WORD STUDY – OVERCOME – נלד
Jeremiah 33:3: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
Today I attended a meeting at a place called The Father’s House. They had a time of worship and a song was sung which was based upon Jeremiah 33:3. While they were singing this song someone gave a shout and my spirit was quickened. I mean you attend these rowdy meetings there is always someone hooting and hollering. I usually never give it a thought until I sensed the Lord’s heart speaking to me: “Why is that person shouting?”
I thought about this. Normally you shout to be heard. Sometimes you just shout out of enthusiasm or just pure joy. We have an old expression in English, shouting for joy. I recently read the story of a professional football player who describe his rookie year. He was sitting on the bench just watching the game, hoping the coach would call upon him. He was all fired up, he knew he could win this game for his team. He got up from the bench, stretched, threw the football back and forth to another bench bound player, just loosening up and getting ready for that call that he feared would never come. Then the call did come, the coach was asking him to get in there and win that game. The moment he heard his name he gave a shout of joy over the fact that he would get into the game and win it for his team. By the end of the game he had scored three amazing touch downs giving his team the victory and eventually becoming an All Pro by the end of the season.
I sensed the Lord saying to me at that moment, “I am like that player on the bench, I can give you a victory, but I am waiting for you to call me.” I had this momentary thought and I asked: “Lord are you really anxious to give me the victory?” One word came to my mind: ‘anah. It is the word for answer in Jeremiah 33:3. I quickly looked up Jeremiah 33:3 in my Hebrew Bible and found the word ‘anah, I also saw something interesting. It was in Piel (intensive) form. This is not God answering us, it is Him shouting at us. Why would God shout at us? Maybe it is to get our attention that He is indeed answering us. One reason to shout at someone is so they can hear you amid all the other noise. God may be shouting at us because we cannot hear Him above all the noise of our problems and concerns. Maybe He is shouting at us to get our attention. Someone may shout out in a crowd and I might totally ignore it as I know it is not me that is being addressed. If there were someone I recognized, I just might turn and listen. But having this story of the football player come to mind I realized God was also shouting at us to express His joy over the chance to come to our rescue and aid. You know, sort of: “I thought you would never ask.”
Then I started to read the rest of this verse: “And shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” My attention was drawn to that word show. It is the word negad which means to show or tell, but in its Semitic root it has the idea of drawing down. It comes from an Akkadian word for conqueror or overcome. The idea of showing and telling is a later use of the word to express the idea of telling others of your victory.
Now here is where it gets crazy and I can hear you say now; “You are wrong because my favorite preacher says it means something other than that.” Rest assured I am not saying your favorite preacher is wrong, I am just saying Semitic literature often has certain layers of meaning, just like poetry and other works of literature. Gulliver’s Travels may be a cute story of a man who is ship wrecked on an island populated by little people, but it is also a story of the British government. There are layers of meaning to that story. Just as this verse has layers of meaning. The Talmud teaches that there are seventy faces to Torah. In other words each verse can have up to seventy different meanings and nuances.
I am only offering a secondary meaning here with a secondary rendering of the word negad. Rather than read this passage as: “And shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Rather, we can read it as “And I will overcome great and mighty things that you don’t even know about.” God not only is sitting on the bench, anxiously awaiting your call, but He knows things you don’t.” He knows the secret, hidden things behind the scenes and He has that well in hand.
I recall a time I needed a job really bad. I was offered a job which was almost exactly what I wanted but I had a check in my spirit and knew I could not take the job. Against my better judgment and the advice of well-meaning people I turned the job down. A week or so later I was offered an even better job. Not only that I learned six months later that the job I turned down was eliminated. I would have been laid off. Not even the hiring manager knew that this position would be eliminated. God knew, He knew those secret things.
God is not just going to answer when you call upon Him, he is anxiously sitting on that bench waiting for that call and when you do He gives a shout of joy because He knows He cannot only bring you the victory or help you overcome, He also knows things about that situation that you don’t and He has already taken action to remedy that as well.