Love, Betrothal, and Marriage

“The subject of the entire Bible, the content of God’s economy, and the secret of the entire universe are the divine romance between God and His chosen and redeemed people.”

The Bible is a romance, God is a courting God, and we must have a responsive, personal, private, intimate, affectionate , deep, tender, all-consuming, loving relationship with the Lord. He must be our unique Beloved. He must have our best and first love. We must be absolutely for Him alone.

The law was God’s engagement covenant with His chosen people. Through His enacting of it, He betrothed us to Himself, separated us from all others.

God loves us not for who we are, or what we do. God simply loves us without reason. What God is seeking are those “crazy,” “blind,” lovers who are willing to simply tell Him, “Lord Jesus, I love You” a thousand times a day.

In a nutshell, that was the message.

Personally, I know I love the Lord. However, I don’t think it is all that much different than how I love my family, or my dog, or to lay around in a hammock under the shade of a mulberry tree on a beautiful sunshiny spring day and read a book.

This message was exposing. God does not seek such blasé lovers. God’s love toward us is real, burning, jealous. He loves us as a Husband loves his wife. Maybe we’ve become too jaded about this as well. Or quite possibly I just don’t understand it, but I was encouraged that I just need to open to the Lord and pray:

“Lord, in these days, rekindle my love for You.”

The Condition of Your Heart

Close your eyes and picture this:

God upon His throne. Below it an expanse like a paved work of sapphire, clear and beautiful like a heavenly blue summer sky. God sits with a smile upon His face and says to you that you were brought here upon eagles’ wings. That you are His personal treasure. That you are a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Then, He invites you to gaze upon Him and feast with Him.

Warming scene, eh?

How about this one:

The same throne, but you only know it is there. You are unable to see it through the deep darkness that surrounds you. Out from everywhere, you hear thunder and lightening. Smoke permeates the atmosphere. You see and feel the presence of death and you are gripped by fear and trembling.

Not so warming.

Which scene would you rather be in? These are the two opposing situations that are seen in Exodus 19-24. Both of these scenes surrounded the children of Israel as Moses was given the Ten Commandments, the Ten “Words” of God. Whether we are in the positive scene under the sapphire expanse or in the negative scene, mired in deep darkness depends solely upon the condition of our heart.

Brace yourselves, the Ten Commandments are not a list of do’s and don’ts. They aren’t a measuring rod to determine how great a Christian you are, or how big of a failure. The Ten Commandments reveal who God is and more specifically who God is to us. Through His words, we know who He is and through the Lord Jesus as the unique Word of God, we have access to all that God is. In order for the law to become living to us, we must take care of our heart. We cannot be law-keepers, but must be loving seekers. When our heart is right toward God the law of God exposes, subdues, and guards us on the one hand and ministers and dispenses God into us on the other so that we can partake of God’s riches and become the same as God in life, nature, and expression. Through God’s ministering and dispensing we are able to fulfill God’s desire, that is to have a people as His testimony.

May the Lord have mercy on us that we would be like the Psalmists, those who love God, seek God, dwell with God, behold His beauty, are infused with the riches of God, enjoy the riches of life, are supplied with God to keep His word, treasure the law of God, taste the sweetness of the law, hope in the word of God, and muse upon it. When we become this type of person we are true worshippers of God, those who behold Him and eat and drink with Him.

Study Questions Summer 2015

Message One

1. Describe how the Ten Commandments are expressions of God.

2. Describe the experiences of the loving seekers of God in their appreciation of the law.

3. Based on 2Cor. 3, contrast the experience of Moses in the old covenant with the experiences of the believers in the new covenant.

4. Why is it so important to spend time with the Lord?

Message Two

1. What is the subject of the entire Bible?

2. What was God’s intention in giving His law to His chosen people, and how was the giving of the law a transaction in which God’s people became engaged to Him?

3. Since the law was given as an engagement contract and the entire Bible is God’s courting word, how should we keep the law?

Message Three

1. Briefly explain the relationship between the divine light and the divine truth.

2. Use Isaiah 50: 10-11 and Psalm 36:9 to highlight the difference between light from God and the light manufactured by man.

3. Delineate the nine positive experiences of God’s loving seekers in the Word of God as a realm of light.

4. Describe the seven required attitudes and conditions in our coming to the Word so that we can experience it as a realm of light.

Message Four

1. Develop the significance of the blessing of light becoming life through the function of the Word of God.

2. Develop the significance of the blessing of being watered and of absorbing God and the blessing of inhaling God.

3. Develop the significance of the blessing of enjoying God as our portion and the blessing of enjoying God’s countenance and the shining of His face.

Message Five

1. Give a clear and complete summary of the essence of message 5 as presented in the opening word.

2. Taking the Gospel of Mark and Philippians 2:5-8 as the basis, what do you see concerning Christ as the Slave of God, and what aspect of Christ as the Slave of God do you especially appreciate?

3. What does it mean to say that a slave of Christ Jesus lives to the Lord and no longer to himself?

4. Present your understanding of the spirit of a slave, the love of a slave, and the obedience of a slave and of why such a spirit, love, and obedience are crucial in our practice of the church life.

Message Six

1. What are the covenants that God made with fallen man and with Noah?

2. What are the covenants that God made with Abraham and with David?

3. What is the significance of the law being enacted as a covenant?

Message Seven

1. What is the difference between a promise, a covenant, and a testament?

2. Explain the meaning of christ Himself being the reality of the new covenant. Show the way to receive and enjoy Christ as the new covenant.

3. What is the law of life? How does it work? What is the issue of the law?

4. What does it mean for God to be our God and for us to be His people?

5. What does it mean to know God according to Heb. 8:11? What are the different levels of knowing God?

Message Eight

1. What is the blood of the covenant, and how as the law enacted as a covenant?

2. What is the relationship between the redeeming blade and the presence of God?

3. How was the law enacted according to the intention of God, and what is the primary purpose of the blood of the covenant?

Message Nine

1. Describe the fulfillment of the type of the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the experience of our entire Christian life and the church life.

2. Describe the fulfillment of the type of the Feast of Harvest in the experience of God’s chosen ones, the believers individually, and the church corporately.

3. Describe the fulfillment of the type of the Feast of Tabernacles int he experience of God’s redeemed people, including the overcomes, the saved Israelites, and ultimately, all of God’s people in the New Jerusalem.

Message Ten

1. How is the worship of God related to knowing God in His Godhead and to our realizing and confessing that He is God?

2. How was Abel’s way of worshipping God according to the divine revelation?

3. Explain how the cross, signified by the altar in Exodus 20:24-26, is versus human wisdom and why, through the word of the cross and the proclamation of the Christ crucified, God intends to destroy the wisdom of the wise.

4. What does it mean to be “true worshippers” and for the Father to seek such to worship Him? In answering this question, testify what John 4:23-24 means to you and how it affects you in your desire and intention to become such a worshipper of the Father.