So here is day 7 of the devotional series is entitled: ‘7 More Hebrew Words Every Christian Should Know’.
This is one of my all-time favorite photos of my daughters, Chelsea and Ella. We were in Washington DC on a gorgeous spring day, and they decided it was a good time to wrestle on the National Mall. To me, this is a picture of my relationship with God.
See, I used to carry a lot of guilt whenever I questioned a paradox in Scripture or disagreed with something I heard in church. But there’s a story in the Bible of a man named Jacob who one night literally wrestles with God. By morning, God walks away from the fight and changes Jacob’s name to Israel, which in Hebrew means “struggles” or “wrestles with God.” This name is prophetic, signifying that God’s people will always wrestle with Him. The ancient Jews believed God invites you into this wonderful wrestling match with Him. Author Athol Dickson says, “What if God placed these paradoxes within the Scriptures to cause me to struggle for the truth? What if it is the struggle he desires as much as the truth itself?” When you wrestle with God, He’s right there with you, just like my daughters are with each other in this picture.
So the next time you struggle with faith, that’s not a time for guilt, but celebration. God is inviting you to wrestle with Him so you can be connected with the Creator of the universe.
When therefore they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they
behold Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the boat: and
they were afraid.
And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but [a]Israel: for thou hast [b]striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Father God I thank you for your love and compassion. Lord you are amazing and worthy of all praise. Lord I know there are times where we feel like we are wrestling with you have prepared for us. Doubt tends to set in and we question your instructions. Dear lord I do not want to ever wrestle with you. I want to follow your command not disobey you. God I ask to give me the knowledge and the ability to rebuke any doubt so that I can follow your path without wrestling with you. Amen
So here I day 5 of the devotional series is entitled: ‘7 More Hebrew Words Every Christian Should Know’.
SHEMA: Which means HEAR and OBEY
Since before the time of Jesus, Jewish believers have recited a prayer each day called the “Shema”. The prayer comes directly from Deuteronomy chapter 6 and is a way for them to commit themselves to listening to God’s word and obeying it. In fact, the word shema” literally means “hear” and “obey”, so it implies actions. It’s the word Jesus used when he said “he who has ears, let him hear,” which was his way of telling his followers to listen to his words and obey!
One part of the Shema prayer says that believers should discuss God’s Word “…when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up”. Jewish rabbis like Jesus took this literally, so they discussed and taught scripture anywhere, anytime. There’s even a story in the Gospels of Jesus teaching “all of scripture” while walking with some of his disciples along on the road to Emmaus.
Unfortunately, a lot of us today only talk about the Bible at church on Sunday or maybe in our small group. We’re too busy with the stress of work, unresolved issues at home, unanswered emails, sickness, tiredness, family pressure, and many other things to talk about the Bible during the week. But for the first followers of Jesus, learning and talking about the Bible was a natural part of everyday life.
What would it look like for you to make learning, discussing and applying God’s Word a regular part of every day? Do you think you can do it? Who is up for the challenge?
Additional scripture reference:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth,
give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; 7 and
thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of
them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Thank you lord for your word in Deuteronomy 6. We are here to SHEMA your command. Lord forgive me that I dot always speak your word as often as intended but I am making progress in changing this circumstance. Me and my house we shall serve you. Me and my house will pray to you and me and my house will hear and obey ( SHEMA) you. Amen.
So here is day 4 of the devotional series is entitled: ‘7 More Hebrew Words Every Christian Should Know’.
ANANEI HAKAVOD: Which means CLOUD OF GLORY
Do you ever feel like God is far away from you, or from a situation you’re facing?
Whenever I feel like this, I remind myself that when the Israelites were in the desert for 40 years, God sent a cloud of glory to shelter them. The Jewish rabbis call this cloud the Ananei HaKavod, and they teach that inside this cloud, God provided for His people and kept them safe. Inside the cloud, God made His people aware of His presence and sustained them.
I believe that today, whatever you’re facing, God wants to remind you that He is with you, too. I believe God wants you to know that He is able to provide for you, to protect you, to sustain you, and to keep you safe—no matter what you’re facing.
I’m praying today that God will make everyone reading these words aware of His presence and provision today.
Additional scripture reference:
Read: Matthew 13:30
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I
will say to the reapers, Gather up first the tares, and bind them in
bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.
And Jehovah went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they might go by day and by
Dear Lord thank you for always providing ANANEI HAKAVOD. There has been many instances in my life where I have beyond your reach. Foolish me, I should have known better. It was your ANANEI HAKAVOD which has been guiding me the whole time. It could only explain how I have escaped certain situations. Your cloud of glory has sheltered me from several storms, even when I was my own storm. We don’t think of these things when we are undergoing circumstances and you shield us from any potential danger. Thank you lord for ANANEI HAKAVOD. Amen.
So here is day 3 of the series is entitled:‘7 More Hebrew Words Every Christian Should Know’.
YIRAH: Which means FEAR
When my wife and I saw this red sky over our backyard in Georgia, we called our girls to see it too because we were in awe. We were in awe of the colors, the shapes, and the God who created this spectacular scene.
The Hebrew word we translate as “awe” is yirah, which also means “respect, reverence, and worship.” Yirah also means “fear.” I grew up thinking to “fear the Lord” meant to be afraid of Him, but as we watched this stunning sunset, I didn’t feel fear. I felt awe and reverence. I felt yirah.
Having the type of awe and reverence for God that motivates us to do His will is the beginning of wisdom. Do you fear the Lord today?
Additional scripture reference:
Read: 2 Corinthians 13:5
Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be
The fear of Jehovah is the [a]beginning of knowledge;
But the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.
Recently we had the discussion about reverence. We even saw a clip about it. The subject came up for the younger and newer members and even as a reminder to the older members of the meaning of reverence. The youth defined the word as to have respect in the house of the Lord. The author to this plan mentions other concepts of the word.
Father God I thank you for your love. I am in awe of you my lord. I am in awe of your greatness and magnitude. I am in awe of your love and mercy. I respect you dear lord. Thank you lord for allowing this author to explain these words so we could have a better understanding as we read your word. Amen.
PARDES: Which means GARDEN
There’s a Hebrew word—pardes—that has recently been changing the way I read the Bible.
See, there’s a verse in the book of Genesis that describes God walking through the flowers and trees of the Garden of Eden searching for His people. The verse reads that “they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden.” The Hebrew word for “garden” here is pardes, a word rabbis also use to define the study of Scripture. For them, pardes is a garden, but it’s also an acronym of the four levels of understanding the meaning of every story in the Bible: P’shat(the simple meaning), Remez (the implied meaning), Drash (the deeper meaning), and Sod (the hidden meaning). Together, the first letters create the word pardes, so the rabbis say that studying the Bible is like being in God’s garden or paradise.
Okay, that’s a lot of info, but what does it mean? I like to think it means that whenever you read a story in Scripture or study a passage, you are walking in God’s garden. And just like in the Genesis story, He is calling out for you!
Additional scripture reference:
Read:James 2:17 Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the [a]voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the [b]cool of the day: and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God amongst the trees of the garden.
Thank you father for this devotional. The author is right, every time we read the word should be like walking in the PARDES with you. I want to immerse myself in the peace and tranquility of your presence dear lord when I read your word. I pray that you can guide me to not be distracted when I immerse myself in your word so that through your word I can find paradise with you. Amen.
I recently finished a reading plan entitled & Hebrew words every Christian should know. So I started this new devotional plan from one of my Bible apps using the @YouVersion plan.
The devotional series is entitled: ‘7 More Hebrew Words Every Christian Should Know’.
So I figured as I go through my 7 day plans I will share them, like I did with the previous one. Knowledge is indeed power.
MIDBAR: Which means DESERT
Growing up in Australia, this is what I knew as the outback. It was flat. The ground was hard and barren. Temperatures in summer soared above 110 Fahrenheit. The air was hot and dry. When the Bible describes the wilderness or the desert of Israel, this is the image I have. Sometimes, when life gets hard and barren and it feels like God has disappeared, Christians will say they’re in the desert. While we see this as a bad thing, the Bible says the desert is where God lives and speaks. Throughout the Bible we see that the desert is where He spoke to Abraham, Moses, the Israelites, Isaiah, and on through Jesus. In fact, the Hebrew word for desert is midbar, which also means “the place of the word.” And midbarshares the same root word as diber, which means the “Holy of Holies.”
When we’re in the desert or wilderness, we’re actually closer to God than ever because in the desert we realize that we need to rely on Him for survival. Do you feel like you’re in the desert or wilderness right now? Is life beating down on you? Don’t pray for God to take you out of the desert—pray instead that He will hear His voice in the desert, and that in your wilderness you will find His presence, grace, and provision.
Additional scripture reference: Isaiah 54:10
For the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but my
loving kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall my covenant of
peace be removed, saith Jehovah that hath mercy on thee.
Additional scripture reference: Hosea 13:5
I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.
I really do love learning the meanings to words especially in other languages. One can more effectively get the context of a discussion when one knows the meaning intended for a specific time period/ language / sect etc.
Thank you Lord for this new Hebrew word. Father I hope to not find myself ever again in a spiritual MIDBAR. Lord I thank you for your continued love, support and guidance. I am sorry for the times I have ventured into the spiritual MIDBAR. Thank you for taking me out of the MIDBAR, filling me with your presence and reminding me that you are always with me… even when I feel deserted. I love you. Amen
So here is day 7 of the devotional series is entitled: seven Hebrew words every believer should know.
MEM: Which means CHAOS
During Biblical times, the sea had a negative connotation for the Jewish people. In fact, the Hebrew word for water—mayim—comes from the root mem, meaning “chaos,” which makes sense when you consider the Israelites grew up hearing that a flood wiped out the earth. Even to this day, you don’t find many houses or hotels along the 33 mile shoreline of the Sea of Galilee despite its picturesque waters. So why then does Jesus “insist” that his disciples cross the Sea of Galilee during a storm (Mark 6:45)? He sent them into the chaos! But then he came to help them by walking on top of the water—showing that he is in total control of ALL chaos.
Are you facing turmoil today? Remember that Jesus is in control of your chaos, and he’s calling you to get on top of the chaos with him. Are you ready to let Jesus take control of your chaos?
Associated reading:John 6:19American Standard Version (ASV)
19 When therefore they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they behold Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the boat: and they were afraid.
Father God I thank you for another day and all that is in store for this day. Lord I thank you for the MEM (chaos) that may arise for these instances are moments where we can grow together. These moments of chaos unites us. These moments of chaos brings my faith in you on a whole other level. These moments of chaos are teaching moments on a carnal and spiritual level. God I thank you, for I know that you do not give us anything that we cannot handle. In the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit. Amen.