Hebrew month of Tevet 5777 (2016)

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Today we enter in to the Hebrew month Tevet.  Tevet is the 10th month of the year on the Hebrew Biblical calendar.  10 is a number of divine order … 10 is also 5 + 5… five being the number of grace or in this case a double grace…. multiplied grace… abundant grace… dare I say it?… hyper grace!  😮

Tevet is a month full of the goodness of God.  The first two letters in the word Tevet is tet and vav.  Tet and vav make up the word “tov” which means good.  The first time the letter “tet” is used in Scripture is Genesis 1:4 …. and God saw that it was good.  The final letter in Tevet is also “tet”…. so the whole word Tevet from beginning to end is a word full of God’s goodness.   A month beginning with goodness and ending with goodness.  

I’m a lover of all things good.  I’m an incurable optimist.  I like looking for redemption and goodness….in people and all things in general.  I do believe it’s a gift from God… I’ve always been like that.  My mom nicknamed me Pollyanna Sunshine when I was little because of this abundance of optimism and hope.  Though, these past couple of years, there have been a lot of personal challenges that would try to produce a critical spirit instead of seeing the good.

Sometimes it is going to require more effort than usual to find the good in something…. thank God for His grace to help in those times.  Especially today when we are inundated with bad news from the media, bad attitudes from people, etc.  It’s a choice we have to make.  And when we make the choice, God will be faithful to open our eyes to see something good… even if it’s just hidden potential…or buried treasure in someone.  Then we get the privilege and joy of co-laboring with Him to pull out that potential and treasure in those around us.  

If I want to be like my heavenly Father then I need to make that choice to look for the good in everything around me daily.  Because He is good… ALL THE TIME!  In fact, good isn’t just a description of Him… it’s who He is.  1 Chronicles 16:34  O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.  Good in this Scripture is called an absolute noun, meaning it follows another noun forming a single idea. “Good” and God are one single thought. There is no “good” separated from God and then associated with Him. “Good” and God are the same thing (see my blog post on Goodness and Goodness and Grace)

I’ve been teaching weekly Bible studies this past year and I’m always amazed when I teach on the goodness of God, how some people will adamantly argue against it.  They prefer to see God as judgmental, harsh, punishing and while they’ll see Him as sometimes good it’s based on only if they’ve done something to deserve it.  Sadly, their interpretation of Scripture is in light of that perception of God…. and their representation of Jesus and of the Father is also through that perception.

There is nothing I can ever do to deserve His goodness.  He is not good to me because I’m being good and “obeying” His Word (for a definition on obeying see my blog post on No Hebrew word for obey).  Goodness just overflows out of Him in my life because it’s who He is.  He can’t help Himself.  He’s not angry with us… He’s not angry with the sinner who is unsaved either.  That’s the good news of the Gospel.  Jesus satisfied the wrath of God, the punishment we deserved for sin, and He reconciled us to God.

Then He made us ambassadors of that reconciliation (2 Cor 5:20).  It’s going to be hard to be an effective ambassador for Christ if we fail to see the goodness of God in the land of the living (Ps 27:13).  2 Cor 5:19 says “He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” We have been anointed to preach the good news just like Jesus (see my blog post on Jesus is our JubileeThe widow of Sidon and one of my favorites Naaman the Syrian).  No one wants to be reconciled to an angry, harsh, God who is only going to breathe down our necks and punish us every time we slip up….. that’s not the good news of the Gospel.  

This month of Tevet, I encourage you to dig deeper into the Word and find out about the goodness of God… to quote Bill Johnson, “He’s better than you think”.  We have a responsibility to re-present Him correctly.  The more we begin to see Him as good in the Word, the more we will begin to see the goodness in the people around us and in this beautiful world of ours.

Then our co-laboring will be a joy to us and we will become true ambassadors of Christ…. running after ALL people, begging them to be reconciled to God because He is GOOD and wants to overflow that goodness into their lives.  

~ Robin

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

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“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy”  

Psalm 107:2

I kept hearing this scripture all day in my spirit!  Such a timely scripture since we just entered into the Hebrew month of Nisan a week ago and one of the key things about Nisan is it’s a month of redemption.   Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy;”  One translation says “let the redeemed tell their story” and the NLT says “Has the Lord redeemed you?  Then speak out!!”  I did just that as I went for my afternoon walk.  I began speaking forth what His redemption purchased for me.  What does it mean to be redeemed?

We were slaves set free – Mark 10:45 (He gave His life a ransom); Romans 6:17-18 (we were once slaves); John 8:34 (everyone who sins is a slave to sin); Gal 4:6-7 no longer slaves but sons).  Slavery was a common institution in the ancient world… a man might be born into slavery,  he might be captured by an invading army and placed into slavery, or he might have fallen into debt with no way to pay and therefore sold into slavery.  Once a slave, he could gain his freedom again… but it was very costly.  

There are 3 Greek words for redemption… agorazo which means a purchase made in the market place;  peripoieo which means to acquire or purchase for oneself; and lutroo which means liberated – the ransom price paid for loosing captives from their bonds and setting them at liberty.  When Jesus redeemed us, we were not just purchased from the market place of sin and death (agorazo).. or even purchased for Himself (peripoieo)…. we were purchased and our bonds were loosed, we were set free and given liberty in Him (lutroo)!!  We were redeemed by His blood (1 Cor 6:19-20; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelations 5:9).  He paid the ransom and declared “it is finished (John 19:30).”

It is finished… or “teletesta” in Greek can also be translated “paid in full”.  It does not mean just to complete a task but to carry it out fully, to perfection.  His work of redemption is fully complete and nothing needs to be or can be added to it.   Sin was atoned for (Heb 9:12; Heb 10:12);  Satan was defeated and stripped of all power ( Heb 2:14-15; 1Jn 3:8);  Every requirement of the Law has been satisfied  (Matt 5:17; Rom 10:14);  God’s holy wrath against sin has been satisfied (or propitiated)… the punishment or penalty of sin has been met (Romans 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1Jn 2:2, 4:10);

Tetelesta was a legal term.  When a Roman prisoner had finished serving his sentence, the judge would inscribe the word “tetelesta” on the release paper which guaranteed his deliverance and liberty.  The charges for those crimes could never be brought against him again.   When Jesus cried “TETELESTAI” on the cross, He was saying that anyone who places his trust in His sacrificial death, receives in essence a “certificate of debt” with the inscription of “tetelestai”, indicating that all their “crimes” (past, present and future) against God have been PAID FOR IN FULL!  Christ has utterly wiped out or completely obliterated the condemning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over His own head on the Cross. And then He disarmed the powers against us, He publicly exposed them, shattered, shamed, emptied and defeated,completely stripped them of all power – Col 2:14-15

Redeem is first mentioned in Gen 48:16 next to the names  of Jacob’s grandson’s Manasseh and Ephraim as Jacob is blessing them after he has adopted them.  The adoption of them made them sons with full inheritance rights equal to Joseph…. we have become sons with full inheritance rights equal to that of Jesus.  

We have been redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13).  The scripture does not say Christ has redeemed us from the law, as if to say the law is a curse. No, the law of God is not a curse, the law is holy, and just, and good (Romans 7:12). What Christ has redeemed us from is the curse of the law.. the penalty or punishment of disobedience!  ALL the curses!!  Deuteronomy 28:15-68 is a list of the curses.  He has redeemed us from sickness, pain, sorrow, depression, poverty and even death that came as a result for disobeying God.  We were redeemed from the curse so that the blessing of Abraham (Gen 12:2-3) might come upon us.. the Gentiles, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (Gal 3:14)

He didn’t just redeem us and leave us to fend for ourselves in our new found freedom.  He redeemed us from the dominion of darkness and redeemed us (transferred us) into the Kingdom of His dear Son.  2 Peter 1:3 tells us that His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.  Below are some of the things His redemption purchased for us – this is not an exhaustive list.. definitely do your own study 

  • Col 1:19-22 – we were reconciled to God in Him and presented holy, blameless and without reproach; made righteous.
  • Col 2:13-15 – we were made alive with Him, forgiven our trespasses, cancelled the record of debt with it’s legal demands, and completely stripped the enemy’s power over us.
  • 1 Thes 5:9-10 – we obtained salvationsozo: forgiveness of sins, healing, deliverance, and prosperity… made whole, complete, lacking nothing.
  • 1 Pe 2:24 – we are dead to sin, alive to righteousness, healed
  • Rom 6:6 – we are no longer slaves to sin
  • Galatians 4:5 – we received adoptions as sons
  • Isaiah 44:22 – our transgressions are blotted out
  • Romans 6:4 – we walk in newness of life
  • Ephesians 1:1-23 – we have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
  • Rev 1:6 – we are made kings and priests
  • Titus 2:14 – we have become pure
  • Galatians 3:14 – we received the promise of the Spirit

When you know you are fully, completely redeemed, your walk with God will change.  You’ll see yourself in a brand new light. You will know God has placed such great value on you because He purchased you through the precious blood of His dear Son.  And you will tell others your story of redemption…. declaring that the Redeemer lives in you and that it is for freedom He set you free, never again to be subject to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1)!

~ Robin