Exodus 13-14 / Psalm 68 / Mark 2
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
The Father makes His children like orphans in the world, so that they are fatherless and without direction, so that He can provide it to them when the time comes to call them to Him, to reveal His reality to them as their true Father who actually can love and take care of them, unlike any of the humans ever could because all they can do is take care of themselves. To the humans, the children of the Father will be sort of like chronic fuck-ups who couldn't ever just fit in and be like the others, like them who have found their fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters by learning the way they needed to be and then executing their plan like all the rest.
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Consecrate unto Me each firstborn, breach of each womb among the Israelites in man and in beast—it is Mine."
Those within the assembly of the firstborn are God's own children, the rest belong to the earth, to the humans—for their own good and pleasure. But the humans can't lay hold on God's own children when He calls them to Him, for His own good and pleasure. Only they know who they are, because their true Father has personally told them who they are. But He hasn't disclosed it to the rest of the humans because they are to and for their own selves, for their own pleasure, to satisfy their own ends and satisfy their own needs.
You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 1 9 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned." The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear."
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
And the LORD on that day delivered Israel from the hand of Egypt,
Here is God-breathed scripture for the good of the sons, as a way that we can understand our plight and dilemma, what is happening inside us, and how we are bound to continually go through these episodes of trusting God because we witness some incredible thing He's just done in us, then the next minute freaking out because of that animal fear and mistrust of everything it cannot see, hold on to, possess, and control to make us feel that we can harness whatever it is so it doesn't go away.
The same thing that rules all of the humans rules us too, because we came from them. The difference is that the sons have an ability to see it, while the humans do not. That reality dictates that the sons must come away from that which rules the humans, so they can be ruled by another nature, of the Son of God who will teach them how to be good sons for their Father's sake, so they can be pleasing and enjoyable to Him and take care of His true family of sons, whom the humans cannot see because the sons and their chosen condition/position before their true Father is invisible to the humans.
The old nature provides for so many traps that we fall into so we need to be able to see what's happening. That comes from understanding the preserved words as they are being enlightened to us by the Teacher who is alive inside the son. Within our selves and the power we naturally possess, we can only ever understand what is natural. So when we witness something that is supernatural our hope gets renewed, but because we are fundamentally naturally based animals, our vision quickly gets pulled back into this world of touch, taste, see, evaluate and hope based on those naturally occurring phenomena.
The actions of the God who delivered Israel caused the action of Israel seeing and observing (Israel saw), which caused the reaction in them, the good thing that God desired to see in them (Israel trusted God and Moses His servant). Just a bit before, the murmurings began, which was a statement of their unbelief, as they saw the Egyptians coming toward them and figured the same as the Egyptians figured, which is the way that all animals figure, according to their animal fear that rules them. Their reaction is based on what they could see with their eyes (the Egyptian charioteers coming at them), hear with their ears (the murmurings of the people, filled with fear, which begets more fear), and understand with their mind (they were tricked by God and Moses, and doomed to die), based on the things that their eyes and ears told them.
Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.
Now, though, "and Israel saw" is indicative not that they were doomed to be taken back into captivity and treated much more harshly than before. It does not now reflect the regret in them that they listened to Moses and left "the house of slaves." Now, "And Israel saw" reflects that they had eyes to see, and ears to hear, and a mind that could understand the great power of the arm of God, and that they could believe and anticipate the great things He had in store for them.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
"When you get to the land I promised to your fathers...remember me and don't forget. Don't lose sight of why you are not slaves any longer, and do not forget by what means you were pulled out of that 'house of slaves.' "
Remember this day on which you went out of Egypt.
All of the things they were commanded to do pointed to one overriding thing, that they love God and appreciate Him and serve Him only. But they had to remember, because it was so easy for them to forget. They had to be given these things to do over and over, these simple facts to remember, because God knew what was in man, and the temptations that would pull him to do the exact opposite of what He desired. It has been that way since the animal nature was put on Adam, through this time, and even until now as we can see the same type of pattern in how the animal nature affects us.
These words are fitting for our condition and the supernatural thing that God desires to do to us who were once only animals, but who have been chosen to become sons of the only living God. We have the supernatural comprehension that we've been chosen to become sons. The process which makes that happen, because it is supernatural and we are natural animals, is complicated and difficult to understand, which is why we have the preserved words and the voice of the Teacher inside us, explaining what they mean and what they're for.
Even now as we read and understand these accounts and their purpose for us, we should remember what God wanted His people to see and hear, to understand and remember, to heed and not take for granted. As Jesus saw the real message in the scripture, we also can see because we have eyes to see what God wants us to see, not what it looks like from the outside. And as we learn we should remember all of the good things that the Lord has done and continues to do in us so that we can see who our Father is—not just His character but what He has for us.
No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body.
The pillar of smoke guided the Israelites through the unmarked desert the way God wanted them to go during the day, and the pillar of fire lighted up the darkness of the desert by night. In the same way, the place where we are being guided to is done by the light that is inside us, the thing we can't adequately explain with words, but within our own selves we know it's there and what it's been doing in us. It is the light that the Lord refers to, based partly on his understanding of this passage.
When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.
Many misguided interpretations of this verse by those who have no ears to hear what it means have suggested conclusions like how we should be the "good people," so that others can see by the good light that we put on the lamp stand—as some kind of witness, as though God actually cared about us being good, as if we could ever be good (most likely by adhering to the correct factoids about the good gods, which of course will protect us from being led astray by the bad gods—satan and his army of demons). It's actually an internal thing, having to do with our journey to the Father. The light within us should be put on the stand within us so that it lights up all of the darkness within us, in our hearts—what we are always thought we could hide from God. All those little (and big) secret places where we could hide our actual selves from men, and therefore assumed that we could also hide our selves from God in those same places.
Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.
The eye that Jesus speaks of here is not our physical eyes, but the supernatural eyes that he is giving us to see what the others cannot see, that by which we are continually delighted as we miraculously see and hear the truth about God as we never did before. We were dead before, so that we could not see the things we see now. As we see and understand them, we know they are good, and we know that we have tasted that the Lord is good. Because we're natural beings, though, we forget, which will lead to a true definition of faith and belief, not in the correct facts about the things of God, but that this thing has happened in us, because many times it will appear as though it hasn't happened, because God's truth is not validated in the natural, and we are still natural creatures.
So by the lessons that are encased within the preserved words, let us remember and tell the other sons about the goodness of God and the trappings of the world. It is our duty to the family, and it's possible because when some have hope others do not, and vice-versa. So when we have the hope in us we can encourage those who don't, and the tables will turn around so the same ones who were encouraging before, now need to be encouraged and lifted up by their brothers, all for the Father's sake, who loves to see His true sons loving each other that way. Not like the animals whose love is only temporary and always ultimately geared toward themselves so they can never truly love as God expects His sons to love each other and Him more than anything else. That ability to love from a pure heart doesn't just come to the ones who are still young and full of the animal nature, which prohibits them from loving with a pure heart.
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
When God killed all the firstborn of Egypt He required a replacement in a way. He took for His own purpose the firstborn of the humans and animals—the firstborn sons as His priests (Num 3:12) and the firstborn animals as sacrifices. Then when He gave the sons back to the humans, He required a replacement for them, which He took in the form of one of the tribes as priests, the Levite.
The teachings of God as signs on their hands meant that whenever they ate, when they raised food up to their mouths to eat it, they would remember Him. And whenever they weren't eating they would see it on the forehead of their brother. Cf. with 2 things:
--The bread and wine were part of most meals, and so whenever they ate they would be reminded of what the Lord did for them. Not just once a year, as the passover happened, but at least once a day—every time they ate.
--The mark of the beast of Rev. 13, which is on his hand or forehead, the opposite notion of what's going on here.
The ongoing debt of owing your firstborn to God without seeming to have done anything to accumulate the debt that you should own Him your firstborn should have signaled to them that they were free because of what God did for their ancestors. So the debt of recognition remains toward God, so they didn't forget or take their position for granted.
At a certain time God pulled them out, not when they thought it was right, or by the way they may have anticipated it would be done. Certainly they couldn't have pulled off anything like this which would have worked. We can easily start wondering why us, why now? What's been happening the past 1900 years and how does that fit into our experience? The fact is though, that when God was ready to go then He got them ready to go and pulled them, no matter how whiny or reluctant they were, and there wasn't anything they could do to accelerate it or make it happen better.
Whatever the Father is doing or is about to do—or not about to do—isn't for us to worry about. It is enough that we just stay safe and try to learn what he is teaching us right now, in this day. We stay in Jerusalem until the Lord decides that it's time to go, to move, to change. It will be obvious to us what that is, and we won't even have to affect anything toward that end. We won't have to figure anything out, it will all just be done for us. For each day has enough worry and trouble of its own for us to be concerned about. So what we should be concerned about is how we can know the things of the Lord in this one day, and not be worried where we will be tomorrow or next year. That's what the animals do, always worrying about how to keep themselves alive, how to keep themselves happy.
The waters splitting apart (Ex. 14:22) are like a huge womb that is breached, and from out of Egypt (the world), comes an entire nation of people. Copy of the sons being born out of the world, through the living water, so that we can be guided by the light to the land where we can be at peace with our Father.
The waters receding and flooding the Egyptians is also like the flood reenactment, destroying the life of all except Noah and his family and some animals.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Not as a means to establish rules and rituals that one must follow to be right with the institution which establishes and retains those rules, but as the writer states in the sentence previous to this, as a means of making his spiritual son Timothy wise so that he may be able to understand the salvation that Jesus brought, so that he can enter into and comprehend the new and living covenant with the Son and the Father, who lived inside Timothy as that unseen, secret power which could transform him from mere animal to son of God.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
The presence of that power living in them, going back yet another sentence in this passage, is why he and his brothers in the first century would be persecuted—those who do not have the power living in them hate those who do, and they don't even understand why. Although they'll find a reason, they just hate them because of the presence of the living God inside them, which repels the animals who are ruled by the serpent, the craftiest of all the animals.
Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
The heritage of this relationship goes all the way back to the Cain/Able story, where Able was approved and accepted by God—chosen over Cain—who hated him for it, enough to kill him. In the same way those impostors who claim to know the way to God but do not have the truth of the life living in them—they aren't chosen—will hate those who do, because those who do are conformed to another master than what those humans expect.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
They need conformity of those around them to validate their life and existence as something meaningful and purposeful, whatever reinforces the lie that they hold the keys to the truth of how to get to God (they own and control the way). There is no better way than by surrounding yourself with other like-minded animals who reinforce whatever it is you want them to believe. Group consensus is a powerful thing amongst the humans, because it fulfills a deep craving for control and validation. The idea is that if a human owns a position that is validated by so many humans, then they must be correct. However, that is against everything the preserved words speak, especially who Jesus was and what he did and said. He didn't seek to or find his validation from the humans, because he knew what ruled, led and guided them—not the Father, but the serpent.
Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.
The sons don't conform to the humans and their leaders, because they're able to see their lives merely as another grasp at fulfilling the requirements of the egotistical needs/cravings of the animal nature, which constantly needs that renewing validation and control in order to feel like it's still okay. Today they can't kill us and get away with it like in the good old days, so they just call us sinners and kick us out of their clubs, whose members are those who do believe their lies and who do conform, who do satisfy their need for validation, power and control, which never ends in the animals.
The responsibility of the sons of God is not to men, to obey and conform to their rules, especially because those rules are supposedly based on the preserved words, because they don't know what those words mean, nor what their purpose is. They can only take the words and try to make the words conform to the wishes of their natural reality, which has nothing to do with the living God, but only reinforces their animal needs for control and validation. The God who is alive and real is not contained or defined by the animals who claim to live for Him, when they're only living to satisfy their own needs and instinctual cravings, as dictated by the serpent which rules them without them even being aware. How can they live to please a God when they can't even know who He is?