Sunday, July 29, 2007


Lord My Judge

Judges 11:27
Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.

There is so much material to choose from for this compound name. A long and strong cord in the tapestry of the Bible is this recurring theme of judge and judgement.

Genesis 16:5
And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.

Genesis 31:53
The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us. And Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac.

1 Samuel 24:12
The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.

People of every rank, all throughout the Bible call for the Lord to decide their cause. We think we desire righteous judgement. We hunger for it. We cry for it. Listen to the siren song, the seductive words of Absalom in the gate:

2 Samuel 15:4
Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

Here he sits planting seeds of unrest, planting seeds of dissatisfaction, planting seeds of revolution among the people against king David, his father. All the people cry for a righteous judge to judge between them, but. . . but. . . but. . . at best only half the people can have their way with a righteous human judge. Such is the way of man though. . . we all consider our own causes, our own ways to be righteous, but that cannot be. In issues between us, we cannot all be right. Someone must be wrong, In wishing for a righteous earthly judge the people actually desired and Absalom tantalized them with, not righteousness judge, but a judge who would agree with them. Don't cry for a righteous judge. We have that in God. As the Word says (to paraphrase), keep your eye looking for righteousness in yourself and let God worry about the judging.

Solomon did not ask God for riches or long life, but for wisdom to judge his people:

1 Kings 3:9
Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

and God gave Solomon wisdom. I think Solomon may be looked upon as a type of the role of God in judgement. Solomon built a porch in his palace as a place specifically for judgement:

1 Kings 7:7
Then he made a porch for the throne where he might judge, even the porch of judgment: and it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other.

The same as God will one day sit on the white throne:

Revelation 20:11-15
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (12) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (13) And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. (14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

1 Kings 3:16-28
Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him. (17) And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. (18) And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house. (19) And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it. (20) And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. (21) And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear. (22) And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spoke before the king. (23) Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living. (24) And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. (25) And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other. (26) Then spoke the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. (27) Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof. (28) And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.

What tremendous wisdom. There is no arguing about whether Solomon made the correct decision in this case. It is plain for all to see. In the same way no one will be able to stand at the end of the day and accuse God of being anything other than being correct and righteous. He will follow His own word:

Deuteronomy 19:15
One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

We will be shown before His throne, we will be convicted in our own hearts of our mistakes. There will be no jury, no witness stand. You and He will be the witnesses. . . You will testify against yourself. . . There will be no doubt that He is right. In that day, our tongues will confess. . . we will weep bitter tears of sorrow at the things we are shown. . . at the things that we did not repent and ask forgiveness of. . . there will be no doubt. Our arguments, our self-justification, our pride and foolishness will evaporate to nothing in the great heat of His glory. . .

I close with this passage of Scripture, a psalm of David not found in the book of psalms.

I Chronicles 16:7-36 (TNIV)

7 That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the LORD in this manner:

8 Give praise to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.

9 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.

10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.

11 Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.

12 Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,

13 you his servants, the descendants of Israel,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.

14 He is the LORD our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.

15 He remembers his covenant forever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations,

16 the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.

17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant:

18 "To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion you will inherit."

19 When they were but few in number,
few indeed, and strangers in it,

20 they wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.

21 He allowed no one to oppress them;
for their sake he rebuked kings:

22 "Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm."

23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth;
proclaim his salvation day after day.

24 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

25 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.

26 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.

27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

28 Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

30 Tremble before him, all the earth!
The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.

31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"

32 Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!

33 Let the trees of the forest sing,
let them sing for joy before the LORD,
for he comes to judge the earth.

34 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

35 Cry out, "Save us, God our Savior;
gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
and glory in your praise."

36 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Then all the people said "Amen" and "Praise the LORD."

I love you my God.

Show me the ways in which I err. . .

Speak to me. . .

Open the eyes of my heart. . .

Let me see things as You see them. . .

Friday, July 27, 2007

What a difference. . .

I cannot tell you how big a difference there is in my mood between lunchtime today and now (about 9 hours later). I feel so much better. I think that there were two key happenings. First my recognizing what was going on, in being depressed, was crucial and secondly I really believe that in sharing with you all, I'm confident that at least one or two prayers were said for me. I very much feel like a cloud has lifted off of me. . .

I've been studying for the next compound name of Jehovah:

Jehovah-Hashopet - Lord My Judge - Judges 11:27

(By the way, there was an error [actually a couple of errors so far] in the list of compound names that I sent out a month or six weeks ago. The verse for this name was listed as Judges 6:27 and the verse is actually Judges 11:27. There was another error also, but I forgot to say anything before now. I've just been correcting them as I go along. Shortly I’ll send out an updated/corrected list.)

Anyway, I’m researching the word Hashopet and getting all of these judge verses. Here’s a section in Deuteronomy I ran into that I found interesting:

Deuteronomy 17:12-13

(12) And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. (13) And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously. (KJV)

12 The man who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the LORD your God must be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel. 13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again. (NIV)

Isn’t that something. . . It’s the same God, Old Testament and New. . . I’ve heard of discontent in different congregations about the pastor supposedly not being Biblical enough. You know what? Those people saying those things ought to give thanks to God that their pastor isn’t more Biblical. I mean from these verses it is pretty clear how seriously God takes insubordination of the man of God. Maybe the board should have Klink Trucking drop off a yard or so of softball sized rocks in the parking lot. I really do know that we don’t do things like that any more, but in light if these verses it might give some cause to think about their words and actions. It really cannot be clearer how severely God felt about it from the way He told Israel to deal with those who disrespected what the man of God had to say.

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not. . .

Here’s another section only two chapters later that was also interesting to me:

Deuteronomy 19:16-21

If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; (17) Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; (18) And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; (19) Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. (20) And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you. (21) And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (KVJ)

16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, 17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, 19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. 20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. 21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (NIV)

Both these sections of verses have something very much in common. Both of them contain the instruction that you carry out these sentences in order that ‘never again will such an evil thing be done among you. . .’ The purposes of the penalties was not to rehabilitate the one who committed the crime, but rather to ensure that no one else would be foolish enough to do the same thing themselves.

It seems like our society pivots around these three very different circles. There can be some overlapping, but I n many respects they exclude one another. Is prison to protect society from antisocial elements? Is it a place to put people while they are being rehabilitated? Or is it a place of punishment to deter others from similar crimes? My own mind has swung between one thought and another over the years, but it seems clear that in the way that God set up the Mosaic judicial system that judicial penalties were to be deterrence. Nothing else was mentioned. . .

One last thought, I also ran across this verse in my studies:

Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (NIV)

I was under consideration a week or so ago to be on a jury. We were interviewed for a couple of hours by the prosecutor and the defense attorneys. At one point the prosecutor asked us basically this very question, “Could we find for conviction if it were just the word of the Police Officer against the defendant?” I almost said something. I wasn’t sure enough of myself. I had my Bible with me, but I didn’t have the verse ready. I wanted to point out this very thing. My comments probably would have automatically gotten me a strike from the district attorney’s bench, but I think it is clear, without any other supporting evidence, just the policeman’s word against the citizen’s word, I don’t think I can vote for a conviction.

Policemen have been known to lie. I cannot read minds, just on the face of it in the courtroom, one in uniform, one in shackles. . . tends to make one believe the police officer over the citizen, but the uniform is not a guarantee of honesty, neither are the leg irons equal to guilt. I would need at least one other piece of evidence to vote for a conviction.
Just kind of thoughts along the way. . .

Thank you for your prayers. . .
Thank you for lifting my depression Lord. . .

Dave Stokely

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Lord King

Psalms 98

A Psalm.
O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvelous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. (2) The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen. (3) He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. (4) Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. (5) Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. (6) With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. (7) Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (8) Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together (9) Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity. (KJV)

A psalm.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.

2 The LORD has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.

3 He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.

4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;

5 make music to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,

6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn—
shout for joy before the LORD, the King.

7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.

8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the LORD,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity. (NIV)

I always like to get a feel for the source word, in this case Hamelech. So I always do a search on it in e-Sword and then review the instances where it occurs. In this case, I really cannot do that. The word Hamalech is found 2522 times in 1920 different verses and it is really beyond me for these writings to study each occurrence of this word. I did spend a couple of hours reviewing the first several hundred occurrences. I got up to most of the way through 2 Kings. I don't know how many instances that is, but I never found God, even once referring to Himself as King in those verses.

There are references, prophecies for the future:

Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Referred to in the New Testament:

Matthew 21:5
Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy king cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

But again, I cannot find a single verse where God declares Himself King. The closest He comes is when being interviewed by Pilate:

Matthew 27:11
And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

This would have been prime time for Jesus to speak what everyone already knew. . . . Prime time to declare it, to let the world know, to shout it out loud. . . . I've always wondered (even to the writing of this tonight) why Jesus did not proclaim Himself at that time. I think that I now may understand.

I find this very interesting. Years ago before cable, when I watched television late at night, in the wee hours when the advertising rates were low and old re-run movies were on there would be ads for used cars. . . "Honest Bob" would come on and tell how wonderful his cars were. He would tell of the time a customer had test driven one of his cars and a quarter had fallen out of the man's pocket and "Honest Bob" had driven 50 miles to return the man's quarter. What an honest man Bob was. All you had to do was listen to him tell you all about how honest he was.

"I am the greatest. . ." Do you remember Muhammad Ali saying that? To anyone who would listen, to everyone. . . he would dance around the ring after a win and proudly proclaim, "I am the greatest. . ."

But you know, it would have been better if others were saying that and not him. A long time ago, I read where if someone starts telling you how honest they are, you'd better grab your wallet and hang tightly on to it. As a Christian, I surely shouldn't need to go around telling everyone how holy and righteous I am. Those things should be manifest in my life and not need to be proclaimed by me.

I think that maybe the same principle is in operation here. If God were to loudly proclaim His own kingship, I think that would weaken His status. Queen Elizabeth II doesn't go around telling everyone that she is the queen of England. Her procession, her attendants, her demeanor, all speak of it. . .without words. . . all inherently demand the respect and honor of a queen. All that would be lessened if, through her own insecurity, she rubbed your face in it by continually proclaiming it herself.

I looked at probably half the instances of Hamelech in the Bible and could not find a single instance where God spoke of his own kingship. He doesn't need to. Everything about Him proclaims it and it is to His honor and to His credit that He never (that I could find) says it Himself. . .

Dave Stokely
Life Tabernacle Church
Elkhart, Indiana

Reference Section

This word (Hamelech) is translated as:

King, kings, royalty

Below are the verses where Strong's number H4428 are found (and some interesting verses I ran across along the way):

Genesis 14:1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 17, 18, 21, 22; 17:6, 16; 20:2; 26:1, 8; 35:11; 36:31; 39:20; 40:1, 5; 41:46; 49:20;

Exodus 1:8, 15, 17, 18; 2:23; 3:18, 19; 5:4; 6:11, 13, 27, 29; 14:5, 8;

Numbers 20:14, 17; 21:1, 21, 22, 26, 29, 33, 34; 22:4, 10; 23:7, 21; 24:7; 31:8; 32:33; 33:40;

Deuteronomy 1:4; 2:24, 26, 30; 3:1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 11, 21; 4:46, 47; 7:8, 24; 11:3; 17:14, 15; 28:36; 29:7; 31:4; 33:5;

Deuteronomy 17:14-20 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; (15) Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. (16) But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. (17) Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. (18) And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: (19) And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: (20) That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Joshua 2:2, 3, 10; 5:1; 6:2; 8:1, 2, 14, 23, 29; 9:1, 10; 10:1, 3, 5, 6, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 28, 30, 33, 37, 39, 40, 42; 11:1, 2, 5, 10, 12, 17, 18; 12:1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; 13:10, 21, 27, 30; 24:9, 12;

Judges 1:7; 3:8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19; 4:2, 17, 23, 24; 5:3, 19; 8:5, 12, 18, 26; 9:6, 8, 15; 11:12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 25, 28; 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25;

1 Samuel 2:10; 8:5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 18, 19, 20, 22; 10:19, 24; 12:1, 2, 9, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 25; 14:47; 15:1, 8, 11, 17, 20, 23, 26, 32; 16:1; 17:25, 55, 56; 18:6, 18, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27; 19:4; 20:5, 24, 25, 29; 21:2, 8, 10, 11, 12; 22:3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18; 23:20; 24:8, 14; 25:36; 26:14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22; 27:2, 6; 28:13; 29:3, 8;

1 Samuel 2:1-11 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. (2) There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. (3) Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogance come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. (4) The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. (5) They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. (6) The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. (7) The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. (8) He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them. (9) He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. (10) The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. (11) And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest.

1 Samuel 8:5-22 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. (6) But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. (7) And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. (8) According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. (9) Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. (10) And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. (11) And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. (12) And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. (13) And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. (14) And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. (15) And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. (16) And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. (17) He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. (18) And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. (19) Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; (20) That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. (21) And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. (22) And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

1 Samuel 10:18-19 And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you: (19) And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.

1 Samuel 12:1-25 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. (2) And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. (3) Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. (4) And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken aught of any man's hand. (5) And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found aught in my hand. And they answered, He is witness. (6) And Samuel said unto the people, It is the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. (7) Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers. (8) When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place. (9) And when they forgot the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. (10) And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee. (11) And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe. (12) And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king. (13) Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. (14) If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: (15) But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers. (16) Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes. (17) Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king. (18) So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. (19) And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king. (20) And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; (21) And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. (22) For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. (23) Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: (24) Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. (25) But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.

2 Samuel 2:4, 7, 11; 3:3, 17, 21, 23, 24, 31, 32, 33, 36, 37, 38, 39; 4:8; 5:2, 3, 6, 11, 12, 17; 6:12, 16, 20; 7:1, 2, 3, 18; 8:3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; 9:2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 11, 13; 10:1, 5, 6, 19; 11:1, 2, 8, 9, 19, 20, 24; 12:7, 30; 13:4, 6, 13, 18, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 39; 14:1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 32, 33; 15:2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 34, 35; 16:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 14, 16; 17:2, 16, 17, 21; 18:2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33; 19:1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43; 20:2, 3, 4, 21, 22; 21:2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14; 22:51; 24:2, 3, 4, 9, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24;
1 Kings 1:1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 51, 53; 2:17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 35, 36, 38, 39, 42, 44, 45, 46; 3:1, 4, 13, 16, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28; 4:1, 5, 7, 19, 24, 27, 34; 5:1, 13, 17; 6:2; 7:13, 14, 40, 45, 46, 51; 8:1, 2, 5, 14, 62, 63, 64, 66; 9:1, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 26, 28; 10:3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29; 11:1, 14, 18, 23, 26, 27, 37, 40; 12:2, 6, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 23, 27, 28; 13:4, 6, 7, 8, 11; 14:2, 14, 19, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29; 15:1, 7, 9, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 23, 26; 4:13; 5:1, 5, 6, 7, 8; 6:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 21, 24, 26, 28, 30; 7:2, 6, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18; 8:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29; 9:3, 6, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 27, 34; 10:4, 6, 7, 8, 13, 34; 11:2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20; 12:6, 7, 10, 17, 18, 19; 13:1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 22, 24; 14:1, 5, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 25, 28, 31, 32, 33; 16:5, 8, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 23, 27, 29, 31, 33; 19:15, 16; 20:1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 31, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43; 21:1, 10, 13, 18; 22:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37, 39, 41, 44, 45, 47, 51;

2 Kings 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 15, 17, 18; 3:1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 21, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 28, 29; 15:1, 5, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 36, 37; 16:1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19; 17:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 24, 26, 27; 18:1, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 36; 19:1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 17, 20, 32, 36; 20:6, 12, 14, 18, 20; 21:3, 11, 17, 23, 24, 25; 22:3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 18, 20; 23:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 28, 29; 24:1, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 20; 25:1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 30;

1 Chronicles 1:43; 3:2; 4:23, 41; 5:6, 17, 26; 9:1, 18; 11:2, 3; 14:1, 2, 8; 15:29; 16:21; 17:16; 18:3, 5, 9, 10, 11, 17; 19:1, 5, 7, 9; 20:1, 2; 21:3, 4, 6, 23, 24; 24:6, 31; 25:2, 5, 6; 26:26, 30, 32; 27:1, 24, 25, 31, 32, 33, 34; 28:1, 2, 4; 29:1, 6, 9, 20, 23, 24, 25, 29;

2 Chronicles 1:12, 14, 15, 16, 17; 2:3, 11, 12; 4:11, 16, 17; 5:3, 6; 6:3; 7:4, 5, 6, 11; 8:10, 11, 15, 18; 9:5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27; 10:2, 6, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18; 11:3; 12:2, 6, 9, 10, 11, 13; 13:1; 15:16; 16:1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11; 17:19; 18:3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34; 19:1, 2, 11; 20:15, 34, 35; 21:2, 6, 8, 12, 13, 17, 20; 22:1, 5, 6, 11; 23:3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 20; 24:6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27; 25:3, 7, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26; 26:2, 11, 13, 18, 21, 23; 27:5, 7; 28:2, 5, 7, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27; 29:15, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 30; 30:2, 4, 6, 12, 24, 26; 31:3, 13; 32:1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 20, 21, 22, 23, 32; 33:11, 18, 25; 34:11, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31; 35:3, 4, 7, 10, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 27; 36:3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 13, 17, 18, 22, 23; Ezra 1:1, 2, 7, 8; 2:1; 3:7, 10; 4:2, 3, 5, 7; 6:22; 7:1, 6, 7, 8, 11, 27, 28; 8:1, 22, 25, 36; 9:7, 9;

Nehemiah 1:11; 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 18, 19; 3:15, 25; 5:4, 14; 6:6, 7; 7:6; 9:22, 24, 32, 34, 37; 11:23, 24; 13:6, 26;

Esther 1:2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22; 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23; 3:1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15; 4:2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 16; 5:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14; 6:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14; 7:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; 8:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17; 9:1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 20, 25; 10:1, 2, 3;

Job 3:14; 12:18; 15:24; 18:14; 29:25; 34:18; 36:7; 41:34;

Psalms 2:2, 6, 10; 5:2; 10:16; 18:50; 20:9; 21:1, 7; 24:7, 8, 9, 10; 29:10; 33:16; 44:4; 45:1, 5, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15; 47:2, 6, 7; 48:2, 4; 61:6; 63:11; 68:12, 14, 24, 29; 72:1, 10, 11; 74:12; 76:12; 84:3; 89:18, 27; 95:3; 98:6; 99:4; 102:15; 105:14, 20, 30; 110:5; 119:46; 135:10, 11; 136:17, 18, 19, 20; 138:4; 144:10; 145:1; 148:11; 149:2, 8;

Proverbs 1:1; 8:15; 14:28, 35; 16:10, 12, 13, 14, 15; 19:12; 20:2, 8, 26, 28; 21:1; 22:11, 29; 24:21; 25:1, 2, 3, 5, 6; 29:4, 14; 30:27, 28, 31; 31:1, 3, 4;

Ecclesiastes 1:1, 12; 2:8, 12; 4:13; 5:9; 8:2, 4; 9:14; 10:16, 17, 20;

Song of Solomon 1:4, 12; 3:9, 11; 7:5;

Isaiah 1:1; 6:1, 5; 7:1, 6, 16, 17, 20; 8:4, 7, 21; 10:8, 12; 14:4, 9, 18, 28; 19:4, 11; 20:1, 4, 6; 23:15; 24:21; 30:33; 32:1; 33:17, 22; 36:1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21; 37:1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 18, 21, 33, 37; 38:6, 9; 39:1, 3, 7; 41:2, 21; 43:15; 44:6; 45:1; 49:7, 23; 52:15; 57:9; 60:3, 10, 11, 16; 62:2;

Jeremiah 1:2, 3, 18; 2:26; 3:6; 4:9; 8:1, 19; 10:7, 10; 13:13, 18; 15:4; 17:19, 20, 25; 19:3, 4, 13; 20:4, 5; 21:1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 11; 22:1, 2, 4, 6, 11, 18, 24, 25; 23:5; 24:1, 8; 25:1, 3, 9, 11, 12, 14, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26; 26:1, 10, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23; 27:1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21; 28:1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 14; 29:2, 3, 16, 21, 22; 30:9; 32:1, 2, 3, 4, 28, 32, 36; 33:4; 34:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 21; 35:1, 11; 36:1, 9, 12, 16, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32; 37:1, 3, 7, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21; 38:3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27; 39:1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 13; 40:5, 7, 9, 11, 14; 41:1, 2, 9, 10, 18; 42:11; 43:6, 10; 44:9, 17, 21, 30; 45:1; 46:2, 13, 17, 18, 25, 26; 48:15; 49:1, 3, 28, 30, 34, 38; 50:17, 18, 41, 43; 51:11, 28, 31, 34, 57, 59; 52:3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 20, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 34;

Lamentations 2:6, 9; 4:12;

Ezekiel 1:2; 7:27; 17:12, 16; 19:9; 21:19, 21; 24:2; 26:7; 27:33, 35; 28:12, 17; 29:2, 3, 18, 19; 30:10, 21, 22, 24, 25; 31:2; 32:2, 10, 11, 29; 37:22, 24; 43:7, 9;

Daniel 1:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21; 2:2, 3, 4; 8:1, 20, 21, 23, 27; 9:6, 8; 10:1, 13; 11:2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 25, 27, 36, 40;

Hosea 1:1; 3:4, 5; 5:1, 13; 7:3, 5, 7; 8:10; 10:3, 6, 7, 15; 11:5; 13:10, 11;

Amos 1:1, 15; 2:1; 7:1, 10, 13;

Jonah 3:6, 7;

Micah 1:1, 14; 2:13; 4:9; 6:5;

Nahum 3:18;

Habakkuk 1:10;

Zephaniah 1:1, 8; 3:15;

Haggai 1:1, 15;

Zechariah 7:1; 9:5, 9; 11:6; 14:5, 9, 10, 16, 17;

Malachi 1:14;

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dedicated or Devoted?

I was out on the chair swing tonight, next to the pond, with a couple of Bibles, a composition book and some verse references from the Strong's number for the next compound name of Jehovah. What a pleasant time on a warm summer evening in the golden hour of the day, as photographers call the light in the last couple of hours before sunset.

The next name that I will do in the compound names is Jehovah-Go'el, the Lord My Redeemer. I really don't have a good feel for the Biblical usage of the word 'redeemer', so I was doing a study on that when I ran into a section in:

Leviticus 27 (NIV):

22 " 'If a man dedicates to the LORD a field he has bought, which is not part of his family land, 23 the priest will determine its value up to the Year of Jubilee, and the man must pay its value on that day as something holy to the LORD. 24 In the Year of Jubilee the field will revert to the person from whom he bought it, the one whose land it was. 25 Every value is to be set according to the sanctuary shekel, twenty gerahs to the shekel.

26 " 'No one, however, may dedicate the firstborn of an animal, since the firstborn already belongs to the LORD; whether an ox or a sheep, it is the LORD's. 27 If it is one of the unclean animals, he may buy it back at its set value, adding a fifth of the value to it. If he does not redeem it, it is to be sold at its set value.

28 " 'But nothing that a man owns and devotes to the LORD -whether man or animal or family land—may be sold or redeemed; everything so devoted is most holy to the LORD.

29 " 'No person devoted to destruction [m] may be ransomed; he must be put to death.

What a fascinating little section of verses this is. There is a clear difference between something a man dedicates to the Lord and something that a man devotes to the Lord. . . I love it. . . What does this mean?

Here is the Strong's Hebrew definition for the word that the KVJ translates as sanctify and NIV translates as dedicate(s)
A primitive root; to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): - appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied one, self), X wholly.
Translated as: (KJV)
sanctified, sanctify, holy, hallowed, consecrate, hallow, defiled, appointed, dedicated, dedicate, purified, proclaim, prepare, bid,

Both the KJV and the NIV translated the following word as devoted:
A primitive root; to seclude; specifically (by a ban) to devote to religious uses (especially destruction); physically and reflexively to be blunt as to the nose: - make accursed, consecrate, (utterly) destroy, devote, forfeit, have a flat nose, utterly (slay, make away).
Translated as:
(KJV) utterly destroyed, flat nose, devote, accursed, utterly to slay, forfeited, utterly to make away, consecrate,

In Leviticus it is described the rules for offering up your house, a field, a life as dedicated, qâdash, to God. If you later decided that you wanted the field, the house, the life back then that was possible. In essence you just paid a 20% premium over its value and the ownership would return to you. If on the other hand you devoted, châram, those same things to God they were forever gone, no changing your mind, no going back. . . .

The intent of each word is in the same direction. The world of difference is in the degree.

God told Saul:

1 Samuel 15:2-3
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel , how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. (3) Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

Saul was to châram the Amalekites. He was to utterly irrevocably offer them to God, no going back, no compromise. . . Saul disobeyed:

1 Samuel 15:13-23 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. (14) And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? (15) And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. (16) Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. (17) And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? (18) And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. (19) Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? (20) And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. (21) But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. (22) And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (23) For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Our God is not a God of halfway measures. There are no exceptions to châram. It is clear he demands holiness without compromise. What is that noise? He has an ear for the bleating sheep. Are we qa ̂dash? Have we washed our hands? Do we claim to be ceremonially pure? That condition changes . It is not possible to have bleating sheep without eventually also having piles of manure. . . He asks that we not merely wash them but we are to utterly destroy those things in our life not pleasing to Him? There is no going back from cha ̂ram, no lowing of oxen. There is silence.

I think this is what the Pharisee's got confused with. They were experts on qâ dash. They were confused, thinking themselves being dedicated to cleaning things up, thereby being the same as being devoted to holiness. . . Jesus was not concerned with our dedication to the cleanness of the cup. He doesn't want us to be mere dishwashers, endlessly washing the dirty cups in our lives. He wants us to be surgeons. . .slicing out those things, cutting off, plucking out and throwing away those things not pleasing to him. He requires more than the washing of our hands. . .He requires the irrevocable devotion of our heart to Him. . . .

I love you all. I'm off to Canada. Talk to you all again probably Friday or Saturday.


I desire more. . .

I want God to use me more and more. I started thinking, is there anything that I can do make it more likely that He will use me in the future? What does He look for when He puts together His plan and chooses people to have roles in a work of His?

Why did God choose Noah to build the ark? Did God ask a thousand other men before Noah said yes? I think that unlikely. I don't know for sure, but I think Noah must have had some expertise in wood working. It is surely within God's capacity to teach someone a brand new skill, but I think it more likely in this case anyway, that Noah was familiar with saws, and gouges, and drills and awls before God approached him. So maybe this is Axiom number 1:

1. Have a skill that God needs

If you only have one skill, if the only thing you can do is to knit baby booties, then don't be surprised that God doesn't ask you to build an ark. If you have a dream of one day God using you to build an ark, go to the career center, go sign up for classes at Ivy Tech, enroll in a carpentry apprenticeship program, carry shingles for a roofer, volunteer for Church-in-a-Day, sign up for a Habitat for Humanity work day, call La Casa over in Goshen to see if they need any help in their projects. Develop skills in your life that will expand your usefulness to God.
People fall into two categories in the Bible. They are either doers or doees, people active in God's plan doing a task for Him or they are people who God is filling a need for.

Granted everyone has needs that only God can fulfill, so in a sense we are all doees at times in our lives and there is nothing to be ashamed of in that, but many people never get past that stage of staring at the cruet waiting for an Elijah to come along and fill it with oil.
Staying with Noah, another characteristic that Noah had was that he was willing to do something for the Lord that he had never done before. He wasn't intimidated by the task that God put before him. In the old Bill Cosby skit, in a deep deep voice God asks Noah to build an ark and fill it with pairs of each kind of animal and Noah responds, "You want me to what!!!!" That would be the reaction of most of us.

Sure Noah had carpentry skills, but this was beyond anything he could have imagined on his own. To build a 450 foot long boat. . . it's said to have taken him from between 50 and 100 years, a daunting task to say the least. Don't put handcuffs on God. Axiom number 2:

#2 Be willing to let God come up with the plan, then follow it no matter how impossible it might seem.

When God tells you He needs a boat, don't do a Google search for canoe designs. Let God tell you, show you the scale of His plan. Don't limit God by your fears. Don't limit God by your lack of imagination. Be ready for, be willing for anything that God puts before you.

Genesis 6:22
Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

After Peter came back from his little walk on the water, 11 guys may well have been sitting there wondering, regretting as to why they weren't chosen to get out of the boat, forgetting that it was Peter who spoke up, that it was Peter who was ready and willing to get out of the boat. Peter was an impulsive guy, maybe even rash at times, but it was a rashness, a seeming recklessness based on his faith in God. He was always ready for anything. Noah must have been a similar type of person, not intimidated by the seemingly impossible before him.
I'm sure that there were many men who had the necessary carpentry skills to build God a boat, but God did not need a vast flotilla of canoes. He needed an ark. He needed an ark builder, therefore He asked Noah. Noah had it within him to follow the plan of God and not be intimidated.

Most of our lives are littered with half finished projects. How many of us have. . . name it, bird houses half built, baby blankets half crocheted, cross stitch projects gathering dust, landscaping projects growing weeds, home remodeling projects gathering dust, crafts with missing pieces from being half done for so long, books half written, songs half composed, etc. etc. etc. Lots of dreams, beautiful plans, but the harvest, the fruit is always still to come some day off in the future.

What good would it have done anyone to have had a half-built ark? Noah not only had to be willing to say 'yes' to God when God asked, but he also had to be a man who would keep at the task until it was completed. Axiom number 3:

#3 Be absolutely dependable. Finish what you start. Be there when you say you will. Be true to your word. No excuses. . .Do it!!!

Don't worry. You aren't going to derail God's plan by not finishing a task that He was counting on you to do. He knows your heart ahead of time. There is no record of half-finished arks laying here and there, dotting the landscape all over the region from men who started them, but did not complete them. Our purpose here is to try and structure our lives so that we can be used by God more often and for greater tasks. If you are a person who cannot be depended upon, God will not ask you in the first place.

Genesis 6:22
Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Follow your word with actions that fulfill your word, even to the point of being ridiculous. If you tell someone that you will be there at noon. You have not kept your word if you arrive at 12:01. Strive to be as absolutely dependable as you can in all your relationships and business. Show God that He can count on you by others being able to count on you. It is the small things by which a man's integrity is measured.

Most everyone gets the big things right. After someone passes on, chatting in the funeral home, it's not often you hear, "Man-o-man was he was an awesome guy. He never robbed his mother or molested his children." I don't desire to have that said about me. I want it said about me, "His word was gold. You could always depend upon him. When he said he would do something, when he said he would be there at a certain time, you knew that he would do what he said." I believe that is pleasing to God. I don't believe that is being legalistic. I don't think it's going to get me into heaven, but I believe it's honorable and righteous to do what you say, to be a dependable person.

Anytime I have been involved in a work of God, His work did not wait for me. I had to be in the right place at the right time. Who knows how many times God wanted to use me for something, but I wasn't willing to be led by His timing.

Three times God has gotten me out of bed in the middle of the night. The most recent was a few weeks ago when I went to the Seven-Eleven on north main street. I can remember that evening getting dressed with a sense of urgency. I was rushing to get my shoes and socks on. I didn't know why, but I knew it was important that I not tarry at all. Luke and I made our two loops around the neighborhood, walking at a normal pace, not racing, but on that second time around I knew I had to get right in the car and go. I didn't tell Jackie I was leaving. I didn't even shut the front door of the house. I knew I had to leave right then. On the way, I felt God told me that I needed to cross the Johnson street dam and go down Beardsley street rather than going directly to the Seven-Eleven from Jackson to Main Street. Going directly there would have saved a couple of minutes and that would have completely ruined the timing of what occurred. It was important for me to follow God's plan exactly.

The time before, this was about three or four years ago or so, God got me up and told me to go to work in the middle of the night. I did as he asked. On the way to Speedgrip, I blocked off State Road 120 with my pickup truck got out and rescued an injured screech owl. By the time I got back in my truck, I had three 18-wheeler trucks waiting for me to get out of the way. . . at 4 a.m. I think you could watch all day and not see three trucks like that pass all in a row. I go that way every day to work and I've never seen three trucks in a row like that, but seeing them then left no doubt in my mind the fate of that little owl if I hadn't been there right on time. . .

Probably a year before that, on another night I felt God call me to get up out of bed in the wee hours and again I went. This time nothing. . . I got to work at around 4 a.m. I don't have to be there until 8 a.m.. I got there at 4 and nothing happened. I've always wondered about that night. I've always speculated, that maybe just by my being on the road when I was, I did something, effected the timing of someone else on the road, thereby preventing an accident or something, but now writing this, this morning I now wonder if maybe I wasn't obedient to God's timing. I wonder if I didn't stay in bed a few minutes after I should have, not being as obedient as I should have been. . . I'm sure that God's plan was successful without me. I'm sure one man cannot derail the plan of God. Maybe it was intended as a lesson, only learned today, but God's plans are very finely tuned as far as timing.

Be very sensitive and obedient to his leading. . .
What a poignant and sorrowful scene. . . What if Noah had decided on his own that he needed, he deserved a little vacation after the building of the ark. . . what if Noah had been somewhere else and not on the ark when the rain started coming down. . . .

Genesis 6:22
Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

The last point in my little essay this morning is we must, in everything we do believe that we are doing the will of God. That should be our only guiding principle for everything.

Here is a verse that Paul wrote:

Romans 14:23
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Can we reverse this? ~ And he that doubteth not is not damned if he eat, because he eateth of faith: for whatsoever is of faith is not sin.

I don't want to build an entire doctrine on that, but sometimes it is interesting to look at the mirror image of a verse to see where that takes you. Paul's example is especially relevant. Paul/Saul horribly persecuted the early Christians. I don't know Paul's mind, but you know I bet Paul did the things he did believing that he was doing the will of God. I'll bet he didn't do them to be cruel or just to be evil and mean. He believed he was doing the will of God. We may be wrong, but if we err doing something, with full faith at the time, that what we are doing is the right thing, even if it turns out later that we were mistaken, I don't think it will be counted against is as a permanent black mark against us. Here's my last axiom:

#4 Whatever you do, do it in faith.

If you feel you are in a situation, watching something, reading something, listening to something, eating something that is not right, not in the will of God. Stop doing immediately! If you feel like you are supposed to do something, if you feel God wants you to walk around your car three times before you go into the grocery store, whatever it is, if you feel that it is what God wants you to do, then do it!

These are my own musings this morning. Please, I am not pretending to be some expert on these things, but I have a huge hunger to be used by God. That is my passion. I want to do anything that I can to make myself more useful to God. My obedience, my faith, my abilities, my sensitivity. . . everything about me I want to be in tune with what God wants, what God desires for me to be. . . and I write these words to further that goal. . .

I love you my God. . .

Shape me . . . .

Lead me. . . .

Use me. . . . .

Dave Stokely


I hope all of you are enjoying this little study half as much as I am. I am learning so much from looking into these names of God. This week's name for me turned out to be especially instructive and interesting. I didn't want to get caught at the last minute like I did this last weekend, so I started reading and studying and meditating on the verse last night (Monday May 28th). I may be done maybe today or tomorrow. We will see. . . .


Exodus 15:26

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for am the LORD that healeth thee. (KJV)

and He saith, `If thou dost really hearken to the voice of Jehovah thy God, and dost that which is right in His eyes, and hast hearkened to His commands, and kept all His statutes: none of the sickness which I laid on the Egyptians do I lay on thee, for I, Jehovah, am healing thee. (YLT)

He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you." (NIV)

I think everyone recognizes God as a healer. We have so many wonderful testimonies all around us. Gilbert Quick's neck cancer gone!!! Remember a few years ago, the little Boy that Sister Ruby had us pray for? The one the doctors said would never walk due to his malformed hips. The one who was running around the house a week or so after we prayed for him. We can go on and on, virtually every family has a member whose fever broke right after prayer, a tumor that could no longer be found, etc. etc. etc.

This verse immediately follows another passage where God healed water from it's poison:

Exodus 15:22-25
And Moses causeth Israel to journey from the Red Sea, and they go out unto the wilderness of Shur, and they go three days in the wilderness, and have not found water, 23 and they come in to Marah, and have not been able to drink the waters of Marah, for they are bitter; therefore hath one called its name Marah. 24 And the people murmur against Moses, saying, `What do we drink?' 25 and he crieth unto Jehovah, and Jehovah sheweth him a tree, and he casteth unto the waters, and the waters become sweet. There He hath made for them a statute, and an ordinance, and there He hath tried them,

But the healing of verse 26 is a different kind of healing. Here God is not saying that he will heal a cancer when you get it or restore vision after you are blind, rather to paraphrase, He says, "If you follow my laws, the illnesses of Egypt will not afflict you." What are the illnesses of Egypt? Egypt can be seen as a symbol of the world in the Bible. What are the diseases of the world?

When I started thinking about it, it really is a very wide ranging list. Just some examples: If you drink alcohol or do drugs: HIV, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, & all kinds of cancer. Engage in sexual immorality: Gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, venereal warts, & cervical cancer. Carry anger and unforgiveness: High blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, hardening of the arteries, even arthritis is associated with unreleased anger and on and on. . . we surely could keep going, gluttony, violence in our lives all result in diseases of Egypt. I'm sure that I'm just touching on all the various diseases of the world that could be listed.

Notice though what the verse says. It does not say that God will act after the fact. He isn't going to give us a magical piece of wood to throw into the bitter waters of our ill health to make them sweet again. He, through His Commandments, through his Laws, is giving us a map to the cool sweet waters of lasting good health. If we look to Him ahead of time we can avoid Marah and not need the miracle after the fact. . . Which is the greater blessing? To be healed after you've gotten sick? or to be shown the way not to get ill in the first place?

He wants to be our healer. . . . He wants to be our Jehovah-rapha. . . . But, it is our choice. . . . He has given us the most wondrous and powerful medicine of His word to ensure our emotional, our spiritual and yes even our physical health. . . .

Thank you God. I call on you to be my Jehovah-rapha. I will eat of your wondrous Word for the health of my mind, my body and my soul . . .

Dave Stokely


When I first started looking at this compound name, I thought that this one might be kind of straightforward and a little boring. The more I look at Jehovah-nissi (The Lord our banner) the more interesting it becomes. Here's the verse where this name is found:

Exodus 17:8-16
Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi: 16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. (KJV)

8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands."
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."
15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. 16 He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation." (NIV)

Note that this name was given by Moses to a place, an altar actually, that Moses built to memorialize the victory over the Amalekite's. If you remember the last compound name that we looked at, Jehovah-rapha, was given immediately following the Israelites having trouble getting water to drink. Well again this passage where the name Jehovah-nissi, is given, also follows a problem with water:

Exodus 17:1-7
And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? 3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? 4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. 5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not? (KVJ)

Look what happens here. The Israelites are wandering in the hot and dry desert. They have no water to drink and they begin to turn against the leadership of Moses. Moses as a consequence of the threat turns to God for help. God replies to him, gather around all your senior people. Take the rod that you used to do the miracles in front of Pharaoh, I will be with you, hit the rock with that rod and water will flow out of it. The people will have water to drink. Moses did just what God told him to do.

Now the Israelites have a problem, actually a continuing problem (from the days of Abraham) with the Amalekites. The Amalekites attack and Moses tells Joshua to go out tomorrow with the army and he will stand on top of a hill overlooking the battle, with the staff that he used to get the water out of the rock.

This is so fascinating. In every compound name that we have looked at, it is not only the passage describing the giving of the name that is important, but the preceding passage(s) that set the stage for the lesson of the name. Each name that we've looked at, indeed every passage of the Bible is not seen as standing alone, but is part of a wondrous fabric, a tapestry, that is all woven together. . .

Look at the difference between these two events. In the previous passage, the problem with the water, Moses went to God and asked Him to intervene. In the battle with the Amalekites, it does not say that Moses ever consulted with God before acting. Moses used the same tool that God had him use before, his staff, but apparently this time without the explicit power or authority of God behind it. Moses seems to have forgotten that it wasn't the staff that had the power, it was God. He appears to have used the staff without asking God. Was it God's will that the Israelites smite and be victorious over the Amalekites? Absolutely, but was God asked ahead of time to intervene for them? The Bible doesn't record that He was.

We've got to be careful that we don't get confused and start thinking that there is power in the tools that we use. We sometimes talk about the 'power of prayer' or the 'power of worship'. I think that is not just splitting hairs, but prayer has no power. Worship has no power. God has the power. We use prayer and worship to reach God, but they are just tools, like Moses' staff. They have no power of their own. We must never forget that. The Amalekites troubled the Israelites for many hundreds of years after this battle. God gave Joshua and his army a very small victory, that day, in a very long struggle. . . How might the outcome have been different if Moses had cried out to God beforehand?

It is difficult for me to think of another case in the Bible where such a supremely taxing effort was ever required, of someone doing a work for God. Usually the works of God are amazing for their results with such little human effort. Think of some examples: the 4 leprous men (II Kings 7) driving off an entire army, the angel of the Lord killing an army of 185,000 (II Kings 19) Gideon and his 300 men (Judges 7) having his huge victory with such a small band of men. I'm sure there are more examples if we thought about it. Over and over again God does huge works with never enough resources (in man's eyes).

This passage is often used as a wonderful example of men holding up their Pastor, supporting him, assisting him in the work of God. I'm surely not going to take anything away from that. It surely is a commendable thing, and a thing I believe honored by God, to lift up any Godly leader, but we might ask ourselves if our work for God, and if our ministry requires us to be supported all day long by two men and a stone bench to keep us from collapsing, maybe we need to ask for God to intervene with His power, to support us with His might, and we then will not need to be carried by men.

It's probably pretty accurate, the name that Moses gave to that altar, the role Moses put God in that day, but I'm not sure it is a role that God wanted to be relegated to. I'm not sure it's a name God would have chosen for Himself. I'm not sure God wants to be our banner; maybe to put it in more modern terms, I'm not sure God wants to be only a billboard in our battle. What does a banner, a mere sign do? Jesus never said I am the way the truth and the big neon sign. A sign is passive. A sign does nothing of its own. God is by contrast always active, working behind the scenes. He is on the move and He wants to be moving in our lives all the time, every day. If he is only your banner, maybe you should take Him off the signpost and put Him in the pilot's seat. . .

Dave Stokely


Sanctification: the plan of God, the duty of man. . .

Exodus 31:12-13
And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, (13) Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. (KJV)

12 Then the LORD said to Moses, 13 "Say to the Israelites, 'You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. (NIV)

Of the names we've looked at so far, this is by far the most complex and maybe the most significant name. This is a name that God gave to Himself, first mentioned when Moses was on the mountain receiving the Law.

When God sanctifies something, he separates it from all else like it and dedicates it to Himself:
(Leviticus 20:26) And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.

The first act of separation, sanctification of the Hebrew people was the call of Abram:

Genesis 12:1
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:

God chose the father of His people. He chose a man who would do what God asked. Abram was willing to be led by God. He wasn't perfect, but when God said to do something, Abraham did it.
The next act of sanctification was the circumcision of the Jewish males:

Genesis 17:10-11
This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. (11) And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant between me and you.

Remember in Leviticus 20:26 God told the Israelites that He had severed them from other people. One of the ways in which they were severed from other peoples was by the knife of circumcision. God separated Abraham from his family, but more was needed in the creation of an identity for God's people. A sign of the promise, of the agreement between God and Abraham would be the cutting of the foreskin of the males. The wellspring of their reproductive seed would be permanently altered. Altered involuntarily as babies, as a sign of the separated people and one day sanctified nation into which they were born.

When one is sanctified by God and unto God, it is not something that you can turn away from easily. You carry the mark deep within you. The call is always there.

Sanctification is a process and the process continued with the removal of the circumcised, the marked people into Egypt. Molding, washing, sifting, for 400 years living as strangers in a strange land, again the time was ripe for a further removal, a further sanctification, the birth of the Jewish nation. Another sign, blood on the lintels and doorposts of their homes:

Exodus 11:7
But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.

God put a difference between Israel and the world. This difference would bring them out from the world. This Exodus, this delivery, this birth of a nation from the womb of Egypt, the womb of the world was a culmination of hundreds of years of planning and planting by the Lord.
This is known as the Passover. The angel of the Lord passed over firstborn of the Jews and struck the firstborn of the world. Another deliverance, another act of sanctification. . . . seven weeks and a day from the Passover, is the day of Pentecost, the giving of the Law by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. This is a defining act of sanctification, separation for the Hebrews.

Now they have a codified standard by which to live in a way that is pleasing to God. Dietary commandments, ways in which to dress, judicial instructions, and on and on, all these are ways that give identity to the Israelites that separate them from the other peoples around them.
Up to this point, before the Law, men had no plan on how to live for God, how to live holy lives, now they have been molded into a sanctified nation and are ready to receive God's map of holy living.

From this point forward the meaning of sanctification is no longer mere separation from the world; it now takes on the added deeper substance of righteousness and holiness. Until the giving of the Law, men had no tool of sanctification, no definition of righteousness. Now men are told over and over to sanctify themselves, instructed over and over how to sanctify themselves:

Exodus 19:10
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes,

Exodus 19:14

And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.

Exodus 19:22

And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.

Exodus 19:23

And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.

The 613 rules of the Mosaic Law, 613 ways to separate yourself from the world, yet no matter how comprehensive, written rules are never enough. More effort and energy was spent figuring out ways to circumvent the Law than fulfilling it. Another way was needed . . . circumcision of the heart. . .

A womb of the world again gave birth, this time, not to a nation, but to a baby, the God Child Savior entered the world. All according to plan, God's chosen people would cut and cast away the flesh of God as a horribly personal attempt to circumcise His act of love.

The Passover Lamb is again sacrificed, undeservedly, again, as centuries before, resulting in another even greater act of sanctification fifty days later when the Spirit of God was given to men, a Law not written on tablets of stone, but directly upon our hearts. Now sanctification was available to the gentiles also by the power of holiness and righteousness available only through the Spirit of God:

1 Peter 1:2
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

No greater separation from the world is possible (while still being physically present) than that which we now have, being filled directly with God's spirit. We have the kingdom of God within us, the earnest of our inheritance. . . . The healing power, the cleansing power, the holy power of God. . . a divine separation from the world we are in. . . .

Thank you Lord. . .

Dave Stokely


I tried to write this last night before I went to bed and it just didn't work. I said that I was going to do this series. I made a commitment. I knew that I would be busy this morning, so, as I said, I tried to write last night. I have to leave take a man to work release in Goshen by 6:30 a.m., then I have Mom's church service back in Goshen, at Greencroft, at 10 a.m., I have to get ready for the Sunday School department games at the picnic this afternoon and sometime I've got to pick my grandson Jakub up over in Osceola. I've got a pretty busy morning ahead, but the understanding and insight just were not there. I had read the verses, but again it just wasn't coming together, so I went to bed and read them again. Using the Amplified Bible, I read all about Abraham's life, meditating on it, anointing my hands, several times with a variety of my oils, praying, filling my lungs, immersing myself in the odors of the Bible. . .and finally just went to sleep. A few moments ago, at 2:22 a.m., I awoke from a dead sleep, these thoughts in my mind.

:) :) :) :) :)


This name, is listed as a compound name of God, but it actually was a name given by Abraham to a place. The mountain of God, Mt. Moriah:

Genesis 22:14
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (KJV)

and Abraham calleth the name of that place `Jehovah-Jireh,' because it is said this day in the mount, `Jehovah doth provide.' (YLT) [Young's Literal Translation]

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." (NIV)

In this case I think the KJV misses it. The final phrase in the three translations that I have put in bold font type, comes from the same word that is used a few verses before:

Genesis 22:7-8
And Isaac spoke unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? (8) And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. (KJV)

In this verse KJV has 'will provide'. In verse 14 above, KJV uses 'it shall be seen' for the same word. I think that 'will provide' is a much better sense of the intent of the verse.

Here's verse 14 again:

Genesis 22:14
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (KJV)

and Abraham calleth the name of that place `Jehovah-Jireh,' because it is said this day in the mount, `Jehovah doth provide.' (YLT) [Young's Literal Translation]

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." (NIV)

The word translated Jehovah-jireh is from the same Hebrew base word as the word translated 'will provide' in verse 22:7.

This is the word that Abraham applied to the mountain, but really as much as the mountain, the label could have been applied to Abraham's life. He lived his live filled with the faith that: God would provide:

Genesis 15:1,5-6
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (5) And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. (6) And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Notice what it says: Abraham believed. Abraham had faith. Abraham always knew that God would provide. He left his land, not knowing where God was leading him. He took his son to an altar with a knife in his hand. It was counted as righteousness for Abraham. Faith is not righteousness. Strong belief is not righteousness, but God counted it the same as righteousness. . .

Let's look at a couple of other passages from Abraham's life:

Genesis 17:17-19
Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? (18) And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! (19) And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Genesis 18:10-15
And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. (11) Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. (12) Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? (13) And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? (14) Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. (15) Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

Have you ever wondered about these two passages? This contrast between the two has always bugged me. Until tonight they never made sense to me. Abraham and Sarah both laughed within themselves when God told them that they would have a child. Almost the very same words are used in each passage. God simply ignored Abraham's laughter. God nailed Sarah to the wall for her laughter. That has never seemed quite fair to me. Why ignore Abraham's laughter and make such a big deal over Sarah's laughter.

Abraham's strong belief, his lifelong pattern of stepping out, knowing that God would provide was counted as righteousness in Genesis 15:6. Again faith is not righteousness. The two are not the same. To have faith counted as righteousness, must mean that behaviors, actions that were not righteous, have been overlooked, forgotten, ignored, counted as righteous behaviours. Things that he did, times he laughed and should not have, times he lied calling Sarah his sister. . . who knows what other times, what other actions that are not mentioned. . . his faith, stepping out in his certainty that God would provide, these actions counted as righteousness. . . Lots of implications here for our lives. God values very highly stepping out in faith. . . believing in Him. . . living our lives. . . personally knowing Him as a God that provides. . .