Laughing, I turned to Matthew 5, to the beatitudes--of course, if I want to find out how God thinks, read what Jesus said. Simple. Jesus said, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." I think that generalizes to "if you hear Jesus words, you have heard the Father speak." The words we speak are a result of our thoughts. Okay! Hmmm, I wonder if the Beatitudes were sort of like a political platform in that they represent God's basic values--they reveal His heart. I will be watching to see if the other times Jesus speaks publically if what He says is a further expansion of one of these basic values!
"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." The first thing I learned is that "poor in spirit" is a Hebrew idiom meaning "repentant." Huh, those who know they have messed up and want to change, who admit "God You are right and I am wrong" are the ones who are blessed, the ones to whom the Kingdom of Heaven belongs. A repentant heart is characteristic of all those in Heaven. Some attributes of repentance:
- Repentant means to turn from one direction and go in the opposite direction
- Repentant means a lack of pride and independence
- Repentant means an openness and vulnerability and lack of defensiveness, protectiveness
- Repentant value correction--there is a willingness to learn
- Repentant see correction as a loving thing from a loving Father
Next I'm going to look at what it means to be blessed--I also want to check out "Kingdom of Heaven." When reading my husband's Hebrew Bible (it is actually in English. It has word study notes and is written by someone who understands both Greek & Hebrew. It was commissioned by Sid Roth. It is available from Sid, also on Amazon--The One New Man Bible. From 1993 through 1999, Reverend Morford studied Hebrew under Rabbi Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, grandson of the Eliezer Ben-Yehuda whose lifetime work made Modern Hebrew the national language of Israel. The man knows his Hebrew!*) I saw a footnote that says "Kingdom of God" actually refers to God Himself rather than a government...so maybe there are other meanings there. Must find out! This is will be an ongoing study interspersed with book reviews and other hooha!
*For more on the author: http://www.tppress.com/Authors/William-J-Morford/