And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
What was the "good" that God wanted for Sarai and Abraham?
That Sarai would give birth to Isaac in her old age.
But as the years went by an "inferior good" came into play.
This inferior good was the widely accepted cultural norm of the day. If a wife could not conceive she would give her maidservant to her husband as a surrogate.
The result was the birth of Ishmael whose descendants have warred against the descendants of Isaac even to this day.
What has "inferior good", in the guise of cultural norms, birthed that is now at war with the purposes of God for your life.
“but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' ”
Where did Eve get the idea that "nor shall you touch it" was what God had said?
Clearly Adam must have conveyed this to her.
So, what if the picture above actually carries in it an element of truth, in that, the serpent is "touching" the tree, with no ill effects.
"Nor shall you touch it" is a glowing example of inferior good.
If Eve did not "touch" the tree then she could never eat of the tree; if she did not eat of the tree then death could not steal her away from Adam. Bottom line, Adam did not want to be left alone again so his insurance policy was to add on "nor shall you touch it" to what God had actually said.
In essence, inferior good is adding my carnal wisdom to what God has actually said; all the while believing it is a good thing that I have done.
As we progress through this Year 5779 we will do well to review our definition of what is "good" whilst looking through the lens of Revelation 22:18:
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;
And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
You will recall that the word picture meaning for "good" is: what surrounds and is inside. It is in this word that we find the first occurrence of the letter Tet which is the Hebrew number 9.
When we come to the word good in Genesis 2:9 you will be surprised to learn that the literal rendering of the Hebrew in this verse is " tree of the knowledge of inferior good".
In this year 5779 we need to be constantly asking Holy Spirit to come and breathe on us to reveal that which is good (genuine diamond) and that which is inferior good (fake diamond).
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
The 9 in the Year 5779 is the 9th letter in the Hebrew alphabet, the letter Tet.
We first find this letter in Scripture in the word "good".
The word picture meaning for "good" is: what surrounds and is inside.
We might express it as what you see is what you get.
When you identify something that is fake or counterfeit you discover that what you were initially seeing is not what you are getting.
We have been called to be light in our world. The question is, can people say of us: "what you see is what you get".
As we explore the 5770's of the Hebrew calendar we are operating in the realm of "the hand to reveal the covenant that consumes the eye".
When the Lord spoke to Joshua He emphasised exactly the same thing.
Surprisingly, the word picture behind "given" in Joshua 1:3 is: "life, covenant life".
As we focus our eyes to be consumed by the potential of covenant life in every situation the soles of our feet tread upon, then life, covenant life will be given to us.
Over the next little while I want to explore with you the meaning behind the current Hebrew year 5779.
The first thing we need to note is that Hebrew does not have a numbering system as such. They actually derive there numbers from their alphabet. For a more detailed explanation you can look at my teaching on the year 5778:
Before we look at the ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which is Tet, we need to see the context we are operating in by looking at the meaning of 5770.
This is our context: "the hand to reveal the covenant that consumes the eye".
Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
At the outset of our journey into the Year 5779 I would encourage you to:
And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
The Hebrew word picture for withheld is: inner room threshing (what we might call soul searching).
In order to be willing to offer up Isaac (the child of God's promise) Abraham had to experience some "inner room threshing".
If we are to discern between God's good (decree/statute) and inferior good (our desire for lifestyle) we must be willing to submit to "inner room threshing". It is here that the nourishing grain of God's good is separated from the chaff of our inferior good.
So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.
There are two images in the Hebrew word picture for joking.
The first is that of a hooked man or woman being led by desire. Like cattle being led by a nose ring.
The second is that of a decree or statute.
God had decreed that Sodom would be destroyed, yet when Lot repeats God's decree to his sons-in-law they act as if he is joking.
Something in these men was pulling them towards the lifestyle of the city and thus away from the decree of God regarding the city.
The name Sodom means burning.
Our societies are fuelled by burning desires, whilst the Joker (satan) laughs.
Yet God's desire is that we step into the protection of His decree and thus be delivered out of the burning destruction that will result from our misdirected desires.
I believe 2019 will be a year in which we must learn to discern between God's good (decree/statute) and inferior good (our desire for lifestyle).
The Hebrew word picture meaning for "Son" is: the life of the family.
"Born" means hand of authority on the door.
The Hebrew word picture meaning for "given" is Life, covenant life.
Yeshua's birth (and death) gave Him the authority to open the way for us to experience and enjoy the covenant life of God's family.
In the midst of the celebrations, let us take time to renew covenant with the one who was born to die that we might have life.