“Are You Hiding Who You Are?” January 12

 

Are you hiding who you are? - In today's reading, one young woman traveled hundreds of miles on camel back to meet her future husband. He must have been waiting expectantly to see her, but as they approached, she covered herself with a veil. Today, if we wear veils at all, it's part of a traditional wedding outfit or a fashion statement, but that doesn't mean we aren't still hiding who we really are. It may be in a dating relationship or a social situation or in the business world.What if, as a young woman, someone showed up and said, “God wants you to go to another country to marry a man you’ve never met—and by the way—he’s your long-lost cousin!”

In Biblical times, people didn’t just meet, date, fall in love, and decide to get married. Even if there was “love at first sight,” marriage still had to be arranged with parents or guardians.

In today’s reading, one young woman traveled hundreds of miles on camelback to meet her future husband. He must have been waiting expectantly to see her, but as they approached, she covered herself with a veil.

Today, if we wear veils at all, it’s part of a traditional wedding outfit or a fashion statement, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still hiding who we really are. It may be in a dating relationship or a social situation or in the business world.

Also, read about how God can keep us “Safe in Persecution,” and how He wants us to “Depart from Evil,” and to “Walk in the Light.” 

 

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 23 & 24
Psalm 7.1-5
Proverbs 3.7-8
Matthew 9.1-17

 

Are You Hiding Who You Are?

 

Genesis 23 & 24:

Hiding Who We Are

 

Sometimes as we read about the unusual customs in the Bible, it’s difficult to see the connection to us in our time. Like, “Put your hand under my thigh …” (in Gen.24.2 as a way of swearing an oath)—aren’t you glad men shake hands these days! And what if, as a young woman, someone showed up and said, “God wants you to go to another country to marry a man you’ve never met—and by the way—he’s your long-lost cousin!”

Many marriages were arranged in Biblical times. People didn’t just meet, date, fall in love, decide to get married, and live happily ever after. Even if they did “fall in love” which seemed to happen with Jacob and Rachel a few chapters from now, things still had to be arranged with the potential bride’s family. In Jacob’s case, that arrangement took fourteen years.

And what about Isaac? He’s a grown man by now, yet his father sent his servant to find him a bride. And it wasn’t that he fell instantly in love when he saw her as if God was some supernatural cupid. When Rebekah realized it was Isaac coming to meet her, it says she covered herself with a veil. He didn’t even get a good look at her when they finally met! Later, we’ll see how a veil will play a part in the Jacob and Rachel story, too.

We don’t wear veils today, at least not until we’re actually walking down the aisle, but we do often hide who we really are. Paul Tripp says western dating is just a step above used car sales because the last thing we want is for the person we are interested in to know who we actually are. We put our best foot forward, as the saying goes. Tripp says after they’re married many women say, “Where is the man I married?” He jokingly answers, “This IS the man you married. The man you dated was a fake!” But, many men could say the same thing about us, ladies. “Amen” or “oh, me!”

Just as they did in the garden, sin and shame make us want to hide. Pride and the fear of man (what others might think), also, cause us to hide who we really are. And yet, the Bible teaches that there are blessings in openness and honesty.

 

The Blessings of Exposure

 

take off maskWe don’t just hide from people, we also try to hide from God. Yet, the Bible says:

“… if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1.7).

James says it another way:

“But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does” (James 1.25).

And Proverb 28.13 says:

“He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

The only way to live our lives in the peace and joy and blessing of God is to constantly expose our hearts and minds to the truths of God, to allow the Holy Spirit through His Word to expose those things that are not like Christ, so we can repent and, with God’s help, grow in His likeness. The good news is that He is so merciful and patient and never gives up on any of us. Thank God for His faithfulness!

The willingness to be transparent, to let down our walls of self-protection and self-consciousness, is valuable in human relationships, too. You can’t have an honest relationship without it.

And the only way to have a God-honoring, one-flesh marriage is to allow the other person to really know us, to be teachable when rebuked, encouraged to grow and change and to lovingly help one another become more like Him.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Psalm 7.1-5:

Safe in Persecution

 

Verse 1, “O LORD my God, in You I put my trust; save me from all those who persecute me; and deliver me.”

How important it is to put our trust in God, especially, when we’re suffering for righteousness or being persecuted in some way. Instead, our tendency is to be defensive or to return evil for evil (Rom. 12.17).

Romans 12.21 says “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

That requires putting our faith and trust in God and not our own ability, strength, or power.

 

Proverbs 3.7-8:

Depart from Evil

 

And if we need to hear that again, verse 7 says;

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.”

The world says, “I don’t get mad, I get even,” (returning evil for evil). But God says “fear the Lord and depart from evil” (overcome evil with good).

 

Matthew 9.1-17:

Walk in the Light

 

Jesus with lightJesus constantly shined the light of God’s truth on the people in His time. Some responded by allowing it to illuminate their hearts and to see Him as God and themselves as sinners in need of a Savior. Others, like the religious leaders, responded in anger and eventually crucified Him rather than allow their hearts to be exposed.

We can see this clearly in verse 13:

“But go and learn what this means. ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

 

Closing Thoughts:

Where is God shining the light in your life?
Are there any areas where you have become self-righteous?
Are you being wise in your own eyes instead of fearing God and departing from evil?

Are there any relationships where you have been hiding who you are? If so, is it hindering your relationship with others? with God?

 

Praying the Bible:

From 1 John 1:

“… if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1.7).

Lord, help me to be willing to expose my heart to the light of truth and to see myself as you see me, good and bad, so I can repent and walk in the light of truth. Thank you that when I confess my sins you are faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me of all sin. Help me to be transparent with others and quick to seek forgiveness and reconciliation. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

Coming Up:

In the coming days, we’ll talk about the consequences of favoritism, the kind of reality and full disclosure that God offers us in the Bible, and ask the question “If we act badly because of hormonal issues, is it biology or sin?”

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Blessings,
Donna

 

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4 thoughts on ““Are You Hiding Who You Are?” January 12

  1. Excellent post filled with so much truth. It inspired a blog post. Will share with you once I publish. Of course, the paragraph about dating jumped out at me and that is the inspiration.

    May God continue to renew your mind as you share his truth.

  2. I like to think Rebekah fell in love from what she had heard about Isaac. Sarah was a leap of faith following Abraham. Leah is the one who was either coerced or willing to go along in the deception, i wonder how she felt about it.

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