Written on September 26, 2014. By Shari Norvell
For several years, Pappa has spoken a phrase to me,
“Don’t let good be a stumbling block to the best.”
As I rested with Him about 2012, this phrase was the first thing He said. I know that each time Pappa speaks to me, it is a treasure of worth greater than any jewel and so I didn’t let this word be overrun by familiarity.
Whenever I feel Pappa wanting me to gain deeper revelation of a word He has spoken I go Hebrew. Meaning, I look for the definition of the word in Hebrew to capture the earliest rendering of His heart.
In Hebrew, the word good is ‘tov’. One form of the root word means, “to the best”. This simple definition made His entire phrase so clear. Good was never meant to be our stopping place. Its not a place to settle, but to move from. Good should move us to the best. Interestingly, the definition of best is “the most good”. The tet is the first letter of “tov”. Tet is an inverted letter which symbolizes, “it’s good is hidden within.” Another form of this letter represents the union of groom and bride consummating and conceiving. So “the best” is concealed but meant to be birthed in fulness.
What an amazing message from Pappa, “I want my people to have the most good possible. I want them to have good all the way to the best.” It’s a journey. But just as pregnancy is meant to be a journey to birthing what’s inside so is the best. Think of all that is stopped short by abortion. Pregnancy is stopped before birth and a destiny is not realized. So it is when we stop short the journey Pappa has for us to the most good.
How does good become a stumbling block to the best? Read the words of Jesus for the answer:
"Then Jesus gave them this illustration: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and uses it to patch an old garment. For then the new garment would be ruined, and the new patch wouldn’t even match the old garment. “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins. But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine. ‘The old is just fine,’ they say.” Luke 5:36-39
When the way “we have always done it” or “what has always worked” becomes an idol in our life, we stumble in the good and no longer see our way to the best. When we drink the wine of old accolades or comfortable places, we will no longer desire the new wine. And we begin to accuse those who seek to drink the best Pappa has to offer. Instead of seeing the wine we were partaking of as something that was the best of the crop of a particular season, we make it our label and refuse any other kind. Yet Pappa wants to surprise us with a new flavor from a richer vineyard.
An amazing example of this was Jesus first miracle of turning the water to wine. Remember how people came to the bride’s father and commended him for saving the best wine till last. The Hebrew people knew the normal practice. Every year of a daughter’s life, her father would put his best wine of the harvest away for her wedding. It was part of her inheritance. The wine served at her wedding was from this storehouse. At the celebration, the best wine was served first. Then as the other vats were opened no one noticed the lesser flavor.
If the best wine was served last, none of those in attendance would have appreciated it. And so, our Father of the Bride desires to serve the best to us first. He never intended for us to become accustomed to the taste of the old wine. It tastes good, but it isn’t the first fruit, the best of the house.