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Hebrew Word Studies from The Living Word in 3D

14 Aug

I’ve been studying through Isaiah and in my search for resources came across this source that explains Hebrew words using a sketchboard approach. I find it fascinating. I hope you enjoy this study on the word “grace” as much as I did.

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Isaiah & Wordles

12 Aug

You may know that Isaiah is considered to be somewhat of a mini-Bible. The first 39 chapters correlate with the 39 books in the Old Testament and the last 27 chapters correlate with the 27 books of the New Testament. I find things like this fascinating, and as I am studying through the book of Isaiah Hebrew word by Hebrew word, I decided to run the English words through Wordle.

isaiah chart

Wordle is an app that creates art from words, but art that is based on fact:  The more repetitions of a word, the larger Wordle makes it, which makes it an interesting tool with which to analyze literature.

Here is the Wordle of Isaiah chapters 1-39:

wordle 3

Here is the Wordle of Isaiah chapters 40 – 66.

wordle4066

What questions does this bring to mind? What does it make you wonder? I know that as I’ve been studying Isaiah, the beautiful thing is how much hope there is, even in the chapters that speak condemnation.

Fear Not!

12 May

1But now thus saith

       the Lord that created thee, O Jacob,

       and he that formed thee, O Israel,

Fear not:

        for I have redeemed thee,

       I have called thee by thy name;

          thou art mine.

The But now of 43:1 refers back to chapter 42 when God gave Jacob up to the looters and Israel over to the plunderers—He poured his anger upon them when they failed to hear and see.

But now God says, it is a new season and you need not fear. Fear, yare’, is a Hebrew word which means to morally revere and to causatively be frightened. It is used here in its causative sense. I am always a bit surprised to learn that Fear Not, which sounds like an order, is not written in the imperative, but in the Qal Imperfect tense, which is a simple tense written about a continuous or repeated condition.

I would imagine that God does not give us an order, because we perhaps are not capable of carrying it out, although He does give us four reasons ascending in prominence so that we can look at our fear rationally.

  1. God created us. The verb, bara’, is actually written in the Qal Active Participle tense which would read literally: God, creating you, Jacob. Why would God not take care of that which He has created?
  2. God formed us. The verb, yatsar, is also written in the Qal Active Participle tense which would read literally: God, forming you. This is the word used for a potter molding his clay. God is continually forming us into His image. Why would God not take care of that which He is forming?
  3. God redeemed us. The verb, ga’al, is written in the Qal Perfect tense, which signifies a completed act. He bought back the Israelites from captivity and paid the ultimate price on the cross for us to be freed from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13) and be bought out of our captivity as well.
  4. God calls us by name. This verb, qara’, is also written in the Qal Perfect tense, which signifies a completed act. To be called by His name implies that He has intimate knowledge of us, that He has a loving friendship with us, that we belong to Him, that we are part of His family, and that we are created in His likeness.

What amazing reasons not to be frightened! And God gives us one more in verse 5:

       5. Fear not: for I am with thee. The God of all the universe is with us RIGHT NOW!

Finally, I Can Cross This Off My To-Do List!

20 Apr

When I published Fearless on Kindle in 2013 soon after publishing it on Create Space, I just assumed that it would format correctly as I had it in the paper version. In 2015 I found out that it was full of formatting errors on Kindle.

Reformatting Fearless for Kindle has been on EVERY to-do list I’ve made since then, and I finally spent three days getting it right.  It is now formatted correctly.  It is available for purchase on Amazon for $5.99.  If you purchased it previously, improperly formatted, please let me know and I will see if I can figure out how to e-mail you the correctly formatted version for free.

Woe is Me!

26 Dec

cam00172I’ve been reading in the book of Isaiah and many of the chapters begin with Woe to _____________.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary  woe (n.) late 12c., from the interjection, Old English wa!, a common exclamation of lament in many languages (compare Latin , Greek oa, German weh, Lettish wai, Old Irish fe, Welsh gwae, Armenian vay).  And I am lamenting my selfishness today. At the same time I am celebrating God’s faithfulness.

Every once in a while “something” happens to show me how selfish I am deep down inside and God did it again last Thursday night. I made Hot Fudge Sauce for our 5 sons for Christmas and had enough left over for a large jar for me.  Do you notice anything odd about the photograph?  In order to end up with a large jar for me, I had to fill the sons’ jars only 2/3s of the way.  The Holy Spirit convicted me about it over night, and I even tried to rationalize it with Him.  “I did that because the sauce was so hot and I didn’t want the jars to break,” I fudged.

In the morning, I heated up my jar in the microwave and divided it between the sons’ jars. It was exactly enough to fill them all nicely to the top with NOTHING left over.  I was glad I did it, but it was a struggle.

It just goes to show how deeply our selfishness is rooted.  And what a faithful gardener God is to root it out.

For the word of God is living and all-efficient, and much sharper than a double edged sword, and it pierces to the separation of soul and spirit and of joints, marrow and of bones, and judges the reasoning and conscience of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 Aramaic Bible in Plain English

Belief Induced Obedience

8 May

29_1024Hebrews 3:18-19  And to whom did he swear that they should never enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?  So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

I never realized until recently, the relationship between unbelief and disobedience. Conversely, the relationship between belief and obedience are just as strong.

See the mini-word studies below:

unbelief

How much of our disobedience comes from not really taking God’s words seriously and instead deciding that we are the ones to listen to?

At Times Like This

14 Apr
Keep our eyes on our awesome God.

Focusing on God’s awesomeness.

As a tent-making missionary, I’m a curriculum coordinator at an American school in Costa Rica.  As Mike and I are preparing to return to the States after 17 years on the mission field, the first question my co-workers ask is, “Why are you going back NOW?” followed by a list somewhat like this:  “There’s no good candidate to vote for, healthcare’s a mess, and the country is polarized.”  And yes, we also run into conspiracy theorists here and from the states.

I can’t pretend that there are not times when a bit of worry creeps in.  But God.  It’s always “but God,” isn’t it?  But God showed me this passage from Isaiah.

11 For in this way the Lord spoke to me with His strong hand [upon me] and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people [behaving as they do], saying,

12 “You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ 
      In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy,
      And you are not to fear what they fear nor be in dread of it.
13 “It is the Lord of hosts whom you are to regard as holy and awesome.
     He shall be your fear,
     He shall be your dread [not man].
14b “Then He shall be a sanctuary [a sacred, indestructible shelter for those who fear and trust Him];  (Isaiah 8:11-14b)

At the time the situation in Israel was terrible–they had an evil King (Ahaz), several countries were ready to pounce on Israel, and there was a spiritual famine and drought in the land.  Fear against these things can put us on crooked courses to preserve our own security, where a believing fear (reverence) preserves us against a disquieting fear of man (M. Henry).