I've been thinking a lot about the importance of words. I like to use big Bible words at times. Sometimes I use them when I pray or when I'm speaking with someone or even when I'm writing songs. I use them when they roll easily off my tongue, and I use them when they fall awkwardly out of my mouth.
Some of these words are easily definable, but a few of them would be difficult for me to define off the cuff in a sentence or two.
What is it about wielding well-crafted words? When the right word is used in the right context, it can be powerful — even life changing. Romans 10:14-15 says that faith begins with words. When God's words abide in us, John 15:7 says, we abide in Him. Words are important.
Words are significant to me because I'm a songwriter as well as a worship pastor. There are many words in our songs that I've had to look up over the years (Ebenezer, fetters). There are also words that I thought I had clarity on, but when asked to explain them, I just caused confusion.
Let's take Ebenezer for an example. What does that mean? My mind immediately goes to a grumpy old man screaming, "Cratchit!" But we know from 1 Samuel 7:12 that it's a "stone of help" (Eben is Hebrew for stone, and ezer is Hebrew for help) erected to remind Israel of God's faithfulness to help and restore them.
Knowing this as I sing, "Here I raise my Ebenezer, here by Thy great help I'm come," has brought great weight to these old words.
What about words we sing, pray or say all the time like blessing, hallelujah or mercy? Can you give someone a good definition for words like sanctified, justified, holy, righteous, grace, glory or even amen?
You may be able to spit out a definition to all of these, but I would guess most of us couldn't. If that's the case, shouldn't we take the time to know what these words mean? I think we would all agree that we should.
So, here we go:
The Greek word for blessing is eulogetes. Eu means good, and logos means word. A blessing is literally a "good word" or ascribing goodness to something or someone with words.
Halle is a joyous praise in song, to boast in God. Yah (jah) is a shortened form of YHWH or Yahweh. So, hallelujah is a joyous praise of boasting in the LORD in song.
Divine favor or compassion that forbears (comes before) punishment, even when justice demands it.
To set apart or declare holy, consecrate. To free from sin, purify.
The judicial act of God by which He pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ, and accounts, accepts and treats the believer as righteous in the eye of the law The law is not relaxed or set aside but is fulfilled in the strictest sense. So, the person justified is entitled to all the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law (Romans 5:1-10).
Justification is not the forgiveness of a man without righteousness but a declaration that he possesses a righteousness which perfectly and forever satisfies the law, namely, Christ's righteousness (2 Corinthians. 5:21; Romans 4:6-8).
Exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness. Having a divine quality.
Free from guilt or sin. In right standing with God.
The free and unmerited favor of God as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
The public display of the infinite beauty and worth of God. The radiance of His holiness and infinitely worthy and valuable perfections.
"So be it, truly." Hearty approval or strong agreement God's "Yes" to all the divine promises To confirm Reliable, firm, trustworthy, faithful and true.How different will our worship to God be knowing what these words truly mean? I'm looking forward to more educated praying, speaking and singing at The Village!