Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
After writing last week's blog I found myself lying awake for a number of hours that night as the word 'amar and its word picture of a mother giving birth began to sink deeper and deeper into my spirit. In the course of the night this verse in Proverbs came to mind and I thought it definitely warranted further investigation. So here goes......
In the last blog we discovered that the prophets were pregnant with the word of the Lord.
When a womb opens to deliver a baby into the world it is akin to a door opening, wouldn't you agree?
In this analogy the mouth of the prophet is likewise a door.
The question is, who opens these doors?
1 Samuel 1:5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the Lord had closed her womb.
What I neglected to tell you last time is that the Hebrew word 'amar is an extremely common word and relates to the activity of words being spoken. So, whether it is God speaking, angels speaking, satan speaking, demons speaking or human beings speaking this is the word used to describe that action.
Now we only need to read the Old Testament to realise that God's words are pregnant with death or life. However, whether the outcome of His words are death or life they always fulfil divine purpose. You see God always speaks out of a knowledge of all the facts.
From a human perspective this leaves us with the very challenging thought that all our spoken words are also pregnant with death or life.
So, if this is a fact what are we suppose to do about it?
I believe the answer lies in understanding the phrase "the power of the tongue". In Hebrew the word for power is yad and it is the picture of a hand on the door. The hand has the power to open or close the door. Problem is we do not know for certain what is on the other side of that door. Likewise, when we open the door of our mouth we do not always know what is going to come out of it, do we?
In Hebrew the word for tongue is la-shon and it is the picture of a rod that devours life or a rod that establishes life.
Hebrew 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
I want to share with you something I find incredibly fascinating about these two verses. To do this let's work backwards.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
The above verses refer to the Son as the Word. But how did the Word become flesh?
I know it sounds like a redundant question, but stick with me.
Luke 1:34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
The next question we need to ask is: how did the word in time past come by the prophets?
If you spend any length of time reading in the Old Testament you will come across the expression "the word of the Lord came unto me saying". In fact this expression is repeated over and over again especially in relation to the prophets. The rabbis actually interpret this a little differently as "the word of the Lord became in me".
So, let's look a more carefully at this.
In Hebrew the "came unto me saying" is covered by a single word 'amar. Inside this word we find the Hebrew word for mother linked with the letter Reysh which stands for head (as in the source of a river) or beginning. By definition mothers are where the source or beginning of life occurs in the womb.
What we glean from this is that the prophets became pregnant with the word of the Lord.
Suddenly we begin to understand why the writer of Hebrews wanted us to see a strong connection between the prophets and the Son. In times past the prophets became pregnant with the word of the Lord by virtue of the Holy Spirit coming upon them. Then, at the appointed time the Holy Spirit came upon Mary to conceive the Word, the Son of God!!!!
As I'm writing this I am just sitting here going wow, wow, wow , wow.......
But, did you know that the word 'amar occurs 30 times in the first three chapters of the book of Genesis???
Let me give you a sample:
Genesis 1:3 Then God said('amar), "Let there be light"; and there was light.
Genesis 2:18 And the Lord God said('amar), "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him."
Genesis 3:14 So the Lord God said('amar) to the serpent: "Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life.
This is what the writer to the Hebrews means when he says: "through whom also He made the worlds;"
Every time we see the word 'amar in these chapters of Genesis we are seeing the Word, the Son actively involved in creation.
Given all this, I am left wondering whether Moses was in fact prophesying to our generation when he said:
Numbers 11:29 Then Moses said to him, "Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!"
Are you and I living constantly pregnant by the Spirit with the life of the Son, the Living Word?
Food for thought.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
I believe it is fitting that I am writing this blog on Mothers' Day.
What is it about mothers that so impacts us that we almost find ourselves lost for words in trying to express to them what we feel about them?
Has it got something to do with the fact that for 9 months they joyfully gave their bodies to be our first home here on planet earth?
If you ponder this thought for just a short while you will begin to tap into what God meant when He said through Jeremiah "I know the thoughts that I think towards you".
In Hebrew, the word translated know is the word yada' which is an umbrella word with multiple meanings covering a statement such as 'I know how to tie my shoelaces' to describing the sexual intimacy between a husband and wife. So, the meaning is determined by the context in which the word is used.
God makes the following amazing statement to Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Again, God uses the word yada' to effectively say to Jeremiah: 'You know what? My intimacy with you trumps the intimacy you shared with your mother in her womb!!!'.
It is here that we find the bedrock of God's thoughts toward us. He knows us even better than our mothers do.
As parents we do not always act towards our children with "perfect knowledge', we do make mistakes. But not so with God.
I'm pretty sure no one who read my last blog "God, What Were You Thinking?" found it comfortable to realise that God orchestrated the destruction of the house of Israel in order to separate them from idolatry. So, here is the good news; God did that with perfect knowledge, in fact He did that with intimate knowledge in respect to each and every person affected.
There is another interesting fact in Hebrew that can help us come to terms with what we are discussing here.
You see, in Hebrew it is never about the individual. The individual is just one link in the chain that runs from them all the way back to Eve and from them all the way forward to the very last of their descendants ever born here on earth.
What God did in Jeremiah's day, in destroying the house of Israel to separate them from idolatry, would prove to be a redemptive act on behalf of every generation in Israel that followed.
So, if your life is anything like mine, you may feel like your house is being torn down at the moment. Be assured that God is orchestrating your circumstances out of His intimate knowledge and great love for you. You never know, what you are going through at the moment could prove to be the redemption that will benefit your children and your grandchildren and your great grandchildren and your great, great grandchildren, .....................................