Seed of Abraham – Deeper Meaning


Genesis 15:5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

This promise is related to several other references to the promise of descendants that God gave to Abram, now Abraham.

  1. Genesis 13:16 – seed as numerous as the dust of the earth.
  2. Genesis 15:5 – count the stars, so shall your seed be.
  3. Genesis 22:17 – seed will be as numerous as the stars and the sand on the seashore

But, there are three things different about this particular verse.

First – bowels: In verse 4 God said that he would have an heir from his body. The King James says from his “bowels.” Abram will have an heir from his “bowels.”  Does this mean that God did not know that the bowels have nothing to do with the bowels? No. In Genesis 3:15 God knew that the woman carried the seed and science did not prove this until 180 years ago.

This word can also means “womb.” So, does Abram have a womb? So to speak, yes. That womb would be in Sarai. This is one reason why it was not enough for Hagar to have a son for Abram. Hagar was not his womb. Sarah was. This is on the same terms by which God describes a nake wife as the husband’s nakedness.

Second – seed: “Zera” – This word is translated as “descendants” in the New King James and offspring in others. Whereas, it is translated as “seed” in the King James. This is one time that the King James has the better translation.

The word is not plural but singular. At first glance we would say that it would be ok to translate the word as descendants. That is the meaning, right? But to translate it as descendants removes a deeper level of meaning. On the surface we can look ahead and know that this seed is Isaac. But, it has a deeper meaning. The original word literally means seed. It’s the same word used in Genesis 1 during creation.

To better understand the deeper meaning of the word seed, let’s go back to Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.

Then, let’s remember that in the pictograph of the Hebrew alphabet for Noah’s name means protected seed and grace, with the same two letters but reversed, means the protector of the seed. Grace secured God’s promise in Genesis 3:15 across the flood. The seed that God told about, the first mention of the Messiah in Genesis 3:15, came across in the ark through the undeserving favor or grace of God.

Therefore, the deeper meaning of Genesis 15:5 is that God is promising the coming of the Messiah through Abraham.

Am I stretching this? Not if you believe what Paul says:

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.

Therefore, “Zera” should remain as seed not descendants.

If it is ONE seed then how do we explain counting the stars? It goes back to translation again. There is Genesis 15:5 again, Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

Third, – count & number: Both of these words are the same Hebrew word – Safar, which also means “rehearse or relate.” How do you relate or rehearse the stars?

According to God in Genesis 1:14 the stars were for a sign. Today we have a zodiac that is very similar to constellation signs found in many old cultures around the world.

Have you every asked how in the world do they get a Virgin or a lion out of a constellation? What the constellations look like are not by connecting the dots but by knowing the names and means of the brightest stars in each constellation, going to the brightest to the next to the brightest and so forth. Most of the pictures we still have but many of the names of the stars have been lost through time.

It is believed that through the names of the stars that even Adam understood the history of man and the coming of Jesus. Man, after the flood, customized the signs to center around him rather than God.

If this is true, could God have been saying to Abram, “Look at the stars and rehearse the stories told by them and the seed promised in the stories will come from you.”

Therefore, in light of Genesis 1:14, 3:15, and Galatians 3:16, verse 5 of Genesis 15 could be translated as follows: Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and rehearse the stars if you are able to relate to them.” And He said to him, “So shall your seed (the Promised Messiah) be.”

To find awesome iPhone & iPad apps for the Christian Walk and Ministry go to n8slist.com

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Grasshoppers & Giants, Nephilim


Numbers 13:33 “There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

The word “Giant” is found several times in the Bible but only three times translated from the word nephil or nephilim (twice in this verse and once in Genesis 6). The giants of Davids time were tall men called giants, and we have tall men today. I’m sure that they seemed much taller when you consider that the average height of a man in those days was around 5 feet.

But, what about these men that the spies saw when Moses sent them into the land of Canaan? What makes them different from the giants of Davids day?

The word Niphil comes from the root word which means fallen. According to Genesis 6 the sons of God produced offspring with the daughters of men. Some say that the sons of God were the righteous men and the daughters of men were the daughters of the unrighteous.

The second explanation is that the sons of God were fallen angels. Thus, the explanation of calling them Nephilim – fallen. But all of these were killed in the flood. There has never been any evidence from scripture that this ever happened again, although it could have.

So, what did the spies see? Keep in mind that Moses had just received Genesis from God along with the commandments and instructions for the tabernacle while he was on the mountain not many weeks or months earlier. They read the instructions for the tabernacle because it was now built. They read the commandments and the instructions for the priests. It stands to reason that the account of Genesis would have been read to the people also.

With this fresh in there minds and mixed in with folklore passed down from Noah’s day that had changed in story by word of mouth, could it not be possible that the spies only assumed that they saw the “fallen ones?”

Later Joshua refers to these people three different time and each time calls them giants or tall men.

The fact is, it is not about what they saw in these tall men but what they then saw about themselves. Ten of the twelve spies allowed their imaginations to dictate what they felt about themselves – grasshoppers.

  • How would the story been different if Moses had thought of himself as a grasshopper before Pharaoh?
  • How would the story been different if Noah had thought of himself as a grasshopper in the feat of building a large ship for 100 years?
  • How would the story  been different if Abraham had thought of himself as a grasshopper – introducing himself to others as “The Father of Many Nations” when he had only a son by a servant?
  • How would David’s story been different had he thought of himself as a grasshopper before the giant of his day?

Then the twelve spies said that the giants also saw them as grasshoppers. Therefore, it must have been true. Whether the giants really did see them as such or were possibly the ones who called them grasshoppers, initiating the feeling of incompetency, it was the choice of the spies what they believed. They chose to believe that they were grasshoppers, incompetent.

God’s blessing was upon Joshua and Caleb because they refused to accept that image of themselves. As a result, 40 years later Joshua is taking Moses place as leader into conquer the land and Caleb wants to take the very mountain where the lived giants at the age of 80. That is courage!

Many people have had a calling or a vision God gave them and yet they did nothing about it because the felt like a grasshopper before a giant.

To find awesome iPhone and iPad apps for the Christian Walk and Ministry go to n8slist.com

Born To Be Wild?


Genesis 1:25-28 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

On the sixth day God created and called it good. It was not until after this that He created man. Of all the creations during the six days, only two were not declared good: when God divided the heavens from the earth on the second day and when God created man on the sixth day. Why?

As for the second day, it was all about division – separation. Heaven and earth were no long link together. Nothing can be good outside of the presence of God.

And as for man, man was not created to be good but to choose good. Therefore, man received God’s blessing instead. Man needed God’s spoken power in order to choose good and it came in the form of His blessing. Another argument of man’s free will.

Some have even gone as far as to say that there is a correlation between the second day and the creation of man. Both were divisions from God’s presence. Only the breath of God can reunite the dust of the ground (what man was created from) to the heart of God, “and man became a living soul.”

Today it takes the breath of God breathed, the Holy Spirit, for us to be reunited with Him (Romans 8:15-16). We may not have been born good but we can choose good because God spoke His blessing upon us. We were not born to be wild, we were born TO BE good.

Romans 8:15-16 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Peter said in Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

Repenting is the one act that will reunite us to God’s presence. Then, and only then will the times of refreshing come from God.

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL !!!

The Shepherd, The King, The Lamed


There is a letter of the Hebrew alphabet that rises above all the other letters and is considered to be the middle of the alphabet. This letter in the original script looked like a shepherd staff. In the modern Hebrew it looks like a throne. On top of the Lamed is a crown. What is interesting is that the Lamed with the two letters on either side spells the word “King.”

The meaning of the letter from the original pictograph is shepherd, goad, or control. This letter, who is the letter above all letters and the King of all kings, started out as a shepherd.

The name of the letter comes from the root word “Lamad” which means to teach. This letter is drawing attention to the source of all learning, the Bible. As a goad, it prods us on into it’s truth.

Jesus told Paul in Acts 9:5 “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

So, who is the shepherd? Who is the King of kings? Who is the Word for learning?

Let me throw out something else that is out there. Keeping in mind that the Hebrew alphabet is also their numerical system, the Lamed is a Kaf (20) with a Vav (6) on top. The total is 26. Each letter within Yhwh, God’s name, also totals 26. The Lamed actually represents 30 which is the same value as Judah, the Hebrew word for praise. In Genesis 49:10 you will discover that the law or Word of God will come from Judah. Just an interesting note.

When the Lamed is used as a prefix in a word it denotes direction such as the word “to,” such as “to the house” or “to the father.” It is only when we place Jesus, the king, first in what we do as our prefix that we receive direction.

There is something very interesting in Exodus 19:5

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special teasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

The word for the underlined above is Lamed Yod. What is different is the Lamed in this word is larger than normal and the Yod is smaller than normal. God is telling Israel that they will be a special treasure, but not to just anyone. They will be special to Him, the King of kings, larger than life, when they understand how small they are. It is when we allow God to be larger than life in our lives and we understand our smallness that we become the special treasure to God.

hebrews4christians.com

Anoint


imagesIsaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor…”

It was a practice in the Old Testament to pour oil upon individuals for high offices. Aaron was anointed as High Priest. Saul and David were anointed as kings.

Therefore, to be anointed to accomplish all that is listed in this verse and those following would be read as a high honor. These are the very words that Jesus read before the Jewish leaders and declared them to be fulfilled in Him.

What does anoint mean? David describes Aaron’s anointing as oil being poured over his head so much so that it ran down his beard and running all the way to the edge of his garments.

A Hebrew commentary says that Moses, with his finger, marked Aaron’s forehead with the oil in the sign of the cross, the letter Tav, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The letter Tav literally means “mark.”

The root word for anoint is meshakh. The first letter is the “Mem” which means water or liquid. The second letter is “Shin” which means consume. The last letter, already mentioned, is “Tav” which means mark or sign. It can also mean covenant.

To be anointed is to be marked with a covenant mark, consumed or totally covered by the liquid.

The word “anointing” in anointing oil has a “Hey,” which represents breath or the Holy Spirit, word which represents the Holy Spirit. He is our anointing oil.

The word “Messiah” is anoint with a “Yod” inserted into the word. Yod represents an arm which means that the anointing comes from the arm of God.

So, when James instructed us to anoint someone who was sick it represents a sacred marking of God.

In the Old Testament, when someone was anointed it was for a position or task. It was a divine commissioning. In the New Testament John describes anointing as the Holy Spirit within us; 1 John 2:20,27. When Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1 He spoke of His commissioning.

Some speak of a worship service or a sermon that was anointed. I have yet to find anywhere in scripture where any moment in time was anointed or words were anointed.

Others will say that someone preaching wasn’t very anointed. Scripturally, what in the world does that mean? If someone has been anointed to preach as in Isaiah 61:1 then that is their commission. They are anointed to do just what they are doing.

Possibly, what they are trying to say is that their message was not very prophetic. Some messages speak to you as if they are the very words of God while other sermons just don’t hit the mark.

The word for “Preach good tidings” in the opening verse means to bear news, bear tidings, publish, preach, show forth. In what manner have you been commissioned or anointed to preach? Through singing, writing, speaking, teaching, evangelizing, video, painting?

The PEACE of God


Shalom

Shalom

I have been to Romania several times. The first Romanian word I learned was Pace (poch-ay) which means peace. But, it is a sacred word used only as a Christian greeting.

Even today in Israel the Jews use the word Shalom as a greeting meaning peace. But peace is an over simplified definition.

It is derived from the root word Shalam which means wholeness, complete, to make good or restore, have friendship, keep safe and make secure.

The first letter, Shin, means consume. God’s completeness in us needs to consume us.

The second letter, Lamed, is the tallest letter as well as the center letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It represents the King of kings, but also means control as in a shepherd’s staff. In the ancient writings the Lamed was a hooked staff that a shepherd would carry. God’s peace seems to evade us when things are out of control. But when we rest in His peace the out of control is in His control. This comes through the King of kings, our Great Shepherd.

The third letter in Shalom is the Vav. This letter represent the nail or hook that holds everything together. In one blog I show how it represents Jesus. It can also represent “and,” holding two thoughts together. God’s peace holds it all together through Jesus Christ.

The final letter is the Mem which is water. Some have said that it is the wellspring of the Torah. True Shalom could not come from the Law until Jesus became the fulfillment of that law.

The first time it is used in scripture is following God’s description to Abraham of the future of his children in Egypt. Then He assures him, Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age Genesis 15:15.

Abraham is promised to live long and die in completeness.

This was the theme of Jesus intimate prayer in John 17. This prayer followed His last meal with the disciples and was one of the last things He did before heading off to the garden to pray in preparation of His betrayal.

It was here that Jesus prayed for oneness between His followers, Himself and the Father.

What was the very first thing Jesus said to His disciples following His resurrection as He walked through the locked doors in John’s gospel? “Peace be unto you.”

In an out-of-control word I say to you . . .

Shalom!

New Ear, New Life


Pierced

Pierced

Luke 22:50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

The setting is on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus often went to pray. But, on this night it was interrupted by a group let by Judas to take Jesus away.

Peter had warned Jesus that he would be willing to fight to the death for Jesus and now he is ready to prove it. Ok, he didn’t go after any of the leaders, but it was the servant of the High Priest. Ok, he did not fatally wound him, but he did happen to catch his ear.

Peter meant well, he just could not get past his fears. And yet, how interesting that God was able to take lousy aim and bring about a blessing.

Until about 10 years ago, I always pictured Jesus picking up the servant’s ear and putting it back on him and healing it. But that is not what happens.

Luke 22:51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

Dr Luke is detailed here. It was the right ear. Jesus did not put his old ear back on but touch what was left of his ear and healed him. Do you see what has possibly happened here? Let’s look at the facts:

  1. This man, named Malchus, was a servant, a servant of the High Priest.
  2. It was his right ear that was cut off.
  3. It would seem that Jesus gave him a new ear.

Now, let’s put that together. Exodus 21:6 and Deuteronomy 15:17 say that if a servant desires to stay with his master for life than he will allow his ear to be pierced with an awl. Neither of these verse give which earlobe but great significance is always given to the right side; ear, hand, thumb, toe, etc.

So, is it possible that this man had committed his service to the High Priest for life and had his right ear pierced? If so, then is it possible that in receiving a new ear, one without a hole, he was given his freedom?

Just something to think about.