Jehovah Shalom…..Peace be with us.

I’m re posting an older post again to give me some time to continue working on the gospel of Luke. A new post is on it’s way. 

Peace. It seems non-existent nowadays. There’s another shooting, a car full of teenagers killed by a car going in the wrong direction. Hate and rubbish flying around in the craziest election to date. Actual war in several places. Earthquakes and hurricanes.  Anger in homes. Bitterness that leads to revenge. Divorces and the terrible fallout from that, especially for the children. Social injustice and unrighteousness.  Moral laws bypassed.

So again I ask what is Peace? Is it a thing, a feeling, or something that happens to other people? Are you anxious and twisted up inside with thoughts of everything going wrong? Are you worried over what you can’t control? Are you up at all hours of the night because your heart is heavy?

lighthouse800x550

Or?

Do you sleep like a baby? Your heart is calm and serene? You have worries , yes, but you turn them over to the One who can do something about them? Are you sure that , even though, you don’t know what’s going to happen, the One you trust does?

I love the above picture for what it signifies. In the midst of a turbulent time, you and I can be still , because of the One who is our Peace. He holds the times in His hands. He knows the future. He knows what troubles we go through, and are going through. He calms our hearts. He can give us peace, if we ask Him for it. Sometimes we need to ask Him again and again. He is Our Peace. He gives us peace that the world cannot understand or comprehend. He guards our hearts with peace. He gives us peace from our enemies. He allows us to live a long and peaceful life, with our children and theirs.

Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace) 

The “law of first mentions” in the Bible, shows that this name Jehovah Shalom , is mentioned only once in Judges 6:24 ( So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.)

It’s interesting to note that the Israelites were in the midst of a war with the Midianites. It wasn’t an all out war, with active fighting on both sides. The Midianites were very much in control. They ravaged the cities and crops and took all the livestock (presumably the women as well), so the Israelites made their homes in caves and hid in the mountains and let them get away with it. It’s also a time in history where everyone did as they saw fit. The Israelites had turned away from their One True God. They worshipped the gods of the other nations.

So, at this time, God reveals himself to Gideon. He first asks Gideon to destroy the altar built to baal and astheroth and build a new one to the One Living God, out of new, pure and undefiled stone. He promised Gideon that He would provide the deliverance for the Israelites. It is at this time that Gideon calls Him Jehovah Shalom, The Lord our Peace. 

Jehovah is actually YHWH (see Adonai, Master and Yahweh, LORD.) and means Lord and Master. It is the promised and proper name of God. Shalom means peace, absence of strife, complete, or sound. Used together Jehovah Shalom means The Lord Is Peace. When it seems like the whole world is against you or that you  are completely unable to deal with whatever problem is in front of you, turn to the God of peace to find comfort and strength.

Recently, a friend and mentor Monica, told me that if we have Christ in us, His Peace should go before us. People should see Him in us, wherever we go . When she and her husband visited their grown, married children and grandchildren earlier in the year, they asked them to prolong their visit, because in the words of their daughter, “They brought the Peace of God with them, the homes were so peaceful during their visit”. Another chance acquaintance said that in her line of work as a counsellor, her patients, among them  a millionaire and a 9-year-old child, said that when they come to her, they feel so peaceful in her office that they don’t want to leave.

Can that be said of you or me? That we are so filled with peace in our lives, that others come to us in the midst of their chaos ? That we carry God with us, and show His grace to those around us? That we can be still and rest in His goodness and trust He has plans for us, that all will work out for the good, for His glory?

There are several hundred mentions of peace in the Bible, some of them for a blessing, some for living life, some of them as attributes of God, some of them as pertaining to the Peace that God fills our hearts and minds with. Look through these verses and mediate on the ones that touch you. Shalom to you, dear friend. May He fill your heart, soul, mind and body with Peace. May you live in the shadow of His wings, protected, provided for and at peace with everything. Shalom.

Peace as a blessing/ or a greeting.

  • Genesis 15:15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age.
  • Genesis 26:29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the Lord.’
  • Leviticus 26:6 ‘“I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country.
  • Numbers 25:12 Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him.
  • Romans 1:7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Romans 2:10 but glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
  • Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Romans 15:33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.
  • Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:11 [ Final greetings ] Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
  • Galatians 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Ephesians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Ephesians 6:23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Philippians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Philippians 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
  • Colossians 1:2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
  • Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
  • Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:16 [ Final greetings ] Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
  • 1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • 1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
  • 2 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.
  • Titus 3:2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle towards everyone.
  • Philemon 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Hebrews 13:20 [ Benediction and final greetings ] Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,
  • 1 Peter 1:2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
  • 1 Peter 5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
  • 2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
  • 2 Peter 3:14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
  • 2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.
  • 3 John 1:14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.
  • Jude 1:2 Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
  • Revelation 1:4 [ Greetings and doxology ] John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,

 

Peace for a king ( and his kingdom) who followed God.

  • Judges 3:11 So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.
  • Judges 3:30 That day Moab was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace for eighty years.
  • Judges 5:31 ‘So may all your enemies perish, O Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.’ Then the land had peace for forty years.
  • Judges 8:28 [ Gideon’s death ] Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace for forty years.
  • 1 Samuel 7:14 The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighbouring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
  • 2 Samuel 10:19 When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace with the Israelites and became subject to them. So the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.
  • 1 Kings 4:24 For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the River Euphrates, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides.
  • 1 Kings 5:12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.
  • 1 Kings 22:44 Jehoshaphat was also at peace with the king of Israel
  • 1 Chronicles 19:19 When the vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace with David and became subject to him. So the Arameans were not willing to help the Ammonites any more
  • 2 Chronicles 14:1 And Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days the country was at peace for ten years.
  • 2 Chronicles 14:5 He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him.
  • 2 Chronicles 14:6 He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest.
  • 2 Chronicles 20:30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

 

Peace as a promise from God. 

  • Judges 6:23 But the Lord said to him, ‘Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.’
  • Judges 6:24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites
  • 1 Samuel 1:17 Eli answered, ‘Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.’
  • 2 Samuel 15:9 The king said to him, ‘Go in peace.’ So he went to Hebron.
  • 2 Kings 22:20 Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.”’ So they took her answer back to the king.
  • 1 Chronicles 22:9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign.
  • 2 Chronicles 34:28 Now I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place and on those who live here.”’ So they took her answer back to the king.
  • Job 3:13 For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest
  • Job 5:23 For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you.
  • Job 21:13 They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace.
  • Job 22:21 ‘Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.
  • Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
  • Psalm 37:11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.
  • Psalm 37:37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.
  • Psalm 85:8 I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants – but let them not turn to folly
  • Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure.
  • Psalm 122:7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.’
  • Psalm 122:8 For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’
  • Psalm 128:6 May you live to see your children’s children – peace be on Israel.
  • Psalm 147:14 He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat
  • Proverbs 3:2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
  • Proverbs 3:17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
  • Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.
  • Proverbs 16:7 When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
  • Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.
  • Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  • Isaiah 9:7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
  • Isaiah 14:7 All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing
  • Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you
  • Isaiah 26:12 Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
  • Isaiah 27:5 Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me.’
  • Isaiah 32:18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling-places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
  • Isaiah 33:20 Look on Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken.
  • Isaiah 48:18 If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea
  • Isaiah 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
  • Isaiah 54:13 All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.
  • Isaiah 55:12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
  • Isaiah 57:2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
  • Isaiah 57:19 creating praise on their lips. Peace, peace, to those far and near,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will heal them.’
  • Isaiah 60:17 Instead of bronze I will bring you gold, and silver in place of iron. Instead of wood I will bring you bronze, and iron in place of stones. I will make peace your governor and well-being your ruler.
  • Isaiah 66:12 For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will feed and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.
  • Jeremiah 28:9 But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognised as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true.’
  • Jeremiah 29:7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.’
  • Jeremiah 30:10 ‘“So do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel,” declares the Lord. “I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.
  • Jeremiah 33:6 ‘“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security
  • Jeremiah 33:9 Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honour before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.”
  • Jeremiah 34:5 you will die peacefully. As people made a funeral fire in honour of your predecessors, the kings who ruled before you, so they will make a fire in your honour and lament, ‘Alas, master!’ I myself make this promise, declares the Lord.”’
  • Jeremiah 46:27 ‘Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.
  • Ezekiel 34:25 ‘“I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety.
  • Ezekiel 37:26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them for ever.
  • Nahum 1:15 Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, Judah, and fulfil your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.
  • Haggai 2:9 “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,” says the Lord Almighty. “And in this place I will grant peace,” declares the Lord Almighty.’
  • Zechariah 8:19 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.’
  • Zechariah 9:10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle-bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
  • Malachi 2:5 ‘My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name
  • Galatians 6:16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule – to the Israel of God.
  • 1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness

 

Peace as an attribute of God, a characteristic of God, what we as His people need to display.

  • Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
  • Psalm 34:14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
    9735f9e5be88c918adc11d3716fcce14
  • Psalm 119:165 Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.
  • Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
  • Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
  • Isaiah 32:17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence for ever.
  • Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
  • Daniel 10:19 ‘Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,’ he said. ‘Peace! Be strong now; be strong.’ When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.’
  • Micah 5:5 And he will be our peace when the Assyrians invade our land and march through our fortresses. We will raise against them seven shepherds, even eight commanders,
  • Malachi 2:6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.
  • Acts 9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
  • Acts 10:36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
  • Romans 5:1 [ Peace and hope ] Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • Romans 8:6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
  • Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
  • Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
  • Romans 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
  • Romans 15:33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.
  • Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
  • Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
  • Ephesians 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
    Ephesians 2:15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,
  • Ephesians 2:17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
  • Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
  • Ephesians 6:15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
  • Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
  • 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
  • Titus 3:2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle towards everyone.
  • Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
  • Hebrews 12:14 [ Warning and encouragement ] Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
  • James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
  • James 3:18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
  • 1 Peter 3:11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it

 

What Jesus said about peace

  • Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
  • Matthew 10:34 ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. ( I’ll talk about this in a later post
  • Mark 5:34 He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’
  • Mark 9:50 ‘Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.’
  • Luke 1:79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.’
  • Luke 2:14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ ( said by the angels at the time of Jesus’ birth)
  • Luke 2:29 ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. ( said by Simeon to the Lord, when Jesus was probably 8 days old)
  • Luke 7:50 Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’
  • Luke 8:48 Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’
  • Luke 10:5 ‘When you enter a house, first say, “Peace to this house.”
  • Luke 10:6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.
  • Luke 19:38 ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ (said by the people at Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem, just a week before His crucifixion)
  • Luke 19:42 and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes.
  • Luke 24:36 [ Jesus appears to the disciples ] While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ ( after His resurrection.
  • John 14:27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ( just before His ascension. This verse helped me when Adam was in the NICU for a few days. )
  • John 16:33 ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’
  • John 20:19 [ Jesus appears to his disciples ] On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’
  • John 20:21 Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’
  • John 20:26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’
  • 1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. ( This was Paul’s message, but one he received from the Lord)
  • 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace – as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

Shalom to you, dear friend. May He fill your heart, soul, mind and body with Peace. May you live in the shadow of His wings, protected, provided for and at peace with everything. Shalom.

Jehovah Raah…the Lord is my Shepherd.

As common as it sounds, The Lord being our shepherd is actually very comforting, when we consider the cultural and social implications, when David and others wrote it.

It seems the Israelites always had someone who was a shepherd. Abel kept watch over the flocks. Abraham, Lot, Isaac and Jacob kept sheep. When Joseph went down to Eygpt as a slave, and then found favour with Pharoh, his family came down with the famine, he asked them to say that they were shepherds, ( they were), and so had Goshen assigned to them, away from the Eygptians. Moses was a prince for 40 years, a shepherd for 40 years ( where he found his wife, Zipporah and heard God from a burning bush), and a leader for the next 40 years. David was a shepherd, whom the family don’t think much of, before he killed Goliath and later became a king. Jeremiah and Ezekial warned about false shepherds, and also gave the Israelites hope about the coming of a true Shepherd, who would never abandon His sheep. When Jesus spoke to the people, He called Himself the Good Shepherd on multiple occasions. He said His sheep would recognize His voice. He had other sheep that He needed to reach, who would be part of the fold.

There’s the famous psalm, 23, that most people know and have heard. While I was reading up on this psalm, I found several commentaries, so I’m going to write down a little from the one I really liked, with bits and pieces from others.

Jehovah Raah is derived from Ro’eh ( which means Shepherd). Jehovah Raah can mean The Lord is my Shepherd or the The Lord Shepherds me. It can even mean The Lord is my friend or The Lord my companion. It means that He is near. He is very close. He watches over me. He hears me when I call. He listens to me and understands me. He is my caregiver. He provides for me. He cares for me.

Let me let you about sheep, though. They are dumb. They follow each other, with no thought, they’ve been known to jump off a cliff following the herd. They need protection, they don’t have claws, or hooves or powerful jaws to fend off predators. They are generally frightened of everything, they can’t or won’t drink from running water, shepherds have to dam up the water, to get them to drink from still, calm water. Sheep are basically helpless creatures who cannot survive long without a shepherd, upon whose care they are totally dependent.

Now , comparing ourselves to sheep, and God to the Good Shepherd, we are dumb ( we really are!), we fall into the same trap of sin and sinning , over and over again. We follow the crowd, and want to fit in ( peer pressure anyone?). We can’t defend ourselves against the powers of darkness and the evil one. We need the Lord of angel armies, His angels , and the shepherds He’s placed over us to fight for us and with us to win the war that we’re in, the war for our souls. Sometimes we (I ) are frightened over everything. The rushing waters ( our storms, our troubles, our valleys of sorrow)  that we need The Shepherd to dam up the waters for us ( give us a way out of our temptations, bring us to a mountain , fight off our accuser ). We are basically helpless, needing to be dependent completely on Him.

Him, on the other hand, is the Good Shepherd, the True Shepherd. He watches over us intently. He leads us lovingly and gently. His voice is one we can trust.  When one of us strays, He chases after us to bring us back to safety, His fold. He fights off predators, and destroys the enemy. He places shepherds over us ( pastors, preachers, teachers, mentors) who are true to Him. He gives us food to eat (His Word), and refreshes us in His Spirit. He has sheep all over the world. He gave His life for the sheep.

So I’m going to break down Psalm 23. Please go back to His Word, and discover what The Shepherd/ this Friend and Companion means to you personally. This is just a guide.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, (Relationship…. I am His daughter)  I lack nothing. (Supply…He provides for me, materially, relationally, spiritually)

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, (Rest….In the midst of a weary life, He makes me calm and peaceful)
he leads me beside quiet waters, (Refreshment…In the midst of the same things happening over and over, He makes me new and gives me new joy)

3 he refreshes my soul. (Healing…There’s nothing that affects me or my loved ones that He can’t or won’t cure, either in this world or in Heaven)
He guides me along the right paths (Guidance….He shows me what to do, when I am confused)
for his name’s sake. (Purpose…I’m called to glorify Him, I’m meant to praise Him)

4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a] (Testing….to refine me and strengthen me, to use me for His glory)
I will fear no evil, (Protection…I’m not alone, He’s always by my side)
for you are with me; (Faithfulness…He can be trusted, all His promises are true) 
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. (Discipline…to bring me back to the path of life, when I stray )

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.  (Hope…He lifts me up, even with my shame, He gives me honour)
You anoint my head with oil; (Consecration…He makes me holy , like Him)
my cup overflows. (Abundance…I can’t contain or count His many blessings, I don’t mean material blessings) 

6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life, (Blessing…He cares for me enough to give me a personal blessing)
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord (Security…I have a place where I belong)
for ever. (Eternity… and I will never move from there or be asked to leave).

 

These are just a few verses that I found that talk about the Shepherd, and the shepherds that He has placed over us.

1 Chronicles 21:17 David said to God, ‘Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I, the shepherd, have sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Lord my God, let your hand fall on me and my family, but do not let this plague remain on your people.’

Psalm 23:1  The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

Psalm 78:71 from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance.

Psalm 78:72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skilful hands he led them.

Psalm 80:1 [ Psalm 80 ] [ For the director of music. To the tune of ‘The Lilies of the Covenant’. Of Asaph. A psalm. ] Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth

Isaiah 40:11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 44:28 who says of Cyrus, “He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, ‘Let it be rebuilt,’ and of the temple, ‘Let its foundations be laid.’”

Isaiah 61:5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.

Jeremiah 17:16 I have not run away from being your shepherd; you know I have not desired the day of despair. What passes my lips is open before you.

Jeremiah 23:4  I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,’ declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 3:15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.

Jeremiah 31:10 ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: “He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.”

Jeremiah 33:12 ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In this place, desolate and without people or animals – in all its towns there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest their flocks.

Jeremiah 34:1 [ The Lord will be Israel’s shepherd ] The word of the Lord came to me:

Ezekiel 34:7 ‘“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:

Micah 5:4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.

Zechariah 9:16The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.

John 10:11 ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 10:14 ‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me

Hebrews 13:20 [ Benediction and final greetings ] Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,

Finally, the shepherd cares for the sheep because he loves them and wants to maintain his own good reputation as a faithful shepherd. As we’ve seen in Psalm 23, the analogy of the Lord as the Good Shepherd was also applied by Jesus in John chapter 10. In declaring that He is the shepherd of the sheep, Jesus is confirming that He is God. The Eternal God is our Shepherd. And we would not want it any other way.

Righteousness, in Him, because of Him.

Righteousness isn’t something that would have bothered me some time ago. And as much as it bothers me now, it’s more that it unsettles me. I know and believe that I am a sinner, have been, always will be, it’s my nature. I know and believe that ONLY GOD is righteous, holy, pure, blameless, without sin, in whom there cannot be any sin, there never will be, it’s His nature. I also know and believe that He cannot abide unrighteousness in His presence, and so to make me clean, He sent His Son, who was without sin, to take on bodily form and my sin upon Him. I know this. I believe it. I’ve gladly accepted His sacrifice. I’m relieved sometimes, knowing He paid it for me. I’m saddened sometimes , by the hefty price demanded of Him, which He gave willingly. I’m sorrowful, that so many people won’t or can’t or don’t want to accept this for themselves. But I’m unsettled too. I keep trying to “do” things right, or the say the right things, trying, in vain, to become “more” righteous, knowing all the while, that “I” can’t do it. So why am I unsettled? I’m not sure. Sometimes I’m in awe of the work that He has done for me, and how easy it was to accept Him , ( though the life after hasn’t been easy all the time, but always been filled with His peace and His comfort), but also I’m trying desperately to remember that it wasn’t “me”, it’s all Him.

Anyway, that’s me. I wanted to continue on God’s names. That’s a topic/subject/study that has been with me for the better part of several years. I first heard sermons on it while I was a teenager, in India. I’ve heard pastors talk on many of His names, through the years, and right now I’m listening to two different bible studies on them. It doesn’t get boring. It’s becoming more and more real, more and more personal, and I’m finding that as much as I want to share what I learned with you, I don’t have all the words!

So…. I’ve been looking at different articles on the web, wondering if any would give me the start that I need. I want to tell you, at the start, that most of this article isn’t my voice. Others have studied, have written and made concise what’s been floating around in my head, so I’ve copied that/those articles here.

One of the few things that I wanted to mention about Jehovah ( Yahweh/YHWH) Tsidkenu , was something called “the law of first mentions” in the Bible. The first instance is in Jeremiah 23:6 (NIV)6 In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The Lord Our Righteous Savior., referring to the Saviour and the second is in            Jeremiah 33:16 (NIV)16 In those days Judah will be saved
and Jerusalem will live in safety.
This is the name by which it[a] will be called:
The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’, where it refers to the city of Jerusalem.

Jehovah is actually YHWH ( see Yahweh in Adonai, Master and Yahweh, LORD..) and means Lord and Master. It is the promised and proper name of God. Tsidkenu means justice, rightness, righteousness, deliverance, victory, and prosperity. Used together Jehovah Tsidkenu means The Lord Who Is Our Righteousness. God himself stands for us and provides us with His righteousness and justice when we don’t have any in ourselves. He is the one who provides victory and our prosperity.

Jeremiah prophesied at a time of rampant wickedness and evil in the land. The king Zedekiah ( meaning “Jehovah is righteousness”) whose name had been changed from Mattaniah (“gift of God”) by Nebuchadnezzar, but who failed to live up to his new name. Jeremiah let the people know ( on God’s command, since he was a true prophet), that God himself would be the Righteousness of the people, of the nation, of the world. These two instances were meant to bring peace and comfort to those who heard it. It probably did, to those few who trusted in His word, and opened their hearts to Him, and now I pray it brings peace to you, if you are looking for it.

This is one of those articles that I loved.http://donotdepart.com/jehovah-tsidkenu-the-lord-our-righteousness#comment-50494

Jesus, Pilate and Job all presented questions in Scripture that every heart must answer:

And he ( Jesus) asked them,”But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29)

Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”  (Matthew 27:22)

“How then can man be righteous before God?” (Job 25:4)

Today, while we will concentrate on Job’s question, we will consider all three. 

Just on the heels of dealing with the sin of the unfaithful priest, in Jeremiah 23:6 Jehovah introduced Himself by a brand new name…Jehovah-Tsidkenu. It’s only used one other time in Scripture and is also tucked in the pages of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 33:16).  It is a name God gives Himself and a name He gives His children

Jeremiah was speaking to a nation whose king was wicked. His name was Zedekiah, which means Jehovah is Righteous. His original name was Mattaniah (Gift of God) but when Nebuchadnezzar,  made him king, he changed his name to Zedekiah.

It was a familiar story. God had blessed His people but it didn’t take long before they had turned their backs on Him and began to sin.

God’s eyes were not blind to Zedekiah’s wickedness and He told him through Jeremiah the prophet, “I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and strong-arm, in anger and in fury and in great wrath.” (Jeremiah 21:5)

God’s eyes were not blind to His children’s sin either and in Jeremiah 32:30, God declares, “For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth. “

In both Scripture references where God uses the name, Jehovah-Tsidkenu, He gives us an astounding parallel. He is our merciful God who delights in His people and chooses to bring redemption, restoration and righteousness to His wayward children.

  • In the first mention (Jeremiah 23:6) God promises to exchange the one who should have lived up to his name as a righteous king who trusted Jehovah (Zedekiah) with THE LORD WHO IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. That promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ who the Bible states – is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:9). Jesus is the New Testament fulfillment of the Old Testament name, Jehovah-Tsidkenu – In contrast to Zedekiah (the unrighteous king), Jesus is the Righteous King who is also our righteousness.
  • The second mention (Jeremiah 33:16) is to change the whole nation from wayward and wicked hearts and give them a new heart as well as a new name, Jehovah-Tsidkenu. Because of Christ, we can become just as righteous as He is. Just as the nation was named Jehovah-Tsidkenu, He names us the same.
Isaiah 64:6 tells us…
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
But because Jesus has become our righteousness, when we receive Him, we become as righteous as He is in our Heavenly Father’s site. We put on His robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) and when the Living God looks at us, He sees us just as perfect and just as pure as He sees His Son (Romans 5:21).
Knowing that God is our righteousness is not only good news for the unbeliever who turns from their sin and turns to God through faith in Christ, but it is also good news for the believer, who like the children of Israel, sometimes find themselves wandering far from the One they love. Jehovah-Tsidkenu remains our righteousness – even when we aren’t behaving so righteously.
Who He is in us establishes us positionally though practically we may be acting otherwise. We remain righteous in His sight, even when we behave badly. Yet because He is in us, He changes the desires of our hearts to be righteous in deed, knowing that our righteousness came at oh-so great a cost and stems from oh-so great a love.
  • Job’s question has been answered by The LORD Our Righteousness. Only Jehovah-Tsidkenu can make a man righteous. But we must each personally answer the eternity-deciding questions posed by Jesus and Pilate.
  • Jesus asked…”But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29) (Is He the Son of God – the Righteous One with Healing on His wings – the Christ?)
  • Pilate replied… “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”  (Matthew 27:22) (Have you let Him be your Righteousness? If not, will you?)

Have you answered those questions yet? How does knowing Jesus is our righteousness affect your day-to-day actions?

 

the-lord-is-our-righteousness

There are over 200 mentions of righteousness in the bible, these are just a few that are meaningful to me. Righteousness as related to people/kings/nations almost always relates to ruling in righteousness ( and justice and mercy), or living a righteous life because He is righteous. In essence, we/they/I are/am called to be different. To the right thing, even when it’s not popular or easy or convenient. To follow Him, to do His bidding, to fight off the carnal flesh, even when it takes everything we have. But….. again, we need to realise that “we ” can’t do it, but He can. He fills us with His righteousness and His goodness. He makes us clean. He makes us right with Him. He makes us as new.

Yes, He is The Lord our Righteousness .

2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: “When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,

1 Kings 10:9 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.’
2 Chronicles 9:8 Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the Lord your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them for ever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness.’
Psalm 35:24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God; do not let them gloat over me.
Isaiah 61:10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
 
Romans 1:17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’
 
Romans 3:25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood – to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished
 

Romans 4:24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
 

Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
 

Romans 6:13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.
 

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
 

1 Corinthians 1:30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
 

2-cor-5-21-him-who-did-not-know-sin-he-made-sin-on-our-behalf-that-we-might-become-the-righteousness-of-god-in-him02
 

2 Corinthians 6:7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;
 

Ephesians 4:24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
 

Philippians 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
 

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Adonai, Master and Yahweh, LORD.

While I’m working on writing a summary of Luke, I’m going to re post a few of my older ones, on some of the names of God. I will endeavor to post new ones as soon as possible. 

 

In the Old Testament times, people din’t call God by His name. Names were powerful, names were an identity , names were given to children after a great deal of thought. Their name was who they were , or some times who they turned out to be.

Abram ( exalted father ) was changed by God to Abraham (father of a multitude) before the birth of Isaac, before his descendants become more numerous than the sand in the sea and the stars in the sky. Sarai was changed to Sarah. Some commentators believe both words mean “princess”( one with a local meaning, and one with a more global meaning). Some commentators on the other hand believe Sarai denotes firmness in a negative way (stubbornness) while Sarah means “my lady, my princess” .

Jacob was born holding his twin brother’s heel and so was called “supplanter “. His life was testament to the fact that he lied and cheated his way to blessing after blessing, but in his nineties , he wrestled with God , and God graciously changed his name to Israel    ” who contends with/ struggles with God” . ( Jacob had asked for a blessing, and all he was given was a name change, to us it may seem like it’s not enough, but he was given a new identity by God, a precursor to what would happen , when we accept Christ and become a new creation in Him 2 Corinthians 5:17 :Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! ).

During the days of Eli the priest ( before Samuel become priest and prophet and the last judge of Israel), the Ark of the Lord was stolen by the Philistines, Eli’s two sons were killed, Eli when he heard this, fell over and died, Eli’s pregnant daughter-in-law delivered a baby boy, whom she named Ichabod ” the glory has departed/inglorious”.

Isaiah was asked by God to name his sons Shear-Jashub means “a remnant shall return” and Maher-shalal-hash-baz means “Swift to the booty, speedy to the prey”. These two names were names with a message and were a constant reminder to Isaiah of the burden of his prophetic word: Destruction and exile were coming, yet a remnant would return and be preserved. As Isaiah said, “Then a shoot will spring from the root of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1-2). Jesse was King David’s father.

David after his adultery with Bathsheba, and that child was taken by God, named his next son with Bathsheba, Solomon “peace”, but he was named by the prophet Nathan (on God’s direction), Jedidiah “beloved of the Lord”.

Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father , was told by an Angel the name to give his son, John, even though no one else in the family had that name, which meant “Jehovah is gracious” ( at a time when the Israelites were under Roman rule and were waiting for the promised messiah. They hadn’t heard God’s voice through the prophets for over 400 years).  Zechariah was still given a promise that God was looking down on them.

A few months later , Joseph the carpenter, would name the child of his wife, Mary, Jesus “Jehovah saves”, He would also be called Emmanuel ” God with us” in accordance with the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 .(Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.)

Jesus himself would change Simon’s name to Peter. Some commentators believe the former means “reed” and the latter “rock”, giving Peter the responsibility to start building the Church. Saul ” asked of God” of Tarsus, a proud Hebrew name, a name given to the first king of Israel, changed his name to the Roman name Paul ,  “small/humble” , when he changed after his encounter of God on the Damascus road, a testament to how Paul would see himself , as chief of the sinners, in need of grace, but one who would do great things to further the gospel of Christ.

Why am I spending so much time on names? Especially names in the bible, and the situations they were in? To build up to the importance of names in the biblical times. To show you that when people gave a name to God, it was because of the character of God revealed to them , in their moment of need. God cannot be limited to a single character , neither are there multiple gods, but a single God, in three different persons, but all together they are one.

This post I’m going to focus on the names Adonai and Yahweh.

Adonai ( in English, usually represented by Lord), means Lord and Master. If God is Adonai to you, He is the one to whom you submit or bow down; He is the Boss of your life. Adonai is the ultimate authority figure in your life and the One to whom you owe your complete allegiance.

Many times I haven’t given the Lord authority in my life, I have relegated Him to the sidelines, even compartmentalized Him, to Wednesdays and Sundays. I’ve gone my own way, and have harboured un forgiveness, yelled at my kids, been mean to my husband. I’ve put other things ahead of God, only recently realising that they’ve been idols. Our pastor recently talked about this. In the western world, not many people build images of gold and silver , but we have idols all the same. I’ve worshipped idols. I’ve put  the kids, my husband, serving in church, being loved by friends, Facebook surfing, cooking, reading, movies all before the Lord. I’m trying to watch my thoughts now. I’m not perfect. So I’m choosing to focus on God, I’m choosing to put Him first, I’m choosing to come to the throne first before going to the phone, I’m choosing to ask forgiveness, I’m choosing to pray during uncertainties. I’m choosing to make Him the Adonai of my life again. Will you?

The name Yahweh is also ” I AM” ( God who was, who is, who will be, in English LORD) . We seen this first in Exodus 3, when God talks to Moses from a burning bush, telling him to go rescue the Israelites. When Moses asked God what name he should give them, the Lord replies ” I AM” .

This is another article that fleshes out Yahweh and the meaning. Yahweh is not to be trifled with. His isn’t the name to be used in cursing, and without reverence. He is the one who deserves our honor , our praise . He is the only one true God. When I see the work of His hands, in creation, in a baby’s smile, in the laughter of children, in the oneness of marriage, in a husband who does all he can for his family, I’m reminded of the God I serve, the one I love, and I’m reminded that He is over all. He is Yahweh.

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/10-things-yahweh-means

I wrote this first to tell you about how personal these names were to me. From a Bible with study notes, I first read about Adonai being  my personal God. The God who sees when Vanessa is upset , when Vanessa does the dishes, when Vanessa watches Dora again with her daughter, when Vanessa is being encouraging to her husband, when Vanessa blew it , again,….. He’s the God who is interested in the details of my life.

And Yahweh. Yahweh is the God of the billions and billions of people on this earth. And the creatures of the earth. And the angels. Yahweh is the God who sees Bob when he’s mourning. Yahweh sees Monica being a mentor. Yahweh sees Nancy being kind to an immigrant family. Yahweh sees Raj being a husband. Yahweh sees everything, everywhere. His eyes roam all over the earth. He judges the righteous and the evil. And He sees us for what we do, and He will reward us according to what we do.

I haven’t been able to return to that Bible, and check it out again. But I loved this explanation as well. So I leave this with you. God’s name , at the time, reveals something to me. Usually what I need , when I need. What touches me, may not impact you. Look up His names in the Word, and find a revelation just for you. God Bless You.

My hour has not yet come, but it will.

Featured image from St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

In John 2 , Jesus has just chosen His first disciples and had gone to His hometown in Galilee. He and His disciples and His family were invited to a wedding in Cana. The wine for the celebration has run out, so the first thing that Mary, the mother of Jesus does, is  tell Him. She tells Him, Jesus says His time has not yet come, and not to involve Him. So Mary instead goes to the servants and tells them to do whatever He tells them. Jesus, out of respect for His mother, tells the servants to fill nearby jars with water and then changes the water into wine. The wine that He makes , tastes so much better , that even the master of the banquet comments on that to the hosts.

John mentions that this was the first of the signs* that Jesus did and so revealed His glory to His disciples.

But this was nearly three years before Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. In the beginning of Jesus’ ministry He warns various people He healed not to tell others. Jesus tells Simon (when he declared that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God) not to tell others. Jesus tells the three disciples who witnessed His transfiguration not to tell the others. Jesus also told them that they should remain silent about it, until He was glorified. That happened as Jesus conquered death when He rose again  from the dead and ascended up to Heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand. When He was lifted up, He drew all people to Him.

He made a way for us to receive salvation, hope and eternal life. But it is up to us to do so. He will respect our choice. Because it is not  yet His time. When He comes back in glory, and He will, He will come as King. He will come to administer justice and judgement. He will come and accept the reverence and worship of ALL people. Whether they are willing or not. As it is written in Phillipians 2:10-11, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. At that time, it will be HIS TIME. There won’t be any time left to make a decision regarding Jesus. So do so now. Now is the time to make Him Lord and Saviour of your life since He is patient and kind and not willing for any to perish but that all should come to Him as it says in 2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

If you are looking for Him, if you sincerely desire Him, just ask Him. Let Jesus know , you want to make Him Lord of your life. Look for a Bible based church close to you. Google the questions you want or look up sermons on YouTube. Now it’s easier than ever to find Him. Make use of that. Hebrews 3:13  says But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

In Ecclesiastes 1:1  it says The words of the Teacher,[a] son of David, king of Jerusalem: ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless. This book is believed to be written by Solomon in his later years. He has by now, become very rich ( God gave that to Him), he’s married several women (700 wives and 300 concubines), he’s indulged in every pleasure known to man, he’s become very well known and sought after for his wisdom (He asked God for that). Solomon’s tried everything and done all and he then discovers it is ‘meaningless, a chasing after the wind’. At the end of the book he discovers that remembering the Creator and fearing him and keeping all His commandments is the only thing that matters.

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14

13 Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

I’ve been reading my old posts and there seems to be a common theme underlying all of them. I talk/ weave into/ write about the temporary nature of our lives. How the joy and the sorrow, the tears and laughter, the sickness and health, the life and death will all be worth it, when Christ comes to take us home. I write about the temporary versus the eternal. Temporary being our lives, and the Eternal being the life we will have with Him. And I’m reminded that our days are very short. Our time on this Earth will come to an end soon. Right now is the time to make the choice for Him.

 

*Signs- John describes the signs that Jesus did in the gospel of John. These are signs that reveal / point to the Messiah and are fulfillments of prophesies in the OT. John shows that these signs are fulfilled by Jesus and acknowledges that Jesus alone is the promised Messiah (meaning “Anointed”) who is capable of saving man from his sins and judgement and can give man eternal life.

May I encourage you if you don’t know Him, to come to Him and make Him the Lord of your life. We don’t know how long we have, but the time has come. It is now.

With awe at God’s graciousness,

Vanessa.

 

What you should know about Genesis.

I wrote about Genesis awhile ago here in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. I had to divide it into 3 parts because I ended up doing a “short” summary of each chapter. Each post ended up being really long, and while speaking about the length to Liv and lamenting the fact that I can’t seem to write shorter pieces, she gave me this idea. Writing a shorter version of an overview and linking it to the full piece. That’s what I’m going to do with the Books I’ve finished already (Genesis, Exodus, Matthew and Mark) 🙂

Genesis’ author isn’t mentioned but Jesus and many authors of the NT attribute the Torah (the first 5 books of the OT ) to Moses. There are over 200 references/ quotes from Genesis in the NT.

Genesis was written in Hebrew and translated into Greek about 250 years before Christ. In Hebrew the title is bereshit which means “in beginning” (Gen 1:1) and in Greek it is geneseos which means ” origin, source, generation or beginning” which was translated from the Hebrew toledot (Gen 2:4 which means generations). The English title of the book is taken from the Greek title. Both titles seem appropriate since Genesis is the beginning of all things and the book is filled with genealogies of different generations.

Genesis is about God creating something out of nothing, and then making man in His Own Image, for His Name’s sake, for His Glory. It’s about God making a way for man’s redemption and atonement even before the creation of men. It’s about giving hope through prophesies to people so that they can look to the One Who comes and the obedience of the nations will be His.

Genesis is about choice. Man’s choice to be specific. His choice to sin, to be wicked, to turn away from God and chase after other things, again and again and again. When he does, God honours that choice, but man also has to face the consequences.

Genesis is about God choosing to save  a family of 8 ( Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives), the only ones who were righteous at that time since the people had become so wicked that God had repented making man, on an ark while the rest of the world was flooded. God gives Noah a promise which to this day He has honoured and we still see the sign of that promise. A Rainbow 🙂

Genesis is about God choosing a man , Abraham, out of a pagan culture to be the beginning of a chosen race, a people whom God loved, a select culture, to be kept apart for Him. He blesses Abraham and He tests him. He reveals His plans to Abraham and allows him to bargain for lives of people God had destined for destruction. Abraham , even though he is chosen by God and favoured by Him, still lies and fears and makes many mistakes. God graciously forgives him, even as Abraham (and his descendants) bear the consequences.

Genesis is about God choosing the younger over the older where children are concerned, to bless them and use them and Glorify His Name through them. He turns the people’s perception of natural order on its head. (Abraham is chosen over Nahor, Isaac is blessed over Ishmael, Jacob is honoured over Esau, Joseph receives the double portion over Rueben and Ephraim is blessed over Manasseh). But there is a reason and purpose for God choosing to do so.

In Genesis, we see several types of Christ, apart from the Theophanies/ Christophanies (Pre -Incarnate appearances of God/ Christ before His birth as a human being) that appear in the book. You can read more Theophanies/ Christophanies in general at GotQuestions.org. For the sake of simplicity, in this post, types of Christ refers to people/things/situations that reveal God’s character and Theophanies/ Christophanies to an actual appearance of Christ/ God in the pre- incarnate form. For a complete study on types of Christ in Genesis, read this , it is a 19 page document though 🙂

Types of Christ in Genesis.

  1. Adam- had dominion of the world (Christ is sovereign over the world), from his rib woman was created (people are created in the Image of God), chose to eat of the fruit voluntarily after Eve ate it, to share in her penalty and punishment (God voluntarily gave up His life for the sake of making atonement for people). Through the first Adam sin and death entered the world, and through the Last Adam abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness was given to us Romans 5.
  2. The Ark in Noah’s time – because of the Ark, select people were able to escape the judgement that the whole world went through. It reflects the salvation that Christ provides for the people who chose Him to escape permanent death and destruction in the lake of fire. Just as the Ark took people through the flood to safety, Christ will take people who accept Him as Lord to Heaven and eternal life.
  3. Isaac – he was a miracle birth (Christ was born of a virgin), he was long promised to his father (the prophets had been prophesying about Jesus’ birth for centuries before He was born), he carried the wood for the offering himself ( Christ carried His cross to Calvary), he lay on the altar in obedience to his father (Christ allowed himself to be beaten and crucified, He was not forced), figuratively Isaac was raised from the dead when God provided a ram to take his place (Jesus did rise from the dead literally).
  4. Joseph- was favoured by his father (God the father appears to Jesus and those around Him many times and says “This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased”), was hated by his brothers ( Jesus during His earthly ministry was not accepted well in His hometown of Nazareth and was mocked by His brothers just before the festival), was sold for 20 pieces of silver (Jesus was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver), was falsely accused and put in prison ( Jesus’ accusers tried to find false witnesses against Him), was forgotten in prison for several years (Jesus’ early years till He was nearly 30 years old were anonymous), rose to prominence when he was 30 years old ( Jesus started His earthly ministry when He was nearly 30 years old), was responsible for the saving of many lives during the years of famine, (Jesus’ death and resurrection offer salvation and atonement to the millions of people who ask Him for it), forgave his brothers for what they did ( Jesus forgave His tormentors and murderers on the cross), prophesied about his people the Israelites leaving Egypt to a better place and commanded his bones to be taken as well ( Jesus told His disciples He is going to prepare a place for them, and will come back in person to take them there).

 

Theophanies/ Christophanies in Genesis.

A Manifestation of God that is tangible to the human senses is called a Theophany. In its most restrictive sense, it is a visible appearance of God in the Old Testament period often, but not always, in human form. Some would also include in this term Christophanies (preincarnate appearances of Christ) and angelophanies (appearances of angels , I’m not including angelophanies in this post).

  1. Genesis 12: 1-9: The Angel of the Lord calls Abraham out of his country, tells him where to go and gives him a prophesy and a blessing for his future.
  2. Genesis 16: 6-13 : The Angel of the Lord finds Hagar, gives her a promise regarding her son, names him, and makes her return Sarah. Hagar gives this name El-Roi which means “the One who Sees”.
  3. Genesis 17:1-22 The Lord appears to Abraham, calls Himself God Almighty, gives Abram a new name (Abraham ) and Sarai a new one as well (Sarah). He gives Abraham the covenant of circumcision and promises to bless Ishmael while telling Abraham that he will definitely have his son of promise, Isaac, the following year.
  4. Genesis 18: 1-33: The Lord appears to Abraham, three are 3 visitors, the other two appear to be angels. Only the Lord tells Abraham and Sarah that they will have a child. Only the Lord walks with Abraham and tells him of His plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He graciously allows Abraham to bargain on behalf of them to save the lives of the innocent.
  5. Genesis 28: 10-22: The Lord appears to Jacob in a dream. Jacob also sees angels descending and ascending a ladder that reaches to Heaven. The Lord gives a Jacob a promise and a blessing.
  6. Genesis 32 : Jacob meets angels of God on the way to meet with his brother Esau. Jacob wrestles with an angel. He is blessed and his name is changed after Jacob’s hip socket is touched (by the angel and is dislocated ). I believe this is a theophany , but there’s compelling arguments against it (read the link above). Anyway I added it here because it signifies Jacob struggle with men and with God, and that he overcame. It is also the place where the name Israelites come into being.

 

Genesis spans over 2400 years and describes several generations. It contains many well known beloved stories. It is also the book where God’s grace is described and the plan for the redemption of man is put into effect. Genesis is definitely worth a read and an in depth study. Please tell me what your favourite portions of Genesis are.

With joy,

Vanessa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://bible.org/seriespage/1-overview-book-genesis

 

What would it take to turn from Crucify Him to Hosanna?

I’m fascinated, perplexed, pole-axed, betrayed in turns when I read the accounts of Jesus coming into Jerusalem , riding on a donkey, a triumph for him, a week before His crucifixion, with people waving palm branches and shouting ‘Hosanna”. Most of these people would turn their backs on Him and shout “Crucify Him”.

I’ll explain those emotions in a moment, but what I’ve laid out is just the barebones account of it all. It’s like saying Person A went to place B riding on animal C with people saying D 🙂

This triumphal entry is mentioned in all 4 gospel accounts in the Bible, but to the skeleton of the story, each account adds different muscles and ligaments.

In Matthew 21: 1-17,  Jesus tells 2 disciples to go ahead into the village at Bethphage, and find an un-ridden young colt, and it only mentions that this is done to fulfill the prophesy, and then a large number of people laid their cloaks on the donkey and the road and cut branches from a tree and cried/sang “Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’[c] ‘Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!’“. While entering Jerusalem there is a stir and the people want to know who He is, to which they receive the reply, “He is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee”. Jesus enters the temple and overturns (again) the money changers’ tables and drives out those who were buying and selling. Jesus heals the blind and the lame, and the children cry out to Him in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David“. The chief priests are indignant and come to Jesus to make this stop, Jesus then quotes  Psalm 8:2 ‘“From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise”[g]“. Jesus then goes to Bethany and spends the night there.

In Mark 11:1-11, Jesus is near Bethphage and Bethany , He sends 2 disciples with instructions to untie the colt and what to say, they go there to the village and do what He says , the people spread branches that they had cut from the fields. The crowd cries  Hosanna![a]‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’[b] 10 ‘Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ Then Jesus goes to the temple and looks around, and since it was late , He and the 12 go to Bethany.

In Luke 19:28-46, Jesus sends 2 disciples ahead with instructions (detailed) on where to find the colt and what to say. The disciples do it and bring the donkey to Jesus, they spread their cloaks on the donkey, and other people spread their cloaks on the ground and as Jesus is riding, they joyfully sing out ” 38 ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’[a] ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’” The priests ask Jesus to rebuke them, and He replies ” If they’re quiet, the stones will cry out”. Jesus approaches Jerusalem and weeps over the city because of her un-repentance and then He enters the city and drives out the commercially minded people in the Temple.

In John 12:12-19, The crowd that came for the festival (Passover) hear Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem, so they took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna![a]‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’[b] ‘Blessed is the king of Israel!’” Jesus finds a donkey and sits on it. It is mentioned the disciples did not understand then, but after Christ is glorified, they remember all that He did to fulfill the scriptures.

All 4 accounts are basically similar. All 4 accounts have different details mentioned though.

“Hosanna” which is now part of many songs is widely believed to be an expression of praise similar to “Hallelujah”. I held to that belief until I was disabused of it just recently. “Hosanna” actually means “Please save me or Deliver me” You can read the rest of “Hosanna ” at GotQuestions. com. The block below has the root words from here Hosanna comes.

Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it is actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew root words are found in Psalm 118:25, which says, “Save us, we pray, O LORD!” (ESV). The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”

So……… a crowd of people are joyfully and uninhibitedly shouting “Please save me” and then in less than a week, the same people are screaming with rage “Crucify Him”.

What does that take? Would you be filled with rage? Anger? Bitterness? Resentment? Pent up expectations? Unmet needs? What would make you desire another person’s horrible and painful death? Another human being. A good man and a great teacher . One who taught with authority. One who healed people. One who provided bread. One who raised the dead. I believe with everything in me that Jesus was and is and will be God. He was God when He was human, and He is still  God now. He is not merely a good teacher or a great man. Those sentences above , perhaps , described the feelings of some people of Jesus’ time.

I’m not sure though, on the other hand, I have a pretty good idea. What would make you shake your fist at God? To yell and scream and curse and turn away from Him? Divorce? Abuse? Molestation? Death ? Chronic illness? Loss of job? Poverty? Bankruptcy? Disillusionment? Disappointment? Despair ? All of those and probably many more are reasons people use to turn away from or not accept Him in the first place.

While these situations and more that I can’t imagine are all terrible, and pain filled, and hurtful, and have lasting consequences and seem like they have no resolution, may I encourage you to turn from “Crucify Him” back to “Hosanna” . Return to Him. Give Him your love, your devotion, your surrender. He is right there with you in your sorrows. He sees your tears. He knows the end. He sees how the tapestry of your life here and in heaven is woven and HE CARES ABOUT YOU. Nothing you’re going through will make Him turn His back on you. Nothing that you do will be too much for Him to handle. I have no reasons for why life is difficult, (please don’t assume that we’re living an easy life right now, we’re not as a family, for more read this about our journey as son was diagnosed with Autism)., but I do know that HE IS ENOUGH FOR ME.

I grew up in the church and in a Christian family, and I accepted Christ for myself as a teenager. I married a Christian and we “did” the Christian lifestyle for many years. But it has only been recently as we have clung to Him, separately and together as a couple, that we’ve come to a place where we can say with all confidence, that nothing will we hold back from Him. Not our marriage, not our children, not health (theirs and ours), not job security, not our reputations, not our family. With giving control completely to Him, He has restored our marriage, He has shown us how our son has been improving, He has given favour in my husband’s job, He has brought people in our lives to counsel/ help/ encourage/ pray/ mentor us as we are far from our respective families.

He has done it, and we are so overwhelmed by His goodness. I can honestly say that I can turn to Him and praise Him with a “Hallelujah” or plead with Him with a “Hosanna”. He hears my pleas. He is close to me when I am broken. He lifts me when I fall down. He accepts my praise. He deserves my devotion and worship. And He has it.

If you’re not there yet, may I direct your attention to  Psalm 73? My favourite verses are

16 When I tried to understand all this,
    it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
    then I understood their final destiny.

23 Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterwards you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion for ever.

28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds.

If you are in the place where your “crucify Him” has turned to “Hosanna” and “Blessed is the Lord” please share that with us, so we can be thankful for what God has done in your lives and glorify Him.

With joy and peace ,

Vanessa.