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Special Treasure

The sages tell us that Exodus 19 is God's “Engagement ceremony” to Israel.

At the foot of Mount Sinai, God officially asked for Israel's hand in marriage. In

Exodus 19:5, the LORD, in proposing a “Covenant” with the children of Israel, said

"I will take you for My people, and I will be your God."

It was at this point that God used a very special word reserved only for his covenant people. It was the same word that a man used in proposing to his wife. In that proposal he always said You will be my ‘special possession .

This is the way he phrased it in Exodus 19:7:

Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My

covenant, then you shall be My own possession among

all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine. (Exodus 19:5)

In that passage, God is offering a “bonus” to any who will enter covenant. God says that those who will become His bride would become “a SEGAL.” In the English translations, that word is translated “Priceless treasure.” Just as a man’s wife is his “special treasure,” so are we when we enter Covenant with Christ.

Like a hopeful suitor, God spoke to Israel lovingly. He reminded the people of how He had carried them out of Egypt, as if on the wings of an eagle, and how he had brought them to Himself. He promised to make them His own special treasure above all other peoples. He said, "You shall be my own possession" (Exodus 19:5). The Hebrew word that the NASB translates the word as "possession. That is the word segulah (סגלה .(Some versions translate it as "beloved treasure" or "peculiar treasure." In the ancient Near East, the term segulah was used like this:

When a king's army vanquished an enemy, the king kept the

most valuable items for his own treasure. Of all the precious

objects he inspected, there was always an especially precious

object he would carry on his own person. It was called a

segulah—a “special treasure.”

Thus, in Exodus 19:5, the word is used as a term of endearment for Israel. In the book on “Covenant” that I wrote years ago, I illustrated the word this way:

As you make your money at your job, most is spent to

pay bills. But there is always a little something special

you put back just for yourself. This “pocket change” is

very special to you isn’t it? This is what God means

here. “I own everything in the whole world,” He is

saying, “but you will be My special pocket change–My

treasured, special possession.”

Whenever God made covenant with any person in any age, he promises that we all are Segal to Him. Especially in the new covenant. God says that He would consider people like us His “specially prized treasure.” He says that even though He owns the entire earth, you and I will always be His “Special people.” There is an old story told to remind us how special we are. There was once a king who had conquered many lands. He

possessed great wealth. His treasuries were filled to the brim with valuables. But somewhere along the way, the king came in contact with one precious and beautiful, blue gemstone that he valued above all others. Rather than leave it in the treasury

with the other valuables, he had it hung on a golden chain and wore it around his neck every day. That's the way God looks at each of us. Every person who turns to Him in faith and love is added to His special treasure. He wears you around his neck as a precious pendant. You are His holy people. You are SEGAL to him.

Numbers 6:24

David Lusk

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