Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Knowing God - Isaiah 32:17


The effect of righteousness
will be peace,
and the result of righteousness,
quietness and trust forever.
Isaiah 32:17
I want peace ... and quietness ... and trust ... forever.
My only pondering is: What's the difference in this passage between "the effect of" and "the result of"? Not being a Hebrew scholar, here's my best guess ... 
There are two kinds of ways that people tend to find success in the world:
  1. The first work hard for it. They have high ideals and set lofty goals. Imagine, for example, a good employee at work. She works hard and does everything right and gets rewarded for it. 
  2. The second is like my dad. If you asked him about any successes in life, he'd tell you, "he just happened to be in the right place at the right time." He never purposefully chased success, but respect found him anyway simply because he has a unconscious knack for doing what is honorable and right.
Like I said, I'm not a Hebrew scholar. But I think that's the way it is with these results and effects. Some of the results are what we earn by working hard and doing the right thing. Others are just the natural, unconscious fruit of rightousness. 
Therefore, our Advent Adventure is simply doing right ... doing right ... doing right ... following the commandments ... loving others ... being fair and generous ... and doing right ... until it becomes an absolute habit.
What habit, therefore, do you need to break so that peace ... quietness ... and trust ... might find you more consistently ... and forever?
In Christ's Love,
a guy who wants to be unconscious
(wait ... that sounds bad.
Don't knock me over the head ...
just pray for my unconscious, ingrained habits!)
Peace? nope. Quietness? nope. Trust? NOPE.
But you can still do what is right and not have these three.  I *think* I do what is right and have been battling inner wars with no peace and quietness.  I am often fidgety and restless lately - there is no peace and quiet in me.  And as for trust ... I don't. I have been taught that to trust is to set yourself up to be hurt at the least and to have your heart shattered and dreams ripped apart at the worst.

I haven't thought of trust as security and safety. I have been accused of using an object recently as a 'security blanket.' - I defended it today as being something tangible. real. I could hold this object. I knew it was here. It is a choice I can realistically make.  But ... for these same reasons i have trouble trusting God.  He isn't tangible. I can't hold him or even touch him.  To trust him is blind faith and a willingness to be vulnerable.  I don't know if I am strong enough to do that ... or willing to take the risk for that matter. Making an admittedly wrong choice and paying the consequences is often an easier option.

I was curious about the words 'effect' and 'result' also so I looked at several versions of the verse.  Here's what I found: The effect [fruit, work] of righteousness [work] [that fairness] will be peace and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust [security and safety] [confidence] [quiet trust, calm and safety, take away fear] forever.

Then I broke it down by the Strong's Hebrew definitions:
"The effect [deed, work, thing done, act, labour, business, pursuit, undertaking, enterprise, achievement, works (of deliverance and judgment), thing made, work (of God), product] of righteousness [justice, righteousness (in government) of judge, ruler, king, of law, of Davidic king Messiah, righteousness (of God's attribute), righteousness (in a case or cause), truthfulness, righteousness (as ethically right), righteousness (as vindicated), justification, salvation, of God, prosperity (of people), righteous acts] will be peace [completeness, soundness, welfare, peace,completeness (in number), safety, soundness (in body), welfare, health, prosperity, quiet, tranquillity, contentment, friendship, of human relationships, with God especially in covenant relationship, peace (from war), peace (as adjective)] and the result [labour, service, work, labour (of servant or slave), labour, service (of captives or subjects), service (of God)] of righteousness [see above], quietness [to be quiet, be tranquil, be at peace, rest, lie still, be undisturbed, be undisturbed, to be at peace (of land), to be quiet, be inactive, to show quietness, quietness, display of quietness, to quiet, be quiet, to cause quietness, pacify, allay] and trust [security, safety, securely, safely, carelessly, careless, safe,  assurance, boldly, care, confidence, hope, secure, surelyforever."

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