Do You ever Wonder about Things ?
What does it mean, to “wonder”? The word “wonder” itself, has more than just one definition. Here’s one of those definitions.. Wonder; “A feeling of surprise, mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, or unexpected, or unfamiliar, or inexplicable.” Such as in this statement.. “The sight of the Grand Canyon is such a wonder”. We could say that about any of God’s creations, can’t we?
Do you know what a “wonderment” is? A “wonderment” is described as “the state, of being in awe of something”. I guess we could say, we’re in “wonderment” over the very thought of God, and over everything having to do with God.
We read these words of God, in Isaiah 55, verse 9; “For as the heavens are higher than the earth; So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts, than your thoughts.” We should be, in total wonderment, over all things pertaining to God. How could we possibly comprehend the thoughts and ways of Almighty God?
And listen to the next two verses; Isaiah 55, verses 10 & 11; “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be, that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
From the physical laws of God, the laws of nature.. To the spiritual laws of God, His eternal plan of salvation, nothing that God has ordained, can be thwarted.
Job said, in Job 42, verse 2; “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”
Proverbs 21:30 says; “There is no wisdom, no understanding, no counsel, that can prevail against the LORD!”
And we read in Psalm 33:10 & 11; “The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever! The purposes of His heart (His thoughts and intentions) to all generations.”
I’ll tell you what.. If we’re NOT in total wonderment, over God and His ways, then I think maybe there’s something wrong with us!
But here’s another definition of the word “wonder”.. “to feel doubt”. Such as in this statement; “I have to wonder, about the success of that plan.” In other words, you have your doubts about that plan. There’s no doubt about the LORD’S plans, but the plans of men? Well, sometimes, we have to wonder about them!
Here’s a verse that I’d like you to think about for a minute; It’s James 4, verse 13; And here’s what it says; “Come now, you who say; Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business, and make a profit.” “Come now” the LORD says. In other words.. Come here right now, and listen to MY words! Don’t think to highly of your own plans, because you don’t know WHAT is going to be!
Verses 14 & 15 say; “You do not even know what will happen tomorrow! (let alone a year from now) What is your life? You are a vapor, that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say; If the Lord wills, we will live, and do this or that.”
That reminds me again of Acts 17, verse 28; “For in HIM, we live, and move, and have our being.” In GOD we live! And in God we die! And as the Jesus tells us, in Mathew 5, verse 36; “..for you cannot make one hair, white or black.” In other words, it’s not up to us, it’s up to God!
Now here’s one last definition of the word “wonder”, that I want you to consider this morning; To “wonder” means.. “To be curious, or to have the desire, to know something,” We “wonder” about that things that we want to know more about. Don’t we all “wonder” about a lot of things? Those of us who believe in God, and in the word of God, often times wonder about the things, not revealed in the bible. But even though we may wonder, the bible tells us, in 2 Peter 1, verses 3 & 4; “His divine power has granted to us ALL things, that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us, to His own glory and excellence; By which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them, you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world, because of sinful desire.” (or, “lust”)
So it sounds like God has already given us all the knowledge that we need, but still we’re sometimes not quite satisfied; And so we find ourselves wondering. (or imagining, if you will)
Do You get Bored, Reading the bible ?
I just recently heard someone say that they get bored, reading the bible. And although I wouldn’t use the word “boring” I will say that there are some sections of the old testament, which are what I would call “tedious”. An example of that would be found in the book of Numbers. Particularly the first four chapters, where Moses was told to count, or “number” the children of Israel.
And let me say something about the name “Numbers”. The word “Numbers” isn’t a direct translation from the ancient Hebrew text. The ancient Hebrew word used to refer to this “fourth book” attributed to Moses, is “Be-mid’-bar”. And the meaning of that word “Bemidbar”, is.. “in the wilderness”. That’s where the sons of Israel were.. They were out in the wilderness. And the book called “In the Wilderness” gives us the account of God’s interaction with the sons of Israel, as they wandered about, for the next forty years.
And so where did the name “Numbers” come from? Well, “Numbers” is the English translation, of the Greek word “arithmos”. (What word does that remind you of? Arithmetic, right? Numbers.. Arithmetic) The translators of the Greek old testament, chose the name “Arithmos” , for the fourth book of the bible, and that word is in reference to the “numbering” of the sons of Israel. The “numbering” of the sons of Israel was basically a census, that God commanded to be taken.
Here’s something about that Greek translation of the old testament scriptures; The name of that original Greek translation, is, the “Septuagint”. And I’m sure you’ve heard the word “Septuagint” before. It was the bible that was in common use during the life of Jesus and His apostles.
The word “Septuagint” basically means.. “seventy”. And that word “seventy” refers to the number of translators, who took part in translating the old Hebrew text, into the more common, Greek language of the time. The translation was done sometime around the second century BC, when the Roman government was in power over most of the known world, including of course, the “world” where the Hebrews lived.
Actually, I’ve read that there may have been 72 translators involved, in the making of the Greek “Septuagint” translation. The popular belief is that the 72 translators, were comprised of six scholarly Jews, fluent in both Greek and Hebrew, from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, (six men, from each of the twelve tribes, making a total of 72 translators). And these 72 translators, were gathered together, to create the Septuagint translation, of the old testament.
Kind of interesting, isn’t it? You’re not bored by all of that, are you? I hope not.
The Book of “Numbers”
But now, back to the “numbering” of the sons of Israel, and how the book of “Numbers” got it’s name.
Let me read to you the first couple of verses from Numbers chapter 1; Here’s what the scriptures say; “The LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year, after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying;”
And let me stop for a moment here.. Do you remember a couple of weeks ago, when I gave a lesson about the ancient Hebrew “name of God”? The name is spelled YHWH, and it was possibly pronounced “Yah- Wah” or perhaps “Yah-Wey”. Whatever the case may be, that word, or that “sound” has been likened to the very sound of our breathing, when we breath in, and breathe out.. “Yah.. Wah” or “Yah-Wey”. God who breathed into each one of us, “the breath of life” as it’s referred to, in Genesis 2, verse 7, has given us a name by which to refer to Him, that we inevitably speak, every time we take a breath!
And throughout the old testament, our English translations have commonly used the word “LORD” (in all capital letters) to refer to the One who gives, “the breath of life”, to each and every one of us. Interesting analogy, isn’t it?
But back to the first chapter of Numbers; “The GIVER OF LIFE, spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year, after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying; Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, by clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male, head by head. From twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by, their armies.” You might say that each one of the “clans” was a battalion of soldiers, in the LORD’S army!
Verse 4 says; “And there shall be with you, a man from each tribe, each man being the head of the house of his fathers.”
And then the “tedious” parts begin, as a list of the names of the men from each tribe who are to assist in the census of able bodied men, is given to Moses, by the God of heaven. And then the “numbering” continues, as the chapters go on to list the names of descendants of each tribe.. and so on, and so on.
And while some may consider all of this a bit “boring”, and while it might admittedly be a bit “tedious”, I’m quite sure that the “LORD” had His own purpose, for preserving this writing for us today. And so, when we read the bible, and we come upon a part, or a section of scripture, that might at first, not seem as “interesting” as other parts, maybe that’s the time that we need to put a bit more “thought” into what we’re reading. Maybe we need to “wonder” a little bit more, about “the possibilities”.
Can the bible be boring at times? Well, I suppose it can, if WE don’t approach it with the proper attitude! If the bible does indeed “bore us” at times, I’m quite sure that it’s not the “LORD’s” fault, but rather.. I’m quite sure, that it’s nobody’s fault, but our own. And I’m not intending to be critical or anything, but I simply want us to see things, the way they really are.
May we always remember the words of 2 Timothy 3:16 & 17, which assures us, that.. “All Scripture, is God-breathed (God Breathed!) and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God (or the woman of God) may be complete, thoroughly equipped, for every good work.”
Why do you think it might be beneficial to us, to read about the “numbering” of all the sons of Israel? How do you think that might “equip us”, for “every good work” ?
Here’s a thought.. Maybe this could be a good reminder for all of us, that God knows ALL of us, BY NAME! And not only that, but Jesus said in Luke 12, verse 7; “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered!” (And I don’t know if it’s better to have a higher number, or a lower number there, but God knows the number)
But did you ever wonder, what that saying means; That the very hairs of your head are numbered? Doesn’t it have a deeper meaning, than just knowing how much hair we’ve got? Here’s what it really means.. Jesus spoke those words in an effort to help us understand our value, to God. The rest of the verse says; “Fear not; You are of more value, than many sparrows.”
God know us so well, and He values us so much, that even the very hairs of our head are numbered, so to speak. God knows us by name, and He knows us by our physical characteristics; And He knows us by the thoughts and intents of our heart; And so God knows us physically, and He knows us mentally, AND He knows us spiritually!
Do you remember this verse.. 2 Corinthians 5:16? “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.” Just as God knows us spiritually, we too, are to “know”, and “regard”, one another, spiritually.
God’s ways, and God’s thoughts, are so much higher than our own, that He knows our intents, better than we do! And He knows our spiritual sincerity. He knows if we’re just going through the motions, or if we truly have our heart into what we’re doing, in the “name” of Christianity.
Think about it. And if there ever comes a time when you feel “bored” reading God’s word, think about the wonderment, of everything that God has done. And I wonder if we can learn to truly be in awe, of every word that God has left us. I think we can, if we think about it with the proper attitude.