Saturday, December 20, 2014

Isaiah 53: can I get an Amen?

Can I get an Amen?
Isaiah 53
Who has 1believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

1. Who “can say amen” (believed)
How many of you know that the Hebrew word “amen” in not meant to be a way of signing off from prayer? Amen means to trust or believe. It is to be certain about something. In this passage, the word “believed” has been translated from the Hebrew word “amen.”

What we have heard” is from the Hebrew word “shemuw’ah” (shem-oo-aw’). By itself, it just means, something heard, like an announcement. In this passage, Isaiah put a “lamed” prefix on the word. Lamed is a Hebrew letter that is a pictograph for a “shepherd’s staff” used to guide cattle toward something. Jesus (Y’shu-ah in Hebrew) is the shepherd of the souls of we who believe in Him. When a word has a lamed prefix it will be translated as “to” or “for” (but not always, as in this passage). The last letter of “shemuw’ah” is the Hebrew letter “hey” which communicates that God has made it fruitful (think, fruit of the spirit). Strangely enough, Isaiah has removed the letter hey and replaced it with the combination letters, tav-nun (tav pictures a sign from God and was originally written with a picture of a cross, and nun (pronounced noon) is generally said to be a sprouting seed, but some teachers have told me that it is a picture of a path with a goal that we are walking toward.
The “arm” is symbolic of strength. It is YHVH’s (the LORD’s) strength that is being reported. The English passage asks, "to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?" However the Hebrew word “revealed” is prefixed with the letter nun which communicates “we will.” As a sprout, nun tells us “this is not yet mature”, We cannot yet see the goal but we will trust the great shepherds arm to guide us to the goal, the kingdom of Heaven and Jesus our king.

4 Surely he has borne our grief (sickness, Deuteronomy 7:15)
 and carried our sorrows (pain, as in childbirth);
yet we esteemed him stricken, (stricken is to hit in the face, smitten is a slap)
smitten by God, and afflicted (afflicted is to be humbled with words-nagged or brow-beaten, “by God” because the people who claim this do not know the LORD well enough to call him by name, only by position).
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions (rebellion),
he was bruised for our iniquities (perversion-immoral evil);
upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,
and with his stripes (welts, bruises, cuts) we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray (we are not walking in “the way”);
we have turned everyone to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him (the alaph-tav or alpha and omega) the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter (loving the hand that holds the knife),
and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb (silent, no begging for understanding),
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off (Daniel 9:26) out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression (rebellion) of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence (nothing wrong),
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him;
he has put him to grief;
when he makes himself an offering (gives his life) for (my) sin,
he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his (my-the offspring-believers) days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand;
11           he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied;
by his knowledge (Hebrews 12:2) shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous;
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out his soul to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession (Hebrews 7:25) for the transgressors (those who go their own way).

On Isaiah 53:8 he carried our grief and sickness.
Deuteronomy 7:15 And the LORD will take away from you all sickness; and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict upon you, but he will lay them upon all who hate you. 

From Isaiah 53:8 On being "cut off" from the land of the living.
Daniel 9:26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off, and shall have nothing; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed. 

From Isaiah 53:11 The "knowledge" of Y'shu-ah was the joy that was before him as he faced and endured the cross.
Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 

From Isaiah 53:12, Y'shu-ah makes intercession (an action verb, someone who settles disputes by pleading for someone. He can do this because his blood paid the penalty for my sin. Sometimes I hear people who believe "Jesus" pleads to God on our behalf, but I suspect that Y'shu-ah, who knows what my sin cost him, pleads to me to stay the course, The Way of righteousness. 
Hebrews 7:25 Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Isaiah 12:2

Is Jesus in the Old Testament? (1st in a series)

Y'shu-ah, translated "salvation," is Jesus. In this, my first word study, of Y'shu-ah in the Hebrew Scriptures, I want to look at how the word is used. I will start with the Prophet Isaiah, chapter 12, verse 2.
 "Behold, God is my salvationI will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."  Isaiah 12:2 RSV
Behold: is a flag word, it alerts us that we are about to get a peek into heaven, with understanding from Elohiym-God's point of view.

El Y'shu-ah the God Salvation. "is my" was added to English. Y'shu-ah is in the first person singular so "my" should be "I" but that does not work in English, "I God -Salvation" Actually the I should be connected to salvation, not God. I do tip my hat to the tough job translators have.

I will trust batach: this is my refuge, not as a fortress, it is more like a safe place to fall, or better, to rest safely. I first came across this word while studying Proverbs 31:11. It is significant that the phrase, "and will not be afraid," is connected to batach. This is the trust that will walk with Jesus, our Y'shu-ah through the "valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23), and not be afraid. Does the shadow of death become less frightening because we batach-trust Jesus? Absolutely! It has to do with the focus of the eyes of our heart (Ephesians 1:18). If I am looking at the circumstances, then yes, it is very frightening. What I see in the shadow of death overwhelms me with dread. But if I choose to keep my eyes on my Salvation, my Jesus, then the safety found in his arms, in his yoke, defines my walk through the  valley instead of the circumstances I am walking through.

strength 'oz or 'owz is a fortification. 'Oz is often connected to the word "tower" as in strong tower. We are not strong because we work out or have endurance. We have strength in YHVH our God because we are "in him and he in us" (John 14:20). There is none stronger. In fact, we are reminded that the Spirit within us is strong-'oz but our flesh is weak. This is not something to despise about ourselves, but rather something to accept. (Matthew 26:41 as well as Mark 14:38) Why should you accept your weakness instead of feeling shame because of it? Because, it is probably the reason YHVH-God chose you. (1 Corinthians 1:27). If I am powerful in myself, then what need do I have for the grace of YHVH? (2 Corinthians 12:10).

and my song is speaking of praise. Who do I praise in my life? Who is the hero I sing of if not Y'shu-ah the Messiah? To recognize his strength in the darkness is to praise him. To praise him is to feel his 'oz-strength empowering you (exactly the opposite of a vicious circle!)

he has become -hayah This word does not communicate "become" but "is." In Hebrews 11:6 does a good job explaining hayah ...whoever would draw near to God must believe that he is and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith we believe that Y'shu-ah (Jesus) IS our Salvation, that he is our El-our God of salvation, he is YHVH. Hayah was the word of the week in Lesson 5 of the Valiant Warrior, part of the Proverbs 31 women series for my Junior High girls.

Look up! Look in. The God of heaven, El Y'shu-ah is your strength in the valley of the shadow of death. He sees you, He has conquered your circumstances, He will walk you through them, never leaving you, never forsaking you. He is your strength in your times of weakness, He loves you enough to be the safe place to get real and speak up about (confess) your fear. Run to him beloved! Run into his arms and let Y'shu-ah be your strength!