Getting a Grasp on Peace

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Hello and welcome to Renaissance Woman as I continue in my study of Isaiah 45:7: “I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.”  I am moving on from my study of the word “make”.  The Hebrew word translated make, asah, is one I do want to look at further but, for now, I am content with what I have already discovered.  God is an artist, The Artist, and He pours His very self into everything He makes.  In Isaiah 45:7, the thing He is making is peace.  What does that mean?  What is peace?

I looked at peace a bit when I was conducting my study on the Fruit of the Spirit.  In that study, I saw peace as something that belongs to Jesus and can only be given by Him.  It is given to each individual believer as we come to see ourselves in Him and Him in us through the Holy Spirit.  It is not something that can be imposed on us from without rather peace becomes our way of being as His life is formed in us.  The peace of Jesus Christ is not something we can impose on others but flows out from us as the springs of His life in us overflow.  Such were my conclusions during that study and, while I still wholeheartedly believe what I wrote, I did not define what peace is. 

As I try to answer that question, some of my favorite scriptures on peace come to mind.  There is John 14:27: ““Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  There is Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.”  I especially like the Isaiah verse as it states “whose mind is stayed on You” and I have been meditating a great deal on the importance of my thoughts.  Since peace is an aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit, I define it as something internal, something that comes from the life of Jesus Christ within me.  The verse in John does quote Him as saying, “not as the world gives do I give to you,” which tells me His peace is different than the peace I find in the world.  Is the difference between Jesus’ peace and the peace of the world that His is part of the flow of His life and, to the world, peace is something external?

I looked up peace in my New World Dictionary and find the answer to that is yes and no.  The first entries under “peace” are, 1., freedom from or a stopping of war, 2., a treaty or agreement to end war or the threat of war, and 3., freedom from public disturbance or disorder; public security; law and order.  This series of definitions can be summed up as “peace is the absence of conflict” which I admit is how I used to think of peace.  This idea of peace is fragile.  An argument escalates, or a law is opposed and this peace is broken.  This kind of peace is imposed on people from without and such imposition often breeds resentment.

Of course, the peace defined in the dictionary is not always imposed.  The fourth entry under peace says, “freedom from disagreement or quarrels; harmony; concord” and then under “make peace” I read, “to effect a reconciliation with, to end hostilities, settle arguments.”  Two individuals or disparate groups of people can choose to make peace with other, to cease from hostilities, and to settle conflicts.  And yet, there is no need of a heart change for this kind of peace.  It is not imposed from without but neither does it infer those parties ceasing from hostilities are now of one accord or that any restoration of relationship will follow.  This too is an absence of conflict but, just because they may not be acted on, does not mean resentment and bad feeling ceases to exist.

In entries five and six in the dictionary, I finally find peace defined as, “an undisturbed state of mind; absence of mental conflict, serenity, calm, quiet, tranquility”.  These definitions are certainly closer to what I think the peace of Jesus is and yet this peace too can be found in the world without Jesus being mentioned anywhere.  There are religions where the practices are meant to lead to serenity and a tranquil state of mind.  I have met some of the practitioners of these religions and they do seem more calm and confident-more peaceful-than I have ever dreamed of being.  I once watched a documentary where different religious leaders were interviewed and all of them spoke of life being good, peaceful, and blissful.  I listened carefully and Jesus as the source and giver of peace wasn’t mentioned once, even among those leaders who professed to be Christians.  If this is so, if this kind of internal peace can be achieved without Jesus, is He even necessary in our day to day lives?  Is the only bonus to a Christian life that belief in Jesus means you get to escape hell?  What is this peace He promised to leave with us and just how does it differ than that given by the world?

I looked up the Greek word for peace used in the John passage in the Strong’s concordance.  It is eirene (G1515) and means, “peace, prosperity, one, quietness, rest, set at one again.”  The entry in Strong’s Concordance suggests eirene comes from the primary verb eiro which means “to join.”  This same Greek word is used in the Septuagint in place of the Hebrew word translated peace in Isaiah 45:7 which is shalom.  The Strong’s gives a similar definition for shalom (H7965): well, happy, health, prosperity, rest.   

I see these definitions in Ephesians 2:14 where, speaking of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul says; “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation”.  Here, peace is unity; being set at one again with no divisions or separations.  I feel this passage sums up most of the definitions of peace I’ve come across but it all happens within the peace that Jesus Christ Himself is.  What is this peace?  I’ve looked up definitions, compared and contrasted, and still don’t feel I have a grasp on it.

In Isaiah 45:7, God declares He is the One who makes peace  and then in Matthew, Jesus declares, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Mt. 5:9).  I feel there is more to this peace than a lack of war, conflict resolution, or a tranquil mind.  Just what more there is, I do not know.  I need to know because I cannot make peace if I do not know just what it is.  My prayer is that in the upcoming weeks the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation will open my eyes to see what this peace is that God makes, this peace that is Jesus Himself.

Until next time…

Unless noted otherwise, all scriptures are quoted from The Holy Bible Old and New Testaments, The Authorized King James Version, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Printed in Colombia, 2003

References

Guralnik, David B., Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, Second College Edition, William Collins + World Publishing Co., Inc., Cleveland • New York, 1974, 1976

Strong, James, LL.D., S.T.D., The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, 1990

Hey! What Are You Wearing?

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It’s a new week and I am continuing my study of Isaiah 45:7, specifically the phrase “I make peace.”  I am continuing to look at the Hebrew word asah translated “make” in this passage and, this week, am looking at the third letter comprising asah: the Hey (or Hei or Heh).

Robert Haralick defines Hey as “Power of Being”.  I had to take a moment to think on that because I was once more convinced the ministry of the Holy Spirit was being revealed to me.  I thought about Genesis where God asahs man.  The Ayin revealed the eyes of God focused on His making as well as His being the source of our life.  The Shin revealed the fire that God is inhabiting us and I also pictured that fire like the heat of a kiln, finishing and preparing us.  Now, in Hey, I see He is our Power of Being. The Living Word says, “the shape behind the Hey is of a mouth, breathing, breath”.  God breathed into the nostrils of the man He had made and that man became a living being.  Jesus breathed on His disciples and bade them receive the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit descended on those gathered on the Day of Pentecost as a rushing wind from heaven.  The Spirit is the wind from the heavenly realm, the very breath of Jesus within us: He is our Power of Being.

But, such are concepts I’ve already written about.  I was curious what more I could discover in studying the Hey.  The Shivimpanin video told me Hey represents a unification of giving and receiving as well as completeness for the three lines of Hey represent length, depth, and breadth.  Mr. Haralick shares a similar thought: “The shape of the letter Hey is composed of three lines, one separated from the other two.  The three lines are the three garments, the means of expression, of the soul.  The garments are thought, speech, and action.”  In his entry on the Hey, Mr. Haralick also writes; “The garments of our expression are thoughts, words, and actions.  That which is not manifest we bring into our awareness and our consciousness by our thoughts.  By words and actions we can bring what is in our thoughts to the awareness of others.”

I have been thinking a great deal on garments.  One of my Bible Teachers tells a story of attending a convention where one of the speakers, an Evangelist, took a handkerchief out of his pocket and covered his hand with it.  He likened Jesus to the handkerchief, the covering that hides us from the eyes of the Father and thus Jesus manages sneak us into the Kingdom.  I haven’t heard these exact words myself nor seen this image taught but, with them in mind, I have carefully listened to other believers as they speak.  I hear them speak of being saved but insist they are still flawed human beings and sinners or I hear something like: “God doesn’t see our sins because He sees us through His Son.”  Just this morning I was reading a devotional that said, “One day I’ll stand before a holy God and the grace of Jesus will clothe me.”  I listen to what others say or I read something like that and, while I cannot say I necessarily disagree, there is enough there to give me pause.  I cannot say I agree without more of an explanation of what they mean.

In all my listening, I have found there is very little believers are expecting from their Christian lives.  It seems it is enough to believe in Jesus and get to go to heaven when they die.  While they are waiting to die and go to heaven, they fill their lives with good works and try to be like Jesus and try to convince others to believe on Him so they too can escape hell.  After all, doesn’t Revelation 19 say the Bride of Christ is given fine linen to wear, clean and white, and that the fine linen is the righteousness of saints (verses 7-8)?  That’s the translation in the King James version.  Other translations say “the righteous acts of the saints”.  Doesn’t the Book of James say “faith without works is dead” so we thus prove we are the people of God with our works and, by performing righteous acts, ensure we won’t be found naked when He comes?

This is not the sum of my Christian life.  I expect I now live a life in and flowing out of the Holy Spirit and I do not have this expectation in vain.  I expect that God is faithful to His word and that what He has promised, He will do.  I expect He told the truth in Ezekiel 36 when He promised to give me a new heart and a new spirit and then promised He will put His spirit in me.  I expect the Apostle Peter told the truth when he declared Joel’s prophecy fulfilled and the Spirit of God poured out on all flesh.  I expect God’s word is true and that I know His Spirit is in me because His Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am a child of God.  I expect that because His Spirit is in me that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  I expect that His Spirit in me makes the great work of the blood of Jesus a reality in my life and that His blood has cleansed me from all sin. 

I expect the life I now live I live by the faith of Jesus Christ.  I expect that His blood cleanses my conscience of dead works.  I expect works to prove my faith is alive because it is His faith, His works, and He is in me working both to will and to do.  I expect that because His Spirit is in me, I will do good works which God has before ordained that I should walk in.  I expect His Spirit in me keeps me abiding in Him and Him in me so that my life cannot help but bear fruit.  I expect that it is Christ IN me that is my hope of glory, not Christ ON me.

I expect that all of this is happening right now because the Spirit is renewing my mind.  In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul beseeches us to “be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (12:2).  The Greek word translated “renewing” in this passage is anakainosis (G342) and means “renovation-renewing”.  Paul also beseeches us to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23).  The Greek word translated “renewed” here is ananeoo (G365) and also has the meaning of “to renovate, reform, renew”.   

I expect the word of God to be true and I thank God that through Jesus Christ I am right this minute being delivered from my body of death!  Right now, because I am in Christ Jesus, I am a new creation.  Behold!  Old things have passed away and all things have become new.  The letter Hey is spelled Hey Aleph and means Lo!, or Behold!, or Here it is!  The letter Hey means Spirit, Revelation, and Receiving Understanding.  This changes how I pray Paul’s great prayer in Ephesians.  “The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints…” (1:17-18). 

His Spirit, that Spirit that is wisdom and revelation and the Jesus Christ-life energy working in me to open my eyes, is in me right this moment.  Because that is true, I no longer worry so much about where I’m going when I die but what I am becoming right now.  Becoming isn’t even the correct word.  His Spirit renovates me, renews me, and restores me to His original plan revealed in Jesus.  God foreknew me before my parents ever came together and, because He foreknew me; He has predestined me to be conformed to the image of His Son.  This transformation and conformation happens first in my thoughts and I thank Him that in His gentleness, He doesn’t destroy me and then build me again.  I am transformed from glory to glory.  My death is swallowed up in His life. 

Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”.  I look at the letter Hey and see this is true: my very thoughts are my garments.  The goodness of God leads me to metanoia and, as I exchange my mind for His and my thoughts for His, my garments become His righteousness.  I do not fear I will be found naked when He comes because my garments cannot be separated from me.  They are His very life.  “It doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

Hey!  Lo!  Behold!  Here it is!  Hallelujah!

Note: For ease of reading, I did not reference every scripture I’ve quoted but everything I wrote about what I expect is found in scripture.  I encourage everyone to look these promises up for yourselves and EXPECT!

Unless noted otherwise, all scriptures are quoted from The Holy Bible Old and New Testaments, The Authorized King James Version, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Printed in Colombia, 2003

References

HEI- Secrets of the Hebrew Letters – YouTube

Secret of the Hebrew letter Heh – YouTube

Haralick, Robert M., The Inner Meaning of the Hebrew Letters, Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale, New Jersey, 1995, Pages 69-83

Strong, James, LL.D., S.T.D., The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, 1990

Refined in Fire

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

This week I am continuing to look at the Hebrew letters that comprise the word asah which is the word translated “make” in Isaiah 45:7: “I make peace”.  The second or middle letter is the Shin.  I’ve already touched on Shin as it also appears in the Hebrew word for darkness.  Shin is an interesting letter and, the more I look at it, the more interesting I find it.

I’ve already shared how the word Shin (spelled Shin Yod Nun) means urine and dropping the Yod gives Sen (Shin Nun) which means chew, tooth, or claw.  A resource I found online likened the three arms of Shin (ש) to teeth and Mr. Haralick writes, “With the chewing of the teeth the breakdown and digestion of the food we eat begins.  This food when digested and metabolized is the energy source enabling us to think, speak, and do.  The waste products of the metabolization process are released by breathing and in urine.  This tells us that Shin represents the totality of an overall process, one that is Shalem, whole, entire, intact, complete, integral, full, and perfect, by which we have the energy to do.”

I won’t repeat everything I wrote about Shin during my study of darkness.  Suffice for this post, the idea of completeness I saw during that portion of the study can, I think, be summed up in Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  We have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light and His light and life in us will consume all the ways of darkness-thought processes, identities, false ideas of who God is, etc-that once held us captive. 

 I am focused on the idea of consuming I see in Shin.  I’ve found resources that liken its shape to teeth but also found resources that say its shape is that of flames and that Shin is a letter of fire.  Shin is found in esh (spelled Aleph Shin) which is the Hebrew word for fire.  Mr. Bentorah writes, “The three upraised arms are flames of holy fire.  The word for sun in Hebrew is Shemesh which begins and ends with a Shin.  The Shin kindles a fire Sh’viv, the Shin brings heat Sharav.  The Shin represents the kindling, flame, and heat of a fire.  A fire is considered a passion, a fiery passion and thus the Shin reminds us of the fiery passion of God.”

Mr. Bentorah goes on to speak of the components of Shin.  He writes that the right arm of the Shin is a Yod, the left side is a Zayin and the middle arm is a Vav.  He says the Shin brings the Zayin, Vav, and Yod into balance and harmony and this thus representative of the balance and harmony we can have with God.  I found two other resources which differ and tell me all three arms are Vav’s topped by Yod’s and each Vav arm attaches to the base of Shin which is also a Yod.  The 3 Vav’s and 4 Yod’s make the 7 components of Shin and 7 is the number of Spiritual Perfection.  Who is correct?  To me, it doesn’t matter.  I find both harmonious.  Our God makes peace and the Shin in the middle of asah reveals how that peace is made a reality in us through His Holy Spirit.

In John 14 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you” (verse 27).  Jesus speaks these words directly after saying, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (verse 26).  Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16 declare Jesus as the One who will baptize us “with the Holy Spirit and with fire”. Peace is listed as a component of the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22.  Christ loves us, gives Himself for us, and we are sanctified and cleaned by the water and the word (Ephesians 5:25-26).  God declared to Jeremiah His word was like fire (Jer. 23:29).   

Deuteronomy 4:24 describes God as a “consuming fire”.  This is quoted by the Writer to the Hebrews in Chapter 12: “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire” (Verses 25-29).

The Epistle to the Hebrews opens with, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by His son…”  and then the Writer admonishes “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.”  Jesus Christ, The Word come to us from the Father, the Word like Fire.  Everything He is He is in us by the indwelling of His Spirit.  Every Word He spoke from before time is brought to our remembrance by His Spirit.  His Spirit opens our ears to hear every word He continues to speak.  He is a consuming fire and He baptizes us with His Spirit and that same fire. 

The Writer to the Hebrews also says “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God” (Heb. 10:31).  Reading this within its context and then considering the chastening described in Chapter 12 can leave us with the idea that we ought to be scared of this God who is a consuming fire.  But, as I carefully look through the passage I’ve already quoted, I see that the things being shaken and removed are done so in order that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.  The chastening is the correcting of ideas and the behaviors that result from them so that I think and behave in harmony with the life of Christ within me.

Malachi 3:2-3 says, “But who can endure the day of His coming?  And who can stand when He appears?  For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap.  He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver…”  Our God is a consuming fire and that fire does burn through our lives purging the dross.  The experience isn’t pleasant at times and yet our God is good.  He doesn’t burn us to the ground in order to make us up new.  His life is formed in us and we are being changed from glory to glory.  He is a consuming fire but that fire is the intense passion of agape love.  It is a consuming love that woos and restores and, when the Spirit opens our eyes to Him, we long to be consumed and our cry is “Purge me that I might be clean”!

It is an awesome thing to fall into the hands of the living God and my security and confidence comes from knowing that He will not leave me helpless nor forsake me nor relax His hold upon me.  Assuredly not! (Hebrews 13:5, Amplified)  The Shin reveals to me my identity as one who lives in harmony with Father and Son through the Spirit.  His fiery passion burns within me and I know that when He has tried me I shall come forth as gold.

Unless noted otherwise, all scriptures are quoted from The New King James Version of The Holy Bible, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee, 1982

References

choshek, “darkness,” strong’s H2822 (alittleperspective.com)

Secret of the Hebrew letter Shin – YouTube

The Hebrew Letter Shin – YouTube

Hebrew Letter Meanings Revealed! Part 21: Shin – Eric Burton – YouTube

Bentorah, Chaim, Hebrew Word Study: Beyond the Lexicon, Trafford Publishing, 2014, Pages 130-134

Haralick, Robert M., The Inner Meaning of the Hebrew Letters, Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale, New Jersey, 1995, Pages 229-240

Joined to The Source

I continue, this week, in my study of Isaiah 45:7.  I am currently looking at the word “make” in “I make peace” which is the Hebrew word asah.  The first letter of asah is the Ayin and I find there is more to be learned from this letter.

Both of my books on Hebrew letters told me Ayin not only carries the meaning of “eye” but can also mean a “spring or fountain”.  Mr. Bentorah says, “The word Ayin also means spring or fountain.  A fountain is a subterranean reservoir that feeds oceans and rivers.  This brings out the idea of something that is deep and buried, as a person’s true character or intent is buried but is revealed through his eyes.  The Ayin is the letter of spiritual insight.  The spring or fountain also suggest a source.  The eyes are a source of information into a person’s consciousness.”  In his book, Mr. Haralick echoes this same thought: “Words that end in Ayin include mayan (H4599) which means spring, fountain, source, or well and has the alternate meaning of thought, attention, or consideration…The spring or fountain or well of sight and balance is insight and consciousness.  This is the revealed meaning of Ayin.”

I was thinking of this meaning-not so much in my study passage-but in Genesis 1:26 where God says, “Let us make (asah) man in Our own image.”  God’s process of making is described in Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”  The word translated “formed” in this verse is yatsar (H3335)which is a word I’ve already looked at as it appears in Isaiah 45:7 “I form (yatsar) the light.” 

I am struck by the care taken by God in the making of humankind.  I think of the attention and intention denoted by His forming man from the dust of the ground.  The picture here is of an artist paying attention to every detail while creating His masterpiece.  The word “create”-bara in the Hebrew-is also used to describe God bringing mankind into existence.  I think of that word “create”.  I’ve already mentioned being given a resource that suggests bara means “to fill” or “to fatten”. I like that: once God had formed the man, something more was required. God filled or fattened man. God Himself breathed into his nostrils. The lungs of man expanded and he became a living being. 

“What is man that You are mindful of him and the son of man that You visit him?” David asks in Psalm 8:4.  He goes on to write, “For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.  You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet” (verses 5-6).  This passage expresses the worth of humankind. Crowned with glory and honor. Made alive with the very breath of God.   

Francois du Toit translates Revelation 1:8 as “The God who is Lord over all things says: I am the Alpha and the Omega-my I-am-ness defines time-I am the present, past, and future” and then adds the following commentary: “The union of Alpha and Omega in Greek, makes the verb άω, I breathe.  And in Hebrew the union of the first and last letter in their alphabet, Aleph (bull’s head) and Tav (the cross) makes…et, which the Rabbis interpret as the first matter out of which all things were formed (see Gen 1:1).  The particle et is untranslatable in English but, says Rabbi Aben Ezra, “it signifies the substance of the thing!”  Jesus is the Alpha and Omega in whom we live, and move, and have our being! He is indeed closer to us than the air we breathe!” (The Mirror)

I first read that months ago and I’ve been thinking hard on it ever since.  Jesus the The Word One with God, in the beginning with God, all things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:1-3).  He is there breathing life into the man He formed and, thinking of bara as filling, He filled mankind with Himself.  How terrible Chapter 3 of Genesis becomes!  Adam and Eve were not merely choosing to disobey the Voice of God, they were rebelling against the very source of their lives. 

In Jesus, all has been redeemed and restored.  The 20th Chapter of John records Jesus breathing on the gathered disciples and saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.  Shortly after this, Jesus ascends to the Father and, days later, Pentecost comes.  There came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind.  The Holy Spirit came mightily on all who were gathered together and He has continued to come throughout this age.

I think about the Ayin in terms of the Holy Spirit.  Water is used in various scriptures as a symbol for the Holy Spirit and, indeed, He is the living water Jesus promised to all who thirst and come to Him.  One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 12:3: “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”  I’ve sung it as a member of various choirs and those words never cease to fill me with awe and wonder.  The Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of the Living God, is a spring, a well, a fountain and He is that in me.   His presence in me is proof I have been redeemed, reconciled, restored, and renewed by the source of my life: Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit is the mighty wind from Heaven, the very breath of He who made me.  Also become my breath.  It is impossible to separate us.  I am in Christ.  I am a new Creation.  In Him I live and move and have my being.  The Holy Spirit enlightens my eyes to see I now live eye to eye with Jesus.

These studies are so important to me because it is easy to become blinded.  While the source of my life is Jesus and I am seated with Him in Heavenly places, I am still in this world and the doings of day to day life can be difficult.  It is surprisingly easy to feel forgotten by God when I am in dark places, there are obstacles before me I see no way around, and I am hedged on every side.  It only takes a moment for my vision to be obscured and I see no way through.  I have to be still then and know He is God.  I have to remind myself who I am and who He is in me.  I have to bring to my remembrance all the times He has proven Himself faithful and tell myself no matter how deep the darkness or impossible the obstacle, He has joined me to Himself.  He cannot leave me nor forsake me for He lives in me in The Holy Spirit.  This is who I am this moment.  He is my light in the darkness.  He is the One who has overcome.  He is my way through.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” (Psalm 42:11).

Unless noted otherwise, all scriptures are quoted from The New King James Version of The Holy Bible, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee, 1982

References

Bentorah, Chaim, Hebrew Word Study: Beyond the Lexicon, Trafford Publishing, 2014, Pages 130-134

Du Toit, Francois, Mirror Study Bible The Romance of the Ages, Mirror Word Publishing, 2021, Page 495

Haralick, Robert M., The Inner Meaning of the Hebrew Letters, Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale, New Jersey, 1995, Pages 229-240

Other Resources

Bible Verses about Water, Symbol of the Holy Spirit (cgg.org)

Genesis 1 verse 1 – Part 2 – Bara – YouTube

Genesis 1 verse 1 – Part 4 – Et – YouTube

Going With the Flow

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“I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.” 

This is Isaiah 45:7, my study passage.  I am moving on from darkness and have begun looking at “I make peace”.  The first thing I did was look up “make” in the Strong’s Concordance to see what the Hebrew word is.  It is asah (H6213) and I think it’s worth noting this is the same word used in Genesis 1:26 where God says, “Let us make man in Our image and after Our likeness.”  I was thinking of the difference between God creating the heavens and the earth but making man.  Creating took intent and thought but Making, to me, suggests personal attention, like an artist deliberately fashioning something to delight in.  Making sets mankind apart from the rest of Creation because God paid special attention to us.  I wondered if I’d find this idea contained in the meaning of the Hebrew letters.

I may.  I haven’t made it too far because my attention was arrested when I looked at the first letter of asah which is the Ayin. Mr. Haralick’s book defines Ayin as Insight and Consciousness and the word itself (spelled Ayin, Yod, Nun) means “eye, face, look, appearance, sight, aperture, bud, sparkle, or gleam”.  While looking at darkness, I had spent some time in Matthew 6 verses 22 &23 so I have had eyes on my mind-so to speak.  I am looking into “make” so did not want to get sidetracked but I couldn’t help it: I had to know what Ayin had to do with eyes and sight and whether or not I would find a repetition of the picture I’d seen of the eyes of our heart being enlightened by the Holy Spirit and thus our seeing being intertwined with His. 

Mr. Haralick defines Ayin and then says, “And when we know the eye we realize that the eye is more than the eye.  We become conscious of something deeper for ‘The eye is not satisfied with just seeing’ (Eccl. 1:8).  This is because it is by the light of the eye that we can see and follow the correct path.  Therefore, the eye is deep and protected.  ‘Guard me like the apple of Thine eye’ (Psalm 17:8)…When we turn our eyes to God, what do we see?…We see eye to eye.”

In many of his teachings, Malcolm Smith talks about the meaning of with God and God with us often using the term “eyeball to eyeball.”  Reading “we see eye to eye” made me remember Mr. Smith’s words which made me think of John 1:1; “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”  Since I had determined to go with the flow, I decided to look at with

With, in the Greek, is sun (G4862) and the Strong’s defines it as, “union, with or together, companionship, process, resemblance, possession…completeness”.  Surely here I see a confirmation of being braided together with the Holy Spirit, One with Jesus Christ and The Father in union with the Holy Spirit.  Except sun isn’t the Greek word translated with in John 1:1.  The Strong’s doesn’t help me here except to not include John 1:1 in the list of occurrences of with.  I have to look at the Interlinear Greek New Testament in order to see that the Greek word translated with in John 1:1 is pros (G4314).

Pros is a directional word.  It means “forward to, toward, the side of, pertaining to…the place, time, occasion, or respect which is the destination of the relation…motion towards, accession to, or nearness at.”  The entire Greek phrase translated “with God” (in anglicized spelling) is pros too Theos.  The too (G5120) is a word I’ve written about before.  It is the same word many Bible translations have as “in” in Galatians 2:20: “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God” whereas that word in the Greek is too and means “of this person-his”.  I’m delighted whenever I come across this tiny word because, as I’ve mentioned before, one of my study resources declares it to be of no importance when conducting a study and I wholeheartedly disagree.  Both of my Interlinear Greek New Testaments appeared to agree with that study resource as neither bothered to translate it.  Too hangs out in the sentence with nothing but blank space underneath it while “with” is under pros and “God” is under Theos. 

I put myself in the place of the translators and think I understand the difficulty.  How to properly translate this phrase into English?  We’ve got The Word which is Logos and has a meaning difficult to express in one word.  It’s the communication, the Divine Expression, the very thought belonging to God in a special and specific way coming to us out from God and yet, at the same time, pointing back to God.  “With” cannot begin to express all that is contained in this tiny phrase yet it does the best it can: The Word was with God and He is the promised God with us.  Emmanuel.  That name begins with the Hebrew for with which is Im and begins with the letter Ayin.

I allowed my thoughts to flow without hindering them and I am brought full circle to where I started with the letter Ayin.  I read further into Mr. Haralick’s description and read the gematria of Ayin is 130.  What is Gematria?  How is it different from Numerology? It’s important to first define the term.  I’ll include some links at the bottom of this post so anyone interested can further look into this.  Put simply, Numerology is a way of using numbers in an attempt to foretell the future and Gematria is the method of assigning numbers to Hebrew letters and then looking for patterns between words that share the same numerical value.  I found some articles that spoke disparagingly on gematria and an equal number considering it a valuable tool.  

As for me, I love patterns and was curious what point Mr. Haralick was going to make.  He writes, “the gematria of Ayin is 130.  The word cullam has the gematria of 130 and means ‘ladder’.”  Here is a pattern indeed.  The word cullam (H5551) occurs in Genesis 28:10-19 which is the story of Jacob’s dream where he saw a ladder set upon the earth.  Its top reached to heaven and the angels of God were ascending and descending.  In John 1:51 Jesus is speaking to Nathaniel and says, “Most assuredly I say to you hereafter you shall see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”  Here, I think, is a wonderful picture of the meaning of pros too Theos.  Jesus is the One in Whom Heaven and Earth meet.  He is the One in Whom life flows in two directions.  What do I mean by that?

“No one has seen God at any time.  The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:20).  “God who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by His Son whom He has appointed heir of all things through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3).  These are two scriptures that show the flow from the heart of God to us.  Jesus is the Gift of God who comes to us out of the very heart of God.  This same God who is Infinite Love chose us in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world, predestined us to adoption according to the good pleasure of His will…which He purposed in Himself that in the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ-In Him (Ephesians 1:3-10).

Andrew Murray includes this quote by Tauler in his commentary on the Hebrews: “Did not Jesus say, “I am the door of the sheepfold’ (John 10:1)?  What to us in the sheepfold, dear children?  It is the heart of the Father, whereunto Christ is the gate that is called Beautiful.  O children, how sweetly and how gladly has He opened that door into the Father’s heart, into the treasure chamber of God!  And there within He unfolds to us the hidden riches, the nearness and the sweetness of companionship with Himself.”  That is what I mean by life flowing two ways.  He is the light which is our life come from the Father and, in Him, we are lifted up, seated in heavenly places, brought eye to eye with the Father.

“By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us because He has given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13).  Ayin also means “spiritual insight” (Bentorah) and it is only when our eyes are enlightened by the Holy Spirit that we know that He is in us and we are in Him: One the same way He and the Father are One.  With our eyes enlightened, we see Jesus.

Unless noted otherwise, all scriptures are quoted from The New King James Version of The Holy Bible, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee, 1982

References

Bentorah, Chaim, Hebrew Word Study: Beyond the Lexicon, Trafford Publishing, 2014, Pages 130-134

Haralick, Robert M., The Inner Meaning of the Hebrew Letters, Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale, New Jersey, 1995, Pages 229-240

Marshall, Rev. Alfred., The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1958, 1970

Murray, Andrew, Holiest of All: A Commentary on the Book of Hebrews, Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA, 1996, 2004, Page 370

Strong, James, LL.D., S.T.D., Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, 1990

What Is Gematria? | My Jewish Learning

Numerology Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster

Gematria Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster

What is the difference between gematria and numerology? | Bethsheba Ashe | The Blogs (timesofisrael.com)

Gematria: It’s Not Numerology — Daf Aleph