Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TUESDAYS TOGETHER (in the WORD)


Welcome to Tuesdays Together (in the WORD), hosted DeeDee Warren at I Have No Greater Joy...


"For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you." ~ Proverbs 2:6-9 (NIV, Emphasis, mine)

This just makes me want to pursue wisdom through God's Word. Knowing He is the original Source of wisdom and knowledge and understanding, holding victory in store for me sends me in passionate pursuit of Him. I want the world to see Him as my shield and my guard, protecting my walk. I want to understand what is right and just and fair - every good path! My heart trusts in Him to provide me with these things. I'm so glad He has guaranteed them to me. He has for you, too. Do you desire wisdom in the inmost places of your life? You have only to ask our Creator God. He will give you the understanding you need for the situation you are in. He will provide you with peace for the path. The wisdom that enters our hearts and protects our paths guards us and keeps us focused on Him.

Protect and guard. Those are two powerful words in an uncertain world we live in.

God, though the wisdom He gives protects and guards us.

The Hebrew word for protect is shamar. It means:

1) to keep, guard, observe, give heed
a) (Qal)
1) to keep, have charge of
2) to keep, guard, keep watch and ward, protect, save life
a) watch, watchman (participle)
3) to watch for, wait for
4) to watch, observe
5) to keep, retain, treasure up (in memory)
6) to keep (within bounds), restrain
7) to observe, celebrate, keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), perform (vow)
8) to keep, preserve, protect
9) to keep, reserve
b) (Niphal)
1) to be on one's guard, take heed, take care, beware
2) to keep oneself, refrain, abstain
3) to be kept, be guarded
c) (Piel) to keep, pay heed
d) (Hithpael) to keep oneself from

Guard is a similar word. Natsar, the Hebrew word for guard, means:

1) to guard, watch, watch over, keep
a) (Qal)
1) to watch, guard, keep
2) to preserve, guard from dangers
3) to keep, observe, guard with fidelity
4) to guard, keep secret
5) to be kept close, be blockaded
6) watchman (participle)

I also loved in Luke 13 about how some things are lawful for the Sabbath. In our legalistic world, we question so much about keeping tradition and worry if we are breaking it. Certainly the Sabbath is to be honored, but no so legalistically that we take our eyes off doing God's work and hindering the furtherance of His kingdom.

The humility factor is one I love, too.

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." ~ Luke 14:11 (NIV)

No more "me first" attitude! This is something we should be careful to teach our children and grandchildren and remember for ourselves. I love the commercial for the frosted mini-wheats, where the cereal recognizes the man for the accounting error he found. The man turns right around and recognizes his "fuel", the "Little Dude". I love it!

God is our fuel and our source for everything great. We should humble ourselves and exalt God. Then He will exalt us to whatever position He wants us to be exalted to. Whatever credit or placement we receive, we receive because of Him. It should be for His glory and not our own.

One of the Greek meanings of the word humble, or tapeinoō, is "devoid of all haughtiness". I love that! I don't want haughtiness to be a part of my lifestyle. Again, all glory should point to God and not me.

One thing that puzzles me and I am researching are the words of Christ in Luke 14:25-27:

"Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."

I realize that we are to put Christ above all and be willing to leave our lives behind to follow Him. What I don't understand is the not hating those we so obviously love. Of course our ultimate loyalty should lie with Christ if we are to follow Him. I'm not saying I don't agree with it. Christ said it, I agree. I just don't understand.

I looked at the Greek word for hate and it is miseō. It means:

1) to hate, pursue with hatred, detest
2) to be hated, detested

Can anyone help me with this passage? I've not heard a sermon preached on it that I can recall, at least the part about hating "father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters". I know the cost of being a disciple or follower of Christ is great. I realize that we are to leave certain things behind.

Maybe this is where wisdom steps in. I know ya'll are most certainly wiser than I. I would love to understand this passage. Maybe one of you who is a pastor's wife or who has studied this passage in detail can help me understand?

6 comments:

Peggy said...

Laurie Ann...One must wiser than I will have to share because what you have said is so true and it does leave us wonder why the text tells us "to hate" but I think you captured it in how you spoke of leaving behind...and following Christ. I think it has to do with our carnal nature. Especially to those whose family or loved ones
do not yet know Jesus as Savior or
would pull us away from pursuing Him. I'll have to come back & see what your WISE readers share!

Again...I have learned much from your study of God's Word. Together, hopefully we will learn & by His Spirit, understanding will reveal
better what Jesus meant. Thanks!

Tricia said...

Hey Laurie Ann
A wonderful post, I really like your insights from the passage in Proverbs... we definitely should always be in pursuit of the wisdom of God, this portion of scripture is many I pray over myself and my family daily.

As for your question about the passage in Luke, I have wondered the same thing myself, and I read the following from the study notes in my Bible on this passage just last night:

"The word hate ought to be understood in the light of Mat. 10:37 as loving one's relatives less than the Lord. Jesus Christ should never be placed on the same level as human relatives."

It does go into more about the entire passage but I did not want to make the comment too long. Email me if you want to know what else it says, I am using the Key Word Study Bible, NASB.

Blessings!

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

So true...that "God is our fuel and our source for everything great". And, oh how I long for His wisdom...for His Word. Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts on His word so eloquently and honestly.

Blessings,
Kelly

DeeDee said...

Laurie Ann,
Great Post - Thanks for participating with us! It is so interesting to see how God speaks to us all in different ways as we read the same passages. The sweet presence of His Holy Spirit in our lives :)
thanks for your prayers.
Sweet blessings,
DeeDee

Denise said...

Great post.

Kelly Ellison said...

Guard and Protect- that is soooo good.

I am glad you opened our "Tuesday Together in the Word" up for questions. There were a couple of verses that I thought about asking for help understanding.

The verse that you asked about has confused me for years. When I was reading it last week, I noticed in my John McArthur Study Bible that he had a great explaination that really helped me:
The hatred called for here is actually a lesser love. Jesus was calling His disciples to cultivate such a devotion to Him that their attachment to everything else -including their own lives- would seem like hatred by comparsion.
Thanks for the great insightful post.