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Monday, October 21, 2013

Time and True Treasure, Part One: Time and the Dynamics of Friendship



…Time and True Treasure…
{Author’s Note: I’d like to acknowledge Dr. Frank Seekins of Living Word Pictures for his input and influence in the development of this lesson; for more information see note below…}


 

Part One: Time and the Dynamics of Friendship

(Mat 6:19-21 MKJV)
Do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Today we are taking a small break from our study on "Worship and Encountering the Divine" as I continue my research into that great topic. Therefore...
 
I’d like to talk about a couple of things today, seemingly unrelated, yet I think you’ll see that they are intimately related to one another. One is time, the other is treasure.
Time. What is it? To help define it, I’ll reach into my trusty Webster’s Dictionary of 1828...
Time
TIME, n. [L.tempus; tempora, the falls of the head, also tempest, &c. See Tempest. Time is primarily equivalent to season; to the Gr.wpa in its original sense, opportunity, occasion, a fall, an event, that which comes.]

1. A particular portion or part of duration, whether past, present or future. The time was; the time has been; the time is; the time will be.

Lost time is never found again.

God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets. Heb 1.

2. A proper time; a season.

There is a time to every purpose. Eccl 3.

The time of figs was not yet. Mark 11.

3. Duration.

The equal and uniform flux of time does not affect our senses.

Time is absolute or relative; absolute time is considered without any relation to bodies or their motions. Relative time is the sensible measure of any portion of duration, by means of motion. Thus the diurnal revolution of the sun measures a space of time or duration.
Hence:
4. A space or measured portion of duration.

We were in Paris two months, and all that time enjoyed good health.

5. Life or duration, in reference to occupation.

One man spends his time in idleness; another devotes all his time to useful purposes.

Believe me, your time is not your own; it belongs to God, to religion, to mankind.

6. Age; a part of duration distinct from other parts; as ancient times; modern times.

The Spanish armada was defeated in the time of Queen Elizabeth.
7. Hour of travail.

She was within one month of her time.

8. Repetition; repeated performance, or mention with reference to repetition. The physician visits his patient three times in a day.
9. Repetition; doubling; addition of a number to itself; as, to double cloth four times; four times four amount to sixteen.
10. Measure of sounds in music; as common time, and treble time. In concerts, it is all important, that the performers keep time, or exact time.
11. The state of things at a particular period; as when we say, good times, or bad times, hard times, dull times for trade, &c. In this sense, the plural is generally used.
12. In grammar, tense.

In time, in good season; sufficiently early.

He arrived in time to see the exhibition.

1. A considerable space of duration; process or continuation of duration. You must wait patiently; you will in time recover your health and strength.

At times, at distinct intervals of duration. At times he reads; at other times, he rides.

The spirit began to move him at times. Judges 13.

Time enough, in season; early enough.

Stanley at Bosworth-field, came time enough to save his life.

To lose time, to delay.

1. To go too slow; as, a watch or clock loses time.

Apparent time, in astronomy, true solar time, regulated by the apparent motions of the sun.

Mean time, equated time, a mean or average of apparent time.

Siderial time, is that which is shown by the diurnal revolutions of the stars.

TIME, v.t. To adapt to the time or occasion; to bring, begin or perform at the proper season or time; as, the measure is well timed, or ill timed. No small part of political wisdom consists in knowing how to time propositions and measures.

Mercy is good, but kings mistake its timing.

1. To regulate as to time; as, he timed the stroke.
2. To measure; as in music or harmony [1]

I will focus on just a few of these definitions as they are pertinent to our conversation today.

1)    “…A particular portion or part of duration, whether past, present or future. The time was; the time has been; the time is; the time will be.

Lost time is never found again.

Have you ever considered time? I mean, we understand it in principle; seconds, minutes, hours, days… But let’s look at Webster’s definition a bit deeper: “…The time was; the time has been; the time is; the time will be…

Where do we live? In the past? The present? The future? Consider time; it exists for only a fleeting moment. The second we are in is all we have, yet, it is moving also. A second ago is the past, a second ahead is the future; the second that is, the present. “Lost time is never found again.” Quite the profound statement, but so true. What are our lives measured by? What we did a second ago? 10 seconds? 10,000 seconds? Can it be measured in the now? The now lasts only a second… the future? It becomes the now in a second, for a second and a second later it becomes the past… On and on it goes, so what is the point? What will you do with what you have, that is the question.

            Now this could become a great philosophical debate, but that isn’t what I want it to turn into. What I would like to see is awareness come about, about the preciousness of time. We are here on this earth but a moment.          Look at it this way:

60 seconds is a minute
There are 60 minutes to an hour, so that is 3600 seconds
There are 24 hours in a day, or 86,400 seconds to a day
There are 7 days per week or 604,800 seconds per week
There are 365 days a year or 220,752,000 seconds per year
The average age we live to be is 70 years old or 15,452,640,000 seconds per lifetime.

Fifteen billion, four hundred and fifty two million, six hundred and forty thousand seconds.

And yet all we ever have is the now, one second at a time.

This is why in God’s word, we are admonished to pay heed to today.

(Deut 4:4-8 MKJV)
And you who held fast to Yahoveh your God are alive, every one of you, this day. Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as Yahoveh my God commanded me, so that you should do so in the land where you go to possess it. And you shall keep and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For who is a great nation whose God is coming near to them, as Yahoveh our God is, in all our calling on Him? And who is a great nation whose statutes and judgments are so righteous as all this Torah which I set before you today? [2]


(Deut 7:11-13 LITV)
And you shall keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the ordinances which I am commanding you today, to do them. And it shall be, because you hear judgments, and keep and do them, even Yahoveh your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. And He will love you, and bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your land, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your oxen and the wealth of your flock, in the land which He has sworn to your fathers, to give it to you.[3]

(Psalm 95:3-9 LITV)
For Yahoveh is a great God, and a great King above all gods. The deep places of the earth are in His hand; the summits of the mountains also are His. The sea is His, and He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before Yahoveh our Maker. For He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your heart as in the day of strife, as in the day of testing in the wilderness. When your fathers tried Me, they tested Me and they saw My work.[4]


(Luke 12:16-23 LBP)
Then he told them a parable. The land of a rich man brought him a great many crops. And he reasoned within himself and said, What shall I do, for I have no place to gather my crops? So he said, I will do this; I will tear down my barns, and build them and enlarge them; and gather there all my wheat and my good things. And I will say to myself, Myself, you have many good things stored up for many years; rest, eat, drink, and be happy. But God said to him, O you shortsighted, this very night your life will be demanded of you; and these things which you have prepared, to whom will they he left? Such is he who lays up treasures for himself, and is not rich in the things in God. And he said to his disciples, Therefore I say to you, Do not worry for your life, what you will eat; nor for your body, what you will wear. For the life is much more important than food, and the body than clothing. [5]

(Heb 3:7-15 LBP)
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit said, Today if you will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts to provoke him, as the murmurers did in the day of temptation in the wilderness: Your fathers tempted me even though they examined and saw my works forty years. Therefore I was not pleased with that generation, and said, These are a people whose hearts have been misled and they have not known my ways. So I swore in my anger, They shall not enter into my rest. Take heed therefore, my brethren, lest perhaps there is a man among you who has an evil heart and is not a believer, and you will be cut off from the living God. But search your hearts daily, until the day which is called, The day; to the end that no man among you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if from the beginning to the very end we hold steadfast to this true covenant, As it is said, Today, if you hear even the echoes of his voice, do not harden your hearts to anger him.[6]

We have but today, our 86,400 seconds, and for sure, we do not even have a guarantee of that. We are in essence, time travelers, moving from the past to the present to the future in 3 second intervals; yet what do we do with our seconds?

            Time is precious. Once that second is spent, we won’t get it back, not this side of eternity any way. How are your seconds spent?

       In worry?
         Strife? 
      Stress?
        Fear?
      Anger?
     Bitterness?
       Unforgiveness {of ourselves or others}?
    Guilt?
         Shame?
         Regret?

Or is there a better way that you spend these precious seconds:

(Php 4:4-9 LBP)
Rejoice in our LORD alway; and again I say, Rejoice. Let your humility be known to all men. Our LORD is at hand. Do not worry over things; but always by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.
Finally, my brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which you have learned and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Can you see the difference? How would your day change if your seconds change? If your day changes, how does the week go? You see how time better spent offers us more – more peace, more joy, more of all Father wants us to have?

And yet, we haven’t even touched on what time really brings to us – our seconds bring us into relationship, with the Father, with the Son, with one another. First thing I want you to honestly ask yourself though:
How many seconds a day do you give Him?

Be honest. He already knows the answer. This is the key to our walk; this is the key to our relationships with faith, family and friendships. By being honest, we can examine ourselves, and see if we are lacking in the things of G-d.



 (2Co 13:5 Weymouth New Testament of 1912)
Test yourselves to discover whether you are true believers: put your own selves under examination. Or do you not know that Jesus Christ is within you, unless you are insincere?

We come into a relationship with G-d not knowing anything about Him or His ways; all we knew was that we were hurting, and there was nothing left to try. We forge ahead, slogging our way through doubt, through confusion, through all our own insecurities and prejudices till we come to a place of understanding. Now, now we need to go beyond understanding and into living: living His precepts, His ways, His thoughts, and His commands. It is just time to do them.

We walk this halakha with G-d the Father because He has given us the gift of faith.

(Eph 2:8-9 WNT)
For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves. It is God's gift, and is not on the ground of merit-- so that it may be impossible for any one to boast.

Faith is belief, is trust, and is commitment. But is faith something else?

(Hab 2:4 KJV)
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Faith here in Habakkuk is the Hebrew word (H530) אמנה    אמוּנה 'ĕmûnâh  'ĕmûnâh pronounced em-oo-naw', em-oo-naw'. If we break it down into the ancient Hebrew picture language it looks like this:

 [7]

A quick review of the ancient language can be found in this chart:

Figure 1. Hebrew Alphabet and its' Pictorial Meanings [8]
So by using the chart’s meanings we can see:
 


So faith can also be said to be “the strength that contains the chaos is continuously revealed.” Who is the strength that contains the chaos? Only God Almighty can do that… And what does faith give to us? What about a sense of unity? Does not our common faith draw us all together, even if there are points in which we don’t agree? This is what the disciples found themselves in at the upper room of the Temple, in unity, in one accord, one heart…
(Act 2:1 KJV)
And when the day of Shavout (Pentecost)
was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

O beloved ones, we will never be together till we are of one heart. The beloved of Messiah, His bride, has to come together as one heart:

Deut 6:4-9
“…Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
 (Deut 6:4-9 KJV)…”

This is the accord God is looking for in the bride for His Son.

 [9]
 consists of the letters lamed and bet. The Paleo-Hebraic language gives us this meaning:
“that which controls the inside of the house”
If the heart then controls the house, then it controls what we value, what we love and lends itself to a pursuit of whole-heartedness, that which we will treasure; and what we treasure we will never forget…

In any relationship there exists one of three dynamics, one of three choices whether it be the realm of faith, family or friendship. We are either:


  • ·         Best Friends
  • ·         Friendly enemies
  • ·         Enemies


What dynamic you are in depends on one factor: trust.


  • ·         Friendly enemies are cordial with one another, “friendly”, but there is no trust between them
  • ·         Enemies have no relationship, absolutely no trust
  • ·         Best friends not only have friendship, but they also trust one another[10]

The problem is, these concepts are lost to the western world and its churches; if there is no one teaching you how to be best friends, what suffers? Faith, family, friendships.

To understand this, you need to understand the Hebraic concepts that define “friendship”. There are five concepts we need to examine…

1.   The first word is the word “ריע    רעrêa‛  rêya‛ ray'-ah, ray'-ah. In modern Hebrew it’s written as רע   :


In the ancient Hebrew it looked like this:







 
                                                       

Thus reah means “the person that you see”. What this means is that there are friends that you spend time with, but only really as an acquaintance. What you “see” then is a shallow image of the person, you don’t really “know” them. How many of us offer this type of “friendship” to others, and more pointedly, to G-d?

2.   The second concept is ‘ach, אח 'âch awkh. This is the word for brother. In the word pictures we see it as:

 

Therefore  
Brother: One who stands between the enemy and the family, a protector.[11]
A brother (or sister) is one who stands as a barrier against the things that attack us. We all need that “interference” in our lives, to help us weather the storms that come up. What would the body of Messiah look like if there were more brothers and sisters acting as fences than there were accusers acting as sources of attack?

3.           The next concept is of חבר châbar (cha-var) khaw-bar'. This is the friend that is the “bosom person”.  In a person’s cloak, at his bosom was where he kept his valuables. The “bosom person” is the one that you hold dear, the one whom you can share your secrets with, the one you trust. To know this person is to know their heart, and they know yours. In the picture language we see this:

 

         
This is the friend that is more than the person you see, this is the person inside your fence. This is also where most of us get into trouble, for we try to get to this third place by skipping the first two. What results is that we share our hearts with someone who doesn’t really know us, like us or protects us; this is a recipe for disaster.

            We have talked about honor before, how the first four realities of the Ten Devarim, the Ten Commandments lead us to honor; without honor we cannot become comrades, we cannot become one with each other; this is the concept spoken of in the Greek language of κοινωνία koinōnia koy-nohn-ee'-ah, fellowship, same as cha-var in Hebrew. The first two concepts build us up to the third, allowing us then to go toward the fourth:
(Pro 18:24 LBP)
4.   There are friends who are merely friends; and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.[12]

Who is this friend and what defines them?

(1Sa 18:1, 3 MKJV)
And it happened when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was joined with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as he did his own soul….And Jonathan and David cut a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
This is the friendship defined; the word in Hebrew is נפשׁ nephesh (neh'-fesh) or “the love of my soul”. The fourth concept of a friend is ahav, love. In modern Hebrew it looks like this: אהב    אהב 'âhab  'âhêb
aw-hab', aw-habe', in the ancient Hebrew it is this:
                                
Take the first and last letters and this is what we have:

= ab, or Father – the strength, the leader of the house

And who is the first, the strongest?

God.

So love is the Father revealed.

This type of friendship is more than just the sharing of hearts; it is the type of love that reveals the heart of God, a heart that was and is willing to lay everything aside for the sake of another…

(John 3:14-17 KJV)
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

(John 15:13 KJV)
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


Because G-d is love, this word picture is accurate; He is the best type of all possible friends. There was a price that had to be paid, one that demanded all He had to give for His own. Are you prepared to be that type of friend, one that says “All I have is yours”?

5.  If so, then you are ready to move into the last concept, the last and greatest type of friendship:



Interestingly, the dalet was also drawn as this:  :
doubled it was the word used for “breast”.
Thus, the word means “that which is nailed between the breasts”, that which is precious and/or beloved. That’s what “dood” is – beloved. This word is used in the Scriptures to describe King David (Acts 13:22, Ps 89:20-37) and Solomon (Neh 13:26). This is your aunt, your uncle, the grandparent, the one in whom all your trust and heart goes out to. This is the one in whom there is freedom of boldness to be with, the one you are willing to risk everything for. This is how we should be with God, for without following God with the freedom of boldness, with all our heart, we can never hope to experience Him as He wants us to. To be beloved is the fruit of the other four concepts we have talked about.

So let us recap what we’ve learned:
There are five ways in which to become a friend and more:
1.    Reyah: someone you spend time with
2.    Ach: someone you protect or who protects you
3.    Chavar or chabar: someone who shares their life, who partners with another
4.    Ahav or ahab: Love, deep love that is willing to pay the price (“All I have is yours”)
5.    Dode: Beloved, the fruit of the others
These are the foundations of life, foundations so critical and crucial that the promises of God will not stand in your life without them. For can you be His on a pure superficial level? If you are not best friends with God, then at best you are just a friendly enemy or worse, just an enemy.
 The first two are each one of our foundations; they are what we can share, what we can implement. If we can spend time, if we can guard and protect, then we can share and partner. It is only then that we can truly give away a part of my life totally to another, and if we can learn to give a part away, then we can go whole hearted into a relationship, and lay it all down. Then brethren, then and only then, can you be beloved.
Beloved is the fruit of a deep relationship. Try to get there by skipping any of the steps we’ve talked about, and it will fail. I’ll leave you with this today:
Ask yourself, “Where am I with God?” Am I willing to share my seconds with Him? After all, I only enjoy them at His mercy and grace. How many of my 86,400 seconds a day will I devote to Him, so that I can eventually become His beloved? Time and friendship; can’t have one without the investment of the other.
And try to understand this: what I don’t give to God – I don’t give to people. Learn to love Him, learn to love others. Next week we’ll continue our journey into understanding what true treasure is, and how we can store it up in the heavenly places…

Till then, May God richly bless you, and I say this with all sincerity, my beloved.
Amein.



[1] Webster’s Dictionary, 1828 Edition, (electronic edition) e-Sword® v.10.1.0, Copyright ©2000-2012 by Rick Myers

[2] Modern King James Version, with edits in bold by David Robinson, electronic edition, , eSword, v. 10.1.0, by Rick Myers, ©2000-2012
[3] Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, with edits in bold by David Robinson, electronic edition, , eSword, v. 10.1.0, by Rick Myers, ©2000-2012
[4] …Ibid…
[5] Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Texts, Aramaic of the Peshitta, electronic edition, eSword, v. 10.1.0, by Rick Myers, ©2000-2012
[6] Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Texts, Aramaic of the Peshitta, electronic edition, eSword, v. 10.1.0, by Rick Myers, ©2000-2012

[7] The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible, Hebrew Letters, Words and Roots Defined Within Their Ancient Cultural Context, by Jeff A. Benner; © e3 2005 Jeff A. Benner; electronic edition, theWord Software, ver 3.2.1.1167, © 2003-2010 - Costas Stergiou
[8] Hebrew Alphabet, by Living Word Pictures, Copyright ©1996, 2003 Frank T. Seekins, All Rights Reserved
[9]  The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible, Hebrew Letters, Words and Roots Defined Within Their Ancient Cultural Context, by Jeff A. Benner; © e3 2005 Jeff A. Benner; electronic edition, theWord Software, ver 3.2.1.1167, © 2003-2010 - Costas Stergiou
[10] Concept by Living Word Pictures (602)867-0903 copyright ©1996,2012 Frank T. Seekins  All Rights Reserved; edits by David E. Robinson
[11] The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible, Hebrew Letters, Words and Roots Defined Within Their Ancient Cultural Context, by Jeff A. Benner; © e3 2005 Jeff A. Benner; electronic edition, eSword, v. 10.1.0, by Rick Myers, ©2000-2012


[12]  Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Texts, Aramaic of the Peshitta, electronic edition, eSword, v. 10.1.0, by Rick Myers, ©2000-2012