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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sabbath Rest: Rediscovering the Masculine and Feminine

 We entered a long sort of winter when we lost the masculine and feminine "indicators" in the Hebrew forms of certain words in prophetic books and in the Psalms.

In their historic language, words like salvation and righteousness had elegantly specific attachments to either God or man based on the gender of the word used.  Masculine forms indicated God.  Feminine, humanity.  What's more, "in the world of the OT period, objects and ideas connected with the sky above were regarded as masculine while the earth below was feminine."
--Psalms, by George A.F. Knight, p. 4.)

Therefore, Knight teaches, passages like Isaiah 45:8, become relational in a much more intimate way when historic gender references are applied:

"Shower, O heavens (masculine), from above
and let the skies (masculine) rain down righteousness (masculine, tsedeq);
let the earth (feminine) open, that they (people) may bear the fruit of (God's) salvation (masculine),
and let it cause righteousness (feminine, tsedaqah) to spring up also (this time out of the ground, or out of the human heart);
I the Lord have created it..."

So there is a God-righteousness, but there is also human response. These are as distinctly different as man is from woman...and as complimentary.  The feminine expression of "saving love" (which is to say the human form of saving love) is a "compassionate, creative love that a human being can show towards his neighbor." It is a gift from the masculine Saving-Love, the God-righteousness that must be given first, "by means of which he (the human) can bring his neighbor out of the chaotic power of sin into the joy and peace of God.  Those who thus 'recreate' their neighbors have earned the right, as Jesus puts it, to be called children of God." (Ibid. p 5.)
So how do we open the earth when we feel the heavens showering righteousness?
This is material for a lifetime's worth of meditation for it is the substance of union with God.

How do we re-create the loveliness of a more distant season?
An "other" domain?
The tsedeq?
Maybe we have dried it, preserved it, arranged it for display. In any case, it is given to us to make an offering of it, and so we do.
It is our tsedaqah, and we have the power to offer it in the beauty of holiness.

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