Meet the Flintstones

Psalm 114 – Family of Blood


Psalm 114 is one of those weird passages of Scripture that makes you wonder if the author was high on something. Without an understanding of the significance of the place of this song among these seven Psalms, the lyrics appear to be either the overly-clever, sophomoric crypticism of an ancient Bono or the fragmented derivatory prattlings of a madman.

But we are at the centre of the seven Psalms. Psalm 114 is Testing, and so contains references to Israel’s corporate death and resurrection in the wilderness. The nation of Israel was a new Creation. In the grave of Egypt, God formed a new house in Joseph. In the furnace of slavery, He filled a new house under Moses. But Israel’s failure to enter the Land meant the process would be carried out once again. Those who left Egypt would die in the wilderness, and a later generation enter the Land.

This central Psalm, the fourth, corresponds to the book of Numbers, the fourth book, and Pentecost, the fourth festival. It concerns death under the Law, and resurrection filled with Law.

But its construction is still cryptic. And like the words of the best poets, I believe there is method to the apparent madness. I believe the entire Psalm contains a symmetry, but that there are also two matrix cycles within it.

Praise the LORD!
…..When Israel went out of Egypt,
……….The house of Jacob
……….from a people of strange language [lip?],
……………Judah became His sanctuary,
……….Israel His dominion.
…..The sea saw and fled; Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams,
The little hills like lambs.

What ails you, O sea, that you fled?
…..O Jordan, that you turned back?
……….O mountains, that you skipped like rams?
……….O little hills, like lambs?
……………Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
……….At the presence of the God of Jacob,
…..Who turned the rock into a pool of water,
The flint into a fountain of waters.

Psalms 114 (NKJV)

Praise the LORD!
(Creation) Transcendance of God.

When Israel went out of Egypt,
(Division) The separationof Israel, to whom authority was delegated.

The house of Jacob
from a people of strange language [lip],

(Ascension) Tabernacle (tent) reference. Also a reference to the false Tabernacle of Babel. The people were no longer of one “lip.” [1]
Firstfruits is also a microcosm of Booths. Here we have the priesthood (proto-Jew) as princely Head and the (Gentile) Nations as Body; bread and wine, Land and Sea (Day 3). This is echoed and fulfilled at the end of the Psalm, veeeeeeery cleverly.

Judah became His sanctuary,
(Testing) Judah was the kingly tribe, the Lion. This central point often refers to thrones and rulers. Numbers named so because Israel is counted and arranged in military ‘constellations’ around the throne of God.

Israel His dominion.
(Maturity) Israel corresponds chiastically to Jacob, but is the “Body” of Jacob as “Head.” It refers to the tribes as armies, the warrior bride. The use of names also shows us that the Tabernacle was only a symbol. The true house was God’s people.

The sea saw and fled; Jordan turned back.
(Conquest) The waters parted as the veil at Atonement, to allow God’s new Man to pass through, protected inside a blood-covered box. As usual, the water also refers to the Laver.

The mountains skipped like rams,
The little hills like lambs.

(Glorification) This is the main “on-drugs” verse. I checked commentaries on this, all the best ones, and they had no idea whatsoever, other than this might refer to trees on mountains blowing in the wind, or sheep-covered hills. One thing you learn from James Jordan is to ask WHAT ARE RAMS AND LAMBS FOR? They are sacrificial animals. Same goes in Daniel 8.
A symbol similar to mountains and hills skipping away is used again in the Revelation, where the world’s existing High Places fled from the new mountain of God established at Christ’s ascension. The Jewish mountains and the Gentile islands disappeared. The pagan gods stopped talking (and they did!) Once the priesthood was centralised, there was only one High Place, the place of the High Priest, the Tabernacle. Just as rams and lambs are sacrificial, mountains and hills are Altars, like Sinai. The new Altar scatters the old ones.
What does this have to do with Glorification? One symbol that applies here is certainly the mountain of God. Instead of rivers of water, here it is rivers of old blood. But the Psalm is not done yet. The Psalmist has deconstructed the old temples (death). Now he raises up a new one (resurrection).

What ails you, O sea, that you fled?
Creation – Word (here it is a question) as light on the dark waters (the Ark)

O Jordan, that you turned back?
Division – the waters divided (the Veil)

O mountains, that you skipped like rams?
Ascension – 1 – the Land formed (Bronze Altar)

O little hills, like lambs?
Ascension – 2 – the grain and fruit – the Land filled
(Table of Showbread – firstfruits lamb)

Tremble, O Land, at the presence of the Lord,
Testing – Governing lights (Lampstand – fire from heaven)

At the presence of the God of Jacob,
Maturity – swarms (Incense Altar – tribes)

These last two, knowing they refer to Christ, should bring a tear to your eye.

Who turned the rock into a pool of water,
Conquest – Mediator (the Laver). The veil of flesh opened. [2]

The flint into a fountain of waters.
Glorification – Shekinah (New Eden)
The reference to flint is beyond brilliant. This final point is Tabernacles, a party thrown at the cost of Jews for the 70 Gentile nations. Seventy bulls were sacrificed.
Flint refers to the Circumcision, the new House of God. Israel was a nation under the knife. As Peter Leithart observed, the cutting off of Abram’s flesh with a knife averted God’s cutting off all flesh with another flood. [3]

Just as old Israel died in the wilderness and a new one inherited the promises, this verse also predicts a future Israel would be cut off and die for the life of the world as Covenant Head, and the miraculous waters of baptism would flow to the nations as Covenant Body. Forming and filling, blood and water, Jew and Gentile, in one tight, crystalline verse.

At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Israel again the second time.” Joshua 5:2

“For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.” Isaiah 50:7

“Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.” Ezekiel 3:9

But just like the Circumcision that attempted to assassinate Paul, Israel would pervert her mission into elitism. Paul refers to the Circumcision as the mutilation, prophets of Baal who cut themselves as though this justified them before their god. They bloodied their private parts but neglected the one that mattered. Unlike the Jews who believed at Pentecost, they were not cut to the heart by the words of the Christ or His Apostles. In fact, they turned their hearts into murderous knives, as their fathers had done before them. And for this, God would again destroy the House and raise up a new one. How IRONIC is this verse?…

“Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 7:12

The family of true Flintstones, the Jews who were cut to the heart, fulfilled the words of Christ:

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38

In a sense, their Words became knives also, as they shared the gospel. The living Word of God is always a sharp knife. John saw the witness of the church as soldiers made out of Tabernacle:

And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses [were] like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three [plagues] a third of mankind was killed — by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. Revelation 9:17-18 [4]

Finally, both cycles of the Psalm combined together show a basic symmetry. Forming and filling make a New Creation.

[1] See Confused Lip.
[2] See Walking on Water.
[3] Peter J. Leithart, Cutting Off Flesh.
[4] See Totus Christus for my exposition of these details!

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