The Bride and the Secret Place: Part Two
In Part One the LORD showed what stops our sinful hearts getting into the Secret Place. In Part Two we will look at:
What exactly are the Rewards of the Secret Place and what does living in it look like? Let's look at the Hebrew meaning for the words.
I absolutely love this. The word in Hebrew for "Secret Place" is "seter." It is one word instead of the English two. In the Biblical Hebrew it means all of the following: "hiding place, covering, veil; secretly, protection, disguise and covert." Covert means "not openly acknowledged or displayed." I love this because it sounds more like being a very loved, hidden, under-cover agent of the LORD. It has a guarded, wise, proactive element of intelligent discernment to it. After all, who would think of being disguised by the LORD as the real meaning of living in the "Secret Place?"
But King David, the foreshadow and ancestor of the Son of David, did exactly this. We read in the Prophets with amazement how King David pretended to be a dribbling fool to escape with his life from the King of Gath, only to defeat the Philistines just two chapters later! (1 Samuel 21.13 and 1 Samuel 23.5)
But let's just think about what it took to be able to do that. Pride won't let someone play the fool. Pride will want to be seen as being the best, the kindest, the most accomplished "Christian", the one who should be honoured. King David was the anointed of the LORD yet he played the fool, he played far beneath himself, to later win the battle for the people of Israel. He literally made a fool of himself to keep the hope of Israel alive by saving his life. I call this "Davidic wisdom." Yes, King David felt scared but the LORD worked through his strategy of survival. In a believer's life, it means knowing when to speak and when to be silent, when the LORD is calling us to stand out and when He is calling us to blend into the background; when the LORD is asking us to hide ourselves and not reply and when He is calling us to show His favour on us and shine.
But, contrary to this following of the LORD Yeshua, pride will always want our self to shine, especially in the "church." But living in the secret place means turning the other cheek, letting others gossip about us or being prepared to be left or misunderstood by some or even many. Why? Because we love them and we love the LORD. Pride and fear of man will always over-ride this ability to listen to the LORD and go "under cover" and "unglorified." Yet, this is exactly what one of the facets of being in the "Secret Place" actually means in the Hebrew! It is the costly obedience and trust that Daniel had in the Lions Den (Daniel 6), Paul and Silas had singing and praying in prison (Acts 16.25), Joseph had while having God's favour from the prison keeper (Genesis 39.21) and the LORD Yeshua had while dying on the cross.
Like I said in Part One, living in the Secret Place is not always a romantic get-away. It is death to self and it is not easy to get into and remain in the Secret Place, because our flesh doesn't like to be confined! But with the Holy Spirit's help we can die to ourselves and live for His Glory and wisdom, not ours. If King David can do it, so can we, as it's probably safe to guess none of us are as important as he was to begin with! And as Paul instructs us; "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." (Philippians 4.12)
It takes humility, and most of all great security in the LORD, to willingly allow ourselves to be thought less of by others for a greater good. I wonder how many Jewish family members put themselves in this position to give their loved ones a better chance of survival throughout history? To play the fool, to not answer back or stick up for themselves, to protect those they loved? Do we spiritually love others in the church this way, even if they misunderstand us? How opposite this picture is to the modern apostate church, which promises success, demands self be "honoured" and enjoys being accepted by the world, all in the name of Christ, preaching a discipleship without death to self? Is the Secret Place becoming more and more of a secret, being found only in following His Word, not the doctrines of man or apostate churchanity? The Word of God does say that in the last days many will fall away and become lovers of themselves (Matthew 24.9-11 and 2 Timothy 3.1-5)
Here is a very challenging thought for us all about finding the "Secret Place." Do we follow Christ completely? Or do we follow Him only up to the point that others may think badly of us? Honestly, I've done both. The greatest example of this is Christ on the cross. He is the Greatest King that there ever is. Yet He made Himself a fool for us. He is the wisest Life and Mind I know. Yet He was called a madman. (Mark 3.21-22) He died for the very people who both killed him and insulted Him; that is precisely the love for others that comes from the Secret Place. Far from being hidden away, although it definitely can mean this, it may also mean being exposed in a community, knowing some are judging us without justice, but loving, serving and praying for them anyway; because that is precisely what Yeshua did for each of us.
So, these are central keys to finding and getting into the Secret Place; a death to self together with a secure knowledge that we are understood and loved by the King of Kings, so that we can serve, forgive and bless others. It is a dichotomy. On the one hand, Yeshua saves us by His Blood alone. But on the other hand, how we then live determines the extent of our intimacy and time in the Secret Place with the LORD. There is no gate on the Secret Place, we are free to choose to walk in by our love and obedience to the Word of God. But we are also free to walk out by our disobedience and love of self and this world. We will always follow what we most value, and in that, our hidden values, in the end, rise to the surface. Whenever we see something in ourselves that doesn't match the characteristics of Christ, let's quickly repent and ask His Holy Spirit to help us become more like Him in these days. And how do we know the characteristics of the LORD? By reading, learning and livng by the Written Word of God.
What other hidden aspects are there in the Hebrew to the "Secret Place"?
Did you notice in the Hebrew definition above of "Secret Place" the word "veil" above? Here it is again:
"Seter" in Hebrew means: "hiding place, covering, veil; secretly, protection, disguise and covert."
This alludes to marriage. But not a Gentile marriage. In a Gentile marriage the woman puts on her own veil, she hides herself. But in the Jewish marriage, the husband is the one who places the veil over his bride's face, before leaving her to prepare in the final hours and moments before their wedding ceremony. This is also so he can make sure he is about to marry the correct bride! Yeshua - as our very soon-to-be Husband - is veiling us Himself, to both ensure we are worthy to be His Bride and to cover us with His Unfailing Protection.
If you want to be His Bride but you are worried you're not doing so well, I have found these verses from the book of Jude very comforting: "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
So, if the Secret Place is such a narrow, difficult place to enter, what are the advantages of doing so? They are beyond compare! Let's remind ourselves that Psalm 91 says in verse one: "He who dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty."
What does "abiding in the shadow" mean in the Hebrew? Firstly, the word for shadow is "tzel" and means "protection or defense". It is also where the Hebrew root word for "prayer" comes from! I once had a vision from the LORD several years ago. He said, "The kingdom of God is completely upside down to the kingdom of man's church." He immediately showed me the rich reward of a quiet, praying woman, unnoticed and "unglorified" by the modern church. He then immediately showed me that some "christians" who position themselves within church won't even be in heaven. Prayer is a protection and defense given by the LORD from the secret place because it is humble, hidden and just between the two of us. In one way, people won't know we're doing it but in another way our inner secret life with God will become so apparent to others in these times; and they will either love what they see in us (the love, beauty, grace and holiness of LORD) or they will hate what they see in us.
But the Hebrew word for "abiding" will hopefully increase our understanding of the character of God and bless you so much! The Hebrew word used here is "l'oon." It means: "to stay the night, by extension to stay an indeterminate amount of time, to tarry all night." It sounds just like the wedding night, the night described in the Song of Songs. It is a marital love-call of the Bride and Groom, hidden in a Hebrew verse about the Secret Place!
As if this wasn't beautiful enough for our believing souls, there is more. In the Hebrew, the word for "dwells" in verse one of Psalm 91 is "yashav." In English we can say we might "dwell in the doorway" or that we might momentarily "dwell on the past." This gives us the idea of an elongated moment but one that is essentially fairly fleeting. In Hebrew, this verb doesn't mean that at all. It is, by contrast, a word rich in permanence. Here are all the meanings of this Hebrew verb "yashav" - it is, out of interest, the same word used for Israeli "settlers" in the re-created State of Israel today:
"To inhabit, settle, stay, to set up, to cause to settle, to cause to sit; by extension, to marry, with a focus that the spouses live together, remain, bring to a place, ease, establish, married, marrying, still."
How utterly beautiful. The word "settlers" has become a nasty word to the liberal modern and anti-semitic mind that does not like the Word of God. But in God's eyes it means the Jewish people are marrying the Land. But of course this is so, as His Word says so:
"For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah (My delight is in her), and thy land Beulah (Married): for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth." (Isaiah/Yeshayahu 62:1-7)
So, the first verse of Psalm 91 in the Hebrew expands our understanding and I am back to awaiting the arrival of my eternal Husband, the Messiah, just like the Jewish people are waiting for Messiah. Except - because I am Messianic - I believe through the gift of understanding given by the Holy Spirit that He has come to earth once before! I am waiting for the marriage of the Lamb of God, the Love of my life! But am I a clean, holy and worthy Bride for such a Man as He?
If we want the shelter of the Most High in these precarious and troubling times, we must prepare ourselves now to marry our Saviour! We must repent of our sins (which means turning from them), cleanse ourselves in His Blood, forgive our friends, families, enemies and all people who even hurt us by dishonouring our God, and obey His Word through His Holy Spirit. When we fall - as we will all do because we are not yet perfected through Him - we must be humble, repent, ask Him to pick us up and keep moving towards Him in love and obedience.
Of course, to finish where we started in Part One, this is exactly why the Bride of Yeshua is feeling His heart's cry to come dwell with Him in the Secret Place at this time, through His Spirit and Word of Truth in perfect balance. He's calling His bride to get ready for His Return. What a promise, what a calling, what a cost! What a blessing! I can think of no greater joy! (Revelation 22)
Hebraic and Prophetic Teaching
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