Memory Verse: Ephesians 6: 10-18 Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength! Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary. For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. So take up every piece of war equipment God provides; so that when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist; and when the battle is won, you will still be standing. Therefore, stand! Have the belt of truth buckled around your waist, put on righteousness for a breastplate, and wear on your feet the readiness that comes from the Good News of shalom. Always carry the shield of trust, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. And take the helmet of deliverance; along with the sword given by the Spirit, that is, the Word of God; as you pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests, in the Spirit, vigilantly and persistently, for all God’s people.
Introduction: Let Your Fingers Do the Walking (Yellow Pages) I have deviated from the traditional Memory Verse.. in that usually we take one of the words in the slogan and seek a scripture that uses that word, but today I’m using the concept of what Yellow Pages is all about.. seeking and finding. I used the word Walking.. which made me think of shoes.. and this set of verses is exactly what I want to share. This assignment will be tougher than those of the last few weeks.. take your time, you can always do it late. Put on that full armor and study God’s word, so that you can more fully understand what He wants you to learn from it. This scripture from Ephesians is exhorting us to be armed - fully armed - to stand against HaSatan - the Adversary. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. I want us to dig deeper into God’s Word, and to really let our fingers do the walking through the resources we have available to us - books, internet - and really seek to find the true meaning of His Word. Don’t worry, I’m no expert, I’ll be learning to do this along with you all.
Assignment: I’d like you to choose a word, find the Hebrew or Greek original word, and then dig into it’s full meaning. Use things like the Strong’s Concordance or the Gesenius and find the root of the word. What is the first occurance of that word in scripture? What did that word mean in that first occurance? Did the meaning of the word change as God used it in scripture? Now find some verses in scripture that use that word, and like The Message Bible does, re-write that scripture using the full meaning that you now understand to illuminate that scripture verse. What kinds of words should you look up? I’m going to do fire.. but you could look up water, altar, sacrifice, prayer, washing, or any word that you feel God is asking you to understand better. If you feel challenged to, when you find the Hebrew word, look up the meaning of the letters in the root word. The Hebrew letters themselves have meaning, and give meaning to the word.
God's timing never ceases to amaze me!
This assignment comes just as I'm finishing up our March update letter (finally) and studying a passage of scripture which caught my attention. Great timing, Lord!
Friday at our ladies' study, one of the sisters shared from Psalm 103:2-5. Here is the passage in English:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.Sometimes you can hear the same passage of scripture over and over -- even have it well-memorized -- and then suddenly hear it in a different version or with a different emphasis than what you've heard before and it's like a lightbulb being switched on. I think that is part of the "living, active and powerful" thing the writer of Hebrews described in 4:12.
The Spanish Bible I use is a new translation taken directly from the original Greek and Hebrew. That's really important to me, because I don't like the idea of a Bible based on a translation of a translation from the original. It's a soapbox of mine.
Anyway, the "Nueva Biblia de los Hispanos" is my version of choice and (knowing that most of you won't understand the text -- bear with me) here is the same passage in Spanish:
Bendice, alma mía, al Señor, y no olvides ninguno de Sus beneficios. El es el que perdona todas tus iniquidades, El que sana todas tus enfermedades. El que rescata de la fosa tu vida, El que te corona de bondad y compasión. El que colma de bienes tus años, para que tu juventud se renueve como el águila.Now, here is the literal (the way I understand it) interpretation of the Spanish. See if it doesn't give you a slightly different impression:
The word that caught my attention in the Spanish -- the whole reason I decided to dig deeper into this passage -- was "fosa". It's the word we used here for septic tanks, grey water ditches, nasty pits, etc. I assumed that when I looked it up in the English Bible, I'd find the word translated "pit". Wrong! The word used in the King James there is "destruction". Hmm. That's very different. So I pulled up the E-sword (great program, BTW. If you don't have it, get it for free HERE). All the English versions translate the word destruction or death. The Latin is "redimit de interitu vitam". I'm not a Latin scholar, but I think that means "redeems from interrment the life". So, I looked up the Spanish word "fosa" to see what else it could mean. Bingo! Fosa also means sepulcre or grave. It's never used that way here, but it was in the dictionary. I love my Spanish dictionary!
Soul of mine, bless the Lord. Don't forget even one of His benefits. He is the one who forgives all of your intentional mistakes. The one who heals all of your infirmities. The one who rescues your life from the sewer. The one who crowns you with kindness and compassion. The one who showers good things upon your years so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
The original Greek word is:
shakh'-ath; a pit (especially as a trap); figuratively destruction: - corruption, destruction, ditch, grave, pit.
The cool thing, though, is that the word caught my attention, so I spent more time in the Word, committed the passage to memory and learned a couple of new Spanish words in the process.
God even speaks to us through words like "fosa". Isn't He great???!!!
Have a blest week, everyone!
BTW, I started a new Meme last Friday -- something our kids can get involved in! Click here to check it out or click the "Fun Fact Friday" button on the left sidebar. See you there!!!