Worship Restoring God’s Image

Background:

Some passages in certain books of the Bible show God’s intentions toward humanity up-close and personal. Exodus 34 is one of them.

The story up to this point is God has established Abraham’s family to represent Him in His fallen world, and he has just delivered them from the nation of Egypt who enslaved them. The people, however, prove to be stubborn and rebellious of heart, when He brings their complaining souls to Mount Sinai and makes a covenant with them. While Moses goes up on the mountain of God for 40 days and 40 nights to get the Tabernacle instructions, the people brazenly rebel right in front of God’s presence by degrading God’s living glorious image to that of a calf made of gold. God is so insulted, He is ready to start over with just Moses, but Moses intercedes, and God changes His mind. Moses punishes the people, but God still will not Himself go with the people, or He’ll consume them.

Moses goes back to God for another 40 days and 40 nights to plead on behalf of Israel, and settle a new covenant with Israel. And here he asks the most daring request a human could ask of God, “Please let me see your glory.” God responds by telling him, he can see His goodness, and hear His name, but He cannot see His face. God prepares the new covenant, and bases it on, not just what he’s done for Israel, but upon His own character. He passes in front of Moses telling Moses His name and all that it means, and Moses responds by hurrying to bow and worship.

The name of Yahweh

How does God describe Himself?

  1. Yahweh–I am. He exists. He simply is, was, and ever will be.
  2. El–God. Creator, Judge, Powerful, Ruler.
  3. Rahum–Compassionate–Characterized by the tender feeling of the heart toward those who are suffering: also the tender feeling a Father has for his children.
  4. Hanun–Graicous–With a face shining full of favor.
  5. Erek-Aphaim–Slow-angered. He has a long fuse.
  6. Rav Hessed v Emeth–Abounding in Love and Truth. All that is in God is full to overflowing with Loyal love and truth
  7. Notser Hessed lelaphim–Keeping Loyal love to thousands. He keeps His commitments to all.
  8. Nose’ avon, vpesha’ vhattath–Forgiving wickedness, transgression, and sin. The Hebrew word Nasa’ has the connotation of Carry. It is not the Hebrew Idea of letting go of a sin, but the idea of bearing with the person who is sinning, transgressing, and acting wickedly against.
  9. V’Nakeh Lo yinakeh— By no means letting the guilty go unpunished. He will justly execute His wrath upon all.
  10. Paqed avon avoth al b’ney, v al b’ney b’nim al Shaleshim, vraveyim. Visiting the transgressions of the fathers on the children and children’s children to the third and fourth.

Dreadful and Glorious. God of the Old Testament showed Moses exactly what He is like.

Moses Response

Moses hurried and bowed down and worshiped. (Vs. 8) For an creature of earth to be thrust back into the fiery mantle from which the dust came, would be less terrifying than for a human made in the image of God, to come to know the one whose image he bears. Fullness of Joy, and utter dread. Worship– This is the melting in God’s presence in which all of our unworthiness is exposed like silver dross, and the Image is recast to that which it was originally intended to represent. The people of Israel cast a calf, and therefore exchanged God’s glory for the lesser glory of a creature of earth. (See Romans 1:23) But here Moses was before God’s glorious good presence and name, and he worshiped. He wrote down all that God commanded him on two stone tablets, and came down the mountain.

The Result

Moses’ face shone radiant light from being in the presence of Yahweh. (Vs. 29) He did not know it, but the people feared to go near Him. Did he glow like the moon or like the Sun?

  • In Daniel, the righteous are told that their faces shone out “Like the brightness of the expanse of Heaven forever and ever.”
  • In Matthew, this is translated as “The righteous will shine like the Sun.” Matthew 13:43
  • In Matthew 17, Jesus’ face shines like the Sun on the Transfiguration mount.
  • Acts 6:15 Stephen’s face looked like the face of an angel, and he looked up and saw the glory of God. Acts 7:54
  • 2 Corinthians 3:18 says of the believer, “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
  • A little later in his letter, Paul expresses, “The God who said, ‘Light will shine out of darkness’ is the God who has shone in our heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

It is safe to say Moses’ face shone like the sun. But how? God had restored the image of His glory in humanity in Moses here for a short while. How except by the revelation of Himself and Worship?

Worship is how God restores His image on earth. And if he restores His image on earth, He restores the earth. Only . . . through fire.

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Math Myth

At lunch today I told this story to some 5th grade kids.

Once there was a division between the Sum and the multiplication. There was also a guy named Minus, who wasn’t very good at doing things. He wanted to remove the division between the Sum and the multiplication.

Minus had one problem. He didn’t have a heart big enough.

So he drank a lot of milk to make himself stronger.
But his heart didn’t grow any bigger.

He went to school and learned everything he could about the division between the Sum and the multiplication.
But his heart didn’t grow any bigger.

After school he gathered as many numbers around him as he could: all kinds of possessions.
But his heart didn’t grow any bigger.

Finally, he prayed and asked God to give him a bigger heart.
And God gave him a bigger heart.

After this, Minus found Sum and multiplication still divided.
And because his heart was bigger now,
He applied himself to the division between the Sum and the multiplication
And Viola! He “subtracted” the division from between the Sum and the multiplication.

The Sum and the multiplication had a party and celebrated with cupcakes.

Then they all made an equation to remember how a Minus is always able to remove the division between the Sum and the multiplication.

That is why there is a minus sign used in the Division symbol.

The Eye of the Storm

I’ve been here before
The world is sprawling around
The rush of water forcing its way
Down, around, along the ground
Inland waves sweep you off your feet
Fear of loss, and helplessness
Feeling too paralyzed to go outside.

Familiar is the feeling when I choke
A shame, a stifling of the breathing life
Situations feel insurmountable
Everything beyond my reach from my unsure footing
Each victory seems one stroke against the tide
Catastrophe feels bigger than reality
I wish I could run and hide myself somewhere.

This is what I have always known
The storm, the shame they have an eye.
One is the calm around which the winds rage
The other is that body’s light, I evade to the floor.
The fear to surge through the fiercest tempest
Only to let the ferocity shatter my frailty
Venturing to enter that gaze safely

Elihu told Job that God was here
Our heart meandering knows this home.
The screaming winds guard this safe place.
The place only the humble seek unswervingly.
As shame gives up the last ounce of covering
Naked and vulnerable just I alone remain
Staring into His gentle clear blue sky.

Always
Through chaos
Ordering all powerfully
Present within our midst.
Testing the heart
Choosing us
Loving

I’ve been here before
The world is sprawling around
The rush of water forcing its way
Down around, all over the ground
I will wait here with Him safely
His presence my security
His eye, my soul’s calm.

The City, the Nest, and the Umbilical Cord

I visited the Las Vegas last year at night. The lights were staggering. The buildings lit up with enormous screens, and neon colors. Noise, clamor, flash, glamour, all a sham or something the like. And while I was in that city, my spirit was grieved. I looked up to Heaven, for a sign, but no stars could compete with all that garishness. Man’s invention had succeeded in blocking out the gentle constant voices of truth with their triumphant trumpeting.

One cannot see the stars in the city that never sleeps
One cannot find Heaven’s glory in a Government owned 501(c)3.

The established authority of the world in the church is a ever present white noise that excludes the sacred sweetness of silence in the Spirit. It is a ceiling of man’s devising that prevents searching eyes from seeing what Isaiah saw in the year King Uzziah died. It is a control of power in exchange for tax protection ensured, simply to those who agree not to politically get in the way of the Prince of the power of this age. Pull the plug on the power of the city, and suddenly the night sky will blaze bright again, and moon’s night song will sing it’s nocturnal melodies. That is when we will recognize truth’s soft voice again in places we call church. Then we will remember that there is no accord between the temple of God and idols, and God’s kingdom is not subject to any part of Satan’s Kingdom except its persecution.

But did not Paul say to submit to the governing authorities? Yes, and so you may submit to the 501 (c) 3 regulation, but you will not see God move there. He will not share His glory with the World, and He will isolate to Himself heart-searching, heartbroken men to see His face, to hear His voice, and represent Him to the institutional church first, in order to echo His cry, “Come out from their midst, and be separate!” Says the Lord.

A fledgling bird will not fly until it leaves the nest and takes wing on the Wind. The nest is Government sanctioned, and by extension, in a way, God sanctioned. But the Wind in all its unpredictability is what can carry the free falling bird to maturity, over time and with practice.

Take heed to the difference between an umbilical corded baby and an oxygen breathing baby. Once the breath comes, the umbilical cord has only minutes left or the baby will get jaundice.

 

 

The Peach

From depths untold the Warmth was baked
Into the hardened crust ‘neath waves
And gathered into land, He seeded
The tree to bear the fruit we needed.

The planet much like to the fruit
It’s pit the core, round-pressure formed
The meat the fiery mantle surging
Through cracks in skin here on the surface

The land locked secrets not for mortals
The Maker made the fruit for eating,
But one tree he kept for His own
The seed of which was deeply sown

The very heart of Eden there,
Two trees stood at the river’s spring
One with juices invigorating
The other only the skin was for beauty.

And now the Tempter comes to toy
“You will be like gods! enjoy!”
And with a bite, the lady sought
The core knowledge not meant for her.

O! Leave the blessed fruit alone
And let replanting take right place
Of the tree of life, whose seeds take root
Not the seed of death, and weeds un-tame.

So the world once lost, will rise
At the core unveiled, it’s glory dies
And the surface rebellion is swept away
For the seed of the New Earth in the soil of Day.

 

♫ Opus 1: An Oracular Opus – Luke Ferguson. Listen @cdbaby

Click to listen at CDBaby

Source: ♫ Opus 1: An Oracular Opus – Luke Ferguson. Listen @cdbaby

 

I will keep a link to this on “My Music” but I wanted any followers to know where they could find my first Opus online.

It’s an oracle, or a burden the Lord impressed on my heart during my second last semester at College. It didn’t get anywhere then, but the Lord had me keep working on it, and now it’s available to the world.

The essence of the whole, is it traces the journey of the heart from the Prophet’s cry to the Glory of God, and shows the believer much of what he must know in between.

There are words to the Oracle, God gave me 3 years later, but for now, only the music is released for listener, theorist, and enthusiast alike.

May you find as much if not more soul-firing encouragement from this music as I did in writing it.

On Preaching God’s Word ~ A Poem

Don’t start talking beside the flower
Discussing its hue and classification.
That is description!

Don’t just let the smell be nosed
And tell people how fragrant it is.
That is reporting!

Don’t just finger its petals and thorns
And explain the touch of soft and sharp
That is informing!

You are not yet small enough
To know the flower properly yet
You are still outside.

Like the bee, lowly and industrious
Drawn by the sight, smell, and feel
You are in need.

Wanting life for heart and home,
You sink beneath the pedal’s crown
You seek the source.

The hidden warmth, the ever-present aroma
Of the sweetest secret nectar of Life
Now, you are before Him.

 

 

The Trench

In prayer I saw You
I knelt at the altar
Weak, in pain, sick
And weeping from anxiety

You said, “It will be beautiful.”
“What will be?” I asked.
“My ministry through you.
Do you want to see it?”

My heart struggled
I felt so lacking in will.
I felt no desire
Only the tendrils of Your grace
Still holding me

At length I said, “Yes.”
Though it was not fully my own will.
Then He said, “Go ahead and look up.”
I looked up at the ornate covering of the altar
And looked through them.

I saw a grey landscape before me
Surrounded in white mist
And the path was delved into the ground
Like a trench waist then chest high.
On either side a wall of shallow ground.

And I saw You.
You were white clad
Though I could not see Your face.
Your arms were outstretched.
Hands open, above the trench.

I suddenly felt this aching truth
Leap with tears from my heart.
Not only was my path on either side marked out for me
You moved onward on the path facing me
You invited me forward.

The single truth is hard to put in words.
I found myself longing to go towards you
Weeping with longing to be in Your arms.
All the while You guided me forward.
The way forward was simply getting close to You.

Melting

I visited the Welder’s house, and I received instruction.

He showed me a weld that was poorly done. It had sags. It had fish eyes. It had lumps. And it was not structurally sound. So either it would suffer abuse and afterward fall apart in 2-3 years, or it would nee to be ground down again. If it was done again smoothly in a structurally sound way, even after abuse it would last at least 10 years instead.

I understood: This is why God takes his time with us. And often has to grind us down and have us start over. Because he knows if he does not, then when we suffer abuse, we will be struck down to the core of our being, and will fall apart much quicker, unless he takes his sweet, steady time preparing His vessel according to the need only He can foresee.

He also showed me a weld with cracks, and he told me, “Cracks always propagate!”

I understood: any issue that is not dealt with before the Lord will continue to be an issue. Arrest smaller issues before they become larger ones.

He told me that welders often go fast because they get excited. But when that happens they only lay half of the load down. It takes a steady hand that has insight into the true nature of the particular metal who has a successful weld.

I understood: As God prepares his vessel, the vessel will be tempted to speed up the process any way he can, because he feels the Lord’s power, but he does not yet possess the true insight into the material which He is being welded into.

 

Bride

There is a bride
Who’s paralyzed.

Her under-developed body
Is cold, weak, shoddy
From lack of Spirit’s animation

Her imbecile consciousness
Is slowed by dimming influence
From lack of Spirit’s illumination

Her frame too frail
To through travail
Give birth to Spirit’s progeny

Her heart cringing fear
She curls up to look “in here.”
Closed up to the Spirit’s guidance

Clothed in dirt
Worms her dessert
Mixing sin with Spirit’s holiness

Precious daughter
Where’s her father?
Where’s a lover to romance?
Where’s a coach, trainer, or brother?
Where’s the Savior?

Here comes a minstrel
His song is sweet,
Her ears receive
Her mind perceives
Her heart conceives
Her body breathes.

Then comes a play mate
His games are fun
Her feet can run
Her eyes see sun
Her heart has won
Her chains undone

Then comes a father
His name is hers
His words she heeds
His strength she needs
Her mind he feeds
Her heart he kneads.

Then comes a lover
He gives up Himself.
Her face beams
Her eye gleams
She races streams
Her heart sings.

Then the Spirit and the Bride say:
“Come!”