Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hide and Seek

(God of Mystery and Secrets)

Revelation 2:17 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

In this verse I see the mystery, the hiddenness, even the playfulness, of God. The manna is hidden, the new name known only to him who receives it.

God seems to delight in allowing us to discover him, and to discover ourselves in him.

It isn't that he doesn't want to be found, but he wants us to look for him and to open our minds, hearts, ears, eyes and souls to what he will then reveal to us. There must be some effort on our part if we want to know him.

The verse above speaks to "the churches" (which includes us) of overcoming something. The preceding verses use the example of the Israelites, describing their "enticement," their seduction, by the culture of their time. Aren't we enticed too? It's so easy to read verses 14-16 as referring to a strange and distant time and culture, but when we pause for a moment, as God asks us to, " He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says ," we realize he's speaking to us.

If we overcome the enticements of our culture, the very real and daily temptation to idolatry, the putting of anything before God, if we ask, seek, knock (Matthew 7:7-8), then he will reveal himself to us and give us some of the "hidden manna."

Manna was the daily "bread" that came down from heaven to feed the people of Israel in the desert, after they left Egypt(Exodus 16:13-18). They had to gather it (put some effort forth) daily (it didn't last longer than a day).

It was symbolic of Jesus, the Bread of Life (John 6:35), born in Bethlehem (which means "the house of bread"), who is revealed through the pages of scripture in layers upon layers of depth and meaning. He is there, hidden, but waiting to be discovered.

Prayer: Dear Lord, my heart responds to you again this morning with adoration, love and wonder at the beauty that waits to be discovered in you.

Psalm 27:8 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

8 My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek.

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