Topical Studies

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What the Bible says about Secret Place
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Mark 7:33

Jesus takes the man aside from the crowd to show tender consideration for the feelings of one for whom life was very difficult. Once they are alone, the first thing Jesus does is to put His fingers in the man's ears. They must be healed if the tongue is to work normally, since the man was mute because he could not hear. This symbolic action sends a clear message to the deaf man, helping to awaken his faith and to alert him to the expectation of healing. Since he could not hear encouragement, it had to come from a compassionate touch.

For us, we learn that it is good for us to be alone in God's presence, away from the busy cacophony of a confused world, which is never conducive to spiritual reflection (Ecclesiastes 3:7). In the quiet of God's presence, we can build and improve our personal relationship with Him (Psalm 46:10). Each person needs time alone with the Father to keep a sharp focus on Him. Jesus instructs, "When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly" (Matthew 6:6-7).

The popular belief at that time was that saliva had medicinal properties. This case and the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26; John 9:6) are the only instances where Jesus uses popular medical remedies in healing. However, He did not use His saliva for any medicinal virtue it contained but as a symbol of the spiritual power within Him and emanating from Him. By Christ's touch, the man was shown that the power to heal both his deafness and speech impediment completely came from Jesus. Even with this healing, the man would have to be willing to hear God's words; if not, he would waste his healing and the grace of God (Acts 28:26-28).

The account shows us that Jesus does not consider the deaf-mute as merely another case but as an individual. The man had a special need and a special problem, and with tender consideration, Jesus deals with him in a way that spares his feelings and helps him to understand.

When the healing becomes known, the people declare that He had done all things well (literally "beautifully"), which is also God's verdict on His creation (Genesis 1:31). In the beginning, everything was very good, but mankind's sins have spoiled it ever since. When Jesus came, bringing healing and salvation to the people, He brought the work of spiritual creation, beginning with His church. One day soon, Christ will bring back God's beauty to the whole world.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Deaf-Mute (Part Two)

Revelation 3:10

"Keep" here may relate to the word "bind" in Ezekiel 5:3, as this Hebrew word means "to bind," "to keep in a secret place," "to guard," "to look after," and "to hide," among others.

This final meaning, "to hide," bears consideration.

The idea of hiding is not foreign to the Bible, as the Old Testament mentions it over 200 times and the New Testament, 35 times. More often than not, people hide because of guilt, shame, or fear, but hiding can be a courageous act or a wise move. The idea occurs in the Bible very early with Adam and Eve hiding from God in Genesis 3:8. Tamar hid her identity from Judah (Genesis 38:14-15). Many of the prophets found themselves in hiding, for instance, Elijah hid from Jezebel (I Kings 19:1-3).

Was anyone more adept at hiding than David? He is one of the most courageous men who ever lived, yet he seems to have spent a great deal of his time running and hiding from someone. He often hid from Saul, and later in life, he ran from Absalom.

Even God hides! After killing his brother Abel, Cain lost favor with God, and he knew that God would hide His face from him (Genesis 4:14). God has hidden His truth from men. Our Savior Jesus was not above hiding to escape the crowds or from danger (John 8:59; 12:36). The day of His return has been hidden so that no one knows the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36).

Consider Moses for a moment. Moses was at first hidden by his parents, but after that, he was brought up right under Pharaoh's nose! Pharaoh had issued an order to kill all the male Hebrew children, yet this child was reared right in his own house. Did Pharaoh know that Moses was Hebrew? Whatever the case, God hid Moses right in front of them! Perhaps this explains why Moses fled for the desert after he killed an Egyptian, if he was afraid that his Hebrew identity would be revealed, and he would thus face execution (Exodus 2:11-15).

Examining Ezekiel 5:3 a little further brings out the detail that God tells the prophet to bind the small pinch of hair in the hem of his garment. Because my mother worked as a seamstress most of her life, I have seen many hems, and they are very small compared to the size of the garment. In addition, when a person binds or sews something in a hem, it is secure; it cannot come out. We should also note that Ezekiel was not only a prophet, but he was also a priest (Ezekiel 1:3). So, putting this all together, Ezekiel's small bit of hair is bound as a whole and quite securely in a priest's garment!

Ronny H. Graham
Hidden From the Hour of Trial


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