Tag Archives: communication

THE CHISEL


Author – William Andrew Dillard

In communication exchanges with my dear cousin, Sandra Thieme of Colorado, she mentioned the idea of a chisel. I cannot get this off my mind, mainly because it makes so much sense. Accordingly, I attempt to expand on that idea for my own analysis, and I hope it may make some sense to others who read these lines.
How prone we are to live life to the fullest, but as much as humanly possible within our comfort zone. When something invades our comfort zone, it is always by an external force, and not of our own making. We are secure in who we are; identify ourselves by the peripheral things and people around us, especially those we have known for a lifetime.
When a parent, sibling, or child dies, we feel ourselves chiseled. But we must understand that we really are as a sculptured work of art, fashioned by the Master Artist, and fully realize that He is not done with those of us who remain. When one of my children was still-born, it was as a chisel strike that I would have avoided at all cost, but one that brought more clearly into focus the fashioning of my life by my loving and righteous Creator-God. When deep depression struck in 1984, the chisel had never struck so hard and so painfully to shape my life to solely depend on my loving Sculptor. Then, dad died in 1987. The chisel struck again; painfully, but masterfully, further defining what I am to ultimately become. When mom died in 1988, it was a chisel blow. When my sister died in 2000, the chisel struck again. She was the first of my siblings to cross the bar, and I felt so vulnerable; that there was less of me than before. This week, my brother just older than I, succumbed to a massive stroke, and I am again feeling the strike of a chisel. There was love between us, even though we were not so close in later years as we had been as youngsters growing up. Still, all the precious people were there, and I knew it, and to some degree depended upon it. That was my comforting, self-definition of life. I feel the chisel from which no one is immune, even ministers of the gospel.
I do not seek immunity from the chisel, nor do I lament each blow as it may appear that I do. It is just that life is ever changing, and those who love the Lord will feel the chisel as He uses the events of life to channel us into complete trust and comfort in Him rather than the people and things that surround us. One day the Master Sculptor will be done with the chisel, and changes will cease to occur for we shall see Him as He is because, at last, we shall be like Him. Until then, may God give each of us the strength and grace to be still, and to cherish each blow of the chisel in the comforting knowledge of what He is doing to and for each one of us.

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HEBREW WORD – Name (2)


 

January 4

 

 

Name (2)

 

šēm

 

The word name (šēm, H8034) raises a couple of questions. “Why does God give Himself a name?” and then, further, “Why does God give Himself several names?” As for the first question, a name is important because it is personal and enables God (and us) to make contact. Without names, most all communication would be practically impossible.

 

That second question, however, takes us far deeper. Why is God called by many names? Why isn’t just one, such as God (’Elōhiym, January 7), good enough? We would submit that God’s giving Himself multiple names serves three purposes, purposes that simply could not be served by any one name:

 

First, God’s multiple names more fully reveal His person. No single name of God could come even close to expressing His full nature, character, and work. That is a major limitation of language. As we will see, each name reveals something new, something unique, something deeper that we have not seen before.

 

Second, God’s multiple names more fully demonstrate His presence. How often do we really stop and think about the implications of the truth that God is with us? 2Sa_5:10, for example, declares that “David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him,” and as Luke recounts, when Joseph was “sold . . . into Egypt . . . God was with him” (Act_7:9). Without exception, every name of God speaks of His presence with us and the staggering implications of that fact.

 

Third, God’s multiple names more fully address His people. Anthropomorphism is the ascribing of human characteristics to nonhuman things. Many of us do this with our pets. God has done this very thing, though infinitely deeper. He speaks (Gen_1:3), hears (Exo_16:12), and sees (Gen_1:4). Scripture uses figures of speech when indicating He has a face (Num_6:25), a back (Exo_33:23), arms (Exo_6:6; Isa_53:1), and hands (Isa_14:27). Why does He do this? It is for our benefit, so we, in our limited human understanding, can grasp a little more of who He is and how He reaches down to us. Again, every one of His names underscores His relationship with His people, and no single name could possibly suffice.

 

Oh, let us rejoice in how God reveals Himself through His multiple names! Without this, we could never even hope to know Him.

 

Scriptures for Study: What do verses such as Psa_34:3; Psa_69:30, and 1Ti_6:1 encourage us to do concerning God’s name (and names by implication)?

 

 

 

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