The principle of hide and seek in the use of parables

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” Proverbs 25:2

This verse shows that God hides things for us in scripture not from us. The parables are examples of this.

Photo of a bald eagle landing on a pole.

Hosea 12:10 “I have also spoken to the prophets, and I gave numerous visions, and through the prophets I gave parables.”

Ps 78:1+2 “Listen, O my people, to my instruction…..I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old.”

Jesus used parables extensively in his ministry. At one stage it says “All these things Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, and He was not talking to them without a parable.” Matt 13:34

Why does God speak in such vague ways that require interpretation?

Parables are often pictorial and a picture's meaning can express ten thousand words. The artist however leaves the viewer to interpret what is seen. Those who linger in front of a picture in an art gallery are the ones who will start to understand what the artist is trying to communicate. People who mull over a parable, and try to work out its meaning, are opened up to God speaking to them through it. Parables thus work well with those who are hungry for more of God, but are not immediately responsive.
Parables provide space for the receiver of the parable, who, because they are not directly identified as the person involved, they are then able to identify themselves in it. The ability to respond in their own way is much more open to them, as they are not confronted directly and pressured into making one.
Parables can reach closed people in a way that other things cannot. It is when King David had hardened his heart and killed Uriah in order to take his wife, that Nathan the prophet told a parable about a lamb to him. This softened his heart as he was angry at the injustice done to someone who was innocent. God then applied it to him which caused him to repent of his sin 1 Samuel 12.

God uses parables in his communication to us. When asked why he kept speaking in parables Jesus replied “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:11-13
God when He speaks like this wants us to search the Bible and to pray to him for interpretation and answers. This will mean that we get closer to him in the process of understanding what he is saying. We will also own the information in a personal way as we have made it ours.

Jeremiah 33:3 (Amplified) “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognise, and have knowledge of and understand).”

Proverbs 2:1 “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

Mt 13:23 “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

How fruitful and treasure filled is your life? Take a while to meditate on how that can be changed.

1. Introduction.
2. God's nature as creator and communicator.
3. The role of the Bible.
4. Turn aside when you notice something.
5. Be careful what you worship.
6. The Holy Spirit quickens things.
7. Hide and seek using parables.
8. Ask the Holy Spirit.
9. The inner room is where we meet with God.
10. The importance of peace and stillness.
11. Don't hurry God will speak.
12. Waiting and longing takes us higher to a place where God acts.
13. What price do we have to pay?
14. Holding a word for a time and part of the whole picture.
15. How do we know it's from God/Act in faith?
16. Jesus is open to persuasion!
17. The Language God uses to communicate.
18. God communicates through our sensory organs.
19. God communicates primarily to the heart.
20. God offends our mind to change our heart.
21. Listening depends on your heart attitude.
22. Circumcision is the cure to a hard heart!
23. Listen to your heart
24. Eyes.
25. Lift up your eyes.
26. Make sure your vision is clear.
27. Ears/hearing the voice of the Lord.
28. Reach for higher levels.
29. How God communicates - impressions.
30. Seeing with the eyes of your heart.
31. Visions.
32. Open visions.
33. Trances.
34. Signs.
35. Dreams.
36. Conclusion.
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