My Spirit Will Not Leave Them

An eternal relationship of love and loyalty.

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.

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)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

Meditating and resting.

Do you have a regular practice of meditating on God’s Word and resting in his promises? This is a vital part of the sanctification process, a separation and surrendering to the will of God for you.

Sanctification.

Sanctification is not an attainment, it is the state into which God, in grace, calls sinful people, and in which they begin their course as Christians, followers of Christ. It is a separation to God; it is the relationship with God to which their sole title is the death of Christ. Sanctification is God’s will, his purpose in calling sinful people by the gospel, and must be learned from God as he teaches it by his Word. It must be pursued by the believer, earnestly and undeviatingly, for the holy character is built up little by little, as the result of obedience to the Word of God, and following the example of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Agent in sanctification. The sanctification of the Spirit is associated with the choice of God; it is a Divine act preceding the acceptance of the Gospel by the individual.1

Lectio Divina.

I encourage you to practice Lectio Divina – taking in just a small bite of Scripture each day, and chewing on it all day, all week, all month, all year, all life long, giving Holy Spirit time and access to the deep recesses of your heart to cleanse and nourish your soul as you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Pet 3:18).

“Lectio Divina”, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. …the stages…

lectio (reading)… meditatio (reflection)… oratio (response)… contemplatio (rest), where we… simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within… The movement of the prayer is towards silence… The practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the Scriptures has been a fruitful source of growing in relationship with Christ for many centuries and in our own day is being rediscovered by many individuals and groups. The Word of God is alive and active and will transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us.2

Lectio.

Reading. Read the Word of God slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into you.

2 Chron 13:5 – Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? (ESV)

Meditatio.

Reflection. Think about the text and ruminate upon it so that you take from it what God wants to give you.

2 Chron 13:5 – Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? (ESV)

Grace.

Isa 55:3 – Open your ears, and come to me; listen well, and you will live — I will make an everlasting covenant with you, the grace I assured David. (CJB)

Open your ears.
Listen well.
And you will live.
The grace I assured David.
An everlasting covenant.

I am the one.

Isa 43:25-28 – I, yes I, am the one who blots out your offenses for my own sake; I will not remember your sins. Remind me when we’re in court together — tell your side, make the case that you are right. Your first father sinned, and your spokesmen rebelled against me. Therefore I repudiated the officials of the sanctuary, delivered Ya‘akov [Jacob] to the curse of destruction, and subjected Isra’el to scorn. (CJB)

Delivered to the curse of destruction.

Physical, as shutting in a net, either literally or figuratively; usually a doomed object: cursed, dedicated thing, things which should have been utterly destroyed, appointed to utter destruction, devoted thing. To seclude; specifically, by a ban to devote to religious uses (especially destruction); make accursed, consecrate, utterly destroy, devote, forfeit.3

Might there be reason to hope for something good to follow the curse of destruction?

Delivered to the curse of destruction.
Cursed.
A dedicated thing, which should have been utterly destroyed.
Devoted thing.
Make accursed.
Consecrate.
Utterly destroy.
Devote.

I am
The one
Who blots out your offenses for my own sake.
I will not remember your sins.

Open your ears.
Listen well.
And you will live.
The grace I assured David.
An everlasting covenant.

2 Chron 13:5 – Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? (ESV)

The Lord still dwells upon the subject of his grace, and Israel’s unworthiness, by way of pointing out his long-suffering, and the necessity of their soul exercises. And, Reader, in this charge, you and I may, equally with Israel, plead guilty. In all ages of the Church, it will be found the same. It is our rebellion which brings upon us the necessary chastisements of a kind Father. Both in original, and actual transgression, we have all sinned and come short of God’s glory!

…Say, my soul, hath not the Lord created thee, and formed thee; not only in the original creation of nature, but in the new creation by grace? Hath not the Lord called thee, redeemed thee, and declared thee to be his own, both by the purchase of his blood and the conquests of his grace? And is it not true that while the Lord saith, This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise; thou art earnestly longing to praise and glorify him for all the tokens of his distinguishing grace? Take then the comfort in these sweet promises, and let neither fiery flames nor stormy seas, in the most tribulated path yet remaining for thee to go through, distress; for Jesus (he saith it himself) is with thee, and will conduct thee, and carry thee safely through them all. Oh! thou gracious Lord of all my mercies; thou Holy One of Israel, my Saviour!4

Power and steadfast love belong to God.

Ps 62:11-12 – Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work. (ESV)

You will render to a person according to their work.

Then a Redeemer will come.

Isa 59:18-21 – He repays according to their deeds — fury to his foes, reprisal to his enemies; to the coastlands he will repay their due; in the west they will fear the name of Adonai, and likewise, in the east, his glory. For he will come like a pent-up stream, impelled by the Spirit of Adonai. “Then a Redeemer will come to Tziyon [Zion], to those in Ya‘akov [Jacob] who turn from rebellion.” So says Adonai.

“And as for me,” says Adonai [the LORD], “this is my covenant with them: my Spirit, who rests on you, and my words which I put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children’s children, now or ever,” says Adonai. (CJB)

He repays according to their deeds.

He repays: to be safe in mind, body or estate; figuratively, to be (causatively, make) completed; by implication to be friendly; make amends, finish, give again, make good, make to be at peace, perfect, make prosper, restore.5

Note the all-encompassing terms of the covenant: repayment according to our deeds, then a Redeemer will come. To make us complete.

Delivered to the curse of destruction.
Cursed.
A dedicated thing, which should have been utterly destroyed.
Devoted thing.
Make accursed.
Consecrate.
Utterly destroy.
Devote.

I am
The one
Who blots out your offenses for my own sake.
I will not remember your sins.

I repay.
To make you safe in mind, body, estate.
To complete you.
To be friendly.
To make amends, finish, perfect, restore, make you prosper.
To make you to be at peace with me and with all.

Open your ears.
Listen well.
And you will live.
The grace I assured David.
An everlasting covenant.

My Spirit will not leave them.

Isa 59:21 – “And this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the LORD, have spoken! (NLT)

These words that I have given you will not leave them.
My Spirit will not leave them.

A relationship of love and loyalty.

…”Covenant” is parallel or equivalent to the Hebrew words dabar (“word”), hoq (“statute”), piqqud (“precepts”), edah (“testimony”) torah (“law”), and checed (“lovingkindness”). These words emphasize the authority and grace of God in making and keeping the “covenant,” and the specific responsibility of man under the covenant…

Men “enter into” or “join” God’s “covenant.” They are to obey and “observe carefully” all the commandments of the “covenant”. But above all, the “covenant” calls Israel to “love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might”. God’s “covenant” is a relationship of love and loyalty between the Lord and His chosen people.

… The Bible relates God’s “covenant” purpose, that man be joined to Him in loving service and know eternal fellowship with Him through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.6

2 Chron 13:5 – Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? (ESV)

In the Lord’s word I hope.

Ps 130:3-5 – If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; (ESV)

He does not deal with us according to our sins.

Ps 103:8-11 – The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; (ESV)

What word or phrase stirs you? Take some time to murmur and mumble the word/s, taking a kind of pleasure in making the sounds and getting the feel of the meaning. Take in what God wants to give you that will make you more yourself, created in his image and likeness.7

Oratio.

Response. Leave your thinking aside and simply let your heart speak to God. This response is inspired by your reflection on the Word of God.

Prayer means yearning for the simple presence of God, for a personal understanding of his word, for knowledge of his will and for capacity to hear and obey him. It is thus something much more than uttering petitions for good things external to our own deepest concerns…

We wish to gain a true evaluation of ourselves and of the world so as to understand the meaning of our life as children of God redeemed from sin and death. We wish to gain a true loving knowledge of God, our Father and Redeemer. We wish to lose ourselves in his love and rest in him. We wish to hear his word and respond to it with our whole being. We wish to know his merciful will and submit to it in its totality. These are the aims and goals of meditation and oratio.8

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

Contemplatio.

Rest. Let go of your own ideas, plans and meditations, your holy words and thoughts. Simply rest in the Word of God. Listen at the deepest level of your being to God who speaks within you with a still small voice. As you listen, you are gradually transformed from within. Take what you read in the Word of God into your daily life. The way you live is the test of the authenticity of your prayer.

Christ’s rest is not a rest from work, but in work, “not the rest of inactivity but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections—of will, heart, imagination, conscience—because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development.9

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Sanctification: A. Noun. hagiasmos (<START GREEK>a)giasmo/$ <END GREEK>, NT:38), “sanctification,” is used of (a) separation to God, 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; (b) the course of life befitting those so separated, 1 Thess 4:3,4,7; Rom 6:19,22; 1 Tim 2:15; Heb 12:14. “Sanctification is that relationship with God into which men enter by faith in Christ, Acts 26:18; 1 Cor 6:11, and to which their sole title is the death of Christ, Eph 5:25,26; Col 1:22; Heb 10:10,29; 13:12.

“Sanctification is also used in NT of the separation of the believer from evil things and ways. This sanctification is God’s will for the believer, 1 Thess 4:3, and His purpose in calling him by the gospel, v. 7; it must be learned from God, v. 4, as He teaches it by His Word, John 17:17,19, cf. Ps 17:4; 119:9, and it must be pursued by the believer, earnestly and undeviatingly, 1 Tim 2:15; Heb 12:14. For the holy character, hagiosune, 1 Thess 3:13, is not vicarious, i. e., it cannot be transferred or imputed, it is an individual possession, built up, little by little, as the result of obedience to the Word of God, and of following the example of Christ, Matt 11:29; John 13:15; Eph 4:20; Phil 2:5, in the power of the Holy Spirit, Rom 8:13; Eph 3:16.

“The Holy Spirit is the Agent in sanctification, Rom 15:16; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; cf. 1 Cor 6:11…. The sanctification of the Spirit is associated with the choice, or election, of God; it is a Divine act preceding the acceptance of the Gospel by the individual.”

From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 115, 271.

For synonymous words see HOLINESS.

  1. Verb. hagiazo (<START GREEK>a(gia/zw <END GREEK>, NT:37), “to sanctify,” “is used of (a) the gold adorning the Temple and of the gift laid on the altar, Matt 23:17,19; (b) food, 1 Tim 4:5; (c) the unbelieving spouse of a believer, 1 Cor 7:14; (d) the ceremonial cleansing of the Israelites, Heb 9:13; (e) the Father’s Name, Luke 11:2; (f) the consecration of the Son by the Father, John 10:36; (g) the Lord Jesus devoting Himself to the redemption of His people, John 17:19; (h) the setting apart of the believer for God, Acts 20:32; cf. Rom 15:16; (i) the effect on the believer of the Death of Christ, Heb 10:10, said of God, and 2:11; 13:12, said of the Lord Jesus; (j) the separation of the believer from the world in his behavior — by the Father through the Word, John 17:17,19; (k) the believer who turns away from such things as dishonor God and His gospel, 2 Tim 2:21; (l) the acknowledgment of the Lordship of Christ, 1 Peter 3:15.

“Since every believer is sanctified in Christ Jesus, 1 Cor 1:2, cf. Heb 10:10, a common NT designation of all believers is ‘saints,’ hagioi, i. e., ‘sanctified’ or ‘holy ones.’ Thus sainthood, or sanctification, is not an attainment, it is the state into which God, in grace, calls sinful men, and in which they begin their course as Christians, Col 3:12; Heb 3:1.”

From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 113, 114.

(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

2https://www.ocarm.org/en/carmelites/what-lectio-divina

3Curse: OT:2764 <START HEBREW><r#j@ <END HEBREW> cherem (khay’-rem); or (Zech 14:11) cherem (kheh’-rem); from OT:2763; physical (as shutting in) a net (either literally or figuratively); usually a doomed object; abstr. extermination: KJV – (ac-) curse (-d, -d thing), dedicated thing, things which should have been utterly destroyed, (appointed to) utter destruction, devoted (thing), net.

OT:2763 <START HEBREW><r^j* <END HEBREW> charam (khaw-ram’); a primitive root; to seclude; specifically (by a ban) to devote to religious uses (especially destruction); physical and reflexive, to be blunt as to the nose: KJV – make accursed, consecrate, (utterly) destroy, devote, forfeit, have a flat nose, utterly (slay, make away). (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.)

4Commentary on Isaiah 43:26-28 from Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary. Biblesoft Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2014 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.

5He repays: OT:7999 <START HEBREW><l^v* <END HEBREW> shalam (shaw-lam’); a primitive root; to be safe (in mind, body or estate); figuratively, to be (causatively, make) completed; by implication, to be friendly; by extension, to reciprocate (in various applications): KJV – make amends, (make an) end, finish, full, give again, make good, (re-) pay (again), (make) (to) (be at) peace (-able), that is perfect, perform, (make) prosper (-ous), recompense, render, requite, make restitution, restore, reward,  surely. (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.)

6COVENANT: berit OT:1285, “covenant; league; confederacy.” This word is most probably derived from an Akkadian root meaning “to fetter”; it has parallels in Hittite, Egyptian, Assyrian, and Aramaic. Berit is used over 280 times and in all parts of the Old Testament. The first occurrence of the word is in Gen 6:18: “But with thee [Noah] will I establish my covenant.”

The KJV translates berit fifteen times as “league”: “…now therefore make ye a league with us” Josh 9:6. These are all cases of political agreement within Israel 2 Sam 3:12-13,21; 5:3 or between nations 1 Kings 15:19. Later versions may use “covenant,” “treaty,” or “compact,” but not consistently. In Judg 2:2, the KJV has: “And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land….” The command had been also given in Ex 23:32; 34:12-16; and Deut 7:2-6, where the KJV has “covenant.”

The KJV translates berit as “covenant” 260 times. The word is used of “agreements between men,” as Abraham and Abimelech Gen 21:32: “Thus they made a covenant at Beer-sheba….” David and Jonathan made a “covenant” of mutual protection that would be binding on David’s descendants forever 1 Sam 18:3; 20:8,16-18,42. In these cases, there was “mutual agreement confirmed by oath in the name of the Lord.” Sometimes there were also material pledges Gen 21:28-31.

Ahab defeated the Syrians: “So he made a covenant with [Ben-hadad], and sent him away” 1 Kings 20:34. The king of Babylon “took of the king’s seed [Zedekiah], and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him…” Ezek 17:13, NIV, “treaty”. In such “covenants,” the terms were imposed by the superior military power; they were not mutual agreements.

In Israel, the kingship was based on “covenant”: “…David made a covenant [KJV, “league”] with them [the elders of Israel] in Hebron before the Lord…” 2 Sam 5:3. The “covenant” was based on their knowledge that God had appointed him 2 Sam 5:2; thus they became David’s subjects (cf. 2 Kings 11:4,17).

The great majority of occurrences of berit are of God’s “covenants” with men, as in Gen 6:18 above. The verbs used are important: “I will establish my covenant” Gen 6:18 — literally, “cause to stand” or “confirm.” “I will make my covenant” Gen 17:2, RSV. “He declared to you his covenant” Deut 4:13. “My covenant which I commanded them…” Josh 7:11. “I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore… I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” Ex 6:5-6. God will not reject Israel for their disobedience so as “to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them…” Lev 26:44. “He will not… forget the covenant… which he sware unto them” Deut 4:31. The most common verb is “to cut [karat] a covenant,” which is always translated as in Gen 15:18: “The Lord made a covenant with Abram.” This use apparently comes from the ceremony described in Gen 15:9-17 (cf. Jer 34:18), in which God appeared as “a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp [flaming torch] that passed between those pieces” Gen 15:17. These verbs make it plain that God takes the sole initiative in covenant making and fulfillment.

“Covenant” is parallel or equivalent to the Hebrew words dabar (“word”), hoq (“statute”), piqqud (“precepts” — Ps. 103:18>, NASB), ±edah (“testimony” — Ps. 25:10>), torah (“law” — Ps. 78:10>), and checed (“lovingkindness” — Deut. 7:9>, NASB). These words emphasize the authority and grace of God in making and keeping the “covenant,” and the specific responsibility of man under the covenant. The words of the “covenant” were written in a book Ex 24:4,7; Deut 31:24-26 and on stone tablets Ex 34:28.

Men “enter into” Deut 29:12 or “join” Jer 50:5 God’s “covenant.” They are to obey Gen 12:4 and “observe carefully” all the commandments of the “covenant” Deut 4:6. But above all, the “covenant” calls Israel to “love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” Deut 6:5. God’s “covenant” is a relationship of love and loyalty between the Lord and His chosen people.

“…If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people… and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation” Ex 19:5-6. “All the commandments… shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers” Deut 8:1. In the “covenant,” man’s response contributes to covenant fulfillment; yet man’s action is not causative. God’s grace always goes before and produces man’s response.

Occasionally, Israel “made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments…, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book” 2 Kings 23:3. This is like their original promise: “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do” Ex 19:8; 24:7. Israel did not propose terms or a basis of union with God. They responded to God’s “covenant.”

The wholly gracious and effective character of God’s “covenant” is confirmed in the Septuagint by the choice of diatheke to translate berit. A diatheke is a will that distributes one’s property after death according to the owner’s wishes. It is completely unilateral. In the New Testament, diatheke occurs 33 times and is translated in the KJV 20 times as “covenant” and 13 times as “testament.” In the RSV and the NASB, only “covenant” is used.

The use of “Old Testament” and “New Testament” as the names for the two sections of the Bible indicates that God’s “covenant” is central to the entire book. The Bible relates God’s “covenant” purpose, that man be joined to Him in loving service and know eternal fellowship with Him through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.

(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

7“Meditate (hagah) is a bodily action; it involves murmuring and mumbling words, taking a kind of physical pleasure in making the sounds of the words, getting the feel of the meaning as the syllables are shaped by larynx and tongue and lips. Isaiah used this word “meditate” for the sounds that a lion makes over its prey (Isa 31:4). They purr and growl in pleasurable anticipation of taking in what will make them more themselves, strong, lithe, swift.” From: Peterson, Eugene H. (1991). Answering God: The Psalms As Tools For Prayer (pg 26). New York, NY: HarperCollins.

8Thomas Merton (2014). Contemplative Prayer (pg 45-46). New York, NY: Image Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC.

9Rest: anapausis (<START GREEK>a)na/pausi$<END GREEK>, NT:372), “cessation, refreshment, rest” (ana, “up,” pauo, “to make to cease”), the constant word in the Sept. for the Sabbath “rest,” is used in Matt 11:29; here the contrast seems to be to the burdens imposed by the Pharisees. Christ’s “rest” is not a “rest” from work, but in work, “not the rest of inactivity but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections — of will, heart, imagination, conscience — because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development” (J. Patrick, in Hastings’ Bib. Dic.); it occurs also in Matt 12:43; Luke 11:24; Rev 4:8, RV, “(they have no) rest” [KJV, “(they) rest (not)”], where the noun is the object of the verb echo, “to have”; so in 14:11… (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

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