5784 – First – Relief for going forward
When Holy Spirit put this verse on my heart this week, the concept of retribution came to my mind. Interestingly, the Hebrew word used here is gemul. It comes from the same Hebrew word which represented the number 3 in the Hebraic year 5783, the gimmel. (last year)
Strengthen the exhausted, and make the feeble strong. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The retribution of God will come, But He will save you.”Isaiah 35:3-4 NASB
You might recall the word for last year was 1 Peter 5:10
As I pondered on Isaiah 35, it occurred to me that this chapter came up in a study I was doing a couple of months ago. I was looking at the Hebrew word for road or highway. The Lord was highlighting to me that 5784 would be a time of stepping on a new road.
Now that we are a few weeks into 5784, you might be wondering where the heck is that new road. As we approached the onset of this year I kept inquiring of the Lord for what to share about 5784. I got stuff, but not what I felt comfortable sharing with the world.
The more I pursued insight into 5784, the more I got stuff about 5783. Talk about frustrating. Until something came to mind. According to Hebrew thought the past is in front of us and the future is behind us.
It is important to keep in mind that Hebrew is an ancient Semitic language communicating eastern philosophy through concrete imagery. An American mindset, however is derived from Western philosophy with its roots in Greek culture. The English language uses abstract words as it expresses its Western perspective. Our Western attitude stresses a state of mind, where Hebrew perspective conveys concrete thought, an action to be taken. A concrete word, idea or concept is something which is perceived by the five senses. (seen, hear, smell, taste and touch) Abstract is not perceived our five physical senses.
This difference can make it challenge for a Western minded English speaking Americans to interpret the concrete thinking behind the symbolism. Nevertheless, let’s give it a go.
With western mentality the past is behind us because it is something we have passed through. To the eastern concrete thinker the past is something we have yet to experienced and therefore is unseen. Since we cannot see what is not yet experienced, it is behind our backs. With this viewpoint, behind us points to the future.
I know, who cares! To be honest I much prefer looking into the prophetic rather than reviewing where I’ve been. Nevertheless, it seems I can’t get away from what has led us to this point in time. All I can do at this point is just be grateful to have reached this current season.
Typically, recited on the first day of feast days, the Shehecheyanu prayer is a celebratory exclamation of thanks. The birth of child, acquiring a new home, or other significant firsts of the year are just the beginning. Any time we just want to thank God for being alive, this prayer gets the job done. Prophetically speaking, we are poised at the threshold of a new beginning.
A year ago, when I arrived back in Illinois, after caring for my aging parents for the previous three years the Shehecheyanu came to mind. I recited it whenever it came to mind. Which was often throughout the day. I was so grateful to have passed through the trial and difficulty of the previous season.
Now again, after emerging from my year of recovery, I am just grateful to be alive. 5783 didn’t feel like a year of healing for me. But it was a year of recovery; recovery from long covid. I AM GRATEFUL THAT I MADE IT THROUGH.
I am so relieved, put at ease, glad, strengthened and encouraged. Last year was hard. Unexpectedly hard. I expected relief last year based on the scripture verse God highlight to me. (1 Peter 5:10) Throughout the year I didn’t feel relieved. It has only been in the past few weeks that relief is incrementally emerging.
As I review where I’ve been, I can honestly say that 5783 was a time of getting through, just getting through. Now, things, life, whatever, seems to be taking a turn.
Restoration seems possible. I didn’t forget about Isaiah 35. That gimmel word for retribution – gemul, is still meandering around in my mind. Gemul can also be translated as reward, repayment, recompense. or benefit. Remember our verse:
Strengthen the exhausted, and make the feeble strong. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The retribution of God will come, But He will save you.“
My interpretation of that is:
Hang in there, God is sending the much needed help! He knows you’re worn out. He knows you can’t go much further. The God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will HIMSELF, restore, secure, strengthen and establish you. HIS REWARD IS WITH HIM! RELIEF IS ON THE WAY!!!!!
I’ll leave you with that for now. Until next time:
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