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    The Word giving Life

    Like dew drenching a thirsty land, the refreshing of the unveiled Word transforms our lives; in a dark and ravaged world God lifts us up from the ashes to become his beautiful new creation.

    We have seen that after the fall, sin and death entered the world; the world was essentially cursed. Yet there emerged a descendant line through to Noah that revered God. Enoch walked with God and was taken away. Lamech, who lived 777 years, spoke of his son Noah, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.” (Genesis 5:29). ​This was predicting a fertile existence, when for instance Noah ("a man of the soil") would step out of the Ark and plant a vineyard (Genesis 9:20). Nutrient rich Flood deposits suitable for growing crops for increased populations.


    Man flourished and built cities. Cities became the central place to seek knowledge, and a few eager to gain power peddled their version of the truth embellishing with tales of made up gods. There were only a few exceptions, Salem where the priest-king Melchisedek ruled was one (Genesis 14:18), but for the most part they slipped into darkness, spreading their sprawling myths and false religions, making themselves their gods' representatives.


    God however continued with the descendant line starting with the call of Abraham (originally Abram) - the father of the Promise. Abraham seemed to have that closeness to God; he became known as a friend of God (Isaiah 41:8). The LORD even took physical form when he visited Abraham and ate with him like friends do (Genesis 18). In Abraham, we have a model of faith, who was always perceiving and always hearing, and so it was credited to him as righteousness, The Promise that Abraham grasped, was a hope that fills the soul, a light in the darkness, a refreshing in a dry and weary land, a kernel, seed, a guarantee. The apostle Paul later makes it clear to us that this Promise refers to Jesus, and is best expressed by Jesus himself.

    whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

    John 4:14

    Not everyone understands it straight away, because of other preoccupations that life throws at them. Sometimes things have to get really bad until we realise we are in desperate need of some help and cry out to God, like Jacob, Abraham's grandson did (Genesis 28). The dream of the gateway to heaven with a stairway and angel ascending and descending it, he called it the House of God, Bethel. 

    Let's pause a moment and consider what Jacob means by 'House'. It is meant more than just a physical building, it was referring to the whole estate, or in terms of a king that would refer to where the king reign from. The king's area rule would be his kingdom. The same sense is used in the 'House of David' (or the 'House of Tudor' etc) and the subjects would align themselves to one or another house to guarantee protection; on earth this would carry on throughout the dynasty of the king. We can see how the reign of king David's House (the reign of David, Solomon and other kings) from the hill top fortresses governed the land, with the cities of refuge established for the time Joshua were. These were for the individual - epitomised in the psalms of David e.g. "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy" Psalm 61:3-4. God took this shepherd, armed with techniques to survive in the wild, and re-deployed them to defend a kingdom. The psalms also show this same level of trust in the Lord for the nation - The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed" Psalms 28:8). The cities of refuge played an important role in the defense of the nation against the enemy. The gates were an important feature of the cities; when the people feared for their well-being they could run and take refuge inside the gates. Conversely, an enemy could take prisoners and lock them up behind their gates. Against an enemy there was always a need to be alert and have a watchman on the walls, seeing when the enemy is coming and when to close the gates. Gates where seen as a symbol of power, authority and justice.


    Ponder afresh what Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, when he pitched his kingdom against the power of death; with the Promise of new life, Jesus holds the keys of death and Hades (Revelation 1:18) so that we can walk straight out, unrestrained (Peter quite literally & symbolically is freed from prison by and angel in Acts 12).: And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18

    Going back to Jacob. What he saw never left him, it gave him an instant awareness of who God is and immediately agreed to put his trust in God for his life, And Jesus is our life preserver ('Ark'), our rescuer who redeems our life from the pit, our hope when there seems no hope, the one who brings the newness of life.

    Dabar-YHWH, The Word of God

    No wonder the apostle John used the Greek Logos for the Word, encapsulating the thought that the Word was the reason for everything; like when we use the ending ‘ology’ for the topics we study (biology, psychology, technology etc.).

    The Greek word 'Logos' reflects concept of the arabic word 'Memra' describing the sense of the creative or directive word or speech of God manifesting His power in the world of matter or mind [1]. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word 'dabar' means speech or word, reflects a purpose in a deed or thing accomplished [2]. The Septuagint, the oldest translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, uses the terms 'Rhema' and 'Logos' as equivalents and uses both for 'Dabar' [3]. 'Dabar' is used in Genesis 15:1, Genesis 15:4 & 18:14 referring to the word promising and blessing with an inheritance to Abraham seen in the Seed, Jesus. 

    After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

    “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

    Genesis 15:1

    Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.”

    Genesis 15:4

    Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

    Genesis 18:14

    It was when God immersed Abraham in the solemn Covenant, fixing it in his psyche, as he put into a deep sleep, in Genesis 15. The different layers of this chapter underpin it's message that death is not the end

    • Personally Abraham is promised life, credited with righteousness

    • His descendants will go to Egypt, but will return to the Promised land at the appointed time

    • Adopted sons of God as numerous as the stars in the sky passing from death to life through Jesus

    The smoking firepot and torch passing through the animals cut in two bind God to his oath - some suggest that God in a 'Cross My Heart' way shows the trustfulness of the promise, even to death. And that is what happened, Christ.

    Paul specifically, infers special meaning to these verses, by saying:

    In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” Romans 9:8-9

    In Genesis 15:1 The Word of God, 'Dabar-YHWH' - God speaks often to people and in many different ways. The Word of God, however, typically conveys formal messages and mostly to prophets. The Word of God gains a pivotal status in the New Testament when he "becomes flesh" in Jesus Christ, now known by the Greek translation Logos. [4]

    Psalm 77 illustrates the situation where there seems to be no hope, and the psalmist asks, 'Has his promise failed for all time?'

    Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
    I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
    I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

    Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
    With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

    Psalm 77:10-14

    Receiving and the Purpose of the Word

    Consider now these verses from Isaiah 55 (given the title invitation to the thirsty), how the word is imbued with power and purpose to bring life and sustenance:

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

    Isaiah 55:9-11

    And in the parable of the sower Jesus says:

    When anyone hears the message about the kingdom … the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown

    Matthew 13:19-23

    The Angel Gabriel brought word to the prophet Daniel. Later, the same Angel Gabriel, brings word to Zechariah concerning the birth of John, who prepared the way for Jesus, and brings word to Mary that she will give birth to Jesus and his kingdom will never end. She is called “highly favoured”. From this we see a word carried by a messenger.

    Daniel was like that good soil that received the word, just like Mary did. Zechariah was not so receptive and so he was not allowed to speak until his son, John the Baptist, was born.

    Can we then liken the word like a seed, as something that is received, treasured, germinates and sprouts to bring life? God’s purpose cannot be thwarted, God makes us part of the plan and it is our choice how we respond at the appointed time.

    It’s like a water course that finds its way to its destination. Even though the enemy may try to put obstacles in the way of God’s purpose, they will not stop it. Consider the wise words of Mordecai to Esther when her time came.

    Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.  For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?

    Esther 4:12-14

    There is a chain of life at work here, God puts humans as links in the chain that leads to Jesus and our rescue. The promise is passed along by successive generations receptive to the the word. We get a sense of this in the use of the word in Daniel 9 given by the angel Gabriel.

    While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray,a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:

    “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

    Daniel 9:20-24

    The next verses begin to expand on what the word produces.

    Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’

    Daniel 9:25

    The word 'Dabar' is key to these verses that point to Jesus coming, the Seed dying and opening the way to eternal life.

    • A word went out from God - Daniel 9:23 דָבָ֗ר (ḏā·ḇār)

    • The word is delivered immediately by the Angel (messenger) Gabriel – Daniel 9:23 בַּדָּבָ֔ר (bad·dā·ḇār)

    • The word will go out – Daniel 9:25 (this is the start of the ‘sevens’) דָבָ֗ר (ḏā·ḇār)

    Obviously, something more than just the physical restoring and rebuilding of Jerusalem is envisaged here. These words are working on two levels - the Old Covenant way established on the Law ending with Jesus fulfilling the Law and the New Covenant way through the promise to eternal life. The typical interpretation of the seventy sevens focuses on the Old Covenant way, but parallel to this is a new interpretation based on the New Covenant way. This new interpretation is detailed in the context of the Jewish return from exile in Babylon and the unfolding revelation given to Daniel. The Interval of sevens given to us in the Daniels sevens, lead us on to an even greater set of sevens in the 'Bible 777 Year Divisions of His-Story'.

    This is the Most Amazing 'thing'

    The Word becomes something of substance, an actual person, or as the apostle John puts it 'The Word became flesh' in the person of Jesus. And as the Word spreads it germinates, as we read and understand more of who Jesus is, then he becomes a real person to us.

    Therefore, the course of the Word through the bible is one of the most important themes to comprehend. It shows the guiding hand of God reaching into the history of man and woman kind. For we were made in the image of God (man and woman).

    The Word in Daniel's Sevens is seen to propagate righteousness and justice by way of the building of Jerusalem during the Persian Empire. In Zechariah 1, Jesus is right there in the midst in the visioning of a new Jerusalem, not only an earthly one, but also a heavenly one built of living stone. Jesus is amongst 'Myrtle' trees, symbolising an everlasting kingdom.

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