Perambula and Gracefeld with their long distance Z-ray angel vision together observed the very beginning of the phase that would last until the end of time. They watched the Lord of heaven and earth take Israel into His magnificent heart to discipline them, to form them and father them, slowly, patiently, and thoroughly as best as possible considering the law He imposed on Himself to allow each person to exercise his own will. Each with his very own personality, unique in composition, even when contrary to God’s.
The two angels hovered patiently while listening wide-eyed to the Lord go on and on with hundreds of complex rules and instructions; none as simple as Do not Murder.
“Gracefeld,” asked Perambula, “does God actually think they can remember all this? The details are mind boggling!”
Gracefeld chuckled as the angel watched Moses fervently write down every word God said without benefit of either pencil or paper. “Poor old man, there is really only one commandment he needs to know,” said Gracefeld, “but you know God, the same level of detail that He put into Creation for photosynthesis and digestion and like all those laws that nature abides by to dispense light and water, He wants to plant in humans for proper conduct and relationship with Him.”
“How is that possible?” replied Perambula. “The laws of nature are automatic! Laws of conduct are not. The humans must work very hard within themselves, with their own will combatting all sorts of obstacles to comply. I just don’t think this will work.”
Gracefeld shrugged angel wings and replied, “They must learn to yield, they must learn why they should want to yield to God.”
Perambula replied, “Well, He gave them a conscience; with its knowledge of right and wrong; He gave each of them a spark of divinity within when He made man in His image and likeness; maybe that will be good enough?”
“What do you think?” replied Gracefeld with a whiff of cynicism.
“It seems that human divinity is fragile and must be nourished even as the body must be nourished or die; likewise, the conscience is not as strong as it should be. It is so easily masked by the ego and passions. From what I have observed of human hearts, they will never be able to recreate nature’s automatic obedience to God’s laws.” continued Gracefeld. “Besides, how long will they care about His Will when they are safe and sound? They can’t stay this scared of the thunder forever?”
While the angels were carrying on second-guessing God and criticizing humanity, the Lord was still dictating to Moses and the people.
“When a ruler sins, doing unintentionally any one of all the things that by commandments of the Lord ought not to be done and he incurs guilt, once the sin he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring as his offering a male goat without blemish. He shall lay his hand on the head of the goat; it shall be slaughtered at the spot where the burnt offering is slaughtered before the Lord; it is a sin offering. The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of the burnt offering, and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering. All its fat he shall turn into smoke on the altar, like the fat of wellbeing. Thus, the priest shall make atonement on his own behalf for his sin, and he shall be forgiven.”
When God paused, Perambula said, “Remind me never to sin!”
Gracefeld smiled remembering that the only sin an angel can commit is to betray God. Angels live such simple lives of service.
Perambula nodded in agreement while wondering why God required the bloodshed of the innocent goat.
Gracefeld, reading Perambula’s mind responded, “God doesn’t require the bloodshed as much as the person does. They need the visual that sin causes death. Even if it isn’t the sinner’s own death.”
“Then how can blood trigger forgiveness?” Gracefeld’s explanation didn’t keep Perambula from stewing. The angel had seen sacrifices from before the time when Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac and the goat appeared, but hadn’t thought about it until now.
Gracefeld replied, “I don’t know Perambula, you need to ask Him, but my guess is that the blood of death signifies the end of the offense. The sin is dead and gone, separated from the life of the offender. Even though God despises death, He sees it is a powerful tool.”
Perambula thought about that for a moment and no more as the angel didn’t like to think too much, but rather decided to ask God why He was satisfied with blood. Perambula was shaken out of these thoughts by the sound of God going on and on with His instructions.
“You must not lacerate yourselves or shave your forelocks for the dead. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. You shall not eat any abhorrent thing. These are the animals you may eat, the ox, the sheep, the goat, the ibex, the antelope, the mountain sheep. Any animal that divides the hoof and has the hoof clef in two, and chews the cud, you may eat. Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof clef you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger. Because they chew the cud but do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you. And the pig because...”
As Perambula listened it occurred to the angel that it was simply a characteristic of God to be detailed, which He used to create the heavens and earth and all forms of life to the smallest function, like the detail of nose hairs!
Perambula’s gaze shifted to Moses and then the elders and the people. The angel chuckled to see all those heads nodding in syncopated rhythm.
Gracefeld hovered over to Perambula and sighed, “Poor stupid souls. They haven’t a clue how to relate to a God they cannot see. All that these beings have ever known were idols. They are going to have to be forced by punishment and even death to change their minds from worship of the image to worship of the imageless God.”
“Yikes, or even love you mean, right?!” said Perambula wide-eyed. Being a Spirit too it never occurred to the angel that these people, except Moses and Aaron, could neither see nor perceive the reality of God! A human could imagine such a phenomenon by erasing a hand from their body. The hand is there, but invisible. Useful, but in a very different way than the other hand.
Perambula thought about that for a few moments and commented, “That’s a good point Gracefeld. For the very first time since Creation, our God is engaging through both love and punishment, not just one person, Noah or Abraham, but a family of persons, Israel, into a relationship with Him, as invisible as He is. How strange it must be for the humans to be so physical, and within a physical, biological environment and yet be asked to obey an invisible God!”
Gracefeld replied, “Well, for some, He will make the reality of His Being obvious luring them with His powers over nature, as He did with the plagues in Egypt, and His ability to provide for their needs, the manna, the water from rocks. Later, He will work with one person at a time, making Himself known.
Meanwhile, I think God is weaving a mystical rope for humans to climb, no; it’s broader than that, it’s a net that stretches from the rich soil of the earth covered in trees, bushes and flowers, all the way up to His throne room!” Perambula growing increasingly ebullient with this vision added, “I can see that now! He is forming a way to be with them and they with Him, always, consciously, lovingly, obediently, and worshipfully. When the day comes that those who have followed the celestial path can see with their human eyes the reality of the place to which they have they have been led, and when they see God face to face, as Moses has…well what a shock, what a surprise that will be!”
“But until then,” said Gracefeld, “God wants to see what his humans, his little gods will do on and for the earth without His overwhelming obvious presence.”
“I think I see what is going on here!” giggled Perambula.
“Yes?” added Gracefeld skeptically.
“God is using this family of Israel as His tool, as His control group to work from the ground up, in addition to working from heaven down to mold humans, one by one according to his or her own will to regain His image and likeness. Brilliant! It sounds so simple.” said Perambula with great enthusiasm.
“It’s far from simple Perambula.” replied Gracefeld. There’s evil, and there is ego. There’s ignorance, and there is passion.”
“Mmmm? Okay, I see it now, clear as can be.” said Perambula who likes to oversimplify everything, “Humanity is divided by those who are Children of God, some knowingly, some unconsciously, and those who are blind and deaf and dumb to His very existence. Disconnected. Autonomous.”
God had heard enough of the angel jabber and paused his lecture to refocus Perambula and Gracefeld. “Stop, you foolish angels! We have work to do! Look down there, Aaron and Miriam are conspiring against Moses. You two nip that situation in the bud, right now! Get back to work!”