The Brimstone Cup: Psalm 11
Psalm 11 seems a simple one to break down. As usual, once the structure is parsed, the author’s allusions are allowed to shine. The odd progression of the subject matter of the song suddenly makes sense. Now, remember we are dealing with poetry. All those silly rules you learnt at Bible college don’t apply. But all those good rules you learnt in English class do apply. The context is the Covenant, and Covenant breakers, and all the allusions are drawn from the history of the Covenant so far. It all takes place inside the tent of God and the Land of God, because that is where judgment begins.
Genesis – Creation – Day 1 – Sabbath
In the LORD (Transcendence)
…..I put my trust; (Hierarchy)
……….How can you say to my soul, (Ethics)
…..“Flee as a bird (Sanctions)
to your mountain”? (Continuity)
Five lines is an unopened Covenant scroll. The allusion is to the book of Genesis, God’s mountain and the Spirit-Word returning with the author’s soul to the sanctuary, i.e. not void. The mountain is at Tabernacles. In Adam’s Testing cycle, he was at last exiled from this mountain.
Exodus – Division – Day 2 – Passover
For look! (Word)
…..The wicked (Bad hierarchy)
……….bend their bow, (Covenant rainbow)
……………They make ready their arrow (death at foot of the mountain)
………. on the string, (Warrior bride)
…..That they may shoot secretly (from behind the Firmament/Veil)
at the upright in heart. (God’s true Man is the mountain)
Leviticus – Ascension – Day 3 – Firstfruits
If the foundations (Source)
…..are destroyed, (by Delegated Sons of God; Pass-over)
……….What can the righteous do? (Ethics)
…..The LORD is in (Sanctions – blessings/curses; pass-through)
His holy temple, (Tabernacles – on the mount)
Usually, the pattern at Ascension is heaven above, Land below, under the Land, the three level Temple. But this reversal does ascend. The order is failed Government, helpless Sacrament, but everlasting Word. The tent down here might be destroyed, but the real house of God stands firm.
Numbers – Testing – Day 4 – Pentecost (rulers above, rulers below)
The LORD’s throne (Transcendence)
…..is in heaven; (Hierarchy)
……….His eyes behold, (Ethics)
…..His eyelids test (Sanctions)
the sons of men. (Continuity)
Again, we have a closed scroll, which is odd for Day 4, which usually has seven lights. The seven lights here are the seven flaming eyes of God, the Lampstand. But the seven-fold pattern is inherent in it anyway. Sanctions corresponds to Atonement, the Day of Coverings, so the author refers to eyelids. How brilliant is that. It means God “winks at” the sins of the righteous (first goat: blessing), but he doesn’t overlook the sins of the wicked (second goat, second death – cursing). And then for the Continuity step we have “the sons of men.” It all makes sense with The Covenant Key.
Deuteronomy – Maturity – Day 5 – Trumpets
……………But the wicked
……….and the one
…..who loves violence
His soul hates.
The Law is repeated. “Second Law”
Joshua – Conquest – Day 6 – Atonement
Upon the wicked
…..He will rain coals;
……….Fire and brimstone
……………and a burning wind
……….Shall be the portion
…..of their cup.
Well, this one really ought to blow you away. In the beginning, or “at the head” (which is how the Bible begins) we have the heads of the wicked. They are a false “Ark,” lawless men.
The waters above at step 2 are coals, which is also the “Exodus” step of this stanza. Also, remember that coals from the Altar were taken to set fire to cities that were entirely under the ban, “devoted” to God. This is an allusion to Jericho.
Fire and brimstone, at step 3 (Day 3), concern the four-cornered Altar-Land, which has broken the Covnenant and become a spiritual Sodom. Instead of fragrant smoke there is a stench in God’s nostrils as she burns.
The burning wind is, of course, at the centre, where the Spirit always is. He is the holy fire that incinerates the rulers who refused to rule over sin (Day 4 – Testing).
The portion mirrors the Land in the chiasm. Quite often we will see the Land at step 3 and those ON the Land (the “swarms/tribes/hosts” of God) at step 5. The first is the bronze altar and the second the golden altar (incense). In Joshua, the Land was divided into portions.
Now, and this is the serious part, the Conquest of the seven-fold pattern corresponds to the Sanctions of the five-fold pattern. The cup is the cup of blessing or cursing for the Bride of God (a la Numbers 5). In the Covenant pattern, this is where Israel swears to keep God’s commandments. They take the oath, the “Amen.” But when God comes a-calling for the Adam/High Priest, the cup tests him. He is made to eat (or in this case drink) his words. This is the point at which Herodian Israel is forced to drink the cup in the Revelation, which follows exactly the same pattern as Psalm 11.
Finally, notice that this stanza is a 666. The Sabbath rest is missing (as it is in Revelation 13). For calf-worshippers, who are made to to drink the calf, there is no Covenant continuity, no glorification. Instead of being metal men like Jesus, their gold eats them up from the inside, and they are slain with the Levitical sword.
Judges – Glorification – Day 7 – Tabernacles
For the LORD
The Day of the Lord is the Day of Adam as a wise judge. The pattern is completed in God’s Man, the 7.
(I think it’s pretty funny that the best way to find chiasms in Scripture is using the Return Key.)