cycles of death overlapping each other, creating the illusion of eternal, never ending. The sons are pulled out of the natural reality (Egypt) and made to become a part of the other secret, hidden reality. One cannot just go there by wishing, or effort. The intention of the Father, to make that one into a son, must be present first.
And Joseph said, "Fear not, for am I instead of God? While you meant evil toward me. God meant it for good, so as to bring about at this very time keeping many people alive. And fear not. I will sustain you and your little ones."
And he comforted them and spoke to their hearts.
Then Jesus said to them, "Fear not. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."
Jesus' identity was based on what he knew about the OT scriptures, as illuminated to him by the life that lived in him to teach him what was true. That is the very condition that the leaders construed as the basis for making him into a god. What it meant was that he was the firstborn Son of God, the head of the family of brothers, the cornerstone of the house where God wants to live. The process was the same in the Lord as it was in Paul, as it must also have been in all of God's sons, because it was the mechanism of the new covenant. It is what leads all the sons to the same place—along that secret path to the Father that isn't available to the humans, because it's hidden. Today's readings provide two excellent examples of how the Lord's consciousness was formed largely by the spirit of the Father living in him (the new covenant), using those scriptures to teach him about His way instead of man's way, to develop the nature and consciousness of the Son in him instead of the animal.
There are three important things to note about Jacob adopting Joseph's two sons, to make them his and to bless them with the blessing of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. The first two are tied together and sort of become one in their being motivated by God's love for both Joseph and Abraham and His ultimate purpose for His people. Jacob's adoption of the two boys meant that their legal status as sons of an Egyptian woman could be reversed for Joseph's sake; guaranteeing that they would become tribes, and the plan of God to pull out Levi as a special tribe would mean there would still be 12 tribes in Israel, a number God wanted to preserve for Jesus' sake.
The thing that also had impact on the Lord, another copy from the OT which was used to create his conscious reality of the way of God instead of man, was the order of blessing of the two sons of Joseph. As God spoke to Joseph about the reasons for the events of his life (obvious by the opening quote), He also spoke directly to Jacob and told him what order He wanted them to be blessed. Just as God chose him over the firstborn Esau, He had also chosen Ephraim over Manasseh, another deliberate statement by God, through the events of the text, to show the truth to Jesus about His way instead of man's way.
Like Adam, they have broken the covenant—they were unfaithful to me there.
One thing it showed him was something personal about himself. God had only two sons, Adam the firstborn, then Jesus the second. Through the text, God showed Jesus very personally that just as Jacob and Ephraim were chosen over Esau and Manasseh, he too was chosen over Adam as the One who would receive the blessing of the Father. Considering our birthright as sons of the daughter of an Egyptian priest (the world), it was a guarantee that we would be born with the animal nature. However, this same truth also extends out to us who have been chosen to have that reality reversed in us too, so that we are being given the blessing from the Father that Jesus had, along with the same consciousness—of the son, not the animal.
You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
A key thing for the sons to understand is that requirement of suffering from coming away from being a human. Doing what humans do, loving and running after what they love is the same as sharing in the nature that keeps them separated from their Father. It's a nice thing to think about becoming a true son of God, nice enough to even desire. But that comes with the biggest stipulation and requirement, because the sons have to become something impossible for humans to become—that is, not human anymore. Not the outside, but the innermost parts must be purified of all the lies and hiding that is in the humans naturally, what the sons took into their own hearts when they learned to hide, as all humans naturally do. Purging the heart of all that junk is a long, arduous process that is totally loathsome to the animal inside him. In other words, there is so much resistance to that process that the idea of becoming a son isn't such a good one, as it was when it was mere sentimentality—before the cost of it is taken into consideration.
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.
What Jesus knew inside his heart—because it was kept pure in the innermost parts—contributed to his understanding about God's order and His way, and how they were exactly opposite of the way of man: how he orders, chooses, and assigns value to things. Although Joseph tried to put the boys in the correct order according to man—what Joseph thought was right—nevertheless Jacob crossed his arms to accomplish what God had personally told him. First of all that he should even do it, and secondly, the order in which He wanted it done. Because Jacob was so old, Joseph thought he was merely confused and tried again to correct what seemed wrong to him (the earthly mind). However, we know that Jacob knew, because God had told him. This can be inferred from his response to Joseph which included a reassurance of Manasseh's value to God regarding the future greatness of his family line. Yet the more important thing was the very simple repetition of Jacob's knowledge of God's will, an emphasis that he knew what he was doing because God had told him.
I know, my son. I know.
Perhaps the main message of the purpose of the Lord's life is based upon his knowledge of God's way, as per his understanding of these passages. "The first shall be last, and the last first," comes from this, and the deliberate separateness and oppositeness of the way of man versus the way of God that he tried to communicate to his disciples. It is also what we see they had such a hard time with, so that the purpose of God for the Lord would also be accomplished in us, via the same spirit of truth, using the words preserved for us to read, so that we too can know the way of God versus the way of man.
I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
John, like Jesus, did the things which pleased the Father. They were brothers not naturally, but because they both shared the same spirit which allowed them to know and do the will of God. And as the spirit of the Father lived in the Lord's body to teach him, he knew that the same spirit was also in David, who was his ancestor because of lineage, but his brother because of the presence of the spirit of their Father who lived in both of them to teach them the truth in their "inner parts," their "inner places."
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
The place David is describing is what we call our heart, the secret place within our consciousness where only God can see. That is the place Jesus talks about when he's referring to darkness and light. Maybe it's the place where we are either dead or alive to God, the part of us where His spirit lives that marks us, it designates us as His. Just as the thoughts of man cannot be seen by other men, so also the condition of either possessing or not possessing the "life that is truly life" in that secret compartment of our consciousness is completely hidden to everyone around us, and known only to us who possess it and can see it in the other, even if in no one else. In the same way Jesus recognized David as his brother because he could see in his writings that he possessed that life in him, which can be simplified as the consciousness and life of God living in a man, to teach that man His way instead of the way of the animal, of the serpent which all men became after Adam broke His covenant.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your holy spirit from me.
David recognized that it was God's actual spirit within him that was the thing that could teach him "Wisdom in the inmost place, and truth in the inner parts." His remorse and repentance were true, and his request of God shows what was ultimately the only important thing to him, because it gave him the working knowledge and understanding of his position before God as a true son who had been chosen by Him to have this very unique and special piece of God living inside him. It made him able to be a man who was after God's heart, one who wanted to know the secret desires (the will) of God and fulfill them because he knew God's love. Between God and David, because of the spirit that lived in him, there was an actual reciprocal relationship of love between a Father and a son that flowed from David to God and from God back to David.
The understanding of that was what allowed David to know that he wasn't bound by the rules about the show bread, lawful only for the priests to eat, because his life was more important to God than upholding the rules He made for man's sake—David was more important to God than the priests. The deliberate desire of God to record and preserve this account, and then Jesus being able to read it, was another consciousness-forming way that God taught Jesus "wisdom in the inmost place, and truth in the inner parts."
"Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
The verse that Jesus quotes from his brother Hosea, "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings," is very much akin to what David says in his repentant pleading with God in today's Psalm:
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The same idea is picked up by Paul who had the same spirit living inside him, which also changed his consciousness from the animal's to the son's, and by which he knew the way of God rather than that of man. By it he knew what a righteous sacrifice was, based on the most righteous sacrifice, that made by the Lamb of God for Paul's sake.
I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world (the way of the animal), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (the consciousness of the son).
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
God's will is His desire for the way He wants a man to be, so David being called a man after God's heart means that he desired to know what God wanted, what His will was, what was pleasing to him, or what He desired and loved. This takes the idea of "doing God's will" out of the realm of some impersonal summation of rules which must be followed, or events which must happen according to some fixed ideas in God's mind. Jesus, the greater David, had an even greater capacity to love God than David and by that he recognized who his real brothers were; in the same way he recognized David as his true brother.
"Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
Doing God's will must be preceded by knowing God's will; that is, what He loves and desires from a man, and what pleases Him. This can only be accomplished as a product of this actual relationship wherein we begin to know God because He dwells, with the Lord, in our bodies. The fact that by the spirit He is able to live inside us takes that relationship out of the theoretical and into the actual.
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.