Counting the Omer……….

omer 1
Last night began the season of “counting the Omer” and goes through May 30th this year.  It marks the beginning of the barley harvest when, in ancient times, Jews would bring the first sheaves to the Temple as a means of thanking God for the harvest.  Omer means to utter speech – to verbally count the days. It is a 49 day transition period between the second night of Passover (Pesach) and the holiday of Pentecost (Shavuot).… a transition from deliverance into an outpouring from Heaven….an outpouring of His Spirit.
In this transition period, it is important to “verbally count the days” with declarations…. declarations of His promises over our lives, of who we are In Christ and of all that Christ purchased for us through His death and resurrection.
Angels are activated as we declare His Word (Psalm 103:20). Daniel 10:2 ” I have come for your words”. His angels are poised and ready to work on our behalf… to obey God’s Word that we have been declaring.
What will you declare in this 49 day season? It’s not a time to plead with God for healing, prosperity, favor, etc…. but rather a time to boldly declare what is already ours in Christ. For instance, rather than praying “Oh God please heal me or my family” instead declare “Jesus, you are my healer and by Your stripes, my body is healed… not going to be healed but healed already.”   Instead of “God please save my family” begin to boldly declare “Jesus, You died for my family.  Your death on the Cross provided salvation for them.  I just command right now that the blinders fall off their eyes and they will experience Your delivering power in their lives.  I call them saved and set free NOW today!”
I encourage you to think about what you want to declare in this season and write it out. Get into the Word and find out what God has to say.   Faith begins where the will of God is known.  Find the Scriptures that say He is your Healer, Provider, Deliverer, etc and then boldly declare Him as such in your life.  If the Word says He is your Healer, then healing is always the will of God.  Once you are settled on what His will is for your life, it’s easy to boldly declare His promises as yes and amen in Christ Jesus.
Paul’s prayers are another great thing to declare out during this season of counting the Omer.  Ephesians 1:17-23, Ephesians 3:14-21, Philippians 1:9-11, and Colossians 1:9-14.  Make them personal, for example:

Col 1:9-14….

Abba (Father, Daddy, Papa or whatever your name for your Heavenly Father is) thank you for filling me with the knowledge of Your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, (10) so that I may live a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing Him in every way: I bear fruit in every good work, I continually grow in the knowledge of God, (11) and I am always strengthened with ALL power according to His glorious might which results in me having great endurance and patience, (12) and I give joyful thanks to You Abba, because You have made me qualified in Christ to receive my share of the saint’s inheritance. (13) You have rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of the Son You love, (14) in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Make it your own.  Spend time reading Paul’s prayers and boldly declaring them as your own.  I particularly like a translation by Francoise Du Toit called the Mirror Translation.  He writes it in such a way, that it is as if you are looking into the Mirror of the Word and seeing who you truly are.  It also includes Greek definitions of the words.  So, for reference,  I’ll put Paul’s prayers from the Mirror at the bottom of this blog post.

I also like the Passion Translation and use it quite often in my studies and prayer time.  I’ve also included it at the bottom of this post.

Even taking only these prayers for the next 49 days and declaring them over yourself will make such a difference in how you see yourself in Christ.  By the time Shavuot (Pentecost) comes, you will be dancing and shouting!

~ Robin

In the Mirror Translations, the Greek Word definitions italicized… also don’t forget to personalize it and make it yours.

Eph 1:17-23 (Mirror Translation):

I desire that you will draw directly from the source; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory ignites the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in you in the unveiling of his Master Plan (His intent, doxa, glory.). I desire that you know by revelation what he has known about you all along! (18)  I pray that your thoughts will be flooded with light and inspired insight; that you will clearly picture his intent in identifying you in him so that you may know how precious you are to him. The saints are his treasure and the glorious trophy of his portion! (We are God’s assets and the measure of his wealth!) (19)  I pray that you will understand beyond all comparison the magnitude of his mighty power at work 1in us who believe. Faith reveals how enormously advantaged we are in Christ. (The preposition eis, speaks of a point reached in conclusion) (20) It is the same dynamic energy that he unleashed in Christ when he raised him from the dead and forever established him in the power of his own right hand in the realm of the heavens. (21) Infinitely above all the combined forces of rule, authority, dominion or governments; he is ranked superior to any name that could ever be given to anyone of this age or any age still to come in the eternal future. (22) I want you to see this: he subjected all these powers under his feet. He towers head and shoulders above everything. He is the head; (23)  the church (The word, 1ekklesia, comes from ek, a preposition always denoting origin, and klesia from kaleo, to identify by name, to surname; thus the “church” is his redeemed image and likeness in human form.) is his body. The completeness of his being that fills all in all resides in us! God cannot make himself more visible or exhibit himself more accurately.

Eph 1:17-23 (Passion Translation):

that the Father of Glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would unveil in you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation (discovery)  through the fullness of being one with Christ. (18) I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination (innermost) flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of our great hope of glory. We know that is the reason he called you to himself. And I pray that you explore and experience for yourselves all the riches of this wealth that has been freely given to all his holy ones, for you are his true inheritance! (19) My prayer for you is that every moment you will experience the measureless power of God made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! (20) This is the explosive and mighty resurrection power that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him to the place of highest honor and supreme authority (at His right hand)  in the heavenly realm! (21) And now he is exalted higher than all the thrones and principalities, above every ruler and authority, and above every realm of power there is. He is gloriously enthroned over every name that is ever praised, not only in this age (Aramaic says universe),  but in the age that is coming! (22) And everything now finds its essence in Him, and He alone is the Leader and Source of everything needed in the church. God has put everything beneath the authority of Jesus Christ (under His feet)  and has given him the highest rank above all others. (23) And now we, His church, are His body on the earth and the completion of Him that fills all things with his presence flowing through us!

 

Eph 3:14-21 (Mirror):  

Overwhelmed by what grace communicates, I bow my knees in awe before the Father. (15) Every family in heaven and on earth originates in Him; His is mankind’s family name and he remains the authentic identity of every nation. (16) I desire for you to realize what the Father has always envisaged for you, so that you may know the magnitude of his intent (The word, 1doxa, opinion or intent.) and be dynamically reinforced in your inner being by the Spirit of God.  (17) This will ignite your faith to fully grasp the reality of the indwelling Christ. You are rooted and founded in love. Love is your invisible inner source, just like the root system of a tree and the foundation of a building. (The dimensions of your inner person exceed any other capacity that could possibly define you.) (18) Love is your reservoir of super human strength (The word, exischuo means to be entirely competent, to be empowered to 2comprehend). which causes  (the word 2katalambano, kata, strengthened form; with lambano, to grasp, thus to entirely grasp, means to come to terms with, to make one’s own Rom 12:13 Purpose with resolve to treat strangers as saints; pursue and embrace them with fondness as friends on equal terms of fellowship. Rom 12:16 Esteem everyone with the same respect; no one is more important than the other. Associate yourself rather with the lowly than with the lofty. Do not distance yourself from others in your own mind. [“Take a real interest in ordinary people.”— JB Phillips]. Rom 12:13 Purpose with resolve to treat strangers as saints; pursue and embrace them with fondness as friends on equal terms of fellowship. Rom 12:16 Esteem everyone with the same respect; no one is more important than the other. Associate yourself rather with the lowly than with the lofty. Do not distance yourself from others in your own mind. [“Take a real interest in ordinary people.”— JB Phillips] In the breadth and length we see the horizontal extent of the love of Christ: the complete inclusion of the human race. 2 Cor 5:14,16. The depth of his love reveals how his love rescued us from the deepest pits of hellish despair and led us as trophies in his triumphant procession on high. Eph 2:5,6, Eph 4:8-10, Col 3:1-4) you to see everyone equally sanctified in the context of the limitless extent of Love’s breadth and length and the extremities of its dimensions in depth and height. (19) I desire for you to become intimately acquainted with the love of Christ on the deepest possible level; far beyond the reach of a mere academic, intellectual grasp. Within the scope of this equation God finds the ultimate expression of Himself in you. (So that you may be filled with all the fullness of God! Awaken to the consciousness of his closeness! Separation is an illusion! Oneness was God’s idea all along! He desires to express himself through your touch, your voice, your presence; he is so happy to dwell in you! There is no place in the universe where he would rather be!)  (20) We celebrate Him who supercharges us powerfully from within. Our biggest request or most amazing dream cannot match the extravagant proportion of His thoughts towards us. (Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…KJV)  (21) He is both the Author and Conclusion of the glory on display in the ekklesia (The word, 1ekklesia, often translated church, comes from ek, a preposition always denoting origin, and klesia from kaleo, to identify by name, to surname; the ekklesia is the expression of his image and likeness redeemed in human life.) ,mirrored in Christ Jesus. The encore continues throughout every generation, not only in this age but also in the countless ages to come. Amen!

Eph 3:14-21 (Passion): 

So when I think of the wisdom of His plan I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, (15) the perfect Father of every father and child (Translated from the Aramaic. It could also be translated “the perfect Father of every people group.” The Greek word for “father” and the word for “family” are quite similar, which indicates that every family finds its source in the Father.) in heaven and on the earth. (16) And I pray that He would pour out over you the unlimited riches of His glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with His divine might and explosive power. (17) Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of His love will become the very source and root of your life, providing you with a secure foundation that grows and grows. (18-19) Then, as your spiritual strength increases, you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences— the great magnitude (excellence) of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement, beyond academic knowledge— this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God! (20) Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for His miraculous power constantly energizes you. (21) Now we offer up to God all the glorious praise that rises from every church in every generation through Jesus Christ— and all that will yet be manifest through time and eternity. Amen!

 

Phil 1:9-11 (Mirror):  

It is my desire for each one of you, that the realization of love’s  (The word 1agape is a compound word from ago, which means to lead as a shepherd leads his sheep, and pao, which means rest! His love leads me into his rest; into the full realization of his finished work! Agape is Psalm 23 in one word. “By the waters of reflection my soul remembers who I am.”) completeness in you will increasingly burst through all boundaries, and that every sphere of  your relationship with others will be greatly impacted by your intimate acquaintance with love. (10) I urge you to examine this agape-love with the utmost scrutiny, just like when a diamond is viewed in the full sunlight to prove its flawless perfection. I dare you to take Love to its ultimate conclusion! There is no offence in love, as evidenced in Jesus Christ who is the light of day. (If the diamond is flawless to begin with, every possible test will prove its perfection; how someone might respond to love’s initiative is not the point, love’s ultimate test was concluded on the cross. Truth does not become true by popular vote; someone’s ignorance or indifference cannot change the truth.) (11) You have been fully furnished with the harvest of your redeemed innocence and righteousness which Jesus Christ labored for! This is what the glorious intent of God is all about! Celebrate him!

Phil 1:9-11 (Passion):  

I continue to pray for your love to grow and increase more and more until it overflows, bringing you into the rich revelation of spiritual insight in all things. And with this revelation you will come to know God fully as He imparts to you the deepest understanding of his ways. (10) This will enable you to choose the most excellent way of all (The Aramaic literally means “choose those things that bring contentment.”) — becoming pure and without offense until the unveiling of Christ. (11) And you will be filled completely with the fruits of righteousness that are found in Jesus, the Anointed One— bringing great praise and glory to God!

Col 1:9b -14 (Mirror):

…..Our constant desire for you is that you might be overwhelmed with the knowledge of God’s dream for your lives. We pray that the pattern of his wisdom and thoughts will fall into place for you in all spiritual understanding (“sunieimi“, means a joining together as of two streams; a fusion of thought.) (10) Go on a walkabout tour (“peripateo“, means to walk about everywhere).to explore the extent of the land that is yours under his Lordship. Now you can conduct yourselves appropriately towards him, pleasing him in every harvest of good works that you bear. Meanwhile, you continue to increase in your intimate acquaintance with that which God knows to be true about you (The knowledge of God is not our perception of him, but his knowledge of us; to know even as we have always been known. [Jer 1:5, 1 Cor 13:12]). This results in the most attractive and fulfilled life possible.

** I like that “walk about tour”….. walking through the Word and exploring what belongs to me through Christ Jesus!

(11)You are empowered in the dynamic of God’s strength;  His mind His glorious power, or doxa, comes from dokeo, to recognize for what it really is, true opinion; God’s intention—his mind made up.) is made up about you! He enables you to be strong in endurance and steadfastness with joy. (12) We are grateful to the Father who qualified us to participate in the complete portion of the inheritance of the saints in the light. (The light of the Gospel reveals what God accomplished to transform the sinner into a saint; from hagos, an awful thing to 1hagios, a consecrated object: “call no-one unholy or unclean (Acts 10:28) (13) He rescued us from the dominion of darkness (the sense-ruled world, dominated by the law of performance) and relocated us into the kingdom where the love of his son rules. (Darkness is not a force, it is the absence of light. [See Eph 4:18] A darkened understanding veiled the truth of our redeemed design from us. 2 Cor 4:4. What “empowered” darkness was the lie that we believed about ourselves! The word, 1exousia, sometimes translated authority, is from ek, origin or source, and eimi, I am. Thus, I was confused about who I am until the day that I heard and understood the grace of God in truth, as in a mirror. See 2 Corinthians 3:18, John 1:12.) (14) In God’s mind mankind is associated in Christ; in His blood sacrifice we were ransomed; our redemption was secured; our sins were completely done away with. (The word sin, is the word hamartia, from ha, negative or without and meros, portion or form, thus to be without your allotted portion or without form, pointing to a disorientated, distorted, bankrupt identity; the word meros, is the stem of morphe, as in 2 Corinthians 3:18 the word metamorphe, with form, which is the opposite of hamartia – without form. Sin is to live out of context with the blueprint of one’s design; to behave out of tune with God’s original harmony. See Deuteronomy 32:18, “You have forgotten the Rock that begot you and have gotten out of step with the God who danced with you!” Hebrew, khul or kheel, to dance. Sin distorts the life of our design. Jesus reveals and redeemed our true form.)

Col 1:9b -14 (Passion):  

….that you would be filled to overflowing with the revelation of God’s pleasure over your lives. This will make you reservoirs of all wisdom and spiritual understanding. (10) We pray that you would walk in the ways of true righteousness, pleasing God in every good thing you do. Then you’ll become fruit-bearing branches, yielding to his life, and maturing in the rich experience of knowing God in his fullness! (11) And we pray that you would be energized with all his explosive power from the realm of his magnificent glory, filling you with great hope (As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek text means “patient endurance.”) and joy in the Holy Spirit!

 

Lamb Selection Day…..

 Palm Sunday 2

Cry out with joy, O daughter of Zion!  Shout jubilantly, O daughter of Jerusalem!
    Look—your King is coming; He is righteous and able to save.  He comes seated humbly on a donkey, on a colt, a foal of a donkey~ Zechariah 9:9

I spent the afternoon studying Palm Sunday.  I wanted to look at this day through Jewish eyes…. in light of Old Testament Scriptures.  To see what the people who saw Him ride into Jerusalem would’ve seen and known.  There are so many rich nuggets to be found in this momentous occasion.  My study began with a specific question.  Why did God choose this particular day for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem?  Was it just a random day or did it have specific meaning to the Jews of that day?

The day Jesus entered Jerusalem was called “lamb selection day”.  I love that!  Families selected their lambs in the late afternoon. Offering Himself as the Lamb, Jesus also rode into the city in the late afternoon that day (Mark 11:11).

Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household… Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.   – Exodus 12:36

How is it that I have never heard of Lamb Selection Day? Or that it was the same day as what we call Palm Sunday?  The writers of the New Testament certainly understood the significance. But of course they grew up abundantly schooled in the Torah and the Old Testament Scriptures, I did not.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “For Christ, our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed.” Hebrews 7:27 says, “He sacrificed for sins, once for all, when he offered himself”, and Hebrews 9:28, ”Christ was sacrificed to take away the sins of many people.” John the Baptist said, ”Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Peter, in 1 Peter 1:19 says, ”You were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, a Lamb without blemish or spot.” In the book of Revelation twenty or more times it refers to Christ as the Lamb. Revelation 5:6 says, “Then I saw a lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne…”. Revelation 12:11 – ”They overcame by the blood of the Lamb…”

From Genesis (Genesis 22:8 – “God Himself will provide a lamb”), to Revelation (Revelation 5:12 – “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain”), Christ is revealed as our Passover Lamb! And, just to make sure we didn’t miss it, God sent His Son into Jerusalem on the same day that the Jewish people had been selecting their lambs for the past 1500 years!

Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem four days before Passover is not a coincidence. The lambs chosen for sacrifice by each family on the 10th of Nisan (the day we call Palm Sunday) must be visible for 4 days before the Passover Feast in order for everyone to observe the selected lamb’s perfection. During those days of inspection of the lambs, the perfect Lamb of God was present daily at the Temple, where everyone could see Him….. allowing Himself to be inspected by the people.

Jewish historians cite that the lambs during that time all came from Bethlehem and were brought into Jerusalem through the Sheep Gate. At that time, only the sheep from Bethlehem, that had been raised especially for this purpose, were allowed to be used for selection.  Jesus entered Jerusalem along with all the Passover lambs through that same Sheep gate.  Can’t you just see it?  What a beautiful picture of redemption…. His hour had finally come! Oh what a beautiful Savior… what a beautiful spotless Passover Lamb.

The road into Jerusalem was extremely crowded that day.  Hundreds of thousands (or according to Josephus, millions) of pilgrims were flocking into the city to begin the celebration of the Passover season. How did the people respond to the arrival of Jesus?

At the Sheep Gate, a crowd of people threw their coats and branches down on the ground while shouting,

‘Hosanah!’

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

“Hosanah in the highest!’

“Hosanna” – hosha’na in Hebrew means, “Save now!”  They were hailing Him as King – the One Who would dwell with them in the Messianic Kingdom!  By this time they were weary from the oppression by the Romans.  It was 1,000 years since Solomon had been crowned king and rode in on a donkey to Jerusalem (1 Kings 1:32-40). AND of course – it was nearly PASSOVER – which to them was a reminder of God’s deliverance from their enemies!  Now Jesus… the Messiah, would finally set up His Kingdom delivering them out of bondage to the Romans and reigning over their beloved nation of Israel!

The cheering crowd was upsetting some of the Pharisees who began to call out to Jesus saying, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” (Luke 19:39). Jesus refused and told them that if His followers were silenced, the very stones would cry out (Luke 19:40).  The stones? Why did Jesus mention the stones?  What would that have meant to this crowd of people and the Pharisees?

Jesus had started his triumphal entry east of the Jordan – He crossed the Jordan River on that day. .. . Nisan 10th (Palm Sunday).  In Joshua 4:19 the children of Israel crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land — on the 10th of Nisan!!!

After crossing the Jordan on His way to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through Jericho.  This city was the first to be conquered by the children of Israel in Joshua’s day when they were fighting for a kingdom.  All of those standing there along the road wouldn’t have missed the symbolism of crossing the Jordan into the Promise Land and setting up a kingdom.  This must be what Jesus was coming to do!  Set up His Kingdom here in Israel.

Mark 10:46 tells about a crowd joined Jesus near Jericho.  Word had gotten out – HE WAS COMING!  The people were crying “Jesus, SON OF DAVID, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47).

Their cry was for the restoration of the age of Solomon. This is what they had longed for… what they were expecting! For the restoration of Israel…. for the return of what it had looked like in Solomon’s day.

This is the setting for Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem . . . Excitement for the deliverance of Roman oppression and the setting up of a glorious kingdom.  They’re Savior had come for them! As you look at the details of what was happening it’s easy to get caught up in their excitement and forget that in a few days these same people would suffer a great disappointment.  Their expectations were not met…. or so they thought.  It didn’t turn out the way they thought.  The One they thought was Messiah… King…. would be crucified and their lives would remain under the oppression of Rome resulting in the destruction of their beloved Temple.

But Jesus did set up His Kingdom.  His hour had come.  His purpose and destiny fulfilled.

He had reclaimed a kingdom ——— His Father’s kingdom.

He had conquered ——– sin and death –- the real oppressor (NOT Rome) (Heb. 2:14)

Ephesians 4:7 quotes Psalm 68 which is a victory hymn written by King David. “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”

In Psalm 68 we read that after a TRIUMPH, the CONQUERING KING marched through his enemy’s territory, wreaking havoc and collecting spoils – and bringing home those spoils.

Hebrews 2:14 says that through death, Jesus DESTROYED Satan who had the power of death, and released the CAPTIVES.

Jesus’ death meant VICTORY for us.

Through His death and resurrection He gave LIFE to us….. ETERNAL LIFE in Him.

His Kingdom is a Kingdom which resides in us and released through us.

But sadly they couldn’t see all of that yet.  They were crying out Hosanna!  It was a plea for salvation.   Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!” It was a cry for salvation and a recognition that Jesus was the One able to save.  They were looking for a physical king.   They were desiring and hoping for someone to change their oppressed condition.

They were sure that the long-awaited Messiah would come in the form of a militaristic king. One who would sit on an earthly throne.  The throne of David—and reign in Jerusalem over a renewed Davidic kingdom.

Spiritually they were blind to their true condition…. they needed salvation from sin, not from Roman oppressors.  Isaiah 42 talks about the spiritually blind who are captives and sit in darkness.  They regain their sight when they are set free.  Isaiah 35 prophesies about the Messianic Kingdom (the Highway of Holiness) and one of the responses of Heaven to save is the recovery of sight to the blind.

Mark  10:51-52 tells us that there was a blind man named Bartimaeus who was one of those by the road on that Palm Sunday…. on that lamb selection day.  

What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.  The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.  ~ Mark 10:51-52

He followed Jesus.  He selected his Lamb that day!  I will find it hard now to refer to it as Palm Sunday now that I know about “lamb selection day.”  That just seems so much more appropriate.  What about you?  Have you chosen The Lamb of God today?  Select Him and examine Him… He has come to set you free and set up His Kingdom in your life if you’ll let Him.

 

~ Robin

 

 

 

Chanukah 5777 (2016)

Chanukah-Picture

Chanukah is on the evening of the 24th of Kislev on the Jewish calendar.. on our calendar this year it begins tonight Christmas Eve.  Our family began celebrating Chanukah 3 years ago as well as the other Biblical feasts.  We celebrate this in addition to Christmas.  Our family loves both celebrations.  Chanukah is the festival of lights and is a beautiful reminder to us to shine in the darkness.  I love Matthew 5:14-16 in the Message Translation “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”  Let’s go public with it… shining as such  bright lights in this world.. not keeping God as a secret.. opening our homes, being generous with our lives (being open and giving with others)

As I was preparing my study notes on Chanukah to share with our kids, I decided to study each individual letter in the word Chanukah. I love studying the Bible in Hebrew.. it’s a rich and beautiful language full of layers upon layers of meanings.  The Hebrew letters in the word Chanukah are chet, nun, vav, kaf, hey.  The Hebrew alphabet (or as it’s called in Hebrew alef-bet) is full of meaning. Each letter is not just a letter, but a number and a picture.. with layers of meanings.  I love something Billy Graham said, “The Bible is big–so big that even the greatest scholar will never exhaust its riches.”

Chet, Nun are the first two letters of Chanukah and spell the Hebrew word grace.   Vav is the next letter and the first time “vav” is mentioned in Scripture it is as a word, not just a letter.  It is in Gen 1 “heavens and (vav) the earth.” It is a word connecting Heaven and Earth.  Grace always connects us to the Heavenly realm…. it enables us to live on earth as it is in Heaven.  It is the empowering Presence of Holy Spirit in and through our lives.  “Vav” is also the number 6 which is 5+1… 6 = 5 (grace) + 1… an abundance of grace.  Romans 5:17 tells us that those who receive an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in this life through Jesus.  That is just the first two letters of Chanukah… grace! An abundance of grace poured out from Heaven upon us.  

The next 2 letters or the 2nd half of the word is Kaf, Hey.  Kaf is a picture of an open hand… an open hand speaks of blessings.  In Ex 33:22, when Moses asked God to show him His glory, God covered Moses with His hand… that word hand is kaf in the Hebrew. Kaf is a picture of God’s open hand, specifically His open hand of blessing.  One of the meanings of Hey is behold!  or revealed.  The 2nd half of this word is speaking of God’s open hand of blessing being revealed (in this season).  

Studying the word Chanukah by breaking it down letter by letter shows us a beautiful picture of what God is wanting to pour out on us in this season… His grace multiplied to us and His open hand of blessing revealed to us.  

John 1:16 (amp version) sums it up so beautifully…  For out of His fullness, we have all received grace upon grace, and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.  

Merry Christmas and Chag Sameach!!

~ Robin