Furnace or Rewards

Jerusalem of Gold

Furnace or Rewards

There are five words for furnace in the Hebrew Scriptures. Of these five, three mean "testing". Of these three:

The first (Kur) means a little portable furnace. Which seems to me true, because   sometimes God tests me in small ways, while  I am on the move! 

The second word for furnace (Aleel) shares its root with the following meanings:  “To go over a second time, to be wonderfully wrought, to be dealt with in a way that causes suffering, to be thoroughly gleaned, to take in, bring before, introduced to" and surprisingly perhaps, "little one, child.”

If we are to be brought before the King of Kings it is a given, in the understanding of the Hebrew, that we will first be thoroughly gleaned and wrought over. Otherwise our characters will stay immature.  It also means that when we are tested we have to go back to that place of childlike trust and be very aware of our littleness,  relying on  our Father, not on others or ourselves. It is in this childlike trust in God that we realise how little we actually understand compared to Him.

The third word for furnace (atuun) in the Hebrew Bible is the one used in the book of Daniel.  Surprisingly, it shares its root with the Hebrew word for “Donkey” and “Rewards or Wages”. The Jewish Messiah had to ride into Jerusalem on a “donkey” because He was being put through His own “furnace” to receive His “reward”. Your soul is His Reward.  "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." (Proverbs 11.30). 

  His Reward was us, our souls, when we trust in Him.  Who would have thought that riding on a donkey was so wise?! Some would say He couldn't have been a King precisely because He  rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.  I believe He is a King precisely because He did. 

And when we follow His example of surrendering our souls to Him to be thoroughly gleaned  in the purifying furnace of His Word, we are being prepared to receive our Rewards and Wages. The LORD talks a great deal about wages and rewards in the New Testament, particuarly in His parables.

So, in the Hebrew,  we can see that God is making a word-family from: “Furnace, testing, being wonderfully wrought, being prepared into maturity, to be brought in" and introduced to the King.

The immature part of our soul may think a reward means promotion, prosperity, recognition, being liked by the crowd, often within a church, synagogue or ministry. The Hebrew shows that reward  means to be thoroughly gleaned; a much more unattractive offer to the human mind and heart.  But this is my ultimate reward:  to be made ready to be introduced to my King.

What would I rather?  Recognition in front of men  or the smiling face of my King?

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