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B'resheet/Genesis 12:14 And the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was beautiful, very!
The woman in question was Sarai, the wife of Avram. An early midrash, elaborating on Avram's fear of being killed so that Sarai would be 'available' for some Egyptian man because of her beauty, tells the story that Avram hid her in a box so that she would not be seen. However, the border guards, zealous to collect customs duties, insisted upon the box being opened so that, at the very point of their entry into Egypt, Sarai was seen and her beauty noted and praised to Pharaoh (B'resheet Rabbah 40:5). One cannot help being reminded of Yeshua's words when He said, "There is nothing hidden that will not revealed. There is nothing secret that will not come to light" (Luke 8:17, GWT). Avram had hidden Sarai, his wife, to protect his own life and keep her for himself; and his very act of hiding her drew attention to her beauty, very!
On the other hand, the Psalmist also confesses to hiding things: "I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:11, NIV). Notice the difference in motive here - the writer has hidden G-d's word in his heart so that he might not sin against G-d. By having G-d's word, His sayings, hidden - and the Hebrew word can also mean 'treasure' or 'store up' as well as 'hide' - it is available at all times "for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of G-d may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NASB). Again, Yeshua's words bring this into focus: "Every scribe who has become a disciple of the Kingdom of Heaven is like a head of a household, who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old" (Matthew 13:52, NASB).
So hiding things away, treasuring them up for a rainy day or preserving them for the future is not necessarily a good or bad thing, depending on what you intend to do with them. If you are acting for selfish purposes, then disclosure and possible forfeiture are certain; if for sharing and enriching the lives of others, then blessing will follow. Not surprisingly, Yeshua spoke about this too: "Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. Instead, store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust don't destroy and thieves don't break in and steal. Your heart will be where your treasure is" (Matthew 6:19-21, GWT).
Further Study: Luke 12:15-21; Mark 10:17-22
Application: What is the purpose of storing things up in your life? Do you rent storage space to store more stuff than you can get in your house? Only storage in and for the kingdom of G-d will endure the ravages of time.
© Jonathan Allen, 2004
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