29th of the 9th month 2015/2016
Shabbat Shalom all,
Shemoth/Exodus 19:4-6 “You have seen what I did to the Mitsrites, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine – 6 ‘and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.’ Those are the words which you are to speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl.”
These were extremely powerful words that Mosheh was commanded to speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and these are words that continue to speak to us today, as we recognise what יהוה our Elohim and Saviour has done for us, having brought us to Himself by His own blood. As we have discussed on many occasions we know that Yisra’ĕl means, ‘one who rules with Ěl’.
Yisra’ĕl’ – יִשְׂרָאֵל Yisra’ĕl – Strong’s H3478 which means, ‘he who prevails, overcomes with Ěl’, comes from the two primitive root words: 1) אֵל Ěl – Strong’s H410 which means, ‘Mighty, power, shortened form of Elohim – Mighty One’ and 2) the root word verb שָׂרָה sarah – Strong’s H8280 which means, ‘to persist, exert oneself, persevere, wrestle, contend’, and is spelt the same as the name of Aḇraham’s wife, שָׂרָה ‘Sarah’ – Strong’s H8283 which means ‘princess or noble woman’; which is the feminine of the word שַׂר sar – Strong’s H8269 which means, ‘prince, captain, chieftain, ruler’!
יִשְׂרָאֵל Yisra’ĕl, as a treasured people and set-apart nation, could then also be understood as those who rule with Ěl, as His princes! We are a royal priesthood and, in a manner of speaking, with Aḇraham as our father in the faith we are also children of Sarah the ‘princess’, and are therefore ‘princes’ in the Kingdom of our King; and we who overcome shall rule with Him!
In a message tonight called, “SEGULLAH – TREASURED POSSESSION!” I want us to consider the joy and privilege of being called the treasured possession of the Creator, along with the required responsibility that goes with it. Tonight I will be digging deeper into this Hebrew word that carries great insight, comfort and instruction for us, in order that we may truly stand firm in our Master and Elohim as His treasured possession above all the peoples!
The Hebrew word that I am referring to, of course, is the word that is translated here as ‘treasured possession’, which is the root word סְגֻלָּה segullah – Strong’s H5459 meaning ‘valued possession or property’. This could also be expressed as “My uniquely valued and guarded treasure above all the nations”! How awesome is that!!! This unique Hebrew word carries a great wealth of insight and instruction as well as an assured confidence that we can have in our Master and Elohim, who has chosen us to be His own. The Hebrew word is only used 8 times in the Tanak and is a word that is used to clearly highlight Elohim’s appointed and established Covenants of Promise and about the people who take them seriously.
There is no one specific English word that can be substituted for this very complex, yet simple and clear, word. Tonight I hope to cause you to recognise the simplicity of this very complex word and the powerful insight that יהוה brings to us through this word that He uses as a marker for His uniquely valued and guarded treasure above all the peoples.
This word is defined as a noun referring to possession or property; and not just any property but more specifically the uniquely valued property and peculiar treasure. This word is always used in the context of a royal treasure; and more specifically, the treasure of a king. Both metaphorically and literally we acknowledge that the King of Scripture is יהושע Messiah. His ‘segullah’ is His ‘covenant people’!!!
Before we take a closer look at the 8 occurrences where this word is used I first want us to take a look at this word in the ancient pictographic script:
In the ancient pictographic script the root word סְגֻלָּה segullah – Strong’s H5459 meaning ‘valued possession or property’ looks like this:
Samek – סְ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a thorn’ and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flocks in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing. The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that ‘in Him’ we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger and to that which is secure.
Gimel – גֻ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a foot’ and carries the meaning to ‘walk, gather, carry’, as clearly referring to the functions of a foot; and it can also give the meaning of ‘a gathering of people’, and we know that ‘feet’ in Hebrew speaks of one’s walk and ability to keep the Feasts of יהוה, and represents one’s ‘walk’!
Lamed – לַ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, which can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can also speak of ‘authority’ or ‘a yoke’ that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to ‘bring back by Authority’.
Hey – הָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is “behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation”, from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of ‘surrender’, as we lift up our hands and completely submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
In terms of these pictographic letters forming the word סְגֻלָּה segullah – Strong’s H5459 meaning ‘valued possession or property’, we are able to see the privilege of being the סְגֻלָּה segullah of the Good Shepherd!
As the segullah of Elohim:
We are shielded and protected in our walk as we submit under the authority of the One who is to be praised!
There is a wealth of revelation in the understanding of what it means to be the segullah of Elohim and when we see this pictures it helps us recognise the sure promise of protection that the segullah of Elohim has, while at the same time realising the responsibility that our walk in Him carries, so that we remain His סְגֻלָּה segullah!
As we take a closer look at the verses where this word is used we are able to grasp a deeper understanding that ought to equip us to guard the set-apartness that is expected of the סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim!
At one time we were without Elohim in the world, when we walked according to the flesh, and without Messiah we were excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, but now in Messiah יהושע we who once were far off have been brought near, by His blood, and He has caused us to become His סְגֻלָּה segullah!
The first time that this word סְגֻלָּה segullah is used in Scripture is in Shemoth/Exodus 19:5 which I read at the beginning of this message. As we look at each of the passages that contain this word we must understand the context in order to fully grasp the power of this word. Here in this first mention of this word, we take note that this was when Yisra’ĕl was about to enter into the Marriage Covenant with Elohim, and become His set-apart Bride and most highly valued treasured possession above all the peoples. They had been delivered from bondage and slavery in Mitsrayim and were now about to declare the collective ‘I DO’, as a nation, and become the Bride of Elohim. What we must take careful note of here is the clear conditional clause that we find in the words that Mosheh was to speak to all the children of Yisra’ĕl!
Verse 5 states: “And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine”
Having been delivered they were now faced with a clear choice and decision. The term ‘and now’ is written in the Hebrew as וְעַתָּה ve’attah which is from the word עַתָּה attah – Strong’s H6258 means ‘now, at this time’; and used with the conjunction of the letter וְ waw in front of the word it renders it as ‘and now’ or ‘but now’. This was the point where the conditional clause of being the סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim is made abundantly clear!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘if’ is אִם im – Strong’s H518 which is a conditional participle or primary conjunction which renders, ‘if, though, either, neither, when, whenever’. Whenever we see an ‘if’ being used as a conditional participle we can know that there are definite consequences to our ability to follow carefully that which is required!
“If you… then you shall be…”: What we can clearly see here is a clear requirement that expected of us in response to the Covenants of Promise that we have been grafted into, with the assured promises given if the requirements called for are met. If we diligently obey the voice of Elohim and guard His Covenant, then we will be His סְגֻלָּה segullah!
The phrase, ‘then you shall be’ is written in the Hebrew as – וִהְיִיתֶם – ‘vih’yiythem’ which comes from the root word הָיָה hayah – Strong’s H1961 which means, ‘be, come to pass, come about, appear, be in existence, to come into being, arise’.
Do you see this clear conditional clause being given here? If we obey the Word of Elohim and guard His commands then He causes us to be His סְגֻלָּה segullah! Upon our acceptance of His choice we are caused to be His סְגֻלָּה segullah and are now required to remain in His protection in order to remain His סְגֻלָּה segullah, who He is lovingly committed to!
His purchasing of His סְגֻלָּה segullah with His own blood offers to Yisra’ĕl, His set-apart and chosen Bride, protection, mercy and purification. His Bride must accept His redemption price that He paid and follow the clear commandments that are associated with the Marriage Covenant!
What we also must take note of is that obedience and faith are easier pledged than fulfilled! Remember that the entire nation of Yisra’ĕl said the collective “I DO” as we see in Shemoth/Exodus 19:8 when all the people answered together and said: “All that יהוה has spoken we shall do.”
This generation who said this failed to enter in, except for Yehoshua and Kalěḇ. We are able to learn a great deal from this as we recognise how millions of people over the ages have made the same verbal commitment and confession in accepting the work of our Master and Elohim and saying ‘I DO’, yet only a remnant few have actually lived up to it!
Just as those who rebelled and disobeyed in the Wilderness lost their treasured status so too have many since then lost their treasured status because after accepting the redemptive work of Messiah they have wilfully rejected the Torah and sadly lost their treasured status, so to speak!
His Torah is our inheritance and the clear protective boundaries of our Marriage Covenant with Elohim, which if we diligently guard and keep, are caused (or will be caused) to be His סְגֻלָּה segullah. The English word ‘peculiar’ is often used to describe this Hebrew word. ‘Peculiar’, according to the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, is defined as, ‘different from the usual or normal, odd, strange’, as well as, ‘something that is exempt from the ordinary jurisdiction’. In other words ‘peculiar’ means to be different to what is normal or expected. The peculiar treasure of Elohim does not conform to the ways of the world but is transformed by the renewing of the mind and submitting to the Kingdom Rules of a Kingdom Reign that is coming when our Master and Elohim returns!
In most cases in the world today to be called peculiar would not typically be regarded as a compliment, as the world would prefer you to be popular rather than peculiar, yet the Scriptures make it clear to us that we are a peculiar treasure that has been purchased and is protected by our King. We are in the world but not of the world as we submit to the Torah of the Kingdom of Elohim that is to come. To be peculiar or different, in a Scriptural sense, is not only a compliment but also a command! To be the true סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim is a command for set-apartness and steadfast obedience!
To be the true סְגֻלָּה segullah of יהוה is made abundantly clear to us – and that is to simply do what He says!
As already mentioned סְגֻלָּה segullah means ‘valued property’, and what makes it valued property is that it is ‘valued property to which one has an exclusive right of possession’. יהוה will not share His סְגֻלָּה segullah and therefore He expects that His סְגֻלָּה segullah will not be shared by giving themselves over to the ways of the flesh. The owner of the סְגֻלָּה segullah has exclusive rights to His possession and we recognise that we are His and that יהוה is a jealous Elohim and He does not give His esteem to another, which teaches us that mixed worship will render one as having lost their treasured status in the Master and King!
Yisra’ĕl is יהוה’s סְגֻלָּה segullah and there is no other, and His desire and expectation of His סְגֻלָּה segullah is set-apartness:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim”
We are to pursue apartness, for without it no one shall see the Master! Pursuing apartness is an identifying mark of those who are the סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim. Our obedience to His Torah and commands makes us who we claim to be!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:6 “The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.”
In order for us to be a true royal priesthood we must be set-apart, and caused to be His סְגֻלָּה segullah.
Let us take a look at the other 7 verses where we see this word סְגֻלָּה segullah being used.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a set-apart people to יהוה your Elohim. יהוה your Elohim has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a treasured possession above all the peoples on the face of the earth.”
This account is in the context of the clear instructions that are being given concerning the conquest of Kena’an that lay ahead and the call for Yisra’ĕl to put under the ban completely those nations which Elohim would give into their hands. The command is given to break down their altars, and smash their pillars, and cut down their Ashĕrim, and burn their carved images with fire. If they did not do this and were joined to these nations and their idolatrous practices they would be destroyed. The reason that Yisra’ĕl was commanded to destroy these nations and their idolatry was because they were chosen by Elohim to be His סְגֻלָּה segullah and He did not want His סְגֻלָּה segullah to be corrupted in any way! יהוה made it very clear here that Yisra’ĕl was not chosen because they were more numerous than the other nations, for they were the least, but it was because of His love for them and His guarding the oath He swore to Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ.
What we learn from this is that we are to destroy all form of wickedness and the lusts of the flesh, for we are His סְגֻלָּה segullah that He is forever lovingly-committed to!
The next verse we see סְגֻלָּה segullah being used is in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 14:1-2 “You are the children of יהוה your Elohim. Do not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead, 2 for you are a set-apart people to יהוה your Elohim, and יהוה has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a treasured possession above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 3 “Do not eat whatever is abominable.”
This is clearly being used in the context of the strict instructions that are being given to Yisra’ĕl and how they are not to do as the nations do, and were to completely avoid all of the detestable practices that these pagan nations did! The clear idea of being chosen, set-apart, avoiding all evil and being obedient are found in this context. We do not do as the world does BECAUSE we are set-apart to יהוה and He has chosen us as His סְגֻלָּה segullah. This is a wonderful setting that teaches us why we simply do not do as the world does… because we are His סְגֻלָּה segullah. This chapter then goes on and gives forth the clear instructions on what we are permitted to eat and what we are not. The next time someone asks you why you do not eat pork or crayfish or any other thing that is not defined as food for us you can simply tell them that you do not eat them because you are יהוה’s סְגֻלָּה segullah! His סְגֻלָּה segullah obeys His voice and flees from all idolatry and evil!
The 4th use of the word סְגֻלָּה segullah is seen in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 26:18-19 “And יהוה has caused you to proclaim today to be His people, a treasured possession, as He has spoken to you, and to guard all His commands, 19 so as to set you high above all nations which He has made, for a praise, and for a name, and for esteem, and for you to be a set-apart people to יהוה your Elohim, as He has spoken.”
These words come at the end of the stipulations that have been given from Chapters 5 to 26 and are before the setting forth of the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience are made clear. What we must remember here is that Mosheh is addressing a new generation, as the generation that came out of Mitsrayim and rebelled had died in the Wilderness. Besides emphasising obedience as part of being the סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim, Mosheh adds in verse 19 the wonderful privileges of being the סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim. For He made His סְגֻלָּה segullah for a praise, and for a name and for esteem! His Name is upon His סְגֻלָּה segullah who continually offer up praises to Him and esteem Him in all they do, in living set-apart lives amidst a wicked and corrupt world!
The next time we see סְגֻלָּה segullah being used is in:
Tehillah/Psalm 135:4 “For Yah has chosen Yaʽaqoḇ for Himself, Yisra’ĕl for His treasured possession.”
This is a very powerful Psalm of praise and is a clear call for the true servants of יהוה to praise the Name of יהוה. As one goes through this Tehillah/Psalm it is very clear that the true chosen סְגֻלָּה segullah of יהוה must praise יהוה. The true סְגֻלָּה segullah of יהוה are servants of Yah! The true סְגֻלָּה segullah of יהוה are those who are ‘standing in Him’! As we praise our Master and Elohim and remain steadfast as His סְגֻלָּה segullah who are armed in His Torah we must stand and after having done all, stand, and as the סְגֻלָּה segullah of יהוה, be ready to stand every day to thank and praise יהוה.
In the following two verses that the word סְגֻלָּה segullah is used we find it being used to specifically refer to a kings personal prized possession:
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 2:8 “I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasures of sovereigns and of the provinces. I provided male and female singers for myself, and the pleasures of men – a woman and women.”
In this verse we see the word סְגֻלָּה segullah being used to identify ‘the treasures’ of sovereigns, which in the context of these words of Shelomoh we take note how he uses the term סְגֻלָּה segullah to describe the kings most prized personal treasure, which would refer to a kings personal cache of precious gold and silver that may have been collected over many years from many conquests and trade! In the context of the personal treasure of a king we see it being used in the words of Dawiḏ, as seen in:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 29:3 “And also, because I delighted in the House of my Elohim, I have treasure of gold and silver; I give for the House of my Elohim even more than all that I have prepared for the Set-apart House”
Dawiḏ recounts how he was giving part of his personal treasure to the accumulation of materials for the temple that his son Shelomoh would build.
The use of סְגֻלָּה segullah in these two passages where it physically refers to the most prized personal treasure of the king we are able to see how the usage of this word is extremely close to the metaphorical use of סְגֻלָּה segullah elsewhere in Scripture. In fact the picture here of Dawiḏ giving of his סְגֻלָּה segullah is a powerful prophetic picture of our Beloved King who gave of Himself for His סְגֻלָּה segullah and set-apart Bride that is being built up as His Dwelling Place, who He will gather together when He comes again!
The Word סְגֻלָּה segullah is only used by 1 of the prophets, as we see in the words of Mal’aḵi:
Mal’aḵi/Malachi 3:16-18 “Then shall those who fear יהוה speak to one another, and יהוה listen and hear, and a book of remembrance be written before Him, of those who fear יהוה, and those who think upon His Name. 17 “And they shall be Mine,” said יהוה of hosts, “on the day that I prepare a treasured possession. And I shall spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. 18 “Then you shall again see the difference between the righteous and the wrong, between one who serves Elohim and one who does not serve Him.”
The term סְגֻלָּה segullah is clearly being used here in the context of the calling of a rebellious people back to obedience unto יהוה our Elohim! Those who fear יהוה and think upon His Name will be caused to be His סְגֻלָּה segullah! In verse 18 we are told that the difference between the righteous and the wrong will be clearly seen, as the righteous are those who serve Elohim and the wrong are those who do not!
This text in Mal’aḵi is prophetic as it speaks of the Day of יהוה, when He comes again to take up His ready Bride and prepares His סְגֻלָּה segullah! The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘prepare’ is עָשָׂה asah – Strong’s H6213 meaning, ‘to do, work, make, produce, to act with effect, to observe, to bring about, institute’. In the Creation account we take note that it was on the 7th day that יהוה rested from all His work which Elohim in creating had made, and then He blessed the 7th day and set it apart. It is in the 7th millennium that יהוה is coming out of His Set-Apart Hěḵal to complete His work and prepare His סְגֻלָּה segullah. It is on this day that He will come and make up His סְגֻלָּה segullah that has been set-apart for Him!
In that Day it will be made very clear who His סְגֻלָּה segullah is and who is not! Knowing these prophetic words we must take heed to guard righteousness and stay in our Master, so that we are caused to be His סְגֻלָּה segullah as we pursue set-apartness and flee all idolatry and the lusts of the flesh. Each one must work out their deliverance with fear and trembling, and after having received the revelation of Messiah Yoḥanan was told the following:
Ḥazon/revelation 22:11-12 “He who does wrong, let him do more wrong; he who is filthy, let him be more filthy; he who is righteous, let him be more righteous; he who is set-apart, let him be more set-apart. 12 “And see, I am coming speedily, and My reward is with Me, to give to each according to his work.”
It is time for the true סְגֻלָּה segullah to stand up and stand out as being different and being more set-apart while those who compromise and are stained with the filth of the world, let them be more filthy!
It will be obvious and clear who the סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim is, and with these words given to Yoḥanan in Ḥazon it should be abundantly clear who the סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim is right now!
In summary, the term סְגֻלָּה segullah speaks clearly in terms of the context of a covenant with Elohim and the Kingdom servant who is wholeheartedly involved is serving as a chosen treasure!
It is a great privilege to be called the סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim. However, in saying that, we must also recognise the clear responsibility of what being His סְגֻלָּה segullah involves, as the greatest responsibility we have, as His סְגֻלָּה segullah, is to be a true and trustworthy witness of the One True Master Elohim, יהושע Messiah!
The enemy wants to steal the סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim and the way he does this is by finding a breach in the wall and enticing some of the flock to wander away from the protection of the Shepherd! Compromise opens a breach where the enemy sits crouching and waiting to entice one away to sin, through the lust of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and pride of life, doing his utmost at causing some to be led astray by selfish desires!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:13-16 “Let no one say when he is enticed, “I am enticed by Elohim,” for Elohim is not enticed by evil matters, and He entices no one. 14 But each one is enticed when he is drawn away by his own desires and trapped. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And sin, when it has been accomplished, brings forth death. 16 Do not go astray, my beloved brothers.”
Do not go astray and be enticed to step outside of the protective assurance that obedience promises, for you are the סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim!
A hearing, guarding and doing people are the uniquely valued and guarded treasure of יהוה; that is to say that He holds us firmly in His hand and never takes His eyes off of us and guards us continually so as to never let us go for we are extremely valued and precious to Him. When outsiders look at us they may see it as being locked away in a box, thinking that we ‘have to do’ things that are not required by them and claim erroneously that we have lost our rights and are ‘under law’ so to speak – but it is not so – we are kept secure and safe and are a prized possession. Do what He says, and you will be glad you did.
Sha’ul, in referring to the verse from Shemoth/Exodus 19:5, writes in his letter to Titos about the work of יהושע Messiah who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness in order to be His סְגֻלָּה segullah:
Titos/Titus 2:14 “who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works.”
As we reflect on this very unique word may we be encouraged to be steadfast in our pursuit of apartness and take heed at the same time against the dangers of compromising our set-apartness that can cause us to lose of treasured status.
As you guard His Good Word in you, let all your body be enlightened and shine His truth for all to see as you give your all to our Master and hold nothing back as you are His chosen and set-apart סְגֻלָּה segullah that is held firm in His Hand!
I will close with the words of Kěpha, which you all know so well:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light”
As the true chosen and set-apart סְגֻלָּה segullah of Elohim, proclaim His praises and let obedience to Elohim shine forth!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!