Nature of God – part 4

Ok… the last post in a series about the Nature of God.  This one really bothered me… maybe a bit more than the others.  This one is the attribute of the Jealousy of God.  The definition she gives to make her point doesn’t define His Jealousy and more importantly, it doesn’t describe our life under the New Covenant.

  • Jealous – God does not share His glory with another (Isaiah 48:11; Exodus 34:14; Isaiah 42:8)

Let’s start with looking at the Scriptures she uses to try and prove her point.

  • Isaiah 48:11: For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

Well, that verse APPEARS to prove her point.  But remember we need to ask who is God talking to?  What is He talking about in context?  And of course how did the finished work of the Cross change this?

In this verse, the children of Israel were making idols and invoking the name of God.  They were using God’s name on the idols.  Of course, God’s not going to share His glory with idols!  But He was talking about idols, not us.   What about the next verse…..

  • Exodus 34:14:  For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God

God is replacing the tablets of stone that were broken and He’s giving a list of commandments for the children of Israel.  Verse 14 is one of those.  He reveals His name as El Qana – a Jealous God.  He is not saying He’s jealous about sharing His glory with anyone!  He is saying He is a God passionate about not losing His children to false gods because they would then make covenants with the inhabitants of the land and turn away from God.

Last verse…..

  • Isaiah 42:8: I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Again this verse is about God not giving His glory or His praise to graven images.

But what does God say about sharing His glory with us……

  • Jesus said the glory the Father gave Him, He gave to us
    • Jn 17:22: And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
  • We are filled with the FULLNESS of God — that would include His glory!
    • Eph 3:19: And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
  • God said that He would fill His new temple (US) with glory!
    • Haggai 2:7:  And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house (new temple) with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
  • The mystery of the Gospel was Christ in us… His glory in us
    • Col 1:27: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory
  • He glorified us!
    • Romans 8:30 – whom He predestined, He called, whom He called, He justified, whom He justified, He glorified
    • NLT: And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory!
  • We are partakers of His divine nature — that includes His glory
    • 2 Peter 1:4: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

How exciting!  We were created for His glory.  We are carriers of His glory!  The fullness of the Deity dwells in us — the fullness of His glory dwells in us!!  That’s something to shout about!

~ Robin

Nature of God — part 3

As many of you know by now, if you’ve been reading my blog posts The Nature of God and The Nature of God – part 2, I am in a Bible study that is studying Romans and I’m not enjoying it.  We’re in Romans 9 and the lesson is on the nature of God.  The list reads like we are still under the Old Testament and Jesus never came!  A few of the attributes of God on the list just really bothered me so I have been blogging about them.

This next attribute on the list is:

  • Wrathful – God hates all that is unrighteous, and He punishes all unrighteousness.  Whatever is inconsistent with His holy standard must ultimately be atoned for or consumed. (Romans 1:18; John 3:36; 2 Chron 19:2; Col 3:5-6; Rev 15:7)

This one really bothers me!  This is not the God Jesus came to reveal.  He is not a wrathful God in the sense that He punishes all unrighteousness…. He did that already on the Cross.  I don’t even understand the definition she gives for this “attribute.”  Jesus already made atonement and God doesn’t consume whatever is inconsistent with His holy standard.  What does that even mean??  He is no longer imputing our sins against us… not just us in the Church, but the WHOLE WORLD!  Let’s take a look at the Scriptures she gives to support this “opinion”…..

  • Romans 1:18:  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…

This one seems to be a favorite when you are trying to prove God is wrathful.  But here’s another way to look at it:

Mirror Bible:  God’s passionate persuasion is uncovered from heavens perspective in sharp contrast to the foolishness of people who suppress and conceal the truth about their redeemed innocence while they continue to embrace an inferior reference of themselves.


Wrath in the Greek is orge meaning desire – as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind, passion.

Romans 4:15 tells us that the Law brings wrath.  Let’s look at the next Scripture:

  • John 3:36:  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Jesus is talking to the Jews in this verse and if they didn’t believe in the Son they would remain under the Law and remember it’s the Law that brings wrath.

  • 2 Chronicles 19:2:  And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.

This is Old Covenant… Jesus hadn’t come yet.  Jehoshaphat was under the Law and subject to the wrath that it brought for not obeying.  He had aligned himself with Ahab, by showing him friendship and assisting him in his war against the Syrians.

  • Colossians 3:5-6:  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: (6) For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

The wrath of God is for those (sons of disobedience) who have disobeyed God and broken his law. Faith in Jesus Christ saves us from the wrath of God.  Paul is talking about the old man (the man who walked under the law)… verse 7 says you also used to walk this way.  Remember the Law brought wrath against disobedience.

And the final Scripture used is Revelation 15:7 which we won’t even get into because I don’t know enough about the book of Revelation to teach from it on here.  But what I do know is this…..

  • The Law brought the wrath of God upon disobedience to the Law’s commands
    • Romans 4:15:  because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
      • before the law wrath was not used of God except in Exod. 4:14, when the anger of the Lord burned against Moses – the lawgiver –
      • and in Ex 15:7, when the blast of God’s nostril (anger) threw the Egyptian army into the sea
      • of the 499 times His wrath is shown (after the Law is given) only 51 of those times is against pagans outside of His covenant – again only after the Law
  • God has destined us for salvation NOT wrath
    • 1 Thess 5:9-10: For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him
  • Christ died for us… justifying us and saving us from the wrath that the Law brought
    • Romans 5:8-11 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (10) For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (11) And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
  • God in His kindness declared us righteous and freed us from the penalty of sin
    • Romans 3:23-24 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (24) Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 
  • Jesus left off the term vengeance of our God when He preached in Luke 4
    • Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 
      • acceptable is dektos in Greek meaning accepted; describing what is welcomed because pleasing.
  • Jesus rebuked His disciples for wanting to call down the wrath of God on “ungodly, unrighteous” people (those who wouldn’t receive Jesus)
    • Luke 9:54-55:  And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
  • God sends His blessings on the just and unjust…. on the evil and the good!
    • Matt 5:45: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
  • God the Father was in Christ on the Cross reconciling the world to Himself
    • 2 Cor 5:18-19: And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
      • reconcile is to change from enmity to friendship
  • Jesus released forgiveness for the world on the cross
    • Luke 23:34:  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment and cast lots
  • Jesus was the propitiation for our sins and for the WHOLE WORLD
    • 1 John 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. 
      • propitiation in Greek is hilasmos meaning showing mercy by satisfying (literally, propitiating) the wrath of God on sin
  • God reconciled us from enemies to friends
    • Romans 5:10  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 
  • God the Father’s love sent Jesus to show mercy for our sins by satisfying wrath
    • 1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
  • Jesus made reconcilation for our sins — changing us from enemies to friends of God
    • Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  
  • While we were yet sinners… instead of releasing wrath on us, God the Father made us alive with Christ.
  • He forgave ALL our sins
  • AND He cancelled the Law (that brought wrath) nailing it to the tree.
    • Col 2:13-14  When you were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our trespasses, having canceled the debt ascribed to us in the decree that stood against us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross!

Those are more than enough Scriptures to make us rethink the “wrathfullness” of God!  He is a good Daddy.  The Law brought His wrath under the Old Covenant to those who disobeyed it’s commands.  Jesus brought mercy, reconciliation, and forgiveness for ALL.

Let’s stop defining God’s nature by using Old Testament Scriptures…. Jesus is the Revealer.  What did He say about our Daddy?  That’s what we need to believe.

Ok…. next and last post on this series is God as a Jealous God…..



A beautiful love letter

I made the decision to go back to school and enrolled in Global Grace Seminary to get my bachelors in Theology.  My life is already so crazy busy, but I decided to make the time and fulfill a dream I’ve had for quite some time.  Well, I had an essay that was due that needed to be 2500 words and what I’ve learned in my Foundations course and how I can apply it to my life.

I turned it in yesterday and my professor gave it an A+ (100%) saying I blew him away with this heartfelt essay.  That it is FILLED with Christ-centered nuggets of freedom and he would like permission to use it “somewhere” in the future.  As awesome as that feedback was, it was my husband’s comment after reading it that filled me with joy.  He said it read like a letter, like a beautiful love letter.  Well, that was definitely a quote worth putting on my Facebook page.  After posting it I had a couple of people ask to read it so I thought I would put it on my blog.  Enjoy!

Foundations Course One Essay

I enrolled in Global Grace Seminary a month ago today, and I just finished course one, Foundations. I have enjoyed it so much.  Some of it is new to me and other parts of it, especially the IN CHRIST teachings just awakened things I had already been taught but had allowed to slip.

A couple of years ago, God opened my eyes to the revelation of reading the Old Testament through the lens of the New Covenant.  So, one of my favorite classes in this course as Don Keathley’s teaching on Uncorking Your Bible.  It really helped solidify what I’ve already been teaching in my Bible studies through our church.  The cross was completely, perfectly, successful.  Jesus finished His part, and He finished my part.  When Jesus “said it is finished,” the Old Covenant was done, and the New Covenant was now in place.  I learned that because the New Covenant didn’t take start until the cross, I need to read the “words of red” in light of the finished work of the Cross.  While Jesus came full of grace and truth, He came as a minister of the circumcision to the Jewish people.

Not everything Jesus said was to me.  It still has value for me, but it wasn’t to me.  In order to have His heartbeat, His mind, and His mission I have to have an encounter the Author of the words in red.  A daily encounter where He shows me more of Himself, and as a result, I see more of who I truly am.  No longer striving to become what I already am and always have been.  But having an encounter that leads to the grace which takes me to love and then I will love as He loves. 2 Corinthians 3:6 says He has made competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.  Releasing a love full of mercy (grace) and truth.

Love that reveals that we were always in the heart of God.  Love that reveals that He had a plan to redeem me and His covenant love for me was His unwillingness to let go of me.  Love that reveals that He pursued me relentlessly because He loves me He designed me to be in union with the Trinity, and He desired for me to find my meaning in Him.  Love that reveals that the simple Gospel starts with Him, ends with Him and swept me up in the middle.

My adventure in Christ begins at the finished work of the cross.  It is a journey of discovering who I am in Him.  Of becoming more aware of the One Who’s fullness I have received.  Of knowing that He is constantly present.  He is not an outside God, but rather Emmanuel in me and I in him.  Life with Him is a co-union that now defines my life.  It is no longer just Jesus or me but rather it is a seamless union.  It is His life expressed through mine.  In Him, I live, and move and have my being.  While at the same time He lives, and moves and has His being in me.  I am a beautiful expression of Him to the world.  I am no longer a woman with myself, for myself or by myself.  I now live only as a woman who is with God, for God and in union with God.

My co-union in Christ is what God’s faith knew about me all along when He resurrected Him from the dead (Colossians 2:12).  It’s His faith that justified me, not my faith in Him.  It’s His faith that is in me and that I live by.  Any faith on my part is simply a reflection of Jesus’ faith in me.  It’s just an outflow of “the Faith.”  Living by His faith is believing what He believes about me and allowing it to transform me. Faith in me awakens to the fact that I am in Christ and in union with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  My oneness has been redeemed, and all distance, delay, and dispute have been canceled forever.  There is no longer any separation between God and me.  The cross settled all of that.

His mind is made up about me, and He is determined to relentlessly love me.  To love me fully, completely and extravagantly.  Jesus is evidence of that.  Eternity is not some distant future event but rather dwells in me now.  I can’t be anymore eternal than I am at this moment.  I am right now an eternal being reflecting Him.  In Him, there is a co-seatedness where I cease from my labors. Where I rest in Him.  The Gospel language is a co-language.  I am co crucified, co buried, co resurrected, co ascended, co seated, co-heir, co awakened, co quickened.  I have co-union, and I have been co revealed IN HIM.  This past month, as I read the Bible I see “co” everywhere I look.  It has become my new lens.  The truth of this Gospel is the Son revealed IN me.  This co-language has become so real to me that I didn’t even realize this was from Francois du Toit’s notes from his class Moment of Awakening.  I thought Holy Spirit revealed it to me.  I love that!  When you no longer remember who said something because you can only hear yourself echoing Him.

In this co-union, I have grace benefits that belong to me as part of my inheritance.  I have been forgiven of my sins. All of my sins have been forgiven, past, present, and future.  Understanding this keeps me from being sin conscious and allows me to be righteousness conscious or Son conscious.  He didn’t just cover my sins; He completely removed them.  His forgiveness is perfect and complete in my life. After making purification for my sins, after He successfully cleansed and acquitted humankind, He sat down at the right hand of God.   He now occupies the highest seat of dominion to endorse our innocence! His throne is established upon our redeemed righteousness.

Also, He remembers my sins no more.  I have been justified.  Declared innocent through the righteousness of Jesus.  In God’s eyes, it’s as if I’ve never sinned.  He doesn’t remember my past or refer to my past.

The third benefit of my grace package is He is never angry with me.  He’s a good Father who is always pleased with me.  Nothing I do makes Him more or less pleased.  He is just happy with me all the time.  I think this is one of my favorite benefits.  I grew up always saying and doing the right thing so that I wouldn’t displease my dad.  His standard was impossibly high.  Not so with my Father.  He is never disappointed in me. He loves me regardless of my good or bad behavior.  I can’t make Him any happier than He already is with me. His mind is already made up about me.

I also love the benefits package that He qualifies me for ALL things.  How refreshing to know that IN CHRIST I don’t have to jump through hoops or pass tests to qualify.  He qualified me, and I can rest in His obedience.  I share in His inheritance through His qualifications, not mine.  He takes hold of me and never let’s go.  He keeps me from stumbling. He doesn’t ever let go of me, so there is never any separation between us.  There is only oneness because He reconciled me to Himself.  It is now Father, Son, Holy Spirit and me!  That one still makes my head reel, but I keep saying it because He said it and the reality of it is going deeper and deeper on the inside of me.  The truth of it is changing my thoughts and aligning them with His thoughts about me.

Grace benefit number 6 is that God credited me with perfect righteousness.  He made me who knew no righteousness to be His righteousness because He who knew no sin became my sin. I am as righteous as Jesus.  A couple of years ago I started confessing that on a daily basis.  I am righteous!  It began to change me from the inside out.  It changed how I saw my self and began to change how I walk this new life out.  Making me more aware of all that He had done for me and in me.  It began producing in me a freedom and a boldness that I hadn’t previously known.

He also gave me the Holy Spirit to teach me.  He is the One who unlocks all of this inheritance for me.  He is teaching me, empowering me and revealing the Son in me.  I realize now that it wasn’t I who accepted Jesus.  He accepted me!  Holy Spirit simply opened my heart to believe.  He was leading me, drawing me and pulling me the whole time.  It wasn’t my decision but rather the decision that God had put in me all along awakening to the truth.  Another benefit is that God is for me!  He’s on my side, He’s accepted me, and I’m in partnership with Him.  This is where true freedom is experienced.  I am His delight, His masterpiece. He not only loves me but He likes me.  He created me to uniquely express Him.

Not only is He for me but He is with me.  I am the house of the Lord.  I don’t have to ask Him for His presence because He is always with me.  We are joined together.  We are united in His death and united in His resurrection.  Two parts joined together to make one individual that is indivisible in wholeness!  I am absorbed into Him!  Whatever became of Him became of me.  Whatever happens to Him now happens to me.  We have become ONE!  I love that!

I have been empowered to overcome the enemy.  Religion can no longer pull me into bondage again.  He has given me strength to overcome enabling me to stand in His liberty.  He has given me eternal life.  I will never die.  I just walk from one dimension to the next.  All of these grace benefits are mine to enjoy.  He is a benefit giving Daddy that knows no limits in my life.  He is extravagant in His love for me.

I have been fortunate to not grow up with much religion.  I didn’t grow up in church, and I had my moment of awakening 25 years ago at the age of 25.  I was taught by a Pastor who’s ministry message centered around Colossians 1:27 Christ in you, the hope of glory.  Receiving that foundational teaching of being IN CHRIST was priceless.  I did get involved in a ministry for a short time that was a bit controlling and legalistic.  The foundation that I had of Christ in me held me and helped me find my way out of it.

A few years ago, Holy Spirit began teaching me how to look at the Old Testament through the lens of Christ’s finished work on the cross.  These classes have helped strengthen that.  However, the teaching in these GGS classes on inclusion is a new revelation for me and one that I am continuing to see clearer.

I always knew Jesus did it for the world, but somewhere along the years, I had picked up an “us and them” mentality.  Before I started taking these classes, Holy Spirit had begun revealing to me this message of inclusion through a couple of Scriptures.  The first was 2 Corinthians 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. And the second one was Ephesians 2:4-6 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

These two scriptures were now face to face with me, and a change in my thinking was needed but I wasn’t sure how to do it.  The problem was that I still held on to the “us and them” mentality believing that we were only reconciled, made alive with Christ, raised up and seated with Him when we believe.  But the phrase even when we were dead in our transgressions kept jumping off the page and conflicting with what I believed. I would have to let go of the old in order to carry the new, but I wasn’t sure how to do that.  No one I knew was teaching this.

God has really opened my eyes through these classes that the cross included ALL mankind.  And that His resurrection included ALL mankind.  They just have to awaken to it, but it’s already done.  I also learned that God didn’t turn His face from Jesus on the cross because He couldn’t look upon sin.  Jesus came to reveal the Father.  He was known as the friend of sinners which means that was what the Father was like as well.  God was in Christ on the cross!  He was reconciling the world to Himself through Christ!  Humanity changed on the cross.  Jesus was the last Adam, not the second Adam.  He was the LAST Adam to be part of that Adamic race.

To stand guilty before God was no longer an option.  The LAST Adam came and went  In His resurrection He brought about a whole new humanity.  A humanity that stands guiltless and blameless before their Maker.  A humanity that is now a new creation in Christ.

This truth has changed how I now see the world.  And because the One died for ALL, I can say like Paul, “so from now on I no longer see anyone after the flesh.”  Because in Christ, humanity has been made new.  This new revelation is changing how I share the gospel.  It is no longer me requiring that someone say a “salvation prayer” or come to the altar.  Jesus went to the altar for ALL and placed His blood on the mercy seat.  The gospel doesn’t require faith but rather supplies the faith that is needed. It communicates the faith of God, His persuasion about us.  Our faith is that wow moment when we see what God sees, and it takes our breath away.  We “accept” Him because we realize we have always been accepted.

One of the most beautiful things I’ve heard was in Don Keathley’s class (Uncorking Your Bible).  He said that the Godhead’s mission to humanity is to unveil the love that is flowing from Them to us.  My thinking has now changed from an “us and them” exclusion mentality to a “Them and us” inclusion mentality.

~ Robin

The Nature of God — part 2

Yesterday I started a blog post series entitled The Nature of God.  In it I shared about a Bible study I attend that is doing a curriculum by a well-known Bible study teacher on the book of Romans.  We are in Romans 9.  I don’t care for the curriculum because it doesn’t come from a grace-based, finished work of the Cross teaching.

Our most recent lesson was on the nature of God and I won’t go back into it today…. you can click the link above and read the blog from yesterday if you want.  One of the attributes or nature of God that was listed was “Just.”  I don’t disagree that God is just…. He absolutely is.  I didn’t care for the definition that was given to describe God’s justness. It said:

  • Just – God rewards righteousness and punishes sin proportionate to His love of the former and His hatred of the latter (Psalm 89:14; Numbers 14:18, 23:19; Romans 9:14)

Let’s look at the verses that are used to prove this Bible teacher’s lesson on the nature of God being “just.”

  • Psalm 89:14 (KJV) – Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

In the Hebrew it says that Justice and Judgement are the dwelling place of His throne. Covenant Loyalty and truth shall go before your face. 

The foundation of His throne is Justice and Righteousness but when He turns His face toward us….. what flows from that throne…. that beautiful throne of grace…. is mercy and truth.  Or as it actually says in the Hebrew, covenant loyalty (chesed) and truth.  Psalm 85 also talks of covenant loyalty (mercy) and truth together.  God’s covenant loyalty and truth, of course, are really met together only in Jesus Christ.

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ

To be just, God had to punish sin (Ezekiel 18:4 and 20). But His mercy didn’t want to give us justice (James 2:13). This problem was solved in Jesus. God the Father laid our punishment on Jesus (Isaiah 53:6), and now through Jesus, we can receive God’s mercy (Ephesians 2:4-6). Oh happy day!!!  Mercy triumphed over judgement.  Therefore, mercy and truth have come together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Thank You, Jesus!  This is a miracle that could only occur because Jesus took all of God’s wrath for our sins (Isaiah 53:6 and John 12:32) into His own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).

Justice and judgment are seldom combined with mercy and truth. Since all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), all of us deserve death (Romans 6:23), not mercy and truth. But because Jesus paid for all our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21 and 1 Peter 2:24), mercy and truth are now offered to us in Jesus (Psalms 85:10).

Now what about Numbers 14:18

  • Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

I have a couple of issues with this verse in regards to the New Covenant.  First of

First of all it says He by no means clears the guilty.  That was under the Old Covenant.  Under the New Covenant, our guilt has been canceled.  The Law produced guilt.  Jesus took the Law as a document and nailed it to His cross, in effect writing across the bill “Paid in Full.” The New Testament believer is no longer under the Law ( 1 Corinthians 9:21, 1 Corinthians 10:23, Romans 3:19).

  • Colossians 2:14 – Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross;
  • Romans 3:19-20 — Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (20) Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

I also have an issue with this verse saying God will visit the iniquity of the father’s upon the children Ezekiel 18:3 and Jeremiah 31:30 both say that everyone shall die for his own iniquity.  This is speaking of the New Covenant….. Jeremiah 31:31-34 says Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: (32) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: (33) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (34)And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. 

Under the New Covenant, the sins of the fathers are not passed down generation to generation.

As for Numbers 23:19 I’m not sure why this one is included to prove that God hates and punishes sin and rewards and loves righteousness.  This verse is talking about Balaam being powerless to overturn God’s blessings.

The last verse given is Romans 9:14.

  • Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

The verse before it says Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated.  Jacob was called to a higher position than his brother, Esau, before they were born, but that does not display any rejection of Esau on God’s part.

I’m not sure what this verse has to do with God punishing sin and rewarding righteousness.  If anything it disproves it.  He chose Jacob and Esau before they had done any good or evil, to illustrate that election was not based on performance but choice.

Of course I believe God is just.  Sin had to be dealt with.  The price for sin, all sin, has been paid!  God dealt with sin once and for all in Christ. He is now focused entirely on righteousness. Jesus did not just take our sin; He became the embodiment of it, so that we could become the embodiment of righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Some scriptures about God being just that should encourage you…..

  • He is merciful and remembers our sins no more
    • Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
      • the word for merciful is hileos which means appeasing divine wrath; It means propitious, describing God’s covenant-mercy which rescues the believer by His atonement (bringing divine satisfaction).
  • Jesus became the propitiation for the WHOLE WORLD’S sins in order to satisfy the debt the Law had placed us under
    • 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 
      • propitiation is hilasmos in Greek meaning to appease wrath; an offering to appease (satisfy) an angry, offended party.
  • Jesus offered Himself for our sins ONCE for ALL
    • Hebrews 7:26-27 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (27) Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
  • Jesus came to take away the sins of the world
    • John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
  • We have been sanctified and perfected by Jesus’ sacrifice
    • Hebrews 10:11-14  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:  (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
  • Jesus took our sins so that we could have His righteousness
    • 1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
  • God reconciled the world to Himself — making us friends instead of enemies
    • 2 Cor 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

      • reconcile is katallaso in Greek meaning to change from enmity to friendship, to reconcile
  • Jesus took our chastisement for our sin, giving us instead healing
    • Isaiah 53:5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.
  • God in His kindness declared us righteous and freed us from the penalty of sin
    • Romans 3:23-24 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (24) Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 
  • Christ died for us… justifying us and saving us from the wrath that the Law brought
    • Romans 5:8-11 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (10) For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (11) And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
  • Grace abounded to us through the righteous obedience of Jesus
    • Romans 5:18-21 So then as through one transgression there resulted in condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted in justification of life to all men. (19) For as through the one man’s disobedience, the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. (20) The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, (21) so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

There are so many more verses that we could list.  I encourage you to study it for yourself.  Instead of finding Old Covenant Scriptures to “prove” that God hates and punishes sin look for New Covenant Scriptures that will show you what Jesus did for you.

Romans 3:26 shows us the nature of God being Just…… This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.  

His righteousness and His justness are demonstrated in that all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (v.23) and yet God with undeserved kindness declared us righteous through Christ when He freed us from the penalty of sin (v. 24) because Jesus became the sacrifice for sin, shedding His blood for us.

He is a very just God… who has defeated sin and its power in our lives, completely forgiven us and has declared us righteous.  IN CHRIST His justness is clearly seen.

Next blog post is part 3 and talking about wrathful…..

~ Robin

The nature of God


I love Bible study!!  I love teaching Bible study, and I also love attending a Bible study that is taught by someone else.  I just enjoy studying the Word and growing in my knowledge of Christ.  So, I joined a Bible study at my church a few months ago, and we’re studying the book of Romans.  Romans is one of my favorite books to study, but this class has been such a disappointment.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all of the women in the group and love fellowshipping every week.  I also LOVE our church that we go to when we are up here in Northern California… the Pastor is awesome, and I learn so much from him.  It’s a Rhema based church and so there is a tremendous amount of teaching on faith and specifically who we are in Christ.  Which I absolutely love!

This Bible study, however, is using a curriculum from a well-known Bible teacher and her teaching is not something I enjoy.  It doesn’t look at the Old Testament through the lens of the finished work of the Cross.  So….. suffice it to say, I’m not enjoying the class.  Today’s class was on Romans 9, and our lesson was on the nature of God.  We were learning what His attributes are… both natural and moral.  According to this lesson, natural attributes are describing what God IS, and moral attributes are describing HOW God deals with mankind.  She is not the only one who teaches this… google God’s attributes/nature, and you’ll find similar lists online through many sources.

I really had a difficult time with this lesson because it gives us an incomplete picture of who God is since some of these attributes are rooted in the Old Testament and don’t take into account what Jesus did through the Cross and the Resurrection.  Since the women in the class, except for myself and 2 other ladies, believed that this list thoroughly describes God’s nature, I thought I would share on my blog a few of the attributes that I feel are an incomplete picture of God.

The list of attributes were as follows:

Natural Attributes:

  • Omniscient
  • Omnipotent
  • Omnipresent
  • Eternal
  • Immutable
  • Incomprehensible – God, including His nature and acts, is beyond the comprehension of any creature.  Man understands only what God chooses to reveal about Himself, His purposes, and His ways (Job 11:7 and Romans 11:33)
  • Self-existent
  • Self-sufficient
  • Infinite
  • Transcendent
  • Sovereign

Moral Attributes:

  • Holy
  • Gracious
  • Righteous
  • Just – God rewards and punishes sin proportionate to His love of the former and His hatred of the latter (Psalm 89:14; Numbers 14:18, 23:19; Romans 9:14)
  • Merciful
  • Slow to anger
  • Wise
  • Loving 
  • Good
  • Wrathful – God hates all that is unrighteous, and He punishes all unrighteousness.  Whatever is inconsistent with His holy standard must ultimately be atoned for or consumed. (Romans 1:18; John 3:36; 2 Chron 19:2; Col 3:5-6; Rev 15:7)
  • Truthful
  • Faithful
  • Jealous – God does not share His glory with another (Isaiah 48:11; Exodus 34:14; Isaiah 42:8)

Reminder this is not MY list of God’s attributes/nature…. it is from a Bible study I’m attending.  

I highlighted bold the 6 that I feel are incomplete pictures of who God is.  Not that they’re necessarily wrong…. God did manifest those attributes under the Old Covenant — they are just INCOMPLETE and don’t show the reality of the finished work of the Cross.


I highlighted LOVING and TRUTHFUL only because I don’t feel they are moral attributes only — based on her teaching that moral attributes are HOW God deals with mankind and natural attributes being who God IS.  He is not just loving and truthful to mankind.  HE IS LOVE, and HE IS TRUTH.  Because He is those things… because His nature is love and His nature is Truth, everything He does is loving and truthful.  But He is not Love because He’s loving nor is loving an adjective to describe Him.  LOVE is His very essence. The same goes for TRUTH (Jn 14:6; Jn 16:13;).


To say God is incomprehensible is to give an incomplete picture of who God is.  He is not beyond our comprehension.  He is definitely infinitely limitless, and we will forever be learning of who He is and growing in our knowledge of Him.  He was definitely incomprehensible to the unbelieving Israelites.  Romans 11:33 says He is incomprehensible because of their rejection of the Messiah due to their unbelief.  To Job and his friends, the Lord is incomprehensible (Job 11:7).  However, the story of Job is before the finished work of the Cross.

While I do not disagree that He is incomprehensible to men at times… definitely in the Old Testament and in the New Testament to the unbelieving (because the natural mind cannot understand God)…. it still is not a complete picture of who He is.  Just leaving it at incomprehensible does nothing for my faith or help me grow in grace.  We also have a Knowability of God thanks to Jesus.

Jesus came and revealed to us who God is… what His nature looks like.  Men had a wrong, distorted perspective of God’s nature and Jesus set it straight.  Let’s take a look at Hebrews 1:1-3 and John 17:26 in some different translations.

  • Hebrews 1:1-3 says “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;  (3) Who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person.”  
  • Hebrews 1:3 in the Message Bible:  This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words!
  • Hebrews 1:3a in the Mirror Bible: Jesus is the radiant and flawless expression of the person of God. He makes the glorious intent of God visible and mirrors the character and every attribute of God in human form. 
  • John 17:26 says “and I have made Your name known to them and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” 
  • Verse 26 in the Amplified says “I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known, that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them [felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them.” 
  • Verse 26 in the Message Bible says I have made Your very being known to them
    Who you are and what you do— And continue to make it known, So that your love for me might be in them exactly as I am in them.
  • John 17:26 in the Mirror Bible: And I have made the essence of Your being known to them so that they may know You by name, and I will also give them understanding to know that the same love with which You have loved Me is in them even as I am in them!

So a complete picture of God’s nature would include what we now have available through the Cross.  Jesus FULLY revealed His nature to us… He is no longer incomprehensible to us.  Nothing was hidden from us about God.  So what Scriptures do we have that show us the Knowability of God?

  • We can have a full and personal knowledge of Him
    • 2 Peter 1:3:  His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness
      • Amplified says through the FULL, PERSONAL knowledge of Him
  • We have been given understanding to know Him
    • Jer 9:24: but let the one who boasts boast about this:  that they have the understanding to know me,
      • Message Bible says  If you brag, brag of this and this only: That you understand and know me I’m God, and I act in loyal love.
      • Amplified says  But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally and practically, directly discerning and recognizing My character]
  • Eternal life is being able to know or comprehend God and His Son Jesus
    • John 17:3:  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
      • Know is ginosko in Greek — to take in knowledge; to comprehend
      • Mirror Bible says: This life of the ages, invites them to engage in the inexhaustible adventure of knowing you, the only true God and Jesus as the Christ whom you have commissioned!
      • Amplified says: And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.
  • God has promised that ALL shall know Him
    • Heb 8:11:  And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
  • Because we love and are born of God we have the ability to know God clearly
    • 1 Jn 4:7:  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth (ginosko) God.
      • Amplified says:  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him].
  • 1 Cor 2:9-10:  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit
    • Verse 10 in the Mirror Bible says: These profound mysteries of God’s eternal resolve are now thoroughly unveiled to us by his Spirit; nothing is hidden from him; he explores the innermost thoughts of God.
  • We have the mind of Christ and so we know what Christ knows
    • 1 Cor 2:16:  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
      • Message Bible says Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.
  • We know ALL things
    • 1 John 2:20: But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

Why would I want to study the Incomprehensibility of God when the New Covenant promises me that I can FULLY, INTIMATELY, PERSONALLY, COMPLETELY, know Him. This is worth exploring in greater depth. I did not do an exhaustive study of the Knowability of God.  Study it for yourself.  Don’t just “parrot” what a Bible teacher says…. even this Bible teacher 😏  

In the next blog, we’ll look at the nature of God being Just.

~ Robin

Wise home builders — Abigail

A couple of weeks ago I began a series of posts called Wonder Woman and chose different women throughout the Bible to highlight as wise home builders.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks and this is the first moment I’ve had to resume the teaching.  Today’s post is on Abigail in 1 Samuel 25.

Abigail has always been one of my favorite women of the Old Testament.  It’s hard to understand how a gracious, generous, loving woman could marry a man who’s character matches his name…. fool.  Maybe it was an arranged marriage… it seems unlikely that he was ever a catch that would’ve caught her eye!

1 Sam 25:3 says she was married to Nabal (meaning fool).  Psalm 14:1 talks about a fool.  The Complete Jewish Bible translation says:  Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God”, they deal corruptly, their deeds are vile, not one does what is right, an evil doer)  This pretty much summed up Nabal.  According to the Midrash (collection of explanatory works on the first five books of the Bible), he believed his lineage entitled him and not David to succeed Saul as King.  What does 1 Sam 25 tell us about Nabal and his wife Abigail?  It says he is very wealthy, he has 3 thousand sheep and 1 thousand goats.  He was hard hearted, oppressive, and evil in his deeds.  It also tells us he is a Calebite.  He and David are from the same tribe of Judah.  Of Abigail, it says she is beautiful and a woman of good understanding.  She definitely is a polar opposite of her husband!

In 1 Sam 25:4-8 we see David sending his men to appeal to Nabal for generosity towards them.   They greet Nabal in David’s name and pronounce a blessing upon him and his household. They call Nabal’s attention to the fact that it is shearing time, reminding him that while his men were in Carmel they protected them and his sheep.  They encourage Nabal to ask his servants to verify the truth of these words.  They have politely asked Nabal for a gift, waiting patiently and expectantly for his response.

Nabal’s response:  “Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants nowadays that break away every man from his master. Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be? “ (1 Sam 25:11).  

David’s appeal for food was not an unreasonable request.  This was during a sheep shearing feast (1 Sam 25:8) and it was known as a time of abundance, a time of sharing, and public celebration.  At such times the Law of Moses instructed the Israelites to be generous with those who were not so fortunate.  And since David’s men had contributed to Nabal’s well-being and wealth, David’s request is even more reasonable.  But Nabal refused.

At first, it looks like he doesn’t know who David is, asking “who is David?”  But obviously, he does as he refers to him as Jesse’s son.  It also appears that he knows of the tension between David and Saul.  Most likely he also knew of David’s fame as a giant killer and a war hero.  But he refers to him as a beggar and a runaway slave.  He had just insulted the region’s most powerful man. So the men return to David and report back to him Nabal’s response.  David tells his men to grab their swords and he and 400 of his men go after Nabal.

Meanwhile, Abigail (who had been out) hears what her husband did and sets out to repair the situation.  She quickly takes a gift of abundance to David (200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already prepared, six quarts of roasted grain, a hundred clusters of raisins and 200 fig cakes.)  She then asks him to blame her since she was not at home rather than blaming her husband since his inhospitable nature is part of his poor character.

Abigail was a Proverbs 31 woman…… she extends her hands to those in need, she speaks with wisdom, watches over the affairs of her household and definitely feared the Lord.  

  • She had good discernment.   Verse 3 describes her as beautiful and having good understanding or discernment. In verse 17 the servants make her aware of the situation, confident that she will “know and see” what to do.  This probably wasn’t the first time she had to smooth over things caused by her husband’s foolishness.  In verse 33 David praises her for her judgment and perception in the situation.  It was her good discernment that saved the lives of her household!
  • She was courageous.  She set off on her donkey to meet with David.  She boldly approached David and 400 men with swords who were coming to her home to kill everyone… herself included!  She stepped into a potential battle with a man who was known as a warrior!  She didn’t think of herself but rather risked her life in order to plead for the lives of her household.
  • She spoke well.  Her words were full of grace (Colossians 4:6).  Just like the Proverbs 31 woman, she spoke with wisdom and the law of grace… the law of chesed (covenant loyalty) was on her tongue.  She spoke to David as no other woman ever had.  She prophesied blessing and destiny over him.  Reminding him of God’s care over his life and that he didn’t need to shed needless bloodshed and vengeance.  She spoke well of God and well of David.  She spoke the Father’s heart and it pierced David’s heart causing him to change his mind.
  • She walked in humility.  She humbled herself before David bowing down before him and apologizing for anything she had done to offend David.  She took responsibility for her husband’s actions and asked that the blame falls on her.
  • She was generous.  She didn’t just provide for David’s need…. she abundantly provided food for them.  And she did it quickly… she didn’t hesitate.
  • She had the heart of a servant.  In verse 23 when she saw David, she bowed low before him and fell at his feet.  At the end of the story when David’s men at his request came to take her back to him as his wife, she again bowed low to the ground.  Calling herself a servant… happy to marry David… willing to be a slave… and willing to wash the feet of the servants of her lord.

Abigail was sensitive to the heartbeat of God…. aligning herself with His plans for David.  She saw David not as a runaway rebel (as her husband had) but rather as the anointed King of Israel.  She knew it was only a matter of time until God’s promises over David’s life were fulfilled.


Wise home builders — Jael

Definitely one of my absolute favorite women in the Bible!  Though the more I’m learning to see them through Abba’s eyes, the more they’re all becoming my favorites.  But Jael is still one of those top 5 women that I love in the Bible.  Truly, this woman was an extremely wise home builder.

What do we know about Jael from Scripture?  Her name Jael means mountain goat.  Mountain goats were swift, sure footed, and dwelled upon high cliffs.  She was the wife of Heber, the Kenite.  The Kenites traveled with the Israelites and are related to them through Moses they were descendants of Hobab who was Moses’ brother in law.

Judges 4:11 says that Heber severed himself from the other Kenites.  And he pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanaim.  Zaanaim means sleepwalking.  It does seem Heber was sleepwalking through life…. not awake to the plans and heartbeat of God.  Zaanaim is near Kadesh and yet at the same time not far from Hazor where Jabin the cruel Canaanite King lives.  Heber distanced himself from the covenant people to live on the border of Canaanite (enemy) territory.

Verse 17 tells us that Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army, ran to Jael’s tent because there was peace between Jabin and Heber.  He was a fence -sitter that played both sides between Israel and Israel’s enemy King Jabin.  He wanted to make sure he was allied with both in order to save himself.  Her husband had never taken a position….. but she did!  She was allied only with God.

It was by her hand that King Sisera met his demise.  She was a righteous warrior of her home and for the people of Israel.  When the enemy of Israel came to find refuge in her tent because of her husband’s alliance with King Jabin, she hammered a tent peg through his head!

She took a bold stand against the enemy

She wasn’t neutral when it came to her enemy and the future of her people.  This hospitable, house-wife, took a stake and nailed her enemy in the head. She didn’t wait for consensus. She didn’t listen to excuses or diplomacy. She refused to let fear make her choice.

She seized an opportunity!  He fled to her tent and she let him come in to sleep and while he was sleeping she killed him.  She was decisive and courageous and helped God’s people at a critical moment in history.  She was an instrument of deliverance and victory for her community.

Deborah made a song about her, calling her the most blessed of women!

What about you?  You must take a nail to neutrality! If a battle shows up in your home, stake it with the Word.  Let the Word make your decisions for you and refuse to compromise.  Be bold and courageous against the enemy for your family, your neighborhood, your city…. your nation!  

Her choice to take the correct position not only saved her family, it also saved her nation!

Wise home builders — Deborah

This has been a fun series and we’re only just getting started.  So far we’ve looked at God’s purpose for women (Wonder Woman) and 3 wise home builders… Eve, Sarah, and Rebecca.  Now let’s look at Deborah.   This post will probably be a bit long.. because there is just so much about her! This woman broke traditional, male female role barriers.  What an inspiration for us as women….

This woman, called by God, broke traditional male female role barriers.  What an inspiration for us as women…. that we can be all that God has called us to be and our being a woman is a strength and an asset.  God didn’t use Deborah because He couldn’t find a man who would fill the position!

He chose Deborah to lead Israel because she was the person He anointed and appointed for the position!  Deborah was in a class of her own; her leadership role was unprecedented and unparalleled! She was a woman who led a nation to victory against all odds.  She was the 4th judge out of a total of 15… and the only woman who judged.

She was a born leader.  She was an intercessor, a judge, and a prophetess.  She was a deliverer and a military strategist! She was also a mother to Israel.  She possessed wisdom, strength, and compassion.  While she was judge, the land had peace for forty years.  She held the highest executive office in the land!  She led a nation to victory against all odds!!

I love Deborah!  I love the inspiration she gives us as wives and mothers.  Especially as mothers.  My ceiling is my children’s floor… so I am constantly raising that ceiling.  Breaking boundaries.  Pushing limits.  And showing my kids… especially my daughters…. that you can continue to go higher and that there isn’t anything you can’t do with God.  I’m a wife, a mom, a homeschool teacher, a business owner with my husband, I also run a second business with my mom and a couple of friends, I teach Bible study, and I write.  I want my ceiling to be as high as it can be so that their jumping off point is from a great height.  I want them to follow me as I follow Christ and go higher than I ever will!

Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise and call her blessed.  Each line of Proverbs 31 begins with a Hebrew letter from the aleph bet (alphabet).  Verse 28 is the letter “kuf.”  Kuf is a picture of the back of a man’s head.  The idea is following after or behind.  Her children arise.  Arise is “kum” in Hebrew which means to rise up, to go higher spiritually.  And they bless her.  Bless is “ashar” which is not the typical word for bless but rather means guide, advance, lead.  Put it all together and it shows us that her children are following after her lead… after her advances…. she is guiding them and they are going higher spiritually because of it!  This is what a wise home builder looks like.

Although there is no evidence that Deborah had children, she was a mother of Israel.  She led her “children” to go higher spiritually.  Deborah broke outside of her culture, but she wasn’t in rebellion.  She wasn’t a feminist,  she was in obedience to her God.   As a result she was used radically to set her people free, and the people loved her.  Her life is a wonderful story of faith in God.

She spoke life and released what God was saying NOW!

Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. ~ Judges 4:4

This is our first introduction to Deborah….. she is a prophet, she is Lappidoth’s wife, and she is leading Israel.  The first description we have is her name.  Names often have profound prophetic meanings.  Names reveal the character of the person, unusual circumstances at birth, or prophetic destiny.  Names are so important that at times God changed the person’s name to reflect what He said of them.

Deborah’name means bee (devorah).  Bee comes from a word that means “word” (davar)  and can also be translated thing or matter.  The original picture painted by this word to the Hebrews is the arrangement of things to create order. The fact that God said she was a prophetess tells us that she was saying what she heard from Heaven restoring or arranging order in Israel.  She was one who would set things in order and release honey….. a time of plenty, a time of peace in the land designed to flow with milk and honey!

Deborah operated in a heavenly dimension of a spirit of wisdom and revelation. She spoke life and released what God was saying to Israel right now thereby restoring order in the land.  And the result was 40 years of peace for Israel.  40 years represents a generation….. like David would one day do, she served her generation well.

But that’s not all we know about her… that’s just the first thing


She was a prophet.  There were seers (ro’eh and chozeh) and prophets (nabi).  1 Samuel 9:9 says tells us that prophets were once called seers.  In Judges 4:4 Deborah is called a nabi… a prophet… but she must’ve at one time been called a seer.   Samuel was the only other person who was both a prophet and a judge.

2 Peter 1:21 tells us that prophets were holy “men” who spoke under the power of Holy Spirit.  They were anointed by God to call the people to repentance and to reveal the will of God for Israel.  Numbers 12:6 says that if a person was a prophet then God made Himself known to them in visions and spoke to them in dreams.

The prophets are called by various names including: “Man of God,” “Servant of Jehovah (LORD),” “Messenger of Jehovah,” “Interpreter,” “Sentinel,” “The Man of the Spirit.”  I like the last one… man (or in this case woman!) of the Spirit.  The Old Testament only mentions 4 women prophets…. Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, and Isaiah’s wife (Isaiah 8:3).  And 1 woman prophet who attempted to stop God’s will for Israel….. Noahadia (Numbers 22-24).  

She was a holy woman…. a woman of the spirit.  God spoke to her in dreams and visions. And she boldly spoke under the power of Holy Spirit the will of God for Israel.

She burned for God

In addition to being a woman who restored order to Israel and a prophet who spoke with divine authority, she is referred to as the “wife of Lapidoth.”   His name means flame or torches.  According to rabbinic tradition, she was a keeper of the oil and the lighter of the lamps.  I’m not sure about that because Exodus 30:7-8 and Leviticus 24:3 tell us it was the priest’s (Aaron’s) job to do that.  She wasn’t a priest.  Of course, it may be saying “woman of fire/torches” instead of the wife of Lapidoth.  Either way, whether she was a woman of

Either way, whether she was a woman of lapidot or Lapidoth’s wife, she was a woman who burned for God.  She was a keeper of oil… of Holy Spirit.  She obviously valued and guarded her relationship with Him.  And she was a light given to Israel to deliver them from darkness.

She judged righteously

She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.

She held court under the Palm of Deborah.  She would judge under a palm tree.  This was her court.  Palm tree means righteousness. Psalm 92 reveals that palm trees represent a life of righteousness that flourishes in God.  Her court would be a reminder to the people that a life of righteousness is what would cause them to flourish.  This would be a refreshing prophetic reminder to them after so many years of cruel oppression….. a wonderful encouragement.  Palm branches also represented victory…. through this woman’s leadership they would achieve victory over their enemies.  

She had Holy Spirit revelation and employed divine wisdom and strategies to influence her world.  John 7:24 tell us to not judge by appearances but to judge all things righteously.  We are to judge things the way God judges them….. His righteous judgments are always founded on restoration and reconciliation. Reconciliation to Him.

We judge righteously by applying 2 Cor 5:20-21 to our life “And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 

From the palm tree bearing her name, and elsewhere, called “the sanctuary of the palm,” she dispensed righteousness, justice, and mercy.  She was God’s answer to the Israelites, who cried out for help to the LORD, who had been cruelly oppressed for the last 20 years by Jabin, king of Canaan.

 She was abundantly fruitful 

She dwelled under the palm tree (righteousness) between Ramah and Bethel in the valley of Ephraim, which means doubly fruitful.  The one city was Ramah, which means “high place or the seat of idolatry.”   Bethel was known as the house of the Lord with open heavens….. this is where Jacob had his ladder experience in Genesis 28.  Bethel housed the ark of the covenant (Judges 20:27).

From this place, she judged.  From this place that she abided …..victory and righteousness (under the Palm), Deborah was abundantly fruitful.  She turned the Israelites hearts back to God.  Back to a desire for His Presence.  And away from idolatry.  And it stayed this way for 40 years.  Double (Ephraim is double fruitfulness) the time of their oppression.

She would hear from God and release Heaven on earth.  He led, she followed. She led, Israel followed.

She loved well

Of all the things that we learned about Deborah…. a prophet, a judge, a leader of Israel, a military strategist, a warrior, one who burned for God, there were, however, a couple of things she said about herself.  And both of these things are about how she loved…. first God and then out of that, others.

  1. In Deborahs Song, her love for the Lord is described as “like the sun, when it comes in full strength” (Judges 5:31).
  2. She called herself the Mother of Israel.

Deborah was a lover above all things.  She loved well!  She loved God fully — like the sun in full strength.  Hot and bright.  There was no dimness or coolness in her love for Him.  It was a wholehearted love…. one that could pour out to those around her.

She loved Israel. She prayed, interceded and judged them as only a mother can…. tenderly, lovingly… always with a heart of restitution and reconciliation to God.  And she was obviously loved by the people…..the eleven other dispersed tribes of Israel walked for miles and literally risked their lives on the dangerous highways as they pushed through to hear from God, through Deborah’s voice.  They must’ve felt her mother’s love for them.  She felt the ache in their hearts for God. She knew they had come so far, how could they leave empty-handed?  Deborah could hear the groans of the Israelites who were oppressed for 20 years and feel the pounding pain in God’s heart over His peoples sin and oppression. I believe that it was her ability to hear His heartbeat that allowed her to save a nation in a day.

Deborah could hear the groans of the Israelites who were cruelly oppressed for 20 years and feel the love in God’s heart for His people…. a love that wouldn’t give up on them.   It was her ability to hear His heartbeat that allowed her to turn a nation back to Him.  Deborah ruled with the sword of a prophet but with the heart of a mother.  She led well because she loved well.

In “Matthew Henry’s Commentary,” he writes  “…..She was totally devoted to Israel. After Jehovah, Israel was her first love.”

Will you be like a Deborah?  Hearing God’s heartbeat and expressing His love for those who are oppressed?  Judging them in righteousness and victory?  Waging war on an (already defeated) enemy by declaring them free IN CHRIST?

~ Robin



Wise home builders — Rebecca

I have to confess that I didn’t always think Rebecca was a very wise home builder.  I thought she was a bit manipulative “deceiving” Isaac.  And for favoring one child over the other.  But a few years ago as I was working on my Proverbs 31 Bible study and looking at all of these different women, I began to see Rebecca differently.  I believe I began to see her through Abba’s eyes… and I hope you do too.

Rebecca had been barren for 20 years.  And now, her pregnancy was not an easy one. The Bible says the babies struggled within her.  The Hebrew word for struggled means to crush or oppress.  It sounds like a violent word.  I’ve had 4 babies and they all moved around a lot while I was pregnant and occasionally kicked really hard.  But it wasn’t a violent moving around.  I can’t even imagine what that must’ve felt like.  She wanted to know why this was happening to her….

So Rebecca inquired of the Lord (Genesis 25:22).  This is the first time that a woman is mentioned as “inquiring of the Lord.”  That tells us a lot about Rebecca’s relationship with God.  Something didn’t seem right to her about this pregnancy.  God had blessed her with a baby after 20 years and it didn’t seem “normal” to have sorrow or trouble with it (Proverbs 10:22)….. there was a violent warring going on in her womb.  She obviously had a personal relationship with God and wanted to hear what He had to say on the matter.

In Genesis 25:22-28 tells us that Rebecca inquired of the Lord and He answered her with his plan for the Jews – she had 2 nations at war in her womb. He said they would be divided from birth…. two nations, two kingdoms.  The Hebrew word for nations is goyim, which means both Jewish and Gentile nations.  The Jewish nation of Israel will be from Jacob, and the Gentile nation will be from Esau (later the nation of Edom).  One people will be stronger than the other because Israel will be stronger than Edom. And the older will serve the younger (Second Samuel 8:12-14) because Edom would be enslaved to Israel.

Romans 9:10-13 emphasizes the importance of God’s word to Rebekah.  Before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad, in order that God’s purpose in election might standnot by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”  Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”   The LORD’s choice of Jacob, the younger, to inherit His covenant promise was made before the boys were even born. This showed that the choice did not depend on what either did.  This was not about birth order but rather Divine election.  Jacob’s destiny was to produce the lineage that the Deliverer would come…. to be an heir of the Promise (Hebrews 11:9).  

After she had given birth, it says Isaac loved Esau and Rebecca loved Jacob.  This is more than just parental favoritism over children.  Rebecca understood the importance of God’s word to her.  She chose what God had already chosen.  In order to understand this, we have to look at the natures of the two sons.


Genesis 25:27 gives two descriptions of Esau…..

  • cunning or skillful hunter
  • a man of the field.

He was a skillful hunter.  This isn’t referring to him as a rugged hunter.  A manly man.  An outdoorsman like Daniel Boone.  It isn’t a positive characteristic.  Another man earlier in Genesis is described as a skillful hunter… Nimrod.  Josephus said of Nimrod that he “excited them (the people) to such an affront and contempt of God.”  The meaning of Nimrod’s name is “rebel” or “let us revolt.”  He had contempt for the plans of God and he hunted men, enslaving them in his rebellion.   Esau was a man of the field who knew entrapment.    “Knew how to trap” in the Hebrew implies that he used superficial righteousness to trap with his mouth/words. Basically, he may have talked the talk but he didn’t walk the walk!  He was a man of the flesh who knew how to deceive.  He was a man ruled by his carnal nature… by his senses.

Esau was a man of the field who knew entrapment. “Knew how to trap” in the Hebrew implies that he used superficial righteousness to trap with his mouth or his words.  Basically, he may have talked the talk but he didn’t walk the walk!  He was a man of the flesh who knew how to deceive.  He was a man ruled by his carnal nature… by his senses.

He sold his birthright for a bowl of stew!  Genesis is not the only place we are told that.  It’s mentioned in Hebrews 12:16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal.  In this verse he is described as godless and immoral…. a fornicator and profane.  Fornicator would refer to idol worship.  He had married foreign, idolatrous Hittite wives.  Profane refers to people unfit to access (to know) God because they approach Him apart from faith.  Esau didn’t know God.  He gave away his birthright… the verb literally means “to give it away.”  In Genesis 27:34 the fact that he is so upset over Jacob having the Blessing indicates that he had an understanding of how powerful The Blessing was and yet still gave it away… he had an understanding of its power but not a care for it.  It meant nothing to him.

This is Esau.  He had no ethics or faith, no scruples or reverence. He had no regard for the good, the truthful, the divine. He was totally worldly, totally secular, totally profane.  He married foreign women who worshipped other gods and they were a source of grief to his parents… in Hebrew, it says they were bitterness to his parent’s spirits.  Even later he added to those wives one of Ishmael’s daughters.  He had no love for God or the things of God.


I think Jacob has gotten a bad rap over the years.  He’s often described as deceitful, a schemer, and stealing the Blessing from Esau.  But how does Holy Spirit describe Jacob in Genesis?  After all, His opinion is the only one that matters.   Genesis 25:27 says he was a plain man who dwelt in tents.

The Hebrew word translated as mild or plain is “tam” meaning complete, pious, perfect, undefiled, and upright. “Tam” is one of the most common words the Bible uses to refer to being wholeheartedly devoted to walking with God. This word is the opposite of our English word “hypocrite.”  He was a man wholeheartedly for God….. sincere in his love for God.   This is the Holy Spirit’s basic assessment of Jacob’s character.

He was a man of integrity who dwelled in tents!  The writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 11:9) says their choice to dwell in tents was an act of faith!  He, like Abraham and Isaac, chooses to focus on the Promise of God.  So from this we know he was a man of faith.  Another character trait of Jacob’s that we see is in chapter 27 when he is pretending to be Esau.  He is kind and gentle.  In verse 19 he asks Isaac to please sit up and eat compared to verse 31 when Esau speaks to his dad he just tells him to sit up and eat.

His name has been defined as “deceiver” but actually, it means heel.  Because as they came out of the womb, Jacob grabbed Esau’s heel.  It doesn’t strike me as a negative word.  Remeber they were struggling (crush or oppress) together in the womb.  It sounds like Jacob was Esau’s determined pursuer…. the one who would overtake and dispossess him.  Hosea 12:3 mentions it and calls it strength.  Rebecca named him according to his destiny….. according to the prophetic promise she had from God.

Rebecca’s intervention

Rebecca like Eve and Sarah held onto God’s Word.  She guarded and protected what God had told her.

Rebekah is often blamed for the partiality or favoritism she manifested for Jacob.  I don’t believe that’s true.  She believed God. She loved Jacob because Jacob was the Lord’s preference. … Rom 9:13 God says Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated…. speaking of two opposing nations.  An opportunity presented itself and she took it.  In Genesis 27 it says Isaac was going to bless Esau his firstborn as soon as he came back from hunting.  She heard this and then responded in faith.

I’m not sure why Isaac was going to bless Esau with the Blessing.  Esau had already married two Hittite wives and made life miserable for Isaac and Rebecca.  Didn’t Isaac realize that with idolatrous wives it would be difficult to produce the lineage of the Promised Deliver?  That because of idolatry Esau wouldn’t be able to walk in the Blessing that Isaac was giving to him?  All I can determine is that Esau was very cunning and very deceptive and had Isaac completely bewitched.  But regardless of why Isaac was ready to bless Esau, Rebecca was aligned with God’s choice.   Holding onto and acting on the promise God had given her.

Rebecca sided with God’s preference.   She recognized Jacob as the chosen son… just like Isaac had been the chosen son.  Holding onto and acting on the promise God had given her.  Faith requires action.  And Rebecca acted on her faith.  When God blessed her with pregnancy and it wasn’t going so smoothly, she sought God to find out why.  This showed great faith and strength of spirit.  There is no reason not to think that when it seemed like Esau would receive the Blessing that God had promised Jacob that she again sought the Lord in prayer.  That may have given her the confidence she needed to pursue His promise.

She was a woman who had the faith to ask for guidance and who had the faith to follow it; because of her faith, she was able to be a great co-laborer with God and influence the whole course of history.  She was protecting a lineage.  She continued to protect it by sending Jacob away when Esau plotted to murder him.  And also by sending him to find a godly wife instead of an idolatrous Canaanite wife.  Rebekah was a wise home builder risking deception to follow God’s promise, and His plan unfolded exactly as He had told her.

Are you watching over the words God has spoken to you?  Protecting His promises over your family at all costs…. even if your actions and character are misunderstood?  Are you co-laboring with Him to see His plans unfold exactly as He has told you?

~ Robin

Wise home builders — Sarah

The wisest of women builds her house, (she saves her household with her wisdom) but folly (lack of good sense or judgment) tears it down with her own hands”  ~ Proverbs 14:1

In this series of A Woman’s Purpose we are looking at how God created women.  What did it look like when His thought took on human flesh in the form of a woman.  Proverbs 31 is a beautiful look at how He sees all of us women.  The characteristics that He placed inside of all of us that manifest so uniquely in each of us.  All a beautiful expression of who He is in us.  He created us to be strong gate keepers of our families.  To be wise home builders…. legacy builders…. building and preserving faith in future generations.

There are so many women in Old and New Testament who were wise builders of their homes.  Yesterday we looked at Eve.  Through the naming of her children, she spoke forth her expectation for a Deliverer to rescue mankind from their hopeless state.  Over the next few blog posts we’ll look at several more women who I especially love…. Sarah, Rebecca, Abigail, Deborah, Huldah, Jael, Esther, the Unknown woman of Abel Beth Maacah and some women in the New Testament.  Hopefully these women will inspire you like they’ve inspired me.

In Wonder Woman (part 1 of this series) we learned that in order for a wise woman to build her house… to build her legacy IN CHRIST, it’s going to require discernment.  God put hostility or hatred between the serpent and the woman.  Between in the Hebrew comes from a word meaning discernment.  It’s going to take discernment on our part as women to recognize when the enemy is in our midst and trying to wreak havoc in our homes.

Sarah was such a woman who walked in discernment.

Go with me to two Scriptures… Genesis 21:8-12 and Galatians 4:29

  • Genesis 21:8-12:  When Isaac grew up and was about to be weaned, Abraham prepared a huge feast to celebrate the occasion. But Sarah saw Ishmael—the son of Abraham and her Egyptian servant Hagar—making fun of her son, Isaac. So she turned to Abraham and demanded, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son. He is not going to share the inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won’t have it!” This upset Abraham very much because Ishmael was his son. But God told Abraham, “Do not be upset over the boy and your servant. Do whatever Sarah tells you, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.
  •  Galatians 4:29 Amp.  Yet [just] as at that time the child [of ordinary birth] born according to the flesh despised and persecuted him [who was born remarkably] according to [the promise and the working of] the [Holy] Spirit, so it is now also. 

The verse in Genesis 21 shows us the discernment that Sarah walked in which protected her family.    We all know the story of Genesis 16 of how Abraham was promised a son (a seed) and after awhile Sarah offered to let him lie with Hagar because perhaps that’s how she could have a son with Abraham… through Hagar giving birth.  So Hagar gives birth to Ishmael.  In chapter 17 God makes a covenant with Abraham… actually with Himself.  He tells Abraham that he will have a son with his wife Sarah and will name him Isaac.  Isaac not Ishmael is the son of promise… the seed of the Deliverer.  Jump ahead to chapter 21 and Sarah indeed gives birth to Isaac.

As Isaac is weaned from Sarah, Abraham throws a huge feast to celebrate.  During the celebration, Sarah sees Ishmael making fun of.. or mocking Isaac.  So she turns to Abraham and tells him to “cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.” (verse 10).  Seems like harsh treatment against Hagar and her son… after all, kids will be kids right?  But Ishmael wasn’t exactly a kid.  Isaac was probably 2 or 3 and that would’ve made Ishmael 16 or 17!

This was much more than just an older brother being jealous of a younger brother or two women competeing over which one of them is more important or which son is more important.  Ishmael’s mockery revealed that he didn’t have any spiritual insight and saw nothing special about Isaac as the promised son.  No spiritual insight….. carnal.  Similar to Esau or Cain.  Not a lover of righteousness.

Sending Hagar and Ismael away means divorcing Hagar and disinheriting Ishmael.  According to laws of the land (Code of Hammurabi) in Abraham’s day, the inheritance rights passed to the son that is “accepted” by the father and thus, Ishmael had to be sent away in order to pass the inheritance rights to Isaac.

While it’s pretty clear that God doesn’t consider Ishmael Abraham’s son…it looks like Abraham does consider him his son.  In chapter 17 (when Ishmael is 13 years old) God just refers to him as Ishmael but verse 23 it says Abraham took Ismael, his son, and and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.  Looks like he made a distinction between Ishmael as his son and everyone else in his house.   Even in chapter 21 when Sarah has Abraham send Ismael away, God refers to him as the boy and to Hagar as the female slave, maidservant.  

Sarah obviously didn’t view Ishmael as his son.  In chapter 21 he is referred to by her as the son of the slave woman.   Although in chapter 16 she fully expected to have a son with Abraham through Hagar… who would act as a kind of surrogate for them.  But Hagar.  Hagar after she conceives, rather quickly it appears, she then despises her mistress.  She looked upon Sarah as less than…. of no importance.  The root of despise is curse… she looked at her as being cursed because she couldn’t conceive.  Perhaps Hagar’s bitter, resentful attitude at not being the mistress carried over to her son…. who became hostile and offended towards Isaac, “the promised son”.

Galatians 4:29 gives us the reason for the banishment of Hagar and Ishmael… he despised and persecuted Isaac, the child of promise.  He pursued him with hostility.

She saw correctly and through her discernment she helped guide her husband in God’s plans for Isaac.  God told Abraham to listen to his wife and send Hagar and Ismael away. We have to be careful not to insert our own opinions into this story.  Sarah was not jealous or harsh.  She was protecting the lineage of the Deliverer.

She was being a wise builder of her home……

  • Sarah had Godly discernment

She saw correctly that Ishmael was a threat to Isaac’s destiny and respectfully opposed Abraham.  Guiding him in choosing between the son of the flesh or the son of the promise.  

God told Abraham to listen to his wife and send Hagar and Ismael away. Why should Abraham listen to Sarah’s voice this time when it was the wrong thing to do before (he listened to her in regards to sleeping with Hagar)? Because this time Sarah had realigned herself with the purpose of God. She chose faith over the power of the flesh to fulfill what God had spoken.

Are you properly discerning those who are coming against the promises of God in your life?

Are you taking a stand to protect your children from those who would speak against their call and destiny in God?

Are you properly aligned with the purpose of God for your family in faith so that your husband can trust your discernment….. your judgement in matters that help guide his destiny?

Discernment is keen perception or judgment.  It is to understand the plans, intent, thought or motive. Discernment goes beyond just the words spoken and hears the spirit behind things that are said or done.

To grow in discernment, we need to be renewing our minds in the Word of God… getting the mind of Christ functioning in our minds.. to be guided by His thoughts, purposes, and intents.

Tomorrow we’ll look at Rebecca……

~ Robin