Tag Archives: Butzu

Shamar Hebrew Word Study

25 May

Aside from my current work on the Hebrew word ‘hesed’ I have a few other studies that I am working on as well.  When I need a break from one I jump to another, thus it may take more time actually finish a study but when done, there are usually five or six more that follow closely behind.  Here is paragraph 1 from a study on the hebrew word ‘shamar’.  This study will also have colored charts and pictures and I expect will be between 3-4 pages in length.  Until then shalom and happy memorial day!

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The First Beatitude

10 May

“Blessed (happy) are the humble (or poor) in spirit, for they are in fact the very essence of the kingdom of heaven.”

Please note: This commentary is only designed and intended to but briefly deal with the translation as presented to the reader above.  It is my desire to extend this commentary a bit further at a later date; focusing more on the original grammar and syntax from the Greek perspective and text as well as to trace it’s origins to the Hebrew, from whence it was originally translated.  But for now, may it suffice to say that I believe this is by far one of the most accurate of the English translations that we have available at our disposal today; that fully embraces the thought and mindset of the Hebrew author and his intended audience.  For those that cannot (or simply do not) wish to for me to write an additional commentary on the said above, I will most happily provide for you a link (here) to a source that will help to aid you in your pursuit of understanding the linguistic nature of this passage, as it did my own.  Happy reading, God’s blessings and peace be upon you all.

Sincerely,                                                                                                 John Mark Butzu

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The focus of this text is not geared (as some have thought) toward the physical aspects surrounding the creature, but rather is concerned primarily with the inward status and condition of the human heart.  It is this condition above all else that determines whether the professing Christian truly experiences for himself the blessings and benefits of being identified with the kingdom of heaven; and frankly from knowing God at all.

What qualifies a believer to receive the gifts and blessings of this verse?  The answer is actually found in one word: poverty.  What qualifies a soul to partake in the kingdom of heaven is just what this verse implies.  One must be morally and spiritually without hope (and destitute) in their own sight (and in the all consuming presence and love of the Savior) to receive the love of Christ into their earthly lives.  It is strictly those men and women who possess in themselves the knowledge that without Christ they are absolutely nothing: spiritually destitute and without strength to perform anything on their own that generally receive the blessings that come from Almighty God.

The proper attitude one should always possess can be clearly seen from reading the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector who were praying at the temple found in Luke 18: 9-14.  The Pharisee, who believing in his own goodness, sought to commend himself to God being motivated by his own religious efforts apart from the workings of the cross (the grace of our Lord) is beautifully contrasted against a detestable and vile sinner, who in sheer desperation, and having had the realization of his own worthlessness and wretchedness, beat his fists repeatedly upon his chest, not daring to even lift his eyes toward heaven, while pleading with God for mercy for his wicked behavior.  We see it is the first man that is clearly condemned by Jesus while the second is in essence received with open arms into the tender embrace and compassion of the heavenly Father.

It is this inward nature of the human heart that willingly embraces its own poverty in exchange for the power and love of Jesus Christ that is in essence the prerequisite if you will for obeying all other known scripture.  Without this coveted and truly remarkable, wonderful condition all hope will be lost for the individual who wishes but in vain for spiritual advancement and progress.  The human heart must above all else learn to quickly and readily identify and to despise all of its even most positive and genuine self interests apart from Christ as well as its desires and natural feelings of pride and feelings of self worth at having secured perhaps many victories and accomplishments apart from the knowledge and cross of Jesus Christ.  The following thought taken loosely from Hannah’s song of thanksgiving (1st Samuel 2) “the rich he hath sent away empty but the lowly (humble or poor in spirit) he has satisfied to their hearts content and upmost desire” is most appropriate.”  This is the heart that Christ is well pleased with and so desires.  This is the heart that hears the Saviors’ voice and obeys its every command.  And this is the kind of heart that will, as it is spend all of eternity with God.

Other examples of this beautiful condition of the human heart as well as of this beatitude can be seen in men like the apostle Paul, who in his letter to the church at Ephesus writes: Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints.” There is no hint or trace of selfish boasting or feelings of pride at his spiritual achievements.  He knew that it was not by his own strength, might or reason that miracles occurred and many sinners were saved.  The human heart that has this revelation is most precious in the eyes of the Lord and is the finest thing we as Christians have to willingly offer back to God.  That is why all work and spiritual activity no matter how great it may appear to be from man’s perspective, but that does not stem from essentially a “broken heart” and “filled with compassion,” is in God’s sight essentially rubbish and an affront to his true nature and holiness.  Christian works, motivated by hearts not smitten with the love, humility and respect for a holy God will be swept away and will burn on the day that they are judged; through which all believers must stand.  Paul knew this, and I believe that this above all else is why God could truly do so much with his life.  Thus his prayerful and joyful declaration in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Another example (or aspect) of this type of heart behavior can be found in the book of James 4:9-10 which reads: Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” Here we see James instructing believers to return to their first love and to “break up the fallow ground” so to speak of their calloused and hardened hearts. (Hosea 10:12)  We find that these believers had never truly been exposed to the light and deep, inner probings of the Holy Spirit; for we find from the beginning of this chapter up until these verses complete spiritual confusion and chaos in the lives of these believers who were constantly seeking to run after and excel strictly in the things of this world. (See James 4:1-9)  It could be argued that perhaps many of these believers had at one time known the breaking of the exterior condition of the human heart, yet through willful negligence, laziness and spiritual apathy had grown cold and/or indifferent to the things of the Lord, thus allowing the flesh to dominate and wreak havoc in their personal lives.   James was calling for true and genuine repentance of exalting one’s self before the goodness and grace of our Lord, and if necessary to re-circumcise the callousness of the human heart in order to partake and to receive of the promises of the Lord once again in their lives.

The human heart in many ways is like the skin that seeks to live and to grow on top of our fingernails and toes (the cuticle).  Although some element of the cuticle is necessary for protection against bacteria and disease, too much of it tends to make the body look bad.  To stop this undesirable growth from taking place, we must continually take the pruning knife (or blade) into our hands; seeking to remove what we deem as unnecessary and counterproductive to the beauty and body as a whole.  Without careful diligence to restrict the unwanted growth, we would have a mess on our hands: literally.  In the same way, Christians must continually be on their guard against all unnecessary growth and development in the human heart that at its core is counterproductive to the life of Jesus Christ and the cause of Christianity as a whole.  If not brought under submission and checked on a daily basis through prayer, meditation and contemplation of the Word of God; our natural thoughts, mental processes and human reasoning (not the actual tissues and organs) will be alive and actively searching for an avenue to seductively creep into our daily lives, thus mixing the vile with sacred, all with the singular purpose of destroying our fellowship and sweet communion with the Spirit of God.  It is true that the apostle Paul cries out in the 8th chapter of the book of Romans: “What shall be able to separate me from the love of Christ?” with the implication that nothing of this world; neither angels or death or principalities or powers would be able to stop God from loving us.  It is we that stop ourselves from loving Him!  Note that in Jeremiah God says that our hearts are desperately wicked: who can know it?

In light of our present condition, there is only one thing that has the power to boast of possessing the remedy to our current crises: prayer!  Paul instructed his converts numerous times to be on the lookout for anything foreign that would attempt to come between them and their love for the Father.  We must continually be on our guard and endeavor to seek to maintain a watchfulness against all counter-productiveness in our walk with the Lord, so that He might be free to fully use our earthen vessels while on this earth for His awesome glory and His glory alone.  Hallelujah!  Amen.

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Hesed Update!

7 May

Shalom!

Since I have far exceeded my self imposed deadline for completing the hesed word study, I have decided to simply post the study piece by piece, one section at a time as it is finished and until the whole article has been properly “blogged.”  Otherwise it may never get done.  I never knew I would have so much to write about on one single word!

pc300192A brief side note…  Most everyone of my studies seem to take for ever… there always seem to be a thousand different rabbit trails to chase down and I get easily distracted.  Why?  Because the Bible is so good!  You can pick it up an just start reading anywhere!  And then there are my commentaries and dictionaries not to mention other people’s websites… Aghh!  No wonder it is so hard to finish!  (Currently I have between 7-10 word studies that I am working on as well and hope to complete before the summer ends.)  Thus as you some may have noticed by now, many of my daily posts never even get edited completely… just enough to look nice and get the main points across.  Each of my more ‘formal’ and yet to be published studies are anywhere between 5-15 pages in length (and typed in Microsoft Word).  Thank you to all those that have been so patient in waiting.  I am well aware of the frustration of having to wait for something on the web that you wish to see, only to find it is still unavailable, day after day.  Hang in there andvisit often!  Lord willing, I’ll be done real soon.

Sincerely,                                                                                                John Mark Butzu

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What we really need

28 Apr

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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