The other day someone commented on one of my posts and said “we should draw closer to the Light daily.” The post was about our sins being revealed in the Light of Jesus. When we meet Jesus Christ, we realize how our sins have held us back and kept us in prison so-to-speak. We realize this and make a decision to follow Christ in our daily lives. Then life happens. When life happens, it sometimes keeps us from following Him fully. There is a scripture that can help us in our daily walk. Actually there are many scriptures but this one is a good one to start with.
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
That pretty much says it all. If you walk in these ways, “…an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Abundantly! God will provide for you abundantly.
Increasing in knowledge is not that hard to do. Simply read your scriptures (the Bible) daily. One cannot read the Bible with an open heart and not receive something that is valuable to their Christian walk. If you ask God to reveal the meaning of His Word, He is faithful to supply your needs. He loves for us to ask Him to help us understand what He is trying to say. He wants us – His beloved – to ask and walk in the Light of His Son Jesus Christ and understand how to do that to increase our faith and knowledge. His Word is our instructions for life.
The Bible is an amazing book that is filled with wonderful stories and examples of common folks, called by God to do uncommon things. You may never be a Moses or a Paul. God didn’t call you to be them. He called you to be you and to be the best you can be. That can be done by doing what this verse says… 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
God loves you so much! He calls you His beloved! Talk to Him today. Ask Him to help you understand His Word so you can increase in knowledge! He is faithful to do what He says.
Yesterday I gave thanks for a few more of my favorite things. Here is the post from yesterday if you missed it “GIVING THANKS TO THE LORD – DAY 3”. God is such a good God and gives us so much each day. I know I find myself taking some things for granted sometimes, without meaning to. I have to stop and remember… that God has blessed me greatly by just loving me when I was unlovable. I am so thankful that He does too!Let me begin this post by saying I am thankful for my job that I presently have. I have been there a little over two years and it has been a proving ground for me. I have grown so much in my walk with the Lord since I have been there. It is not a job with a church or any kind of ministry, it is just a low stress job that has allowed me to grow inside where I needed to grow. I have met some folks that have enriched my life and I will never forget. The co-workers that I have met and made friends with have become friends that have been encouragers and folks that stretch me at the same time. I am thankful for the two years I have been there because I have learned about diversity and flexibility, forgiveness, “letting it go”, and so much more. I also have had excellent insurance that has allowed me to have a surgery that I needed and it was 100% covered… no out of pocket money to me at all… because my deductible was paid for the year! I am thankful for my job.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God
As I sit here thinking … I am thinking about all the things I am thankful for and I could go on for days and days about them all. One of the things is obviously the gifts that God has bestowed upon me to be able to write and share with you almost daily about what He lays on my heart to share. I realize that not everyone can write stuff and have it make sense… not that I always make sense… but I do believe I have inherited my “writing skills” from my mom and dad. They are wonderful letter writers and my dad is a top notch “proofer”. Sometimes my typos get by me, but they NEVER get by him… lol. I love having that “in-house”… it’s very nice to have them both help me proof my blog posts and help me make them look better before you read it … most of the time. Sometimes the typos get out before I can correct them, but I know you understand and you are gracious about that. So I am thankful for the writing skills and other gifts that God has given me in the way of this blog and writing to share His Word with you all..
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Along with that goes this blog that you are reading. I am so very thankful for the Blog itself, to be able to share with folks across this great big world of ours that really doesn’t seem so big after all. It amazes me that someone in China can be reading this blog at the same time someone in Texas is, and Russia, Canada, Brazil, Australia, etc. WOW… that is so cool! I am so thankful for the ability to share God’s Word and stories worldwide!
The last thing on this post I want to say that I am thankful for is Missionaries… especially my relatives that have selflessly given of themselves to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The ones that come to mind first and foremost is my mother’s nephew or 2nd cousin… ? sorry.. I can’t remember and she is in bed and I can’t ask her… lol Anyway… they are Doug and Ayme Rose and their daughter Barbara Rose. They are missionaries to Peru/Chili. Doug’s mother and father were missionaries also to the same area. That family has lived in Chili/Peru for many, many years and have preached the gospel to so many and have planted churches for others to learn about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit! I am so thankful for their dedication and stubbornness to do whatever it takes to bring the Gospel to those that are hungry for it. I am thankful for them and other missionaries that have the same dedication and desire.
This particular part of the Prayer series has proven to be quite a challenge to me. In my last post, “PRAYER – MOSES AND THE TEN PLAGUES” I gave you quite a run down on the plagues but no in-depth information except on a couple of questions that arose during the reading and researching of the scriptures. I also offered a time line, of sorts, on how long this whole ordeal took with the Ten Plagues, referencing the constant contact (prayer time) that Moses and Aaron obviously had with God during this time. In researching the last plague, the death of the first born male of the land, I have found so much information that my brain feels like it is about to BURST, and I am not yet through reading. Here is a little of what I have found that has taken my focus away from strictly the last plague.
There are many people “in the know” – supposedly – that dispute that the Exodus ever happened. Yep, they are calling it “folk-lore” or myth or legend.
The “Pharaoh” who was ruling at the time of the “Exodus” is disputed 10 ways to Sunday (where did that phrase ever come from, anyway?).
There is some speculation as to why Moses omitted the proper “name” of the ruling Pharaoh.
The time of the Exodus – if it did occur – which is thought to be true by yet another set of people “in the know”.
If Pharaoh “A” was ruling at the time of the Exodus – that may or may not have occurred… then he must not have been the first born son of his father (the previous Pharaoh) because he survived the last plague… So the last plague – death of the firstborn did occur … or did it? But if Pharaoh “B” was ruling, then…
And so on and so on and so on…
You see how I get sidetracked. I tell you what, this information is so very interesting to me and I love the research. However…. Oh how I can get going down rabbit trails and fox holes!.
Let me set the record straight… I believe that God caused all the plagues to occur just as the Bible states. I believe that the Exodus DID occur just as the Bible states and I believe that the Israelites (Hebrews) left the land of Egypt in a great number (2,000,000). I believe that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea on dry land, just as the Bible states. I believe that the entire premier army of the Pharaoh at the time, perished in the Red Sea – horses and all, in their pursuit of the released Israelites. I believe there was a C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-O-N on the other side of the Red Sea when the walls of the Red Sea fell in on the army of Pharaoh, and so much more! But that is getting a little ahead of this particular post… I just wanted to share with you what I have gone through tonight, trying desperately to find a landing spot, so I could begin to write my post.
It has been another lesson in futility tonight, to read a lot of the “skeptics” opinion and try to make sense of their diatribe! However, it is also a lesson worth learning. The lesson being … If you begin to tear apart the Holy Scriptures and do not give them the respect and honor that they demand and deserve, you will find yourself chasing your tail up and down rabbit trails and down fox holes. You must accept that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God!
There is a lot to still learn from the original language used and how “modern day” man has translated various aspects of the text. We will probably NEVER know all there is to know about each phrase or word used in all of scripture, but there is one thing that you can count on… God’s Word is true! It is powerful! It is God’s Word! His love letter to us. As I said before… this scripture explains:
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Yes, there is a lot of bloodshed and strange happenings documented in this wonderful book that we call the Bible, but it is such a Masterpiece of a mirror of God’s grace, mercy, long suffering and love for His people. God is a good, loving, kind and compassionate God that wishes none to perish, but as I said in a post recently, God will NOT be mocked and tarry with us forever! He is God! He was, is and always will be! He had no beginning, and He has no end! He has always been!
That is so hard for some folks to grasp. I get it! Our brains just have a hard time with that. We are finite beings trying to understand and explain an Infinite God! An Infinite God that cares about the tiniest detail in your daily goings on. YES! He cares! There is a lot of faith that has to enter into the picture here, though. However, after my introduction to “Apologetics” lately, it takes a lot more faith to be an atheist than to believe in a Sovereign, Just, Righteous, Almighty, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Loving, Compassionate, Merciful, Gracious God that created the entire universe by the Word of His mouth. That’s another post someday though…
So with all of that said… I would like to beg your indulgence one more time to wait for tomorrow for the post on “The Last Plague”. As you can see, my brain seems to have been working overtime tonight and I have to shut it off and sleep. The hour is a bit late and I could not write any more – at least and it make sense enough for you to appreciate it. So I will begin to talk about the Last Plague tomorrow and see how this important event was so vital to the Israelites and their faith.
I just realized that yesterday’s post was entitled Moses Goes To Egypt. Actually I jumped the gun on that title… it ended up being more about Moses’ obedience… or disobedience before they went to Egypt. A little part of the scripture spoke of him loading his wife, Zipporah and children and their belongings on a donkey and headed to Egypt. However, before they got on the road, Moses encountered an Angel of the Lord and scripture says the Lord sought to kill Moses. Here is the link for yesterday’s post if you missed it “PRAYER – MOSES GOES TO EGYPT” After that encounter, Aaron meets Moses and Moses tells Aaron all about what the Lord had told him from the burning bush. They actually had not started out for Egypt yet.
As I have told you before, sometimes God speaks to my heart in powerful ways and directs what He wants me to write in my blog posts. Tonight is no exception. I had one thing planned and when I sat down to read and write, God directed me to the events of this morning. He reminded me of the conversation He and I had as I started off to work. This morning He wanted me to listen to the last part of that scripture in Exodus 4 (yesterday’s scripture) again and listen very good. So I did and here is what God said to my heart.
The last part of Exodus 4 is about Aaron and Moses going to the Israelites first. They began telling them all about God hearing their cries and the burning bush and all the signs and wonders that God wanted Moses to show them. Then… THEN… the reaction of the Israelites! That was paramount, God said to me! So I thought about it and it instantly brought tears to my eyes. God spoke to my heart about their reaction! I tell you something happens to me when I hear the Word of the Lord spoken on my Bible App on my phone. The spoken Word of God is so powerful! It cuts deep into my soul and reaches places that cannot or have not ever been reached by just reading. Don’t get me wrong… reading is wonderful, but when I got the Bible App and began to listen to the spoken Word of God, it came alive! It is alive!
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I tell you if you do not have a Bible App on your phone or computer or iPad, you need to get one! I use You Version and really love it. Here is a link to download it for free – You Version. God’s Word is an awesome and a powerful thing! It has strength, encouragement, instruction, peace, love, and so many other things that need to sink deep into our souls and spirits. It is life giving, life sustaining and will help you through any … ANY situation! So… let’s read the scripture again in Exodus about the Israelites reaction to Aaron and Moses and all the signs and wonders God told them to share with them.
29 Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. 30 And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. Then he did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.
The part I have underlined and bolded is important and I need to spend a little time on that first before I go any further.
Now, these people, the Israelites, had been in captivity, slaves for Pharaoh for years… years… and years… Moses left when he was 40 and he is now 80. Most of the folks that were there that may have remembered the “good days” of Joseph, have probably long since died or at least are very old. These folks have been under oppression for a very long time and now they hear the good news that God has heard their cries and pleading to please save them from this all.
Let’s think about that for a moment. “… they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction…” They realized that the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob … and Joseph, still knew who they were. He had not forgotten them. He was still there and He cared for them! The realization of that became such a wonderful thing that they had no other response but to “bow their heads and worship”. I tell you they heard… “HEARD” the Words of the Lord that Aaron spoke. The spoken Word of God! It is alive!
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
God visited them before Moses and Aaron did and now the people are hearing the Words of God spoken to them in a very personal way! The Words came alive and sunk deep into their hearts, souls and spirits. They were moved! They bowed and worshiped!
Sometimes in church when Pastor Brad is teaching and he gets so into the scripture that you can just see Jesus in him. I just want to bow and worship! It is an amazing thing to experience the power of the spoken Word of God and allow it to sink deep into your soul and spirit. That is also why I love the hymns and praise songs that sing the actual scripture. It is a powerful thing to speak and sing scriptures.
So the Israelites bowed and worshiped. They had church right there! What an awesome beginning to a wonderful journey to come. Those times are so very important because we can draw strength from those times to get us through some more lean times. The scriptures are always available to us these days. Everyone can carry one on your phone or with you in the car or at your desk at work or on your kitchen table at home. The Bible is available. It is God’s love story to us! It is something that we, as Christians, need to get into! Read and LISTEN to the Word. Thank the Lord above that we live in a country, here in the USA, that it is not a crime to carry a Bible. Some folks around the world may not be as fortunate as we are.
I heard it said before about some churches that if they don’t preach the Word and Jesus Christ, then don’t even begin to warm the seat. God’s Word is absolute! It is what we must follow and learn what God is trying to tell us in the scriptures. That is the way to grow and bear fruit. If we don’t know what is between “In the beginning…” and “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” How are we going to tell others about our awesome and powerful, Almighty God!? God’s Word is powerful and I want that power to make it through the day!
The Israelites recognized God’s Word and bowed and worshiped! They were moved! Have you been moved lately by hearing the Word of God? Have you been moved so much that you bow and worship because of hearing the Word of God? If not, talk to God and ask Him to move you! Ask Him to speak truth and love to your spirit and strengthen you for the day or night or week or month ahead! Or even the minute ahead. He is faithful. He will do as you ask, IF you ask! He loves you so much! He calls you His beloved.
The Song – This is My Word – The Singing Men of North Central Texas
I found an article tonight that I must… MUST… share. I am taking a turn to the side road for a moment – away from the Prayer series… to discuss this. I have recently come to understand that there are some… many… “people in the know” or at least they think they are… that don’t believe Moses wrote the Pentateuch. You may have missed my post where I introduced this word that always gives me pause before I try to pronounce it. Anyway, the Pentateuch is simply the first five books of our Christian Bible. The “Law of Moses” and we Christians – or at least some of us – believe that Moses is the author of these five books with God being the One that narrates to Moses what to write – because some of it was before Moses time. Anyway, let me explain this next part first.
I was looking around for something for my post and ran across another website, which I so often do, that has so much good information in it that it might take me a long while to digest some of it and then I will still have a lot more to read. The site is called Apologetics Press. I have recently begun this journey learning about “Apologetics” and what that means to me as a Christian.
Here is Merriam Webster’s definition: “a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity.”
And here is Bible.org’s definition (in a long article, this is but one paragraph) You can read the entire article here (Apologetics):
“Apologetics, on the other hand, has been used in at least three ways. Perhaps most commonly it refers to the discipline concerned with the defense of the faith. Second, it can refer to a general grouping of approaches or systems developed for defending the faith, as when we speak about evidentialist apologetics or Reformed apologetics. Third, it is sometimes used to refer to the practice of defending the faith—as the activity of presenting an apology or apologies in defense of the faith. These three usages are easily distinguished by context, so we will employ all three in this book.”
So, why, you say, should I know that? Well, we as Christians need to know how to defend what we believe. We need to know why we believe what we believe and I am learning very quickly that there are a lot of folks out there that say they are Christians but don’t really know why they say that and what that really means. Well, I feel compelled to include this information in my blog about the Pentateuch and Apologetics, so I will continue. This article entitled “Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch – Tried and True” by Eric Lyons, M.Min – A.P. Staff, explains some things about the folks that don’t believe that Moses is the author and why they don’t believe it. It goes into great detail about archeology things and the origin of some writing (the alphabet), and even if camels were domesticated at the time of Abraham… and many, many other things that is WELL worth the read! But the main punch is at the end of the article. I will not include anything but the last three paragraphs, because that is the ENTIRE CRUX as to why we believe that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Here are the last three paragraphs of the article.
“A final reason that one must defend the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, instead of sitting by idly and claiming that “it doesn’t really matter who wrote it,” is because Jesus Himself acknowledged that “the Law” came from Moses. In Mark 7:10, Jesus quoted from both Exodus 20 and 21, attributing the words to Moses. Mark likewise recorded a conversation Jesus had with the Pharisees regarding what “Moses permitted” and “wrote” in Deuteronomy chapter 24 (Mark 10:3-5; cf. Matthew 19:8). Later, we see where Jesus asked the Sadducees, “Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the place concerning the bush, how God spake unto him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?” (Mark 12:26, emp. added). But, perhaps the most convincing passage of all can be found in John 5:46-47, where Jesus stated: “For if ye believed Moses, ye would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46-47, emp. added; cf. Deuteronomy 18:15-18). The truth is, by claiming that Moses did not write the books of the Pentateuch, one essentially is claiming that Jesus was mistaken. M.R. DeHaan expounded upon this problem in his book, Genesis and Evolution:
Prove that Moses did not write the books of the Pentateuch and you prove that Jesus was totally mistaken and not the infallible Son of God he claimed to be. Upon your faith in Moses as the writer of the five books attributed to him rests also your faith in Jesus as the Son of God. You cannot believe in Jesus Christ without believing what Moses wrote. You see, there is much more involved in denying the books of Moses than most people suppose (1978, p. 41).
Indeed, believing Moses wrote the Pentateuch is very important. It is not a trivial issue we should treat frivolously while suggesting that “it really doesn’t matter.” It matters because the deity of Christ and the integrity of the Bible writers are at stake!”
Now you say, “why did you include all of this information now?” Because I am walking through the book of Exodus and the story of Moses and the Israelites at the present time and I thought it a good place to pause and add some good information about Moses and why we believe what we believe.
I was raised in the church since before I was born, and have been around the Bible and read the Bible all my life. However, it has only been in the last couple of years that I have begun to really try to digest the Bible and understand what God is telling us in this wonderful Book. This is His love story to us and if we love God we should want to understand His Book… His Word. Not just think of it as a compilation of a bunch of old stories that have no relevance for today and our lives today. It is Totally Relevant to us today! So many lessons to be learned and learn again! Because we humans seem to take a long time to learn things sometimes! Like it says in those paragraphs above from that article, if we believe Jesus was God’s Son and the Christ, our Savior and He said the Word of God was important, then how could we possibly believe that the Word of God is not important or relevant today? Some folks really need to re-evaluate what they believe and why they believe it, I think.
I certainly don’t mean to step on any toes, but I have told you before, I do not write one word before I feel the Spirit lead me. I pray as I am looking for things to write and I pray the entire time I am writing and tonight’s no different. Sometimes it seems my fingers can’t keep up with my brain and the messages I am getting… and then there are times that my fingers go so fast that it amazes me when I finally stop and read what I just typed… really! When God moves, He moves! I don’t really understand how it all works sometimes, but I know that God is behind it all … for I read my posts sometimes and wonder… “did I write that?” Well, I was the instrument that God used to write it, I suppose you can put it that way. It amazes me, I tell you! I love being used by God in any way He sees fit!
I am reading a book right now by Christine Caine called “Unstoppable”, that I picked up at the Women of Faith Conference this year. It is a fascinating book and it compares the Christian that God is using as they are in a divine relay race waiting for the baton to be passed to them. I feel like that lately too! I am just waiting for the next baton to be passed to me. So, you get my blog as God passes the baton to me and says, “Write this.”
We, as Christians, need to look for those places and circumstances that God puts us in or presents to us so we can be used by Him. They happen every day! Look for that next baton to be passed to you and you run with it! God will be there with you!
Moses was very reluctant to run with the baton when God called him to go to Egypt and save the Israelites. He finally agreed and God used him in a mighty way. It wasn’t overnight though. It took a while but the BIG journey began when he said “Yes” to God.
With all that said, I will close. The next part of the Prayer series is about Moses going to Egypt to free the Israelites. He has a job in convincing the old hard-hearted Pharaoh. We will follow him on his journey in his prayer time (conversations with God).
The Video – God’s Calling You – Relentless Revival
My mother has always told me this… “A wise man changes his mind, a fool never does”. So, with that said, I am going to take my stand and change some things I stated in a previous post. This previous post is entitled “PRAYER – ABRAHAM AND SACRIFICE 2”. In that post, I explained that I had run across some interesting information about the actual translation of a word used in this scripture referenced. Let me begin with the scripture then I will explain a little more.
Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
The “word” that is under scrutiny here is the original word used in the place of “burnt offering”. The original word is “olah”. No … it doesn’t mean hello like in Spanish… lol. Here is the JewishEncyclopedia.com website’s definition and/or explanation.
“The ordinary translation in modern versions of the Hebrew “‘olah” (). This term does not mean literally “burnt offering,” but “what is brought up” or presented to the Deity. The name is a translation of the Septuagint rendering, which is itself based upon the descriptive phrase often attached to “‘olah” in the ritual prescriptions: “an offering made by fire unto the Lord” (Lev. i. 9 et seq.). A synonym is, which defines the offering as complete; i.e., when it is placed upon the altar, to distinguish it from the other forms of animal sacrifice (see I Sam. vii. 9; compare Ps. li. 21). The burnt offering was the highest order of sacrifice in the Old Testament ritual. The bloodless offerings were made only in connection with it.”
As I stated in my post from where that above quote came from, I was a little cloudy on some things and was going to do more research. Well, I asked my brother what he thought. He is the Worship Pastor at his church and sings with the Singing Men of North Central Texas. He did some asking around and one of his friends, Mr. Joe Rhodes, is a teacher at a Christian school. He has also been a linguist student all of his education life. He has studied Hebrew and Greek and I am not sure what else, but that is really enough for me, especially in this particular case. If you are unclear about what a linguist is… (as I was) here is the definition…
Linguist – a person skilled in foreign languages.
Well, like I said, that is enough for me. Mr. Rhodes wrote me a page of information and explanation on the use of that word “olah” (burnt offering) in verse 2 of the above scripture. His explanation has helped me make my decision as to what I truly believe now. It is always such a wonderfully satisfying feeling when you just “know” that you have found the “TRUTH”. I will share a little of what Mr. Rhodes says about the use of this word and more.
“Many words in the Hebrew can have slightly different meanings. Because of this, the context of the Scripture passage usage, frequency of use and context and context of meaning in the other references is very important.
The Hebrew olah is one such word. Definition: “What is laid on the altar; what is offered on the altar.” (This may be a bullock, lamb, goat or bird, i.e. dove) I don’t think these animals left alive from the altar. It could mean what Fisher says, but the frequency of use and the context of the verse deny this meaning. This word is used over 200 times in the OT, every time referring to the death of the animal being sacrificed. (Ex – Gen 8:20; Exodus 10:25; Leviticus 1:3-4; 4:1824-25, etc.) Each usage is our word.”
“The transliteration of this word from the Hebrew to the Greek is the same. The same Hebrew word is translated to the Greek in the NT as offering and it means the death of the sacrifice every time. “Offering for sin” – e.g. “an expiatory sacrifice.” (48 times in the NT) Eph 5:2; Heb 10:5, 8 14, 26 for example.
So what about Gen 22? In Hebrews 11:17-19 (our word is used twice in v 17) we are told that Abraham was offering up his “only begotten son.” Isaac was not his only son, but the son of promise. He was as good as dead – v 19 – Abraham believed the promise of God so strongly that he knew, if need be, God would raise Isaac up from the grave because he was the son of promise. Isaac carried the wood for the sacrifice and willingly laid on the altar at his father’s instruction. This is such a strong picture of the work of Christ that it takes your breath away.”
So with that said, I will say that I believe the meaning is exactly what God meant and Abraham did not misunderstand. He took God’s word for exactly what He said… “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Let me say this… it is so very important to understand the true meaning of various words that are used. Sometimes the translations that we have use words that may not really paint the right or true picture of what was meant. If you ever read anything in the Bible that you are unsure about, seek out someone that will know. There are other places other than friends of brothers or sisters.. if you don’t have people like this in your life, call a college of divinity and seek someone out to talk to or go to your pastor and have them help. I would say not to take what you read on the internet as absolute truth. It may be true for that person, but is it the Truth as far as God is concerned? That is the Standard – God and His Word and His Truth, not just what you read from some website, as I did initially. If it doesn’t feel right, if it doesn’t sound quite right, if you have questions about a person’s opinion, seek out someone that will know and help you disseminate the truth. However, before anything occurs… Pray! Prayer is so very important in understanding God’s Word and seeing the Truth! Ask God to lead you to the truth through knowledge and the wisdom to use that knowledge wisely. He will help you. There was a very famous king in the Bible that asked for wisdom and God granted it. Here is the scripture:
7 On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
8 And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. 9 Now, O Lord God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. 10 Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”
11 Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king— 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”
God will show you the truth if you seek it and Him with all your heart and mind. God loves you so much and wants you to know the truth. After all… He calls you His beloved.
The Song – This Is My Word – The Singing Men of North Central Texas
I would like to begin this “side step” from the “Prayer” series with a little background about Noah for those readers that may be joining us at this point. If you didn’t know, this post is a side step from that series Prayer that I have done for a few days now. I was in the process of writing Part IX (click the link to read that post) when God spoke to my heart about some things about the Ark that needed to be shared with you. So, I am taking at least this one break (maybe more) from the Prayer series to talk about some comparisons that I discovered in my research and study for my Prayer series. So without further ado, let’s begin.
I found a Proverb that is so duly appropriate for me in this journey through the scriptures. I just love this discovery that I am on and sharing with you. This Proverb is perfect:
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
Now I am no king or queen, but I am so blessed when I study God’s Word and research to find out what the “hidden” meanings are. God has so many blessings within the Bible and I am honored to find some of them and share my discoveries with you with His help. Now … on to the post.
Noah, a man that walked with God. This was a very righteous man that had daily conversations (prayers) with God. The scriptures do not say exactly this… but with the words that are used to describe this man clearly indicates that he must have had so much prayer time or conversation with God that God considered him a very good and righteous man.
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. 9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The earth apparently had become so corrupt that God had had all He could stand. I found a reminder that in Matthew 24:37and Luke 17:26 Jesus, Himself, tells us that this world will become the same as in the days of Noah. See the scripture:
37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark.
26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
The Bible also tells us that God is constantly looking for the hearts of people who are right toward Him. God loves mankind and wants to be with His people. He wants to find people that love Him and want to “walk with God”.
“The eyes of God run to and fro upon the earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is right toward him,”
Since God’s eyes are constantly going to and fro looking … He found one man, in the midst of the corrupt, debase, and wicked society, worthy of saving and carrying out God’s plan to save mankind and His wonderful creation. Noah was the ONLY man on the earth that was righteous. The ONLY man worthy to carry out this Plan for God. That is amazing to me. I am so glad Noah walked with God in all ways so as to save mankind and the animals, etc. of God’s world. I love God’s creation and am amazed nearly every day by the beauty and majesty of it. Seeing the clouds alone can bring tears to my eyes. Remember… God could have made a black and white world and we would never have known the difference. But God loves beauty also and I am glad He does. Also, He loves to share it with us, and I am glad He does!
So here is this one righteous man and his little family (wife, 3 sons – Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their wives). Apparently living a quiet, calm life. Going about their daily thing when their dad (the head of the family) brings the news what God has revealed to him in his time with God in prayer. That had to be a shocker. I wonder… Did they support him from the beginning? Did they ask questions? Or did they take what Noah said at face value and just understand that in his “walk with God” that is what God said and since God said it, Noah was going to do it. I used to have a bumper sticker – years ago – that said … “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” That is probably just about what Noah said here and his family went along, knowing that Noah was always in communication with God.
OK, so God has found His man. Noah. So then God begins to tell Noah about the ark and how it needed to be built. God was very specific in His instructions. This ark was a massive undertaking and one that brought jeering and ridicule, no doubt. Noah being the strong, righteous man that he was, and obviously very comfortable in his own skin and believed in his God and what he could do with God… these jabs by the public didn’t deter him one bit. He just kept on going. Following God’s direction.
We can relate to that with our walk with God, can’t we? We step out in faith on a path that God places our foot on and others throw questions our way. Or they make comments about what a “crazy” decision that is and so forth. We must not let the world deter us from the walk with our God. God has a plan and His is the best plan. It may not be one that saves mankind and all of creation but it just might be to save one or two souls along the way. And remember, the Angels rejoice and there is a party going on in Heaven every time a sinner is saved by grace.
14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. 15 And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.
To begin with, in my research and studying of the scriptures and the Hebrew translation of some of the words used in the scripture, it is suggested that the water itself represents the believer’s baptism. Now, not that the water alone saves us, but that Noah was in the ark and went through the water…. Here is the scripture first and then I will explain a little further.
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us[a] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited[b] in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
So Peter is referring to Noah’s family being saved “through” the water just as when we are saved and we get “baptized” through water. Now the water does not save us but the baptism is a symbol that represents being dead to sin – the old life, and being raised to walk in a new life. Noah and all of the occupants of the ark were saved through the water – they passed through the flood. Their old life left behind and going through the water to a new life.
Now the ark itself has some interesting comparisons as well. First let’s look at a couple of the elements mentioned by God. He told Noah to use Gopher wood. There is actually no tree now nor then that is referred to as Gopher. So the folks in the know – the Bible Scholars – best guess is Cedar. Also, there is another possible explanation. I will use the quote for this explanation. It involves a scribal error on the part of whomever wrote the original manuscript. This quote comes from a website I found – ChristianAnswers.net. There is a wealth of information on there. Anyway, here is the quote on Gopher Wood and here is the link to the page with this explanation on it. This is one of 4 possibilities that this author lists.
“4. Due to the similarity between a “g” and a “k” in the Hebrew alphabet (both resemble a backwards “C”), some have suggested that the first letter in the word “gopher” could be a scribal error, and that the word should be “kopher.” Kopher is a Hebrew word translated as “pitch” in Genesis 6:14. Pitch is a waterproof covering. (No one knows for sure what kind of pitch Noah used). But if this scribal error theory is correct, then the verse would properly read, in effect, “Make yourself an ark of pitched wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.”
Now with this in mind, the “pitch” used in the making of the Ark symbolizes the atoning power of Jesus Blood that covers our sins. Here is another quote from another source – The Typology of the Ark. They say it better than I could.
“The word “pitch” is translated from the Hebrew word “kaphar,” which means “to cover.” “Kaphar” is translated seventy times in the King James Bible as “to make atonement.” The simple meaning of “kaphar” is “to cover.” The atonement was made by the Blood of Christ, which provides a covering of sin. Sin must be covered by the Blood of Christ. Romans 4:7 – “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered;…”, in the New Testament, gives a quotation from Psalm 32 – Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.”
I want to close this post out for now with a quote from Ray Steadman’s sermon “A Way Of Escape”.
“This word for atonement speaks of expiation of sin and oneness between God and man. It is the prominent feature of the Bible and its use here hints strongly of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus who was sent as an ark of safety for the people of God, to carry them through the floods of God’s judging vengeance. You can see how beautifully it fits.”
Tomorrow I will continue this adventure through the scriptures and the comparison of the Ark and Jesus Christ. It is an exciting adventure and journey and one I hope you continue to enjoy with me.
I posted this back on April 23, 2014. I got a few comments about it – although there is only one showing online. That’s ok because they told me over the phone that they really liked it. I thought I would re-post it because it has great information and I think those of you that have read it before will enjoy it again.
Those of you that have not read it, well… here’s your chance.
I do hope you don’t mind me re-posting it and I do hope you enjoy it!
I was coming back from my 1st break of the day and as I walked up to my desk I saw that someone had laid a couple of pieces of candy on my desk. This is not an uncommon thing around where I work. We are always looking out for one another in one way or the other – Candy, coffee, tea, sodas, food of any kind, etc. It is always a nice surprise though to find candy. This particular candy was a Werther’s Original but it was the Coffee flavor. I am not much of a coffee drinker and thought “I’m really not going to enjoy this… but I will try it.” As I get older I find that I am more willing to try new food items…lol. Anyway, I unwrapped the first piece, popped it into my mouth and instantly my mouth was happy! It was so good! Yes, it had a flavor of coffee but blended with that wonderful Werther’s caramel flavor! It was really, really good! The longer I held it in my mouth the better it got! I was “HOOKED”! I asked “Who put this on my desk?” One of my girlfriends just smiled. I figured as much. I thanked her and continued on enjoying my Werther’s Original Coffee caramel. Over the next month or so I was eating more than I should have in one day! But I couldn’t help myself! They were so good! It seem I had an insatiable appetite for these little candies. Well, after a few months, my mouth finally allowed me to rest from them but for a while there it seemed as though I was eating my weight in them in a week’s time. My taste for them had waned a bit. I guess my mouth just finally had enough. I think I had only one today and none yesterday… so I am definitely getting better.
Now there is something else that I have had an insatiable appetite for. It began about 1 ½ years ago. I began to read the God’s Word and it began to come alive in my heart and soul! Yes, I have read the Bible all my life, but it was when I started “listening” to the Bible on my YouVersion Bible App it changed everything! I began listening on my way to work and found that was the first thing I listened to on my way home from work. Every day! I could not get enough of God’s Word! I started at the beginning – Genesis and listened through to Revelation! Oh My Goodness! I was hooked! I couldn’t get enough! Every day I was listening to the all the stories about Adams and Eve and all that they went through. Then all the wonderful Patriarchs of the Bible – Moses, Noah, Abraham, David, etc. So many stories I have heard all my life and all came to life wherever I was! It was a total LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE! I learned who God really was and is! I learned so much about how much He loved man, even all the “Stiff Necked Israelites”. I don’t ever see me getting enough of God’s Word! This is not like that candy where you taste it a little and then it’s gone! God’s Word is living! In Hebrews 4:12 it states “12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” That is pretty strong! God’s Word can change lives and has and does! The more I know the more I want to know!
I have heard it asked and I myself have asked a dear friend who was my Worship Pastor at the time… “How is it that you read a scripture in the Bible one day and you get something out of it and then next time you read that same scripture you get something else out of it?” His response was short and sweet and timeless! He simply said “Leah, because God’s mercies are new every morning.” I have found this to be so true! Here is the scripture that it refers to – Lamentations 3:22-23 – “22 The steadfast love of theLordnever ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are newevery morning; great is your faithfulness.” I suppose I will never… NEVER… get tired of reading or listening to God’s Word. I learn something different every time I read or hear it. It fills me with such joy and peace and contentedness. As I said before, the more I know, the more I want to know.
I guess there is one other thing that I love as much… well, almost… as God’s Word and that is Praise and Worship Music. I think this is because Praise and Worship music is just what it says… it praises and worships the God of all creation! Jesus the Messiah and Lord of All! And so many other things! Much of it is scripture put to song. I Love That! I am so very fortunate to be in a church that preaches The Word of God and sings praises to and worships God Almighty! That is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit! Three In One!
I would suggest that you set aside some time during the day – morning, noon or night – to read God’s Word. That is of course if you don’t do this already! BUT I WANT TO WARN YOU!! It is addictive!! Say … start with the Gospel of John. Read one chapter a day and in 3 weeks (21 days) you will have read the entire book of John. You will love it! I promise!
Thanks for reading my blog too! I do pray that you find God’s peace and joy in the day – every day!
In yesterday’s post, (here’s the link to yesterday’s) I ended talking about how the Good Shepherd goes before us and knows every bit of where He is leading us. He has gone before to make sure it is safe and to find those places where there are pitfalls and dangers, He is there and always will be, to guide us through the valleys of our life. So we can “fear no evil” in the path He leads us on.
Today’s post is about “Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me”. Learning about sheep and their shepherd has been one of the most interesting things I have learned in a long time. The book “A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23” is what I read recently and have gained a lot of knowledge about all the things a shepherd goes through and must do to have a healthy and flourishing flock of sheep. The author of the book was once a shepherd and has first-hand knowledge of this profession. The “instruments” or tools used by the shepherd are few. The Rod is one of the most important ones because it is used for protection and correction. The author recounts times when he has seen another shepherd use his rod to defend himself against dangerous things, such as snakes or coyotes, etc. It can also be used to help examine the sheep as they come out of the corral. He says that the shepherd has each sheep pass by him individually and he inspects them before they go out to graze. The rod is used to part the wool to see if the skin is ok, or to see if there are any problems below the wool that need attention. After careful inspection and all being well, the shepherd allows the sheep to pass on by and join the rest of the sheep in the pasture. This process is called “passing under the rod”. It is not a bad thing, because it can be the time that the shepherd needs to determine the sheep’s condition. A very valuable time indeed.
To compare that to Christians, I also understand that The Word of God is referred to as “The Rod”. His Word definitely has its time with us. As we read the Word and learn more and more about what God has to say to us we are washed clean by His Word.
Psalm 119:9 – 9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
The Word parts our hearts and makes sure it is clean and ready to receive The Word of God. The more we read and study the Bible the closer we get to God.
It is also used as a protection for us. When we know The Word of God, we can use it in our daily life as we come across various problems and situations. Also, the schemes of Satan will test our patience and when we can recall scripture and speak the name of Jesus, the devil must flee! So, The Word (the Rod) of God can be a protection to us as well as something that cleanses us.
Ezekiel 20:37 – 37 “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant;
This is a link to a website I found that talks about the rod being a symbol of God’s Word.
The Staff is also an instrument that the shepherd uses. The author of the book says that the staff is only used by shepherds “in the care and management of sheep – and only sheep.” “It is designed, shaped, and adapted especially to the needs of sheep.” “No one in any other profession carries a shepherd’s staff.”
Another quote from the author about the staff. “Just as the rod of God is emblematic of the Word of God, so the staff of God is symbolic of the Spirit of God. In Christ’s dealings with us as individuals there is the essence of the sweetness, the comfort and the consolation, the gentle correction brought about by the work of His gracious Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit that Jesus told us He would leave for us guides and directs us as we go along our daily lives… that is if we have accepted Jesus and have recognized His authority over us and our lives. The Spirit of God is a comforting presence in most Christian’s lives. I personally have experienced His presence and welcome Him all the time!
The author tells about one of the ways the staff is used by the shepherd. When a ewe gives birth, sometimes the lamb needs to be brought close to the mother. If they get too far apart during the birthing process the shepherd takes his staff and gently picks the lamb up and lays it next to the mother instead of getting his scent on the lamb by picking it up himself. He said that the ewe may reject the lamb if the scent of the shepherd is on it.
Another way it is used is to bring the sheep closer together. If there is wayward sheep that needs to be brought back into the fold, the shepherd can gently touch the sheep on the side to guide it back to the proper place.
The last way it might be used is to draw the sheep unto himself. The shepherd has intimate relationships with his sheep. He spends a lot of time with them. Sometimes there is a shy one that will not come close to him as the others do. He uses the staff to gently pull it in close to him to get him used to being handled and loved on.
So you can see how the staff is a symbol of The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit draws us together, as Christians, so we can enjoy the fellowship of one another. The Holy Spirit also whispers to our hearts “This is the way, walk in it”, Isaiah 30:21 – 21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand. Or whenever you turn to the left.” and the Holy Spirit draws us close to God so we can have sweet fellowship with Him.
Yes I can say “…Thy Rod and Thy Staff, they comfort me.” I call The Lord my Shepherd. Have you called out to Him today? Is He your guide, your help, your comforter? Talk to Him today. He is waiting to hear from you. He loves you so much! You are His beloved.
The Song – I Have No Doubt – Point of Grace (I have included the lyrics below for you)
I will keep the name THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK (PART 2) for the remainder of the posts in this series. If you haven’t read Part 1 here is the link. I will include the link to the previous post in each one as I continue with this series.
Yesterday’s post explained that the first step in being in the flock of a shepherd is getting to “know” the shepherd. The shepherd must spend time with the sheep daily and sometimes through the night so he can get to know his flock and they can get to know him. When the knowing is there, there is comfortability and a feeling of safety on the flock’s part.
In the book I read before (A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23) it talks about how absolutely dependent sheep are on their shepherd and how the shepherd delights in caring for his flock. This book is available from Amazon – if you click one of the Amazon links down on the left side of this website you can purchase it. It will bless you tremendously! This is an excerpt from that book:
“…I would, as their owner, have to continually lay down my life for them if they were to flourish and prosper. Sheep do not “just take care of themselves” as some might suppose. They require, more than any other class of livestock, endless attention and meticulous care.” “It is no accident that God has chosen to call us sheep. …” “… Yet despite these adverse characteristics, Christ chooses us, buys us, calls us by name, makes us His own, and delights in caring for us.”
Jesus, knowing our weaknesses, still chose to die for us. He loved us even then. But moreover, He arose for us! He left His Spirit for us as a Guide. It is that Spirit that helps you understand the Word of God too. That is our food. Sheep need nice green pastures free from rocks, poisonous plants and harmful critters. The Holy Spirit helps us understand that The Word of God is our food and He helps us understand and digest what God wants us to know. If you “graze” on The Word and let it sink deep into your soul you will feel satisfied and nourished. Sometimes it will make you feel as though you are never full though. I am always longing for more of The Word. The Bible talks about “Spiritual Milk” or “Spiritual Meat”.
1 Corinthians 3:2 – 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
God provides Spiritual food for us to grow and flourish on just as the shepherd provides the best meadows to graze in. About 3 years ago I began to desire The Word of God. I wanted to know more about this Spiritual Food. I wasn’t necessarily a “new Christian” but as far as my walk with God, it wasn’t where it should have been. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 2:2 that we will desire The Word just like a newborn baby desires milk. 1 Peter 2:2 – 2 “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,[a]”
To me reading the Bible is like the sheep munching and resting in the comfort of the peaceful meadow with grass knee high and swaying in the breeze. Now when I was starting out reading the Bible, it was like Spiritual milk. As I grew in my walk with The Lord, I began to want more than just milk. God, in His infinite wisdom, began to reveal things to me in His Word and in my life that has helped me grow. Good Spiritual food and daily communication with The Good Shepherd helped me grow and flourish.
God cares about what we put in our minds. His Word is what is best to feed our spirit. If we fill our minds with things of the world, we will not have room for the things of God. Feeding on His Word will fill our minds and souls with the things of God. The Bible tells us to fill our minds with good things in Philippians 4:8 – 8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” As Christians we should be in The Word daily so we can grow and flourish. If the shepherd of the flock had rocky, weedy places for his sheep they would die. Same with us, if we, as God’s flock, are not in the lush meadow of The Word that He has provided for us then we die spiritually. There is a lot more than just reading The Word, too. Prayer, fellowshipping with other believers, serving where you can, etc. is part of growing and flourishing. We must connect with God and stay connected with God (stay in “The Vine”) to grow and flourish.
I challenge you, as we walk on this journey with the Good Shepherd, to begin reading The Word of God. Reach out to God and pray. Find a place to serve and enjoy the wonderful growth that God has in store for you.
More to come tomorrow on THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK. Tomorrow is Part 3. Looking forward to see what God has in store for us tomorrow.
The Song – This is My Word – The Singing Men of North Central Texas