WORD STUDY – PLEASING GOD (DAY 2 in the Northwoods in Silence before God)
Hebrews 11:5: “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
Genesis 5:24: “And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him”
God and I talk a walk together through his creation. I came to a lagoon along the side of a lake. That lagoon was swampy and smelled of dry decaying wood and vegetation, I sensed God telling me that this was my life. This may not be a true lagoon by its definition, however, it is a small body of water that is separated by a larger body and often collects the waste from the larger body of water which look clear and beautiful compared to the ruins in the lagoon.
I sensed God telling me that I was spending so much time in the swamp of my life and never really enjoying the clear, refreshing life that God wants to offer. Enoch walked with God. He and God never walked through a swamp. The word in Hebrew for walk is halak which is a righteous walk, it is more a manner of life or a life style. Enoch lived his life style with God.
During my time of silence here in the Northwoods I have been really meditating on this idea of a a life style with God. Not a Godly life style but a life style with God. Everything I would do or say would be a reflection of the life that Jesus lived. Jesus lived a life style that was true, honest, loving and nurturing.
David said in Ps 17:15: “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” The word in Hebrew for likeness is temunateka. It comes from a Semitic root word mayin which means a likeness but its origins lies in the idea of a species. Certain plants have similar characteristics, yet retain their own identity. A dove is of the same species as a pigeon. They look similar and have homing instincts, they have a similar walk, but they sound different and a dove is much more gentler than a pigeon.
I know I could never exactly be like Jesus but like David I will be satisfied to just be a temunetaeka one who can at least bear His traits. How can I be like Him? Well spend time with Him. I was mentored by Dr. Kalland, a Hebrew professor who was on the executive committee for the translation of the Old Testament portion of the NIV. He was more than just a teacher, I spent time with him, I respected him and I learned not only from his knowledge of Hebrew but from his life style, his way of life or his halaka. He would spend three to four hours every day studying the Word of God in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. As a result I too have spent three to four hours everyday studying the Word of God in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic.
No I am not exactly like Dr. Kalland. I do not share the honors and rewards that Dr. Kalland received in his life time. However, I do share his study habits and his love for the Word of God. I long to be like him in that respect and that I learned by walking with him as my mentor. If he were alive today, I would hope that he would be pleased with my writings and research. Just as I hope that God will be pleased with my life style my halaka or walking with Him or living a life style with God.
Enoch not only walked with God he pleased God as we learn in the book of Hebrews. The word pleased in the Greek is euarestkenai from the root word euaresteo which is to render good service. Ok, God likes it when we render good service, we all pretty much render good service but we don’t get translated into heaven.
The Aramaic uses the word shephar which means to be gracefully balanced and unified. I go into silence only once a year. Only once a year can I be alone with God 24/7 but the rest of the 51 weeks out of the year I must somehow balance my life or work, relationships and the cares of this world with my walk with God. I cannot live this contemplative life 52 weeks out of the year and God does not expect me to. What He does expect is that I shephar or balance my life with Him by my side in unity with Him.
As for now:
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear
Calling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share
As we tarry there
None other, has ever known
-C. Austin Miles-
Perhaps when I return from silence I will live a life by the lake with God and not the lagoon.