April 24 “Hidden”

Hidden

There is something about the search that excites the human soul.
Solomon, mankind’s wisest king, said this:

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”

God is not surprised by our love of the search; He put it in our hearts. All of the wonders of science discovered by experiment and observation have been there all along, waiting for some curious person to search them out. It took many centuries to discover the secret of flight in the shape of the wings of the bird while birds flew effortlessly all around the heads of those who were searching for it.

Hidden in the Word
The Word of God is like that, too. Somethings are not hidden at all; they are stated in clear, unambiguous terms for us to believe on first reading. We can search these things out and find deeper applications, thrilling prophesies, inspiring metaphors, and instructive similes about these truths all through the Bible. God put them there; in Solomon’s words, He concealed the matter. He did not do this to hide truth from us, but to reward the combination of curiosity and faith. We search the Scriptures in faith because it is the only way to please God. We search with curiosity because there is joy in discovering eternal truth while we walk each day locked into time.

Parables of the Search
Jesus spoke parables on the joy of the quest, teaching us about the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • A Treasure Hidden in a Field. When an individual learns of a treasure hidden in a field, he/she changes his/her plans and buys the field. Then begins the joy of searching until the treasure is uncovered.
  • The Pearl of Great Price. When a merchant finds an overlooked pearl he/she determines to be of greatest value, the only thing to do is refinance everything and buy that pearl. The merchant sees value others do not.
  • The Net Full of Fish. When fishermen cast a large net into the sea, there is no selection process—all kinds of fish are caught up in it. The fishermen drag the net ashore and there they separate the good from the bad.

Life Lessons from these Parables
These are not meaningless bedtime stories. There are priceless truths hidden in these simple analogies.

  • Somewhere along the line, we heard the gospel story. Somehow we knew this wasn’t a fairy tale; it was the truth! We could see the difference between Jesus and Santa Claus. Jesus was and is who He said He was and is. We knew that to find Him, we had to “buy the whole field”—believe the whole Bible—and we did.
  • Jesus is the Pearl of Great Price. His church isn’t perfect. He told us that His field contained both the real and the fake. We cling to His church despite its imperfections. We have reordered our lives around the value of this Pearl of Great Price.
  • We keep on casting the net. The world is full of people who haven’t heard the Jesus Story so we keep telling it. When the net comes to shore there are bad fish and good. We seek out the good and pray for the bad for we know the Day is coming and the angels carrying the scythes.

As we go along, we enjoy the search for the hidden treasures of the Kingdom. God has given us the opportunity to fulfill this urge He planted deep in our hearts.

Scriptures:
Matthew 13:44-52
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
Proverbs 25:2
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, You are my treasure! I will search for You in Your Holy Word. I will buy the whole field of Your truth. I want to believe it all, even the parts I do not understand. You are the Pearl of Great Price. I will remain with Your church and I will be a blessing in Your power. Guide me, Holy Spirit as I search the Word for priceless treasure. Amen.

Song:
More Precious than Silver
Words and Music: Lynn DeShazo

Lord, you are more precious than silver.
Lord, you are more costly than gold.
Lord, you are more beautiful than diamonds,
And nothing I desire compares with you.

Who can weigh the value of knowing you?
Who can judge the worth of who you are?
Who can count the blessings of knowing you?
Who can say just how great you are?

Lord, you are more precious than silver.
Lord, you are more costly than gold.
Lord, you are more beautiful than diamonds,
And nothing I desire compares with you

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved