Separation by Trial and Testing. (part 1)
Recently I looked at the first line of Ps. 91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
God does not make mistakes in anything that he does.
So then why am I, a follower after Jesus in the devastated mess that I am?
Why is my life falling apart at the seams?
Why does my life feel as though I am the enemy of God?
Why is this disease ravaging my body? I am literally wasting away!
Why is my future being spoiled?
Why are my finances being attacked on every side as if a robber has had free reign to lay waste to my goods?
I can not even escape in sleep, my mind is troubled and out of my control.
Why are the plans that I have formulated for the future of myself and my family ruined, devastated, and spoiled?
For me this is not just an academic debate. This is literally a case of life and death. Because my life is in such turmoil I went to look at the word Almighty. It is after all under His shadow that I am to abide. What I found was startling.
Strong’s’ Hebrew lexicon has the following to say about the Almighty.
Shadday pronounced shad-dah’-ee
Translated in the AV as Almighty 48 times.
Strong’s tells us that the meaning of the word is:
1) almighty, most powerful
1a) Shaddai, the Almighty (of God) and that the word has the origin in Strong’s number 7703
When we go to 7703 which is the root in the Hebrew lexicon we find the following:
Shadad pronounced shaw-dad a primitive root;
In the AV it is translated as spoil 30 times, spoiler 11 times, waste 8 times, destroy 2 times and robbers 2 times. Strong’s goes further and gives us the meaning of the word in summary.
1) to deal violently with, despoil, devastate, ruin, destroy, spoil
1a1) to violently destroy, devastate, despoil, assail
1a2) devastator, despoiler (participle) (subst)
1b) (Niphal) to be utterly ruined
1c1) to assault
1c2) to devastate
1d) (Pual) to be devastated
1e) (Poel) to violently destroy
1f) (Hophal) to be devastated.
You like me probably don’t understand everything that is in the Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon. What I do understand is that my life’s circumstances are being described in detail.
This however is not the graphic picture of my life as I suppose in my self-centered selfishness; these are actually the attributes of THE ALMIGHTY.
God has many names in scripture. Each of the names of God allows us to see a facet of his nature, character and the ways that he operates in the world and in our lives. We see the provision of God in the name Jehovah Jirah. We see the righteousness of God in Jehovah Tsidqenuw. We see the peace of God in the name Jehovah Shalom.
But the attributes ascribed to The Almighty: Shadday, are surely not the attributes of a loving God? These are not the attributes of Jesus meek and mild? What happened to the ‘Loving Heavenly Father’ bit that I learned about at Sunday school?
The word Shadday has its root in the word Shadad which is translated in the Authorised version as:
I feel as though I have come into the sphere of the one described here: To deal violently with, despoil,
spoil to violently destroy,
to be utterly ruined,
The only thing that saves me from the deepest pit of self pity and personal self justification is that I know My Lord.
I know that the God that I serve is a loving God who is so caring of his servants that he wants the very best for them.
Furthermore he would not let them fall into the hands of the enemy.
Nothing can pluck me from his hand.
Nothing can separate me from the love of God.
So then how do I manage to reconcile my very real life situation with the statements I have just made about His goodness and loving kindness?
My problem in looking at my life is that I do not look with the same eyes as God.
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
My thinking tends to be locked into the seen world, the world that we have around us.
The more that goes wrong in my little world the more I focus on the here and now.
The more I focus on the temporal, the more I think that this is the real world.
But parallel to this world are at least two other worlds that I can go into.
There is the whole world of the mind where I can tell myself that I am actually a great success and that I am just hallucinating that if I just think positive thoughts and prophesy to myself, I will come out of this thing. ‘I will pull myself up by my bootstraps.’ This is a real world and there is power in positive thinking. I am not one to scorn the power that can be harnessed by the effort of mind power. This is however a temporary solution and has nothing to do with the world to come.
There is yet another world that I can move into: The world as God sees it. This world is just as real as the other two but supersedes them both. Both the other worlds operate in a space time framework and can therefore not extend beyond time and space. The ‘real’ world as God sees it, includes our world but extends beyond the seen realm into eternity future and back into eternity past (if eternity has past and future). The world that is ‘real’ is God’s world and has the ability to operate in the world as we see it as well as in the world as we are unable to see it. Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. This incredible statement from Job, says: ‘Yes, I realize that there is a physical death in all its gore. Right down to the worms and decaying flesh.’ This is the reality. But beyond this earthly reality is the eternal. The ‘real’ reality of eternity, permanence, and union with God. The God of all eternity is intimately concerned with me, the total me not just the here and now me. For this reason he is preparing me in the here and now, for the everlasting. My attitude is that of my sixteen year old son when told that school and studying are good for him; I too want to go out and play in the spiritual sun on the spiritual beach. God has my life time to prepare me for my entry into the eternal realm