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Digging a little deeper into the Word of God

Scripture Thought for the Week: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Throughout my adult Christian life, I have enjoyed this verse of scripture. It has always given me the comforting feeling that God has ordained my journey and He knows what is going to happen before it transpires; therefore I should not fear tomorrow. In fact, God desires to wrap me in hope and prosperity. Ive come to understand that prosperity is not necessarily by monetary means, but is the joy and hope that accompanies the abundant Christian life. Recently, I met with the pastor of our church and I mentioned that I would like his recommendation for a Hebrew/Greek dictionary. Wanting to understand the original languages in which the Bible was written, I knew he would be an excellent source for this information. He handed me a copy of The NIV Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible and I left the office feeling as though I was a kid that had just been given my favorite candy bar! What scripture should I research first? After receiving an email from a friend that had the above verse from Jeremiah written into the correspondence, I decided to start with this beautiful scripture. What I discovered was so totally awesome, I had to write about it this week. The reference book I am consulting actually presents the verses with particular words underlined. References are given in the back of the book highlighting the Hebrew or Greek meaning. Since Jeremiah is an Old Testament book, the reference is in Hebrew. The New Testament was originally written in Greek and deals with the Greek language. Only two words in this verse were underlined; plans and have. So I began flipping to the back of the book for the Hebrew meaning of these two words, hasab and mahsabah. The word that popped off the page for plans was purpose. I read the scripture again, For I know the purpose I have for you, declares the Lord. Somehow purpose rang truer and deeper in meaning than plans. Being the Webster/Encarta girl that I am, I looked up the word purpose and I found the reason for which something exists or for which it has been

done or made. So, lets return to the scripture to clarify the meaning of this point. For I know the purpose, the reason for your existence, the reason you have been made, declares the Lord. This gives the connotation a deeper significance, doesnt it? But
thats only the beginning of discovering what God has for us to learn this week.

Moving on to the word, have, God continues to explain that He knows the plans He has for us. To be perfectly honest, I understand the word, have but not to the degree that was given to me this week. When God speaks and says, I have its a whole different perception. The Hebrew research gives the following words to help with the comprehension of this seemingly simple English word; regarded, considered, reckoned, accounted, designed and determined. Using the information I gathered from Mr. Webster and Ms. Encarta, Id like to expound on the verse once again, For I know the purpose, the reason for your existence that I

carefully thought out for you and that I consider to be true and beneficial for you. I regarded this purpose especially due to your particular nature, your uniqueness while designing a detailed plan that emphasizes your gifts and talents which I made with a fixed purpose in mind, declares the Lord.
That put more perspective into the word have than I ever entertained knowing for one four-letter word! It re-emphasized to me the immense thought and consideration God gives in every detail of my life. In Psalm 139 the scripture speaks of how uniquely God has made each part of my body and soul and now I learn how intricately He has addressed the purpose of my life. The only human comparison I could think of was the giving of gifts. When we say to one another, I have a gift for you, most of the time we have put a little thought into a presentable offering. We probably know the receivers hobbies, likes or dislikes and buy accordingly. But when the Father, the Almighty says to us, I have a plan for you, I have a purpose for you its not a quick brainstorming effort on the part of the Creator. But continue with the verse, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. If we substitute plans for the Hebrew meaning of purpose we realize that Gods design is to purposely give us prosperity, protection, hope and a future. That sounds good to me, friend. Throughout the week, place this verse on your desk or in your car or on your mirror as you get ready for school or work. Let the true meaning of these words permeate your heart and your soul. Hear the Lord speak these words to you each day,

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11
Father, thank you so much for allowing me to delve into a language I know so little about in order to learn more about your love language to those who follow and desire to know more about our Creator God. Thank you for knowing the purpose for which we exist and placing your hand upon us making us unique in your eyes. May we serve you whole-heartedly and believe, without a doubt, you will fill us with hope and a future with you and this is all we need on our earthly journey. In Jesus name, Amen!