The Good Word Of The Day

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bishop TD Jakes - The Now Moment (1)

This generation....

has become so.....



Let us give them a JESUS ENCOUNTER!

For the kingdom of our GOD is our strength and meaning of being!

Filthy Rags 1

…and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags —Isaiah 64:6

What did Isaiah mean when he wrote this passage? We must, of course, use the Bible as our text and as our guide to understanding the passage. We will first examine the Hebrew words underlying this passage.

What are righteousnesses? The plural form of this word used here, righteousnesses, is archaic. It is the plural of righteousness. According to Merriam Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, one definition of righteousness is a "righteous act, deed, or quality" and "righteous conduct". This definition is obsolete and is not used in modern syntax. Nevertheless, the word was not obsolete in 1611, when the King James Version was printed. Nor was it obsolete when the spelling and wording of the KJV were revised for printing in America in 1769. In both instances, the word meant righteous acts. One may look in 1611 King James Bible and find that the word there was "righteousnesses" just as it is in the KJV Bibles we have today. There is was no change to that word in 1769. Here is Isaiah 64:6 from the KJV 1611 version, "But we are al as an vncleane thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy ragges, and we all doe fade as a leafe, and our iniquities like the wind haue taken vs away." As one can see, the 1769 revision, which is the KJV we have today, did not change the word 'righteousnesses'.

It is obvious, especially in light of the original language, that the translators of the KJV had the obsolete definition, "righteous act, deed, quality, or conduct" in mind when they used the word "righteousnesses". To paraphrase, Isaiah said, "…all our righteous acts, or works, are as filthy rags".

Let us back that up with the Hebrew. The word rendered righteousnesses is צדקתינו, (tsedaqotinu-(pronunciation based upon diacritics not shown here). It is the noun common feminine plural construct suffix first person common plural form of צדקה (tsedaqah). The word is prefixed by כל (kol), meaning "all". In this morphology it means the righteousnesses of rulers, institutions, governments, men, and of God. The only way men can see righteousness in us is through our deeds, deportment, speech, lifestyle, etc., in other words, through our actions. Our actions are necessarily works. Consequently, righteous thoughts are not observable unless manifested in deeds. Therefore, we are speaking primarily of works that are outwardly observed. Of course, since God knows the thoughts of men as well as their deeds, they are important too. In this treatise, however, we are concerned with outward acts.

We have now established that righteousnesses are righteous acts. We know from the text that those righteous acts are as filthy rags in God's eyes.

name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Philippians 2:5-11 (New International Version)

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Planting Seeds

The people who followed Jesus loved to hear Him teach. He always made things easy to understand! One way he often taught was by telling stories that we call "parables". These are simple stories that the people could understand because they were about common things they knew about.

One day Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who went out to plant some seed in his field. He put a leather bag filled with seed around his shoulder. As he walked across the field he would reach into the bag, fill his hand with seed and throw it out across the field as he walked."

"Not all of the seed went exactly where he wanted it to go. Some fell on the path people had walked on. The ground there was so hard and packed down the seed couldn't grow, so the birds came and ate it. Some seed fell down around rocks in the ground. There wasn't enough dirt for it to grow for very long, so as soon as it came up it died because the sun was too hot and burned it up. Some of the seed fell in with the weeds and thorns. It grew for a little while, but soon the weeds, which were bigger and stronger, used up all the food in the ground so the plants died. But some of the seed fell on the good ground where the farmer wanted it and it grew up into big, strong plants and turned into a lot of grain for the farmer and his family to eat."

Later, his special followers, the twelve disciples, asked him, "What did you mean when you told the story of the seeds?"

"The word of God is like the seed," he told them. "Sometimes the word falls on ears that won't listen, just like the hard ground. Sometimes people will hear the word of God and be happy about it, but soon they lose interest, just like the seed in the ground with the rocks. Sometimes people who hear the word and believe it, but soon they become more interested in sinning instead of obeying God's word, so they too stop believing. But sometimes people hear God's word and believe it. In fact, they love it so much that they go out and tell others and they go tell others and they tell others... and before long, hundreds of other people have heard it. This is like the seed that fell on the good ground and grew into so much grain."

Which kind of a person do you want to be? One who tells others about God's Word? I hope so.