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Monday, March 21, 2011

The Romantic Drama

Part 2 to "The Garden of Harmony and the Tree of Duality"


We finished part 1 with a goal to reach the Promised Land.  In this Promised Land grows the Tree of Life, where God’s people are to have all their needs and wants met without toiling.

But God is romantic.  If the love story is too easy, we can never know if the love is true.  Romantic love faces trouble.  Boy gets girl.  Boy loses girl.  Boy gets girl back.  God originated this timeless plotline with His own story with His people.  The most interesting, troublesome, yet romantic, and lengthy portion takes place just after boy loses girl.  God lost his bride and then sent Moses to get her back.  But, like any good plot, a long series of troublesome moments occur before “boy gets girl” back. 

One of the troublesome spots is girl’s reluctance to return.  “Send us back to slavery!” she cried. “At least we had food and water there!”  “The people in the Promised Land are scary.  Let’s stay here!” 

Flaming swords guarded the entrance into this Promised Land with the Tree of Life.  God had already allowed Adam and Eve to be tested with pleasure and pride, and now He allowed their descendants to be tested with the suffering and fear of flaming swords.

Romantic God wanted to know: How much does My bride trust Me?  Is she willing to walk through a hot, sandy desert?  Is she willing to live relying upon Me for every morsel she eats and every sip she drinks?  Is she willing to climb a high mountain?  Or face a frightening army of big, strong, fierce warriors?  Does she love Me enough to face the swords?

Most of God’s people did not appreciate His romance.  Of six hundred thousand people who walked through God’s greatest miracle, only two had enough faith to face the flaming swords guarding the Tree of Life.

Only Joshua and Caleb loved God and His promise with sufficient passion to run after the promise.  They lived a radical faith that God would break through the thorns, mountains, and strong enemies for His people.  Though the brothers and sisters of their own generation never made it, Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land and lived into the glory God had designed for them.  “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chron. 16:9).

The metaphor of the Tree of Life transforms into the metaphor of the Promised Land, which transforms into the metaphor of the Kingdom of Heaven. Consistently, the Annointed said the kingdom of heaven "is."  Still, the majority of God’s people today think life is for tomorrow, not for today.  But drawing it into today means facing the sword.  Like the frightened Israelites, many are willing to follow the Anointed One as Moses out of the land of slavery.  Few have the courage to follow Him as Joshua into the Promised Land, the kingdom of heaven, for life today.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Garden of Harmony and the Tree of Duality


          In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  He created man and woman in His image, a harmonious whole, and it was good.  From Adam’s rib, He created Eve and told her she would be “lifesaver.”  God placed Adam and Eve into Paradise and told them they could eat of anything in it but the fruit of the Tree of Duality.

Eve encountered a test.  Would she eat the fruit of the Tree of Duality?  She did and she also gave it to Adam.  At the moment they ate, the garden lost its color.  In place of beautiful, harmonious color, the garden appeared in black-and-white.  Adam and Eve’s eyes had been cast with a veil of duality.  Good and evil appeared to be separate entities.  Adam and Eve also appeared to one another as separate.  No longer did the man and woman see one another as a single harmonious unit.


In the death of duality, God had mercy on Adam and Eve.  He sent them out of the Paradise so that they would not live forever.  Adam and Eve were now mortal. And swords guarded the entrance back into Paradise.

Knowing duality and mortality would prompt further consequences, God pronounced them.  Eve would have trouble bearing children, would desire the man as she was designed to desire her Creator, and be ruled over by the man.  Adam would toil at work through the futile frustration of thorns. 

All the rest of history is God trying to rescue Adam and Eve and their descendants from these very consequences.  Bit by bit, God’s history is a history of peeling away the consequences of thorns at work, of desire for man over God, of oppressive patriarchy, of the veil of duality, and even of mortality itself.

But the descendents of Adam and Eve often maintain their veil and are unable to see God’s hand in rescuing them from the consequences of their tests.  The veil gets thicker and guides them into deeper thorns.   Often they exacerbate their toil instead.  Anger and jealousy led Adam’s first son to stagger and wonder like a drunken man.  Tilling the soil and pulling the thorns became a much harder work for a man staggering about.  Much later, a time arose when the toil of Adam’s descendents was so great that they found themselves in slavery. 

Eventually, their cry reached the heavens and God came to their rescue through a prophet, Moses, whose name means “to draw out.”  He was sent to draw out God’s people from the worst of Adam’s toil.  Through this prophet, God performed miraculous wonders and even split a great sea in half, one wall of water to the right, one wall to the left, and dry land in between.  No longer were God’s people destined to toil the ground with the most painful thorns of slavery, but they were to walk into a land flowing with milk and honey.  All their needs – milk – and all their wants – honey – were to be flowing.  No toiling.

Stay tuned for part 2 . . .
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