Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 16 – Hidden treasures

I will give you hidden treasures, riches stashed away in secret places, so you may recognize that I am the Lord, the one who calls you by name, the God of Israel.  (Isaiah 45:3 HCSB)

This was a prophecy given for the future King Cyrus who would only be born 150 years later.  Isaiah was speaking directly from the mouth of God about an event that would happen when Israel would finally be allowed to return to their homeland from exile.  God would use this Persian king to be kind and grant Israel their freedom.  The Bible never explains Cyrus’ faith in God once he appears in history, but he becomes an instrument in God’s hands to reestablish Israel and rebuild the temple.  He becomes a blessing to God’s people, and is so blessed that he sees first-hand who the true God really is.  

But as the Bible says, “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” which means that we can learn about God’s character towards us today in this prophecy as well.  

God gives hidden treasures so that He can be recognized as the true God.  King Cyrus’s kind heart towards Israel caused God to be kind-hearted towards him.  When we show a love and zeal for God and for His people, God wants to reveal to us His treasures so that through us, others can see His power.  

This verse shows us that there are riches stashed away in secret places, that God can see, but we cannot.  Only those who are in tune with God, and have the faith to obey Him are able to have those hidden things revealed.  I have heard many testimonies of faithful believers who lived in extreme obedience to God, even when it hurt their pride or pushed them beyond their comfort zone.  They tithed when it was very difficult, they sacrificed when it hurt, and they distanced themselves from negative influences of family and friends to remain alone for long stretches of time – by faith.  But in that obedience, God opened up those secret places and revealed his riches of whatever they needed.  Riches of healthy friendships of faith, riches of job opportunities, of health and renewed strength, riches of transformed families, and even physical riches and provisions that would never have been found without God’s supernatural intervention.  

There are Christians who go all the way with God, and God goes all the way with them.  And the there are Christians who like to hold onto their “little quirks,” as they call them – addictions that they don’t think are all that bad, foul language that they’ve given themselves a pass on since they’ve “cut back a lot,” the enjoyment of filthy jokes and basically an attraction to dark attitudes and people.  The ones who go all the way, are the ones who have eyes to see the hidden treasures of God.  But how can you see what is hidden if your heart is still enamored with darkness?  There’s no way.

Coming across hidden treasures is not a fairy tale dream, God has so much He wants to give to us.  He needs faithfulness, long-term obedience, and a zeal for His Kingdom and His people.

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