Tag Archives: Moses

What’s in a Name? (Part 2)

Image Credit: http://threeminutebiblestudy.blogspot.com
Image Credit:
http://threeminutebiblestudy.blogspot.com

In the last post, we talked about the name of God, the one He gave to Moses… YHWH or Yud He Vav He, also spoken as Yud He Waw He. In this name, the Lord reveals so much about Himself to us… He reveals that He is the All-Sufficient God. He is everything we need and more… Now, I want to go a little deeper and share something else with you…

Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD 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 to all generations.'”

~ Exodus 3:15 ~

The Lord did not actually say that His name was LORD, or Adonai, as the Jews have recorded. In fact, no one knows any longer what His name is, because the Lord’s name, the one that He said would be His name forever, and would be a memorial to all generations, has allegedly been stripped of its vowels, leaving only the consonants, YHWH (in English), or Yud He Vav He (in Hebrew). Therefore, whenever you read the word LORD in your bible with the letter “L” capitalized, and the remaining letters written in small caps, that means the Yud He Vav He’s name was actually spoken or written there originally.

Now, why would anyone try to hide the Lord’s name, when He specifically said that it was His name forever, and that it would be a memorial to all generations?

Dictionary.com defines memorial as:

something designed to preserve the memory of a person, event, etc., as a monument or a holiday.

Image Credit: richardharrison.net
Image Credit:
richardharrison.net

Many people suppose that the Jews do not write the Lord’s name, but instead, replace it with “Adonai” because they don’t want to break the third commandment…

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

~ Exodus 20:7 ~

However, this is not true. As a matter of fact, in this very commandment, YHWH’s name was used not only once, but twice. So, where does this tradition of hiding the name of God come from?

Apparently, this tradition of not writing YHWH’s name came about over time, as various rabbis after reading Deuteronomy 12, determined that another commandment was implied in this scripture passage…

1 Here are the laws and rulings you are to observe and obey in the land Adonai, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess as long as you live on earth. 2 You must destroy all the places where the nations you are dispossessing served their gods, whether on high mountains, on hills, or under some leafy tree. 3 Break down their altars, smash their standing-stones to pieces, burn up their sacred poles completely and cut down the carved images of their gods. Exterminate their name from that place.

4 “But you are not to treat Adonai your God this way. 5 Rather, you are to come to the place where Adonai your God will put His name. He will choose it from all your tribes; and you will seek out that place, which is where He will live, and go there.

~ Deuteronomy 12:1-5 ~

No one really knows when, but somewhere along the way, rabbis, scribes and priests decided to stop writing the name of God and to write Adonai instead of His name. This way, they figured, no one would run the risk of accidentally erasing His name from the scriptures.

Image Credit: propheticverses.com
Image Credit:
propheticverses.com

How sad. Think of it — Moses, the one God spoke His name to, was the first to write the Lord’s name. As a matter of fact, knowing that people would see His name and read His name, and hear His name, Moses still chose to write the Lord’s name so that all might see it.

Let’s take it a step further… God wrote His name on the stone tablets, when He wrote the 10 Commandments, for all to see, after Moses broke the original stone tablets, (when the Israelites sinned and worshiped the golden calf).

Moshe was there with ADONAI forty days and forty nights, during which time he neither ate food nor drank water. [ADONAI] wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Words.

~ Exodus 34:28 ~

If the Lord had not wanted His name written or spoken aloud, He never would have revealed it and told Moses to speak His name, not only to the Jews, but to Pharaoh as well. Indeed, nothing in the Torah prohibited speaking the name of the Lord, and the Jews in ancient times used greet one another in the name of the Lord regularly and call upon His name. As a matter of fact, people called on the name of the Lord long before Moses learned the Lord’s name…

And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD. ~ Genesis 4:26 ~

He left that place, went to the hill east of Beit-El and pitched his tent. With Beit-El to the west and ‘Ai to the east, he built an altar there and called on the name of ADONAI. ~ Genesis 12:8 ~

For what great nation is there that has God as close to them as ADONAI our God is, whenever we call on him? ~ Deuteronomy 4:7 ~

Shimshon called to ADONAI, “Adonai ELOHIM, just this once, please, think of me, and please, give me strength, so that I can take revenge on the P’lishtim for at least one of my two eyes.” ~ Judges 16:28 ~

“Then, you, call on the name of your god; and I will call on the name of ADONAI; and the God who answers with fire, let him be God!” All the people answered, “Good idea! Agreed!” ~ 1 Kings 18:24

As you can see, people called on the Lord by name from the most ancient times, and the Lord heard their cries and answered them. In fact, the Lord Himself encouraged people to call upon His name…

2 “Thus says ADONAI the maker,
ADONAI who formed [the universe]
so as to keep directing it —
ADONAI is his name:
3 ‘Call out to me,
and I will answer you —
I will tell you great things,
hidden things of which you are unaware.’”

~ Jeremiah 33:2-3 ~

Knowing that the Lord Himself wants His people to call upon His name, makes what happened all the more difficult to understand. However, by the time of the Talmud, some rabbis proclaimed that it was sinful to write or even speak His name aloud, or else the person who did so would have no place in the World to Come. Is it any  wonder the Lord Jesus spoke so harshly to the Pharisees?

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. ~ Matthew 23:15 ~

Sadly, through the years, because the Jews stopped writing the name of the Lord, and because they were afraid to speak His name anymore, the Lord’s name was forgotten. Indeed, Jesus even had to teach His disciples the name of the Lord…

“I made Your name known to the people You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. ~ John 17:6 ~

I made Your name known to them, and I will continue to make it known; so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I Myself may be united with them. ~ John 17:26 ~

Hallelujah! Our heavenly Father wants His children to know His name and to call upon His name. Jesus knew that, and so He made Yud He Vav He’s name known to His disciples.

Although the pronunciation of our heavenly Father’s name has been lost, we can still pronounce the letters of His name that are left to us… YHWH (Yud He Vav He)… 

YAHWEH_blue_sm1The image above are the Hebrew letters, YHWH. It is read from right to left, and it is the name of the Lord. It is pronounced Yud Hey Vav (or Waw) Hey. Brothers and sisters, I encourage you to pray to Yud He Vav He and to call upon His holy name and see His response to your prayers. There is power in praying, crying and calling upon Yud He Vav He.

Would you like to know a little more about Yud He Vav He and the power of His name? The image above is the Lord’s name, using letters from the modern Hebrew alphabet. The image below shows the ancient Hebrew writing of the Lord’s name — the one used by Moses and the Old Testament writers, and it is here, in these ancient letters, that we truly get a glimpse of the power of God’s holy name…

images

Remember, that Hebrew is read from right to left, and so was ancient Hebrew. Therefore, if you look at the first letter, “Yud”, you see an image that looks like a hand attached to an arm. The next letter in the pictogram is the letter He (pronounced Hey), and this figure looks like someone is saying, “Hey!” or “Behold!” So what you see so far is “Hand — behold!” The next letter resembles a tent peg or a nail, followed by “Behold” again.

Therefore, when you put the letters all together, you see Hand — Behold! Nail — Behold! We see here in the Lord’s name, the name that we are to call upon, a picture of Christ’s hands with a nail in them. Is that not powerful? Just seeing this is evidence that Yud He Vav He, by His very name, had planned the crucifixion of Christ, from eternity. Such wisdom and love is far beyond our scope of knowledge.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, I urge you and encourage you to call upon the name of Yud He Vav He in Yeshua’s name, Then watch and see how He will move on your behalf…

Image Credit: http://doubleportioninheritance.blogspot.com/
Image Credit:
http://doubleportioninheritance.blogspot.com/

Yud He Vav He, thank You for the power and the revelation of Your Holy name. Thank You for entrusting Your name to Your children who love You. Thank You for the hope and the promise that is in Your name, Yud He Vav He, and we ask You to speak to the hearts of the men, women and children in our lives, in Yeshua’s name. Amen.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

What’s in a Name? (Part 1)

Image Credit: Luke 1:7 by Debbie Jackson
Image Credit:
Luke 1:7
by Debbie Jackson

What’s in a name? Why and how do people choose names for their children, and what does it say about the one who names and the one who is named?

In New Testament times, the Jews gave their children family names, unless the Lord gave them a different name…

59 When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father.60 But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”

61 “What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.” 62 So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. 63 He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.

~ Luke 1:59-64 ~

Image Credit: http://digital-art-gallery.com/
Image Credit:
http://digital-art-gallery.com/

In many cultures, the name given to the baby reflected their environment and the circumstances involved in the child’s birth. In still other cultures, the names reflect the parents’ hopes for their children, or something descriptive of the child.

Names are important. A good name can bless a person for life, while a bad name can ruin a person’s life. As important as a good name is to a man, long before man existed, there was One whose name embodies all that is good and all that ever will be good. In fact, Jesus, the One who was without sin, said this about Him…

“Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him.“Only God is truly good.”

~ Luke 18:19 ~

The Lord God has many names, and each one describes His character. Today, I want to focus on one of God’s names — the name He gave to Moses (Moshe), when he asked who he should tell the people of Israel whom should he say sent him…

14 God said to Moshe, “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/will be what I am/will be],” and added, “Here is what to say to the people of Isra’el: ‘Ehyeh [I Am or I Will Be] has sent me to you.’” 15 God said further to Moshe, “Say this to the people of Isra’el: ‘Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh [Adonai], the God of your fathers, the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz’chak and the God of Ya‘akov, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever; this is how I am to be remembered generation after.

~ Exodus 3:14-15 — CJB ~

Image Credit: The Divine Utterance From Within The Burning Bush http://hashemartworks.net/
Image Credit:
The Divine Utterance From Within The Burning Bush
http://hashemartworks.net/

I chose to use the scripture above from the Complete Jewish Bible, because it is the closest translation to what the Lord actually spoke to Moshe (Moses). “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/will be what I am/will be].” There’s such power in this statement. In that short sentence, God is telling Moses…

“I am what I am… Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! Before Avraham came into being, I AM!”  ~ John 8:58 ~

I will be what I will be…  “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord God. “I am the One Who Is, Who Always Was, and Who Is Still to Come—the Almighty One.”  ~ Revelation 1:8 ~

I am the All-Sufficient One…  And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 ~

I am Enough for you…  But now this is what Adonai says, He who created you, Ya‘akov, He who formed you, Isra’el: “Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I am calling you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through water, I will be with you; when you pass through rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you will not be scorched — the flame will not burn you. ~ Isaiah 43:1-2 ~

I am All you will ever need…  Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ~ Psalm 73:25-26 ~

I am your Everything…  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him. He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together. ~ Colossians 1:15-17 ~

I am Life to you…  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. ~ John 11:25 ~

I am your Protector…  In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. ~ Psalm 4:8 ~

Image Credit: http://mydestinysharinghope.com/
Image Credit:
http://mydestinysharinghope.com/

I am your Deliverer… And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment. ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:10 ~

I am your Healer…  And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. ~ Acts 10:38 ~

I am your Reason for living…  The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ~ Psalm 27:1 ~

Image Credit: http://reneeswope.com/
Image Credit:
http://reneeswope.com/

I am your Hope… Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… ~ 1 Peter 1:3 ~

I am the Source of all you need…  Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. ~ Jeremiah 33:3 ~

I am your Keeper…  The Lord is your Keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. ~ Psalm 121:5 ~

Image Credit: Unknown
Image Credit:
Unknown

I am AlmightyGod raised up the Lord, and He will raise us up too by His power. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:14 ~

I am All-Knowing… 1 O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. ~ Psalm 139:1-4 ~

I am All-Seeing… Before God, nothing created is hidden, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account. ~ Hebrews 4:13 ~

I am With you… Don’t you know that you people are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16 ~

I am your Peace Now may the Lord of shalom Himself give you shalom always in all ways. The Lord be with all of you. ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:16 ~

I am a Mighty Warrior… The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17 ~

I am your Joy… Adonai is my strength and shield; in Him my heart trusted, and I have been helped. Therefore my heart is filled with joy, and I will sing praises to Him. ~ Psalm 28:7 ~

Image Credit; Artist Unknown
Image Credit;
Artist Unknown

I am the Way… Yeshua said, “I AM the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. ~ John 14:6 ~

I am your Rock… Adonai is my Rock, my fortress and deliverer, my God, my Rock, in whom I find shelter, my shield, the power that saves me, my stronghold. ~ Psalm 18:2 ~

I am Holy… The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

“Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and  is and is to come!” ~ Revelation 4:8 ~

I am Righteous… For the goal at which theTorah aims is the Messiah, who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts. ~ Romans 10:4 ~

I am Merciful… Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. ~ Lamentations 3:22 ~

I am your Comfort… 3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ~

I am Just… He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? ~ Micah 6:8 ~

I am Patient… The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. ~ 2 Peter 3:9 ~

I am Slow to Anger… ‘The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.’ ~ Numbers 14:18 ~

I am Forgiving… 37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” ~ Luke 6:37-38 ~

I am your Salvation…” 11 “This Yeshua is the stone rejected by you builders whichhas become the cornerstone.12 There is salvation in no one else! For there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by whom we must be saved!” ~ Acts 4:11-12 ~

Amen.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

The Visible Image of the Invisible God

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…

~ Colossians 1:15 — NLT ~

fc935-cross-and-crown-of-thorns

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. 7 If you had really known Me, you would know who My Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father! So why are you asking Me to show Him to you? 10  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak are not My own, but My Father who lives in Me does His work through Me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen Me do.”

~ John 14:6-11 — NLT

Unknowingly, for the last three years, while the disciples lived with Jesus, and walked with Him, they were seeing God. Even though Peter boldly declared, “…You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” (Matthew 16:16b) they still didn’t comprehend that they were looking into the face of the Living God.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…

Colossians 1:15 — NLT ~

What does it mean that Christ is the visible image of the invisible God? We see in John 14:6-11 that Jesus explained that He and the Father are one, and that He is in the Father, and the Father is in Him… Jesus looks like His Daddy. Strong’s Greek Lexicon defines the word image in the scripture above this way…

Image — Eikon
an image, figure, likeness
an image of the things (the heavenly things)
used of the moral likeness of renewed men to God
the image of the Son of God, into which true Christians are transformed, is likeness not only to the heavenly body, but also to the most holy and blessed state of mind, which Christ possesses
the image of one
one in whom the likeness of any one is seen
applied to man on account of his power of command
to Christ on account of His divine nature and absolute moral excellence

My beautiful daughter...
My beautiful daughter…

My daughter is the image of me. She looks a lot like me. She has many of my mannerisms, often to the point that we will be talking and find ourselves standing or sitting in the same position. She also thinks a lot like me, and praise God, she has a strong, unwavering faith much like mine. It amazes me how much she resembles me, not only in looks.

Perhaps because my daughter is the image of me, I am able to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “… Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father!…” (John 14:9b) My daughter could say the same thing to someone who doesn’t know me, and they would have a good idea of what I look like, because not only does her physical appearance parallel mine, but her personality, her gifts and her faith, though they are uniquely hers, are still much like mine. It’s so funny, because not only does my daughter greatly mirror me, her oldest daughter (my granddaughter) is the spitting image of her mama, in appearance and in her ways. The main difference in the three of us is only the color of our hair.

Me
Me

Not only do my daughter and I resemble one another, we also resemble Jesus. You see, the more time we spend in His presence, the more we look like Him, as we begin to be transformed into His likeness, by His word.

Whenever I minister somewhere, I don’t much care whether people can remember my name or not. It doesn’t bother me (not anymore) if someone forgets to put my name on a bulletin or to give me credit for something I’ve done in the Lord’s name, because ministering to others is not about me. What is important to me is that people remember that I ministered to them about Jesus, because my heart’s desire is that I would be able to change many lives in Jesus’ name, and that many would be snatched from the fires of hell, as God transforms their lives. I want God to get all the glory, honor and praise that He is due.

16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

~ 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 — NKJV~

If we are truly living for the Lord, we must walk with Him, and as we spend more and more time with Him, meditating on His word, we will be changed…

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

~ Romans 12:1-2 — NLT ~

As a Christian, (a follower of Christ), we need to have the same attitude that Christ has. When  people see me, I want them to see Christ within me. In order for that to happen, I must be willing to live as He lived…

6 Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

7 Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, 

He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

~ Philippians 2:6-11 — NLT ~.

Hallelujah! Christ is the visible image of the invisible God… One of my personal prayers has been that God will one day allow me to see Him face to face. And then, just now, He brought the following scripture passage to my mind…

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit upon His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in His presence, and He will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at His right hand and the goats at His left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show You hospitality? Or naked and give You clothing? 39 When did we ever see You sick or in prison and visit You?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!’

41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed Me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give Me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite Me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give Me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit Me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help You?’

45 “And He will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help Me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

Do you see what I see? The answer to my prayer is right there in Jesus’ words, as He spoke to His disciples. Whenever I look on the poor and the needy and help them, I am looking into the face of God, and blessing Him. However, every time I look at those who need help with contempt and disdain, I am looking into the face of God with contempt.

Do you want to see the face of God? Look for Christ. Do you want to see Christ? Look into the eyes of the poor and broken-hearted. Look into the eyes of those who are hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or are naked, sick or in prison, for it is there that you might see Christ, who is the visible image of the invisible God.

Father, I bless you for every time You’ve shown Your face to me, even though I failed to recognize You. I bless You for loving me, enough to give me the opportunity to see You and to serve You. Lord, I also ask for your forgiveness for those times I failed to serve You, even though I looked into Your eyes and saw Your need. 

I bless Your holy name, Lord, and I ask You to bless my readers, and draw them close to You, and let them see You in Jesus, and in one another! Amen.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

caddo-7-word

Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

This post is for Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays! My seven words are in two parts this Sunday, because that’s what the Lord placed on my heart. 🙂

He Made Known His Ways To Moses

(Psalm 103:7a NKJV)

I love this  portion of scripture, because it speaks volumes. He made known His ways to Moses… When you’re intimate with someone, you know their ways… You know what each glance means… You know what each smile means… You know the things that please the one you’re intimate with, and you know the things that displease him/her… You know what buttons to push, when you’re intimate with someone… 

I’ve been married to my husband for more than 31 years. Because we’re intimate, I know how to put a smile on that man’s face, and I know how to irritate him. I know how to make him laugh, and I know the things that hurt him. Because we’re intimate, we know how to communicate with each other without even speaking. Because we are intimate, we even think alike on many issues…

This is the kind of relationship that God had with Moses. It’s the kind of relationship He wants with us… It’s the kind of relationship I want with Him…

His Acts to The Children of Israel
(Psalm 103:7b NKJV)

The children of Israel weren’t intimate with God like Moses was. They knew the mighty acts He did… how He sent the plagues to Egypt… How He parted the Red Sea… How He led them through the wilderness with a pillar of fire and a cloud… How He sent manna from heaven… They knew all about those mighty acts of God, but they didn’t know Him intimately, nor did they want to. It was enough for them to just receive His gifts… It was all they wanted from Him…

So… what do you want? Do you want to know His ways, or is it enough to only know His acts?

Lord, Show Me Your Ways

http://anewdaywithchrist.blogspot.com/2012/09/proverbs-3-commentary-iii-security.html

Moses knew Your ways
Others knew only Your acts
Show me Your ways, Lord

Though some walk away
I long for intimacy
Please walk with me, Lord

Let me hear Your voice
I’ll walk in obedience
To Your perfect will

Lord, show me Your ways
And Your greatness I’ll proclaim
How I love You, Lord

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – D-I-V-O-R-C-E

“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a letter of divorce.’ But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:31-32 NLT)

I’ve had to think and pray about what to write regarding these Words of Jesus… Divorce is such a big topic and such a painful one, and I want to be sure that my words line up with His Word, and that I speak the truth in love. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me and He has sent me to preach the good news to the poor and to heal the brokenhearted… So, I want the words that I speak to bring healing to broken hearts according to His will.

It’s been several days, and I’ve written and deleted, written and deleted about this topic – oh, did I say that I’ve written and deleted? I really couldn’t find the words, and for anyone who knows me, if I have to search for words, it’s because I’m not clearly hearing what the Lord is saying to me.

Then I sat down here a few minutes ago, thinking about the Scripture verse above, and the Lord placed a song on my heart, and suddenly, I knew that He was speaking to me about divorce, and that I needed to get ready to write. This is an old song that my mother used to sing at the top of her lungs when I was a little girl, and every time I heard her sing it, her voice sounded like she was crying. I never really thought about it or even understood it until now…

“For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat,” says the LORD Almighty. “So guard yourself; always remain loyal to your wife.” (Malachi 2:16 NLT) I want you to understand, the words that I am speaking are not words of condemnation to anyone who has been divorced. The fact is that my mother and my birth father divorced when I was still a toddler, and I love them both very much.

Rather than condemnation, these are words of love and truth. I share the Lord’s feelings about divorce, because He loves us and He wants the very best for us. As I listened to the song above, I felt a heaviness in my spirit, because divorce is so painful. And look at the reason the Lord gives for hating divorce. “It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat,” says the LORD Almighty.

There’s no question about it. Divorce causes nothing but pain… pain to both spouses… pain to their children… pain to their families and friends… If you’ve ever been through a divorce or had a loved one who went through a divorce, you know this is true. God isn’t being harsh or cruel when His word says, Here is another thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, weeping and groaning because He pays no attention to your offerings, and He doesn’t accept them with pleasure.

You cry out, “Why has the LORD abandoned us?”

I’ll tell you why! Because the LORD witnessed the vows you and your wife made to each other on your wedding day when you were young. But you have been disloyal to her, though she remained your faithful companion, the wife of your marriage vows. Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are His. And what does He want? Godly children from your union. So guard yourself; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.

“For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat,” says the LORD Almighty. “So guard yourself; always remain loyal to your wife.” (Malachi 2:13-16 NLT)

For those of you who are in the midst of a divorce, because your spouse has been unfaithful to you or because he/she has filed against you, or if you have ever been divorced, please know this. God sees you. He knows your pain. Psalm 56:8 says that the Lord has seen your sorrow, and that He has collected all of your tears in a bottle and recorded them.

The Lord also warns us not to seek revenge against the spouse or anyone who hurt you. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 NLT)

I have to tell you, the Lord has so much to say about divorce, that one blog post could never cover it, but let’s just continue a little more… For those who have claimed that Jesus never speaks against homosexuality and same-sex marriage, I submit the following Scripture:

Some Pharisees came and tried to trap Him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?”

“What did Moses say about divorce?” Jesus asked them.

“Well, he permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man merely has to write his wife an official letter of divorce and send her away.”

But Jesus responded, “He wrote those instructions only as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness. But God’s plan was seen from the beginning of creation, for ‘He made them male and female.’ ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together.

Later, when He was alone with His disciples in the house, they brought up the subject again. He told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and remarries, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:2-12 NLT)

As you can see, marriage is spelled out very clearly by Jesus – one man and one woman, and when they are married, the two are united into one. And again, Jesus makes it clear that since the two have become one, no one is to separate them, because God has joined them together.

You see, my beloved, a marriage is a lifelong commitment. It’s a covenant, not only between you and your spouse, but also between you and everyone else who witnessed your vows, including the Lord. When we marry, we vow to love, honor and cherish one another for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or worse as long as we both shall live. Jesus was very clear when He spoke to the Pharisees about divorce. The only reason Moses allowed them to divorce was because they were wicked and hard-hearted, but God never sanctioned divorce.

I know that many reading these words are already hurting, and these words may feel like a hammer pulverizing your already broken heart, and beloved, that is not my intention as I write these words. I want to speak the truth to you in love, and Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Someone once said, “The truth hurts,” and sometimes it cuts like a knife, but Jesus said if you know the truth, it will set you free.

The apostle, Paul, wrote these words about divorce… Now, for those who are married I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else go back to him. And the husband must not leave his wife.

Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a Christian man has a wife who is an unbeliever and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. And if a Christian woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not have a godly influence, but now they are set apart for Him. (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a Christian insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is not required to stay with them, for God wants his children to live in peace.)  You wives must remember that your husbands might be converted because of you. And you husbands must remember that your wives might be converted because of you.  You must accept whatever situation the Lord has put you in, and continue on as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches. (1 Corinthians 7:10-17 NLT)

I know that some are outraged by what they are reading here, and I’m sure some are saying, “What about a situation where one spouse is abusing the other spouse and their children?” I hear your cries for help. I hear your pain – indeed, as a child brought up in an abusive household, I understand better than you know. Truly, the Lord understands your plight and it grieves Him. Step back for a minute and see what He said, Now, for those who are married I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else go back to him. And the husband must not leave his wife

The Lord knows that because we live in a fallen world, there are situations that require one spouse leaving another, so He has given a provision for that, but because you made a covenant between your spouse, God and man, you must remain single, or if circumstances change, go back to your spouse. I know these words may not sit well with many of you, and it may seem unfair, because after all, don’t we deserve a little happiness?

And I would say to you that it wasn’t fair that Jesus had to go through all that He went through to pay for my sins and yours. And don’t you think that if anyone deserved happiness, it was Him? The walk of a man or woman of God is not any easy one, but it brings life to us. And though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He promises to be with us and to comfort us. No matter how lonely and hurt we are, He understands and He tells us to cast our cares on Him, because He cares for us.

No matter how exhausted and alone we feel, Jesus says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)

This is a hard word for us, but praise God, we have a gentle Savior who is there to carry our burdens. And His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Beloved, I am praying for every man, woman and child who has ever gone through the heartache and disillusionment of divorce. I pray that the Lord will give you wisdom to know where to go and what to do. I pray that He will give you peace in the midst of your storm. I pray that He will comfort you as you mourn and give you a garment of praise to take the place of the spirit of heaviness. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Cut It Off!

“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So if your eye — even if it is your good eye — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand — even if it is your stronger hand — causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-30 NLT)

A life of following Jesus calls for us to be radical in our faith. Let’s dive in and deal with what He had to say about adultery…

Jesus dealt with the sin of adultery on several occasions, but in this instance, He spells it out for us. Most define adultery as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse. Jesus makes it clear that adultery is not only the act of having sex with someone other than his/her lawful spouse – it involves the heart and the mind. 

The thought that immediately leaps to my mind is King David and Bathsheba. David’s sin began before he sent for her. His sin began when he didn’t go to war like he was supposed to do… Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 11:1 NLT)

  • Lesson 1 – when we’re not doing what we should be doing, it is sin and it can lead to more sin…
  • Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. (James 4:17 NLT)
http://www.ingodsimage.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/CityOfDavidFerrellJenkins.jpg

 Late one afternoon David got out of bed after taking a nap and went for a stroll on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. (2 Samuel 11:2 NLT) 

Now, I’ve heard a lot of people give Bathsheba a bad rap for this… some have said she was bathing on her roof, but that is not what the scripture says! The Scripture says that David was walking around on his roof, and from the roof, he saw a woman bathing. If you look at the picture above, the rail at the top shows where David’s palace most likely was, so you can see, from this viewpoint, he would have easily been able to look down and see Bathsheba bathing, and she wouldn’t have had to be on a rooftop to be seen…

Regardless, David, who wasn’t where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing, was restless and got up out of his bed that evening and walked out onto his roof, perhaps surveying his kingdom, when he saw Bathsheba bathing. Now, if David’s heart had been in the right place at that time, when he saw the woman bathing, he would have looked away, perhaps gone back into his room or at least to the other side of the roof! But he didn’t. Instead, he looked a little closer and saw that she was beautiful.

  • Lesson 2 – When you accidentally see, hear, feel, smell or taste anything that tempts you to sin, don’t dwell on it or continue to look, listen, touch, smell or taste it – run from it!!!
  • Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. (2 Timothy 2:22 NLT)

He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” (2 Samuel 11:3 NLT)

Rather than running from the temptation before his eyes, David quickly ran to temptation.

Now, I have to be honest with you… David is one of my favorite biblical characters, because he has so much passion for the Lord! He didn’t care what anyone thought about him while he worshiped the Lord – he was more than willing to be undignified, and I love that about him.

The problem is, and I say this to caution myself and all brothers and sisters called to the ministry of the Lord, the people loved David and they flattered him. Now maybe that doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, but I have to be honest, when I’ve delivered a message from the Lord and seen His power at work, and people flatter me, I really struggle with it.

On the one hand, there is a part of me that longs for recognition and approval. I grew up in a home where it seemed that love and affection had to be earned, and there is still some of that little girl inside of me who craves affirmation. So when people flatter me, I get mixed feelings.

Yes, it feels good when someone admires something you’ve accomplished, but what if my ego gets puffed up? I can’t judge King David or anyone else who struggles against pride, because I constantly wage my own war with pride.

O Lord, I don’t want to shame You. I want to always glorify Your name and not my own. Please Father, keep me from stumbling and causing others to stumble. Hear my cries O Lord, keep me from shame.

  • Lesson 3 – don’t let the adoration and/or approval of others cloud your vision and make you prideful.
  • You younger men, accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for “God sets Himself against the proud, but He shows favor to the humble.” So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time He will honor you. (1 Peter 5:5-6 NLT)

 Then David sent for her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. (She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period.) Then she returned home. 

http://www.sftawareness.org/archives/modern-day-bathsheba/

Now a lot of people and a lot of books have painted a pretty picture of one of the greatest love stories of all time, implying that David and Bathsheba had consensual sex, but that’s not how I read the story. David was at home with too much time on his hands because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing. So, in his boredom and restlessness, he wandered out onto his rooftop, probably surveying his kingdom, when lo and behold! He saw a woman bathing.

Scripture does not say that she was on a roof bathing. For all we know, she could have been in her own home, or at a bathing spot where women may have gone during that time. It’s unclear where she was, but I don’t believe that she was sinning as she bathed, and she had no way of knowing that King David was at home or that he had wandered onto his rooftop and that he would be observing her as she completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period. There is nothing in all of scripture that suggests Bathsheba was ever unfaithful to her husband prior to this episode with King David, nothing to suggest that she was promiscuous.

Now, imagine the fear and worry she must have felt when she was summonsed to the royal palace. Did she worry if something had happened to her husband, Uriah, or if perhaps she had unknowingly broken some law? And how do you think she must have felt when she arrived to the palace, and David looked at her lustfully, undressing her with his eyes?

Do you think that as she shivered with fear, David, who had already committed adultery with her in his mind, thought she was aroused? Did her mind desperately search for a way to tell him no, while he caressed her? Did she fear retaliation against herself? Her husband? Her family?

I can imagine how she felt, as her eyes darted around the room, looking for an escape, and her heart felt like it was about to beat right out of her chest. I can almost see her desperation, as it quickly dawns on her that this is the king, and if she fights him, he could very easily kill her or worse, and no one would ever even know about it. I submit to you, that David not only committed adultery with Bathsheba – he raped her.

My reason for believing this is not just what I’ve written so far, but because of Bathsheba’s response when her husband died and the Lord’s response.  When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the LORD was very displeased with what David had done. (2 Samuel 11:26-27 NLT)

Bathsheba mourned for her husband. Does that sound like the response of a wanton woman? Also, please note that scripture says that the Lord was very displeased with what David had done. If they had committed adultery together, consensually, the Lord would have been displeased with what David and Bathsheba had done.

I praise God that David repented of his sin, but I can understand why Jesus so strongly said, “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So if your eye — even if it is your good eye — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand — even if it is your stronger hand — causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-30 NLT)

It’s a lesson we can all learn from, and none of us should ever even dare think, “Well, I would never do that,” because scripture says, “The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I know! I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – I Did Not Come to Abolish the Law of Moses

“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God’s Law will remain until its purpose is achieved. So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s Laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you — unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!” (Matthew 5:17-20 NLT)

Moses with the Tables of the Law
Moses with the Tables of the Law (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is for everyone who quotes the Apostle Paul when he said,  “All things are lawful unto me…” 

Let’s get this straight… First of all, it really irritates me when people quote scripture out of context… Many Christians quote the Apostle Paul and use this to justify their sin. I like to look at the whole scripture in its context, so that we have an accurate understanding of what Paul was saying… I also like the New Living Translation, because this translation clearly expresses what Paul was saying in his letter to the Corinthians…

Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers — none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you. You may say, “I am allowed to do anything.” But I reply, “Not everything is good for you.” And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything (1 Corinthians 6:9-12 NLT).

faithfultotruth.blogspot.com/2011/04/humanitys-gain-from-unbelief-charles.html
faithfultotruth.blogspot.com/2011/04/humanitys-gain-from-unbelief-charles.html

Do you see? Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean that we should. Paul makes it very clear that those who live in sin will have no part in the Kingdom of God. It’s the same when people try to excuse their sin by saying, “I don’t live under the Law – that was for the Old Covenant. I live under the New Covenant.”

To be sure, we don’t live under the Old Covenant. As a matter of fact, for those of us who are Gentiles who have been grafted in, we are not bound by many of the Old Testament laws… But, it’s important for us to understand that this doesn’t mean that we’re lawless. Jesus didn’t come to break the Law. He didn’t come to end the Law. “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God’s Law will remain until its purpose is achieved. So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s Laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you — unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!” (Matthew 5:17-20 NLT)

Look what Jesus is saying. He said He didn’t come to do away with the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. Jesus said He came to fulfill them, and that even the smallest detail of God’s Law will remain until its purpose is achieved… Further, He gives us a warning that unless we obey God better than the teachers of the law and the Pharisees did, we won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!

http://energybibleinoneyear.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/love-the-lord-your-god-with-all-your-heart-soul-mind-and-strength/

That makes it pretty clear, doesn’t it? So, like the teacher of religious law, our next question should be, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the One and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark 12:28b-31 NLT).

The most important command is to love the Lord my God with all of my heart. That means with every beat of my heart, I am to love Him. I am to love Him with all of my soul – every one of my emotions must adore Him. I must love Him with all of my mind – as I meditate on His attributes, I can’t help but love Him. And I am to love Him with all of my strength. That means that my body is not my own any longer to do with as I please. Rather, I give my body in love to Him, so that every move I make, every breath I take, is an expression of love to my Savior!

Jesus said that the second greatest command was equally important. I must love my neighbor – anyone I come in contact with – as myself. I must treat my neighbor with love and respect, regardless of how they treat me. If I want to be forgiven, and I do, then I must forgive my neighbor… my father, my mother, my enemies…

By obeying these two commands, I am obeying the 10 Commandmentsthe Law of Moses. 

Lord, help me to obey Your commands. Let me love as You love, forgive as You forgive. Lord, increase my love for You and let me be a woman after Your own heart. In Jesus’ mighty, holy name I pray. Amen

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers