Why was the unique sacrificial rite in Genesis 15 required, and what did it signify? Was it simply a self-maledictory oath on the Lord’s behalf, or was there something deeper going on?
Sweet Counsel: Essays to Brighten the Eyes is now available on amazon. It is a collection of very polished and reworked blog posts along with some new material. Here is the introduction…
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
If, in the language of biblical symbols, gold is solid light and oil is liquid light, then honey is liquid gold.
As the golden Ark contained the Ten Words, and the oil of the Lampstand lightened the path of the king, so honey is the Word of God in edible form. In the wilderness, manna tasted like honey wafers. In Canaan, the law of the Lord was even more desirable than its precious honey (Psalm 19:10; 119:103).
After describing to an older Christian friend what happened in Jerusalem during the Jewish war, he replied, “Why have I never been taught this?”
Without their Covenant context and historical bearings, the pointy words of Jesus become so “generalized” that they seem inconsequential. In the wisdom of God, the tragic events of AD70 were recorded that we might understand the consequences of ignoring Jesus. They nail the New Testament Scriptures to the ground.
Alpha and Omega
Since the sacred architecture of the Jew-Gentile social structure set up in Daniel was a spiritual expansion of the previous physical sanctuaries, we should not be surprised to find its shape serving as the foundation for the New Testament. Since the Holy Place symbolised the court of the King of Heaven, the Tabernacle sheds some helpful light on Jesus’ cryptic description of judgment from His throne in Matthew 25. It not only becomes clear why the Lord uses sheep and goats as symbols for Gentile nations, but their locations and destinies bring to an end a narrative thread which can be traced back to Genesis 4.
Although it claims to make “children of God,” paedobaptism in reality is the spiritual version of Abraham’s sin with Hagar.
or Polygamy and Paedobaptism
Arguing for Christian morality in a modern secular society is difficult. Besides the fact that any culture which accepts evolutionary dogma has no foundation for absolute morality, the Bible itself does not give us a timeless list of absolute commandments. Cherrypicking laws from Leviticus that apply today from those that do not is clearly just as arbitrary, especially to those without any love for the Word of God. But all the commandments are rooted in a history which grows like a tree. To understand the commandments, we must understand the history. Only when we do this can we proclaim with authority what the Lord demands of us today, and the results can be surprising.
For as in those days before the flood
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
until the day when Noah entered the ark…
The Oath/Sanctions section of the Revelation seems to have three parts. The judgment begins in the house of God (Temple bowls – Garden), then follows the revelation of the “mystery” of the Woman and the kings of the Land, and finally the judgment reaches out to the borders of the World (the oikoumene). This corresponds not only with the Garden, Land, World architecture of the nations in Genesis 1-10, it brings an end to the “intermarriage,” the compromise of the Priestly people with idolatrous kings. It is fitting that the third part of this judgment (chapters 18-19) culminates in a Red Wedding.
Why are there four Gospels? There would be so much less confusion — and theological spade work — if there were just the one. The most obvious answer is that each one was written for a different audience, as described here. The least obvious answer is that God was not only writing the commandments in human flesh, He was also “measuring out” the architecture of the Tabernacle in humanity.
For seizing the devoted plunder of Jericho, Achan was stoned to death and burned with fire, along with his children, livestock, and all his possessions. This judgment appears to contradict Deuteronomy 24:16, which forbids the punishment of children for the sins of their fathers.
It seems that the solution is architectural. Here’s an excerpt from the forthcoming Sweet Counsel: