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keck553
Apr 24th 2013, 09:42 PM
The Hebrew word for “believe” is “aman” (pronounced aw-mawn). It is spelled with the Hebrew letters “alef-mem-nun-sofit.” In contexts, it can mean “verify,” “establish.” ”confirm,” or “cause to be nourished.” It carries with it a certainly of 100% probability. This is not merely a mental abstract. One of the meanings in context is “caused to be nourished.” There is a tie in with this definition – In Genesis 17 when God appeared to Abram God He revealed Himself to Abraham as “El Shaddai.” The word “Shaddai” comes from the root “shad” which typifies a nursing mother – protecting ferociously and nurturing lovingly.
“Aman” is first mentioned before God reveals Himself as “El Shaddai,” and that is in Genesis chapter 15 (15:6 - And he believed (aman) in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness), which is a foundational verse in the Bible).
It leads us to ask some questions answered in the previous 5 verses –


What was Abram’s response to being favored by God?
What did God offer as verification of His favor to Abram?
Was Abram promised something he could do himself?

Using Scripture to teach Scripture, we find Romans 4:1-8 has something to tell us about Genesis 15:
“What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

This belief is more than just a mental exercise. Abram “lived into” his belief. Consider how an infant “believes” (aman) in his mother. Can that child provide for himself? Can that child protect himself? But, does that child ‘do’ something to find his nourishment? In doing so, does that child’s action/works (suckling) earn him his nourishment? This is a picture of Abam’s response to God, instinctively seeking God as an infant would his source of sustaining life. This wasn’t lost on Jesus – “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it (Mark 10:15).
In Greek, “aman” is “pisteuo.” It is used multiple times in Hebrews, notably for this purpose in 11:6: “But without faith (pistis) it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe (pisteuo – aman) that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Tie this in with Genesis 15:1: “After these things the word of the LORD cam to Abram in a vision, saying “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

The point I am trying to make is that faith is not passive. Faith is something we live into. Faith describes our actions in response to any circumstance, and if true, it must be steadfast in all circumstances. Which is why I made the faith list in another thread.
In Hebraic thought, and thus Biblical context, faith is a picture of a nursing child, and that principal will guide the deeds of the true believer. As Jesus said – “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples.” (John 8:31 paraphrased).

My pastor at our church the other week described it this: “Imagine a man who sets up a rope to walk across Niagara Falls. A crowd gathers to watch and he crosses to the other side, and then back again, while pushing a wheelbarrow. He then asks the amazed crowd “Do you believe I can cross the falls on a rope?” “YES!,” the crowd responds, “we believe.” Then the man asks “who will then get into the wheelbarrow and cross with me?” The one who gets into the wheelbarrow is the person that believes into the ability of the man to accomplish the task safely. The ones who hold back?............perhaps they shouldn’t be so quick to say “amen.”

Brother Mark
Apr 24th 2013, 09:59 PM
Thanks for sharing all this. I have heard the story of the man with the wheelbarrow and it's an excellent example. I also like what you are saying about "living into". Makes sense to me. Charles Spurgeon speaks of faith in similar terms. He said that we give a man a sandwich and he eats it. We don't have to tell him to eat it, or show him how, he eats it. Faith eats. He does what he believes.

Lots to think on here. Love the way you tied it back to Romans. I'll visit this one again. Time to chew.

Vhayes
Apr 25th 2013, 12:18 AM
Very nice study, Keck. Thank you.

Abram had to leave the land of Ur to "grow up".

keck553
Apr 25th 2013, 03:16 PM
I wanted to tie it in with the thread about miracles.....

Brother Mark
Apr 25th 2013, 03:19 PM
Thinking about this some today Keck and it reminded me of the scripture "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God". It also reminded me of the passage that tells us to desire the milk of the word as new borns. The more we hear and drink and read the more we are nourished and our "aman" grows. But it only grows in so much as we do these things within covenant, and relationship with God. We must nurse. But that is different than just sucking and spitting it out or trying to take from a bottle without God himself being involved.

Does that fit?

Vhayes
Apr 25th 2013, 03:21 PM
Maybe it's because I am growing older but to me, conversing with God throughout the day makes me more content to allow Him to do as He will with my life, with me.

To some, that may mean I have little faith. To me, it means I rely upon Him because He knows long before I do what I need. That's one of the reasons I end my daily prayers with, Thy will be done.

keck553
Apr 25th 2013, 04:17 PM
Thinking about this some today Keck and it reminded me of the scripture "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God". It also reminded me of the passage that tells us to desire the milk of the word as new borns. The more we hear and drink and read the more we are nourished and our "aman" grows. But it only grows in so much as we do these things within covenant, and relationship with God. We must nurse. But that is different than just sucking and spitting it out or trying to take from a bottle without God himself being involved.

Does that fit?

true, the Pharisees we read about who Jesus rebuked tried to drink from their own bottle, and when corrected or taught by Jesus, spat out the words and deeds of the Author of Life. See the result......

Yes. It makes me think twice now when I say "Amen" to something though.

Brother Mark
Apr 25th 2013, 04:30 PM
true, the Pharisees we read about who Jesus rebuked tried to drink from their own bottle, and when corrected or taught by Jesus, spat out the words and deeds of the Author of Life. See the result......

Yea, I had them in mind when I made the comment.


Yes. It makes me think twice now when I say "Amen" to something though.

I've been careful about what I say amen to for years. Not that I knew all this but thought about "amen" meaning "so be it" or something similar. Why would I want to amen some solemn truth from the scriptures? For instance a pastor says "And if you don't repent you will die and go to hell", that is full of truth! But I don't want to "amen" it. Instead, I prefer to sit in fear and trembling and silence.

RabbiKnife
Apr 25th 2013, 04:33 PM
Yea, I had them in mind when I made the comment.



I've been careful about what I say amen to for years. Not that I knew all this but thought about "amen" meaning "so be it" or something similar. Why would I want to amen some solemn truth from the scriptures? For instance a pastor says "And if you don't repent you will die and go to hell", that is full of truth! But I don't want to "amen" it. Instead, I prefer to sit in fear and trembling and silence.

I likewise absolutely refuse to play the game when the preacher says "Repeat after me..."Blah blah blah".

I'm not a tape recorder, and I don't regurgitate on cue. I am responsible for the words coming out of my pie hole.

keck553
Apr 25th 2013, 04:38 PM
I likewise absolutely refuse to play the game when the preacher says "Repeat after me..."Blah blah blah".

I'm not a tape recorder, and I don't regurgitate on cue. I am responsible for the words coming out of my pie hole.

Clearly you would be a poor choice for Amway........

Brother Mark
Apr 25th 2013, 04:44 PM
I don't mind the repeating thing so long as what is being repeated is reasonable. It can have a good impact.

RabbiKnife
Apr 25th 2013, 04:45 PM
Clearly you would be a poor choice for Amway........

Clearly.............

keck553
Apr 25th 2013, 06:40 PM
Clearly.............

Unfortunately I've seen the same tactics used in some churches. It is not genuine.

RabbiKnife
Apr 25th 2013, 06:47 PM
Unfortunately I've seen the same tactics used in some churches. It is not genuine.

Simple carnival midway psychological manipulation.