How is anyone drawn into a relationship with God? Does that desire come from Him or is it our own desire that empowers the connection to Him? Is His pursuit of us irresistible or do we have a real choice in the matter? How would we recognize any attempt by God to bring us closer to Him?
As one observes the world of chaos around us in which we live, it is easy to see that something is wrong. Man has been separated from his Creator. How would we go about finding a remedy for this alienation from Him? Are there any clues in scripture that might guide us?
Jeremiah was one of the great prophets in ancient Israel. His messages were not well received and some were in fact destroyed by the King Jehoiakim and had to be rewritten. And although many of his writings were critical of the nation because of its apostasy, Jeremiah also offered hope for a future restoration. In Chapter 31 verse 3 he writes this:
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore, with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
This explains to us that the LORD loved first. He is the One who has never stopped pursuing his people. His Checed or lovingkindness, goodness, and mercy is behind this. But Jeremiah also writes that the LORD had drawn thee. What is meant by that phrase?
Drawn thee is the Hebrew word Mashak has a varied number of meanings. It can mean to draw and lift out, to drag along, to draw as a bow, to draw out a sound as of a trumpet, or to attract and gratify.
This word is first used the scriptures as Joseph is lifted out of the pit and sold into slavery by his brothers in Egypt. In Genesis Chapter 37 verse 28 Moses writes this:
“Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen, and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver, and they brought Joseph into Egypt.”
This actually doesn’t sound like Joseph had much choice in the matter. The next place this word Mashak is used doesn’t sound much different. In Exodus Chapter 12 verse 21 Moses instructs the nation:
“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them. Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families and kill the passover.”
Does this indicate that Mashak means there is no choice in the matter? Has God predetermined the outcome? For a better understanding we need to investigate the ancient Hebrew pictograms which are word pictures that contain content with imbedded meaning.
Mashak is spelled Mem Sheen Kaf.
Mem is the picture of waters that can be chaotic and destructive like a tsunami or gentle like rains from the heavens that bring life. It can be the living waters or the Word of God that brings life.
Sheen is the picture of teeth and means to press, to crush, or to destroy and is the one letter that God uses to identify Himself.
Kaf is the picture of the palm of the hand and means to cover, to open, to allow, or to atone.
What does the content in these pictograms show us? Or is there more than one possible interpretation?
On the one hand, we can see the Mem destructive like a tsunami and the Sheen meaning to crush and destroy. That would be the fate of the sacrificial lamb who had to die.
On the other hand, the Mem could be the living waters that bring life, and the Kaf the picture of atonement. That is the picture of an atoning price being paid for Joseph who was rescued from death in the pit.
The meaning of the numbers for these three letters will help solve this.
Mem is 40 and means trials and testing.
Sheen is 300 and signifies the final blood sacrifice of the Perfect Lamb of God.
Kaf is 20 and is redemption.
If we add the meanings of the numbers to that of the pictograms we can discern this:
In Mashak the LORD is calling to His people. When do they hear and pay attention? When they have experienced trials and testing. Does He decide the outcome for His people or do they decide what direction they will choose?
It’s their choice. If they choose not to respond, they will suffer the unfortunate consequence of crushing and destruction.
Those who choose to respond to the everlasting love of the LORD, and let themselves be drawn to Him, will receive the forgiveness that comes as a result of the Blood Sacrifice of Messiah, the Perfect Lamb of God.
Perhaps you noticed the price paid for Joseph’s rescue. It was for 20 pieces of silver which is the number of redemption. This is one example of how the meanings for the numbers are drawn from the scripture.
The apostle John also gives us a confirmation from the lips of Messiah that the Father is indeed drawing us, but that we can only come to Him if we accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. In John Chapter 6 verse 44 Jesus says this:
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”