6 May 2010 (Chamashee/Teruah)|
Day #52, 5934 AM
From Idols to Idyls
Have you ever wondered how Adam and Eve viewed the world before their fall? At that primordial time they saw everything with purity of heart. They could see and converse with Yahweh, they saw beauty all around them in His Creation, and they saw beauty in each other. Everything was beautiful for they had no concept whatsoever of ugliness or sin. Their whole concept of beauty arose from Yahweh Himself.
We still pursue beauty today in the millennia since the Fall but we pursue it not only differently but we measure it differently too. Once our first parents had taken their eyes off Yahweh they began to focus on less important things and to seek beauty elsewhere. We see this first manifested in Eve's rationalisation in taking her eyes off Yahweh - the source of all Beauty - and on something else that was forbidden but seemed to offer an alternative:
What could possibly have rivalled Yahweh in beauty? A mere tree with some fruits on it? As we shall see in a minute, this was not just a mere common-o-garden tree that Eve Lusted after. First, let us see what Yahweh wants of us and what He wants to do for us. In the following romantic picture of the relationship between Yahweh as our allegorical husband and Israel as His uniplural allegorical wife, we hear something of the heart of our Creator in what He wants to do for us, just as a true husband wants for a true wife:
"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings" (Gen.3:6-7, NKJV).
This is the divine pattern for true beauty. Though the descriptives are of external things, at the heart of this passage is an adornment of the heart which we see even more fully expressed in the New Covenant Scriptures (New Testament). The key to understanding what this kind of heavenly beauty is may be understood in Yahweh's declaration: "I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine". This is an expression not only of true Covenant Love (as opposed to the world's self-absorbed and flesh-patterned romantic counterfeit) but reveals that the perfection of beauty comes internally from what Yahweh imprints on the soul and not because of externals like body shape, weight, age or the things that men and women obsess over in the world. Our scripture explains how the world, like Eve, changed focus and sought beauty elsewhere:
"'I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare. When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,' says Yahweh-Elohim. Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendour which I had bestowed on you,' says Yahweh-Elohim" (Ezek.16:7-14, NKJV).
As Eve took her eyes off Yahweh and sought beauty in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so Israel, Yahweh's people, have constantly done the same thing and used Eve's three rationalisations to justify themselves. And the rationalisation was that 'knowledge' would be the result...a knowledge like Yahweh's. But it was a lie. The result was death, not beauty, because the source of real beauty was gone and what was left was merely an image without any life of its own. Connected to Yahweh, Adam and Eve had seen beauty in Yahweh, beauty in each other, and beauty in the creation. Not only that, but they produced true Hochmah or Wisdom.
"'But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it. You took some of your garments and adorned multicolored high places for yourself, and played the harlot on them. Such things should not happen, nor be. You have also taken your beautiful jewelry from My gold and My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images and played the harlot with them. You took your embroidered garments and covered them, and you set My oil and My incense before them. Also My food which I gave you -- the pastry of fine flour, oil, and honey which I fed you -- you set it before them as sweet incense; and so it was,' says Yahweh-Elohim. 'Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, that you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire? And in all your abominations and acts of harlotry you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, struggling in your blood'" (Ezek.16:15-22, NKJV).
Separated from Yahweh, though, all of this evapourated. They could no longer gaze on Yahweh's Face and bathe in the pure Tipheret (Beauty), Hochmah (Wisdom) and Avahah (Love) emanating from it. They were not pure any more. Instead, they saw ugliness and responded by trying to hide from Yahweh...which is pretty much what people do today inasmuch as they try to conceal sin and try to recreate the beauty of the lost Garden through carnal devices. That is why today as well as anciently society bows down to the Cult of the Body. Externals means everything, and the inside beauty of character little. It is the original lie told by Satan in the Garden.
What could possibly have enticed Eve away from that wonder and glory that was a life in Yahweh? A mere tree? No. You see, the two trees in the Garden were two Beings - the Tree of Life was the pre-incarnate Messiah, Yah'shua (Jesus), and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil or Tree of Death was Heylel (Lucifer or Satan):
Lucifer was originally of extraordinary beauty and this corrupted his heart and perverted his wisdom. He became filled with pride and self-adoration. His judgment, like Eve's for following this egotistical yet beautiful angel, was swift as in this allegory of Satan in the fate of ancient Tyre shows:
"Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendour" (Ezek.28:17, NKJV).
Notice it was the external form of the 'tree' that attracted Eve - the glory, splendour and beauty of the fallen angel. He promised her that she would become wise like Yahweh and, implied but not directly stated, could stand alone, proud and independent of Him (like the angel himself) because she would be in possession of her own wisdom as a result of experimentally living life the way she wanted without restrictions...that is experimenting and experiencing without regard for commandments (since the only commandment in Eden was not to have anything to do with this 'tree'). Eve was the first existentialist and antinomian (lawless) human being and persuaded her husband to follow after her, doubtless playing on the need he had for her companionship and not to be left alone without her. For had he not eaten the fruit, Eve would have been cast out of Eden and Adam would have been left alone again, and would have remembered how "not good" it was to be without his mate (Gen.2:18). Never mind that Yahweh could have made another for Him or that Eve could have been reclaimed through repentance upon the coming of the Messiah. But then this is man's weakness too - he needs his woman because she is a part of him...she is from him, is him...and will do almost anything to keep her. Thus both men and women have had to learn vital lessons throughout human history - man to stick with Yahweh and not follow fallen women, and women to stick with her man and follow him in Yahweh.
"I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you. You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever" (Ezek.28:17-19, NKJV).
Why did Heylel (Satan) pick on Eve and not Adam? This is an important question and one that is not directly answered in Scripture though we can deduce it easily enough. Katherine Boyle believes that Satan rightly understood that Eve's beauty could be ruined by her disobedience (Hungry Souls: What the Bible Says About Eating Disorder [New Look Press, Chester, VA: 2007], p.6). With her no longer attractive - because she was focussed on her own appearance for her own glory instead of her husband's and Yahweh's - he would then place a wedge between husband and wife and ruin their marriage and family. For Satan knew that mothers, focused on self-beauty, would take "your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured" by the satanic character which is the flesh. And that's pretty much what Satan has been doing for the last 6,000 years.
Beauty for your own sake is an idol but beauty for Yahweh's sake is an idyl. For Yahweh's beauty is beauty of character. The restoration of the body into its former Edenic glory and beauty must await the resurrection. As believers we must focus on "the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of Elohim" (1 Peter 3:4, NKJV). The flesh decays and all that's left is what is in the heart. Look there, brethren and sisters, for therein lies true beauty and the one that souls in Messiah love more than anything else.