Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rescue, Restore, Refine Revisited

I have the awesome privilege of going to see an old friend of mine this weekend and speaking at an event for her women's ministry. I'm super excited. She happens to live down near the Hill Country of Texas where they experienced some devastating fires a few months ago. When my friend and I were discussing possible topics for her event I suggested the title/topic we used for our Fusion study in January of this year. She added a phrase so the title for this event is Through the Fire: Rescue, Restore, Refine. Of course, fire goes exactly with refine. In the book of Malachi, it is said that God will appear as a refiner's fire and fullers' soap. In the note on that verse in the Ryrie Study Bible, the author relates the refiner's fire to purification and the fullers' soap to cleansing.

My outline for the event has been in my desk drawer for a couple of weeks. I have thought and prayed about it so much while I've been out there running and running. I pulled it out today (since the event is, afterall, in 2 days) to pray and re-write and finalize. The entire theme of the original study, which was on the book of Judges, came out of a time when I did a word study on rescue. Although, when I did my original word study via one of my favorite online resources, the word rescue is not used (in the NASB) in the book of Judges it so is the theme, in many ways, of that book. Today I was pondering that and decided to try the word rescue in another translation. So, I went to my online resource, typed it in and, sure enough, there it was in my focal passage for this weekend, Judges 6:14 - Then the LORD turned to him and said, "Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!". The NASB uses the word deliver and the KJV uses the word save.

I hope you are still reading because I'm not to the best part yet...

So, I got out my Old Testament word study book and looked up the word from the original language. It's Yasha. Here's what it means, "To be delivered, saved; to get help; to deliver; give victory...It is noteworthy that the personal name of our Savior, Jesus, is derived from this root." (Lexical Aids, 2324) The definition goes on to report that the original meaning would have been physical deliverance, much like what was needed in the case of the Hebrews in Judges 6. The chosen people of God were being oppressed by the Midianites and they cried out to God for help. He chose Gideon to be the one to lead them out of that place of bondage. Back to the definition from the lexical aids, "Later, 'save' developed a theological meaning. God is concerned about our physical well-being, our emotional status, and the salvation of our souls. God has the ability to save us from anything which would harm us. Salvation is God's love in action."

Salvation is God's love in action - I'm about to tweet that and make it my fb status.

What a beautiful message. I hope to communicate it clearly this weekend but I've already been blessed this morning. For some reason, that just washed over me in such a fresh way and I'm thankful for it.

Serving the King, the Rescuer,


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