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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Interruption – Part 4

In the last post we looked at how the Word of God is representative of the person of God.  It reveals His nature and character.  To such an extent that Peter tells us that when we base our lives on His Word we become partakers of that divine nature.
Interruption – Part 4
One aspect of God’s nature and character is His immutability.  He does not change.  Further, He is eternal.  The Word of God reflects this aspect of His nature and character.  Consider:
Both the Father’s and the Son’s Word is represented as lasting forever.  As the Father, Jesus is represented as immutable, Hebrews 13:8 (here @ Bible Gateway).

So the picture we have developed in these posts:
With that as a foundation, it would be reasonable to suspect that those who identify themselves as leaders of those who worship the Lord would revere and deeply engage in that Word.  We would expect to see the Word of God in a place of central prominence in all Christian ministries.

However, that does not seem to be the case.  Nor has it been.  We will explore some of the implications of that in the next post.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Interruption – Part 3

Last post we saw that the psalmist used language normally used to describe worship of God to describe his relationship with the Word of God.  So, he was essentially suggesting that he worshiped the Word.  How is this not idolatry?  How does the use of that language and that practice not raise the ire of a Holy God?
Interruption – Part 3
The answer, I believe, is found in 2 Peter 1:2-4 (here @ Bible Gateway).

Follow the logic of Peter’s presentation.
Verse Thought

Peter prays that our knowledge of God and Jesus is multiplied through God’s grace and peace.

Through God’s power we have been granted all we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him mentioned in verse 2. That is given by the one who calls us by His own glory and excellence. That is a key concept that is explored in the next verse.

The verse starts, “for by these…” these can refer to all of 2 and 3 or more specifically “His own glory and excellence”. I tend to come down on the second option because of the content of this verse.

Either way one takes the referent, the precious and magnificent promises are based on God’s nature. Described as glory and excellence, and if you choose, His power. If we are to base our life on His promises, we are basing our life on His nature and character.

When we do so, we are in effect personally validating the divine nature in our experience as we see the Lord faithful in fulfilling His promise. We partake of His nature.

The implications of this passage informs our understanding of Psalm 119:48 (here @ Bible Gateway).  The Word of God reflects the nature and character of God.  It reveals Him to us.  In a real sense when we open the pages of the Book and begin to read, those words are reflective of who He is.  We are in His presence.

So the psalmist, is on solid ground when he worships, lifts his hands to the commandments.  For in so doing He is honoring and worshiping the Lord which the commandment represents.

There is more that supports this.  It will be in the next post.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Interruption – Part 2

The next passage that came to mind yesterday morning was Psalm 119:48 (here @ Bible Gateway).  Psalm 119 (here @ Bible Gateway) has a nearly irresistible pull on me.  I find myself continually drawn to the richness and creativity of this masterpiece.  The concept of alliterating ones meditation on God’s Word through the Hebrew alphabet is stunning.
Interruption – Part 2
Verse 48 (here @ Bible Gateway), though, always brings me up short.  I am taken aback by what the psalmist pens here.  Specifically, the phrase, “I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments…”


Lifting up ones hands is an act of worship.  Consider:

Each of these deal with worship of the Lord or, in the case of Psalm 28:2 (here @ Bible Gateway), the Lord’s sanctuary.  The point is this level of worship, lifting up of ones hands is focused on the Lord.  One would think that to do so to His Word, His commandments, His statutes, would or should incite His jealousy.

But, here it is clear is does not.  Why?

I believe there is a very good explanation.  We will consider that in the next post when we look at the third passage that came to mind yesterday.

Hope you join me on this journey.  I am convinced it is vitally important.

Friday, May 3, 2019


Normally in the morning, I get out my journal open my Bible program, open my copy of M’Cheyne Reading Plan, jot down the passages for the day, pray something like Psalm 119:18 (here @ Bible Gateway), and dive in.

Not often, but sometimes, God interrupts my routine.  He did so this morning.  Before I even got to my desk, there were issues pressing in on my thoughts.  I think it has something to do with things that are going on in our community of faith as well as multiple interactions I have had with pastors overseas in the past couple of weeks.

So what went into the journal today was vastly different than what normally finds its way into those pages.

After several hours of contemplation, it appears that I need to share some, if not all, of what I worked through this morning.

Part of this is probably driven by a need I feel to change the introduction to the seminar I do with men.  Well, here it goes…Not sure how many posts this is going to take.

Look in your Bible at Psalm 50:1 (here @ Bible Gateway).  In the original the text looks like this, right to left…

אֵ֤ל׀ אֱ‍ֽלֹהִ֡ים יְֽהוָ֗ה דִּבֶּ֥ר

This is a powerful statement, and that does not do it justice.  We will consider this word by word.

אֵ֤ל – “El”, the mighty one.  This is one of the words that is used in relation to the Father.  This is the word that is coupled with other Hebrew words to describe God such as El Shaddai.  Books have been written on the use of this name of God, I cannot hope to expand on that here.  We will go with, “The Mighty One.

אֱ‍ֽלֹהִ֡ים – “Elohim”, the first word that is used to describe God in the Bible, see Genesis 1:1.  The creator, the source, He with whom all of us will answer, He who created all of the elements that both make us who we are as well as all that we encounter.  By itself this is a word that should get our attention, but here it is paired with “El”.

יְֽהוָ֗ה – “YHWH.”  The Word that God chose to use as His name when commissioning Moses.  The children of Israel refused to pronounce it, instead choosing substitute the word Adonai (my Lord) when they encountered YHWH in the text.  Using the vowels in Adonai, with YHWH, we get the word Jehovah.  The best translation of YHWH is probably “He who is”, “I will be who I will be”, or simply “I Am.”  The last which Jesus spoke multiple times inciting claims of blasphemy from the leaders of the Jews.

Each of these words are incredibly powerful.  Here the Psalmist uses all three in succession.  To say that he would be making an emphatic point would be a massive understatement.  And what is the point of the emphasis?  Is the next word…

דִּבֶּ֥ר – “Has spoken.”  The mighty one, God, the Lord, has spoken…  The implications are vast but at the very top should be we better listen.  Listen closely.

Consider this.  For many treat the Bible, the Word of God, as a good, interesting book.  Based on the psalmist’s perspective, it is THE book.  It is the very word of God.

We will explore that more in the next post.