Tag Archives: Hidden

What God Gave Up for Lent – Day 10

10. Root & Shoot  

Young sapling

Like a tender shoot and like a root out of parched ground. (Isaiah 53:2a)

From the first moments of Jesus’ incarnation, we see Him taking on attributes which were foreign to Him. For the first time in eternity (which is an interesting statement in itself), He, Who stretches from everlasting to everlasting, is new. Tender shoot means young plant or sapling. And indeed, that’s what He was at the incarnation—a new baby.

The word for root has meanings which I did not at first associate with it’s context here. There is within its definitions permanence, firmness, and being at the root, the bottom, the lowest stratum. And as one of the Three Persons of the Trinity, that’s Who He was. So in His divine and human natures, we see a tender shoot that is attached to an ageless root.

The symbolism here is much the way our God operates. There is so much He does which is unseen, and has been put into place for untold ages and is now being seen.

“I declared the former things long ago and they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead bronze, therefore I declared them to you long ago, before they took place I proclaimed them to you, so that you would not say, ‘My idol has done them, and my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.’ You have heard; look at all this. and you, will you not declare it? I proclaim to you new things from this time, even hidden things which you have not known. They are created now and not long ago; and before today you have not heard them, so that you will not say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’ You have not heard, you have not known. Even from long ago your ear has not been open, because I knew that you would deal very treacherously; and you have been called a rebel from birth.” ( Isaiah 48:3-8)

Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 6:25-27)

Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:7-9)

That is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:26-7)

So… now that God’s plan has been revealed to you, what are you going to do?

Singing with the King (50) – No Secret

Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy. (Ps 65:8)

MLK1I love this verse because it brings hope to an entire world.

But we have assigned His wonders to random acts of nature or unintentional human nature. And once His wonders have been explained away or “de-miracle-ized”, why would we be inspired to offer shouts of joy?

I think part of the problem is that we have so “personalized” our faith, that those around us rarely get to see what God has done within us. But salvation is neither secret nor hidden. Note these following verses:

The LORD has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God. ( Isa 52:10)

I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner. I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me if I could not be found. I, the Lord, speak only what is true and declare only what is right. (Isaiah 45:19)

For there is no other God but me, a righteous God and Savior. There is none but me. Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. (Isaiah 45:21-22)

So now the question arises: Is salvation still noticeable? Is it still obvious and in plain sight, or have we become too cold or uncaring, or afraid? Has tolerance transformed the Gospel of offense to a mere suggestion of possible change (well, maybe, sort of, but only if you need to change)? That is not the way the LORD designed and ordained salvation. And that is not the way we are to live:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:14-16)

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.  (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Singing with the King (36) – Vulnerable

He makes me lie down in green pastures… Psalm 23:2aLying in a field1

When you look up the Hebrew word for lie down, it has a sense of comfort attached to it; it means to stretch out. Now that position although comfortable, is also very vulnerable. Are you willing to be that vulnerable before the Lord?

Vulnerability is the appropriate condition for us to be in; He is after all omniscient—nothing escapes His gaze. Thus, whether we choose to be vulnerable or not, is a moot point, since He sees all. So thinking you can escape His all-seeing gaze is delusional, a waste of time, futile, and perilous.

Now why would I say perilous? Consider the following verses:

They say, “How does God know? And is their knowledge with the Most High?” (Psalm 73:11)

He says to himself, “God has forgotten; He has hidden His face; He will never see it.” (Psalm 10:11)

They have said, “The LORD does not see, nor does the God of Jacob pay heed.” (Psalm 94:7)

“You say, ‘What does God know? Can he judge through the thick darkness?’” (Job 22:13)

Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are like to You. (Psalm 139:11)

And they do not consider in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness. Now their deeds are all around them; they are before My face. (Hosea 7:2)

Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.  It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.  But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them,  for the light makes everything visible. (Ephesians 5:11-14)

And actually is not just a matter of omniscience, it’s also a matter of omnipresence. There is no place you can go that He is not. Now, you can try to hide from Him, deny his existence, or outright reject Him, and curse His existence. But that changes nothing. You are being foolish, and you will die without Him. And that’s why it’s perilous.

Finally, don’t forget the context. The LORD is your shepherd. Why not accept Him as such? You are vulnerable to Him whether you admit it or not; so why not be vulnerable because of your relationship to Him as your shepherd, rather than as your judge.