Exodus 33-34 / Psalms 90-91 / 1 Corinthians 3
Look, I am about to seal a covenant.
The Father is jealous for His sons' affection; He doesn't want His own sons to be led by the nature of His rival which defines him as (makes him look like) an animal instead of a son in the Father's eyes. It is the enemy He created so that His sons would actually be able to choose Him and not just be compelled to love Him by arm twisting or no other viable alternative.
Watch yourself, lest you seal a covenant with the inhabitant of the land against which you come, lest he become a snare in your midst. For their altars you shall shatter and their pillars you shall smash and their cultic poles you shall cut down. For you shall not bow to another god, for the LORD, His name is Jealous, a jealous God He is.
First we recognize the enemy, then we see how it works and where it lives. Because it lives inside us it is hard to detect. We learn to hide, especially from ourselves, which is how it remains effective. Because it is us, what we are at our fundamental core of being, it's impossible to detach ourselves from it. We learned how to be true to ourselves as a law of living and being, because we know that we have to keep ourselves alive by the strength of our own hand and doing, taking for ourselves what we need to keep existing, and crave to make it seem worthwhile. To flush ourselves out and come out of hiding is against everything that's naturally in us, so it must be done for us by our teacher. We are not naturally inclined to being sons of God so we fight it around every corner. It takes a great deal of training and transformation because to become one our core nature must actually be changed, which is why it has to be a supernatural process. Not a magic show or circus (the impression we may get when reading Acts, combined with our initial revelation from the Father), and not disclosed to the humans around us because God's intention for Himself and His sons is to be and remain hidden, not found out.
I have known you by name.
When a child is born is it has no identity except that of its parents and while it's still young it maintains that identity. It doesn't actually have an identity of its own, because it's sort of owned by the parents who claim its identity in return for their care and protection of the child. It exists under the umbrella of their identity because of what they give it in exchange—life, they keep it alive, giving it love, food, clothing, shelter, etc. Everybody's happy and everything's okay under this system because it works.
When the child grows up it starts developing its own identity, somewhat separate from its parents—also perfectly natural for the humans. When it becomes mature, then it desires and is expected to be able to fully take care of itself and in exchange for that it begins to establish its own identity, separate from its parents. No longer do they protect and provide for it, so no longer can they claim it as their possession like they used to, because it is not dependent on them any more like it used to be.
It may incorporate some or a lot of the parents' values, but in order to develop its own identity it has to pull from the world or culture around it to develop its identity. It develops its identity (becomes a person) based on what it perceives it needs to become in order to best survive in the many ways it needs to, which is the primary drive of all animals, which all the humans are. It becomes a full participant in the world full of other animals doing the same thing when it does this, moving away from the identity of the human parents who raised it.
The concept of not taking your own identity, but instead taking on another's identity in exchange for their protection, sustenance, protection for your offspring, etc. is what it means to become a bride to someone, at least theoretically. Nowadays it's a little different because of the power struggle, however women by and large actually desire being protected and provided for because it is the drive of the animal that is going to have and raise the brood to find a safe and secure place to do that. It's what the animals instinctually strive for. In that sense they are led by that nature which tells them to keep surviving, keep doing this and that in the attempt to attain to the agreement it is driven to find, to feel safe and secure.
I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.
God knew Moses; He spoke face to face with him. He told Moses what He wanted and Moses accommodated Him. He lived within the tent that Moses pitched outside the camp. Moses had a relationship with God, he was married to God in the sense that he lost his old identity—as a son of Egypt, a son of the world—and took on the new identity as God's loyal son who would lead and train up a faithful wife, with respect to how we've already established identity assumption of children (sons) and wives e.g., they trade the ability to have or maintain their own identity for something else—the security God gives back to His son and wife for their affection and love.
Look, I am about to drive out before you the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
That is the purpose of God with the present creation, to draw His family out of it. There is a family of distinct and particular sons whom God wants to know as He knew Moses. The Father wants them to feel and understand the importance of the safety and security of His protection and desire to trade their right to an animal identity by finding their identity in Him—by rejecting the old way of identity procurement that they learned in their former life and entering into a covenant with their new Father.
Moses said to the LORD, "You have been telling me, `Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, `I know you by name and you have found favor with me.' If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people."
The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"
And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."
God's desire for the Israelites was that they didn't desire to develop their own identity like a rogue child or an unfaithful wife, pulling the components of that identity from the gods of the nations around the land where He was taking them (Canaanite, Hittites, etc.), or that which they just came from (Egypt). He desired that they looked different than all the others. He wanted His wife to look and act special, which would reflect that they were His—that they had His identity and not the identity of His enemy. He wanted to live amongst them and teach them His way, just as He had done with Moses, who lost his old identity and took on God's—became His wife, son, possession by the process that God took him through, which took 40 years to even get him ready for.
He responded to the personal choice of God for him self, so that he understood that the personal relationship God was offering him was so much better than maintaining that old identity, but he also knew that he had to choose between the one and the other. Even though as far as the world was concerned it was pretty good finding his identity as the son of Pharaoh, Moses was transformed from someone who was afraid of God to someone who knew Him as a true son. Once he knew God he wanted to know more. He wanted to see more of God, he wanted God to disclose more of Himself, what He looked like, to Moses who wasn't afraid of God but loved God, the reason he wanted to know Him more.
And now, if, pray, I have found favor in Your eyes, let me know, pray, Your ways, that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your eyes.
That's what God wanted from Israel; however, it seems as though it was an easier thing to do with one man than a huge group who already had their identity established as a son and wife of Egypt, of the world. This is perhaps why God was able to relent from His anger and desire to destroy them, because of the desire of the one whom He knew by name. And He seemed to be able to forgive many times in their history when they played the whore, then He administered some kind of punishment. But He always came back to them, because He kept looking forward to the Son that Israel, as His wife, would give Him. He would be perfect and please Him perfectly (by being like Him, not the humans who were led by His adversary), and in a way make up for all her unfaithfulness.
From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.
However, not to the extent that He restored her, because her reality was a metaphor for something better in the unseen world, which gets revealed to the sons of God's own choosing. Once He had His Son, He dismissed her from the position of exclusivity she had with Him. He also created the new way of salvation by which a man must become a son to Him. That was, he had to become a part of the new creature, which was the bride of the Son. The old way to God, of being circumcised, of fulfilling the terms of the covenant He gave to Moses, was being fulfilled by the Son, so that He could be the only way to get to God—to be His people as Israel once exclusively was.
My anger burns against the shepherds,
and I will punish the leaders;
for the LORD Almighty will care
From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler.
Together they will be like mighty men
trampling the muddy streets in battle.
So now, no son comes to God except through the Son, who is the greater Moses. Just as Moses was made into a new creature by losing his identity and then taking on God's identity, becoming His possession and for His purpose and desire, this becomes—through the Son—the only way to get to Him and be His. All other ways have been nullified. And just as Moses was individually taken by God through this process whereby he lost his old identity and gained the new one—the name and identity of God written on our foreheads—so we also are individually taken by the Son and the Father. We individually have the spirit of them living in us, so that we can have the same attention Moses had, contrasted to the frustrations God had with the huge group of Israelites who didn't want to know Him.
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.
That's why being born from above, of the life of the Father and Son (the spirit), and then having the spirit living in us is essential to the process of becoming God's possession and finding our identity in Him instead of what it was before—an individual animal in a world of animals. By this we can actually go through the process of gradually losing that old identity for God's sake, of becoming the Son's bride and taking on his identity as the faithful bride of the Son who was perfect to God, with whom He says He was well pleased. By submitting to the Son as his willing and faithful bride, we say that we don't want the old identity anymore, that of an orphaned son of the natural creation who must scrape and strive on his own to survive. Instead we desire the Son's identity and name, the only name and identity that the Father has been or will be pleased with, i.e., the only one He will accept—the only way to Him. And we trade our old identity for the identity that only the Son can give us. Because the spirit lives in us, he is able to teach us so that we actually can move out of that old identity by the Lord's instructions on how to be a good son to our Father, and a good, faithful bride to himself.
I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
The Teacher reveals to us, as he did to his disciples, the true name and character of God. He brings us to the Father's house and we get to know Him and understand who He is—not the fearsome God of destruction and panic, or the God who killed the Egyptians, but the God that Moses wanted to know more, who gave Moses His name and protection and provided for him. He was the voice who said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" Then He passed by Elijah while he was stuffed in a hole in the rock and showed him that he wasn't like powerful wind that shattered rocks, or an earthquake, or a fire; but He was like a gentle whisper. And the third time He showed Himself to the Son, who He was, and allowed the Son to reveal Him to the 12 men as the Father, as close as their Father who loved them and wanted love, not fear. The new way to God, to salvation, was to lose everything, through and through to the secret identity of their heart, and without that submission and willingness there was nothing.
Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me.
No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
There is no middle ground for the sons of God. They have to choose either to submit to one master or the other. There are lots of gods in the world, things we can be susceptible to take on as part of our identity, things we can run after and be engaged in, trying to get by them what the animals get. By doing those things we say that we want to define ourselves as animals, and find our identity as one of them.
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles?
That also says, more strongly than our mouth babble, that we don't want to find our identity as a son of God or as the bride of the Son. The Lord teaches us individually how to become separated from those things so that this new identity, his, gets formed, which replaces the old one, which used to totally define us. The ability to see what's real comes in stages, as we become ready to accept them.
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."
It would be a good exercise to contemplate what the gods are that we are susceptible to, that which we run after, those which we learned were good for us to find our own identity in before we were born by our new Father. It isn't profitable, however, to pretend that there aren't any, which we will be trying to do over and over—to hide from that which we were taught by the deceiver that we could just say weren't there, like so many things about us. The best thing is to allow the Lord to reveal those to us so they are exposed, to die to that craving to hide and be hidden.
There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
We might also ask what it means to seal a covenant with "the inhabitant of the land," the copy of the world and all its little gods—what they love, consider valuable and run after. How are we entangled with them, part of their system, how do we enjoy what they enjoy, revel in what they revel in, and run after the things they run after? If we stop hiding, pretending it's not there, it will be much easier for the Lord to instruct us, and then to come out from under its influence and ownership of our bodies. Only then can we truly become his bride. Easier said than even entertained or considered honestly, though, because we know how to hide.
Lest you seal a covenant with the inhabitant of the land, and they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and he call you, and you eat of his sacrifice, and you take from his daughters for your sons, and his daughters whore after their gods, and make your sons whore after their gods.
To become isolated within the land and know only God's way, to separate our self from the world and its distractions and seek to listen to the voice of the Teacher who must live within us, which actually can transform our identity, is the work of the son. To be fruitful within the land and fruitful (useful) to God—to love and honor the Son as his faithful bride. To not allow the influences of the gods of all the people around us to enter the land, which disrupts the peace and creates problems and chaos.
After Moses repents for the people, and asks that God forgive them for their stiff-necked ness, He then renews the terms of the covenant with them. He tells Moses the great things He's about to do for them, to drive out the unclean inhabitants, those who weren't His people, chosen by Him to be His. In the same way the Lord has to drive that old nature out of us, by his power, according to our faithfulness and desire to be his (not making covenants with it), to assume his nature as his bride in exchange for him taking us with him to the Father—the only way to get there.
And the word of the LORD came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"