Hebrew Highlights 55 - CHIMNEYS
Shalom. This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
MAL 3:10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” What is meant by the “windows of heaven”? Before we get into this discussion, let’s read another passage where this image is found.
2KI 7:1-2 Then Elisha said, "Listen to the word of the Lord; thus says the Lord, 'Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.'" And the royal officer on whose hand the king was leaning answered the man of God and said, "Behold, if the Lord should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?" Then he said, "Behold you shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it."
The Hebrew word “arubot”, translated here as windows”, is actually used today for “chimneys”. The basic idea is of a long round window reaching up into heaven, not for the purposes of seeing into God’s kingdom, but for the purpose of transferring things back and forth. It is a sort of flue or sluice, or if you will, a chimney indeed.
It’s actually not so strange if you think first of the things we send up to God. Take for instance REV 8:3-4, “And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand.”
We can also remember the smoke from the sacrifices which went up before Him, and of course the aroma from the altar of incense. So, yes, we have a vessel by which to give to the Lord, and to receive. All of this is of course allegorical, but on the other hand, we need to remember that things of the spirit, though difficult to understand for us mortals, are eternal and real.
Another example of blessing received from above is in ISA 44:3, “For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, And My blessing on your descendants.” So we receive rain and other blessings through the “chimneys of Heaven”.
I wonder if this is how the story of Santa Claus bringing gifts down through the chimney got started? Who knows?
Let’s return now to our original verse, MAL 3:10, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” The New Testament sequel to this passage is found in LUK 6:38, "Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."
I think all of us would agree that God doesn’t really “need” anything from us. Then again, a mother doesn’t “need” another finger-painting from her kindergartner, but it is a treasure which finds its way to the front of the fridge, displayed proudly for all to see. And of course, little Billy is sure to be showered with blessings and kisses from Mom when he hands his masterpiece over. It seems to me that what God really needs, is a sign of our obedience, a token of our love.
PSA 116:12-3 says, “What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? I shall lift up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the Lord.” All we really have to give to our Heavenly Father is what he has already given us. Our “cup of salvation” originated in His heart. We can only return thanks, and walk out our salvation to His glory.
I guess you could say that when it comes to blessings through the chimneys of Heaven, “What comes down must go up”!
Shalom, Shalom, from Jerusalem.