While I was cleaning up my office, (for those of you who know me this is an ongoing process and I’m happy to announce that I can once again see some patches of wood in between the piles of paper) I found this file that had notes from a personal study I did one day of Isaiah 43:10. So I thought I would share my thought process with you today.
When I do a study of a verse in the Bible, (now before I make myself sound all pious and perfect let me state that one of my many struggles is getting into the Word on a frequent basis, so please don’t think that I am something that I’m not. When I do take the time to really study God’s Word I find it so exciting…I just don’t know why I don’t make this a priority) so when I do a study of a verse or book in the Bible I like to take it apart and look up the words in the Greek and Hebrew dictionary and then I will look up the meanings of the words in and English dictionary. I find that this opens up a deeper line of thought for me and helps me “own” what is said in that verse or book. The following paragraph is how for this particular verse I broke it down.
You are my witness (wit- to know, to make known, reveal) Hebrew/Greek Dictionary. Wit – power to perceive quickly and express cleverly, ideas that are unusual and amusing. Ness – quality, state or condition of being. Collins Gage Canadian Dictionary. declares (to say, utter, an affirmation, speak) (A word from God, usage of this word throughout the old testament, with exception of Prov 30:1, means a word from God.) the Lord, and my servant (mark of those called by God) (Manservant, bondsman, bought with money, hired, mark of humility and courtesy). whom I have chosen (select, choose, choice acceptable, appoint) so that you may know (to know by observing and reflecting (thinking), to know by experience. and believe (to be firm, endure, be faithful, be true, stand fast, trust) A firm place where a peg can be driven so that it’s immovable. Abram was full of trust and confidence in God…He believed in God himself…He had a personal relationship to God rather than an impersonal relationship with his promises. me and understand (to understand, be able, deal wisely, consider, pay attention to, regard, notice, discern, perceive, inquire). that I am he. Before me not god (general designation of deity in the ancient Near East). was formed (to form, mould, fashion) nor will there be one after me.
I also looked at my Life Application Study Bible (NLT) and found the following thought:
Israel’s task was to be a witness (44:8), telling the world who God is and what he had done. Believers today share the responsibility of being God’s witnesses. Do people know what God is like through your words and example? They cannot see God directly, but they can see him reflected in you.
This then brought me to pray the following:
Lord you are telling me that I am your witness. I am to make known, to reveal who you are to others around me. I can do this by openly sharing who you are to people and also by my actions, by how I live my life, trying to do what it is you have called me to do or to be. You have declared this for me: you have given me this affirmation that I can do this. This is a word directly from you to me because I am a believer in you. Help me have the courage to live this out Lord. You have declared me to be your servant, that I am marked and called by you. I am also choosing to be your servant. I do this willingly as a mark of humility and courtesy. Lord you know my heart, help me humble myself before you and others. You have appointed me to get to know you. I can only do this by knowing you in a personal way, by observing, reflecting on your Word and in my life through my experiences with you. Lord help me have the quiet time that I need in order to be reflective, to sit and ponder over what your Word says and who you are in my life. Help me have this intimate personal relationship with you. Lord you not only want me to know, but you want me to believe. What an image I have in my mind of having such a belief that it is like that firm place where a peg is driven in so firmly that it cannot be moved except by being snapped off. Lord let my belief be that strong. Let me be as immovable as that peg. And to think that Abraham had such a personal belief in you that he actually believed you, not just your word but in you personally. He first and foremost had a belief in YOU. He had a personal relationship with you. Help me have this kind of belief Lord. You desire me to deal wisely with others, to understand them and myself. To pay attention to those around me and to discern what it is you want me to say, do or be to others. Lord help me get out of my own way in times like these. Help me hear you clearly and then help me OBEY you. Thank you for the firm statement that you are the only true God, that none have come before you and none will go after you. Lord open all of our eyes so we can see and our ears so we can hear. Help us know truth from lies. Help us be the witnesses you have appointed us to be. Thank you for your mercy Lord. Amen
Here’s to being His witness…