a monthly devotional journal
Issue No. 66
Never before, in the history of all mankind, has there been a God who has so invested Himself in the lives of His people.
The long cold winter has slowly, grudgingly, become spring. The carpet surrounding the house is gradually turning from a dull beige to green; the summer birds have returned, looking for new homes and a handout; and Linda already has a good portion of her garden planted.
Even though night temperatures can still hover around freezing, already the potatoes, onions, leeks and peas have been planted and are beginning to break the surface of the soil.
Watching my good wife--clad in her customary boots and overalls--dig around in her garden soil with such enthusiasm and joy, I am always reminded of a moment decades past when I described her, sight unseen, to a tee ...
It was many years ago--Rick and I were probably in junior high, which would put the year somewhere in the vicinity of 1965. We were sitting together, on the front stoop of his house, looking out over the football field that was located just across the street.
My friend and I had grown up together and had spent many happy hours doing what we were doing then: sitting together, dreaming, and comparing notes on just how we wished the future to be.
The topic on this day was future girlfriends; future, because neither of us had the privilege of one at the moment--and more than a little ironic, in retrospect, since my friend in later years revealed himself to be gay (but then, that's another story).
This day we were comparing notes on precisely what characteristics would define the perfect girlfriend. To be perfectly honest, I cannot for the life of me remember how Rick described his perfect girl; as it turned it out, I guess it really didn't matter anyway. I do recall, however, the description I put forth.
My vision for the perfect girlfriend described someone who was at once exquisitely feminine and a tomboy. (I wasn't about to settle for anything less than the whole ball of wax.) My girl would be pretty, yet not be afraid to get her hands dirty; she would be a knockout at the junior/senior prom, yet wouldn't mind helping me catch crawdads down at the creek; she would be bright, intelligent, and loaded with class--yet would be willing to crawl under the car to help me change the oil.
Rick thought I had a screw loose, that I could never hope to find someone fitting that description, but I was perfectly confident with the image I had painted in my head. And, as it turned out, that image conjured up so long ago turned out to be dead on. My wife today is all of that, and more.
Over the vast millennia of the history of man there have been countless thousands of gods put forth, manufactured, by endless streams of self-serving individuals and convocations, along with untold numbers of well-meaning but wrong-headed truth seekers.
Gods have been created to shoulder the blame for bad crops, years of drought, floods, and unexplained calamity. Likewise, gods have been created to prevent bad crops, periods of drought, floods, and unexpected calamity. There have been gods of the soil, the rivers and streams, the mountains, the valleys, the healing arts; human and national fertility, childbirth and women of all stations; gods of war, gods of peace; the afterlife, the previous life, and any lives that may have followed or preceded those.
The Romans had Jupiter and Juno, Apollo and Castor; Greeks worshipped Zeus, Athena, Artemis, Poseidon and Eleusis Demeter; the very ancient Egyptians had Isis, Osiris, Ra--the great sun god, Sobek--the crocodile god of the Nile, and Hathor--cow-eared goddess for women. The Sumerians worshipped Innini, Ninkarsag, and Tammuz; the Babylonians worshipped Ishtar (their version of the Sumerian Innini), Anu and, of course, Bel or Baal.
All these myriad deities fell in and out of favor, changed names and were swapped with neighboring gods, supported vast infrastructures of priests, real estate and wealth, and were utterly, completely useless--except as a way for the state and religious powers to keep the people under their control.
Common with these gods was their requirement of sacrifice. To some were brought baskets of fruit and produce, to some an offering of wine or prepared food. To others was made a sacrifice of sexual relations, and to some was required a sacrifice of human life. The god Molech even required the sacrifice of children burned alive in fire, and for awhile even the Hebrews practiced such offerings:
They turned their backs to me and not their faces; though I taught them again and again, they would not listen or respond to discipline. They set up their abominable idols in the house that bears my Name and defiled it. They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin. Jeremiah 32:33-35
These were all silent gods that required sacrifice but gave nothing in return. Their existence was contrived, their benefits imagined. They were deities of stone, wood and plaster, their earth-bound incarnations not human, but the beasts of the field. They were worse than imperfect, they were abominations, and their sacrifices despicable.
If you were given the opportunity, how would you describe the perfect God? You might begin with purity or holiness; certainly you would want a God who was holy.
Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy. Psalm 99:9
Yet, in His holiness, you would want a God to still be attentive to your personal life.
The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. Psalm 11:4
Since a God would have absolute dominion over your life, you would want Him to be fair and just.
"Now therefore, O our God, the great, mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes--the hardship that has come upon us, upon our kings and leaders, upon our priests and prophets, upon our fathers and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today. In all that has happened to us, you have been just; you have acted faithfully, while we did wrong." Neh. 9:32-33
You would want a strong, omnipotent God ...
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
... who would not forget the fragility of His people.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14
He must be wise ...
For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
... yet patient with our lack of wisdom.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Too good to be true? Too much to ask? Can we expect a God of absolute purity to bend to our level? Would the One who commanded the stars to take their place in the heavens concern Himself with the minutia of our lives? Would a righteous God soil His hands on the depths to which we are capable?
"It is not enough that we acknowledge God's infinite resources; we must believe also that He is infinitely generous to bestow them." A.W. Tozer
The believer can always look to the person of Christ to personalize God--and rightly so. Jesus Christ came so that we might experience God in the flesh, and know Him in a tangible way without risking death
But Jehovah God was active in the affairs of men and women long before He showed Himself in the person of Christ. Millennia before Bethlehem's Child, God was stooping to partake in the lives of those who called upon His name.
From the very beginning moment of man's creation, God was taking an active role in the relationship. It is sufficiently remarkable that there was any personal relationship at all; history is replete with stories of lesser gods keeping their subjects at arm's length. But Jehovah God--the only god who is truly God--deigned to meet with those He created.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7 KJV
It's not hard to imagine how lesser gods might have created the first human being:
And Osiris, god of the underworld, tossed a handful of pixie dust into the air, and from the dust a man coalesced.
The mighty Zeus threw down his thunderbolt. As it pierced the soil a living man emerged from the dust. Yea, verily.
God the Father, the one true God who created all that is, when it came time for Him to create man, this God dug his hands down into the mud and fashioned the man for Himself. Like a potter at his wheel, God, quite literally, squeezed and molded the man into the shape of His choosing.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground ...
Then, to give life to His new creation, God the Father blew His own breath into him.
...and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.
Here is an exquisite picture of what kind of beings men and women are. We are not fashioned from magical pixie sparkles, but grounded in the soil of the earth. As the Psalmist has said, we are dust. We are flesh--not gods, but people whose feet are planted firmly in this temporal plane.
Yet, at the same time, we have within our bodies the capacity for the Spirit of holy God--that heavenly breath and companion. In this package of weakly, soil-bound flesh, we can receive and comfortably house God's Holy Spirit.
God, in this close relationship with the first man, saw that His friend was unhappy. He had populated the garden with every imaginable animal, but these were not enough.
The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. Genesis 2:18-20
The beasts of the field were not suitable companions for Adam, so God made him one who was. And here again we see God reaching down to involve Himself in mankind's situation. Here was a God who could have simply willed someone into existence, but instead He got His hands dirty.
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Genesis 2:21-22
And out of the Lord God's condescension came an eloquent illustration for the union between husband and wife.
For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24 NASB
The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people. He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.Praise the Lord. Psalm 113:4-9
It was the hottest part of a hot day. Abraham, about 100 years old, sat resting in the door of his tent. Inside, his wife Sarah whiled away the time expending as little energy as possible. Their camp was pitched under the great trees of Mamre, just south of Salem, the site of many important events in Abraham's life.
For twenty-five years the Lord had spoken to Abraham--or Abram, as he was originally named by his father, Terah. For twenty-five years he had listened to, obeyed, walked with, called upon and worshipped Yahweh--Jehovah God. Several times Jehovah had promised Abraham that He would make him the father of a great nation; in visions and dreams and audible messages, God had counseled Abraham in His ways.
And Abraham had believed.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:8-10
But now, a quarter-century since he had first obeyed God's call to leave Haran and journey into Canaan, Abraham was wondering when--even how--God's promises would come to pass. In human terms he was now far too old to become a father, and Sarah, while younger, was still well past child-bearing age. Yes, he believed, but when, Lord--when?
From the entrance to his tent Abraham commanded a broad view of the surrounding valley and hills; from this vantage point he could see someone approaching from quite a long way. But when he next looked up there were, quite unexpectedly, three men standing before him.
Whether by supposition or supernatural information, Abraham knew at once that this was a visitation by Jehovah God. Yet, in the way of the Bedouin, even the Lord God must be shown hospitality with food and rest.
"Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way--now that you have come to your servant." Genesis 18:4-5a
The three strangers accepted his offer, and patiently waited while Abraham instructed Sarah and a servant in what was to be prepared. When he brought them their food he--again in the Bedouin manner--did not join them, but stood a bit off to the side while they refreshed themselves.
It is never necessary for God to pose any question to someone; He knows every answer. But because He was present in human form, He inquired of Abraham
"Where is your wife Sarah?" Genesis 18:9a
In popular culture the voice of God is always a thunderous, intimidating bellow that causes mere mortals to quake in fear and huddle against the immensity of His heavenly presence. And while it's true that God is all powerful and does, at times, necessarily strike fear in the heart of mortal man, we must remember that He is also a God of love, who chooses to walk among His people, breathe their same air, and converse with them like an old friend.
Here is the Creator of the universe, leaning against a tree and munching down veal and bread, quietly inquiring after His host's wife. No booming voice, no lightning bolts firing off around Him; here is God, come down to personally answer the faithfulness of His children.
The Christian speaks of having a "personal" relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. And here it is being played out on the pages of God's history. Here is God reaching down to make Himself a part of His people's lives, condescending to sit in the dust, eat our food and drink our milk. Here is the true personality of God on display.
"A king sits with his council deliberating on high affairs of state involving the destiny of nations, when suddenly he hears the sorrowful cry of his little child who has fallen down or been frightened by a bee. He rises and runs to his relief, assuages his sorrows and relieves his fears. Is there anything unlikely here? Isn't this very natural? Does it not even elevate the monarch in your esteem? Why then do we think it dishonorable to the King of kings, our heavenly Father, to consider the small matters of His children? It is infinitely condescending, but is it not also superlatively natural that being a Father He should act as such?"
"Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him. "There, in the tent," he said. Then the Lord said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son. "Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?" Then the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son." Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, "I did not laugh." But he said, "Yes, you did laugh." Genesis 18:9-15
Our God is an attentive Father, whether sitting upon His heavenly throne or reclining against a tree at Mamre. He attends to the needs of Abraham and Sarah and, as a good and loving Father, He not only consoles and reassures, but rebukes their misbehavior. When Sarah's trust falters, God is quick to set her straight.
In the days that Jesus walked the earth, the Samaritans were considered foreigners--and worse. Because the Samaritans blended pagan elements into their worship of Jehovah, the Jews had nothing to do with them.
If a Jew were traveling from Galilee, in the north, to Judaea, in the south, he would not pass through Samaria, but would instead skirt the region--even crossing over the Jordan to the eastern shore. This would explain the impact of Jesus' teaching about the 'Good Samaritan' on His Jewish audience.
After Jesus had been teaching in the Jerusalem area, and His disciples baptizing believers, the Pharisees (the ruling religious class) began to take more of an interest in Him. Not wanting to feed their suspicion, Jesus chose to leave the area and return to Galilee. The shortest route would take Him and His disciples through Samaria.
At Jacob's Well, near the town of Sychar, Jesus paused to rest and refresh Himself while His disciples went into the town to purchase food.
Most women would draw their water from the local well in the cooler hours of the early morning or evening, which is why this woman came in the middle of the day. She was as much an outcast to her own people as the Samaritans were to the Jews, and she had never been welcomed to fetch her water with the other women of the village.
She was surprised to find a man sitting at the well, for collecting the water was women's work. She was even more surprised to see that the man was a Jew; most never passed through the region.
The woman considered returning to her home without getting the water. Her reputation was bad enough without having people see her talking to a strange Jewish man in broad daylight. But he appeared tired, and had no way to retrieve the water for himself.
So when he asked her to draw some for him, she relented, but then said, "Why would you ask me, a Samaritan?"
His words were strange and, as she was beginning to notice, he was a very different man from those to which she was accustomed. Normally she would be more defensive around a stranger; experience had taught her to be wary around men, for they liked to imagine opportunities for themselves in her. There were times, however, when her response to a strange man was quite the opposite from that.
But this man produced neither response in her. In his demeanor she quickly saw that he was no one to fear nor pursue. When he spoke to her it was with a voice of quiet peace, interest with honorable intentions.
"If you knew what God could give you," he said to her, his voice weary yet still strong, "and if you knew who it was asking for the drink, then you would have been the one asking--and in return you would have been given living water."
No one had ever spoken such words to her! Who was this man? She handed him the skin filled with cool water from the well. As he upended the black bag she said, "You needed me to draw the water you're drinking. How would you be able to get 'living' water? This is Jacob's well; surely you don't think you're greater than our father Jacob."
The man handed her back the water skin. "If you drink the water of this well, you'll thirst again. But if you drink the water I offer, you will not only never want for more, but the water I give will become a well-spring leading to eternal life."
She laughed. "Then give me this water--and I'll never have to fetch from this well again!"
His expression changed. He glanced past her, over her shoulder, down the road that led back to the village. "I've jeopardized your reputation. Please, go get your husband, then return."
These words came upon her like a sudden downpour of cold rain. A chill ran through her, for in his eyes she saw that he already knew what her response would be. Surely this man was a prophet! And she felt the old familiar fear running up her spine.
Yet there was something about him that held her there. She owed him nothing, could turn and leave at any time. But something held her. She stared down at her dust covered feet, felt her face flush with shame. "I-- I have no husband."
He did not touch her, but his voice seemed to reach out toward her with a sober compassion that she felt against her skin.
Without condemnation, yet also without approving, he said, "Yes, I know. I know that you have actually had five husbands--and the one with whom you are now living is not your husband at all."
"You are a prophet!" She blurted out, and her face reddened even more.
She set down her things and listened to what this man had to say, and all her fears and uneasiness left her. They talked of people and God and worship, of Spirit and truth. Though they had just met, they spoke comfortably with each other, as brother and sister. She wished that she could remain at his feet, listening to his wisdom, for the rest of her days.
The woman heard voices approaching. Down the road a group of men were coming from the village. Quickly, before the men reached them, she said with some urgency, "I've always heard that the Anointed One will come, and that when He does, He will explain truth to us--just as you have to me today."
Jesus looked down into her eyes, embracing the woman with his gaze. "Yes. I am the One."
A rush of joy filled her soul as her suspicion became fact. Suddenly the two of them were surrounded by men who seemed to be associated with Him, but it was as if they were still alone. All she saw was Jesus--the Messiah!--and knew she was forever changed.
God Himself had come down and touched her. He had pried open and exposed to the light of day the darkest secrets of her life; knowing full well the darkest sins of her past, He had accepted her as someone worthy. Her faith had been enough--and now that same faith would forever change every part of her life. She was now a new person--because of Him.
As the men drew closer, surrounding the Savior, the woman gathered her things and slowly backed away. Jesus said nothing more to her, but as He watched her go, she felt his eyes saying Yes, go. Tell the others.
And she did.
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." John 4:10
"Jesus Christ claims to give God's gifts. He is able to give to that poor, frivolous, impure-hearted and impure-lifed woman, at her request, the eternal life which shall still all the thirst of her soul, that had often in the past been satiated and disgusted, but had never been satisfied by any of its draughts. And He claims that in this giving He is something more than a channel, because, says He, 'If thou hadst asked of Me I would give thee.' We sometimes think of the relation between God and Christ as being typified by that of some land-locked sea amidst remote mountains, and the affluent that brings its sparkling treasures to the thirsting valley.
"But Jesus Christ is no mere vehicle for the conveyance of a divine gift, but His own heart, His own power, His own love are in it; and it is His gift just as much as it is God's." Alexander Maclaren
For every person who has any kind of relationship with God there is quite probably a different perception of who God is. For some He is the white-bearded grandfather, for some He is brilliant white light that cannot be apprehended. Some people think of God in terms of holiness, others in terms of righteousness or justice or profound love.
In truth, God is all of the above. God is everything we might possibly imagine, as well as infinite things beyond our imagination.
But one thing we can depend on is that if it is true that Jesus Christ is God, then it is equally true that God is Jesus Christ.
"Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves." John 14:10-11
Jesus is God getting dirt under His fingernails. Jesus loses not one bit of His humanity by being God, and God loses not one bit of His deity by becoming man. So when Jesus sits down and visits with an immoral Samaritan woman at Jacob's well, it is eternal God making her feel loved and accepted.
There was another time when Jesus forgave the sins of an immoral woman--the woman about to be stoned because she had been caught in the act of adultery. Imagine, if you will, a modern setting for this story from John's Gospel. Imagine Jesus walking the earth in our time, instead of almost 2,000 years ago. And imagine this woman feeling the stones of our own hypocrisy and the loving forgiveness of the Savior...
I met Him at our church picnic. Most of the members thought I wouldn't show up at all, but I did. You can't really blame them. There was more gossip in the church about me than anyone else--and most of it was true. In fact, there were some things they hadn't even discovered yet.
You see, I've never been what you might call a--virtuous woman. I've had several husbands--and many in between. People like to talk--and usually they do. So when I joined this church word got out really fast.
I was at the bottom. I was sick of my life and sick of the consequences. I needed to start fresh--start over. And I thought, where better than a church. Oh, they let me stay and they shook my hand and once in awhile even gave me a little hug. But I could feel their uneasiness. Most of them wished I would just slip away and never come back.
Well, I didn't do that. And I even went to the picnic.
Jesus was the guest of honor (though many were as uneasy around Him as they were around me). He had a wonderful time. He joined in the sack-race, bobbed for apples, played with the children ...
It was later in the day that it happened. Most of the adults were sitting around the picnic table drinking coffee and chatting about the weather. Jesus was in the middle of them--I was off to the side. The talk got around to the church membership, and I guess they didn't notice me there. One of the board members, thinking to impress Jesus, said something about how fine and upstanding the membership used to be--before, that is, certain elements slipped in. Then one of the women quickly agreed, even mentioning my name.
I was so embarrassed, I just wanted to run away. But I was frozen--I couldn't move. I hoped no one would notice me--especially Jesus. I didn't want Him to see me.
But He did.
There was nervous laughter round the table, but Jesus didn't join in. Suddenly it was quiet. In a strong voice, Jesus said: "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the one to condemn this woman."
No one spoke. In fact, some got up and slipped away from the table, ashamed. Jesus turned, and with such tender love and compassion, he smiled at me and said: "No man here condemns you. And neither do I. Go, and leave behind your life of sin."
We have a God who isn't afraid to get His hands dirty with our lives. Oh, don't for a moment imagine that He is changed by any of it; the sin of our lives does not ever rub off onto Him. His purity and righteousness remain.
But through various means the Godhead--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--is involved in our lives. We do not worship a God who is far off--a demanding, scowling deity who exacts his payment in silence, never to be disturbed by the episodes being played out by his people. We worship the one God--the only one worthy of the title--who stoops to invest Himself in our lives.
So the Lord God is holy, He is faithful, righteous and pure; He is justice, truth, and changeless; God is omnipotent, omniscient, He is 'strong to save.'
But He is also at our shoulder when we need Him. He is at our side to lift us up when we feel like falling. He sinks His hands down into the meat and potatoes of our lives. He understands us, knows our soul, our yearnings, our heart's desire.
Our Lord is a holy God who isn't afraid to come into contact with His people.
Like a beautiful gardener with her hands buried in soil.
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
He teaches my hands to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your right hand has held me up,
Your gentleness has made me great.
You enlarged my path under me,
So my feet did not slip. Psalm 18:30-36 NKJV
|Genesis 2:18-25||Neh. 9:6||Isaiah 45:18|
|Genesis 6:11-13||Job 38:1-41:34||Jeremiah 14:22|
|Genesis 15:1-21||Psalm 8:3-9||Jeremiah 23:23-24|
|Genesis 18:1-33||Psalm 113:1-9||John 14:5-11|
|Genesis 20:3-7||Psalm 139:1-24||Col. 1:13-23|
|Exodus 33:18-23||Psalm 144:1-8||Hebrews 1:3|
|Deut. 4:39||Isaiah 43:1-12||Hebrews 2:11|
|1 John 4:19|
Issue No. 66
[1.] See the article "Holy Radiance" in the April, 1996 issue of Aspects, I Have Seen the Light!. (return to footnote 1)
[2.] yatsar, yaw-tsar', Hebrew Stg 3335; probably identical with Hebrew 3334 (yatsar) (through the squeezing into shape); ([compare Hebrew 3331 (yatsa')]); to mould into a form; especially as a potter; figurative to determine (i.e. form a resolution) :- x earthen, fashion, form, frame, make (-r), potter, purpose. (return to footnote 2)
[3.] naphach, naw-fakh', Hebrew Stg 5301; a primitive root; to puff, in various applications (literal, to inflate, blow hard, scatter, kindle, expire; figurative, to disesteem) :- blow, breath, give up, cause to lose [life], seething, snuff. (return to footnote 3)
[4.] The word translated "Spirit" in the New Testament is pneuma, pnyoo'-mah, Greek Stg 4151; from Greek 4154 (pneo); a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figurative a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implicaiton) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, d'mon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy Spirit :- ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare Greek 5590 (psuche). (return to footnote 4)
[5.] That is, Jerusalem. (return to footnote 5)
[6.] See Genesis 13:18; 14:13; 14:24; 18:1; 23:17; 23:19; 25:9. (return to footnote 6)
[7.] And said, "My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant." Genesis 18:3 KJV. The word translated "Lord" is Adonay, ad-o-noy, Hebrew Stg 136; which is used as a proper name of God only :- (my) Lord. (return to footnote 7)
[8.] But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where th e man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert i n the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." Luke 10:29-37 (return to footnote 8)
[9.] Expositions of Holy Scripture (Baker, 1984), Vol 10, p.208f. (return to footnote 9)
[10.] John 8:2-11. (return to footnote 10)
[11.] No Man Condemns You, Copyright 1987-1996 David S. Lampel, a His Company play, catalogue #MCR5. (return to footnote 11)
All original material in Aspects is Copyright © 1996 David S. Lampel. This data file is the sole property of David S. Lampel. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware," without charge. All reproductions of this data file must contain the copyright notice (i.e., "Copyright (C) 1996 David S. Lampel."). This data file may not be used without the permission of David S. Lampel for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold. This includes all of its content. Brief quotations not to exceed more than 500 words may be used, with the appropriate copyright notice, to enhance or supplement personal or church devotions, newsletters, journals, or spoken messages.
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture is from the New International Version. NIV quotations are from the Holy Bible: New International Version, Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission. NASB quotations are from the New American Standard Bible © 1960, 1962,1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by The Lockman Foundation.
Aspects is published monthly in both printed and e-mail editions. For a free subscription to either edition, contact us by one of the following methods:
Postal address: 2444 195th Trail,
Winterset, IA 50273-8172.
Internet address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Back issues of Aspects are archived on the World Wide Web; go to http://dlampel.com and click on "Aspects".
Aspects is distributed free-of-charge. If, however, you wish to contribute financially toward this ministry, then we want you to know that your contribution will be an encouragement to us, and will be applied toward the expenses of postage and materials.