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Loretta KoKo Stevens 's Entries

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  • 17 Nov 2017
    Blind or Blindness Helen Keller became blind and deaf at the age of two. However, she graduated from Radcliffe College with honors and became a champion of the blind and deaf. To lack physical sight is obviously a critical problem. Many vision-impaired people have learned Braille, and some use white canes or have service dogs to help them get around. But even with these tools, the Helen Kellers of this world face difficulties that most of us will never know or understand. The Bible also mentions spiritual blindness. To suffer a lack of spiritual sight is even more critical than the lack of physical sight. Spiritual blindness places people on the “endangered species” list, and these people often cry out to us for help. Are we ready to help the blind see what God has for all who have their eyes open to His grace and love? Let’s look at the problem of physical and spiritual blindness from the biblical perspective. 1. Job 29:14 “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.  15 “I was eyes to the blind  And feet to the lame. 16 “I was a father to the needy, And I investigated the case which I did not know. When Job’s friends criticized him, he said that he helped the blind and the lame.  What did Job mean by these words? How can we imitate Job? 2. Isaiah 59:10 We grope along the wall like blind men, We grope like those who have no eyes; We stumble at midday as in the twilight, Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men. Isaiah described those without spiritual vision as people who grope for walls, stumble at midday, and act like dead men. How is this true today? 3. Matthew 15: 14 “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” What did Jesus mean when He said that some leaders are like the blind who lead the blind? What happens to these leaders and the ones they lead? 4. Matthew 23:24  “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Jesus faced critical religious leaders. What did He say about them and how do we interpret and apply His words about gnats and camels? 5. Mark 10:46–52.   46 Then they *came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road.  47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  48 Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they *called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.”  50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.  51 And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “aRabboni, I want to regain my sight!”  52 And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road. What kind of a crowd met Jesus in Jericho? As He left the city, who asked for mercy? What did Jesus do? What “blind spots” do we have? 6. Acts 13:6–12 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.  8 But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.  9 But Saul, who was also known as Paul, afilled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, 10 and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?  11 “Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.” And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand.  12 Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord. When Paul and Barnabas arrived on the island of Cyprus, they witnessed to the governor, Sergius Paulus. Who opposed them? What did Paul do? 7. 2 Corinthians 3:14  But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. Paul said the Israelites had a veil over their minds. What did he mean by that statement? How has Christ made it possible for the blind to see? 8. 2 Corinthians 4:4  in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. How does Satan blind people to the truth of Jesus? What is the effect of being blind to the gospel? What can we do for the spiritually blind? 9. Romans 11:23–26  And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.  24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?  25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.” What has happened in part to the Jewish nation? What advantage has this given to the Gentiles? What does it mean that all Israel will be saved? 10. 1 John 2:11  But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. If a believer hates a fellow Christian, where is he walking? Does he know where he is going? What action should he take so that he might see? Taylor, P. (2010). 102 Fascinating Bible Studies. NASB 
    297 Posted by Loretta KoKo Stevens
  • Blind or Blindness Helen Keller became blind and deaf at the age of two. However, she graduated from Radcliffe College with honors and became a champion of the blind and deaf. To lack physical sight is obviously a critical problem. Many vision-impaired people have learned Braille, and some use white canes or have service dogs to help them get around. But even with these tools, the Helen Kellers of this world face difficulties that most of us will never know or understand. The Bible also mentions spiritual blindness. To suffer a lack of spiritual sight is even more critical than the lack of physical sight. Spiritual blindness places people on the “endangered species” list, and these people often cry out to us for help. Are we ready to help the blind see what God has for all who have their eyes open to His grace and love? Let’s look at the problem of physical and spiritual blindness from the biblical perspective. 1. Job 29:14 “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.  15 “I was eyes to the blind  And feet to the lame. 16 “I was a father to the needy, And I investigated the case which I did not know. When Job’s friends criticized him, he said that he helped the blind and the lame.  What did Job mean by these words? How can we imitate Job? 2. Isaiah 59:10 We grope along the wall like blind men, We grope like those who have no eyes; We stumble at midday as in the twilight, Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men. Isaiah described those without spiritual vision as people who grope for walls, stumble at midday, and act like dead men. How is this true today? 3. Matthew 15: 14 “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” What did Jesus mean when He said that some leaders are like the blind who lead the blind? What happens to these leaders and the ones they lead? 4. Matthew 23:24  “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Jesus faced critical religious leaders. What did He say about them and how do we interpret and apply His words about gnats and camels? 5. Mark 10:46–52.   46 Then they *came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road.  47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  48 Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they *called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.”  50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.  51 And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “aRabboni, I want to regain my sight!”  52 And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road. What kind of a crowd met Jesus in Jericho? As He left the city, who asked for mercy? What did Jesus do? What “blind spots” do we have? 6. Acts 13:6–12 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.  8 But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.  9 But Saul, who was also known as Paul, afilled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, 10 and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?  11 “Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.” And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand.  12 Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord. When Paul and Barnabas arrived on the island of Cyprus, they witnessed to the governor, Sergius Paulus. Who opposed them? What did Paul do? 7. 2 Corinthians 3:14  But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. Paul said the Israelites had a veil over their minds. What did he mean by that statement? How has Christ made it possible for the blind to see? 8. 2 Corinthians 4:4  in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. How does Satan blind people to the truth of Jesus? What is the effect of being blind to the gospel? What can we do for the spiritually blind? 9. Romans 11:23–26  And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.  24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?  25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.” What has happened in part to the Jewish nation? What advantage has this given to the Gentiles? What does it mean that all Israel will be saved? 10. 1 John 2:11  But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. If a believer hates a fellow Christian, where is he walking? Does he know where he is going? What action should he take so that he might see? Taylor, P. (2010). 102 Fascinating Bible Studies. NASB 
    Nov 17, 2017 297
  • 16 Nov 2017
    THE LORD WHO HEALS Yahweh Rapha   THE PHYSICIANExodus 15:22–27   For I am the LORD who heals you.Exodus 15:26 NLT The human body is an intricate creation, one we usually take for granted until we suffer illness or injury. Then our priority shifts to seeking healing. When God first revealed Himself in His Word as our Healer, though, He showed us that His priorities regarding healing are different. During their Egyptian slavery, the Israelites had absorbed the pagan perspectives of their oppressors. When God freed them, the new nation had to learn what it meant to belong to Yahweh. After God parted the Red Sea, He tested Israel with undrinkable water. They responded by complaining instead of remembering Yahweh’s mighty deliverance a mere three days earlier. God purified the water but also taught the Israelites His priorities. He wanted them to put aside the things they had learned in Egypt and obey Him. Their first priority needed to be a healed relationship with Yahweh. If they put the Lord first, He would bless them spiritually and physically. He would be to them Yahweh Rapha, The Lord Who Heals. God is concerned about our physical health. However, He is more concerned about our spiritual health found only in a right relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.   Yahweh Rapha, help me see my life through Your perspective and with Your priorities.   How can I make a healthy relationship with Yahweh Rapha my priority today? My Thoughts When I think about and see all the brokeness in my life and in the lives of my family and friends or think about the brokeness that is sure to come I am overjoyed because I can see all the times Jehovah Rapha has intervened in my life and healed my mind, heart and body and done the same for others.  Jesus told us this life is full of trouble and I have found it to be true however, my history with the great healing power of Jehovah Rapha allows me to have the blessed assurance of knowing that He alone has my life in His hands and I am confident that He knows what is best and will do what is best for my life. It is the history of our relationship that teaches me that I must make Him, Jehovah Rapha, my priority.  My life is a witness and a testimony to the LORD our God and I will share the experiences of our relationship with the world so they may see through my eyes the healing power of the Lord our God, Jehovah Rapha.   Thank you Father, in the one and only name of Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.
    279 Posted by Loretta KoKo Stevens
  • THE LORD WHO HEALS Yahweh Rapha   THE PHYSICIANExodus 15:22–27   For I am the LORD who heals you.Exodus 15:26 NLT The human body is an intricate creation, one we usually take for granted until we suffer illness or injury. Then our priority shifts to seeking healing. When God first revealed Himself in His Word as our Healer, though, He showed us that His priorities regarding healing are different. During their Egyptian slavery, the Israelites had absorbed the pagan perspectives of their oppressors. When God freed them, the new nation had to learn what it meant to belong to Yahweh. After God parted the Red Sea, He tested Israel with undrinkable water. They responded by complaining instead of remembering Yahweh’s mighty deliverance a mere three days earlier. God purified the water but also taught the Israelites His priorities. He wanted them to put aside the things they had learned in Egypt and obey Him. Their first priority needed to be a healed relationship with Yahweh. If they put the Lord first, He would bless them spiritually and physically. He would be to them Yahweh Rapha, The Lord Who Heals. God is concerned about our physical health. However, He is more concerned about our spiritual health found only in a right relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.   Yahweh Rapha, help me see my life through Your perspective and with Your priorities.   How can I make a healthy relationship with Yahweh Rapha my priority today? My Thoughts When I think about and see all the brokeness in my life and in the lives of my family and friends or think about the brokeness that is sure to come I am overjoyed because I can see all the times Jehovah Rapha has intervened in my life and healed my mind, heart and body and done the same for others.  Jesus told us this life is full of trouble and I have found it to be true however, my history with the great healing power of Jehovah Rapha allows me to have the blessed assurance of knowing that He alone has my life in His hands and I am confident that He knows what is best and will do what is best for my life. It is the history of our relationship that teaches me that I must make Him, Jehovah Rapha, my priority.  My life is a witness and a testimony to the LORD our God and I will share the experiences of our relationship with the world so they may see through my eyes the healing power of the Lord our God, Jehovah Rapha.   Thank you Father, in the one and only name of Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.
    Nov 16, 2017 279
  • 08 May 2017
    THE LORD WHO HEALS: YAHWEH ROPHE, JEHOVAH ROPHA   The Hebrew word rophe means “heal,” “cure,” “restore,” or “make whole.” Shortly after his people left Egypt for the Promised Land, God revealed himself as Yahweh Rophe, “the LORD who heals.” The Hebrew Scriptures indicate that God is the source of all healing. As you pray to Yahweh Rophe, ask him to search your heart. Take time to let him show you what it contains. If he uncovers any sin, ask for his forgiveness and then pray for healing. The New Testament reveals Jesus as the Great Physician, the healer of body and soul, whose miracles point to the kingdom of God.   Key Scripture If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you. (Exodus 15:26NKJV) Notes   God Reveals His Name in Scripture Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them:“Sing to the LORD,For He has triumphed gloriously!The horse and its riderHe has thrown into the sea!”So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah [meaning bitter]. And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he cried out to the LORD and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” (Exodus 15:20 – 27 NKJV)   Understanding the Name The verb from which Rophe is derived occurs sixty-seven times in the Old Testament. Though it often refers to physical healing, it usually has a larger meaning as well, involving the entire person. Rather than merely healing the body, Yahweh Rophe (yah-WEH ro-FEH) heals the mind and soul as well. This Hebrew verb is also used in other ways — for example, God “heals” water, land, and nations, and he “repairs” an altar. Significantly, God also heals sin and apostasy. The Hebrew Scriptures, in fact, link sickness and sin by presenting sin as the cause of illness just as it is the cause of death. In the New Testament, the corresponding Greek word is iaomai, which can refer to deliverance from death, demons, sickness, and sin.Jesus, the great healer, clearly indicated that sickness is not necessarily caused by sin on the part of the person who is ill. Rather, it can result from living in a sinful, fallen world.   Studying the Name 1. How did circumstances influence the people’s attitude toward God? Describe times in your own life when your circumstances have caused your attitude toward God to fluctuate.     2. How did Moses react to the circumstances? What does his example teach about how we should respond to difficult circumstances?     3. The waters of Marah were bitter and God made them sweet. What areas of bitterness in your life might need to be healed or have been healed?     4. On what condition does God base his promise to keep the Israelites from disease?     5. Describe a time in your life when breaking God’s commands caused you suffering or even sickness.     6. God tested the Israelites with adverse circumstances, thus uncovering what was in their hearts. Describe ways in which you have experienced God testing you. How did you respond?     7. What does this passage say about God’s control over sickness and health?     8. How have you experienced God answering your own prayers for healing?     Passages for Continued StudyPsalms 38; 103:1 – 5; 147:1 – 6; Isaiah 53; 57:18 – 20; Jeremiah 17:14; Matthew 8:16 – 17;Luke 4:14 – 19; 8:50; John 9:1 – 7; James 5:14 – 15 Spangler, A. (2011). The names of god. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
    331 Posted by Loretta KoKo Stevens
  • THE LORD WHO HEALS: YAHWEH ROPHE, JEHOVAH ROPHA   The Hebrew word rophe means “heal,” “cure,” “restore,” or “make whole.” Shortly after his people left Egypt for the Promised Land, God revealed himself as Yahweh Rophe, “the LORD who heals.” The Hebrew Scriptures indicate that God is the source of all healing. As you pray to Yahweh Rophe, ask him to search your heart. Take time to let him show you what it contains. If he uncovers any sin, ask for his forgiveness and then pray for healing. The New Testament reveals Jesus as the Great Physician, the healer of body and soul, whose miracles point to the kingdom of God.   Key Scripture If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you. (Exodus 15:26NKJV) Notes   God Reveals His Name in Scripture Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them:“Sing to the LORD,For He has triumphed gloriously!The horse and its riderHe has thrown into the sea!”So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah [meaning bitter]. And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he cried out to the LORD and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” (Exodus 15:20 – 27 NKJV)   Understanding the Name The verb from which Rophe is derived occurs sixty-seven times in the Old Testament. Though it often refers to physical healing, it usually has a larger meaning as well, involving the entire person. Rather than merely healing the body, Yahweh Rophe (yah-WEH ro-FEH) heals the mind and soul as well. This Hebrew verb is also used in other ways — for example, God “heals” water, land, and nations, and he “repairs” an altar. Significantly, God also heals sin and apostasy. The Hebrew Scriptures, in fact, link sickness and sin by presenting sin as the cause of illness just as it is the cause of death. In the New Testament, the corresponding Greek word is iaomai, which can refer to deliverance from death, demons, sickness, and sin.Jesus, the great healer, clearly indicated that sickness is not necessarily caused by sin on the part of the person who is ill. Rather, it can result from living in a sinful, fallen world.   Studying the Name 1. How did circumstances influence the people’s attitude toward God? Describe times in your own life when your circumstances have caused your attitude toward God to fluctuate.     2. How did Moses react to the circumstances? What does his example teach about how we should respond to difficult circumstances?     3. The waters of Marah were bitter and God made them sweet. What areas of bitterness in your life might need to be healed or have been healed?     4. On what condition does God base his promise to keep the Israelites from disease?     5. Describe a time in your life when breaking God’s commands caused you suffering or even sickness.     6. God tested the Israelites with adverse circumstances, thus uncovering what was in their hearts. Describe ways in which you have experienced God testing you. How did you respond?     7. What does this passage say about God’s control over sickness and health?     8. How have you experienced God answering your own prayers for healing?     Passages for Continued StudyPsalms 38; 103:1 – 5; 147:1 – 6; Isaiah 53; 57:18 – 20; Jeremiah 17:14; Matthew 8:16 – 17;Luke 4:14 – 19; 8:50; John 9:1 – 7; James 5:14 – 15 Spangler, A. (2011). The names of god. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
    May 08, 2017 331
  • 23 Mar 2017
    TRIBES OF ISRAEL Social and political groups in Israel claiming descent from one of the 12 sons of Jacob. The diagram of the Israeli Encampment - Gershon, Memarites and Kohathites were numbered among the Levites   Genesis 46:11 The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.     Tribal Unit The tribal unit played an important role in the history of the formation of the nation of Israel. In ancient times a nation was referred to as “a people,” an am; in Israel’s case it was the “people of Israel.” The nation in turn was made up of “tribes.” The “tribe,” a shevet or matteh, was the major social unit that comprised the makeup of the nation. The tribe was comprised of “clans.” The “clan,” a mishpachah, was a family of families or a cluster of households that had a common ancestry. The clan was comprised then of the individual households or families referred to as the “father’s house,” the beth av. Actually, the family in ancient times might be made up of several families living together and forming one household (Num. 3:24). See Family. Tribal Origins The ancestral background of “the tribes of Israel” went back to the patriarch Jacob, whose name was changed to “Israel.” The nation of Israel was identified as “the children of Israel,” or more literally “the sons of Israel.” According to the biblical account, the family of Jacob, from which the tribes came, originated in north Syria during Jacob’s stay at Haran with Laban his uncle. Eleven of the 12 sons were born at Haran, while the 12th, Benjamin, was born after Jacob returned to Canaan. The birth of the sons came through Jacob’s wives Leah and Rachel and their maids Zilpah and Bilhah. The sons of Leah included Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah (Gen. 29:31–35), Issachar, and Zebulun, as well as one daughter named Dinah (Gen. 30:19–21). Rachel’s sons were Joseph (Gen. 30:22–24), who became the father of Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 41:50–52), and Benjamin (Gen. 35:16–18). Jacob’s sons through Zilpah, Leah’s maid, were Gad and Asher (Gen. 30:9–13), while Bilhah, the maid of Rachel, bore Dan and Naphtali (Gen. 30:1–8). This family of families or family of tribes occupied the focal point in the history of the development of Israel as a nation. While there are details of that history that we do not clearly understand and other groups simply referred to as “an ethnically diverse crowd” (Exod. 12:38 HCSB) that were perhaps incorporated into the nation, the central focus is always on the “tribes of Israel,” the descendants of Jacob. For that reason lists of the 12 sons of Jacob or of the tribes appear in several places in the OT, though the lists vary somewhat. Some of the major lists include that of Jacob’s blessing of the 12 (Gen. 49), the review of the households as the period of oppression in Egypt is introduced (Exod. 1:1–10), Moses’ blessing of the tribes (Deut. 33), and the song of Deborah (Judg. 5). Tribes of Israel Each tribe had its own history in its allotment of land. We know few details about the individual tribes. 1. Reuben, the firstborn son of Jacob by his wife Leah, was in line to assume a leadership role in the family, but he forfeited that right because of an illicit affair he had with his father’s concubine Bilhah (Gen. 35:22). The impact of this reflected in Jacob’s blessing where Reuben is addressed as “turbulent as water, you will no longer excel, because you got into your father’s bed” (Gen. 49:4 HCSB). At the time of the migration of Jacob’s family to Egypt, Reuben had four sons (Gen. 46:8–9). In some of the lists of the tribes of Israel, Reuben is mentioned first (Exod. 1:1–4; Num. 1:5–15), while in other lists Reuben appears further down (Num. 2:1–11). During the journey through the wilderness, the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad formed the second unit of the procession with the tribe of Reuben in the lead position (Num. 10:17–20). This cluster of tribes headed by the tribe of Reuben was next in line after the tabernacle (Num. 10:17–18). As the tribes approached the land of Canaan and allotments were made to each tribe, the tribe of Reuben along with Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh occupied the Transjordan, that is the highland plateau region east of the Jordan River (Josh. 13:8–31; cp. Num. 32:1–5, 33–42). The tribe of Reuben occupied the southern region extending roughly from the Arnon River to the site of Heshbon (Josh. 13:15–23). Formerly, this territory was the homeland of the kingdom of Sihon. While we know little about the tribe of Reuben during the period of the settlement, the song of Deborah suggests that the tribe was criticized by some of the other tribes for not taking a more active role in the conquest (Judg. 5:15–16). See Transjordan. 2. Simeon was Jacob’s second son by Leah and played a key role in the encounter Dinah had with Shechem. Because Simeon and Levi were full brothers of Dinah, they sought to avenge her (Gen. 34:25–26) for Shechem’s actions (34:1–4). The radical response of the two brothers, in which they “took their swords, went into the unsuspecting city, and killed every male” (Gen. 34:25 HCSB), is reflected in Jacob’s blessing of the two: “their knives are vicious weapons … Their anger is cursed, for it is strong, and their fury, for it is cruel! I will disperse them throughout Jacob and scatter them throughout Israel” (Gen. 49:5–7 HCSB). During the years of famine as the sons of Jacob traveled back and forth between Egypt and Canaan, Simeon was held hostage by Joseph at one point (Gen. 42:24). In the lists of the tribes, Simeon is listed in second place, that is, next after Reuben (Exod. 1:2; 6:14–15; Num. 1:5–6, 22–23; 13:5; 26:12–14). Generally, the tribe of Simeon seems to be characterized by weakness. Its status is best reflected in the final statement of Jacob’s blessing of Simeon and Levi: “I will disperse them throughout Jacob and scatter them throughout Israel” (Gen. 49:7 HCSB). Perhaps because of its weak status, the tribe of Simeon apparently was not given a separate inheritance in the land (Josh. 19:1–9). Rather, “their inheritance was within the portion of the descendents of Judah” (Josh. 19:1 HCSB), in the southern Negev. 3. Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah (see Simeon above). During the journey from Egypt to Canaan, the sons of Levi slaughtered 3,000 rebellious Hebrew males (Exod. 32:25–29). They became the landless priestly tribe. See Levites; Levitical Cities; Priests. 4. Judah, the fourth son of Jacob by his wife Leah (Gen. 29:35), appears as a leader and a spokesman among his brothers (Gen. 37:26; 43:3; 44:16; cp. 46:28). Judah was promised preeminence over the other tribes in Jacob’s blessing (Gen. 49:8–12). In the journey from Egypt to Canaan, Judah had the lead position (Num. 2:9). As the tribes entered the land, it was Achan of the tribe of Judah who was guilty of taking some of the forbidden booty or loot from Jericho (Josh. 7). The tribe of Judah occupied the southern part of Palestine, basically the territory between the Dead Sea on the east and the Mediterranean on the west (Josh. 15). The northern boundary of Judah was marked by the territories of Benjamin and Dan. The territory of Jerusalem may have formed something of a barrier between Judah and the tribes of the north because it was not finally secured until the time of David (2 Sam. 5:6–10). The capture of Jerusalem by David paved the way for the tribes to have a kind of unity they had not previously experienced. The territory of the tribe of Judah constituted the major portion of the Southern Kingdom, thus forming the kingdom of Judah with its capital Jerusalem. 5. Issachar was the ninth son born to Jacob, but the first of a second family he had by Leah (Gen. 30:18). Beyond his birth little else is known about his life or that of the tribe. During the journey from Mount Sinai to Canaan the tribe of Issachar followed the tribe of Judah; that is, it was a part of the first cluster of tribes located on the east side of the tabernacle (Num. 2:5). The territory occupied by the tribe of Issachar is difficult to outline precisely (Josh. 19:17–23). They were located west of the Jordan in the region just south of the Sea of Galilee stretching on down to the Valley of Jezreel. Because the blessing of Moses says that Zebulun and Issachar “summon the peoples to a mountain; there they offer acceptable sacrifices” (Deut. 33:19 HCSB), some have speculated that the two tribes perhaps had a center of worship on Mount Tabor, a mountain located on the border between the two tribes. Because the blessing of Jacob speaks of Issachar as a beast of burden and as “a forced laborer” (Gen. 49:14–15 HCSB), the tribe of Issachar may have faced a variety of hardships. For instance, there may have been a time during the tribal period when the people of Issachar served as slaves in the forced labor projects of their neighbors, the Canaanites. 6. Zebulun was the tenth son of Jacob and the sixth and final son by his wife Leah (Gen. 30:19–20). Little else is known about Zebulun’s life. The territory allotted to the tribe of Zebulun was in the north in the region of southern Galilee bounded by Issachar on the south-southeast, Naphtali on the east, and Asher on the west (Josh. 19:10–16). The blessing of Jacob speaks of Zebulun’s territory including “the seashore,” presumably the Mediterranean Sea, and “his territory will be next to Sidon” (Gen. 49:13 HCSB) a city on the coast north of Mount Carmel. While this territory was traditionally occupied by the tribe of Asher, it is quite possible that at some point Zebulun occupied a part of this region and, therefore, would have had access to the sea. The blessing of Moses further states that Zebulun along with Issachar would benefit from “the wealth of the seas and the hidden treasures of the sand” (Deut. 33:19 HCSB). During the period that the tribes were settling in the land of Canaan, Zebulun apparently went beyond the call of duty in providing support. It is the only tribe in the song of Deborah to be mentioned twice (Judg. 5:14, 18). 7. Joseph was the first son born to Jacob by Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife (Gen. 30:22–24). Two of the tribes of Israel came from Joseph, namely, Ephraim and Manasseh.The story of Joseph is the most eventful of the sons of Jacob. Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Gen. 41:50–52), who were born in Egypt. Jacob adopted Ephraim and Manasseh and therefore each became the father of a tribe in Israel (Gen. 48:8–20). While Manasseh was the older of the two, Jacob gave preference to Ephraim (v. 14; cp. Deut. 33:17). The blessing of Jacob (Gen. 49:22–26) mentions only Joseph; the blessing of Moses (Deut. 33:13–17) begins with Joseph and notes Ephraim and Manasseh; the song of Deborah (Judg. 5:14) speaks of Ephraim and Machir. See Joseph; Machir. Ephraim occupied a major portion of the central hill country with Manasseh during the tribal period. Ephraim’s territory consisted of the region just north of Dan and Benjamin and ran from the Jordan River on the east to the Mediterranean Sea on the west. That Ephraim played a major leadership role among the tribes is reflected in the tribal history. Joshua, one of the 12 spies and a member of the tribe of Ephraim, became the successor of Moses (Num. 13:8, 16; Josh. 1:1–11). Ephraim demanded leadership in the period of the judges (Judg. 3:27; 4:5; 7:24; 8:1; 10:1; 12:1–6; 17:1; 18:2, 13; 19:1). Shiloh, located in the territory of the tribe of Ephraim, became the major center of worship during the tribal period (Josh. 18:1; 1 Sam. 1:1–18). Samuel, the leader of the tribes (1 Sam 7:15–17) near the end of the period of the judges and just prior to the beginning of the kingship, came from Ephraim (1 Sam. 1:1–20). Ephraim’s influence is seen not only during the tribal period but in Israel’s later history as well. For instance, as the nation Israel divided into two kingdoms following the death of Solomon in 922 B.C., it was an Ephraimite named Jeroboam who led the northern tribes in their plea for leniency (1 Kings 12:1–5). When Rehoboam rejected their plea, the northern tribes broke their ties with the south, formed a separate kingdom (1 Kings 12:16–19), and selected Jeroboam as their king (1 Kings 12:20). Ephraim’s influence is seen also during the time of the prophets. For instance, Hosea refers to Israel some three dozen times using the name Ephraim as being synonymous with Israel. Manasseh was the oldest son of Joseph and Asenath. The tribe of Manasseh occupied territory both east and west of the Jordan River. Manasseh’s territory east of the Jordan included the regions of Gilead and Bashan and most likely extended from the Jabbok River to near Mount Hermon. Manasseh’s territory west of the Jordan was located north of Ephraim. Apparently the tribe of Manasseh played an important role in the conquest. For instance, the sons of Machir, Manasseh’s son, took the land of Gilead and drove out the Amorites who occupied it (Num. 32:39; cp. Judg. 5:14) while other descendants of Manasseh engaged in the activities of the conquest elsewhere (Num. 32:41–42). Perhaps Gideon is the most familiar of the descendants of Manasseh (Judg. 6:12–15). Gideon defeated the Midianites with a small band of men (Judg. 6–7). 8. Benjamin was Jacob’s youngest son, born to him by Rachel, and the only son born after returning to Palestine from Haran (Gen. 35:16–20). He was the only full-blooded brother of Joseph. Therefore, the tribes of Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh formed a special group. Benjamin’s tribal territory was a small area west of the Jordan, sandwiched between Ephraim to the north and Judah to the south (Josh. 18:11–28). The Benjaminites had a reputation as men of war. The blessing of Jacob refers to them as “a wolf “who “tears his prey” (Gen. 49:27 HCSB). The book of Judges notes their activities as warriors during the tribal period (Judg. 5:14; 20:12–16). They were referred to as those “who were left-handed” and experts with the sling (Judg. 20:16). The story of the Levite and his concubine reflects the inhumane acts for which the Benjaminites were responsible (Judg. 19). The second judge, Ehud (Judg. 3:12–30), and the first king, Saul (1 Sam. 9:15–17; 10:1), came from the tribe of Benjamin. 9. Dan was the fifth son of Jacob and the first of two sons by Bilhah, Rachel’s maid (Gen. 30:5–8). Therefore, Dan and Naphtali were full-blooded brothers and are often mentioned together (Gen. 46:23–24; Exod. 1:4). The tribe of Dan originally occupied the territory just west of Benjamin with Ephraim on the north and Judah and the Philistines on the south (Josh. 19:40–48). Shortly after settling in this area, the Amorites and the Philistines apparently attempted to drive them out of the region (Judg. 1:34–36). The pressure and harassment the people of Dan experienced from the Philistines is reflected in the stories of Samson, the Danite, and his encounters with them (Judg. 13–16). The Philistine pressure resulted in the migration of the tribe to an area north of Lake Hula, to the city of Laish and its territory (Judg. 18:14–27). The people of Dan captured the city and renamed it Dan (Judg. 18:29). See Dan. 10. Naphtali was the sixth son of Jacob and younger full-blooded brother of Dan (Gen. 30:6–8). The name, Naphtali, which conveys the idea of “wrestling” was selected because of the personal struggles between Rachel and Leah (Gen. 30:7–8). The Bible provides little information concerning Naphtali the person or tribe. During the tribal period the tribe of Naphtali occupied the broad strip of land west of the Jordan in the area of Lake Hula and the Sea of Chinnereth (Galilee). This band of land ran from Issachar and Zebulun in the south to near Dan in the north (Josh. 19:32–39). Apparently the tribe of Naphtali provided forces during the conquest of the land (Judg. 5:18) and during the Midianite threat (Judg. 6:35; 7:23). 11. Gad was the seventh son of Jacob and the first of two sons by Zilpah, the maid of Leah (Gen. 30:9–11). Because Leah saw this birth as a sign of “good fortune,” especially in light of the fact that she had ceased having children, she named him “Gad” which means “fortune” (Gen. 30:11). We know very little about Gad the patriarch beyond the brief details about his birth. The tribe’s territory was the east side of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, including a part of the region called Gilead (Num. 32:34–36; Josh. 13:24–28), extending from the region of the Jabbok River in the north to the region of the Arnon River in the south. According to the blessing of Jacob, the tribe of Gad perhaps experienced numerous raids (Gen. 49:19) especially from groups like the Ammonites as reflected in the story of Jephthah (Judg. 11). Perhaps such raids were prompted by the fact that Gad occupied some of the best land in the Transjordan (Deut. 33:20–21). Apparently the men of Gad achieved great expertise as warriors (1 Chron. 12:8). 12. Asher was the eighth son of Jacob, the second son by Zilpah and the younger full-blooded brother of Gad (Gen. 30:9–13). Like Gad, little information is shared about the patriarch Asher. The tribe of Asher occupied the region west of Zebulun and Naphtali, that is, the northern coastal region of Palestine. The territory extended from near Mount Carmel in the south to near Tyre in the north (Josh. 19:24–31). Asher is the only tribe not recognized as providing a judge during the tribal period. While Asher occupied choice territory (Gen. 49:20), it apparently was reproached and perhaps failed to gain the respect of some of the other tribes (Judg. 5:17b). Conclusion While discussion and research will continue concerning the history of the tribes and the territory they occupied, the tribal period will always be recognized as an important though enigmatic period in the development of the history of Israel. With the development of the monarchy, the tribal period came to an end. However, tribal ties and traditions may have continued to be quite strong. Many scholars suggest that tribal jealousies and traditions played a major role in bringing about the division of the kingdom and the formation of two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom in 922 B.C. DeVries, L. (2003). Tribes of Israel. In C. Brand, C. Draper, A. England, S. Bond, E. R. Clendenen, & T. C. Butler (Eds.), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (pp. 1620–1624). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    400 Posted by Loretta KoKo Stevens
  • TRIBES OF ISRAEL Social and political groups in Israel claiming descent from one of the 12 sons of Jacob. The diagram of the Israeli Encampment - Gershon, Memarites and Kohathites were numbered among the Levites   Genesis 46:11 The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.     Tribal Unit The tribal unit played an important role in the history of the formation of the nation of Israel. In ancient times a nation was referred to as “a people,” an am; in Israel’s case it was the “people of Israel.” The nation in turn was made up of “tribes.” The “tribe,” a shevet or matteh, was the major social unit that comprised the makeup of the nation. The tribe was comprised of “clans.” The “clan,” a mishpachah, was a family of families or a cluster of households that had a common ancestry. The clan was comprised then of the individual households or families referred to as the “father’s house,” the beth av. Actually, the family in ancient times might be made up of several families living together and forming one household (Num. 3:24). See Family. Tribal Origins The ancestral background of “the tribes of Israel” went back to the patriarch Jacob, whose name was changed to “Israel.” The nation of Israel was identified as “the children of Israel,” or more literally “the sons of Israel.” According to the biblical account, the family of Jacob, from which the tribes came, originated in north Syria during Jacob’s stay at Haran with Laban his uncle. Eleven of the 12 sons were born at Haran, while the 12th, Benjamin, was born after Jacob returned to Canaan. The birth of the sons came through Jacob’s wives Leah and Rachel and their maids Zilpah and Bilhah. The sons of Leah included Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah (Gen. 29:31–35), Issachar, and Zebulun, as well as one daughter named Dinah (Gen. 30:19–21). Rachel’s sons were Joseph (Gen. 30:22–24), who became the father of Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 41:50–52), and Benjamin (Gen. 35:16–18). Jacob’s sons through Zilpah, Leah’s maid, were Gad and Asher (Gen. 30:9–13), while Bilhah, the maid of Rachel, bore Dan and Naphtali (Gen. 30:1–8). This family of families or family of tribes occupied the focal point in the history of the development of Israel as a nation. While there are details of that history that we do not clearly understand and other groups simply referred to as “an ethnically diverse crowd” (Exod. 12:38 HCSB) that were perhaps incorporated into the nation, the central focus is always on the “tribes of Israel,” the descendants of Jacob. For that reason lists of the 12 sons of Jacob or of the tribes appear in several places in the OT, though the lists vary somewhat. Some of the major lists include that of Jacob’s blessing of the 12 (Gen. 49), the review of the households as the period of oppression in Egypt is introduced (Exod. 1:1–10), Moses’ blessing of the tribes (Deut. 33), and the song of Deborah (Judg. 5). Tribes of Israel Each tribe had its own history in its allotment of land. We know few details about the individual tribes. 1. Reuben, the firstborn son of Jacob by his wife Leah, was in line to assume a leadership role in the family, but he forfeited that right because of an illicit affair he had with his father’s concubine Bilhah (Gen. 35:22). The impact of this reflected in Jacob’s blessing where Reuben is addressed as “turbulent as water, you will no longer excel, because you got into your father’s bed” (Gen. 49:4 HCSB). At the time of the migration of Jacob’s family to Egypt, Reuben had four sons (Gen. 46:8–9). In some of the lists of the tribes of Israel, Reuben is mentioned first (Exod. 1:1–4; Num. 1:5–15), while in other lists Reuben appears further down (Num. 2:1–11). During the journey through the wilderness, the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad formed the second unit of the procession with the tribe of Reuben in the lead position (Num. 10:17–20). This cluster of tribes headed by the tribe of Reuben was next in line after the tabernacle (Num. 10:17–18). As the tribes approached the land of Canaan and allotments were made to each tribe, the tribe of Reuben along with Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh occupied the Transjordan, that is the highland plateau region east of the Jordan River (Josh. 13:8–31; cp. Num. 32:1–5, 33–42). The tribe of Reuben occupied the southern region extending roughly from the Arnon River to the site of Heshbon (Josh. 13:15–23). Formerly, this territory was the homeland of the kingdom of Sihon. While we know little about the tribe of Reuben during the period of the settlement, the song of Deborah suggests that the tribe was criticized by some of the other tribes for not taking a more active role in the conquest (Judg. 5:15–16). See Transjordan. 2. Simeon was Jacob’s second son by Leah and played a key role in the encounter Dinah had with Shechem. Because Simeon and Levi were full brothers of Dinah, they sought to avenge her (Gen. 34:25–26) for Shechem’s actions (34:1–4). The radical response of the two brothers, in which they “took their swords, went into the unsuspecting city, and killed every male” (Gen. 34:25 HCSB), is reflected in Jacob’s blessing of the two: “their knives are vicious weapons … Their anger is cursed, for it is strong, and their fury, for it is cruel! I will disperse them throughout Jacob and scatter them throughout Israel” (Gen. 49:5–7 HCSB). During the years of famine as the sons of Jacob traveled back and forth between Egypt and Canaan, Simeon was held hostage by Joseph at one point (Gen. 42:24). In the lists of the tribes, Simeon is listed in second place, that is, next after Reuben (Exod. 1:2; 6:14–15; Num. 1:5–6, 22–23; 13:5; 26:12–14). Generally, the tribe of Simeon seems to be characterized by weakness. Its status is best reflected in the final statement of Jacob’s blessing of Simeon and Levi: “I will disperse them throughout Jacob and scatter them throughout Israel” (Gen. 49:7 HCSB). Perhaps because of its weak status, the tribe of Simeon apparently was not given a separate inheritance in the land (Josh. 19:1–9). Rather, “their inheritance was within the portion of the descendents of Judah” (Josh. 19:1 HCSB), in the southern Negev. 3. Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah (see Simeon above). During the journey from Egypt to Canaan, the sons of Levi slaughtered 3,000 rebellious Hebrew males (Exod. 32:25–29). They became the landless priestly tribe. See Levites; Levitical Cities; Priests. 4. Judah, the fourth son of Jacob by his wife Leah (Gen. 29:35), appears as a leader and a spokesman among his brothers (Gen. 37:26; 43:3; 44:16; cp. 46:28). Judah was promised preeminence over the other tribes in Jacob’s blessing (Gen. 49:8–12). In the journey from Egypt to Canaan, Judah had the lead position (Num. 2:9). As the tribes entered the land, it was Achan of the tribe of Judah who was guilty of taking some of the forbidden booty or loot from Jericho (Josh. 7). The tribe of Judah occupied the southern part of Palestine, basically the territory between the Dead Sea on the east and the Mediterranean on the west (Josh. 15). The northern boundary of Judah was marked by the territories of Benjamin and Dan. The territory of Jerusalem may have formed something of a barrier between Judah and the tribes of the north because it was not finally secured until the time of David (2 Sam. 5:6–10). The capture of Jerusalem by David paved the way for the tribes to have a kind of unity they had not previously experienced. The territory of the tribe of Judah constituted the major portion of the Southern Kingdom, thus forming the kingdom of Judah with its capital Jerusalem. 5. Issachar was the ninth son born to Jacob, but the first of a second family he had by Leah (Gen. 30:18). Beyond his birth little else is known about his life or that of the tribe. During the journey from Mount Sinai to Canaan the tribe of Issachar followed the tribe of Judah; that is, it was a part of the first cluster of tribes located on the east side of the tabernacle (Num. 2:5). The territory occupied by the tribe of Issachar is difficult to outline precisely (Josh. 19:17–23). They were located west of the Jordan in the region just south of the Sea of Galilee stretching on down to the Valley of Jezreel. Because the blessing of Moses says that Zebulun and Issachar “summon the peoples to a mountain; there they offer acceptable sacrifices” (Deut. 33:19 HCSB), some have speculated that the two tribes perhaps had a center of worship on Mount Tabor, a mountain located on the border between the two tribes. Because the blessing of Jacob speaks of Issachar as a beast of burden and as “a forced laborer” (Gen. 49:14–15 HCSB), the tribe of Issachar may have faced a variety of hardships. For instance, there may have been a time during the tribal period when the people of Issachar served as slaves in the forced labor projects of their neighbors, the Canaanites. 6. Zebulun was the tenth son of Jacob and the sixth and final son by his wife Leah (Gen. 30:19–20). Little else is known about Zebulun’s life. The territory allotted to the tribe of Zebulun was in the north in the region of southern Galilee bounded by Issachar on the south-southeast, Naphtali on the east, and Asher on the west (Josh. 19:10–16). The blessing of Jacob speaks of Zebulun’s territory including “the seashore,” presumably the Mediterranean Sea, and “his territory will be next to Sidon” (Gen. 49:13 HCSB) a city on the coast north of Mount Carmel. While this territory was traditionally occupied by the tribe of Asher, it is quite possible that at some point Zebulun occupied a part of this region and, therefore, would have had access to the sea. The blessing of Moses further states that Zebulun along with Issachar would benefit from “the wealth of the seas and the hidden treasures of the sand” (Deut. 33:19 HCSB). During the period that the tribes were settling in the land of Canaan, Zebulun apparently went beyond the call of duty in providing support. It is the only tribe in the song of Deborah to be mentioned twice (Judg. 5:14, 18). 7. Joseph was the first son born to Jacob by Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife (Gen. 30:22–24). Two of the tribes of Israel came from Joseph, namely, Ephraim and Manasseh.The story of Joseph is the most eventful of the sons of Jacob. Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Gen. 41:50–52), who were born in Egypt. Jacob adopted Ephraim and Manasseh and therefore each became the father of a tribe in Israel (Gen. 48:8–20). While Manasseh was the older of the two, Jacob gave preference to Ephraim (v. 14; cp. Deut. 33:17). The blessing of Jacob (Gen. 49:22–26) mentions only Joseph; the blessing of Moses (Deut. 33:13–17) begins with Joseph and notes Ephraim and Manasseh; the song of Deborah (Judg. 5:14) speaks of Ephraim and Machir. See Joseph; Machir. Ephraim occupied a major portion of the central hill country with Manasseh during the tribal period. Ephraim’s territory consisted of the region just north of Dan and Benjamin and ran from the Jordan River on the east to the Mediterranean Sea on the west. That Ephraim played a major leadership role among the tribes is reflected in the tribal history. Joshua, one of the 12 spies and a member of the tribe of Ephraim, became the successor of Moses (Num. 13:8, 16; Josh. 1:1–11). Ephraim demanded leadership in the period of the judges (Judg. 3:27; 4:5; 7:24; 8:1; 10:1; 12:1–6; 17:1; 18:2, 13; 19:1). Shiloh, located in the territory of the tribe of Ephraim, became the major center of worship during the tribal period (Josh. 18:1; 1 Sam. 1:1–18). Samuel, the leader of the tribes (1 Sam 7:15–17) near the end of the period of the judges and just prior to the beginning of the kingship, came from Ephraim (1 Sam. 1:1–20). Ephraim’s influence is seen not only during the tribal period but in Israel’s later history as well. For instance, as the nation Israel divided into two kingdoms following the death of Solomon in 922 B.C., it was an Ephraimite named Jeroboam who led the northern tribes in their plea for leniency (1 Kings 12:1–5). When Rehoboam rejected their plea, the northern tribes broke their ties with the south, formed a separate kingdom (1 Kings 12:16–19), and selected Jeroboam as their king (1 Kings 12:20). Ephraim’s influence is seen also during the time of the prophets. For instance, Hosea refers to Israel some three dozen times using the name Ephraim as being synonymous with Israel. Manasseh was the oldest son of Joseph and Asenath. The tribe of Manasseh occupied territory both east and west of the Jordan River. Manasseh’s territory east of the Jordan included the regions of Gilead and Bashan and most likely extended from the Jabbok River to near Mount Hermon. Manasseh’s territory west of the Jordan was located north of Ephraim. Apparently the tribe of Manasseh played an important role in the conquest. For instance, the sons of Machir, Manasseh’s son, took the land of Gilead and drove out the Amorites who occupied it (Num. 32:39; cp. Judg. 5:14) while other descendants of Manasseh engaged in the activities of the conquest elsewhere (Num. 32:41–42). Perhaps Gideon is the most familiar of the descendants of Manasseh (Judg. 6:12–15). Gideon defeated the Midianites with a small band of men (Judg. 6–7). 8. Benjamin was Jacob’s youngest son, born to him by Rachel, and the only son born after returning to Palestine from Haran (Gen. 35:16–20). He was the only full-blooded brother of Joseph. Therefore, the tribes of Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh formed a special group. Benjamin’s tribal territory was a small area west of the Jordan, sandwiched between Ephraim to the north and Judah to the south (Josh. 18:11–28). The Benjaminites had a reputation as men of war. The blessing of Jacob refers to them as “a wolf “who “tears his prey” (Gen. 49:27 HCSB). The book of Judges notes their activities as warriors during the tribal period (Judg. 5:14; 20:12–16). They were referred to as those “who were left-handed” and experts with the sling (Judg. 20:16). The story of the Levite and his concubine reflects the inhumane acts for which the Benjaminites were responsible (Judg. 19). The second judge, Ehud (Judg. 3:12–30), and the first king, Saul (1 Sam. 9:15–17; 10:1), came from the tribe of Benjamin. 9. Dan was the fifth son of Jacob and the first of two sons by Bilhah, Rachel’s maid (Gen. 30:5–8). Therefore, Dan and Naphtali were full-blooded brothers and are often mentioned together (Gen. 46:23–24; Exod. 1:4). The tribe of Dan originally occupied the territory just west of Benjamin with Ephraim on the north and Judah and the Philistines on the south (Josh. 19:40–48). Shortly after settling in this area, the Amorites and the Philistines apparently attempted to drive them out of the region (Judg. 1:34–36). The pressure and harassment the people of Dan experienced from the Philistines is reflected in the stories of Samson, the Danite, and his encounters with them (Judg. 13–16). The Philistine pressure resulted in the migration of the tribe to an area north of Lake Hula, to the city of Laish and its territory (Judg. 18:14–27). The people of Dan captured the city and renamed it Dan (Judg. 18:29). See Dan. 10. Naphtali was the sixth son of Jacob and younger full-blooded brother of Dan (Gen. 30:6–8). The name, Naphtali, which conveys the idea of “wrestling” was selected because of the personal struggles between Rachel and Leah (Gen. 30:7–8). The Bible provides little information concerning Naphtali the person or tribe. During the tribal period the tribe of Naphtali occupied the broad strip of land west of the Jordan in the area of Lake Hula and the Sea of Chinnereth (Galilee). This band of land ran from Issachar and Zebulun in the south to near Dan in the north (Josh. 19:32–39). Apparently the tribe of Naphtali provided forces during the conquest of the land (Judg. 5:18) and during the Midianite threat (Judg. 6:35; 7:23). 11. Gad was the seventh son of Jacob and the first of two sons by Zilpah, the maid of Leah (Gen. 30:9–11). Because Leah saw this birth as a sign of “good fortune,” especially in light of the fact that she had ceased having children, she named him “Gad” which means “fortune” (Gen. 30:11). We know very little about Gad the patriarch beyond the brief details about his birth. The tribe’s territory was the east side of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, including a part of the region called Gilead (Num. 32:34–36; Josh. 13:24–28), extending from the region of the Jabbok River in the north to the region of the Arnon River in the south. According to the blessing of Jacob, the tribe of Gad perhaps experienced numerous raids (Gen. 49:19) especially from groups like the Ammonites as reflected in the story of Jephthah (Judg. 11). Perhaps such raids were prompted by the fact that Gad occupied some of the best land in the Transjordan (Deut. 33:20–21). Apparently the men of Gad achieved great expertise as warriors (1 Chron. 12:8). 12. Asher was the eighth son of Jacob, the second son by Zilpah and the younger full-blooded brother of Gad (Gen. 30:9–13). Like Gad, little information is shared about the patriarch Asher. The tribe of Asher occupied the region west of Zebulun and Naphtali, that is, the northern coastal region of Palestine. The territory extended from near Mount Carmel in the south to near Tyre in the north (Josh. 19:24–31). Asher is the only tribe not recognized as providing a judge during the tribal period. While Asher occupied choice territory (Gen. 49:20), it apparently was reproached and perhaps failed to gain the respect of some of the other tribes (Judg. 5:17b). Conclusion While discussion and research will continue concerning the history of the tribes and the territory they occupied, the tribal period will always be recognized as an important though enigmatic period in the development of the history of Israel. With the development of the monarchy, the tribal period came to an end. However, tribal ties and traditions may have continued to be quite strong. Many scholars suggest that tribal jealousies and traditions played a major role in bringing about the division of the kingdom and the formation of two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom in 922 B.C. DeVries, L. (2003). Tribes of Israel. In C. Brand, C. Draper, A. England, S. Bond, E. R. Clendenen, & T. C. Butler (Eds.), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (pp. 1620–1624). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    Mar 23, 2017 400
  • 06 Mar 2017
    Handbook to Pray: PART ONE MORNING AFFIRMATIONS 1. SUBMITTING TO GOD •Because of all You have done for me, I present my body to You as a living sacrifice for this day. I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, affirming that Your will for me is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1–2) 2. ADORATION AND THANKSGIVING •Offer a brief word of praise to God for one or more of His attributes (e.g., love and compassion, grace, mercy, holiness, goodness, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, truthfulness, unchanging character, eternality) and/or works (e.g., creation, care, redemption, loving purposes, second coming).•Thank Him for the good things in your life. 3. EXAMINATION •Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. (Psalm 139:23–24) 4. MY IDENTITY IN CHRIST •“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20) *I have forgiveness from the penalty of sin because Christ died for me. (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3) *I have freedom from the power of sin because I died with Christ. (Colossians 2:11; 1 Peter 2:24) *I have fulfillment for this day because Christ lives in me. (Philippians 1:20–21) *By faith, I will allow Christ to manifest His life through me. (2 Corinthians 2:14) 5. FILLING OF THE SPIRIT •Ask the Spirit to control and fill you for this day.•I want to be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) When I walk by the Spirit, I will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16) If I live by the Spirit, I will also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) 6. FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT •Pray on the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22–23)•“Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7) 7. PURPOSE OF MY LIFE •I want to love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind, and I want to love my neighbor as myself. (Matthew 22:37, 39) My purpose is to love God completely, love self correctly, and love others compassionately.•I will seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)•I have been called to follow Christ and to be a fisher of men. (Matthew 4:19)•I will be a witness to those who do not know Him and participate in the Great Commission to go and make disciples. (Matthew 28:19–20; Acts 1:8)•I want to glorify the Father by bearing much fruit, and so prove to be Christ’s disciple. (John 15:8) 8. CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DAY •I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, and not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways I will acknowledge Him, and He will make my paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6)•“God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28; also see 8:29) I acknowledge that You are in control of all things in my life, and that You have my best interests at heart. Because of this I will trust and obey You today.•Review and commit the events of this day into the hands of God. 9. PROTECTION IN THE WARFARE Against the World: Renew •I will set my mind on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)•Since I have been raised up with Christ, I will keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. I will set my mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1–2; also see 3:3–4 and Hebrews 12:1–2)•I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving I will let my requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, I will let my mind dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:6–8; also see 4:9) Against the Flesh: Reckon •I know that my old self was crucified with Christ, so that I am no longer a slave to sin, for he who has died is freed from sin. I will reckon myself as dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. I will not present the members of my body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but I will present myself to God as one alive from the dead, and my members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:6–7, 11, 13) Against the Devil: Resist •As I submit myself to God and resist the devil, he will flee from me. (James 4:7)•I will be of sober spirit and on the alert. My adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But I will resist him, firm in my faith. (1 Peter 5:8–9)•I will take up the full armor of God, that I may be able to resist and stand firm. I put on the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness; I put on my feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; and I take up the shield of faith with which I will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. I take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition I will pray at all times in the Spirit and be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:13–18) 10. THE COMING OF CHRIST AND MY FUTURE WITH HIM •Your kingdom come, Your will be done. (Matthew 6:10)•You have said, “I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)•I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to me. (Romans 8:18)•I will not lose heart, but though my outer man is decaying, yet my inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for me an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while I look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)•My citizenship is in heaven, from which also I eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20) • (Also consider 2 Timothy 4:8; Hebrews 11:1, 6; 2 Peter 3:11–12; 1 John 2:28; 3:2–3.)   Day 6, March 6th Adoration You have chosen me as Your witness and servant so that I may know and believe You and understand that You are the Lord. Before You no god was formed, nor will there be one after You. (Isaiah 43:10) Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; Apart from Me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6) Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship. Confession Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? (Job 4:17) Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. Renewal When I have done all the things which are commanded me, let me realize that I am an unworthy servant; I have only done what I ought to have done. (Luke 17:10) May I do the work of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4) Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal. Petition May I be a person who fears God, loves truth, and hates dishonest gain. (Exodus 18:21) Faithfulness as a Steward Of time Of talents Of treasure Of truth Of relationshipsMy activities for this daySpecial concerns Intercession Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people. (Proverbs 14:34) Government Spiritual revival Local government State government National government Current events and concerns Affirmation You save the humble But bring low those whose eyes are haughty. (Psalm 18:27) Pride breeds nothing but strife, But wisdom is found in those who take advice. (Proverbs 13:10) When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2) The proud looks of man will be humbled, And the loftiness of men brought low; The Lord alone will be exalted. (Isaiah 2:11) Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations. Thanksgiving How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who take refuge in You Before the sons of men! (Psalm 31:19) Surely God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul. (Psalm 54:4) Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving. Closing Prayer God is my strong fortress, And He sets the blameless free in His way. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me Your shield of salvation; You stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, And my feet have not slipped. (2 Samuel 22:33–37; Psalm 18:33–36) The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock of my salvation! (2 Samuel 22:47; Psalm 18:46) Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.
    325 Posted by Loretta KoKo Stevens
  • Handbook to Pray: PART ONE MORNING AFFIRMATIONS 1. SUBMITTING TO GOD •Because of all You have done for me, I present my body to You as a living sacrifice for this day. I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, affirming that Your will for me is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1–2) 2. ADORATION AND THANKSGIVING •Offer a brief word of praise to God for one or more of His attributes (e.g., love and compassion, grace, mercy, holiness, goodness, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, truthfulness, unchanging character, eternality) and/or works (e.g., creation, care, redemption, loving purposes, second coming).•Thank Him for the good things in your life. 3. EXAMINATION •Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. (Psalm 139:23–24) 4. MY IDENTITY IN CHRIST •“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20) *I have forgiveness from the penalty of sin because Christ died for me. (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3) *I have freedom from the power of sin because I died with Christ. (Colossians 2:11; 1 Peter 2:24) *I have fulfillment for this day because Christ lives in me. (Philippians 1:20–21) *By faith, I will allow Christ to manifest His life through me. (2 Corinthians 2:14) 5. FILLING OF THE SPIRIT •Ask the Spirit to control and fill you for this day.•I want to be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) When I walk by the Spirit, I will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16) If I live by the Spirit, I will also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) 6. FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT •Pray on the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22–23)•“Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7) 7. PURPOSE OF MY LIFE •I want to love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind, and I want to love my neighbor as myself. (Matthew 22:37, 39) My purpose is to love God completely, love self correctly, and love others compassionately.•I will seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)•I have been called to follow Christ and to be a fisher of men. (Matthew 4:19)•I will be a witness to those who do not know Him and participate in the Great Commission to go and make disciples. (Matthew 28:19–20; Acts 1:8)•I want to glorify the Father by bearing much fruit, and so prove to be Christ’s disciple. (John 15:8) 8. CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DAY •I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, and not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways I will acknowledge Him, and He will make my paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6)•“God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28; also see 8:29) I acknowledge that You are in control of all things in my life, and that You have my best interests at heart. Because of this I will trust and obey You today.•Review and commit the events of this day into the hands of God. 9. PROTECTION IN THE WARFARE Against the World: Renew •I will set my mind on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)•Since I have been raised up with Christ, I will keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. I will set my mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1–2; also see 3:3–4 and Hebrews 12:1–2)•I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving I will let my requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, I will let my mind dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:6–8; also see 4:9) Against the Flesh: Reckon •I know that my old self was crucified with Christ, so that I am no longer a slave to sin, for he who has died is freed from sin. I will reckon myself as dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. I will not present the members of my body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but I will present myself to God as one alive from the dead, and my members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:6–7, 11, 13) Against the Devil: Resist •As I submit myself to God and resist the devil, he will flee from me. (James 4:7)•I will be of sober spirit and on the alert. My adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But I will resist him, firm in my faith. (1 Peter 5:8–9)•I will take up the full armor of God, that I may be able to resist and stand firm. I put on the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness; I put on my feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; and I take up the shield of faith with which I will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. I take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition I will pray at all times in the Spirit and be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:13–18) 10. THE COMING OF CHRIST AND MY FUTURE WITH HIM •Your kingdom come, Your will be done. (Matthew 6:10)•You have said, “I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)•I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to me. (Romans 8:18)•I will not lose heart, but though my outer man is decaying, yet my inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for me an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while I look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)•My citizenship is in heaven, from which also I eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20) • (Also consider 2 Timothy 4:8; Hebrews 11:1, 6; 2 Peter 3:11–12; 1 John 2:28; 3:2–3.)   Day 6, March 6th Adoration You have chosen me as Your witness and servant so that I may know and believe You and understand that You are the Lord. Before You no god was formed, nor will there be one after You. (Isaiah 43:10) Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; Apart from Me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6) Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship. Confession Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? (Job 4:17) Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. Renewal When I have done all the things which are commanded me, let me realize that I am an unworthy servant; I have only done what I ought to have done. (Luke 17:10) May I do the work of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4) Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal. Petition May I be a person who fears God, loves truth, and hates dishonest gain. (Exodus 18:21) Faithfulness as a Steward Of time Of talents Of treasure Of truth Of relationshipsMy activities for this daySpecial concerns Intercession Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people. (Proverbs 14:34) Government Spiritual revival Local government State government National government Current events and concerns Affirmation You save the humble But bring low those whose eyes are haughty. (Psalm 18:27) Pride breeds nothing but strife, But wisdom is found in those who take advice. (Proverbs 13:10) When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2) The proud looks of man will be humbled, And the loftiness of men brought low; The Lord alone will be exalted. (Isaiah 2:11) Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations. Thanksgiving How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who take refuge in You Before the sons of men! (Psalm 31:19) Surely God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul. (Psalm 54:4) Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving. Closing Prayer God is my strong fortress, And He sets the blameless free in His way. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me Your shield of salvation; You stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, And my feet have not slipped. (2 Samuel 22:33–37; Psalm 18:33–36) The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock of my salvation! (2 Samuel 22:47; Psalm 18:46) Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.
    Mar 06, 2017 325
  • 06 Mar 2017
    ADONAI - Lord   Genesis 15:2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? The Holy Bible: KJV. (2009).   Have you ever heard someone say, or have you ever been tempted yourself to say, “I am the master of my own fate, the author of my destiny!"This is a common misconception that goes back to the Garden of Eden and is one of the greatest lies promoted by our adversary, the devil. We were all created by a loving God who has a purpose for our lives.Adonai, usually translated as “Lord” in the English text, generally has a capital L followed by ord in small letters. The name Yahweh, which we will study later, is translated with the word “LORD” in all upper case letters. Adonai occurs nearly 300 times in the Old Testament. It is used some 215 times in reference to men. When it is used in reference to man, it may mean “sir,” as a title of respect, or it can mean “master,” or “lord."When it is used in reference to people, it is always in the singular, Adon. When Adonai is used for God, it is used in the plural. Some commentators argue that the plural used for the name of God is another implicit suggestion in the Old Testament of the triune nature of God, who reveals Himself as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. However, it is possible that the plural Adonai is used to enhance, or underline and exalt, the awesome majesty of God. In either case, we will find that this name Adonai offers a challenge to His followers to recognize His Lordship in our lives. GOD IS OWNER OF ALL THAT EXISTS The primary significance of the name Adonai is that of ownership. The truth is that God is the rightful owner of every member of the human family and thus can rightly require our worship and obedience. We have a powerful illustration of the emphasis on ownership in the Old Testament Book of Malachi, which was written to call Israel to repentance for their brazen and callous behavior. They had divorced their wives, they had polluted their worship, they had robbed God of the tithe, which was consecrated unto God. Israel had trampled God's Word under their feet in blatant disobedience. The questions posed by God, as recorded in Malachi 1:6, are designed to call Israel to repentance. '""A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?” says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, “How have we despised Thy name?"'” Two forms of the root from which we get Adonai appear in this text with different suffixes. God tells the nation of Israel that it is to be expected that a son honors his father and a servant his master. Then He inquires concerning the lack of honor shown to Him as both Father and Master. The priests, who were to be serving Him, had actually dishonored His name by offering defiled food on His altar (1:7). Instead of bringing a pure and acceptable sacrifice, they would search among their herd and bring animals that were lame and sick. Their callous offering of the useless animals of their flock was a reproach to God, who was the Lord of all and whose name should be revered among the nations. If you read the first chapter of Malachi you will find six explicit references to His name. His name is holy and deserves highest honor, but the priests have brought reproach upon His name by failing to acknowledge His ownership of all that exists. Their willingness to offer less than the best in sacrifice to God demonstrates their failure to honor His name and recognize His authority as Master and owner of all. The first chapter ends with a great declaration:“… I am a great King,” says the Lord of hosts, “and My name is feared among the nations.” Adonai Declares God's Ownership The first usage of Adonai is found in Genesis 15:2. We begin the story of the life of Abram with God's call and promise of a blessing in chapter 12. God calls Abram to leave his country and settle a land that He will show him. The promised blessing is recorded in Genesis 12:2: “And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing.” Abram and his nephew Lot begin this journey together. In chapter 13, we discover that Abram and Lot had chosen to separate their clans. Abram settled in Canaan, while Lot moved his tents as far as Sodom. Lot and his family are captured in a battle and Abram must go to his rescue. Chapter 15 takes up the story after the rescue of Lot. God again speaks to Abram, reminding him of His promises to him. “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying,'Do not fear,Abram, / I am a shield to you; /Your reward shall be very great.' “Abram is perplexed by the promises of the Lord because they are based on his progeny, and he has no children. “And Abram said, 'O Lord GOD, what wilt Thou give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?'” The word Adonai is the word translated “Lord.” The word translated “God” is the name Yahweh. When Yahweh occurs, it is denoted by the use of LORD, in all capitals. Yet, when Adonai and Yahweh occur together, the English translation “Lord, LORD” would be confusing and therefore most English Bibles employ the translation, “Lord God.” Abram is confused about God's promise to make him a great nation when he is childless still. Abram suggests that Eliezer, his slave, is his only heir, but God assures him that his heir shall come from his own body (15:3-4). The Lord took Abram outside and instructed him to look toward the heavens and count the stars. God then reassures Abram that his descendants will be countless like the stars of the heavens. “Then he believed in the LORD [Yahweh]; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. And He said to him, 'I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it,' And he said, 'O Lord GOD [Adonai Yahweh], how may I know that I shall possess it?'” (15:6-8). In this encounter with God, Abram came to a point of surrender where He had to acknowledge his own insufficiency and God's sufficiency. Abram acknowledges that Yahweh is the Lord (Adonai) of his life. However, you should notice that Abram's confession, recorded in verse 2, is immediately followed by an argument that comes from human doubt. Abram asks how this promise could be fulfilled since he is childless. In essence, Abram was in one moment confessing that Yahweh was Lord and then suggesting that the Lord would have trouble fulfilling His own promise. God's response to Abram is profound. By showing him the stars of the heavens, He declares His authority over all creation. Then God reminds Abram that He had brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans. In a sense, God is saying to Abram, “Do you think your childlessness presents me with a problem? If you really know who I am, you will have no doubt. Go outside, look up and see the stars. Can you even count the vast number of stars that I have created?” Of course, the answer was “No.” Abram had to realize that the God who created those stars could easily bring children to him. The Dual Meaning of Lordship What do we mean when we say that Yahweh is Master? I would suggest that lordship has a dual meaning. On the one hand, lordship means complete possession by God. On the other hand, it requires the complete submission of those who would call Him Lord. Thus, when Abram confessed that Yahweh was his Lord, he was recognizing God's sovereign ownership and his own submission. He had declared that God was owner and that Abram was His to command as He desired. The fact is, many of us struggle with this issue of ownership, don't we? From the very first time we understand what mine means, we want to cling to and claim ownership. Take for example two children who are playing together with a toy someone has given to one of them. The children did nothing to deserve the toy. They did not pay for it. Yet as soon as one of the children attempts to play alone with the toy, what happens? The “owner” of the toy snatches it back with a screeching protest, “Mine!” Somehow, all of us have the mistaken notion that we are owners. We claim that we own a house or a piece of land. We also are aware that ownership brings with it frustrations. Ownership rarely proves to be all we expect it to be. We buy a home only to find that we desire a bigger home or another home in a different location. We also discover that ownership is fraught with the constant demand of repair and maintenance. The roof leaks the week before the plumbing backs up. We can be so frustrated with ownership that we are tempted to say that we were much happier when we owned nothing. I've got news for you. You can get out of the business of ownership. Truth is, you're not an owner; you're simply a steward. The Lord is owner of all that exists. I have a practical suggestion that will help you acknowledge this. Sit down during your devotional time, take out a piece of paper and make up a deed signing everything over to God, the rightful owner. Say, “Lord, this has never been mine. Somehow I just took over what is yours by creation. I am excited to acknowledge that I am a steward and that you are owner of all the possessions represented on this deed.” One of my deacons in Norfolk shared with me his personal testimony of the freedom he found when he finally understood that the Lord was the owner of everything. A few weeks after he had signed everything over to the Lord, the Lord's washing machine quit working. He told me that in the past such an event would have created frustration and despair. In this instance, he and his wife simply knelt down in front of the washing machine and said, “Lord, Your washing machine has broken down. What do You want to do about it?” After praying and consulting with a repairman, they determined the Lord needed a new washing machine. They could then thank the Lord that He had provided the resources for them to have a washing machine when so many had less. The understanding that the Lord and Master owns everything helps us to keep life in perspective. Folks, this really is good news. It is a joy to be a steward for the sovereign God of the universe, who has revealed Himself to be holy and righteous. We can rest in the assurance that He is trustworthy and able to provide for our every need. Like Abraham, we will discover that He who has brought us from Ur of the Chaldeans can fulfill His promises in our life. In these days of unprecedented anxiety and fear, we need to discover that God is Adonai. ADONAI SIGNALS A CALL TO SERVICE Exodus 4 provides us with another use of the name Adonai that enables us to further understand what it means when we acknowledge God's lordship over our lives. Remember that during the confrontation with God at the burning bush, Moses had discovered God as Yahweh, the self-existent One, who was present to accomplish His will through Moses.When we rejoin the account in chapter 4, Moses is still trying to explain to his Creator why it would be impossible for him to accomplish his assigned task. Look at verse 10. “Then Moses said to the LORD,'Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.' “You will notice that the verse contains LORD spelled with all capitals and then with only a capital L. Thus Moses addresses Yahweh as his Adonai, or Lord. What makes the passage a curious contradiction in terms is that Moses addresses God as Lord and acknowledges that he is a servant, but then he attempts to excuse himself from obeying his Lord based on his supposed inability. Look now at the Lord's response in verses 11 and 12. “And the LORD said to him, 'Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? NOW then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.'” God patiently reminds His servant, Moses, that He is also his Creator who has made him. If God could give man life, He can certainly put words in his mouth. You would think that God's explanation and promise would have been sufficient to elicit his servant's obedience. Yet we must note Moses' response, recorded in verse 13: “But he said,'Please, Lord [Adonai], now send the message by whomever Thou wilt.'"The context makes it clear that Moses is not agreeing to go on the mission, but is requesting that God send whomever He will, as long as it is not him. We are told that God's anger burned against Moses for his disobedience. How could the servant dare to argue with the Lord, especially when the Lord is sovereign God, the Creator and Redeemer. “We have already discovered that the name Adonai acknowledges God's ownership of everything. Now we can further conclude that the acknowledgment of lordship requires that we willingly and obediently serve Him. Remember, we were created by God (the truth of Elohim) who is Yahweh, active in history to accomplish His will. When we enter into relationship with Him, we will discover our true purpose in life—to serve and glorify Him. Thus, when we call Him Lord, we must be prepared to serve Him. Because our Lord is Yahweh, the self-existent, sovereign God of the universe, He has promised to empower us to do whatever He calls us to do. We don't need to be anxious or doubting about whether we are worthy to serve Him or capable of serving Him. The wonderful news is that He has made us worthy and that He desires to work through us to accomplish His purpose on earth. This single truth could transform your life. DISCOVERING THE JOY OF LORDSHIP Gideon was one of the great deliverers of Israel. His story, recorded in the sixth chapter of the Book of Judges, begins with an account of how the Midianites were devastating the land where the Israelites were dwelling. In desperation, the people of Israel cried out for deliverance from the hands of the Midianites, and God sent a messenger to Gideon while he was beating out some wheat in a winepress. The angel addressed him as a valiant warrior (6:12). Gideon apparently did not agree with the angel's assessment of his ability and calling, for he demonstrated a great reluctance to be the instrument that God would use in the deliverance of Israel. Gideon questioned the messenger who had been sent to call him into service. Gideon wanted to know why all the tragedy had come upon their land. Then he asked why they had not seen miracles like those that had been witnessed by their fathers (6:13). In response, Yahweh looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” (6:14). Gideon's response was immediate. He began to explain to the Lord of the universe why it would be impossible for him to be a deliverer of Israel. “And he said to Him, 'O Lord [Adonai], how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house'” (6:15). God's word of confirmation and assurance was direct but simple. “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man” (6:16). King David loved the name Adonai. As you read the psalms, you will find this name repeated frequently. Perhaps we will discover why this name was so dear to David if we look at 2 Samuel 7, where David expresses his desire to build a house for the ark of God. At first, the prophet Nathan tells him that he may do all that is in his mind. Later, Nathan informs David that God will not allow him to build the temple. Through the prophet, God reminds David that He took him from the pasture to be the ruler over His people Israel and that He has been with him and protected him from his enemies and made him a great name. Then God promises David that He will allow his son to build the temple and that He will establish his kingdom forever. David's response to this news is one of profound humility. “Then David the king went in and sat before the LORD, and he said,'Who am I, O Lord GOD [Adonai Yahweh], and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me this far? And yet this was insignificant in Thine eyes, O Lord GOD, for Thou hast spoken also of the house of Thy servant concerning the distant future. And this is the custom of man, O Lord GOD. And again what more can David say to Thee? For Thou knowest Thy servant, O Lord GOD! For the sake of Thy word, and according to Thine own heart, Thou hast done all this greatness to let Thy servant know'” (7:18-21). Did you notice the repeated references to Yahweh as Lord? David acknowledges his role as servant. He is profoundly moved that the sovereign God of the universe would choose to use such a humble servant. He declares that there is none like God. God has confirmed His word to His servant and empowered him to do whatever He has called him to do. Read the chapter and underline the numerous references to the Lord God. David is moved by the privilege given him to serve His Lord in whatever role he is given to accomplish. The New Testament is replete with the images of ownership and service. Jesus taught His disciples by example and through instruction that greatness in the kingdom is measured in terms of service. In John's Gospel we read these sobering words: '"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him'” (12:26). In the very next chapter of that same Gospel we find the story of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. After this profound object lesson, Jesus declares: “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you” (13:13-15). To call Jesus Lord we surrender ourselves to His ownership and commit ourselves to serve as He served. The apostle Paul often referred to himself as a bondslave, which was a slave or servant who had voluntarily placed himself at the disposal of his master. When he writes to his young protégé Timothy, he speaks of Christ as Lord who had put him into service. “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service” (1 Tim. 1:12). Notice the unique elements of lordship: Christ places us in service and empowers or strengthens us to accomplish the task. Three Characteristics of Those Who KnowGod as Adonai Throughout the Scriptures, those who know God as Adonai will always exhibit three characteristics: • They acknowledge themselves as servants. They understand that God is the Owner of all and they are merely stewards who have been declared worthy by Him to serve. They count it a privilege to serve the living God. • They understand that their Master can supply all their needs, and that He is the One who provides the supernatural empowerment that enables them to serve God effectively. • They realize that they can do whatever God calls them to do.One of my favorite Old Testament stories is found in the Book of Daniel. It concerns a group of young Israelite men who stood for God in a pagan environment. The critical verse that enables us to understand the source of their strength and victory is Daniel 11:32b: “'But the people who know their God will display strength and take action.'” Once we come to fully understand who God is and what He desires to do in our lives, it transforms our willingness to serve and our understanding of the inexhaustible resources available to us.Whom do you serve? Adonai or yourself? If I looked in your checkbook what evidence would I find about your priorities? Is God Adonai in your life? Is He Adonai in your giving? Is He Adonai in your serving? Most people demonstrate their confusion about ownership with the simple pronouns they use in everyday conversation. When asked to serve, they say, “I don't have the time,” or “My time is valuable.” It's not your time, it's God's time, and our responsibility is to use it according to His desire. At other times, I hear folks say, “Well I just haven't made up my mind where I will serve.” According to 1 Corinthians 12:18, God places us in His service wherever He chooses. Do you understand that God alone is the Owner, and that you are chosen and empowered by Him to be His steward? Here is a simple definition of stewardship: Stewardship is the process of managing God's resources according to His plan for His glory. APPLYING WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED Do you believe that there are some Christians who simply can't witness? I've heard people say “I just can't do that. I would never be able to get the words out.” Jesus told His early followers that they were witnesses. The Great Commission was inclusive of all followers of Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul declares that we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating the world through us. And yet, like Moses, we say, “Lord, I can't.” Don't you see that it is incompatible to say “Lord” and “I can't"? Let's try another question. Do you believe there are some circumstances under which you couldn't possibly offer back to God His tithe and your offering? You may be thinking, “You just don't understand my situation. I've got 'mal-tuition.'” That's the dreaded disease that doesn't end until your youngest child reaches graduation. I understand your predicament. I had two daughters in college at one time, with a third one in private school. Yet, we know that the Bible teaches that we need to honor the Lord through our giving. The truth is, God owns everything. The giving of the tithe and offering is simply a means of acknowledging that He is Adonai, and that He alone can supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. One of the most wonderful breakthroughs in our Christian experience is when we come to understand that God is Adonai. He is Lord of all, and He wants to make His resources available to you so that you may serve Him effectively. Hemphill, K. S., & Hemphill, K. (2001). The names of god. Nashville: B&H.
    381 Posted by Loretta KoKo Stevens
  • ADONAI - Lord   Genesis 15:2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? The Holy Bible: KJV. (2009).   Have you ever heard someone say, or have you ever been tempted yourself to say, “I am the master of my own fate, the author of my destiny!"This is a common misconception that goes back to the Garden of Eden and is one of the greatest lies promoted by our adversary, the devil. We were all created by a loving God who has a purpose for our lives.Adonai, usually translated as “Lord” in the English text, generally has a capital L followed by ord in small letters. The name Yahweh, which we will study later, is translated with the word “LORD” in all upper case letters. Adonai occurs nearly 300 times in the Old Testament. It is used some 215 times in reference to men. When it is used in reference to man, it may mean “sir,” as a title of respect, or it can mean “master,” or “lord."When it is used in reference to people, it is always in the singular, Adon. When Adonai is used for God, it is used in the plural. Some commentators argue that the plural used for the name of God is another implicit suggestion in the Old Testament of the triune nature of God, who reveals Himself as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. However, it is possible that the plural Adonai is used to enhance, or underline and exalt, the awesome majesty of God. In either case, we will find that this name Adonai offers a challenge to His followers to recognize His Lordship in our lives. GOD IS OWNER OF ALL THAT EXISTS The primary significance of the name Adonai is that of ownership. The truth is that God is the rightful owner of every member of the human family and thus can rightly require our worship and obedience. We have a powerful illustration of the emphasis on ownership in the Old Testament Book of Malachi, which was written to call Israel to repentance for their brazen and callous behavior. They had divorced their wives, they had polluted their worship, they had robbed God of the tithe, which was consecrated unto God. Israel had trampled God's Word under their feet in blatant disobedience. The questions posed by God, as recorded in Malachi 1:6, are designed to call Israel to repentance. '""A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?” says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, “How have we despised Thy name?"'” Two forms of the root from which we get Adonai appear in this text with different suffixes. God tells the nation of Israel that it is to be expected that a son honors his father and a servant his master. Then He inquires concerning the lack of honor shown to Him as both Father and Master. The priests, who were to be serving Him, had actually dishonored His name by offering defiled food on His altar (1:7). Instead of bringing a pure and acceptable sacrifice, they would search among their herd and bring animals that were lame and sick. Their callous offering of the useless animals of their flock was a reproach to God, who was the Lord of all and whose name should be revered among the nations. If you read the first chapter of Malachi you will find six explicit references to His name. His name is holy and deserves highest honor, but the priests have brought reproach upon His name by failing to acknowledge His ownership of all that exists. Their willingness to offer less than the best in sacrifice to God demonstrates their failure to honor His name and recognize His authority as Master and owner of all. The first chapter ends with a great declaration:“… I am a great King,” says the Lord of hosts, “and My name is feared among the nations.” Adonai Declares God's Ownership The first usage of Adonai is found in Genesis 15:2. We begin the story of the life of Abram with God's call and promise of a blessing in chapter 12. God calls Abram to leave his country and settle a land that He will show him. The promised blessing is recorded in Genesis 12:2: “And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing.” Abram and his nephew Lot begin this journey together. In chapter 13, we discover that Abram and Lot had chosen to separate their clans. Abram settled in Canaan, while Lot moved his tents as far as Sodom. Lot and his family are captured in a battle and Abram must go to his rescue. Chapter 15 takes up the story after the rescue of Lot. God again speaks to Abram, reminding him of His promises to him. “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying,'Do not fear,Abram, / I am a shield to you; /Your reward shall be very great.' “Abram is perplexed by the promises of the Lord because they are based on his progeny, and he has no children. “And Abram said, 'O Lord GOD, what wilt Thou give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?'” The word Adonai is the word translated “Lord.” The word translated “God” is the name Yahweh. When Yahweh occurs, it is denoted by the use of LORD, in all capitals. Yet, when Adonai and Yahweh occur together, the English translation “Lord, LORD” would be confusing and therefore most English Bibles employ the translation, “Lord God.” Abram is confused about God's promise to make him a great nation when he is childless still. Abram suggests that Eliezer, his slave, is his only heir, but God assures him that his heir shall come from his own body (15:3-4). The Lord took Abram outside and instructed him to look toward the heavens and count the stars. God then reassures Abram that his descendants will be countless like the stars of the heavens. “Then he believed in the LORD [Yahweh]; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. And He said to him, 'I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it,' And he said, 'O Lord GOD [Adonai Yahweh], how may I know that I shall possess it?'” (15:6-8). In this encounter with God, Abram came to a point of surrender where He had to acknowledge his own insufficiency and God's sufficiency. Abram acknowledges that Yahweh is the Lord (Adonai) of his life. However, you should notice that Abram's confession, recorded in verse 2, is immediately followed by an argument that comes from human doubt. Abram asks how this promise could be fulfilled since he is childless. In essence, Abram was in one moment confessing that Yahweh was Lord and then suggesting that the Lord would have trouble fulfilling His own promise. God's response to Abram is profound. By showing him the stars of the heavens, He declares His authority over all creation. Then God reminds Abram that He had brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans. In a sense, God is saying to Abram, “Do you think your childlessness presents me with a problem? If you really know who I am, you will have no doubt. Go outside, look up and see the stars. Can you even count the vast number of stars that I have created?” Of course, the answer was “No.” Abram had to realize that the God who created those stars could easily bring children to him. The Dual Meaning of Lordship What do we mean when we say that Yahweh is Master? I would suggest that lordship has a dual meaning. On the one hand, lordship means complete possession by God. On the other hand, it requires the complete submission of those who would call Him Lord. Thus, when Abram confessed that Yahweh was his Lord, he was recognizing God's sovereign ownership and his own submission. He had declared that God was owner and that Abram was His to command as He desired. The fact is, many of us struggle with this issue of ownership, don't we? From the very first time we understand what mine means, we want to cling to and claim ownership. Take for example two children who are playing together with a toy someone has given to one of them. The children did nothing to deserve the toy. They did not pay for it. Yet as soon as one of the children attempts to play alone with the toy, what happens? The “owner” of the toy snatches it back with a screeching protest, “Mine!” Somehow, all of us have the mistaken notion that we are owners. We claim that we own a house or a piece of land. We also are aware that ownership brings with it frustrations. Ownership rarely proves to be all we expect it to be. We buy a home only to find that we desire a bigger home or another home in a different location. We also discover that ownership is fraught with the constant demand of repair and maintenance. The roof leaks the week before the plumbing backs up. We can be so frustrated with ownership that we are tempted to say that we were much happier when we owned nothing. I've got news for you. You can get out of the business of ownership. Truth is, you're not an owner; you're simply a steward. The Lord is owner of all that exists. I have a practical suggestion that will help you acknowledge this. Sit down during your devotional time, take out a piece of paper and make up a deed signing everything over to God, the rightful owner. Say, “Lord, this has never been mine. Somehow I just took over what is yours by creation. I am excited to acknowledge that I am a steward and that you are owner of all the possessions represented on this deed.” One of my deacons in Norfolk shared with me his personal testimony of the freedom he found when he finally understood that the Lord was the owner of everything. A few weeks after he had signed everything over to the Lord, the Lord's washing machine quit working. He told me that in the past such an event would have created frustration and despair. In this instance, he and his wife simply knelt down in front of the washing machine and said, “Lord, Your washing machine has broken down. What do You want to do about it?” After praying and consulting with a repairman, they determined the Lord needed a new washing machine. They could then thank the Lord that He had provided the resources for them to have a washing machine when so many had less. The understanding that the Lord and Master owns everything helps us to keep life in perspective. Folks, this really is good news. It is a joy to be a steward for the sovereign God of the universe, who has revealed Himself to be holy and righteous. We can rest in the assurance that He is trustworthy and able to provide for our every need. Like Abraham, we will discover that He who has brought us from Ur of the Chaldeans can fulfill His promises in our life. In these days of unprecedented anxiety and fear, we need to discover that God is Adonai. ADONAI SIGNALS A CALL TO SERVICE Exodus 4 provides us with another use of the name Adonai that enables us to further understand what it means when we acknowledge God's lordship over our lives. Remember that during the confrontation with God at the burning bush, Moses had discovered God as Yahweh, the self-existent One, who was present to accomplish His will through Moses.When we rejoin the account in chapter 4, Moses is still trying to explain to his Creator why it would be impossible for him to accomplish his assigned task. Look at verse 10. “Then Moses said to the LORD,'Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.' “You will notice that the verse contains LORD spelled with all capitals and then with only a capital L. Thus Moses addresses Yahweh as his Adonai, or Lord. What makes the passage a curious contradiction in terms is that Moses addresses God as Lord and acknowledges that he is a servant, but then he attempts to excuse himself from obeying his Lord based on his supposed inability. Look now at the Lord's response in verses 11 and 12. “And the LORD said to him, 'Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? NOW then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.'” God patiently reminds His servant, Moses, that He is also his Creator who has made him. If God could give man life, He can certainly put words in his mouth. You would think that God's explanation and promise would have been sufficient to elicit his servant's obedience. Yet we must note Moses' response, recorded in verse 13: “But he said,'Please, Lord [Adonai], now send the message by whomever Thou wilt.'"The context makes it clear that Moses is not agreeing to go on the mission, but is requesting that God send whomever He will, as long as it is not him. We are told that God's anger burned against Moses for his disobedience. How could the servant dare to argue with the Lord, especially when the Lord is sovereign God, the Creator and Redeemer. “We have already discovered that the name Adonai acknowledges God's ownership of everything. Now we can further conclude that the acknowledgment of lordship requires that we willingly and obediently serve Him. Remember, we were created by God (the truth of Elohim) who is Yahweh, active in history to accomplish His will. When we enter into relationship with Him, we will discover our true purpose in life—to serve and glorify Him. Thus, when we call Him Lord, we must be prepared to serve Him. Because our Lord is Yahweh, the self-existent, sovereign God of the universe, He has promised to empower us to do whatever He calls us to do. We don't need to be anxious or doubting about whether we are worthy to serve Him or capable of serving Him. The wonderful news is that He has made us worthy and that He desires to work through us to accomplish His purpose on earth. This single truth could transform your life. DISCOVERING THE JOY OF LORDSHIP Gideon was one of the great deliverers of Israel. His story, recorded in the sixth chapter of the Book of Judges, begins with an account of how the Midianites were devastating the land where the Israelites were dwelling. In desperation, the people of Israel cried out for deliverance from the hands of the Midianites, and God sent a messenger to Gideon while he was beating out some wheat in a winepress. The angel addressed him as a valiant warrior (6:12). Gideon apparently did not agree with the angel's assessment of his ability and calling, for he demonstrated a great reluctance to be the instrument that God would use in the deliverance of Israel. Gideon questioned the messenger who had been sent to call him into service. Gideon wanted to know why all the tragedy had come upon their land. Then he asked why they had not seen miracles like those that had been witnessed by their fathers (6:13). In response, Yahweh looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” (6:14). Gideon's response was immediate. He began to explain to the Lord of the universe why it would be impossible for him to be a deliverer of Israel. “And he said to Him, 'O Lord [Adonai], how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house'” (6:15). God's word of confirmation and assurance was direct but simple. “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man” (6:16). King David loved the name Adonai. As you read the psalms, you will find this name repeated frequently. Perhaps we will discover why this name was so dear to David if we look at 2 Samuel 7, where David expresses his desire to build a house for the ark of God. At first, the prophet Nathan tells him that he may do all that is in his mind. Later, Nathan informs David that God will not allow him to build the temple. Through the prophet, God reminds David that He took him from the pasture to be the ruler over His people Israel and that He has been with him and protected him from his enemies and made him a great name. Then God promises David that He will allow his son to build the temple and that He will establish his kingdom forever. David's response to this news is one of profound humility. “Then David the king went in and sat before the LORD, and he said,'Who am I, O Lord GOD [Adonai Yahweh], and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me this far? And yet this was insignificant in Thine eyes, O Lord GOD, for Thou hast spoken also of the house of Thy servant concerning the distant future. And this is the custom of man, O Lord GOD. And again what more can David say to Thee? For Thou knowest Thy servant, O Lord GOD! For the sake of Thy word, and according to Thine own heart, Thou hast done all this greatness to let Thy servant know'” (7:18-21). Did you notice the repeated references to Yahweh as Lord? David acknowledges his role as servant. He is profoundly moved that the sovereign God of the universe would choose to use such a humble servant. He declares that there is none like God. God has confirmed His word to His servant and empowered him to do whatever He has called him to do. Read the chapter and underline the numerous references to the Lord God. David is moved by the privilege given him to serve His Lord in whatever role he is given to accomplish. The New Testament is replete with the images of ownership and service. Jesus taught His disciples by example and through instruction that greatness in the kingdom is measured in terms of service. In John's Gospel we read these sobering words: '"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him'” (12:26). In the very next chapter of that same Gospel we find the story of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. After this profound object lesson, Jesus declares: “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you” (13:13-15). To call Jesus Lord we surrender ourselves to His ownership and commit ourselves to serve as He served. The apostle Paul often referred to himself as a bondslave, which was a slave or servant who had voluntarily placed himself at the disposal of his master. When he writes to his young protégé Timothy, he speaks of Christ as Lord who had put him into service. “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service” (1 Tim. 1:12). Notice the unique elements of lordship: Christ places us in service and empowers or strengthens us to accomplish the task. Three Characteristics of Those Who KnowGod as Adonai Throughout the Scriptures, those who know God as Adonai will always exhibit three characteristics: • They acknowledge themselves as servants. They understand that God is the Owner of all and they are merely stewards who have been declared worthy by Him to serve. They count it a privilege to serve the living God. • They understand that their Master can supply all their needs, and that He is the One who provides the supernatural empowerment that enables them to serve God effectively. • They realize that they can do whatever God calls them to do.One of my favorite Old Testament stories is found in the Book of Daniel. It concerns a group of young Israelite men who stood for God in a pagan environment. The critical verse that enables us to understand the source of their strength and victory is Daniel 11:32b: “'But the people who know their God will display strength and take action.'” Once we come to fully understand who God is and what He desires to do in our lives, it transforms our willingness to serve and our understanding of the inexhaustible resources available to us.Whom do you serve? Adonai or yourself? If I looked in your checkbook what evidence would I find about your priorities? Is God Adonai in your life? Is He Adonai in your giving? Is He Adonai in your serving? Most people demonstrate their confusion about ownership with the simple pronouns they use in everyday conversation. When asked to serve, they say, “I don't have the time,” or “My time is valuable.” It's not your time, it's God's time, and our responsibility is to use it according to His desire. At other times, I hear folks say, “Well I just haven't made up my mind where I will serve.” According to 1 Corinthians 12:18, God places us in His service wherever He chooses. Do you understand that God alone is the Owner, and that you are chosen and empowered by Him to be His steward? Here is a simple definition of stewardship: Stewardship is the process of managing God's resources according to His plan for His glory. APPLYING WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED Do you believe that there are some Christians who simply can't witness? I've heard people say “I just can't do that. I would never be able to get the words out.” Jesus told His early followers that they were witnesses. The Great Commission was inclusive of all followers of Jesus Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul declares that we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating the world through us. And yet, like Moses, we say, “Lord, I can't.” Don't you see that it is incompatible to say “Lord” and “I can't"? Let's try another question. Do you believe there are some circumstances under which you couldn't possibly offer back to God His tithe and your offering? You may be thinking, “You just don't understand my situation. I've got 'mal-tuition.'” That's the dreaded disease that doesn't end until your youngest child reaches graduation. I understand your predicament. I had two daughters in college at one time, with a third one in private school. Yet, we know that the Bible teaches that we need to honor the Lord through our giving. The truth is, God owns everything. The giving of the tithe and offering is simply a means of acknowledging that He is Adonai, and that He alone can supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. One of the most wonderful breakthroughs in our Christian experience is when we come to understand that God is Adonai. He is Lord of all, and He wants to make His resources available to you so that you may serve Him effectively. Hemphill, K. S., & Hemphill, K. (2001). The names of god. Nashville: B&H.
    Mar 06, 2017 381
  • 02 Mar 2017
    LORD, MASTER: ADONAY or ADONAI   Adonay is a Hebrew word meaning “Lord,” a name that implies relationship: God is Lord, and we are his servants. As a word referring to God it appears more than three hundred times in the Hebrew Scriptures. As you pray to Adonay, tell him you want to surrender every aspect of your life to him. Pray for the grace to become the kind of servant who is quick to do God’s will. Remember, too, that the Lord is the only one who can empower you to fulfill his purpose for your life. In fact, it is in knowing him as your Lord that you will discover a true sense of purpose. The New Testament depicts Jesus as both Lord and Servant. In this latter role he exemplifies what our relationship to Adonay is to be.   Key Scripture You are my Lord; I have no good besides You. (Psalm 16:2 NASB) Notes   God Reveals His Name in Scripture Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD [Yahweh] did not appear to you’?”Then the LORD [Yahweh] said to him, “What is that in your hand?”“A staff,” he replied.The LORD [Yahweh] said, “Throw it on the ground.”Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the LORD [Yahweh] said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the LORD [Yahweh], “is so that they may believe that the LORD [Yahweh], the God of their fathers — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob — has appeared to you.”…Moses said to the LORD [Yahweh], “O Lord [Adonay], I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”The LORD [Yahweh] said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD [Yahweh]? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”But Moses said, “O Lord [Adonay], please send someone else to do it.”Then theLORD’S [Yahweh’s] anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.” (Exodus 4:1 – 5, 10 – 15)   Understanding the Name Adon is a Hebrew word that means “lord” in the sense of an owner, master, or superior. It is frequently used as a term of respect and always refers to people. Adonay (a-do-NAI) is the plural form of adon and always refers to God as Lord or Master. In the Old Testament it is rendered as “Lord” (distinct from “LORD,” the rendering for the Hebrew name Yahweh). When Adonay and Yahweh appear together, the NIV renders the name as “SovereignLORD,” while older translations of the Bible render it“LORD God.” Adonay is first used in Genesis 15:2. In the New Testament, the Greek word most often translated “Lord” is Kyrios. (For more on Jesus as Lord, see chapter 41, p. 196.)   Studying the Name 1. How is the lordship of God displayed in Exodus 4? (Note that Pharaoh’s headdress included a metal cobra, symbolizing his sovereignty.)     2. Imagine what Moses envisioned might happen to him if he obeyed the Lord? When might you have had similar fears about obeying the Lord?     3. Why was the Lord angry with Moses?     4. Notice that Moses expressed reluctance to doing God’s will at the same time he was addressing him as “Lord.” Have you ever done the same? What held you back from doing what the Lord was asking?     5. Although God was angry with Moses, how did he respond to Moses’ request to send someone else?     6. Has God ever sent someone to come alongside you when you were insecure and hesitant about obeying God? Describe how this person helped you.     Passages for Continued StudyNehemiah 4:7 – 18; Psalms 16:2; 54:4; 62:11 – 12; 73:25 – 26; 86:15; 136:3;Isaiah 6:1 – 8; Daniel 9:17 – 19; Luke 17:7 – 10; Philippians 2:5 – 11 Spangler, A. (2011). The names of god. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
    270 Posted by Loretta KoKo Stevens
  • LORD, MASTER: ADONAY or ADONAI   Adonay is a Hebrew word meaning “Lord,” a name that implies relationship: God is Lord, and we are his servants. As a word referring to God it appears more than three hundred times in the Hebrew Scriptures. As you pray to Adonay, tell him you want to surrender every aspect of your life to him. Pray for the grace to become the kind of servant who is quick to do God’s will. Remember, too, that the Lord is the only one who can empower you to fulfill his purpose for your life. In fact, it is in knowing him as your Lord that you will discover a true sense of purpose. The New Testament depicts Jesus as both Lord and Servant. In this latter role he exemplifies what our relationship to Adonay is to be.   Key Scripture You are my Lord; I have no good besides You. (Psalm 16:2 NASB) Notes   God Reveals His Name in Scripture Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD [Yahweh] did not appear to you’?”Then the LORD [Yahweh] said to him, “What is that in your hand?”“A staff,” he replied.The LORD [Yahweh] said, “Throw it on the ground.”Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the LORD [Yahweh] said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the LORD [Yahweh], “is so that they may believe that the LORD [Yahweh], the God of their fathers — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob — has appeared to you.”…Moses said to the LORD [Yahweh], “O Lord [Adonay], I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”The LORD [Yahweh] said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD [Yahweh]? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”But Moses said, “O Lord [Adonay], please send someone else to do it.”Then theLORD’S [Yahweh’s] anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.” (Exodus 4:1 – 5, 10 – 15)   Understanding the Name Adon is a Hebrew word that means “lord” in the sense of an owner, master, or superior. It is frequently used as a term of respect and always refers to people. Adonay (a-do-NAI) is the plural form of adon and always refers to God as Lord or Master. In the Old Testament it is rendered as “Lord” (distinct from “LORD,” the rendering for the Hebrew name Yahweh). When Adonay and Yahweh appear together, the NIV renders the name as “SovereignLORD,” while older translations of the Bible render it“LORD God.” Adonay is first used in Genesis 15:2. In the New Testament, the Greek word most often translated “Lord” is Kyrios. (For more on Jesus as Lord, see chapter 41, p. 196.)   Studying the Name 1. How is the lordship of God displayed in Exodus 4? (Note that Pharaoh’s headdress included a metal cobra, symbolizing his sovereignty.)     2. Imagine what Moses envisioned might happen to him if he obeyed the Lord? When might you have had similar fears about obeying the Lord?     3. Why was the Lord angry with Moses?     4. Notice that Moses expressed reluctance to doing God’s will at the same time he was addressing him as “Lord.” Have you ever done the same? What held you back from doing what the Lord was asking?     5. Although God was angry with Moses, how did he respond to Moses’ request to send someone else?     6. Has God ever sent someone to come alongside you when you were insecure and hesitant about obeying God? Describe how this person helped you.     Passages for Continued StudyNehemiah 4:7 – 18; Psalms 16:2; 54:4; 62:11 – 12; 73:25 – 26; 86:15; 136:3;Isaiah 6:1 – 8; Daniel 9:17 – 19; Luke 17:7 – 10; Philippians 2:5 – 11 Spangler, A. (2011). The names of god. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
    Mar 02, 2017 270
  • 02 Mar 2017
    Introduction Part 3 How to Use this Handbook Handbook to Prayer consists of five parts: Morning Affirmations, a Daily Prayer Guide, a One Week Prayer Guide, a Topical Prayer Guide, and Personal Prayer Pages. Part One: Morning Affirmations This set of affirmations is a tool designed to help you renew your mind at the beginning of each day. It guides you through a biblical perspective on the fundamental issues of life: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? In this way, you review God’s perspective on your faith, your identity, your purpose, and your hope. Don’t feel compelled to go through all the passages in Morning Affirmations every time. As the content becomes more familiar, avoid the trap of reducing these affirmations to a set of words you repeat by rote. Use them as a preliminary to prayer and Bible reading, not as a substitute. Part Two: Daily Prayer Guide This is the heart of this handbook. Because these prayers are on a three-month cycle, you will encounter each passage only four times a year. Thus, this guide can be used indefinitely without excessive repetition. Be sure to use the prayer prompts so that you do not merely read the prayers. It is essential that you personalize them so that they can be incorporated in your own thoughts and experience. You can adapt the prayers in each day to differing time formats. They can be used with profit in a short period of time, or you can move through them more slowly, as you see fit. Although you can tie these daily prayers to the day of the month, there is no need to do so, particularly if you find yourself falling behind. You may decide to mark your place with the ribbon and continue wherever you left off. Part Three: One Week Prayer Guide This seven-day prayer guide is particularly appropriate for longer times of meditation and devotional prayer. You may wish to move through this cycle on an occasional basis.   The Philosophy Underlying this Handbook The God of the Bible is infinite, personal, and triune. As a communion of three Persons, one of God’s purposes in creating us is to display the glory of His being and attributes to intelligent moral creatures who are capable of responding to His relational initiatives. That which can be known of God—His attributes and the glory of His being—has been clearly displayed through the creation of the world, so that mankind is “without excuse” (Rom. 1:19–21). In spite of human rebellion and sin against the Person and character of the Lord, Christ bore the awesome price of our guilt and inaugurated “a new and living way” (Hebrews 10:20) by which the barrier to personal relationship with God has been overcome. “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9–10). Since God is the initiator of a loving relationship with us, our high and holy calling is to respond to His offer. Our Lord, in encapsulating the Law and the Prophets, gave us the essence of this response: “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ ” (Matthew 22:37–39). The quality of our vertical relationship with God has a direct bearing on the quality of our horizontal relationships with others. As we grow in His grace, we will have an enhanced capacity, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, to respond to others with the Christlike qualities of humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance (Ephesians 4:2). This agape, which we receive from the Lord and which flows through us toward others, is rooted in volition (our willingness to receive and display it) and is expressed through thinking and feeling in the deeds of other-centered love. Another way of summarizing our calling and purpose as followers of Christ is to love God completely, to love self correctly, and to love others compassionately. Loving God completely is a growth process that involves the personal elements of communication and response. By listening to the Holy Spirit in the words of Scripture and speaking to the Lord in our thoughts and prayers, we move in the direction of knowing Him better. The better we know Him, the more we will love Him, and the more we love Him, the greater our willingness to respond to Him in trust and obedience. To love ourselves correctly is to see ourselves as God sees us and to allow the Word, not the world, to define us by telling us who and whose we really are. The clearer we capture the vision of our new identity in Christ, the more we will realize that our deepest needs for security, significance, and satisfaction are met in Him and not in people, possessions, or positions. A biblical view of our identity and resources in Christ moves us in the direction of loving others compassionately. Grasping our true and unlimited resources in Christ frees us from bondage to the opinions of others and gives us the liberty to love and serve others regardless of their response. Since we cannot serve two masters, the focus of our heart will either be the temporal or the eternal. If it is the temporal, we cannot love God completely because of a divided heart. When Christ is a component instead of the center of life, things become complicated; the worries of the world, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things choke the word of truth in our lives and we do not bear lasting fruit (Mark 4:19). If the focus of our heart is the eternal, we will love Christ above His created goods and pleasures and begin to fulfill the enduring purpose for which we were created     Day 2 March 2, 2017 Adoration Like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, a great multitude will shout, “Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.” Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:6–7, 9) Lord Jesus, You are the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star. (Revelation 22:16) Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship. Confession Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live before Him. (Hosea 6:1–2) Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. Renewal May I rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18) I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10–11) Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal. Petition Hear my cry, O God, And listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to You When my heart grows faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. You have been a shelter for me And a strong tower against the enemy. I will dwell in Your tent forever And take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. (Psalm 61:1–4) Growth in Christ Greater desire to know and please Him Greater love and commitment to Him Grace to practice His presence Grace to glorify Him in my lifeMy activities for this daySpecial concerns Intercession There is one body and one Spirit, just as we were called in one hope of our calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4–6) Churches and Ministries My local church Other churches Evangelism and discipleship ministries Educational ministries Special concerns Affirmation He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind, for He is not a man, that He should change His mind. (1 Samuel 15:29) The counsel of the Lord stands firm forever, The plans of His heart through all generations. (Psalm 33:11) The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations. Thanksgiving The Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not forsake you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your forefathers, which He swore to them. (Deuteronomy 4:31) You, O Lord, are a shield around me; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head. (Psalm 3:3) Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving. Closing Prayer By this the love of God was manifested to us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9–10) Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy; love does not boast, it is not arrogant, it does not behave rudely; it does not seek its own, it is not provoked, it keeps no record of wrongs; it does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth; it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4–8) Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.
    283 Posted by Loretta KoKo Stevens
  • Introduction Part 3 How to Use this Handbook Handbook to Prayer consists of five parts: Morning Affirmations, a Daily Prayer Guide, a One Week Prayer Guide, a Topical Prayer Guide, and Personal Prayer Pages. Part One: Morning Affirmations This set of affirmations is a tool designed to help you renew your mind at the beginning of each day. It guides you through a biblical perspective on the fundamental issues of life: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? In this way, you review God’s perspective on your faith, your identity, your purpose, and your hope. Don’t feel compelled to go through all the passages in Morning Affirmations every time. As the content becomes more familiar, avoid the trap of reducing these affirmations to a set of words you repeat by rote. Use them as a preliminary to prayer and Bible reading, not as a substitute. Part Two: Daily Prayer Guide This is the heart of this handbook. Because these prayers are on a three-month cycle, you will encounter each passage only four times a year. Thus, this guide can be used indefinitely without excessive repetition. Be sure to use the prayer prompts so that you do not merely read the prayers. It is essential that you personalize them so that they can be incorporated in your own thoughts and experience. You can adapt the prayers in each day to differing time formats. They can be used with profit in a short period of time, or you can move through them more slowly, as you see fit. Although you can tie these daily prayers to the day of the month, there is no need to do so, particularly if you find yourself falling behind. You may decide to mark your place with the ribbon and continue wherever you left off. Part Three: One Week Prayer Guide This seven-day prayer guide is particularly appropriate for longer times of meditation and devotional prayer. You may wish to move through this cycle on an occasional basis.   The Philosophy Underlying this Handbook The God of the Bible is infinite, personal, and triune. As a communion of three Persons, one of God’s purposes in creating us is to display the glory of His being and attributes to intelligent moral creatures who are capable of responding to His relational initiatives. That which can be known of God—His attributes and the glory of His being—has been clearly displayed through the creation of the world, so that mankind is “without excuse” (Rom. 1:19–21). In spite of human rebellion and sin against the Person and character of the Lord, Christ bore the awesome price of our guilt and inaugurated “a new and living way” (Hebrews 10:20) by which the barrier to personal relationship with God has been overcome. “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9–10). Since God is the initiator of a loving relationship with us, our high and holy calling is to respond to His offer. Our Lord, in encapsulating the Law and the Prophets, gave us the essence of this response: “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ ” (Matthew 22:37–39). The quality of our vertical relationship with God has a direct bearing on the quality of our horizontal relationships with others. As we grow in His grace, we will have an enhanced capacity, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, to respond to others with the Christlike qualities of humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance (Ephesians 4:2). This agape, which we receive from the Lord and which flows through us toward others, is rooted in volition (our willingness to receive and display it) and is expressed through thinking and feeling in the deeds of other-centered love. Another way of summarizing our calling and purpose as followers of Christ is to love God completely, to love self correctly, and to love others compassionately. Loving God completely is a growth process that involves the personal elements of communication and response. By listening to the Holy Spirit in the words of Scripture and speaking to the Lord in our thoughts and prayers, we move in the direction of knowing Him better. The better we know Him, the more we will love Him, and the more we love Him, the greater our willingness to respond to Him in trust and obedience. To love ourselves correctly is to see ourselves as God sees us and to allow the Word, not the world, to define us by telling us who and whose we really are. The clearer we capture the vision of our new identity in Christ, the more we will realize that our deepest needs for security, significance, and satisfaction are met in Him and not in people, possessions, or positions. A biblical view of our identity and resources in Christ moves us in the direction of loving others compassionately. Grasping our true and unlimited resources in Christ frees us from bondage to the opinions of others and gives us the liberty to love and serve others regardless of their response. Since we cannot serve two masters, the focus of our heart will either be the temporal or the eternal. If it is the temporal, we cannot love God completely because of a divided heart. When Christ is a component instead of the center of life, things become complicated; the worries of the world, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things choke the word of truth in our lives and we do not bear lasting fruit (Mark 4:19). If the focus of our heart is the eternal, we will love Christ above His created goods and pleasures and begin to fulfill the enduring purpose for which we were created     Day 2 March 2, 2017 Adoration Like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, a great multitude will shout, “Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.” Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:6–7, 9) Lord Jesus, You are the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star. (Revelation 22:16) Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship. Confession Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live before Him. (Hosea 6:1–2) Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. Renewal May I rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18) I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10–11) Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal. Petition Hear my cry, O God, And listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to You When my heart grows faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. You have been a shelter for me And a strong tower against the enemy. I will dwell in Your tent forever And take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. (Psalm 61:1–4) Growth in Christ Greater desire to know and please Him Greater love and commitment to Him Grace to practice His presence Grace to glorify Him in my lifeMy activities for this daySpecial concerns Intercession There is one body and one Spirit, just as we were called in one hope of our calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4–6) Churches and Ministries My local church Other churches Evangelism and discipleship ministries Educational ministries Special concerns Affirmation He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind, for He is not a man, that He should change His mind. (1 Samuel 15:29) The counsel of the Lord stands firm forever, The plans of His heart through all generations. (Psalm 33:11) The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations. Thanksgiving The Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not forsake you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your forefathers, which He swore to them. (Deuteronomy 4:31) You, O Lord, are a shield around me; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head. (Psalm 3:3) Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving. Closing Prayer By this the love of God was manifested to us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9–10) Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy; love does not boast, it is not arrogant, it does not behave rudely; it does not seek its own, it is not provoked, it keeps no record of wrongs; it does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth; it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4–8) Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.
    Mar 02, 2017 283
  • 01 Mar 2017
    YAHWEH - ISRAEL'S CONVENANTAL GOD EXODUS 3:14   Does God have a proper name? The psalmist in Psalm 68:4 says: Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up {a song} for Him who rides through thedeserts, Whose name is the Lord [Yahweh] and exultbefore Him. The prophet Isaiah records this declaration by the Lord: “I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.” (42:8)Most Bible scholars would agree that the name Yahweh, or Jehovah, as it is sometimes translated, would be the proper name of God. The other names, including the compound names, provide further revelation of His character and His activity. Jehovah, or Yahweh, occurs 6,823 times in the Bible. Many English translations will translate this name with the word LORD, in all capitals, to distinguish it from Adonai, which is often translated with the word Lord in upper and lowercase letters. In Hebrew,Yahweh is written with only the four consonants YHWH and no vowels. The Hebrews considered this name so holy that they would not pronounce it for fear that they would profane the holiness of the name. When they came to YHWH in the text, they would substitute the name Adonai. When the Jewish scholars, called Masoretes, added vowel signs sometime before the tenth century A.D., the vowels from the name Adonai were put together with the letters YHWH (translated as JHVH in German) to create the name Jehovah that we find often in our English text. THE MEANING OF YAHWEH The first appearance of this name is in Genesis 2:4. Here it is used in combination with the name Elohim. “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God [Yahweh Elohim] made earth and heaven."This name is used a second time in Genesis 28:13, where we have the account of Jacob's dream at Bethel. “And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, 'I am the LORD [Yahweh], the God [Elohim] of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.'” In these two contexts we can affirm that Yahweh and Elohim both refer to the one God of the Bible. The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one true God in the heavens and the earth. We refer to this as the teaching of monotheism, one God. Thus, while we may look at the different names applied to God, we need to clearly understand that God is One and beside Him no other god exists. The prophet Isaiah, recording the words of the Lord, makes this abundantly clear: “You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed And there will be none after Me.” (43:10)What then is the meaning or significance of this name? It comes from the verb “to be” in the Hebrew. Therefore, it is tied to the idea of life itself. “To be” is “to live.” “To be” at its very essence is to have life. Thus the name implies that God is absolutely self-existent. He is the One who in Himself possesses life and permanent existence. He alone! Sometimes our children ask us, “Well, Daddy (or Mommy), who created God?” And we reply with profound wisdom and confidence,"In the beginning was God.” Unsatisfied they repeat, “But who created God?” When such a question is asked, it is obvious that we are thinking in a scientific fashion in terms of cause and effect. We have been taught that everything that exists had to have a prior cause. That is the point of the name Yahweh. God is the uncaused cause. He is the first cause and before Him there was no other and after Him there will be no other. Life is found in Him. He is the first cause that you may have been searching for all of your life. During Israel's exile in Babylon, Daniel rebuked Belshazzar, the pagan king. He declared: “But you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven; … and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which do not see, hear or understand. But the God in whose hand are your life-breath and your ways, you have not glorified” (5:23). The king's mistake was a fundamental one. He worshiped the gods of his own making, but ignored the God who had made him. Yahweh alone is God; before Him, nothing existed, and without Him there is no life. Nothing exists except that it has its life in Him, and we will never understand our purpose as a human race or as human beings until we know Him. The Revelation of the Name Yahweh Exodus 3 is the most critical passage for our understanding of the name Yahweh. The children of Israel were slaves in Egypt and had been crying out to God for deliverance. Then God confronted Moses by speaking to him from a burning bush. This account of the calling of Moses is one of the most striking and convincing events in the Bible. When the Lord saw that Moses had turned aside to look at the bush, He called to him from the midst of the bush, telling Moses that he was standing on holy ground. It is not insignificant that God first identified Himself in terms of His historic relationship to Israel's forefathers. “He said also, 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'” (Exod. 3:6). In humility and fear, Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. No doubt Moses knew the great stories of God's supernatural activity among His chosen people. Now this same God was saying to Moses that the God who had acted redemptively and powerfully in the lives of the patriarchs was speaking to him in the present tense. By this historic reference, He was reminding Moses that He had delivered His people in the past, He had sustained and cared for them through the years. Next He made the incredible announcement that He was about to act in the present to deliver Israel from Egyptian captivity. He promised Moses that He had come down to deliver Israel from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them to a spacious and fruitful land (3:8). The revelation takes an unexpected turn when God declares His intention to use Moses as His instrument for deliverance. “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt” (3:10). Moses, not thrilled with this news, immediately objected that he was incapable and unworthy to participate in such a venture. “But Moses said to God, 'Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?'” (3:11). Moses' question, “Who am I?” is both irrelevant and irreverent, because God had already promised that He Himself would deliver Israel. Moses was merely chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God. The question is irreverent because it calls into question God's judgment in His choice of such a lowly and incompetent servant. Moses gave God excuses about his inability to speak or to stand before the Pharaoh. Who could imagine the created one arguing against the Creator? Yet don't we find ourselves in a similar situation today? We're called upon to teach a class, witness to a friend, or some other task of service, and we reply, “Who am I?"We make excuses about our inability and we question God's right or wisdom in calling us to serve Him. We, like Moses, suffer from the mistaken idea that we can do God's work in our own strength. When God calls us to a task, we can rest assured that He has created us for this very purpose and will empower us to accomplish it. HE IS ACTIVE IN THE PRESENT I believe that Moses asked such an irrelevant and irreverent question because he suffered from a problem that affects men and women today. Until God approached Moses at the burning bush, He was only a God of history to Moses, not a God of the present. Perhaps Moses had absolute confidence that God had worked miraculously in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He probably never would have considered calling these historical accounts into question. Yet, at the moment of truth, he struggled to believe that the God of history could work through his life to deliver Israel. Tragically, many of us are at the same point in our Christian pilgrimages. We have no problem affirming the historical accuracy of the Bible. We don't question that God opened the Red Sea. We may not be sure how He accomplished this feat or how wide the opening was, but we're sure it was big enough to get the children of Israel through on dry land. We believe that God fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes. We believe that all the miracles are historically true! What if you were asked: “Do you believe that God can work in your life today? Do you believe He can use you to change your nation? Do you believe that God can work in your church today to transform your city and the world? Do you believe that God can change your marriage and restore broken relationships? Do you believe that God can forgive your sin? Do you believe that God can work in your life, enabling you to teach that Sunday school class? Do you believe that God can work in your life to reach that unsaved friend that you've been thinking is beyond His reach?” Is your God merely a God of history, and not necessarily a God of the present? Then Moses asked a second question, and it's a good one. In truth, it is the only question that has any relevance in his life or in ours. “Then Moses said to God, 'Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” Now they may say to me, “What is His name?” What shall I say to them?'” (3:13).That is a great question. It is both relevant and reverent. It is the question that should be the focus of our attention as we grow in our relationship to God. In verse 14, God answers him: “And God said to Moses,'I AM WHO I AM'; and He said, 'Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you."' And God, furthermore, said to Moses,'Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is My name forever, and this is my memorial name to all the generations.'”Various scholars have suggested different translations of the name of God used in this passage. The name is from the imperfect stem of the Hebrew verb “to be.” The imperfect tense denotes an action that started in the past, continues in the present, but is not yet complete. Many Bible scholars follow the simple translation that we have in our text, “I am who I am.” One of our Old Testament scholars at Southwestern translates it this way: “I AM who I have always been.” I like this translation because it affirms that the God who spoke from the burning bush is the same God who worked through the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It also implies His ability and desire to work through Moses in the present and the future. However we translate this name, we can be assured that it affirms God's self-existence and His eternality. THE GOD OF REVELATION “We first encountered the name Yahweh in Genesis 2:4, but with no explanation of its meaning. Here in Exodus, Moses, the author of the first five books of the Bible, shows us the significance of God's name by connecting it to the covenant and a promise to the people. He affirms that the God of creation is the God of the patriarchs who has now manifested Himself as a personal, living God who will fulfill to the people of Israel the promise that He made to their fathers. The name Jehovah declares that God is personal, self-existent, and unchanging in His desire to reveal Himself in the personal redemption of those He has created (cf. Exod. 6:3-6).As we study the Old Testament, we will find that the name Yahweh is used consistently in passages involving revelation. You don't find references that begin, “Thus saith Elohim.” It is always “Thus saith Yahweh, or Jehovah.” This name affirms that God not only exists but that He communicates with us. He desires to reveal Himself in such a way that we can come to know Him. Through revelation He inspired the prophets to speak the very words of God. Beyond this, we know that God ultimately revealed Himself by taking on human flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. When you read the Gospel of John, you will discover numerous “I am” statements from the mouth of Jesus. You will recall that He declared Himself to be the bread of life; the living water; the way, the truth, and the life. The Jewish listeners of Jesus' day could not have helped but connect these “I am” declarations with the great “I AM” affirmation of God in the Old Testament. Jesus was declaring to His audience that He was God in the flesh. It is no wonder that many Jews accused Him of blasphemy. We should not overlook the precious truth that Jesus is fully God. He is the I AM. Thus it is true that if we are to know Jehovah in a personal way, we can do so only through His Son. THE GOD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS The name Jehovah or Yahweh also underlines God's moral and spiritual attributes. We can now see that Jehovah has covenanted with men based on the credibility of His own moral and spiritual attributes. The first reference to the name Jehovah, in Genesis 2:4, is found in conjunction with the name Elohim, the Maker of the heavens and the earth. Moses, the inspired author of Genesis and Exodus, wanted us to understand that there is only one God. We must not be confused as we go through this study. We do not have a pantheon of gods. We worship one God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, who is a holy God, who reveals Himself in such a manner that we can know Him in a personal relationship. The name Yahweh emphasizes the moral nature of the covenant God of Israel. It is interesting that when Satan tempted Eve to sin (Gen. 3:1-5), he refers to God as Elohim. When Eve responds to Satan, she also uses the name Elohim. In Genesis 3:8-9, after Adam and Eve had sinned, they hear the word and the voice of Yahweh. “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God [Yahweh Elohim] among the trees of the garden.” The name Yahweh underscores that God is holy and righteous. The psalmist declares: For the LORD [Yahweh] is righteous; He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face. (Ps. 11:7)Daniel 9:14 is also instructive: “'For the LORD our God [Yahweh our Elohim] is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.'” In the very next verse, Daniel refers to the great deliverance of the Exodus and contrasts it with the sin of God's people. “'And now, O Lord our God, who has brought Thy people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and hast made a name for Thyself, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have been wicked.'” Daniel 9:14 says that “'[Jehovah, our Elohim] is righteous with respect to all His deeds.'” In Leviticus 19:2, the first requirement of those who would follow Him is that “you shall be holy for [Yahweh, your Elohim] (is) holy.” We must understand that when we sin, it is against the righteousness of God. It is not ultimately that we violate man's standards. There is only one moral standard in the universe that counts and that is the standard of the Creator, Yahweh or Elohim. He Himself is righteousness and therefore it is against the righteousness of a holy God that man's sin must be understood. The name Yahweh is used when God drives Adam and Eve from the garden. The incredibly good news of Scripture is that Yahweh, who is holy, is also characterized by His love in relationship with His people. In Jeremiah 31:3 we read: The LORD [Yahweh] appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”As a holy God, Yahweh must condemn sin, because it destroys His very image in man, who was created for relationship with a holy God. Yet, in His love, He has provided a way for man's redemption. Let us return to our primary passage in Exodus, chapter 3. You will remember that we were told that Yahweh was the memorial name by which Israel was to know God. The content of that story focused on God's redemption of His people. Look again at verses 8 and 10. In verse 8, God declares that He has come down to deliver or redeem Israel. In verse 10, He commissions Moses to go to Pharaoh to bring forth God's people from captivity. For all who find themselves captive to sin today and think that there would be no way they could approach a holy God, this story brings good news. Yahweh has the power to redeem you and bring you out of your captivity. THE PROMISE OF REDEMPTION One of the great passages of redemption in the Old Testament is Exodus 34, where we find recorded the story of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, the moral code of righteousness by which Israel was called to live. If you are a student of Old Testament history, you will recall that this was the second time God had inscribed these commandments on stone tablets. Moses had shattered the original tablets when he descended from the mountain and looked upon the sin of Israel as they worshiped the golden calf (Exod. 32:15-20).In Exodus 34, we are told that the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with Moses as he called upon His name. “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, 'The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.'” (vv. 6—7a). Notice the integral connection between the attributes of God, His judgment of sin, and His promise of forgiveness. Because God is a holy God, he must condemn sin. There are those who want to argue that if God were truly loving, He would never condemn sinners. Such an argument misses the point completely. Because God is both holy and loving, He must condemn sin, because its effect is to destroy His image in us. That's what Paul means when He declares that the wages of sin is death. Sin causes spiritual death and separation from our holy God. For God to be holy, He must also be just, and His justice leads to the condemnation of sin. At the same time, His lovingkindness, His compassionate nature, offers us forgiveness from sin. God's Sacrifice for Sin The Book of Leviticus in the Old Testament is powerful and precious because it deals with a system of sacrifice by which man could be made clean before God. As we read about the grain offerings, the sin offerings, the turtledoves and heifers, we may sometimes find it slow and confusing reading, but we should not fail to see the truth of God's great love offering man a way of cleansing from sin. You may find it fascinating that in the first seven chapters of Leviticus, which sets forth this system of sacrifice, the name Elohim is used only one time, while the name Yahweh is used eighty-six times. In Leviticus 16, which is about the great Day of Atonement, there are twelve references to the name of God, and each time it is Yahweh. In other words, it is in Yahweh that we will find our redemption and our atonement. We have already mentioned the great “I AM” sayings in John's Gospel, which declare that Jesus is the very incarnation of Yahweh. Jesus clearly articulated the truth that He and the Father were one (John 10:30) and that He alone provided eternal access to the Father (John 14:6). The Book of Hebrews further tells us that Jesus Himself became the fulfillment of the sacrificial system outlined in the Old Testament. Take time to read all of Hebrews 10, this wonderful account of God's fulfilled promise: After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES FOR SIN THOU HAS NOT DESIRED, NOR HAST THOU TAKEN PLEASURE IN THEM” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold I have come to do thy will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. (VV. 8-12) Jesus' sacrifice of Himself on the cross was the single sacrifice that accomplished what the daily sacrifices could only point to in the future. That makes the wonderful assurance of Hebrews 10:18 possible for the believer today. “Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.” For that very reason we have confidence to enter into God's presence by the blood of Jesus (10:19). Thus we can draw near with a sincere heart and full assurance of faith (10:22).The blood of Jesus refers to His self-giving on the cross to forgive us of our sins (Heb. 13:11-12). THE NEED FOR YAHWEH TODAY The tragedy in our day is that many people are still attempting to please God by their own merit. They are aware of their own sinful condition, but they hope they can be good enough or attend church frequently enough to atone for their sin. Others have looked to New Age philosophies for comfort, thinking that they might be reincarnated and have another chance at life. The Bible alone promises the only sure solution to our sin problem. We have been offered forgiveness by God Himself. If we are to approach a holy God, we must do so on His terms. Since none are righteous and all are guilty of sin, a sinless sacrifice was required. God in His great love sent His own Son. “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The only thing that will make a difference when you stand before God is how you responded to His offer of forgiveness through His Son. It will not matter where you attended church, or what denomination you identified with, or how many good things you did. God's forgiveness is a free gift made possible in His Son. When you have experienced forgiveness and live in a personal relationship with the Creator of the world, you will discover that He is a God of the present tense, continually working in your life. Therefore you will find that you hunger to know Him more through the study of His Word and through fellowship with others who are in relationship with Him. You will want to tell others of the wonderful discovery you have made so that they may know their Creator in a personal way. When we have received Christ, we must come to understand the same lesson that Moses had to learn—that God is “I AM” in the present tense of our lives. Do you know God as active in your life to overcome doubt or depression? Do you know Him as the present tense answer to the healing of broken relationships? Do you know Him as the God who can deal with your anger and resentment, as the God who can change your life? He is the “I AM” who is active to transform and empower daily living. Whatever your present tense need, Jesus is the “I AM” of God. Some truths may seem so deep that our human mind struggles with them, but we must understand that God revealed Himself personally and fully in Jesus Christ. It was Christ who was God from the very beginning, who became flesh, and who took upon Himself our sin that we might take upon ourselves the righteousness of God. Yahweh is the God of the present tense; the God of redemption, the God who has revealed Himself fully in Christ Jesus. He alone is the definition of God, who has life, and has come to live in us today. Hemphill, K. S., & Hemphill, K. (2001). The names of god. Nashville: B&H.
    288 Posted by Loretta KoKo Stevens
  • YAHWEH - ISRAEL'S CONVENANTAL GOD EXODUS 3:14   Does God have a proper name? The psalmist in Psalm 68:4 says: Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up {a song} for Him who rides through thedeserts, Whose name is the Lord [Yahweh] and exultbefore Him. The prophet Isaiah records this declaration by the Lord: “I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.” (42:8)Most Bible scholars would agree that the name Yahweh, or Jehovah, as it is sometimes translated, would be the proper name of God. The other names, including the compound names, provide further revelation of His character and His activity. Jehovah, or Yahweh, occurs 6,823 times in the Bible. Many English translations will translate this name with the word LORD, in all capitals, to distinguish it from Adonai, which is often translated with the word Lord in upper and lowercase letters. In Hebrew,Yahweh is written with only the four consonants YHWH and no vowels. The Hebrews considered this name so holy that they would not pronounce it for fear that they would profane the holiness of the name. When they came to YHWH in the text, they would substitute the name Adonai. When the Jewish scholars, called Masoretes, added vowel signs sometime before the tenth century A.D., the vowels from the name Adonai were put together with the letters YHWH (translated as JHVH in German) to create the name Jehovah that we find often in our English text. THE MEANING OF YAHWEH The first appearance of this name is in Genesis 2:4. Here it is used in combination with the name Elohim. “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God [Yahweh Elohim] made earth and heaven."This name is used a second time in Genesis 28:13, where we have the account of Jacob's dream at Bethel. “And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, 'I am the LORD [Yahweh], the God [Elohim] of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.'” In these two contexts we can affirm that Yahweh and Elohim both refer to the one God of the Bible. The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one true God in the heavens and the earth. We refer to this as the teaching of monotheism, one God. Thus, while we may look at the different names applied to God, we need to clearly understand that God is One and beside Him no other god exists. The prophet Isaiah, recording the words of the Lord, makes this abundantly clear: “You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed And there will be none after Me.” (43:10)What then is the meaning or significance of this name? It comes from the verb “to be” in the Hebrew. Therefore, it is tied to the idea of life itself. “To be” is “to live.” “To be” at its very essence is to have life. Thus the name implies that God is absolutely self-existent. He is the One who in Himself possesses life and permanent existence. He alone! Sometimes our children ask us, “Well, Daddy (or Mommy), who created God?” And we reply with profound wisdom and confidence,"In the beginning was God.” Unsatisfied they repeat, “But who created God?” When such a question is asked, it is obvious that we are thinking in a scientific fashion in terms of cause and effect. We have been taught that everything that exists had to have a prior cause. That is the point of the name Yahweh. God is the uncaused cause. He is the first cause and before Him there was no other and after Him there will be no other. Life is found in Him. He is the first cause that you may have been searching for all of your life. During Israel's exile in Babylon, Daniel rebuked Belshazzar, the pagan king. He declared: “But you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven; … and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which do not see, hear or understand. But the God in whose hand are your life-breath and your ways, you have not glorified” (5:23). The king's mistake was a fundamental one. He worshiped the gods of his own making, but ignored the God who had made him. Yahweh alone is God; before Him, nothing existed, and without Him there is no life. Nothing exists except that it has its life in Him, and we will never understand our purpose as a human race or as human beings until we know Him. The Revelation of the Name Yahweh Exodus 3 is the most critical passage for our understanding of the name Yahweh. The children of Israel were slaves in Egypt and had been crying out to God for deliverance. Then God confronted Moses by speaking to him from a burning bush. This account of the calling of Moses is one of the most striking and convincing events in the Bible. When the Lord saw that Moses had turned aside to look at the bush, He called to him from the midst of the bush, telling Moses that he was standing on holy ground. It is not insignificant that God first identified Himself in terms of His historic relationship to Israel's forefathers. “He said also, 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'” (Exod. 3:6). In humility and fear, Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. No doubt Moses knew the great stories of God's supernatural activity among His chosen people. Now this same God was saying to Moses that the God who had acted redemptively and powerfully in the lives of the patriarchs was speaking to him in the present tense. By this historic reference, He was reminding Moses that He had delivered His people in the past, He had sustained and cared for them through the years. Next He made the incredible announcement that He was about to act in the present to deliver Israel from Egyptian captivity. He promised Moses that He had come down to deliver Israel from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them to a spacious and fruitful land (3:8). The revelation takes an unexpected turn when God declares His intention to use Moses as His instrument for deliverance. “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt” (3:10). Moses, not thrilled with this news, immediately objected that he was incapable and unworthy to participate in such a venture. “But Moses said to God, 'Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?'” (3:11). Moses' question, “Who am I?” is both irrelevant and irreverent, because God had already promised that He Himself would deliver Israel. Moses was merely chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God. The question is irreverent because it calls into question God's judgment in His choice of such a lowly and incompetent servant. Moses gave God excuses about his inability to speak or to stand before the Pharaoh. Who could imagine the created one arguing against the Creator? Yet don't we find ourselves in a similar situation today? We're called upon to teach a class, witness to a friend, or some other task of service, and we reply, “Who am I?"We make excuses about our inability and we question God's right or wisdom in calling us to serve Him. We, like Moses, suffer from the mistaken idea that we can do God's work in our own strength. When God calls us to a task, we can rest assured that He has created us for this very purpose and will empower us to accomplish it. HE IS ACTIVE IN THE PRESENT I believe that Moses asked such an irrelevant and irreverent question because he suffered from a problem that affects men and women today. Until God approached Moses at the burning bush, He was only a God of history to Moses, not a God of the present. Perhaps Moses had absolute confidence that God had worked miraculously in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He probably never would have considered calling these historical accounts into question. Yet, at the moment of truth, he struggled to believe that the God of history could work through his life to deliver Israel. Tragically, many of us are at the same point in our Christian pilgrimages. We have no problem affirming the historical accuracy of the Bible. We don't question that God opened the Red Sea. We may not be sure how He accomplished this feat or how wide the opening was, but we're sure it was big enough to get the children of Israel through on dry land. We believe that God fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes. We believe that all the miracles are historically true! What if you were asked: “Do you believe that God can work in your life today? Do you believe He can use you to change your nation? Do you believe that God can work in your church today to transform your city and the world? Do you believe that God can change your marriage and restore broken relationships? Do you believe that God can forgive your sin? Do you believe that God can work in your life, enabling you to teach that Sunday school class? Do you believe that God can work in your life to reach that unsaved friend that you've been thinking is beyond His reach?” Is your God merely a God of history, and not necessarily a God of the present? Then Moses asked a second question, and it's a good one. In truth, it is the only question that has any relevance in his life or in ours. “Then Moses said to God, 'Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” Now they may say to me, “What is His name?” What shall I say to them?'” (3:13).That is a great question. It is both relevant and reverent. It is the question that should be the focus of our attention as we grow in our relationship to God. In verse 14, God answers him: “And God said to Moses,'I AM WHO I AM'; and He said, 'Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you."' And God, furthermore, said to Moses,'Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is My name forever, and this is my memorial name to all the generations.'”Various scholars have suggested different translations of the name of God used in this passage. The name is from the imperfect stem of the Hebrew verb “to be.” The imperfect tense denotes an action that started in the past, continues in the present, but is not yet complete. Many Bible scholars follow the simple translation that we have in our text, “I am who I am.” One of our Old Testament scholars at Southwestern translates it this way: “I AM who I have always been.” I like this translation because it affirms that the God who spoke from the burning bush is the same God who worked through the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It also implies His ability and desire to work through Moses in the present and the future. However we translate this name, we can be assured that it affirms God's self-existence and His eternality. THE GOD OF REVELATION “We first encountered the name Yahweh in Genesis 2:4, but with no explanation of its meaning. Here in Exodus, Moses, the author of the first five books of the Bible, shows us the significance of God's name by connecting it to the covenant and a promise to the people. He affirms that the God of creation is the God of the patriarchs who has now manifested Himself as a personal, living God who will fulfill to the people of Israel the promise that He made to their fathers. The name Jehovah declares that God is personal, self-existent, and unchanging in His desire to reveal Himself in the personal redemption of those He has created (cf. Exod. 6:3-6).As we study the Old Testament, we will find that the name Yahweh is used consistently in passages involving revelation. You don't find references that begin, “Thus saith Elohim.” It is always “Thus saith Yahweh, or Jehovah.” This name affirms that God not only exists but that He communicates with us. He desires to reveal Himself in such a way that we can come to know Him. Through revelation He inspired the prophets to speak the very words of God. Beyond this, we know that God ultimately revealed Himself by taking on human flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. When you read the Gospel of John, you will discover numerous “I am” statements from the mouth of Jesus. You will recall that He declared Himself to be the bread of life; the living water; the way, the truth, and the life. The Jewish listeners of Jesus' day could not have helped but connect these “I am” declarations with the great “I AM” affirmation of God in the Old Testament. Jesus was declaring to His audience that He was God in the flesh. It is no wonder that many Jews accused Him of blasphemy. We should not overlook the precious truth that Jesus is fully God. He is the I AM. Thus it is true that if we are to know Jehovah in a personal way, we can do so only through His Son. THE GOD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS The name Jehovah or Yahweh also underlines God's moral and spiritual attributes. We can now see that Jehovah has covenanted with men based on the credibility of His own moral and spiritual attributes. The first reference to the name Jehovah, in Genesis 2:4, is found in conjunction with the name Elohim, the Maker of the heavens and the earth. Moses, the inspired author of Genesis and Exodus, wanted us to understand that there is only one God. We must not be confused as we go through this study. We do not have a pantheon of gods. We worship one God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, who is a holy God, who reveals Himself in such a manner that we can know Him in a personal relationship. The name Yahweh emphasizes the moral nature of the covenant God of Israel. It is interesting that when Satan tempted Eve to sin (Gen. 3:1-5), he refers to God as Elohim. When Eve responds to Satan, she also uses the name Elohim. In Genesis 3:8-9, after Adam and Eve had sinned, they hear the word and the voice of Yahweh. “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God [Yahweh Elohim] among the trees of the garden.” The name Yahweh underscores that God is holy and righteous. The psalmist declares: For the LORD [Yahweh] is righteous; He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face. (Ps. 11:7)Daniel 9:14 is also instructive: “'For the LORD our God [Yahweh our Elohim] is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.'” In the very next verse, Daniel refers to the great deliverance of the Exodus and contrasts it with the sin of God's people. “'And now, O Lord our God, who has brought Thy people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and hast made a name for Thyself, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have been wicked.'” Daniel 9:14 says that “'[Jehovah, our Elohim] is righteous with respect to all His deeds.'” In Leviticus 19:2, the first requirement of those who would follow Him is that “you shall be holy for [Yahweh, your Elohim] (is) holy.” We must understand that when we sin, it is against the righteousness of God. It is not ultimately that we violate man's standards. There is only one moral standard in the universe that counts and that is the standard of the Creator, Yahweh or Elohim. He Himself is righteousness and therefore it is against the righteousness of a holy God that man's sin must be understood. The name Yahweh is used when God drives Adam and Eve from the garden. The incredibly good news of Scripture is that Yahweh, who is holy, is also characterized by His love in relationship with His people. In Jeremiah 31:3 we read: The LORD [Yahweh] appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”As a holy God, Yahweh must condemn sin, because it destroys His very image in man, who was created for relationship with a holy God. Yet, in His love, He has provided a way for man's redemption. Let us return to our primary passage in Exodus, chapter 3. You will remember that we were told that Yahweh was the memorial name by which Israel was to know God. The content of that story focused on God's redemption of His people. Look again at verses 8 and 10. In verse 8, God declares that He has come down to deliver or redeem Israel. In verse 10, He commissions Moses to go to Pharaoh to bring forth God's people from captivity. For all who find themselves captive to sin today and think that there would be no way they could approach a holy God, this story brings good news. Yahweh has the power to redeem you and bring you out of your captivity. THE PROMISE OF REDEMPTION One of the great passages of redemption in the Old Testament is Exodus 34, where we find recorded the story of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, the moral code of righteousness by which Israel was called to live. If you are a student of Old Testament history, you will recall that this was the second time God had inscribed these commandments on stone tablets. Moses had shattered the original tablets when he descended from the mountain and looked upon the sin of Israel as they worshiped the golden calf (Exod. 32:15-20).In Exodus 34, we are told that the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with Moses as he called upon His name. “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, 'The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.'” (vv. 6—7a). Notice the integral connection between the attributes of God, His judgment of sin, and His promise of forgiveness. Because God is a holy God, he must condemn sin. There are those who want to argue that if God were truly loving, He would never condemn sinners. Such an argument misses the point completely. Because God is both holy and loving, He must condemn sin, because its effect is to destroy His image in us. That's what Paul means when He declares that the wages of sin is death. Sin causes spiritual death and separation from our holy God. For God to be holy, He must also be just, and His justice leads to the condemnation of sin. At the same time, His lovingkindness, His compassionate nature, offers us forgiveness from sin. God's Sacrifice for Sin The Book of Leviticus in the Old Testament is powerful and precious because it deals with a system of sacrifice by which man could be made clean before God. As we read about the grain offerings, the sin offerings, the turtledoves and heifers, we may sometimes find it slow and confusing reading, but we should not fail to see the truth of God's great love offering man a way of cleansing from sin. You may find it fascinating that in the first seven chapters of Leviticus, which sets forth this system of sacrifice, the name Elohim is used only one time, while the name Yahweh is used eighty-six times. In Leviticus 16, which is about the great Day of Atonement, there are twelve references to the name of God, and each time it is Yahweh. In other words, it is in Yahweh that we will find our redemption and our atonement. We have already mentioned the great “I AM” sayings in John's Gospel, which declare that Jesus is the very incarnation of Yahweh. Jesus clearly articulated the truth that He and the Father were one (John 10:30) and that He alone provided eternal access to the Father (John 14:6). The Book of Hebrews further tells us that Jesus Himself became the fulfillment of the sacrificial system outlined in the Old Testament. Take time to read all of Hebrews 10, this wonderful account of God's fulfilled promise: After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES FOR SIN THOU HAS NOT DESIRED, NOR HAST THOU TAKEN PLEASURE IN THEM” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold I have come to do thy will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. (VV. 8-12) Jesus' sacrifice of Himself on the cross was the single sacrifice that accomplished what the daily sacrifices could only point to in the future. That makes the wonderful assurance of Hebrews 10:18 possible for the believer today. “Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.” For that very reason we have confidence to enter into God's presence by the blood of Jesus (10:19). Thus we can draw near with a sincere heart and full assurance of faith (10:22).The blood of Jesus refers to His self-giving on the cross to forgive us of our sins (Heb. 13:11-12). THE NEED FOR YAHWEH TODAY The tragedy in our day is that many people are still attempting to please God by their own merit. They are aware of their own sinful condition, but they hope they can be good enough or attend church frequently enough to atone for their sin. Others have looked to New Age philosophies for comfort, thinking that they might be reincarnated and have another chance at life. The Bible alone promises the only sure solution to our sin problem. We have been offered forgiveness by God Himself. If we are to approach a holy God, we must do so on His terms. Since none are righteous and all are guilty of sin, a sinless sacrifice was required. God in His great love sent His own Son. “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The only thing that will make a difference when you stand before God is how you responded to His offer of forgiveness through His Son. It will not matter where you attended church, or what denomination you identified with, or how many good things you did. God's forgiveness is a free gift made possible in His Son. When you have experienced forgiveness and live in a personal relationship with the Creator of the world, you will discover that He is a God of the present tense, continually working in your life. Therefore you will find that you hunger to know Him more through the study of His Word and through fellowship with others who are in relationship with Him. You will want to tell others of the wonderful discovery you have made so that they may know their Creator in a personal way. When we have received Christ, we must come to understand the same lesson that Moses had to learn—that God is “I AM” in the present tense of our lives. Do you know God as active in your life to overcome doubt or depression? Do you know Him as the present tense answer to the healing of broken relationships? Do you know Him as the God who can deal with your anger and resentment, as the God who can change your life? He is the “I AM” who is active to transform and empower daily living. Whatever your present tense need, Jesus is the “I AM” of God. Some truths may seem so deep that our human mind struggles with them, but we must understand that God revealed Himself personally and fully in Jesus Christ. It was Christ who was God from the very beginning, who became flesh, and who took upon Himself our sin that we might take upon ourselves the righteousness of God. Yahweh is the God of the present tense; the God of redemption, the God who has revealed Himself fully in Christ Jesus. He alone is the definition of God, who has life, and has come to live in us today. Hemphill, K. S., & Hemphill, K. (2001). The names of god. Nashville: B&H.
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  • 01 Mar 2017
    HANDBOOK TO PRAYER Introduction: Part 2 The Structure of this Handbook Think of this handbook as a tool that combines the word of the Lord with prayer and guides you through the process of praying Scripture back to God. It will enable you to think God’s thoughts after Him and to personalize them in your own thinking and practice. It will also provide you with a balanced diet of prayer by guiding your mind each day through eight kinds of prayer. Because it is based on Scripture, you can be assured that these prayers will be pleasing to God. This book will encourage you in your walk with God by enriching and enhancing the quality of your experience of prayer. Years ago, Max Anders and I were profoundly influenced by the Private Devotions of Lancelot Andrewes, a seventeenth-century Anglican bishop and prominent translator of the King James Bible. Andrewes adapted Scripture into various forms of prayer, and this idea prompted us to create a guide to prayer called Drawing Near. In the years since that book appeared, I have become increasingly impressed with the need to create a more powerful tool for personal and group prayer. Handbook to Prayer contains approximately three times as many biblical passages and utilizes a three-month Daily Prayer Guide rather than a one-month cycle. In addition, it contains a One Week Prayer Guide which you can use occasionally when you want a more in-depth time of prayer. To create this collection of biblical prayers, I consulted several translations as well as the original language of every passage. The result is essentially my own translation, though it shares much in common with existing translations. My intention in doing this was to remain as close to the biblical text as possible while still retaining clarity and readability. I then adapted the passages into a personalized format so that they could be used readily in the context of individual and group prayer. this handbook is structured around eight forms of prayer which are based on the model of The Lord’s Prayer. Our Lord told His disciples to pray in this way: Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come;  Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread,  And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. (Matthew 6:9–13) The eight forms of adoration, confession, renewal, petition, intercession, affirmation, thanksgiving, and closing prayer are all illustrated in this model prayer: “Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name”—The prayer principles of adoration (praise for who God is) and thanksgiving (praise for what He has done).“Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”—The principle of affirmation, that is, agreeing with God’s will and submitting to it.“Give us our daily bread”—The principle of supplication, in which we make requests both for ourselves (petition) and for others (intercession).“And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors”—The principle of confession in view of our need for forgiveness of sins.“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”—The necessity of renewal as we face the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil.“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever”—A closing prayer that honors the Lord and completes our thoughts. The prayers of petition are formatted around a seven-day cycle: 1. Growth in Christ; 2. Growth in Wisdom; 3. Spiritual Insight; 4. Relationships with Others; 5. Faithfulness as a Steward; 6. Family and Ministry; 7. Personal Concerns. The prayers of intercession are also based on a weekly cycle: 1. Churches and Ministries; 2. Family 3. Believers 4. Evangelism 5. Government 6. Missions 7. World Affairs.   The Third Month Day 1 - March 1, 2017 Adoration I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will always be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. (Psalm 34:1–3) The Lord is my stronghold, And my God is a rock of refuge to me. (Psalm 94:22) Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship. Confession “Come now, let us reason together,” Says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red as crimson, They shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. Renewal May I be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power as I put on the full armor of God, so that I will be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10–11) Since I belong to the day, may I be self-controlled, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. (1 Thessalonians 5:8) Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal. Petition O Lord, I cry to You; hasten to me. Hear my voice when I cry to You. Let my prayer be set before You like incense, And the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice. (Psalm 141:1–2) Personal Concerns Spiritual warfare The world The flesh The devil Growth in character Personal disciplines Physical health and strengthMy activities for this daySpecial concerns Intercession Restore us again, O God of our salvation, And put away Your anger toward us. Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your lovingkindness, O Lord, And grant us Your salvation. (Psalm 85:4–7) World Affairs The poor and hungry The oppressed and persecuted Those in authority Peace among nations Current events and concerns Affirmation The Lord Himself goes before me and will be with me; He will never leave me nor forsake me. I will not be afraid or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8) The Lord will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked will be silenced in darkness. It is not by strength that one prevails; Those who contend with the Lord will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to His king And exalt the horn of His anointed. (1 Samuel 2:9–10) Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations. Thanksgiving In the day that You created man, You made him in Your likeness. You created them male and female and blessed them and called their name Man in the day they were created. (Genesis 5:1–2) It is God the Lord Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, Who gives breath to its people, And spirit to those who walk on it. (Isaiah 42:5) Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving. Closing Prayer I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great spoil. I hate and abhor falsehood, But I love Your law. Great peace have they who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble. O Lord, I hope for Your salvation, And I follow Your commands. My soul keeps Your testimonies, For I love them greatly. I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies, For all my ways are known to You. (Psalm 119:162–163, 165–168) Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.
    307 Posted by Loretta KoKo Stevens
  • HANDBOOK TO PRAYER Introduction: Part 2 The Structure of this Handbook Think of this handbook as a tool that combines the word of the Lord with prayer and guides you through the process of praying Scripture back to God. It will enable you to think God’s thoughts after Him and to personalize them in your own thinking and practice. It will also provide you with a balanced diet of prayer by guiding your mind each day through eight kinds of prayer. Because it is based on Scripture, you can be assured that these prayers will be pleasing to God. This book will encourage you in your walk with God by enriching and enhancing the quality of your experience of prayer. Years ago, Max Anders and I were profoundly influenced by the Private Devotions of Lancelot Andrewes, a seventeenth-century Anglican bishop and prominent translator of the King James Bible. Andrewes adapted Scripture into various forms of prayer, and this idea prompted us to create a guide to prayer called Drawing Near. In the years since that book appeared, I have become increasingly impressed with the need to create a more powerful tool for personal and group prayer. Handbook to Prayer contains approximately three times as many biblical passages and utilizes a three-month Daily Prayer Guide rather than a one-month cycle. In addition, it contains a One Week Prayer Guide which you can use occasionally when you want a more in-depth time of prayer. To create this collection of biblical prayers, I consulted several translations as well as the original language of every passage. The result is essentially my own translation, though it shares much in common with existing translations. My intention in doing this was to remain as close to the biblical text as possible while still retaining clarity and readability. I then adapted the passages into a personalized format so that they could be used readily in the context of individual and group prayer. this handbook is structured around eight forms of prayer which are based on the model of The Lord’s Prayer. Our Lord told His disciples to pray in this way: Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come;  Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread,  And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. (Matthew 6:9–13) The eight forms of adoration, confession, renewal, petition, intercession, affirmation, thanksgiving, and closing prayer are all illustrated in this model prayer: “Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name”—The prayer principles of adoration (praise for who God is) and thanksgiving (praise for what He has done).“Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”—The principle of affirmation, that is, agreeing with God’s will and submitting to it.“Give us our daily bread”—The principle of supplication, in which we make requests both for ourselves (petition) and for others (intercession).“And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors”—The principle of confession in view of our need for forgiveness of sins.“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”—The necessity of renewal as we face the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil.“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever”—A closing prayer that honors the Lord and completes our thoughts. The prayers of petition are formatted around a seven-day cycle: 1. Growth in Christ; 2. Growth in Wisdom; 3. Spiritual Insight; 4. Relationships with Others; 5. Faithfulness as a Steward; 6. Family and Ministry; 7. Personal Concerns. The prayers of intercession are also based on a weekly cycle: 1. Churches and Ministries; 2. Family 3. Believers 4. Evangelism 5. Government 6. Missions 7. World Affairs.   The Third Month Day 1 - March 1, 2017 Adoration I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will always be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. (Psalm 34:1–3) The Lord is my stronghold, And my God is a rock of refuge to me. (Psalm 94:22) Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship. Confession “Come now, let us reason together,” Says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red as crimson, They shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. Renewal May I be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power as I put on the full armor of God, so that I will be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10–11) Since I belong to the day, may I be self-controlled, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. (1 Thessalonians 5:8) Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal. Petition O Lord, I cry to You; hasten to me. Hear my voice when I cry to You. Let my prayer be set before You like incense, And the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice. (Psalm 141:1–2) Personal Concerns Spiritual warfare The world The flesh The devil Growth in character Personal disciplines Physical health and strengthMy activities for this daySpecial concerns Intercession Restore us again, O God of our salvation, And put away Your anger toward us. Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your lovingkindness, O Lord, And grant us Your salvation. (Psalm 85:4–7) World Affairs The poor and hungry The oppressed and persecuted Those in authority Peace among nations Current events and concerns Affirmation The Lord Himself goes before me and will be with me; He will never leave me nor forsake me. I will not be afraid or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8) The Lord will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked will be silenced in darkness. It is not by strength that one prevails; Those who contend with the Lord will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to His king And exalt the horn of His anointed. (1 Samuel 2:9–10) Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations. Thanksgiving In the day that You created man, You made him in Your likeness. You created them male and female and blessed them and called their name Man in the day they were created. (Genesis 5:1–2) It is God the Lord Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, Who gives breath to its people, And spirit to those who walk on it. (Isaiah 42:5) Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving. Closing Prayer I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great spoil. I hate and abhor falsehood, But I love Your law. Great peace have they who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble. O Lord, I hope for Your salvation, And I follow Your commands. My soul keeps Your testimonies, For I love them greatly. I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies, For all my ways are known to You. (Psalm 119:162–163, 165–168) Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.
    Mar 01, 2017 307