Only the Lord knows the heaviness on my heart this week and the deception within myself that has come to surface. I don’t try to hang out in a place of “pretend” but still often find that reality is much worse than I would like to believe. If this is vague, it’s meant to be. But there will be a day when all things that are hidden will be revealed. (Mathew 10:26, Luke 8:17, Mark 4:22). That day belongs to God, not me.
I was picking up the house and taking down all the of the decorations from MaeKenna’s graduation party this morning, as the Lord spoke to me one word – “gazingstock”… I didn’t think much of it, lost in my own thoughts – but it lingered and boldly returned to me two more times before my complete attention was on this word He gave me. I wondered about the meaning, thinking perhaps it has something to do with herds or animals – I think I know what gazing means but I don’t know what a “stock” is… So, as I sat down to study the meaning of gazingstock I was led to the Bible. The word appears three times – once in Nahum, once in Hebrews and once in 1 Corinthians.
In Nahum God spoke to the destruction of the bloody city and the harlot – these people and systems in the context are strong and mighty, WELL FAVORED in sight of the world and full of themselves – yet God says he will make them a gazingstock for all the nations to look upon after he destroys them with fire and captivity. It’s a scary text as the Lord says,
Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
5 Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.
6 And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.
In the mention of gazingstock in the Old Testament, we see a people that were “well favored” and God was against them promising their end would be destruction… In the New Testament, we see a people that were not well favored in sight of the world, but they had the promise of redemption in Christ from this low place they had been brought down to. It’s like an opposite reference to two different journeys in.. what is seen (external favor) vs what is unseen (the sacrificial love of God in the Kingdom of JESUS WITHIN broken vessels)..
Hebrews 10 says this…
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
The living hands of God is exactly where we want to be – because we have to first be IN THE HANDS OF GOD, in order to be protected by God so that “no man can pluck us out HIS hand” (John 10:28). Yet, Paul is telling us in Hebrews that falling into God’s hand is a fearful thing. Why would that be? He goes on to tell us about a process of being illuminated. This speaks to me about how when our Lord Jesus was illuminated when the heavens opened and the voice of God spoken over Jesus saying “this is my beloved son in which I’m well pleased” – immediately after Jesus was illuminated, the Spirit led him into the wilderness where he was starved, tried and tempted of the devil. Paul says after you are illuminated, the next step is enduring “a great fight of afflictions”… So after God picks us up into His hand, we are full of FEAR of the Lord, and then we are placed into a fight against great trouble. And then the word “gazingstock” appears – in the greek it means “to be a spectacle to people” – “to be looked down upon”… That doesn’t sound like a blessing does it? It sounds like the world are looking at these people as if they were cursed in all their trouble.. And in that process we are made companions of others who are fighting that same fight we’re in… people that are afflicted, looked down upon, “reproaches” to the world – meaning a “DISCRACE” in the greek. Paul goes onto wrap this up as he says, “You’re going to need patience, so that you can receive the promise AFTER you have done the Will of God. So what’s THE WILL OF GOD HERE? That these people who are snatched into God’s loving and mighty hands would FEAR HIM, be illuminated by Him and then suffer great afflictions (set apart through the trying of their faith), and be despised by people and be a spectacle of disgrace to all who look at them… a gazingstock… wow…. but God wasn’t done with this word he gave me yet.
In looking into the word gazingstock as used in 1 Corinthians, I saw an expanded explanation using a translation I would never even entertain. Yet this spoke directly to my heartbreak today.. and I know the Lord led me into this short study to see this…
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
I want to thank the Lord for showing me “gazingstock” today and for loving me even though I did nothing to deserve the bloodshed of His Son and the salvation that might be obtained if He grants me the patience and faith to finish this race, obedient and in LOVE WITH HIM more than anything here, as Jesus so beautifully demonstrated in the sacrificial work of the cross – not saving Himself, but dying to the flesh to save others, eternally. Father, even as I write this I feel foolish (as you already know all of my thoughts)… I feel like the revelations you give me are a “killjoy” to the flesh-nature and that no one wants to read what this gazinstock called me writes on this page. But Lord, I know you have a purpose in all things. Jesus I know YOU are the author and as I give you the pen to write upon my own heart, I know that you are instructing me to speak to your people – even if it’s only one.. Or perhaps Lord, once I’m gone this will be read by someone one day, walking out the carrying of a cross that you’ve placed in their hands. I pray Father that our eyes might be opened to seek JESUS the person, not the empty promises this world is selling.. I love you and I’m sorry that I shed so many tears asking so many questions like the fool that I am. I thank you so much for speaking to me today and giving me this revelation of HOPE and this warning of patience. Help me to decrease so that Jesus in me can increase.