Addressed By Name

The bottomless gulf of Love ceaselessly calls to the empty ruin.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

The sayings of my mouth.

Expressions that expose what is in my heart, revealing what I perceive to be truth and wisdom.

The meditation of my heart.

To earnestly, deeply think and to murmur with tenderness, evoking a strong emotional response.

Pause to take note of the sayings of your mouth and to become aware of what lies behind your strong emotional responses.

Ps 42:5, 7 – Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? …Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. (ESV)

Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls

Deep. An abyss. Chasm. Bottomless gulf. Anything too deep for measurement. To make an uproar or agitate greatly. To put in commotion. To disturb, drive, destroy. To make a loud sound like “hum”. To be in great commotion or tumult, to rage, war, moan, clamor.1

Turmoil. To make a loud sound, to hum, to give forth a confused, droning sound, to be in great commotion or tumult, to rage, war, moan, clamor, make an uproar, agitate greatly. Chaotic, disorderly noise of unrest within.2

Are you familiar with the deep within you? Are you familiar with turmoil within? Do you sense a relationship between the deep and your inner turmoil?

Deep calls to deep.
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls;

Gen 1:2 – The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (one of the original basic substances).

The earth was without form. The earth lay waste, a desolation of surface, a desert, a worthless thing, in vain.3
The earth was void. Empty. An undistinguishable ruin.4
Darkness was over the face of the deep. Darkness. Misery. Destruction. Death. Ignorance. Sorrow. Wickedness.5
And the Spirit. Wind. Breath. A sensible or even violent exhalation. Figuratively, life; anger; unsubstantiality.6
And the Spirit of God was hovering. To brood. To hover over to protect (offspring, etc.) with or as with wings. 7
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Water; figuratively juice; by euphemism, urine, semen.8

Is our soul like the earth before God spoke life into it?

Is God’s anger about destroying that which is worthless, empty and vain by filling it with meaning, purpose and life?

Is our soul like the earth before God spoke life into it, a desolation of surface, a desert, lying waste, a worthless thing? Having no real value or significance? Hollow? Is our soul empty? Is our soul an undistinguishable ruin? Is darkness over the face of our soul? Misery. Destruction. Death. Ignorance Sorrow. Wickedness. Is this what drives God’s anger? His longing to give life and wellbeing, to know and be known?

Is the Spirit of God, the breath of God hovering over our soul as with wings to protect it, even in its ruin and waste while the Lord God waits to be gracious to us, as the Lord God waits for us to be willing for him to fill us with meaning, purpose and life?

Our spirit

Is our spirit simply the breath that gives us life in this temporary tent? Or is it life, the very essence of life itself?

Our soul. Is our soul just an invisible, intangible, fleeting thing? Or is our spirit and soul who we really are, created in the image of God, when they come into proper relationship with the Spirit of God?

Deep calls. Calls, through the idea of accosting (esp. in an intrusive way) a person met. To address by name.9

Deep calls to deep. An abyss, a chasm, a bottomless gulf calls to an abyss, a chasm, a bottomless gulf.1

Is the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the steadfast, enduring love of God, and the fellowship of Holy Spirit the bottomless abyss that calls, even accosts in an intrusive way, addressing you and me by name?

Is there a bottomless gulf of darkness, of lostness, of emptiness, of misery within your soul and within my soul that desperately needs to connect with the bottomless abyss of grace, love and fellowship that calls out to us?

Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls;
Deep calls to deep at the roar, a voice or sound, to call aloud.10
At the roar of a voice, a sound, calling aloud, accosting in an intrusive way, deep calls to deep.
At the roar of your waterfalls. At the sound of the Lord God’s waterfalls, deep calls to deep.
At the roar of your waterfalls. To be hollow; a culvert.11
The Lord God’s waterfalls. To be hollow. A culvert. A channel.
At the roar of your waterfalls, deep calls to deep.

A channel

It seems that the channel God often uses to get our attention and communicate with us is trouble, suffering and death that result from being hollow. Empty. Worthless. Depressed. Meaningless. Vain.

The Lord God himself described Job as blameless and upright, a man who feared God and turned away from evil (Job 1:1).

Yet, Job says of the Lord God:

Job 16:14 – He breaks me with breach upon breach; he runs upon me like a warrior. (ESV)

It seems that punishment, payback, an eye for an eye, is not the purpose for human suffering since even those that God himself declares to be blameless are called to suffer.

If being blameless, upright, fearing (respecting) God and turning away from evil does not protect us from suffering, then how should we respond to suffering?

What is God accomplishing through suffering?

Job 36:26 – Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable. (ESV)

John 17:3 – And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (ESV)

We know him not.
God is great
And we know him not.
Life.
We know him not.

Job 36:13 – “The godless in heart cherish anger; they do not cry for help when he binds them. (ESV)

Job 36:15 – He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity. (ESV)

Pause and reflect on these words that reveal God’s heart, his ways, his purposes, his intimate interaction in our everyday life circumstances.

Paradox

He delivers: To pull off; to strip; to depart; to deliver, equip for fight; present, strengthen.12
The afflicted/poor: depressed, in mind or circumstances.13
Affliction: depression, misery.14
Opens: to denude, especially in a disgraceful sense, lay bare, to exile; figuratively, to reveal.15

The Lord God opens, lays bare, exiles, reveals and opens the ear of the afflicted by adversity. Have you had the experience of finally hearing with understanding someone/something after you’ve suffered?

By their depression and misery, the Lord God pulls off, strips, delivers, equips for fight, strengthens the poor and depressed.

Do you appreciate the paradox of how God works to accomplish his purpose for us, to return us to our dwelling place?

Vessel of wrath. Vessel of mercy.

Mystery

How do we hold and keep with tenderness the Mystery that is God, who persistently beckons yet eludes, puzzles and at the same time delights, wounds and heals as his righteousness, kindness and mercy nurture and support us while vessels of wrath are overcome even as at the same time vessels of mercy are revealed?

Job 2:11-13 – Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place… And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great. (ESV)

Job 3:1 – After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. (ESV)

Job 4:1-5, 17 – Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: “If one ventures a word with you, will you be impatient? Yet who can keep from speaking? Behold, you have instructed many, and you have strengthened the weak hands. Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have made firm the feeble knees. But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; it touches you, and you are dismayed. ‘Can mortal man be in the right before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?’ (ESV)

You have instructed many, but now it has come to you, and you are impatient.
It touches you, and you are dismayed.

Job 23:1-2 – Job replied: “I’m not letting up — I’m standing my ground. My complaint is legitimate. God has no right to treat me like this — it isn’t fair! (MSG)

23:3-24:1 – “Oh, that I knew where I might find him [Lord God]. …I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know what he would answer me and understand what he would say to me. Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me. There an upright man could argue with him, and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold… But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does. For he will complete what he appoints for me… Therefore I am terrified at his presence; when I consider, I am in dread of him. God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me; yet I am not silenced because of the darkness, nor because thick darkness covers my face. “Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty, and why do those who know him never see his days? (ESV)

Do you identify with Job? Have you spoken similar words, held the same expectations, made judgments like Job?

Darkness. Thick darkness. I go forward, but he is not there. I go backward, but I do not perceive him. I go left, but I do not behold him. I turn to the right, but I do not see him. Have you experienced this thick darkness?

“An upright man could argue with the Lord God, and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.” Where did Job’s confidence in his own rightness come from?

When he has tried me: to test, to investigate; I shall come out as gold.” Where did Job’s confidence in his own purity and perfection come from? His own effort and knowledge? Or from knowing the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of Holy Spirit?

Job 31:3-4 – Is not calamity for the unrighteous, and disaster for the workers of iniquity? Does not he see my ways and number all my steps? (ESV)

God has no right to treat me like this!

Calamity is for the unrighteous. Disaster is for the workers of iniquity. Does God not see my ways? Does he not tally all my steps?

Have you ever made such judgments of yourself and of God?

Job 32:1-2 – So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu… burned with anger at Job because he justified [made right] himself rather than God. (ESV)

Have you ever been like Job? Righteous in your own eyes? Making God wrong by making yourself right?

Then the fourth man, younger than Job and his three friends, spoke up.

Job 34:9-12; 21-23: – For he (Job) has said, ‘It profits a man nothing that he should take delight in God.’ “Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding: far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong. For according to the work of a man he will repay him, and according to his ways he will make it befall him. Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice… “For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps. There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themselves. For God has no need to consider a man further, that he should go before God in judgment. (ESV)

Job 35:2-7 – “Do you think this to be just? Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’ that you ask, ‘What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?‘ I will answer you and your friends with you. Look at the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds, which are higher than you. If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him? And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him? If you are righteous, what do you give to him? Or what does he receive from your hand? (ESV)

Job 35:9-16 – “When times get bad, people cry out for help. They cry for relief from being kicked around, But never give God a thought when things go well, when God puts spontaneous songs in their hearts, When God sets out the entire creation as a science classroom, using birds and beasts to teach wisdom. People are arrogantly indifferent to God — until, of course, they’re in trouble, and then God is indifferent to them. There’s nothing behind such prayers except panic; the Almighty pays them no mind. So why would he notice you just because you say you’re tired of waiting to be heard, Or waiting for him to get good and angry and do something about the world’s problems? “Job, you talk sheer nonsense — nonstop nonsense!” (MSG)

We know him not

Pause to consider how this young man’s knowledge of the Lord God differed from Job’s. How does our knowledge and understanding of God affect our relationship with him and how we interpret our life experience?

According to the work of a man the Lord God will repay him, and according to his ways he will make it befall him. Do you see the mystery of paradox in this thought? Job is seeing from his little self’s perspective. He is not seeing from the big, perfect perspective of the loving, knowing, allowing heart of the Lord God!

It makes no sense to us to look upon suffering as a blessing, as an invitation to an even greater knowing of the Lord God. So, we misjudge and mischaracterize God and doubt him. We tend to think we earn points of approval that make us worthy of blessing and good gifts and immune to suffering if we obey rules and do good works. Then we begin to question when we don’t seem to get rewarded as we expect.

Job 36:21 – Take care; do not turn to iniquity, for this you have chosen rather than affliction. (ESV)

You have chosen iniquity rather than affliction. Can we discern our choice between affliction and iniquity in our everyday life experiences, if we consciously pay careful attention to the sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart?

Iniquity: to pant, to exert oneself, usually in vain; to come to naught; strictly nothingness; trouble, vanity, specifically an idol.16

Did Job have any idea this is what he was doing until he was confronted with it? Have you done this very same thing? Turning to iniquity, nothingness, an idol, rather than choosing affliction? Are you open to allowing affliction to do it’s revelatory work?

Then the Lord God himself answered Job.

Job 40:6-8 – Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? (ESV)

Now my eye sees you!

When the Lord God finished questioning Job, Job declared:

Job 42:5-6 – I had heard of you [Lord God] by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (ESV)

I had heard of you: to hear intelligently, often with the implication of attention, obedience.17
By the hearing of the ear: something heard, i.e. a sound, rumor, announcement.18
But now!
But now my eye
My eye: literally or figuratively; by analogy, a fountain, as the eye of the landscape.19

But now I see a bigger, broader, more detailed picture, more profound, more meaningful, the source, the origin of life and purpose.

But now my eye sees you. To approve, behold, discern, have experience, meet, perceive, respect.20

It is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty that makes him understand.
But now my eye sees you. I perceive and I respect and I approve of you and your ways, Lord God.
Therefore, I despise myself (the vessel of wrath)
Despise: Spurn, to disappear. Abhor, cast away, loathe, reject.21
And repent. To sigh, i.e. breathe strongly; to be sorry; to pity, console.22

Willing. To breathe after. To quietly consent without protest.
Return to dust. Surrender. Wait.

The Lord God does not want us to simply hear about him and base our lives on what we’ve heard. The Lord God wants us to see him, perceive him, be intimately acquainted with him, know him, the source, the origin of life and purpose.

His eyes are on our ways, to give each of us according to our ways in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory!

Through hardship and suffering and affliction he delivers the afflicted and opens our ears. Far be it from the Lord God to pervert justice!

Ps 145:17 – The Lord is righteous [right] in all his ways and kind in all his works. (ESV)

The Lord God never ceases to call us each by name. The One who is the bottomless gulf of Love ceaselessly calls to the empty ruin of our soul to make known Life.

He is ever calling and drawing each of us into closer fellowship with him. He wants us to know him. For life is in knowing him.

Interact with the words of Scripture through deep, careful study.

Read the Lord God’s words. Read slowly. Read reflectively. Let his words sink in. Ruminate upon his words. Take from them what he wants to give to you.

Meditate. Experience the word of Scripture bodily by moaning, growling, uttering, speaking aloud each word, syllable by syllable. Experience the words of Scripture expressing the longing and desire and hope in the depth of your own soul. Become acquainted with your longing. Anticipate that your soul’s longing will be satisfied, its hunger will be filled with good things, and it will be healed and made complete again. Let the inspired word of God arouse feelings of awe.

Respond by setting your thoughts and emotions aside and let your heart speak to God without words.

Then move beyond logic and reason; move from head to heart to spirit.

Simply rest in God’s words. Listen to God at the deepest level of your inner being. Listen as Love speaks with a still small voice that moves you to silence and an ever-deepening listening in which the Word becomes active and alive in you, gradually transforming you from within.23

2 Cor 13:14 – the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, [is] with you all! Amen. (YLT)

Contemplate. Sit quietly without thinking, without murmuring. Simply be. Become conscious of your companions. Longing for you. Your longing for them.

Stay in this place of rest and fellowship for as long as you can.

When finished, select just one word or phrase and carry it with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Let it soak deep into your soul. Tomorrow meditate on the entire text again. Select the same word or phrase or a different one to carry with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Do this practice every day. Let God’s Word begin to fill your soul with good things.

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it. (Ps 119:15-16 MSG)

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

I encourage you to look for ways and practices to help you become aware of Holy Spirit and to relinquish all that you have and all that you are to Holy Spirit’s convicting, enlightening, restorative ministrations.

Do you regularly focus on your soul’s condition and needs as you do your body’s condition and needs? Your soul is dependent upon the steady flow of the breath of the Almighty just as your physical body is dependent upon breath to prosper and flourish.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Focus intently on your breath to the exclusion of all else.

Inhale deeply.
Exhale deeply.

Become aware of the condition of your soul.
Pour out your soul. Spill it.

Begin by paying attention to the sayings of your mouth.

Speak openly and honestly to the Lord God. Express aloud and/or write down your thoughts, fears, questions, desires… God already knows what’s in your heart/soul/mind, but you may not until you work at getting honest with yourself and with God.

Express aloud or write down what you know about God, his/her character, words, ways, works, purposes, justice, thoughts about you…

Now examine the meditation of your heart.

Meditation is an exercise/experience in which the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart can be corrected or affirmed in the light of God’s words which reveal who God is and who you are; what God is doing and what you are doing; how God is doing it and how you are doing it regarding life.

Inhale deeply.
Exhale.
Become aware of your breath.
It is the spirit in you, the breath of the Almighty, that gives you understanding.

The Lord God calls in a great variety of ways.
Even through affliction, oppression, suffering.
Choose affliction if he sends it!
Bear it patiently,
Breathing only after the Lord God.
Cry out only to him for help when he binds you.

Be still.
Feel the wind of the Spirit
Blowing
As the Spirit of God hovers, broods, protecting you
As new life forms in the empty, hollow ruin of your soul.

Deep calls to deep
Laid bare, revealed
Without form
Void
Dark
Ignorant
Miserable
Deep calls to deep
Addressing you by name.

Respond to him
Who waits to be gracious to you
Respond to him
Who waits to make himself known
Respond to him
Who waits to make you, his vessel of mercy, known.

O Lord!
I hurt.
My flesh. My bones. My heart and soul.

O Lord!
I hurt.
My innards churn and hum a chaotic, disorderly noise. Agitation. Rage. War. Clamor. Deep within me.

O Lord!
I hurt.
I moan.

O Lord!
I hurt.
An abyss. Deep. Darkness. Misery. Destruction. Ignorance. Sorrow. Wickedness. Death. Where are you?

O Lord!
I hurt.
I lay waste. Desolate. Empty.

Darkness.
Thick darkness.
I go forward, but you are not there.
I go backward, but I do not perceive you.
I go left, but I do not behold you.
I turn to the right, but I do not see you.
Where are you?

Wind.
Breath.
Violent exhalation.
Is that you, Lord God?
I wait.
I trust.

The Spirit of God hovering as with protective wings.
The Spirit of God brooding.
The Spirit of God protecting.
Life.

I thought I knew who I was and what I was about,
Until I was accosted, addressed by name by One I’d never seen or heard or known before.

Hollow. Empty. Worthless. Depressed. Meaningless. Vain,
Until I was accosted, addressed by name by One I’d never seen or heard or known before.

Accosted, addressed by name.
I was stripped. I was equipped for fight. I was strengthened.
By One present whom I’d never seen or heard or known before.
I wrestled. I struggled heart to heart, mind to mind, strength to strength, seeking, yearning.

Accosted, addressed by name. Made naked. Revealed
Through misery and depression in mind and circumstances
By One present whom I’d never seen or heard or known before.

Deep calls to deep.
The bottomless gulf. Hollow. Empty. Worthless. Depressed. Meaningless. Vain.

Overpowered and destroyed by the bottomless gulf that is the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the steadfast, enduring love of God, and the sweet, abiding fellowship of Holy Spirit.

Surrender in contemplation.

This is where you’ve gone as far as you can go with your body, mind, and will. This is where you let go and allow God. This is where Holy Spirit works with your spirit to reconcile God and you, what God is doing and what you are doing, how God is doing it and how you are doing it regarding life.

I had heard of you [Lord God] by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5-6 – ESV)

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Wait in silence
In the presence of One whom you’ve perhaps never seen or heard or known before.
Wait in silence
In anticipation of seeing as you’ve never seen before, knowing as you’ve never known before
Aware of being known as you’ve never been aware before.

Stay in this position of stillness, silence and anticipation for as long as you can. Simply be.
Close your eyes.

When ready,
Breathe in
Breathe out

Rise.
Empowered to rest completely dependent upon the Lord God. Filled. Strengthened. Quiet. Trusting. In proper relationship.

Rise. To new life. From the inner sanctuary in the deep of your soul, rise in ever-flowing communion with the call from the deep that is the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of Holy Spirit.

Rise to live as he reveals who you really are, his praise in your mouth continually, his word the unceasing meditation of your heart through complete dependence on the breath of the Almighty, moment by moment!

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (Phil 4:23 ESV)

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

 

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Deep: OT:8415 <START HEBREW><ohT=<END HEBREW> tehowm (teh-home’); or tehom (teh-home’); (usually feminine) from OT:1949; an abyss (as a surging mass of water), especially the deep (the main sea or the subterranean water-supply):

OT:1949 <START HEBREW><Wh <END HEBREW> huwm (hoom); a primitive root [compare OT:2000]; to make an uproar, or agitate greatly:

OT:2000 <START HEBREW><m^h*<END HEBREW> hamam (haw-mam’); a primitive root [compare OT:1949, OT:1993]; properly, to put in commotion; by implication, to disturb, drive, destroy:

OT:1993 <START HEBREW>hm*h*<END HEBREW> hamah (haw-maw’); a primitive root [compare OT:1949]; to make a loud sound like Engl. “hum”); by implication, to be in great commotion or tumult, to rage, war, moan, clamor: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

2Turmoil/disquiet: OT:1993 <START HEBREW>hm*h*<END HEBREW> hamah (haw-maw’); a primitive root [compare OT:1949]; to make a loud sound like Engl. “hum”); by implication, to be in great commotion or tumult, to rage, war, moan, clamor: KJV – clamorous, concourse, cry aloud, be disquieted, loud, mourn, be moved, make a noise, rage, roar, sound, be troubled, make in tumult, tumultuous, be in an uproar. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3Without form: OT:8414 <START HEBREW>WhT) <END HEBREW> tohuw (to’-hoo); from an unused root meaning to lie waste; a desolation (of surface), i.e. desert; figuratively, a worthless thing; adverbially, in vain: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4Void: OT:922 <START HEBREW>WhB)<END HEBREW> bohuw (bo’-hoo); from an unused root (meaning to be empty); a vacuity, i.e. (superficially) an undistinguishable ruin:(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

5Darkness: OT:2822 <START HEBREW>Ev#j) <END HEBREW> choshek (kho-shek’); from OT:2821; the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

6Spirit: OT:7307 <START HEBREW>j^Wr <END HEBREW> ruwach (roo’-akh); from OT:7306; wind; by resemblance breath, i.e. a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively, life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension, a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

SPIRIT; BREATH: ruach OT:7307, “breath; air; strength; wind; breeze; spirit; courage; temper; Spirit.” This noun has cognates in Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Arabic. The word occurs about 378 times and in all periods of biblical Hebrew.

First, this word means “breath,” air for breathing, air that is being breathed. This meaning is especially evident in Jer 14:6: “And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons….” When one’s “breath” returns, he is revived: “…when he [Samson] had drunk [the water], his spirit [literally, “breath”] came again, and he revived…” Judg 15:19. Astonishment may take away one’s “breath”: “And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the home that he had built, And the meat of his table,… there was no more spirit in her [she was overwhelmed and breathless]” 1 Kings 10:4-5. Ruach may also represent speaking, or the breath of one’s mouth: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” Ps. 33:6>; cf. Ex 15:8; Job 4:9; 19:17.

Second, this word can be used with emphasis on the invisible, intangible, fleeting quality of “air“: “O remember that my life is wind: mine eyes shall no more see good” Job 7:7. There may be a suggestion of purposelessness, uselessness, or even vanity (emptiness) when ruach is used with this significance: “And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them…” Jer 5:13. “Windy words” are really “empty words” Job 16:3, just as “windy knowledge” is “empty knowledge” Job 15:2 cf. Eccl 1:14,17 — ” meaningless striving”. In Prov 11:29 ruach means “nothing”: “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind….” This nuance is especially prominent in Eccl 5:15-16: “And he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labor, which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath labored for the wind?”

Third, ruach can mean “wind.” In Gen 3:8 it seems to mean the gentle, refreshing evening breeze so well known in the Near East: “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [literally, “breeze”] of the day….” It can mean a strong, constant wind: “…and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night…” Ex 10:13. It can also signify an extremely strong wind: “And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind…” Ex 10:19. In Jer 4:11 the word appears to represent a gale or tornado (cf. Hos 8:7). God is the Creator Amos 4:13 and sovereign Controller of the winds Gen 8:1; Num 11:31; Jer 10:13.

Fourth, the wind represents direction. In Jer 49:36 the four winds represent the four ends of the earth, which in turn represent every quarter: “And upon Elam will I bring the four winds [peoples from every quarter of the earth] from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.” Akkadian attests the same phrase with the same meaning, and this phrase begins to appear in Hebrew at a time when contact with Akkadian-speaking peoples was frequent.

Fifth, ruach frequently represents the element of life in a man, his natural “spirit“: “And all flesh died that moved upon the earth,… All in whose nostrils was the breath of life…” Gen 7:21-22. In these verses the animals have a “spirit” (cf. Ps 104:29). On the other hand, in Prov 16:2 the word appears to mean more than just the element of life; it seems to mean “soul”: “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits [NASB, “motives”].” Thus, Isaiah can put nepesh, “soul,” and ruach in synonymous parallelism: “With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early…” 26:9. It is the “spirit” of a man that returns to God Eccl 12:7.

Sixth, ruach is often used of a man’s mind-set, disposition, or “temper”: “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” Ps 32:2. In Ezek 13:3 the word is med of one’s mind or thinking: “Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirits, and have seen nothing” (cf. Prov 29:11). Ruach can represent particular dispositions, as it does in Josh 2:11: “And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you…” (cf. Josh 5:1; Job 15:13). Another disposition represented by this word is “temper”: “If the spirit [temper] of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place…” Eccl 10:4. David prayed that God would “restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit” Ps 51:12. In this verse “joy of salvation” and “free Spirit” are parallel and, therefore, synonymous terms. Therefore, “spirit” refers to one’s inner disposition, just as “joy” refers to an inner emotion.

Seventh, the Bible often speaks of God’s “Spirit,” the third person of the Trinity. This is the use of the word in its first biblical occurrence: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” Gen 1:2. Isa 63:10-11 and Ps 51:12 specifically speak of the “holy or free Spirit.”

Eighth, the non-material beings (angels) in heaven are sometimes called “spirits“: “And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him” 1 Kings 22:21; cf. 1 Sam 16:14.

Ninth, the “spirit” may also be used of that which enables a man to do a particular job or that which represents the essence of a quality of man: “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him…” Deut 34:9. Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his “spirit” 2 Kings 2:9 and received it. (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

7Moved: OT:7363 <START HEBREW>[j^r*<END HEBREW> rachaph (raw-khaf’); a primitive root; to brood; by implication, to be relaxed: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

To brood: to hover over or protect (offspring, etc.) with or as with wings. (Webster’s New World Dictionary.)

8Waters: OT:4325 <START HEBREW><y!m^ <END HEBREW> mayim (mah’-yim); dual of a primitive noun (but used in a singular sense); water; figuratively, juice; by euphemism, urine, semen: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

9Calls: OT:7121 <START HEBREW>ar*q*<END HEBREW> qara’ (kaw-raw’); a primitive root [rather identical with OT:7122 through the idea of accosting a person met]; to call out to (i.e. properly, address by name, but used in a wide variety of applications):

OT:7122 <START HEBREW>ar*q*<END HEBREW> qara’ (kaw-raw’); a primitive root: to encounter, whether accidentally or in a hostile manner: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

Accost: to approach and speak to; greet first, before being greeted, esp. in an intrusive way. (Webster’s New World Dictionary.)

10Roar/noise: OT:6963 <START HEBREW>loq <END HEBREW> qowl (kole); or qol (kole); from an unused root meaning to call aloud; a voice or sound: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

11Waterfall/waterspouts: OT:6794 <START HEBREW>rWNx!<END HEBREW> tsinnuwr (tsin-noor’); from an unused root perhaps meaning to be hollow; a culvert: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

12Delivers: OT:2502 <START HEBREW>Jl^j*<END HEBREW> chalats (khaw-lats’); a primitive root; to pull off; hence (intensively) to strip, (reflex.) to depart; by implication, to deliver, equip (for fight); present, strengthen:(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

13The poor: OT:6041 <START HEBREW>yn!u*<END HEBREW> `aniy (aw-nee’); from OT:6031; depressed, in mind or circumstances [practically the same as OT:6035, although the margin constantly disputes this, making OT:6035 subjective and OT:6041 objective]: KJV – afflicted, humble, lowly, needy, poor. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

14Affliction: OT:6040 <START HEBREW>yn!u(<END HEBREW> `oniy (on-ee’); from OT:6031; depression, i.e. misery: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

15Opens: OT:1540 <START HEBREW>hl*G*<END HEBREW> galah (gaw-law’); a primitive root; to denude (especially in a disgraceful sense); by implication, to exile (captives being usually stripped); figuratively, to reveal: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

16Iniquity: OT:205 <START HEBREW>/w#a*<END HEBREW> ‘aven (aw-ven’); from an unused root perhaps meaning properly, to pant (hence, to exert oneself, usually in vain; to come to naught); strictly nothingness; also trouble. vanity, wickedness; specifically an idol: KJV – affliction, evil, false, idol, iniquity, mischief, mourners (-ing), naught, sorrow, unjust, unrighteous, vain vanity, wicked (-ness). Compare OT:369. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

17I had heard of you: OT:8085 <START HEBREW>um^v*<END HEBREW> shama` (shaw-mah’); a primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively, to tell, etc.): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

18By the hearing of: OT:8088 <START HEBREW>um^v@ <END HEBREW> shema` (shay’-mah); from OT:8085; something heard, i.e. a sound, rumor, announcement; abstractly, audience: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

19My eye: OT:5869 <START HEBREW>/y!u^<END HEBREW> `ayin (ah’-yin); probably a primitive word; an eye (literally or figuratively); by analogy, a fountain (as the eye of the landscape): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

20Sees: OT:7200 <START HEBREW>ha*r*<END HEBREW> ra’ah (raw-aw’); a primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitive, intransitive and causative): KJV – adviseself, appear, approve, behold, certainly, consider, discern, (make to) enjoy, have experience, gaze, take heed, indeed, joyfully, lo, look (on, one another, one on another, one upon another, out, up, upon), mark, meet, be near, perceive, present, provide, regard, (have) respect, (fore-, cause to, let) see (-r, -m, one another), shew (self), sight of others, (e-) spy, stare, surely, think, view, visions. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

21Despise: OT:3988 <START HEBREW>sa^m*<END HEBREW> ma’ac (maw-as’); a primitive root; to spurn; also (intransitively) to disappear: KJV – abhor, cast away (off), contemn, despise, disdain, (become) loathe (some), melt away, refuse, reject, reprobate, utterly, vile person. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

22Repent: OT:5162 <START HEBREW><j^n* <END HEBREW> nacham (naw-kham’); a primitive root; properly, to sigh, i.e. breathe strongly; by implication, to be sorry, i.e. (in a favorable sense) to pity, console or (reflexively) rue; or (unfavorably) to avenge (oneself): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

23Lectio Divina as described by the 12th century Carthusian monk called Guigo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guigo_II

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