Working on the Inside Out

April 15, 2012 - 5:00 am

“Kings and armies flee in haste;
the women at home divide the plunder.” — Psalm 68:12

I recently came across the following cartoon:  Two rabbits are standing in a field. The first rabbit is standing next to a small green stem with a few leaves shooting off of it. The second rabbit, larger and more confident-looking than the first, is standing next to a much more elaborate display of greenery. Beneath the surface, the drawing reveals the first rabbit is standing next to a very large carrot – unseen, but about to poke its head out of the ground. The second rabbit is standing proudly next to a weed.

The caption reads “Success; it’s not always what you see.”

We live in a world that is overly focused on what we can see. Power, beauty, wealth, and the like. We often judge success by these outer elements. It’s no wonder that we tend to spend most of our time mastering the superficial arena of our lives. Almost everyone works OUT regularly, but how many of us spend time working IN? In Psalm 68 King David reminds us that our inner space is more important than our outer space.

Here is how King David expresses it:  “Kings and armies flee in haste; the women at home divide the plunder.” Kings and armies are the ultimate symbol of outer dominance. They represent power and strength. They also refer to advances in science and technology which are ways of getting the physical world to make our lives better.

In contrast, a woman in her home represents inner mastery. She symbolizes inner achievements such as self-control, inner peace, and spiritual connection. In the Jewish tradition, as we approach the coming messianic era, we will favor cultivating our inner, spiritual selves over dominating the physical world around us. Humanity has already made it to outer space. Inner space is the final frontier.

Now, this is not to say that science and technology are bad or that we will go back to living in the Stone Age. When the psalmist writes that the women will “divide the plunder,” he is saying that we will still enjoy our external achievements, but only for the sake of our inner progress. All physicality will serve spirituality. Because real success is not what you see — it’s what you can’t see that matters most.

Try this for a week:  make yourself a “working in” routine. You can supercharge your inner achievements when you make a list of your personal spiritual goals. Would you like to master anger? Maybe your goal is to have more faith. Set aside a fixed amount of time every day to work on them through Bible study, prayer, and introspection.


3 Responses to Working on the Inside Out

  1. Dorothy Ann Joseph says:

    That is an awesome WORD. I pray the simple REVELATION of discernment sinks in and the marinating takes over our soul, mind, hearts and spiritual being. One body, one mind to pursue the ‘things’ that truly MATTER TO FATHER YAHWEH. To walk in TRUTH. Faith, love, peace, long-suffering, temperance etc all tangible goods and services that we can capitalize, increase in daily… 100% PROOF of that the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit has taken residence and increase is residing within the BODY OF JESUS CHRIST. ONE WATERS ANOTHER PLANTS BUT IT IS TRULY OUR FATHER YAHWEH, YAHVEH GOD THAT PROVIDES FOR OUR INCREASE FOR OUR GUDDA GUD GUD ‘GOOD’ because we love HIM AND WE SEEK THIS TRUE TREASURE BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US. GOD IS LOVE! I LOVE YOU RABBI ECKSTEIN! THANKS FOR MY MEAL TODAY! SHALOM! <3

  2. Will says:

    No mortal man could have servied the flogging let alone make the jouirny to the cross to proclaim it is finished!

  3. Natalee Roache says:

    I can’t agree more about this word, A friend of mine aunt died the other day, my friend said she went to aunt’s home and on one wall she had all her accolades, from degrees to masters and so on, this women was still going to school upon until the time she died, my friend said that when she look in the casket all she saw was her aunt in a pair of glove and one green dress, that’s all she left this earth with, she could carry nothing more, years for studying and wanting to become this and that and she could carry nothing, her aunt wasn’t a christian, The external is important but it doesn’t supersedes the internal at the end of the day it is the internal that matter, King Solomon said it, all is vanity, if it not for God it worth nothing at the end. So let us feed the spirit too, it is what last for ever. Amen

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