Goodness and Grace


chesed love      Yesterday we looked at the word good.  We studied 1 Chronicles 16:34  O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good…  ” and learned that good is not an adjective describing God but it is who He is (see yesterdays post entitled “Goodness“).  Good and God are the same thing… they are a single idea.  He is good!  And He can’t be anything but good to you!

Good and God are the same thing… they are a single idea.  He is Good!  And therefore He can’t be anything but Good to you!

The rest of that scripture says “for His mercy (lovingkindness) endures forever”.  The word mercy is not an accurate translation.  Translators use words like kindness, lovingkindness, mercy, loyalty, steadfast love, and graciousness because there really isn’t a proper English word that encapsulates the meaning of this word. Perhaps loyal love is close.  

The Hebrew language has a word for this loyal love that is richer and deeper than anything in English—it is chesed (KHEH-sed). It is a covenant word that goes beyond the requirements of mere duty and obligation… is a love that WILL NOT let me go!  It is from the root word chacad, which is to be good or kind…..”to bow down.” It is a picture of God coming down to where we are (in the person of Jesus)  and providing us the Way of Salvation! It truly is covenant love…. an immovable, unshakable, unchanging loyalty to His covenant with us.

We also quoted Ps 23:6 yesterday “Surely goodness and loving kindness (chesed) will follow me all the days of my life…. goodness, and chesed (God’s loyalty to His covenant) will follow me ALL the days of my life.   The word”surely” is set as a seal upon it… it’s guaranteed… a done deal! It doesn’t depend on what I do or don’t do… I can add nothing of myself to it.  I am sealed with His goodness and chesed!

Psalm 107:1 is the same verse as 1 Chronicles 16:34 (above) and the same word chesed is used.  Psalm 136 is another identical Scripture….again the word used is chesed although our English uses the translation mercy.  I like Psalm 136 in the Complete Jewish Bible translation (you can go to bible to read it)…. this translation always translates chesed as grace, and not just in this Psalm only.

One of the earliest usages of chesed is by Abraham’s servant, Eliezer, when he was sent to find a wife for Isaac. He realized that his success was because of the Father’s chesed (translated “kindness” in Genesis 24:12).  It was because of God’s covenant loyalty to his master Abraham.

Moses used this term to show why God delivered Israel from captivity in Egypt…. because of covenant loyalty (chesed). “You in Your mercy (chesed) have led forth the people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation” (Exodus 15:13).In Ex 34:5-8 after God gives Moses the Tablets, He descended in a cloud and stood before him proclaiming who He is… verse 6 translates

In Ex 34:5-8 after God gives Moses the Tablets, He descended in a cloud and stood before him proclaiming who He is… verse 6 translates chesed as abounding in goodness! He abounds in covenant loyalty towards us.  

We see a similar statement in John 1:17  “grace (charis) and truth (reality) came through Jesus Christ.”  Jesus is the manifestation and the reality of grace and truth… of chesed (covenant loyalty). Thus we see the connection between the Hebrew word chesed (translated here as “goodness”) and the Greek charis, meaning “grace.”

Ps 117 says Praise the LORDall nationsExtol him, all peoples!
For great is his loving kindness (chesed) toward us, and the faithfulness (truth) of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!…..The CJB translation says in verse 2… For his grace has overcome us, and Adonai’s truth continues forever.

Grace and truth! Jesus came full of grace and truth….this had always been His character and by extension the character of His Father. 

Chesed is covenant word ….  it is the Old Testament equivalent of the New Testament word charis which is “grace.”  Sometimes we view the Old Testament (Judaism) as a religion of laws and the New Testament (Christianity) as a religion of grace.  God extended his grace in both Testaments… both Covenants. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He revealed his grace to the fullest in the New Testament coming of Jesus …John 1:16-17 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace…….grace and truth came through Jesus Christ…. but His grace is also displayed throughout Old Testament Scriptures

Chesed is definitely a word that begs for a deeper study than we can give to this one blog post.  Now that I know it is the equivalent of New Testament grace, it will change how I read scriptures and it will definitely cause me to do a deeper study of it.  I hope it sparked you to do a deeper study as well.

Hosea 6:6 says that God desires chesed (covenant loyalty) not sacrifice, and He desires the knowledge of Him (yada – intimate knowing as in a husband and wife) not burnt offerings.  

That reminds me of Paul’s words in Phil 3:10 that I may know (ginosko in Greek – the equivalent of the Hebrew word yada) Him and the power of His resurrection.  By going deeper, drawing nearer to Him… knowing Him more intimately… only then can I fully understand chesed.

God’s grace is a given that is always being given!  There is nothing you can do to earn or merit His grace.  It is given because of chesed… His covenant loyalty toward us…. HIS LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET US GO!

~ Robin


good father 3      This Hebrew month of Tevet is a month filled with the goodness of God from beginning to end (see blog Tevet – 5775 (2015) and Tevet – 5774 (2014)

God is a good God… He can’t help but pour out His goodness on us all the time!  The word good, which in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word tov, is listed 562 times.  Strong’s defines it as favorable, pleasant, festive (I like that one!), pleasing, well, better, right, best. Some of the translations in the KJV are beautiful, best,  bountiful, at ease, joyful, prosperity, ready, wealth.   In the New Testament, the Greek word for good and goodness is “agathos” and is mentioned 101 times.  It describes goodness as something that originates from God and is empowered by Him in our lives, through faith.  Good originates from God and is empowered by Him in our lives… I really like that!

The Psalms mentions good in connection with these things….

  1. God… He is good!
  2. having life and adding to thatlong life
  3. God’s name
  4. His loving-kindness
  5. drawing near to God… He is good and releases good into our lives
  6. increase… gotta love this one!
  7. giving thanks to God… again like #5 not only is it good but “giving thanks” is a releaser, releasing even more good into our lives!
  8. God’s judgments… it doesn’t say judgment is good, it says God’s judgments are good because He is good!
  9. God’s mercy
  10. God’s dealings with us ….I especially like this one!! 
  11. It is good to dwell in Unity…. ooh this one is really good, and our lives are good when we walk in unity… I did a study on this not too long ago…. 
  • unity is: to be in tune or in sync with one another.  All going the same way, headed in the same spiritual direction together.
  •  “to breathe” or “to breathe spiritually together”. Breathing together speaks of covenant relationship… becoming one (Jn 17:21).
  • it is not based on likes and similarities… it is having one heart and one mind

12.  God’s spirit

The Psalms also say….

  1. that to find goodness we are to look to God – because there is no good without Him
  2. that God sends blessings of goodness to us
  3. that He makes goodness follow us
  4. that we are to taste and see that God is good
  5.  when we choose God we will lack no good thing in our lives
  6.  God gives good things

Truly, life is good because God is good!  Life is not supposed to be hard for us…. Prov 13:15 says that the way (or life) of the transgressor is hard (and continues that way).  We are not transgressors, we are righteous… in covenant with God.

  • Jeremiah 29:11 tells us He has good plans for us.. plans that give us a hope and a future.
  • Psalm 23:6 tells us that goodness and covenant loyalty (God’s loyalty to His covenant toward us)  follow (pursue us, chase us down) us ALL the days of our life.
  • Psalm 103:5 says He satisfies (fills me to full) my life with good things.

That’s not to say that life is always sunshine and roses.  Many in the Bible had circumstances in their lives that didn’t appear to be good… Joseph, David, Daniel, etc… but God’s goodness was still working in their lives in the midst of those circumstances… producing favor in these circumstances and using it to fulfill His destiny in their lives!   The root word for tov is “tet-bet” which means preparing something to receive.  God is always preparing us to receive more of His goodness…. preparing means to set us up or establish us.  Good in Hebrew means working the way God created it to work….  functional, kind of like a well oiled and tuned machine….. whereas evil which is “ra” which means dysfunctional.

God is always at work in our lives setting us up and establishing us to receive even more goodness than He has already poured out on us and causing all things to work together for good (Rom 8:28) the way He designed and purposed (Eph 1:4, 2 Tim 1:9, and Eph 2:10 just to name a few) for us.

1 Chronicles 16:34  O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good…….Good in this scripture is called an absolute noun, meaning it follows another noun forming a single idea.   Good is not an attribute of God. “Good” and God are one single thought. There is no “good” separated from God and then associated with Him. “Good” and God are the same thing…. good is who He is. He can’t be anything but good to you!  

life is good

Today begin looking at your life as good… regardless of your circumstances.  Begin confessing His goodness over your life today… saying….”My life is full of God’s goodness…  it is pleasant, it is festive, it is truly His best given to me!  My life is beautiful, it is bountiful it is at ease and full of joy.  My life is full of prosperity, wealth, and abundance.  My life is full of His good plans, full of hope and a future.  His goodness is chasing me down and pursuing me.  He is filling my life with good things.  God is preparing me today to receive even MORE of His goodness.  My life functions the way He designed and purposed it to function… there is no dysfunction in my life.  Truly, my life is good because my God is Good!

~ Robin

Tevet – 5775 (2015)


chesedMy mom nicknamed me Pollyanna Sunshine when I was little… because I have always had an abundance of optimism.  Truly it’s a gift from God that I cherish. I have always tended to always look at things through a heart of hope.  I love just simply believing what God says and looking for His goodness… His redemption in all things.  I’m learning to read the Scriptures through this lens of redemption… through my Father’s eyes.  We will always find grace in His eyes…..Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD 

When I’m studying the Hebrew months I look for goodness and hope… for something that encourages and causes me to grow higher in Him. Each month was given by God with a unique purpose and is designed to release a blessing of revelation of His goodness into our lives.  I pray that my study of this month and this season gives you fresh hope of the goodness of God and all that He has for you.

Tonight  we enter into not only a new month on the Hebrew calendar, Tevet (Dec 13th – Jan 10th).. but also a new season, Winter.  Winter is the season to plan for increase in the next season.  Tevet is the 10th month on the Hebrew calendar… 10 is a number of divine order … 10 is also 5 + 5… five being the number of grace or in this case a double portion of grace.  This month walk in the double portion of grace available for you… choose to walk in the fullness, in the grace that Jesus made available for us.  He paid it all so that you could have it all!  It’s a free gift (Eph 2:8).

The first two letters in the word Tevet is “tov” which is the Hebrew word for good and it is followed by the letter tet which is also a letter connected to the word good…. so the word Tevet from beginning to end is a word full of God’s goodness.

While I LOVE the Christmas season,  I realize not everyone enjoys it.  It can be a time of bitter disappointments, sadness over loved ones gone, rejections of family members, depression, etc.  It can also be a financially stressful time for many.  But in this month of Tevet, let’s declare it as a month of God’s goodness from beginning to end.. allowing Him to lavish us with His goodness, His grace, and His favor.

Tevet is also connected to the Hebrew letter “ayin”.  Ayin means the eye.  This month purposely choose to see things through the Father’s eyes.  Seeing circumstances through the eyes of faith and hope… and seeing others through the eyes of love, grace, and redemption.  Read the scriptures through the lens of the finished work of the Cross and the Resurrection… it will change how you read it!

Each month is associated with a tribe of Israel.  The tribes were divided into four groups of three.  This Winter season included the three tribes:  Dan (the leader of this group), Naphtali and Asher.  They formed the “rear” guard of the camp and were the ones to watch out for the enemy attacking the camp from behind.‭ ‬These three formed the rear guard, not because of military skill but because they brought the glory of God.  They were the most creative of the tribes… Dan were skilled craftsmen in all kinds or artistic work, Naphtali brought forth beautiful words, and Asher caused the land to flourish.

This Winter season let’s understand that His glory is our rear guard  (Is 58:8)…. knowing that we are His most artistic work, and He is speaking over us such beautiful words and causing us to flourish in the land.  

Dan is the tribe connected to Tevet.  Dan in the Hebrew means to judge.  Dan’s ensign was the eagle!  Dan is one who can see the prey afar off‭ ‬-‭  the ‬one who soars on high in the Spirit and get the heavenly perspective on things.‭ ‬His judgement takes in the full scope of the scene and from his viewpoint,‭ ‬he is able to objectively give good direction and accurate assessments of situations.‭ ‬As a result,‭ ‬he is called to judge Israel.‭

Let’s judge correctly this month… soaring on wings of eagles and judging things through God’s eyes of love and mercy…..of goodness….. of grace.

May this season be full of the goodness of God, full of His glory (Ex 33:18-19)…… Merry Christmas (Celebration of Christ) from our family to yours!

~ Robin

Declarations for the month of Tevet:

  • God is good and He has lavished me with His goodness and abundance IN CHRIST
  • This month of Tevet is full of goodness, grace, and favor from beginning to end
  • This month I look at my circumstances through my Father’s eyes… eyes full of faith and hope.
  • This month I walk in an abundance of grace….. grace upon grace!
  • This month I see others through the eyes of love, grace, and redemption… seeing them as the Father sees them.
  • This season, God’s glory is my rearguard… I am His most artistic work, He speaks over me with beautiful words and causes me to flourish in the land.
  • This season, I soar in the Spirit and get the Heavenly perspective on things.
  • This season I judge correctly…  judging things through God’s eyes of love and mercy, of goodness….. of grace.

Abraham’s Journey part 3….. from Abram to Abraham

abraham in hebrew

So in our last 2 blog posts, Abram has been on a journey with God… a journey towards his destiny… a journey of finding the Abraham that God created him to be.  This journey required that he leave behind his father, his family, and his country.  God wanted to be a Father to Abram and to transform Abram into Abraham, the father of many nations.  First, though he had to be taught what a true father is…. his father was not teaching him about a covenant relationship with God but rather covenant relationships with idols.  Abraham made the choice to leave and set out on this journey to Canaan.

Abraham made the choice to leave and set out on this journey to Canaan.

He took his wife Sarai with him and all their cattle and servants that they accumulated in Haran… and verse 4 says that Lot went with him.  In the Hebrew it says Lot walked (halak) with him…. halak means to live following a manner of life, to follow the precepts of God, to follow after.  Lot was following Abram who was following God… reminds me of 1 Cor 11:1 when Paul told the Corinthians to “follow him as I follow Christ” or “imitate me as I imitate Christ”.  

Jump ahead 5 chapters to chapter 17 and Abram is now 99. It’s here that God gives Abram a token… a sign of the covenant He made with him in chapter 15… after he rescued Lot and gave a 10th of all (tithe) to Melchizedek.  This was a covenant of grace…  Abraham believed and it was credited to him as righteousness.    It’s here also that God reveals himself to Abram as El Shaddai….the God who is enough… Who is able and is everything we need.  It also comes from a root meaning “to pour out”…I am that God who pours out blessings, who gives them richly, abundantly, continually.”  

Then He tells Abram to walk before him and be blameless.  At first glance, this looks like God is giving Abram a command in order to reap the blessings of the covenant.  … to walk (halak), to follow after Him and to be complete, whole and if he can do that he can walk in the Blessing..   But remember back in chapter 15:17 “God caused Abraham to fall asleep, and then He came down in the image of a smoking

But remember back in chapter 15:17 “God caused Abraham to fall asleep, and then He came down in the image of a smoking fire pot and flaming torch and walked through the separated halves of the sacrificed animals by Himself”…… God was committed to upholding the covenant.. to blessing Abraham and his descendants whether they were faithful or not.   It was a covenant established on grace, not works.  God upheld both sides of the covenant… His and Abram’s.

God was telling Abraham to walk with him,  to follow after Him and He (El Shaddai) would make him complete and whole… and would pour out The Blessing on his life abundantly and continually.  

And finally, it’s here that he changes Abram’s name to Abraham.  God added the Hebrew letter “hei” to Abram’s name.  Hei is the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is a number for grace, goodness, and favor.  It speaks of revelation and light.  It is also the wind, breath…the Spirit of God…blowing on us.  It is the divine breath of God breathed into Adam releasing His life into Adam.  Adding hei to the end of a noun allows it to be fruitful and productive – it is the transforming power of the Spirit.

All of this was added to Abram when he finally became Abraham at the age of 99.  God poured out on him… added to him... grace, goodness, favor, revelation, light and of course the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to be fruitful and productive.  Abram became Abraham – a man whose destiny is wrapped up in and made manifest through the work of God’s Spirit.

We also receive a new identity when we follow after God and walk in covenant with Him… we are now IN CHRIST…. we are then able to walk complete and whole, blameless before God…. in the completed, finished work of the Cross and Resurrection and we receive the Holy Spirit… Who transforms us, equips us, helps us, making us fruitful. We are new creatures IN CHRIST through grace and empowered by Holy Spirit to walk out our God given destinies….  Gal 3:14, Gal 5:22-23, Rom 8:14, 1 Cor 12:4-11, Eph 3:20 and Eph 3:1-16 just to name a few scriptures.   The letter “hei” is all about GRACE…..the infusion of the very BREATH or LIFE of God within us.

Today allow Him to introduce you to your new self… to the you IN CHRIST, a new creature that never existed before!

~ Robin



~ Robin

Abraham’s Journey part 2… lech lecha

genesis 12;1

Genesis 12:1 begins with God telling Abraham to  “Go for yourself, from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.” and then He gives him a promise as a result of doing that….And I will make you a great nation, and bless you, and make your name great; and you will be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.  

And of course we know that this promise… the Blessing… is ours also according to Galatians 3:9 “So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.”

God didn’t just tell Abraham to leave his land, relatives and father’s house.  He said to him “Lech lecha”.  Lech Lecha is a unique phrase that God only spoke in the Old Testament to Abraham.  To everyone else (Moses, Jacob, etc) He said “Kum” which means arise and is always spoken to those who need to come up to a higher level to follow God.  Lech Lecha, on the other hand is an invitation.

Literally it means “you go” but it means so much more.   Most biblical scholars say that adding Lecha to lech serves to make the verb more intense.  God is telling Abram that this is not just a command to leave home, it is an invitation to journey to himself.  Literally, it means “come to yourself”… find the you I’ve called you to be!  Go to the Land that I will show you – where I will make you VISIBLE – where your “potential being” will be realized in various and unpredictable ways.

In order to embark on this journey he had to first do 3 things… leave his birthplace, his

  • leave his birthplace
  • his relatives
  • and his father’s house.

His birthplace implies boundaries and he had to cross those boundaries and leave them behind…. leave his past behind.  He had to cross the “Euphrates” just like Eber did… to become a Hebrew (one who crosses over) on his own not on his ancestor’s merits.

His family implies influence.  Abraham’s family worshiped idols. God wanted to be Abraham’s influence and wanted to make Abraham an influence to the world around him.  He wanted to become the God of Abraham and through Abraham bless all the families of the earth.  He couldn’t do that if Abraham’s family were his influence.

His father’s house implies control.  Our fathers are our teachers whether for good or for bad. We are under their sphere of control for many years. As a result, it is difficult to separate from the need to seek our father’s approval. This is not to suggest that we should ignore, disrespect or dishonor our fathers. The simple fact is we must grow up. We must learn to seek God’s approval in place of our fathers’ approval.  Our fathers are our teachers. They protect, correct and provide for our needs. They are responsible to God to direct us and to use their influence to guide us in the Word.

However, Abram’s father was an idol maker. He was an idol worshipper…. he was not teaching Abram to worship the one true God.  Terah wasn’t guiding Abram to a relationship with God but rather a life without God.

God is also calling us… inviting us to journey to find ourselves in His Word. He is saying to each of us “Lech Lecha”.   An invitation… an adventure to find who we are IN CHRIST and to fulfill the destinies He has for…as His sons… to be who He created us to be…. made in His image and likeness.

In order to do that we first need to leave behind any boundaries that keep us from God and from crossing over into the fullness of who He is… the abundance of His grace towards us.  And also leave behind those things or people that influence and control us away from God.  Even our own ideas and beliefs that keep us from being all that we are IN HIM.

The next blog we will talk about Abraham’s name change and the next part of his true identity transformation……..

~ Robin

Abraham’s Journey part 1… leaving his father

Genesis 11:31-32 “One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there. Terah lived for 205 yearsf and died while still in Haran.”

the journey      Terah and his family (Abram, Sarai, and Lot) set out for Canaan from Ur but they never got there, leaving Nahor and Milcah behind.  We don’t know why  Terah left Ur… something motivated him to leave Ur.  We know that his son Haran had died but that’s all the Bible tells us.  What we do know is that Terah never made it to Canaan. He wanted to go…..he started in that direction. But the Bible says, in Genesis 11:31, “But when they came to Haran, they settled there.”

The Hebrew word for settled is yashab and means “to sit down.” The thing about “yashab” is it’s a perfect form verb tense.  A perfect form verb describes an action that is completed, done, finished.  It is also an active perfect form which implies purpose.  Terah purposed to sit down there.  He put his roots down in Haran, and there, according to Genesis 11:32, Terah died.  Terah had a dream to make it to Canaan but the dream died with him in Haran. He never completed his journey.

We don’t know exactly how long Abraham stayed in Haran… we do know he prospered there according to Gen 12:5, acquiring wealth – livestock and servants.  The rabbis believe that Abraham left his father in Haran and that Terah lived another 60 years before he died.  Some believe that he stayed in Haran and left after Terah died because of Stephen’s speech in Acts 7:4.   I tend to side with the rabbis on this one, believing he left his father while he was living.  I don’t think the command to leave your father’s house was necessary if his dad was no longer living.  My husband Steve’s dad died earlier this year and we no longer refer to the place where he lived as “his father’s house”… we now say “his mom’s house”.  Either way, it doesn’t matter because the Bible says he fully obeyed God (Gen 26:5 “Abraham obeyed Me and did everything I required of him.”

The word Haran means “crossroads”… it’s a place of decisions. Terah chose to “sit down” at the crossroads and go no further… he died there.   And it is here at this “crossroad” that Abraham has a decision to make…..a decision that will affect not only him but ALL of the families of the earth…. to leave his father’s house and follow God.

~ Robin

Abraham’s lineage

Genesis 12:1 (Youngs Translation) And Jehovah saith unto Abram, “Go for thyself, from thy land, and from thy kindred, and from the house of thy father, unto the land which I shew thee.”

call of abraham

One of the key things about the Hebrew month of Kislev is identity change.  Abraham was one of those individuals in the Bible that had an identity change in Genesis 12.  But before we jump into his identity change, let’s do a

Abraham was one of those individuals in the Bible that had an identity change in Genesis 12.  But before we jump into his identity change, let’s do a history review of Abraham’s family line in Genesis 11.

  • Abraham was the son of Terah
  • Terah was the great, great, great grandson of Eber
  • Eber was the great, great grandson of Noah
  • Noah, of course, was the great grandson of Enoch
  • Enoch was the great, great, great, great grandson of Adam.

Wow!  What an impressive spiritual family lineage…. I can honestly say mine does not look like that.  I am the faith pioneer in my family line.

Eber (Abraham’s great, great, great grandfather) was a faith pioneer as well.  He was the 14th generation from Adam. A special distinction is made in Gen 10:21 where it says “Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber”…… Eber was actually about 4 generations from Shem… but before Shem’s sons are mentioned, the Word introduces us to Eber.  It sounds to me like Eber was destined to be a carrier of the Blessing just like Shem was… Genesis 9 refers to Shem by mentioning his relationship with God….calling God, “the God of Shem.”

Jewish historians say that during the time of the building of the Tower of Babel, Eber crossed over the Euphrates River… distancing himself and his family from Babylon and Nimrod…..from a sinful land and embarking on a walk of faith.  Eber means “to cross over”.  The name Hebrew comes from Eber…. to be a Hebrew means to have “crossed over”.  Euphrates means “abundant” or “storage houses of heaven”.In

Euphrates means “abundant” or “storage houses of heaven”. In fact, he named his son Peleg which means “divided”… he placed a divider (the Euphrates River) between them and him.  Genesis 10:25 confirms that the world was divided when he was born. Through the name of his son the godly man Eber gives us a glimpse into his heart and character to live a holy life, separated and consecrated from the sinful world of Babylon.

Unfortunately, the generations after Eber (until Abraham) turned to idol worship and didn’t serve God (Joshua 24:2).  We don’t know much about Peleg except that he died young (even Noah outlived him by 10 years)…. he was the first to die among the 10 generations after the flood.  Likewise, we don’t know much about Reu, Seureg or Nahor (except he died early also and Noah outlived him as well).  All we know is that it’s probable that these 4 generations turned from God and worshiped idols.

Terah we know a bit more about.  Josh 24:2 mentions him specifically as having worshiped other gods.  However, Gen 11:31 tells us that he set out from Ur to go to Canaan.  It doesn’t tell us why he set out to leave his home in Ur, all we know is he never made it to Canaan.  He reached Haran, a place that was similar in many ways to Ur. A city where there was also a temple to the Ninnar, not as big as in Ur, but still similar. The city was smaller, and not as wealthy or important as Ur, but to someone from Ur, it would have all been very familiar, and probably felt like home. The customs and culture were similar.  Seems as if he settled in the familiar… what was comfortable.

Abraham was 20 generations from Adam. Genesis 14:13 refers to Abraham as a Hebrew, linking him to Eber.  The God of Shem became the God of Eber, and then became the God of Abraham.  Which brings us back again to Genesis 12:1……. which we’ll pick up in the next blog entry.

Today no matter what your spiritual lineage looks like, determine to be a faith pioneer…. going farther than those before you.  Grabbing hold of the promises of God for your future generations… making your ceiling their floor.

~ Robin 

Tishrei – 5776 (2016)

We are currently in the month of Tishrei.  It is the month of the Fall feasts… Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkoth…. feasts that teach us to return to God and experience His glory.  Tishrei begins the Autumn months and a new season.  In the Bible, Tishrei is referred to as “the month of the strong” or “the month of the ancients”  It’s name means “beginning.”  It is the first month of the year on the Jewish civil calendar (Cycle of Blessing)  – this was to begin a new year of peace, health, joy, and provision in God’s presence…  and the 7th month of the year on the Jewish religious calendar (Cycle of Redemption) —  He rescues us from the effects of sin and restores us to His original plan….. 7 signifies completion or fullness.


A month where things are completing and things are beginning.

These feasts of God are called God’s appointed times. They are not just rituals. But they are times that are set by God where He wants to meet with us to accomplish some specific things in our lives every year.  God’s appointed times are eternal. They were not given just as temporary holidays…but the feasts of God are for all time. Leviticus 23 says “these are lasting ordinances for all generations and that they belong to the Lord.  Born again believers are not required to keep the feasts, however, understanding them enhances our faith…. they are after all revelations of Jesus.

Key New Testament events took place in the context of the feasts.

  • Jesus could have been crucified any time of the year, but it just happened to be on Passover (Pesach).
  • He could have been raised from the dead anytime, but it just happened to be on the Feast of Firstfruits — the firstfruits of a new creation.
  • The Spirit could have fallen any day of the year, but it just happened to be on the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot).  

Chuck Pierce described these appointed times this way:   “God instituted the feasts so His covenant people would always be reminded of who He was and what He had done in the past.  These feasts were also given to remember God’s great acts of salvation, deliverance and healing grace.   He knew that if we would remember His power displays of the past, we would have faith to see Him move today and in the future.   By participating in the prescribed Feasts (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles), Israel’s worship would remain fresh, vibrant, and properly aligned with their Maker.”


The Feast of Trumpets is also called Rosh Hashanah, the “Head of the Year.”   Rosh Hashanah is the “Birthday of the World,” or  the “Anniversary of Creation.”  The trumpet blast at Rosh Hashanah is the signal to shift out of the old cycle and enter the Presence of God.  The Feast of Trumpets sets your feet on the path to revival!  As you listen to the trumpet blast you were to let go of old forms of security… break out of old habits…. to repent of old ways of thinking!


The 10 days from Rosh Hashanah – Yom Kippur are known as the Days of Awe. They are also called days of “Teshuvah.”     Teshuvah is a Hebrew word that means “to turn” and “to return.”  Repentance!   Isaiah 44: 22 says, “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, and your sins like a heavy mist.  Return to Me, for I have redeemed you!”   During these 10 days, we rejoice and stand in “awe” of Jesus (Yeshua) who made us “at-one” with God, the Father through His atoning sacrifice.   Yom Kippur is a day for us to honor the One who purchased us and redeemed us from the enemies grasp…. Col 1:13-14… He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.


Sukkoth or the Feast of Tabernacles is a time of rejoicing in the Lord…. of feasting on His goodness. This is a unique feast recognized by temporary shelters (sukkot, or booths) being constructed and lived in during the week of the festival. A sukkah is a reminder that our lives on earth are temporary, and our reliance and trust are not in our material possessions but in our faithful and loving Father and in the One who “tabernacled” among us – Jesus, His Son, and our Messiah.

Ancient wisdom called it a “shelter of faith” – trusting God as Jehovah Jireh. Succah also means to “see through” – a season of spiritual vision-looking beyond the natural. It was also a joyful harvest festival and is prophetic of the great harvest that is to come. Sukkoth is a good time to rejoice before Him… seek His face and experience His glory. Let’s call out to God for a fresh outpouring of His glory in this new year.  

Deuteronomy 16:14-15 says, “Be joyful at your Feast (Sukkoth) for the Lord your God will bless you and your joy will be complete.”


The final day of Sukkot is known as Hoshana Raba, “the day of Great Salvation”.  It was on the last day of Sukkot that Jesus stood up and cried out “if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow waters of living water.”  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive….. ~ John 7:37-38.

Ephraim is the tribe associated with this month.  Ephraim was the 2nd son of Joseph but the one who received the first born blessing from Jacob.  His name means double fruitfulness.   When he was born Joseph said “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction”….. this is a month to be fruitful and multiply.  Ephraim was a blessed tribe.  In Gen 48 Jacob said, “Manasseh will be great but Ephraim will be greater”.  The tribe of Ephraim was described as mighty men of valor, famous in their father’s households.

The Lord calls Ephraim the helmet of His head.  They were the dominant tribe in the Kingdom of Israel when Israel and Judah split.  But in spite of all the blessings, Ephraim messed up.  Jeroboam, an Ephraimite, was the king of the northern tribes.  He re-introduced the worship of the golden calf…. because he was afraid that if the people continued to go to Jerusalem to worship they might eventually reject him and reunite with Judah.  God had chosen Judah, and Jerusalem was the chosen place for worship.  Unfortunately, his fear of rejection, caused him to lead those under his leadership into idolatry.  

He told the people they had been going to Jerusalem long enough.  He set up 2 golden calves and told the people, “here is your God!”  Although Ephraim experienced times of repentance — it was always temporary.  Ephraim couldn’t get past bitterness.


The good news is revival hit Judah and the first place it spread to was Ephraim.  In 2 Chronicles 34, they tore down the altars and destroyed the idols.  The last reference to Ephraim in the Old Testament is Zech 10:7 and it says that Ephraim is fully restored to the Lord and rejoicing before Him.

In the New Testament we see Ephraim mentioned favorably.

  • The woman at the well not only received the gospel but evangelized her entire village (Samaria consisted mostly of Ephraim territory).  
  • In John 11 when the Judeans are trying to kill Jesus, he finds a place of safety in Ephraim territory.  
  • In Acts 8 the first church planted after Jerusalem was in Ephraim territory (Samaria).  Ephraimites joyfully received the Gospel!

  I love what Robert Heidler teaches… Ephraim is the story of the Fall Feasts.  Ephraim sinned, they messed up and fell away from God and lost the Blessing.  BUT they had a wake-up call….the trumpets of an attacking Assyrian army (Rosh Hashanah).  The remnant of Ephraim repented of their sins and sought God (Yom Kippur)  And they entered into a time of great rejoicing in the Lord (Sukkoth).  

There is never anything you can do that would cause God to give up on you and turn His back on you….. He is not counting your sins against you!  Jesus paid the price of the penalty of sin for you, to restore you to that right relationship with God…. the place of unbroken fellowship with Him.

So in this month of Tishrei be like Ephraim… awake to righteousness, repent and return to God and be fully restored to Him….enter His Presence and experience His glory and REJOICE!  

~ Robin

Av – 5776 (2016)

We’re already almost halfway through the month of Av….. it’s been a busy month for us in the Smit family.  We’re at the height of our summer farming season and life for us just feels non-stop, go, go, go.  I’m not complaining though… God has been so good to us and our fruit harvests get better and better each year.

I’ve also taken on teaching 4 Bible studies per week… one at church, one at my home, and 2 on an app called oovoo.  I love studying and teaching but it does leave me with very little time during the week for anything else.

However,  I wanted to take a moment this morning and write about the month of Av because it really is such a great month.. full of promise… even though on the Hebrew calendar this month is considered to be a low point….. a month of sorrow.  When studying the Hebrew months, we are to look for the redemptive side of things and pull out the treasure..pull out God’s original plans and purposes for each month.  

Av was originally meant to be the month that the Israelites entered into the Promise Land BUT on the 9th of Av, ten of the spies came back with an evil report.. a report full of unbelief.  They came back and gave the people a mixed report (Numbers 13:25-14:10).  They told the people that yes it was true that it was a good land…. a land flowing with milk and honey…. BUT there was no way that they could take the land because the giants were not only bigger than them BUT even too big even for God.  They had a zero chance of success!

That report struck fear into the hearts of the people and caused an entire generation to miss out on entering into the promises of God and they had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until they died there!  That story makes me think of Acts 13:36.  It says he served God’s purposes in his generation. David had served his generation well.  The ten spies didn’t serve their generation well.. they didn’t serve God’s purposes in their generation.  Instead, they caused their generation, through their mixed words of unbelief, to miss out on the purposes of God.

I want to be one who serves my generation well.  I want the words of my mouth to cause faith to arise in the hearts of those around me… to release life and destiny to them.  To encourage and help my generation reach their destinies.  And for the purpose of God to be manifested in their lives.  I choose to speak life words…  to give a report that stirs the hearts of those around me to press into the promises of God.  So that one day, like David, when it is time to “fall asleep” and be buried that it will be said of me that I served the purposes of God in my generation.

So even in a month viewed as a low point on the Jewish calendar, we can choose to see it as God originally intended….a month of goodness, grace, and favor.  A month of fulfilled destiny and promise!  A month of Holy Spirit’s transforming power (the 5th Hebrew letter hey which is connected to this month) making us fruitful and productive, taking what we are not and making us into what He has called us to be… as in taking Abram from father to Abraham “father of a multitude.”

The name Av literally means “father.” Av derives from the root, which means, “to will” or “to desire.”  This is a month for us to walk in the Father’s will for us.  It is a month to hear and then speak forth what you have heard from the Father… just like Caleb and Joshua.  They had another spirit… they wholeheartedly followed after God.  They were “filled” with following after, or following behind God… there wasn’t any room in them for anything else.  They had no plan B… they had no mixed reports.  They heard God’s promises and then saw through eyes of faith that they were well able to take possession of His promises.


Caleb is one of my favorites in the Bible.  He is always so optimistic and full of undaunted faith…. wholehearted and unwavering!  Verse 30 in chapter 13 says that he silenced the people and told them we are well able to overcome… in the Hebrew he said we are “yakol yakol”.  He repeated the word, which means able, to have power, to prevail, to overcome!  Repetition of a word shows intensity.  He was in effect saying, “come on boys!!  We’ve got this!!  We can do it… we are strong in the Lord and the power of His might!”

In chapter 14 the people caved and given in to fear because the ten had spread an evil report.  Chapter 14 begins with saying they raised a loud cry (in Hebrew they “set” or established their voices). Even after hearing the encouragement of Caleb they made a choice to set their voices to speak contrary to what God had promised.  ALL because they listened to a group of fearful doubters. 

Then it says they grumbled against Moses. The Hebrew word for grumble or murmur is lun which is to lodge, or to abide.  Grumbling, murmuring, complaining was abiding in them instead of the Word of God.  

John 15:7 tells us that if we abide in Him and His Word abides in us we can ask whatever we desire and it will be done for us.  

Their grumbling pitted them against Moses and Aaron… it actually says “over” Moses and Aaron.  Grumbling not only pits you against leadership but causes you to think you are over or above them… pride had set in.

This caused them to say three things:

  • “We wish we had died in Egypt or in this wilderness”
  • “God’s purpose was to bring us into a land where we would be prey for the enemy.  It is good that we return to Egypt.”  
  • “Let’s make… let’s establish or set… a captain, a leader and return to Egypt.”  

Wow!!  They didn’t just react with fear to the possibility of the Promise Land being hard to conquer…. they spoke out against the purpose of God and accused God of having an evil purpose for them!  

It says in verse 36 that the 10 spies had incited rebellion against the Lord with their bad report.  The word for bad report is “dibbah.”  It means to whisper, to defame or slander.  It’s from a root word meaning to move slowly, to glide over. Comparable to a word that means to walk slow or leisurely.  These men did more than just give an evil report to the congregation…. they did more than just give their fearful opinion of the matter.

These 10 men moved slowly through the camp from one person to the next whispering and slandering the promise of God.  Telling the people that this land… the land God has “given them” is not safe.  It devours and consumes it’s inhabitants.  It is full of “giants of the giants” and we saw ourselves as but grasshoppers and therefore they must see us like that also!

Caleb, when he is 80 and finally ready to enter the Promise Land with the 2nd generation of Israelites, asks for the biggest mountain which was inhabited by the fiercest of the enemies to possess!  His faith only got stronger during the 40 years of waiting.  I’m sure he probably spent the 40 years serving this 2nd generation well.   Stirring their hearts with courage and faith so that they would be able to walk in the purposes of God.

Joshua was another one who was full of faith and courage.  After he and Caleb tore their clothes in response to the Israelite’s words against God,  he tried again to encourage these rebellious people.  He assured them that it was a very good land.  In fact, he uses the word very twice… a very, very, good land.  An exceedingly, great land!!

He goes on to say that the Lord’s desire is to bring us into and give us a land flowing (gushing or overflowing) with milk and honey.  Overflowing and gushing with all good things.  Overflowing and gushing with prosperity and abundance.  He encourages them not to rebel against God and also not to fear the people of the Promise Land – “who will be our prey because the Lord is not with them and they have no defense.”  The Israelites responded by wanting to stone Joshua and Caleb.

Regardless of the Israelite’s response and the fact that they were not persuaded and moved by Joshua and Caleb’s words, Caleb and Joshua had served their generation well and were allowed to serve the next generation well and enter the Promise Land with them.   God will have a people, even if He has to raise up a second generation to receive and walk out what the first generation refused.

This month be determined to be one who speaks forth a good report… a God report.  Be one who chooses to see with eyes of faith… wholehearted in following after God… in being led by His Spirit into His exceedingly great promises.  Be a strong leader of faith, encouraging others to step out into God’s purposes for their life.  Serve your generation well – Acts 13:36

~ Robin


Tammuz 5775 (2015)


Today my husband and I celebrated our 18th anniversary!  I love it when special days occur… birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations of any sort, holidays, etc.  Our gregorian calendar connects us only to the earth realm.  We use it to track our life events but to know God’s schedule of events you must understand His calendar.   Studying the Hebrew months helps us receive prophetic understanding on how the Lord orders our steps throughout the year.  Each month has a unique purpose and is designed by God to release a revelation of who He is….so that you can renew your mind and begin to think like He does.

I always get excited to enter into a new Hebrew month and this month is no exception… and I especially get excited when that new month begins a new season (Summer on the Hebrew calendar).  I love new beginnings, fresh starts, and exciting possibilities.  Yes, I was one of those kids that looked forward to Sept and starting a new school year with new books, clean unused notepads… I enjoyed the fresh new possibilities that each new year held.  This past 3 month season has been one that was full of heartbreaking changes for Steve and I and our family and I’m looking forward to a fresh new season.… one full of new possibilities!  I am an extremely optimistic person.. not just a glass half full person, but a “glass half full and increasing with more fullness to overflowing” kind of person.  I tend to always find the good and positive in everything and believe that everything will always work out and I will come out on top 😊  These past 3 months, we’ve moved and left great friends/family, Steve’s dad died (the first parent for either of us to lose), and just a little over a week ago, our Pastor’s (our friends) were voted out of our church, which leaves us churchless “at the moment”.  Still, through it all I believe God has a wonderful plan that He is working out in our lives and all of these sad changes are just propelling us further and faster into our destiny.  While our calendar will hold dates of moving, death and loss of a church, God’s calendar, this month of Tammuz, holds endless possibilities of fresh vision, blessings, new beginnings, and double portion inheritance to name a few.

Tammuz is the first month of the summer season. The three months of this season – Tammuz, Av, and Elul – correspond to the three tribes of the camp of Reuben, which include Reuben, Simeon, and Gad, who were situated to the south of the Tabernacle.

The three-week period between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av (July 4th—July 25th this year) is sometimes known as “the Dire Straits”, after Lamentations 1:3—“All her persecutors overtake her in dire straits” (NKJV).  It is a month where we learn to press through the narrow place to experience a new level of God’s glory, which transforms us into His image.

The letter associated with Tammuz is “chet”.  “Chet” is the 8th letter of the Hebrew alef beit (alphabet) and represents new beginnings.  Chet means light radiating through your eyes.  This is a month to see and establish the brilliance of your righteousness. Plenty of negative things occurred during this month in Jewish history. We need to counteract them through praise and declaration…. Isaiah 58:8, Psalm 112:4, and Daniel 12:3 are great places to start.  Allow God to increase your spiritual insight and perception so that you see how to move through this month aligned properly to the vision that he has given you for your life.   Tammuz is a month of choices….”chet” is the first letter in “chaim”.. meaning life;  it is also the first letter in “cheyt” meaning sin or to miss the mark…. choose wisely! see Deut 30:19

The tribe given to Tammuz is Reuben.  Reuben means “behold a son”.  Behold also means “see”.  This month is connected with vision – seeing – beholding.  It is the month of the”firstborn” (Reuben was the firstborn). In the Hebrew culture, the firstborn received a double portion of the inheritance left to the sons by the father.  Reuben had great potential – promise (Gen 49:3);  but he didn’t deal with character issues  – weakness – rejection (Gen 29:30); fell into sexual sin which was his downfall (Gen 35:22); This was not just a moral failure but revealed an inability to maintain self-control under pressure.  As a result, he lost his firstborn rights and they were given to Joseph’s sons (1 Chron 5:1).  He also settled for less than God promised, his tribe and Gad’s settled east of the Jordan and never lived in Canaan with the other tribes and no notables came from his tribe…. no judges, rulers, prophets or princes.  Although he was first born, the kingdom was given to Judah and the priesthood to Levi.  He bore this shame forever.. however, he took it to heart and instead of becoming full of self-pity and revenge, he demonstrated the fruit of repentance demonstrated through the love and concern for his brothers, father and family (see Gen 37) – so even though he lost the position of 1st born, he acted like the 1st born throughout his life.  Moses’ blessing on him was that he would live and not die and that his men not be few.  There was no remembrance of the sins of the past.  God wants to awaken the mantle of “Sonship” in our lives.  Psalms 2:7-8 – we are to declare/decree our position as sons;  Gal 4:1-7 – time to claim our inheritance as sons;  Rom 8:14-17 – as sons & daughters we are endowed with authority in His kingdom;  This is a time to displace, to cast off  an “orphan spirit” and embrace the spirit of sonship with all of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities (John 5:19); 

This was a month of choices and serious consequences for Israel.  We can learn from these choices and walk in the original blessings that God intended for Tammuz.  Two specific choices were made in this month….

1.  Golden calf (Ex 32)…. this represents their refusal to let go of their past and their inability to maintain their commitment to God when their patience is tested. A golden calf is built when we lose faith in an invisible, unnameable God who may have abandoned us in the wilderness.  Their words in the wilderness set them up for this choice when their patience was tested.  Wilderness is the Hebrew word “midbar” which comes from the root “devar”  meaning speech.  This is a good month to take stock of our words and where they may be leading us.  In addition to their words setting them up, they also made a mistake at Mt Sinai when God desired a relationship with them.  Because they had rejected the face to face relationship with God that He desired, they lacked the spiritual strength to connect with God on their own when they thought Moses’ wasn’t coming back.  Their idolatry began in their refusal/fear to approach God face to face – Moses became their god, their deliverer (Ex 32:4).  The mixed multitude (who didn’t join the Israelites to convert, but only chose the winning side) suggested they build an intermediary for Moses’ stead.  Be careful who you allow to be joined to you.

The golden calf was never God’s plan for the month of Tammuz.  This was a choice they made because they couldn’t cast off a slave mentality and trust God.  They didn’t deal with character weaknesses and take hold of their words speaking out the blessings of God and what He had for them.  (1 Cor 10:6… Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.)

2.  This was also the month the spies were spying out the land.  They left on their mission on the last day of Sivan and came back with their report on the 9th of Av.   Deut 1:22-23 tells us that it was their idea to go spy out the land, not Moses’ idea or God’s. Moses’ instructions to them (Num 13:17-20).  They were to give an intel report only not to advise on the feasibility of the mission.  One of the first places they come to is Hebron.  Hebron means “seat of association”.  it’s where the patriarchs and the past history makers were buried — Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah. That’s where the past revivalists, the godly seed, and the godly inheritance were buried.  This should’ve encouraged them!  Serving as a reminder of the faithfulness of God.  Next month is when they come back to give their evil report.  This month is when they were in the promise land scouting it out.  Remember this is a month of vision.. as God shows you His promises for you, don’t be like the Israelites and request to see for yourself if what God has said is possible.  Trust His Word and begin to declare the promises of God over your life.  Psalm 106:24 says that they despised the precious land and did not believe His Word.

Tammuz is the month that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still.  He didn’t pray and ask God, rather he commanded it himself.  Begin commanding circumstances around you to change in your favor.  This was also the month that Ezekiel had his vision found in Ezekiel chapter 1, in Hebrew called Merkabah:  The Chariot.   According to the rabbis, this chapter in the Bible is so dangerous that it is forbidden to be taught to groups of disciples.  It could be taught to no more than one student at a time, and only if he is a mature student.  Because it is so dangerous, it is forbidden to be read in the regular synagogue service.  It’s revelation killed one of Israel’s most famous rabbis, made another crazy and led another to heresy.  For hundreds of years, even the name of this chapter caused knowledgeable Jews to shudder.  This is the first vision of Ezekiel, who was among the exiles in Babylon, 1,000 miles from home.  One day he was outdoors by the river Chebar (from a root word in Hebrew meaning “abundance”).  He saw a storm wind (like the one that snatched Elijah away).  The Hebrew words also carry the meaning “Spirit-storm” – for this was clearly a storm of the Spirit.  We can only receive a manifestation of a “Spirit Storm” from a place “flowing with abundance” of prophetic worship.  What will you do when His storm wind approaches?  Will you like Ezekiel, bow down before Jesus, receive His instruction and be filled afresh with His Spirit?  Your response is crucial this month..  a month of choices that is a turning point for us… a crossover month that will take us into our Promise Land.

As a final reminder, don’t let this be a negative month of bad choices… choose to make this month a month of vision, a month of first born rights of double portion and blessing, a time of new beginnings and life, a month of sonship and receiving our inheritance.

1. Repent of any false idols you’ve developed due to unbelief and impatience (Hebrews 6:12 tells us that through faith and patience we inherit the promises of God).  

2. Don’t be like Reuben and lose your inheritance/blessing.  Repent of a possible spirit of rejection that you may be carrying or the inability to maintain self-control under pressure.. ask God to search your heart for any weaknesses of character. 

3. Choose to believe God’s word to you regarding His promises.. don’t be like the children of Israel and have a need to “spy them out”.  Declare daily “God Your promises are yes and amen in my life”

4. Watch your covenant alignments and repent of any peace treaties you’ve made with the enemy (Josh 10:14)…  Pray before undertaking any partnerships/yokes.  

5. Guard your heart against the spirit of oppression, religion, intimidation, blindness, and accusation.

6. Receive fresh vision this month.  Allow God to increase your spiritual insight and perception so that you see how to move through this month aligned properly to the vision that He has given for your life.