1 Samuel 14 / Isaiah 58 / Matthew 1-2
Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, "Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few."
"Do all that you have in mind," his armor-bearer said. "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul."
Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.
Jonathon was a special guy to God because he was used for David's good. He was given the special gift of being able to behold David as God did, and his heart became one with David, who was chosen and loved by God. He is the height and epitome of brotherly love, willing to give his own life for David's sake, who wasn't even his own flesh and blood. He recognized that God had chosen David and was faithful to that, unlike his father who fought against God and tried to kill David. Jonathon is subservient to the will and purpose of God, even though it means his own demise because he believes God over what he observes and can possibly control and hang onto for his own sake. He is a good picture of a good son.
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Isaiah proclaims the new way, when it will not be the case any longer that God will have to constantly deal with sin in His people. The Son will take over His work and deal with it finally. After that His people will be able to be clean enough to inhabit, and the work will be raising good children who love their Father. This is the good news, that the sons can be free from the animal nature that prohibits them from true love, of their Father and their brothers who have chosen Him instead of themselves (the way to be freed from the animal nature)—His true family of chosen sons.
You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
His people are the true Israel, the sons of God who can hear the voice of the Father speaking not in intelligible tones but in the language that cannot be heard. Not a group of humans who called themselves sons of Abraham because of an insignificant, superficial mark on them. As per the prophets, God's salvation was going "To a people not my own—" to the non-Jews, meaning Jew because of external marking (circumcision) doesn't mean anything after Jesus brought the new covenant, which is about the condition of the heart, what the humans cannot observe, refute or validate. Therein lies the deal about the true God and finding one's way to Him—it is not disclosed publicly and therefore findable. It is secret and hidden, and hardly ever found. Therefore God likes it when a human is willing to say "No, it's not here, and it's not there," but is still wanting to keep looking because he knows it exists somewhere. Settling for one or any of the various lies is not what God likes to see in a human. There is nothing special or redeemable about that; it's what they all do.
The group of humans that comprised Israel is only a copy of the true Israel, those who go through the process of having their heart circumcised by the spirit, which makes them true sons of Abraham, not by natural lineage but after the spiritual phenomenon of the voice of the Father speaking, and heeding the voice, what Abraham did. Without the voice speaking, there is no faith; only the presumptuous expectation of having something that is not your own. If one thinks he can please God by being, doing, or believing some facts, or obeying some man made set of rules, then one must adhere perfectly to those rules and if one breaks those rules then one cannot be pleasing to God, by their own logic. God is not in the natural, nor can he be got to via the natural. That is what Isaiah and Jeremiah are talking about when they talk about this new thing coming:
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people."
He teaches the sons from the inside, where they can hear and learn the best, where they can become clean the way they must become clean in order to come near to the Father. He writes His covenant on their heart with a living pen—hidden and secret—and they respond and are changed, unbeknownst to the humans around them. According to the work of Jesus, those whom God chooses to be His people learn His ways, like a child learns to walk and speak. They grow up into Him, faithful children who don't want to hurt their Father, tormenting Him with their constant unfaithfulness as Israel did. They see that what the humans do is worthless and futile, leading to nothing but the same thing happening all around them—nothing special or redeeming at all, just a bunch of animals living for themselves, without a care about God or what He might want. The sons learn and want to be different than that, to grow up into a being who is different than that. The way they grow is with food that cannot be seen or understood by the humans.
I have food to eat that you know nothing about.
All the animal can do is be faithful to itself, never to God. Only a true son, who is taught the right way by the firstborn Son, can be faithful to his Father. Instead of being slaves to these bodies of death and self-preservation the sons are free to learn the opposite way—the way of love for God. Out of that flows love for His family, the brothers and sons of God, which is not unapproachable theory. Their natures are miraculously, spiritually (yet secretly also) changed so they look and act like their Father, which is the desire of any father for his children. It makes sense that they lose the nature of the animal, so they look less like a deceitful snake, their previous father, and more like God their new, true Father. They become little copies of the firstborn Son who represented God fully, carrying on his work and shining as lights in this world of self-love, hate and death, ruled by the animal nature, from whence they came, although the humans won't notice them shining because they are bound to the physically observable. In the tradition of the firstborn Son, being of the same nature, they learn to love to accomplish their Father's will over their own.
"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."
Instead of dealing with an entire nation He would only have to be concerned about the few that He chose to give life to, His own sons who would be able to find their way to the Father because it has been disclosed to them (not publicly). Because His covenant is written on their hearts, He is able to deal with them in a completely different way that the humans don't know about, although they oftentimes presume to. The others who are not His He doesn't see; for God sees only the living children, those who are His. They are the only ones He wants to be bothered with, because they are the ones who will live with Him forever. The dead are invisible (the animals who are the natural seed of Adam) very much like the way the humans can see each other, but those in the ground are out of sight.
He sees us without the flesh; the temporary, fear-driven, God-opposing, dying qualities of our natural selves. He sees His children as they shall be, as if they were perfect now and the other parts, what are dying, as already dead—just as He sees the flesh of the world as it truly is, dead already. There is a time coming when we shall see each other that way, when we grow up into beings who have the eyes to see as the Father sees. Then we can actually become useful to Him by being able to be concerned about His purpose instead of our own all the time. We can be shepherds who take care of His sheep—the highest thing His sons can be for each other according to himself—when the old nature is diminished in us.
That nature which was "put onto" Adam—the evil (animal) nature still in us—prohibits us from that. It compels us to constantly tend to our own needs, always acting—consciously or subconsciously—for our own selves and welfare, which is just how the animal nature is and why it's evil according to the Father (one who is ruled by it cannot ever be a good son [a shepherd of God's sheep] because he's continually engaged in serving himself all the time). Some day we will be able to see each other as God sees us and count the part of us that is dying as already dead. We will, unlike the world, see the qualities of the spirit in the other and our judgment (fear) of each other will be nullified by eyes that detect value instead of competition. That is the state and nature of Paul when he wrote his letters to those who had not arrived yet. It is in us now, but still remains mostly theoretical as that other nature of fear and hiding still rules us more than the nature of the Son, once made perfect.
And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
The world of humans is enslaved to assessing each other not by the positive but by all the negative aspects of another, because each one is a threat to the other in their hostile animal world. Each animal must constantly and immediately protect itself from the other animals and gain advantage over them because it's all just a game of survival at its core, what everything else that happens in their life is built upon and around. All positive qualities in the natural world are false/feigned to further his own agenda, e.g. mating, respectable identity, furthering his career, self-protection, etc. Once again man pretending to be like God to get what he wants out of other men to serve and save himself. Men only reveal falsehood because in fact nothing "good" lives in man.
What if we could actually be like God/Jesus and in the other living beings see only the living qualities, not the dead ones? That is part of what Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians chap 13. The instinct of God toward His children is only positive, only love—no death/fear/hiding/manipulation like in man who has to protect himself from the other animals. That state is not arrived at without patiently enduring while we suffer by losing what we love—that is our lives and everything we learned to love in them. It is not arrived at by our effort or talent either, but by learning to recognize and then choosing to do the will of the Father instead of our own, not one time but continually, over and over and over until we begin learning the new way because the life is growing.
When we choose to do the will of the Father something happens in us, in the secret way the Father works, which brings what the Son said out of the theoretical and into the practical (although spiritual, so unseen). The food he mentioned to his disciples becomes available when we choose the way of the Father over our own, because we believe the otherwise (naturally, physically) unbelievable. The life that was planted only as a seed finds nourishment when we are given the food that nourishes it, and we grow just a little—as much as any animal grows when it eats a little food. Actually what it does is sustain the life that is steadily growing in us as we patiently endure, while suffering by losing the old way, by separating our selves from it so it doesn't drag us down and make us anemic, by severing our ties to it in a real way by not validating it as something we want to celebrate in ourselves.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?
For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
It is such a difficult road to walk to find the Father, because He is not as the humans think—easy and generic, publicly available to anyone who has the whim, waiting with folded hands while any wishy-washy human does his pitiful service to this sickening version of every made up god of the humans, who are designed to serve them (why they make them up, so they can have and do what they want, according to the nature that lives inside them and still think that they're going to some fairy tale heaven, also made up by the humans, populated by their made up gods). Because it's so difficult, it's harmful to surround ourselves with what satisfies the old cravings for love and acceptance by those who can't ever give it. They can only give a temporary acceptance which goes away once they are taken over by the dictates of the animal nature in them to survive.
Paul is encouraging those whom he believed were being inhabited by the life of the Father and Son (as he indeed was) to come away from the mere humans who were encouraging them—like the nations surrounding Israel constantly encouraged them to go away from God—to act and be like mere humans, as they themselves were driven to only be able to be (because they weren't chosen by the Father to have the seed of life planted in them). The new way required a nurturing that couldn't be found in the humans at large, which is the point of all the OT stories about the warnings to Israel and their repetitive unfaithfulness to God because they did yoke themselves to the unbelievers.
There is a spiritual type of law that exists for the sons of God found here, which is reinforced by both sets of preserved words (OT & NT)—if we expose ourselves to the humans at large by depending on them and living with them, we will fall away from the Father because they do not reinforce the life that is planted as a seed within us. They cannot, because all they can see is what the others can see, and they *will not* see or ever even be able to see what the Father has planted in us, what He wants to grow so that we can be separated to Him for His purpose. The sons' lives must be severed from those who are dead, because the animal nature is too strong to be able to resist. The warnings are everywhere, and it's up to us to have the courage to choose the right and reject the wrong, to—once we clearly see what no one else can see—choose the way of the Father which is lonely and unappealing to the humans. Courage is what the sons must have, and what the teacher is inside us to show us, to not shrink back into what seems more appealing or gratifying, or what can superficially appease our many fears by our own hand.
The life which is God in us, only planted as a seed that must grow in order to become what it's destined to make that host body (soil in which it was planted), is the process of the transformation of a son from death to life, from darkness to light. The light that enables Him to see us is the light of Love, which is what is growing in us. We are not hidden in the darkness of death, to live and die as animals, free and wild in the dark jungle—tamed and able to be held and loved by no one. He sees us as we shall be, like Him, not the way the world judges and sees each other with the eyes of fear (because there is no love, only fear). That is why we come away from the animal, which is totally free to do whatever it wants but can never love.
That is what Jesus did in washing the disciples feet. Constrained by love, he washed them in a way that after that he only saw them as God saw them, which means he truly loved them for the men they would become, not the men they were naturally. He also asked them to see each other the same way—not the natural first, the posture and defensive position of fear, but first with the eyes of love/God, seeing the qualities of God in each other, loving each other like he loved them. Of course they couldn't at first when he said it, because the animal was too strong inside them. They had to be transformed and given the ability to do it. They had to be reminded that they were being called to become something that was only free to love, to become like God their Father, like the Son who is the good Shepherd.
The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."
That is the ultimate aspiration for the sons of God—seeing someone God loves the way God sees them and not the way the animal sees them. We will begin to see each other a tiny bit differently (very gradually) as sons who encourage the other and point him back to the Father instead of as threatening animals who only encourage the chaotic nature of the animal to be nurtured. We know each other so well in that regard because we're so well trained, and so little as the beings we will be; the people God loves so much that He has made us sons and already given us a place with Him in His house forever, and the seal and deposit of that guarantee in us.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil (that we must be threatened by the other) but rejoices with the truth (that the life of the Father and Son is in the other, so they are invaluable, not dispensable). It always protects (as a shepherd), always trusts (in what cannot be seen), always hopes (for the life to grow inside and push out the evil), always perseveres (because it doesn't come at once, for good—or easily).
Love never fails but where there are prophesies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away (everything natural passes away and is replaced by something else).
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part but when perfection comes (when we are near the Father, close to Him and each other in His house), the imperfect disappears (prophesies, tongues and knowledge are for the humans who are still in these human bodies, to keep them moving toward the Father and away from the serpent—the animal).
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I put childish ways behind me (backwards transformation).
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face (when we are able to be close to the Father because we are like Him, not of corruptible animal substance as we are now). Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (aware that he was fully known because he knew he had been chosen to become fully known as a son of the true Father).
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (because faith and hope will go away too, when they are not needed anymore).