Tag Archives: Hebrew

THE COMMON DENOMINATOR PAINTS THE PICTURE


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
THE COMMON DENOMINATOR PAINTS THE PICTURE

Some of the most beautiful word pictures fraught with deep meaning are found in the common denominator of term usage. Are you ready to think with me a minute for a blessing?
Please consider that the spokes of a wheel are essential to its existence and usefulness. Also, the fillets of a building are essential to its standing and usefulness. Similarly, the desire (attachment) of one’s heart as in a man for a woman as a potential mate is what makes marriage happen, and work. Truly, the love that one cultivates for a person, place or thing is what gives that person, place, or thing prominence and importance in the heart and mind.
Okay, okay, I am a little impatient. Where are you going with this? Well, hang on!
The spokes of a wheel are mentioned in I Kings 7:33. The ancient Hebrew word designating “spokes” is “Chashaq.”
Furthermore, the fillets of a building, especially a portable building such as the Old Testament Tabernacle, are referred to by the word, “Chashaq.”
Moreover, the strong desire for a life mate is expressed by the same word, “Chashaq.”
Then, there is that strongest of bindings referred to as “love,” and it is also referenced as “Chashaq.”
I know, I know, you are getting the picture, but it isn’t finished just yet. So, the climax of the picture drives home a reality that lives on shouting ground. It is Isaiah 38:17, “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” Folks, the phrase “love to my soul,” is a translation of the Hebrew term “Chashaq.”
How important are spokes to a wheel; fillets to a building; desire to a life-mate? None of these work without them. That is just what exists in the love of God to the soul of a believer, and how important it is. An attachment has been made. God has reached out and united Himself with the soul of every believer in Christ Jesus, and one may be sure He will never let go, nor His arm be broken.
No wonder then that Jesus declared that the Father had given His people to Him, and no man could pluck them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:29. In Paul’s words, “. . . neither death, nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God ,which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.
Governmental officials have their secret service agents; Brinks has armored trucks, cities have police, but there is no security in all the universe close to equaling that of the believer in Christ Jesus, whom He has attached to Himself!

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KILLING MOSES —WHY?


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
KILLING MOSES —WHY?

Moses was a man of many brushes with death. He was launched in a baby float to escape the death order of Pharaoh. Later, he had to flee Egypt to avoid retribution for a crime he had committed against an Egyptian taskmaster. When he returned under a heavenly commission to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt, they often threatened to stone him for the troubles he had supposedly brought upon them. Finally, and due to another sin, God gently took his life out of this world on the peaks of Mt. Pisgah. But there was another time of great significance. An angel of the Lord met Moses in the way with the purpose of killing him! What? Why? What is this?
Read about it in Exodus 4:24-26. Moses had married Zipporah in the wilderness of Sinai, and had neglected to perform the token of the Abrahamic covenant on his son. Now, he was in the process of becoming the leader of his people, a representative of the God of heaven and earth to Pharaoh, and that in the neglect of the basic tenants of obedience to the Lord. It appears that Zipporah was none too happy about the whole ordeal, but she accomplished it, and the Lord allowed Moses to go on with his commissioned work.
This incident constitutes a biblical “Slap in the face” to so many who brush off baptism as relatively unimportant, and/or an ordinance that may be performed by anyone in any way.
Let it be noted that if it is in the Word of God, it is not unimportant.
The Hebrews in their wilderness journey have been referenced as “The church in the wilderness.” That is correct. Those folks were a saved family that grew into a nation. They yielded to the Lord their firstborn by applying the blood of the paschal lamb on their doorposts. They were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. Indeed, as most modern Baptists would say, they were a saved, baptized, called out assembly; hence, a church, although not a New Testament church.
So, the token of the covenant, the cutting away of flesh, was most important both to them and to the heavenly Father from Whom it originated. In like manner, the token of New Covenant relationship with God (burial of the fleshly man) is vitally important today.
To be sure, one may be spiritually saved, and never be baptized, but in baptism one is raised to walk in newness of life, i.e. New Covenant life, and one may never be a member of a bona fide New Testament church without it.
Finally, the Word teaches us that there were some who rejected the counsel of God against themselves, not being baptized of Him.” Luke 7:30. Moses mistake nearly cost him his life. Saved people who do not have scriptural baptism today forfeit the reward of New Covenant life both here and hereafter. Let’s learn from Moses!

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HEBREW HONEYCOMB


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
THE ESSENCE OF FAITH

Embraced by millions over the vicissitudes of time, but understood by none, the life-altering, heaven connection “faith,” abounds greater than the sum of all the ugliness, hideousness, and condemning factors of sin in a largely God-rejecting world. Just think about it!
Consider that Hebrews 11:1 calls the spiritual avenue “. . . the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The blessedness, power, and essence of faith follows throughout that tremendous chapter underscoring the responsible agent of triumph over the overwhelming agents of sin and death. It is arguably the greatest chapter of Christian sustainment in the Bible.
Faith, hope, love are a triad of very real intangibles which defy the test tubes and microscopes of science, as well as the understanding of those who are the recipients of them. They are the provisions of grace: the Creator to the created that rectifies, even excels the Edenic cosmos that our federal parents cast down in that place so long ago.
It all has to do with the decision making processes. Adam and Eve decided to transgress the commands of the Creator thus adding sin inexorably to the makeup of the species.
Paul argues in I Corinthians chapter fifteen, that as the decision of Adam brought condemnation, the decision and perfect work of Jesus brings light and life; albeit not to the sum of the species, but by every individual who is exercised thereby. The greatest wonder of it all is its possibility. It took the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus to do it. But death is the direct result of sin, and Jesus had no sin—no not one. How then could the sinless become sin for us and pay the penalty for sin that we could not? Again, it is the decision making process, and specifically of One Who is qualified to make the decision with the wherewithal to pay the uttermost.
Thus are we blessed with the substantiatment of eternal things. That substantiation creates the intangible reality of hope in the human heart. Hope is the earnest, intense expectation of knowing and experiencing the physical realities so intangibly planted. It is by faith that we understand creation, Heb. 11:3. So, the essence of faith: without it, it is impossible to please God for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek Him. Heb. 11:6. Truly, a faithless life is a life that would be better served had it never existed.

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BLESSED LIKE A TREE


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

BLESSED LIKE A TREE

William Andrew Dillard


“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” So penned are the precious words of Psalm One in the KJV. A few notes of observation are in order. Think with me!
Here, the word “Blessed” in the ancient Hebrew language is simply to go or walk straight; hence, in extension the happiness and peace resultant from a straight or righteous walk. “He shall be like a tree….” Not just any tree, but a tree deeply rooted by rivers of living water; a tree that is continuously fruitful. What comes out from him (his work, as limbs or leaves on a tree) will not come to naught or fade away. Moreover, whatsoever he does (in the straight walk) shall prosper. What requisites does such a man have who is of this state and demeanor? The Psalmist answers: He governs his steps. He does not walk in the advice of the wicked ones, and he is not numbered among those who miss the mark of God’s intentions. Neither does he sit or abide in the dwelling place of the bad-mouthers. Conversely, this blessed man has his moments of genuine happiness in the Word of God, and in it he meditates (is engrossed in it day and night to the point of muttering to himself expressions of joy).
Surely, it was with much meditation on this very Psalm that the songwriter penned and set to music “I Shall Not Be Moved.” Observation plainly shows that life on earth can be as a shipwreck, or the devastation of a hurricane or the misery of the humanly unloved, and self abusers. On the other hand, it may be blessed as a fruitful tree planted by rivers of living water. What is the point of difference? Read the Psalm again and know that it is repentance and dedication through faith in Christ Jesus: His person, His works, and His Word. People of the Word are people of great faith!

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Speak Up

Posted: 02 Oct 2014 01:11 AM PDT

Psalm 107:2

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy,” Psalm 107:2.

In 2007, I was on a trip with a group of college students from my church. We were staying the night in a hotel in Jackson, Mississippi when we were awakened early in the morning to the sound of screams and chaos. When I made my way out the door of my room to see what was going on, I noticed two girls from our group dragging a child’s body out of a pool and another of our girls performing CPR on another child.

Once the rescue responders arrived and relieved our girls I learned exactly what had happened. Two young children had snuck out of their hotel room and decided to go for a swim. When one of the children got caught in a rope in the pool the other jumped in to help. Both kids were unable to swim and would have drowned if not for the actions of a few girls from our group. The kids’ lives were saved as a result of the quick actions of these outstanding ladies. The story made the news both in Mississippi and back in our hometown in Arkansas because stories of rescue are worth telling.

Redeemed: the Hebrew word for redeemed, padah, brings the idea of rescue or protection. In today’s verse we are commanded that the “redeemed” of the Lord should “say so.” We learn that those who have been rescued and protected by God should speak up and speak out! Has the Lord redeemed you?

If so, then say so! We have been redeemed not only from our enemies, but also from the enemy. We have been redeemed from sin! That is a story of redemption.

Redemption stories are worth telling.

 

JUST ASKING

Do you have a story worth telling?

Nathan Rogers

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ISRAELITES OR JACOBITES??


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard

Much is heard of Israel in their present conflict with a radical segment of Arabic people. Most of the Christian world, and this writer, too, are pro-Israel. The children of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob were the recipients of the Law Covenant from God, and though left desolate in their official rejection of the Messiah, the nation has a future in the work of God. However this should not blind the Bible student to obvious truth regarding the subject, and how that applies to the present people of New Testament Covenant relationship with Him. Please put on your thinking cap!


To be anti-Israel is to be anti-Semitic. But wait, to be anti-Arab would also be anti-Semitic since both descended from Abraham and are by virtue of that Semites. However, Bible students know that God rejected Ishmael, the father of Arabic people as the heir of Abraham, choosing instead the son of Promise: Isaac. To Isaac was born two sons: Esau and Jacob. Covenant lineage is traced through Jacob due to the faithless rejection of Esau of his birthright. Stay with me in this thinking.


Jacob” (trickster) received a name change from God to that of “Israel” (He who contends with God and prevails) in his wrestling with an angel all night, signifying his hot pursuit of heavenly help in view of what he considered the Imminent, murderous wrath of Esau. Thus does his name have such marvelous and practical meaning. Quite naturally, Jacob’s children then became known as the children of Israel whether their faith and deportment merited the name or not. Happily, much of the time it did.


But in the fullness of time, God sent them the promised Messiah whom they rejected on a wholesale basis officially. While their rejection of Him is more than ample evidence that they were no longer Israel in meaning, a remnant of the faithful received the Messiah, and were by virtue of their faith and obedience to Him the sole nucleus of the New Covenant expression of God on earth, His New Testament Church. They were then the true Israel, and the New Testament Church continues to be so today. Gal. 6:16. What about the political nation that rejected Jesus, the Messiah? Jesus said their house was left to them desolate (devoid and separated from the presence and protection of God as they had known it). This precipitated the massacre and destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Romans. It caused the great diaspora of the last near 2,000 years. It precipitated the holocaust in WWII. It has brought on them the many and continued conflicts with Arab nations presently. The present political nation is mainly the children of Judah; hence, Jews. They have chosen to use the term Israel, but they do not have its meaning. They are in fact Jacobites. But, one day, the nation will become Israelites again. May the Lord hasten that glorious day when they shall look on Him Whom they have pierced, know true repentance, and be brought into New Covenant relationship with Him to once again be “Israel” in the sight of God.

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SIZING DOWN GOD


 

HEBREW HONEYCOMB

Author: W.A. Dillard
At various times and in sundry circumstances the measure of another person is taken.. Perhaps it is to recognize talents and abilities or to evaluate and praise the good deeds accomplished, or other reasons. We want to be as kind and liberal as possible in taking such measures. In quite serious situations such as facing surgery and needing a surgeon, we tend to become more critical in taking such measure, understandably so. Taking the measure of another may also be expressed as sizing one up. That has a positive ring to it, and if there are not too many “buts’ in the sizing, and the pure and simple truth is expressed, it is a good thing. Otherwise, such action might be better expressed as sizing one down. Generally speaking, how do men take the measure of the Son of God? Let’s think about this one!
The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the express (pushed out) image of the invisible God. However, His own people did a disastrous job of taking His measure. They were looking for a handsome, charismatic king. Should they have known better? Certainly so! The great prophet Isaiah plainly declared, “…and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” Isa., 53:2. And that He would be a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. 
The erroneous measure continues! Men attribute to God the thinking of a man. They think that surely God will bend the rules and make exceptions for them when he learns their circumstances (as if He does not know every detail). Such is a plain and simple “sizing down” of God which will not stand. They fail to consider Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” In taking the measure of the Creator God, one will do well to listen to Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” 
Digest this if you possibly can. Science tells us that the nearest star to earth is four light-years away. Since light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second, that makes it a very long distance. There is no telling the distance of so many others. This is God’s explanation to us of how far above us He is in every regard, especially in thoughts and ways. And some would make a glorified man of Him?!?? Please, please rethink your sizing of Him and make it up instead of down. A reading of Isaiah 6:1-9 will be most helpful in the process. Then, as the apostle Peter said, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” I Peter 3:15. Doubtless, the world will continue to size God downward, but to its own hurt. Let those who know Him learn enough to always size Him UP!!!

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Incline


 

nātāh (1)

The Hebrew nātāh (H5186) appears 215 times in the OT and literally means “to extend, stretch out,” that is, extending something outward and toward, as one would extend his arm (Exo_7:5) or point a staff (Exo_7:19) or a spear (Jos_8:18). It is used also for stretching out, that is, pitching, a tent (Gen_12:8; Exo_33:7) and as the idiom for stretching out one’s hand against something in a hostile manner (Job_15:25).

This word is often used, however, in a figurative way, such as inclining or leaning toward something. As the psalmist Asaph writes, for example, we are to “incline [our] ears to the words of [God’s] mouth” (Psa_78:1). Of special note is Psa_119:36 : “Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.” The godly believer is not inclined or reaching toward covetousness (“which is idolatry,” Col_3:5), not “[inclined] . . . to any evil thing, to practise wicked works” (Psa_141:4). Rather he or she is inclined toward God’s testimonies, that is, the solemn testimonies of His will, the serious expressions of His standards for human behavior.

This pictures the same truth that Paul declares in Php_3:13-14 : “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” In spite of being trained by our Lord Himself (implied in Gal_1:16-18) and thirty years of Christian growth and ministry, Paul says (in effect), “I haven’t arrived yet. I haven’t reached the prize. I don’t even fully comprehend the prize. I therefore continue to reach forth, to press toward, to pursue, to go after the prize of the knowledge of Christ.” “That I may know him,” was his driving motive (Gal_3:10).

Therefore, an essential part of a consistent Christian life is that we are always “reaching forth.” Sadly, many Christians, and even Christian leaders, get to a point in their lives where they become complacent and satisfied. They might say, “Well, I think I’m okay. I know the basic truths of Christianity, I know what I believe, and I love the Lord. That’s all I need.” Such an attitude shows we have already failed! If we are not always reaching, we begin to stagnate and even slide back.

Dear Christian Friend, are you always reaching?

Scriptures for Study: Read the following verses, noting what each encourages us to do: 1Ki_8:58; Psa_119:51; Psa_141:4; and Pro_2:2.

 

 

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Lie Down [and] Green (Pastures)


 

rāḇas [and] deshe’

A particularly pictorial phrase found in Psa_23:2, another provision from the Shepherd, is, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” The Hebrew verb behind lie down is rāḇas (H7257), which is equivalent to the Akkadian rabāsu, meaning “a stable” or possibly “a lying place.” Appearing about thirty times, the idea in the Hebrew is not so much a place to sleep, but rather a place to lie down to rest from exertion.

We see just such a pastoral scene in verses such as Gen_29:2, where Jacob comes to Haran and sees a “well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks.” While a much smaller scene, the picture of a bird’s nest is no less tranquil as we watch the mother “sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs” (Deu_22:6). But who would want to rouse a lion when it is resting (Gen_49:9)?

Perhaps most blessed of all is a scene Isaiah paints for us of the coming Millennium, when “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ [viper’s] den” (Isa_11:6-8). What a day that will be!

But what about the here and now? What are the green pastures (literally, “pastures of tender grass”) God provides today? (Green is deše’, H1877, “the tender first shoots of vegetation.”) No one answers that question better than the beloved Puritan Matthew Henry: “God’s ordinances are the green pastures in which food is provided for all believers; the word of life is the nourishment of the new man. It is milk for babes, pasture for sheep, never barren, never eaten bare, never parched, but always a green pasture for faith to feed in. God makes his saints to lie down; he gives them quiet and contentment in their own minds, what ever their lot is; their souls dwell at ease in him, and that makes every pasture green.”

Dear Christian Friend, are you resting there today?

Scriptures for Study: Compare Eze_34:13-15 with Joh_6:35 and Mat_11:28. What is the promise then and now?

 

 

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Want


 

chāsēr

David writes in Psa_23:1, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” After using God’s covenant name LORD and then picturing such a personal relationship by likening Him to a Shepherd, the first blessing David mentions receiving from his Shepherd is that he does not want for anything.

The Hebrew chāsēr (H2637) means “to be lacking or needy or to decrease.” The first two of its some twenty occurrences reflect that latter idea when the waters of the Flood “were abated” and “decreased” (Gen_8:3; Gen_8:5). The idea of lacking is apparent in the third occurrence when Abraham found a “lack” of righteous people in Sodom (Gen_18:28).

Our text, however, says that David did not lack for anything, that he was not needy, that there was no decrease of any necessary thing in his life. The most frequent use of chāsēr, in fact, is to show that God’s provision is sufficient to meet the needs of His people. As one might expect, we find this very word in the account of God feeding His people in the wilderness. God’s provision of manna was so miraculous that “he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating” (Exo_16:18).

That is, indeed, the Shepherd’s promise. If we follow Him, we will want for nothing. As Spurgeon writes, “I shall not lack for temporal things. Does he not feed the ravens, and cause the lilies to grow? How, then, can he leave his children to starve? I shall not want for spirituals, I know that his grace will be sufficient for me. Resting in him he will say to me, ‘As thy day so shall thy strength be’ [Deu_33:25]. I may not possess all that I wish for, but ‘I shall not want.’”

Is there a prerequisite for such provision, or is it automatic no matter how one might live? As David makes clear elsewhere, “They that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing” (Psa_34:10; also Mat_6:25-34). In contrast, when God’s people turned to idol worship, “[They] wanted all things, and [were] consumed by the sword and by the famine” (Jer_44:18). While there are starving people in many places in the world, the problem is not a lack of resources, rather a wrong response to God, not a lack of food, rather a lack of faith.

Scriptures for Study: Read the following passages, noting the promise of God’s provision in each: Deu_8:3; Deu_8:9 (also Mat_4:4); Mat_6:25-34; Php_4:19. Is there ever a reason to doubt?

 

 

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