Years ago… let me modify that… many years ago… I was part of a fledgling group of Christians the Lord had brought together. We met in homes. A few times we had a visit from a man from the United States—Lee Ellenwood by name. He ministered in our midst a word that was… well… let’s just say it was “different.” For one thing he liked to act out what he was teaching.
One day he told us about the sheep in the sheep pen contentedly eating their routine fodder when suddenly one of them lets out a roar. Brother Ellenwood demonstrated. It was different all right.
Here are the sheep in the sheep pen contentedly eating their rations. But—and Brother Ellenwood acted it out before our eyes—here is this young sheep hungrily looking off to the mountains in the distance. Suddenly he lets out a roar.
His fellow sheep feeding beside him are not a little shocked.
This happens again and again to the consternation of the other sheep in the pen.
“What’s gotten into you, brother? What do you mean by all this roaring? Sheep don’t roar. And what’s this about prey out there in the mountains? We’re beginning to wonder about you.”
All of this fell strange on our ears, and there were some among us who began to wonder about Brother Ellenwood.
But his message could have been given in two words. “There’s more.”
I liked Brother Ellenwood. There was a gentleness about him. Yet he spoke of lions and prey in the mountains of God–our heritage in the Spirit–and of not resting till we had brought down that prey and made it our own. He told us of the different names for lions in the Bible. The old lion, the young lion… the hunting lion… the great lion… I forget them all now. But what he taught was entirely scriptural. Jacob prophesied of Judah the lion’s whelp– the lion of the tribe of Judah– who has “gone up” from the prey (Gen. 49.9)– speaking, I believe, of the ascension of Christ the Lamb of God after the “prey” this Lion brought down at Calvary. Balaam too prophesied of the people who would rise up “as a great lion… and not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain” (Num. 23.24). (It’s interesting to note here how Balaam speaks of “the people” (plural) and then suddenly is speaking of “he” (singular).
Another time as Brother Ellenwood was ministering he picked up a dinner plate from a table nearby and began to chew on it. “My,” he said, “isn’t this plate good?” We laughed. But how often do we do the same thing, he said, when we focus our attention on some great minister more than on the message he has given? We eat the plate admiringly and forget the food on it.
I remember the time he told us about the twinkies. Apparently it’s some kind of sugary treat sold in the U.S. “How many Christians live on twinkies?” he asked. He meant Christians who have a perpetual taste for superficial things—such as ministries who get the people’s attention with some gimmick or novelty or focus on the spectacular. Or some new thing making the rounds of the churches. The latest innovation someone has come up with to ward off Christian boredom. And people get so full of this stuff they have no appetite for solid food. Strong meat. Lion’s food.
Now I come to the title of this blog entry. I remember once Brother Ellenwood told us of the Hebrew words sether, and segulah. He spoke the words as though savouring something very tasty, something very rich and satisfying. And he said he would come back some time and tell us about these.
That never happened. I don’t really know why, but he didn’t make it back our way. Maybe he was out in those mountains of God somewhere looking for prey.
But the words stuck with me. Sether. Segulah. Eventually I searched out their meanings myself. They are indeed rich with truth. Solid truth.
I’ve written about them both, and now have added Segulah—God’s Special Treasure to the page Other Writings. (It’s too long for a blog entry.)
Perhaps someday I’ll add something on Sether as well.