“Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed (niglata)?”
The Hebrew word “Niglata” can mean, “having been made to be revealed.”
That sounds strange, but it is an example of the complexity of the verb forms of the Hebrew Bible. Niglata is also foundational to our faith. It precedes our faith and defines the way we walk. What God reveals, He intends for us to believe. One word may have a depth of meaning yet context is always a necessity.
Perhaps that is why the Rabbis wrote the Talmud. It is a commentary on the Hebrew Bible. It is also thirty-one times as long. It’s not just the Rabbis. If all the words were strung together from Christian commentaries on the book of Revelation alone, it could take us to the moon.
Is the Bible that difficult that it requires so much commentary?
I don’t think so. God’s method is somewhat simpler. It comes by revelation, which comes through a relationship with Him.
By way of His nature, God would never force someone to believe. But if He reveals something previously unrecognized, it may prompt within us a new discovery process. The Bible has that quality, it is inviting. Even so, it remains our decision to go further or not.
Biblical Hebrew is complex. Most words have more than one meaning, often requiring a detailed description in English. Two years ago I began an online course through the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It has made my head spin ever since. In the process of learning, a startling revelation came to mind.
A slice of Church History
In brief, the Hebrew language was banned in the church by the fourth century, when the Nicean Council was convened. That council was made up of bishops from all over the Christian world to form a consensus about the basic tenets of the faith, which remain intact today. There were no Jewish believers invited.
At that time, the consensus was that God had punished the Jews for rejecting and crucifying Jesus. Their exclusion from the church was His will. If a Jew wanted to be a Christian, he had to convert by denying his Jewish heritage, and all practices, which included observing the Sabbath, Passover, and other biblical feasts. He or she could no longer use the Hebrew language.
None of this was news to me, but what I realized is that without knowing the original language, how could Christians fully understand His word and live according to His eternal purpose?
Would it have not helped if they had fellow believing Jews in their midst who knew the language?
The ripple effects of that council are still flowing. The self-imposed limitations are why so few Christians even read the Old Testament, other than for its stories and illustrations.
I am not a good student. In fact, sometimes I feel I should sit in the corner of the zoom room with a dunce cap on. I am not looking for a diploma but I do desire a greater understanding of the original language. In the process, I began a self-study and memorization of Isaiah 53. It is devastating to me. For months I begin my day by going over it verse by verse. It is a rare day that I don’t cry, sometimes even sob. I never understood the painful depths of Jesus sacrifice preceding His crucifixion.
Am I suggesting that every Christian needs to know Biblical Hebrew? God forbid, I think circumcision would be easier than that!
I am saying that if the church that was built upon the foundation of the prophets and the apostles–the chief cornerstone being Jesus the Jewish Messiah— if only they kept building instead of renovating, we would be better off today. Just think; Jewish men and women taught the first wave of Gentile men and women believers. They taught them from the Old Testament. In fact, some of them wrote the New one! Together they grew is their newly discovered faith. The church has never been in as good a shape as it was in her beginning.
I know this upsets some Christians to hear this, but if it’s too late in the game to go into a defensive mode of denial. Too much is at stake.
“Niglata” means more than just to reveal or to receive revelation. You know what it’s like–God reveals something to you and light bulbs begin to go off inside. It is His gift, but it comes with an expectation that we utilize it by our actions. That is by definition.
In Galatians, Paul went to Arabia by revelation. While there God downloaded reams of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Why? Because God knew he would evangelize the world he lived in and write letters about what God revealed to him. In his day, the love of God spread into the Roman empire. Innumerable Gentiles came to faith and their pagan civilization began its decline.
Surely God has given you revelation as well, trusting that you would live by it and proclaim it. God personalizes our calling, but it must always be in line with scripture. The Bible is God’s revelation to man, but we need to be made ready to receive it because it is spiritual in nature. To the natural man, it seems impossible to believe. It is ours to act upon.
“Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”
Life always offers us a report. Often times we accept it without consideration. But when crisis comes knocking, we cringe at the hopeless report that may accompany it. It is then that God offers His report to you. Why is that? Because He has revealed to you personally, His bare arm of unspeakable strength. That is His report for your concern, whatever it may be.
Once you choose to believe is when He further reveals the steps you need to take.
Revelation is an exciting way of life. I thank God that many of you have “been revealed” the message that Comfort My People carries regarding Jew and Gentile becoming one new man and you have taken action. I was reminded this morning though, that the number of Believers in Israel is still less than one percent of the population. That is NOT God’s final report.
The same arm that bore them up and carried them out of slavery in Egypt is the one that will bring them out of the slavery of sin and unbelief. On that day fountains of living water will pour forth from Jerusalem like never before. For the church, it will be an outburst of unprecedented spiritual life that according to Romans will be like “life from the dead.”
That is our report to believe because He has revealed it to us. The question is; what part do I play in bringing about God’s intended outcome? I would love to hear what He is saying to you. We can go forward together as He conquers the Kingdoms of darkness ahead.
Shalom and love,