Archive | May, 2013

Going Back To The Beginning…

16 May

This was the first post I ever wrote…  Hope you enjoy it… John

Editors Note:  This was copied from a previous blog entry at a different website dated April 13, 2008.  Hope you enjoy it.

Today I was reading in the book of Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: I had recently done some traveling and have noticed one thing in particular:  We need the Holy Ghost in our lives above everything else!  We pray for more possessions, freedom from our responsibilities, etc, yet many of these blessings actually can become more of a snare than a real blessing so often of the time.  What we really need today more than ever before is for men and women to rise up like Anna in the New Testament who, awaiting the coming of her savior, dedicated her life to prayer and intercession on behalf of her fellow countrymen. We need Christians who know how to pray and that love the practice of prayer, who study their Bible: not to gain some intellectual advantage over their peers, but who with a broken heart search out even the hardest sayings in the Bible, whose hearts cry out like the psalmist David, Search me O God, and try me: see if there be any wicked way in me, anything that might hinder someone from finding and loving you.” (pp)  We need believer’s who hunger for God to be seen flowing in and through them more than they yearn for financial success or the praise and adulation of men: men and women of all ages who possess within them a deep and burning desire to see lives changed; who have spent quality time in prayer, and who’s very lives testify against a society that has become absolutely barbaric and shocking in the sins of which it now openly practices, applauds, commits and accepts.

We have programs inside of our churches for everything that so much of the time replaces the original and true reason for Christian fellowship: empowerment.  Every time members of the early church came together the results were always the same: the Holy Ghost filling their hearts with the love and empowerment to win souls, to be kind to their enemies, to pray for their nation’s rebellious leaders (instead of tearing them down), etc.  Do you leave your church excited, bursting inside with the need to tell someone about the love of Jesus Christ? If you don’t chances are there may be something lacking either in your pastors’ personal prayer time or in your own walk with the Lord.  While on a vacation (during which God allowed me graciously to have the time to create this website) I purchased at a fairly reasonable price a new Bible software program that I had been praying for for quite some time.  Although I now have this software I know from experience that this in and of itself cannot magically make me a better Bible student.  I must first ask the Holy Ghost to help me so that:

1) I will not waste time playing with parts of this program that I do not need and am certainly not ready to use.

2) So that He will lead me to share the Scriptures as accurately as I can and with great joy and enthusiasm.

3) To empower my study so that He will cause Himself to remain glorified through the work if my hands, and through all the day.

To much of our time as Christians is spent on performing tasks that we are not really yet ready to handle or do not need.  I think of all the millions of dollars that are spent for things that steal our time away from Christ: especially for temporary entertainment and personal pleasure. I wonder where Christianity would be today if the first disciples instead of fasting and prayer gathered in that upper room for the sole purpose of playing video games  on their desert Sony X boxes and Play Station 2’s and 3’s. Sit and think for a while on how much time we waste.  Why don’t we a Christians put our idols away and pray for a generation of young people that have never known what it is to experience the love of Jesus Christ.  We should compare our lives as the followers of Christ to the writings found in the gospels and other portions of New Testament scripture and not to those that just happen to live and work around us.  How do our lives measure against the words of Jesus and not our western neighbors?  After all, that is how we will be judged at the resurrection.  Remember the words of Jesus “that those that have much, much will be required.”  We in America have more wealth than any other nation on earth.  How will we as Christians be judged who live in it, who consume so much of the resources that God give us on ourselves, in light of the affliction and poverty of those that we see all perhaps by television or the internet all around us.  Have our hearts become that hardened that we are unwilling to even share our bread with those that so desperately need it, not to mention the true bread that we have inside of us; the living Word of God.  Recall especially Matthew 25 where we find the parable of the talents, the wise and foolish virgins, and the parable of the sheep and the goats.  It was not so much what these so called believers did but what they didn’t do that excluded them from them partaking in the marriage supper of the lamb.

Today is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us all do our very, very best for Him.

Quote of the day: Tertullian, one of the early church fathers, wrote: “How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in home, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice . . . Nothing divides them either in flesh or in spirit . . . They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God’s church and partake God’s banquet, side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another; they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts . . . Seeing this Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present.”

Editors Note#2:  I wrote this very quickly while on vacation and without a whole lot of editing.  Apologize for any mistakes.  John Butzu

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Psalms 1:1 – An In Depth Hebrew Word Study

13 May

Note: I have tried to incorporate a Hebrew font into my WordPress theme but at this time I cannot figure out how or know if it is even possible.  I would like to try to make a pdf file for this post where I can use real Hebrew letters and thus expound more into the particulars of the Hebrew language but do not see that happening at this time.  I apologize in advance for any errors.

 Sincerely, John.

Psalms 1:1  (Please see note 1)

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Psalms 1:1  (Translation)

Happy [a] are those [b] who are boldly able to enter into God’s presence, who choose not to model their lives after those who are not walking on the right path! [c]  They do not form close friendships with those who habitually sin, nor do they purposely spend their free time in the homes of those who make fun of God’s laws.   

Introduction:

Psalms one is a wisdom Psalm (see note 2)  teaching us what God expects of us if we are to enter fully into his divine and holy presence.  “As Perowne has observed: in form (Psalms One) is little more than the expansion of a proverb” (see note 3).  It is believed by some that King Solomon wrote this psalm as an introduction to his father’s writings as it was not uncommon for a son “to gather the writings of his father” (again see note 3).

Note: I have taken a great deal of time in going by word by word through each word in this Psalm… verse 1 is finally complete!  Hope you enjoy it and may God richly bless you.

Verse 1: Blessed is the man (or woman)…

 Blessed –  The Hebrew word here for blessed is “esher” (eh-sher) which literally means “happy is the one who walks the straight path” (AHLB)(4).  This can only be done by a rich study of God’s word and communion with the Holy Spirit.  Many Christians feel that they can loosely take God’s precious word for granted, come into his presence on Sunday and there receive a rich blessing.  Not so!  Believers must walk a straight path before the Lord if they want their lives to be fruitful and truly blessed.(5)

Man –  The word here for man is “iysh” (eesh) and can be translated as mankind or steward.  God is not unjust and neither were the writers of the Psalms.  He loves all of his creation equally, and each of us are assigned a special place in his eternal and glorious kingdom.  Thus you should be able to put your mind to rest (for all you women out there) that this Psalm was meant only for men.  I personally choose the translation “steward,” as each of us as believers are called to be stewards of God’s holy word.

That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…

Walketh –  The Hebrew word for walk is halak (haw-lak) which basically means to walk a certain way along life’s journey (AHLB).  A great example of halak in connection to this verse can be seen in Genesis 17:1 where God tells Abraham “I am the Almighty God; walk (halak) before me, and be thou perfect.”  Obviously God is not telling Abraham to physically walk before him (that would be ridiculous) but to continue spiritually to direct his life in such a way so that he will receive all that God had promised to him.  The Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary translates this word as ‘behave’.  This is also good, but behave is an abstract term and we are talking ancient Biblical Hebrew here, not modern day English or even Greek!  Thus we will stick with the first definition – to walk in a particular way along life’s journey.   This is the basic meaning of halak.

Counsel –  The Hebrew word for counsel is ‘etsah’ (ay-tsaw) and comes from the root word ya’ats (yaw-ats) which means to advise or to counsel, receive plans from or purpose.

Ungodly – Hebrew word here is rasha’ (raw-shaw) which means “one who has departed from the correct path (AHLB)… thus to be or to do wrong (hence morally wrong) (strong’s def).

Nor standeth in the way of sinners…

Standeth – Translators used many words to portray this one Hebrew word “amad” (aw-mad).  The Hebrew word amad can be found in scripture in the KJV as stand, stay, stood, set, withstand, continue, endure, appoint, present, remain, endure… the list goes on and on.  This word can be tricky.  As you can see from the words given, ‘amad’ can take on many different meanings, but thanks once again to the AHLB (please see note 5) I have found a very simple answer to solidify this passage of scripture for me.  The original concrete meaning of the word amad is that of a pillar.  This is where we get the idea to stand, be strong with, endure, remain, etc.  Thus, we get the picture from amad as God’s warning to the pious not to stand strong with or form pillars with someone who refuses to believe the truth.  In 2 Corinthians 6:17 the Bible says: “Come out from among them, be separate and clean and I will receive you.  Two verses before we find – “Do not be unequally yoked with those who resist the truth”(please see note 6).  In other words, be strong and do not form pillars of friendship with the unsaved where you are not the stronger vessel.  This is what I learned from amad!

Way – The Hebrew word for way is derek (deh-rek) and concretely means “a road” and by implication “a way of life”.  It comes from the root word darak  (daw-rak) which means to take a step (AHLB) and also “to tread.”  This word implies a journey, manner, custom, conduct, etc and is used often in scripture.

Sinners – The Hebrew word chatta’ (khat-taw) basically means criminal or one who is found guilty and comes from the root word chata’ (khaw-taw) where we find the word the english word “sin” – or one who has missed the mark.  A hardened criminal usually does not have remorse for the things he has done and that is what makes him all the more guilty in God’s eyes, thus once again missing the mark.

Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful…

Sitteth – This is why I study Hebrew!  The word is yashab (yaw-shab) which means to dwell, to marry, etc.  Translators used the english word “sit” but this word lacks so much as to the picture of what the psalmist is actually saying.  God’s word is precious and thus every letter, every word must be examined for clarification, meaning, interpretation, etc.  The overall picture of this word implies one of resting in a particular place for an extended period of time.  Thus, it is not to merely “sit” but to dwell, abide, interact with… that is the beauty of knowing the Hebrew language!

Seat – The Hebrew word for seat is mowshab (mo-shawb) whose root has the concrete meaning of a dwelling place.  Its root is the word yashab, the word right above.

Scornful – The word here is luwts (loots) and is made up of only two Hebrew letters.  The first letter is lamed which is a picture of a staff and thus is a symbol of authority, namely God’s.  It also is a representation of the human tongue.  The second letter is tsadik and is a picture of a man laying on his side which represents trouble (AHLB).  Thus, it is easy to draw the conclusion by combining these two letters that the word luwts describes a man who is fighting God’s authority.  Another example of why I love Hebrew!

Happy [a] are those [b] who are boldly able to enter into God’s presence, who choose not to model their lives after those who are not walking on the right path! [c]  They do not form close friendships with those who habitually sin, nor do they purposely spend their free time in the homes of those who make fun of God’s laws.   


Notes on Word Study:

1) Psalms One is also a Torah Psalm (as is Psalms 19 and 119) as its emphasis is placed on the man who delights in the Torah or Law of the Adonai.

2) Taken from a Study By Bob Deffinbaugh entitled: A Psalm for All Seasons: Studies in the Book of Psalms

3) Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible by Jeff Benner

4) The Septuagint or LXX translates this word esher (blessed) as “makarios.”  We find the word in the New Testament many times, most notably perhaps in the Beatitudes.

5)

To learn more about Jeff Benner and his amazing research and studies please visit the Ancient Hebrew Research Center’s website.  Jeff’s work and dedication to the Hebrew Text is an invaluable source of wisdom to me.  You can find more about this man and his wonderful family by clicking here.

6) In the KJV the term is “unbelievers”

Commentary for Bible Translation:

a) or those who are truly able to enter into God’s presence

b) anyone who is called to be a steward of God’s word

c) they themselves being led astray

 

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