Made To Crave Blog Hop~Week 3
3″I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden wealth of secret places, So that you may know that it is I, The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.” Isaiah 45:3 NASB
Looking at the Hebrew roots in the Strong’s Concordance we find deeper meaning (my comments are under each of the Hebrew words):
I will give = nathan. Some of the meanings are: to give, bring forth, occupy, recompense.
- We’re given a treasure that is compensation for what we endure and for persevering in those dark times.
You the treasures = otsar. It means: a depository, cellar, treasure, store, a treasury, storehouse.
- We’re not just talking a few things here. It’s so much treasure you need a place to store it. In the spiritual I believe this would be “treasuring things in our hearts.” (see Job 22:22, Psalm 119:11;Matthew 6:21, 12:35; Luke 2:19).
Of darkness = choshek. Literally darkness, obscurity. Figuratively misery, destruction, ignorance, sorrow.
- The darkness of misery, sorrow-aka trials. But also of ignorance. I find that an interesting thing here. Sometimes we suffer because we do not seek God’s wisdom and the counsel of other believers. (See Proverbs 1:5, James 1:5)
hidden wealth = matmon: hidden treasure, treasure, a secret storehouse; hence, a secreted valuable (buried); generally money — hidden riches, (hid) treasure(-s).
- wealth, in the form of experience from our trials, and also in the form of things that the “locust” have stolen from us (Joel 2:25)
of secret places = mistar: a secret place, hiding place, a concealer, covert.
- Could these secret places be the things from our past that have built up in us the walls of doubt, fear, and worry—all things which the Lord doesn’t want us to have. If we allow Him to clear out this “trash” from the secret places of our hearts, there will be room to store the treasures He wants us to store there—His Word, His Love, His Wisdom, Grace, and Mercy…The good things He wants us to have.
so that you may know = yada: to know, acknowledge, acquaintance, assuredly, be aware, familiar friend, kinsman
- It is quite obvious that this word in Hebrew has a lot more meaning than in the English. Know here is intimate, familial.
that it is I, the Lord = Yhvh: the proper name of the God of Israel; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God — Jehovah, the Lord.
- God wants us to know Him, His voice, His character. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27NLT). 1 John 4:8 & 16 tell us that God IS love. That being so, much of God’s character is revealed in what Paul describes love to be in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. God’s character is also revealed in His names (see http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/misc/name_god.cfm for a list (not necessarily all) of God’s names).
the God = elohim: God, exceeding, very great, mighty, Plural of ‘elowahh; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God.
of Israel = Yisrael: “God strives,” another name of Jacob and his descendant–Israel.
Who calls = qara: to call, proclaim, read, to call out to (i.e. Properly, address by name), ), (be) famous, guest, invite, , (make) proclaim(- ation).
- How awesome that God calls us, invites us to be in relationship with Him. It’s a proclamation called out to us, not just in generality, but as the next phrase shows us, by our name. Each individual.
You by your name = shem: a name, the idea of definite and conspicuous position; an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character.
- Isn’t it awesome to know that God knows us by name? Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So, don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31 NIV). We are important to God.
Although this chapter is specifically a prophecy regarding Cyrus that was fulfilled, I believe it has relevance with our lives now in a spiritual way as well as a physical (monetary) way. This verse particularly has significance for our lives now.
There are times in our lives that are dark. When the world seems to close in upon us and we cry out to the Lord for Him to rescue us from the pain and heartache. Sometimes those dark times seem to go on endlessly and we may begin to wonder if God has forgotten us. Be assured He has not forgotten you! But sometimes, we forget who He is. We forget He is The Almighty and that He sometimes allows bad things to happen for the greater good. He is there with us, but sometimes we just don’t cooperate the way we should, because we are looking at the circumstances instead of our God. But God does not leave us there alone, ever. He sits as a Refiner of silver (Malachi 3:3). I have read about how a silversmith works when he is refining the silver. He puts the silver into the fire and he holds it there. He keeps his eyes on it continually. He has to be vigilant or it can be ruined. And He knows when it’s done/pure because He can see His reflection in it.
Here’s a video on Youtube that gives a good illustration of this:
Our God is merciful. He will not let us suffer beyond what we can stand, but He may bring us right to the edge of it to get us to draw closer to Him and completely release it all, submit to Him. This is one of those paradoxes contrasting the world and God’s kingdom. In the world as we grow and mature we are expected to become more and more independent. In God’s Kingdom, the more we grow and mature the more dependent upon God we must become, trusting Him in all things.
The good news is that when God sees us through that darkness and brings us again into the light we have a treasure within that has been wrought from that trial – a testimony. It is a precious jewel for us to use for God’s glory. One that attests to the power of the One True, Living God in our lives! The “pure silver” of the trial is that our faith will have grown stronger, enabling us to withstand even greater challenges and trials along the way and help others in their own struggles. For me this has been the greatest treasure from my hardest trials! I have seen God work miracles in the lives of others using my testimony as a tool.
When God created Adam He said that it was not good for him to be alone. Even though He had God and a perfect creation, God knew Adam also needed another person to share his life journey. We all need someone to share our joys and our burdens. We need others who can speak life and the light of truth into the darkness of our lives. And it’s nearly impossible to do that unless we have experienced similar trials. That’s not to say we all have to experience everything, that would be unbearable, but we are all born with certain personality traits and God given talents. Combine those with the gifts that the Holy Spirit imparts to us and the testimonies we earn in our trials and we are each equipped for a certain area(s) of ministry to brimg glory to our God.
There is also a physical (possibly monetary) blessing that can come from the darkness, when we continue to walk faithfully with the Lord despite our circumstances, as Job did. Job had everything taken from him – his children, wealth, possessions, and his health – all except a bitter wife and three so-called friends. Job refused to blame or curse the Lord. He did not understand why, but he chose to say, “25“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. 26And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! 27I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!” (Job 19:25-27 NLT). Job kept an eternal perspective even in the midst of overwhelming loss and suffering. And God rewarded Him and paid him back twice what he had lost. Let’s look at that passage:
“10When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! 11Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.”
“12So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 13He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. 14He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15In all the land no women were as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers. 16Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. 17Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.” (Job 42:10-17 NLT)
It was not only his attitude toward God during this trial, but the fact that he didn’t hold a grudge against his accusatory friends and he prayed for them. How we handle a situation determines our progress and our witness. The Israelites took 40 years to make an 11 day journey, because they did not trust the Lord, even though He proved His faithfulness time and again. I determined a long time ago I don’t want to be like the Israelites were. I don’t want to keep circling that mountain (Deuteronomy 2:3) like they did. I want to keep moving forward with my eyes on Jesus and not my circumstances. I am so tired of that. Whenever I take my eyes off of Jesus and dwell upon my circumstances, I get weak, tired, depressed, fearful, and have a pity party. I still have these occasionally, but I don’t like those parties, do you? I want a celebratory party! I can have those 24/7/365 because Jesus is my Lord and He is most worthy of all my praise!! So I can rejoice and celebrate any time and all the time because I, like Job, know that my Redeemer Lives! I know He will again stand upon the earth and I will see Him with my own eyes!
As we walk this journey to Craving God and not food, not cigarettes, not ________, we are not alone. We have each other. We are finding that there are other ladies in this OBS that have similar issues and similar pasts/trials that have equipped them to encourage us, while we are equipped to encourage someone else. And most importantly God Almighty, who is also Abba (daddy) is with us. He just wants us to reach our arms up as a child and ask Him to hold us and take care of us. He loves each of you so very much!! Don’t ever forget that and don’t let the enemy plant lies and doubts in your thoughts that tell you otherwise. He loves you as you are, where you are right now. But He wants to give you more, help you claim victory over your struggles. He loves you as you are, but too much to let you stay there. And sometimes that can be a painful process until we submit and cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit.
Treasure from dark places is a truly precious treasure that cannot be destroyed, for it has stood the test of fire and has been purified. May you be blessed beyond measure with the grace of God in this study! Know that your Redeemer Lives! If you know Jesus as your Savior His Spirit lives inside of You. You are never alone. You are always within His reach. He is there in every breath you take. Find strength, courage, and peace in this truth today!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm1MY2NZEZs – Dancing Generation by Matt Redman