Hebrew Highlights 120 – Unseen Things
Shalom! This is Yuval Shomron coming to you from Jerusalem.
2CO 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Now there’s a revelation if I ever saw one! We tend to put so much trust in solid walls, bank accounts, cars, flood levies, and good foundations under our house. Of course, you may know someone who has discovered that all of these things can easily be “here today, and gone tomorrow!”
The Hebrew word used in this passage for “not seen” is “bilti nirei”, which is just slightly deeper than the English. It also implies “impossible to see ever”. We have become accustomed to scientists finding smaller and smaller particles. We rely on a media that leaves no stone unturned. We somehow believe that “if it exists, it is somewhere on the Internet!” Yet, the truly important things can only be “seen” through spiritual eyes, and even then, many of them will remain hidden until we pass to the next, eternal kingdom.
Let’s turn to HEB 11:3, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” Before Creation, there was nothing existing, which we, in our great wisdom, would consider tangible. The Word of God always has always been and always will be. It is eternal. “Forever” is a concept hard for us to grasp. If you think of the biggest number of years you can imagine, a billion, a quadrillion, or even a googolplex of millenniums, you are still at less than zero in Eternity. Mind-boggling isn’t it?
So how is it that we are given a seemingly contradictory command in PRO 4:20-21? “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart.” Well, an obvious answer might be that the Word of God has been written down in the Bible for us to see, black on white. Of course, the Word of God has not always been in print, and we may sometimes find ourselves without one nearby when we need it most. So how can we see God’s invisible words? Well, these verses already remind us that, as promised, God’s words have been written on our hearts, and those of us who are believers can see them with our inner eyes. But even non-believers can see the evidence of His words, as we see in ROM 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that “mankind” is without excuse.”
This brings me to one of my favorite passages in the New American Standard version. COL 1:16-17, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” This last phrase, “in Him all things hold together,” answers a lot of questions. For years since discovering protons orbiting the smallest atom, scientists, who have come up with many interesting theories, still don’t know why these tiny particles don’t just spin off into space.
Well “duh?” guys. Open your bibles. Without God, what seems to us to be solid would only be the vapor it actually is. Some other translations say “in Him all things exist.” The truth is the same. Without God, his love, his grace, and his creative word, all of us, and the universe we see around us would simple dissolve.
I’ll repeat a testimony I once heard given by a Christian physics professor. His mother, who was not yet a believer, had a massive heart attack while at home alone. She managed to call her son before collapsing to the floor, leaving the phone open, and unable to call an ambulance. A cardiogram later proved she had indeed suffered an attack that should have killed her.
However when her son got home some 30 minutes later, she was sitting up praising God. When asked what happened, she said, “well Son, I knew I was finished. So in desperation I called out to this Jesus of yours, and he came in the house and healed me. I’m fine, and I believe in Him!”
Her son asked, “How did He get in to a locked house?”, to which his mother nonchalantly answered, “He just walked through the wall.” Now this scientist, who later turned evangelist, wanted to understand this phenomena in detail, so he asked, “so Jesus was like a sort of vapor or ghost or something?”
After thinking a minute his mother replied, “No, no, it wasn’t like that at all. I would say that the wall was like a vapor. Jesus was REALLY SOLID.” All of a sudden, the professor’s years of study, or maybe I should say “brainwashing” in university made sense. Everything and everyone is made of moving particles. Those particles just gave way when eternal matter walked through. When God’s eternal Son Jesus came in to minister, the Creator proved more concrete that His creation.
I’m tempted to say that only Yeshua really “matters”. What a “heavy” revelation. Of course I don’t want to make light of the “substance” of this teaching. “Do you see what I see”?
Shalom, Shalom from Jerusalem