He Knows My Name

I am reading Exodus right now.  Upon landing in Exodus 33, verse 17  caused me to pause and then delve.

And the LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight, and I have known you by name.”  Exodus 33:17
Moses, not only has found favor with God, but he is known by name by God.  By name!  Does God know me by name?  He does for He created me.  I have asked Him to live in my heart.  I am His child.  Yet, I am still dumbfounded that God knows my name.
The Hebrew word, yada ‘, is ‘to know’.  The many meanings to this simple looking word adds depth to our understanding of the English verb, ‘to know’.  One can see or hear to know someone.  One can distinguish, discern, consider, perceive, learn to know, consider, recognize.  One can study and understand.  So to know someone seems to me that I can know one only on the surface by what I see or perceive, by what I hear at one particular time.  I can know them by hearing their voice or hearing their beliefs.  For any deep knowing, I can spend time with them over and over, coming to know who they are, what they do, how they think and what they say.  Their character begins to come alive for me.  Their ways and thoughts show me a depth I cannot have from just that initial meeting.  “Yada'” can be an intimacy with another person that we can only have with time spent and then depth of that time spent.
God has known Moses because He created him.  He created me and ‘knows’ me.
For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.  Psalm 139:13
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;…” Jeremiah 1:5a
Moses knows God because he spent time with God.  I am growing in my knowledge of God because I am spending time with Him, in the Word, in prayer, in quiet meditation.  Through these time, God also knows my changes of heart; He knows my needs and struggles;  He knows me more intimately because I am knowing Him more intimately.  I am learning His Names which are incredible reminders of the character of God.  In various circumstances, I call upon Him by a Name that only He is.  I know He answers and understands because He has made Himself clear to me through my time with Him.  He is my Strong Tower, my Refuge, my Maker, my Rock, my Deliverer.  In learning His character, I depend upon those attributes to guide me and provide answers: Holy, Gracious, Merciful, Just, All-Wise.  (These are just a few!)
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  James 4:8a
The intimacy with God is so incredible to me.  Mind-boggling actually.  That God, the God of all creation, knows me.  That He desires to know me and wants me to know Him.
“I am the good Shepherd, and I know My own and My own know me,…”  John 10:14
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;”  John 10:27
“I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”  John 10:11
…but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.  1 Corinthians 8:3
As I have looked up many verses in the Bible, I am so reassured that God calls me to Him.  He wants me to have a relationship with Him.  He has adopted me.  He has chosen me.  He has given me an inheritance.  He has predestined me.  He desires that I am conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus.
He knows me.
There is a special song by Tommy Walker called “He Knows My Name” that often brings tears to me when I sing it.  It is always because He knows my name that the flood of unbelief overwhelms my heart and tears well up.
I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in His hands

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He’ll never leave me
No matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

“Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.”  Isaiah 49:16
Oh, Dearest LORD, I want to know You as well as You know me, but I know that while on this earth, I will only learn minutiae.  Your character, Your ways, Who You are and what You do are before me in Your Word.  I am on this journey to learn more of You.  I want to pursue You just as You pursued me all those years before I finally knew that I belonged to You.  Thank You for loving me through those years and never giving up on me. You are my LORD and Savior and I desire Only You.  Teach me all about Yourself, that I may become more like You.   I want to know You.  I want to be like You.  I want to love like You.  I want You. I am so amazed that You might have even inscribed my name, my name, on the palms of Your hands.  Is that true, LORD?  Oh, how I love You.

Thankful In the Midst


Oh, I am ever so thankful for this 95 year old mother of mine!  This past Monday evening, the nursing home took a small bus of residents to the Hooks Baseball game.  The Hooks are a AA team for the Houston Astros. My mother grew up with baseball in Chicago.  Her Dad was on a minor league team way back when plus he taught the kids in the neighborhoods they lived in to ‘play ball’.  Grandpa was an Italian bricklayer by trade, but his real love was baseball and taught two of his three kids to absolutely love the game, Mom being one!  So any chance my mother got and now gets, she goes.

She is in a nursing home now so the opportunities are much more rare.  When this game was on the May calendar, I decided to volunteer and go with her.  My youngest sister and her husband have taken her a time or two on visits here.  She has been prodding me to go ever since the team came to town.  So ’twas my turn!  Plus Mom is 95!  How many more?

As you can see on our faces, we were having a grand time.  The Hooks won, but more than that, I won a most memorable memory with my mother.  She was clear (dementia at rest!); she was ever so happy, and loved having me with her as she knows that baseball is not a favorite for me!  (She drug me to a few Padre games that were not fun for me as a high schooler!)I am so grateful for the evening, the memory, the special fun that she and I had together, just us!  I loved every minute!  I am grateful for my little sister and her husband in Kauai who listened to me whoop and holler as I shared the evening with them.   Thank You, Sweet Jesus, for my mother, for my sisters, for my father, and those I call family.  Amen. 

For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; [You are] my trust from my youth.  By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise [shall be] continually of You.  I have become as a wonder to many, But You [are] my strong refuge.  Let my mouth be filled [with] Your praise [And with] Your glory all the day.  Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails.  Psalm 71:5-9
I am thankful that our God is the Strong Tower that I can run to.   With so much love for my Mom, I also have such a difficult time when she is angry and the dementia overrides the fun-loving, happy mother I know best.   God is in control and I am so, so very grateful that He is and I am not.
The name of the LORD [is] a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.  Proverbs 18:10

I also thank the many people who have laid their lives down on the battlefields for my freedom.  I thank the families of those special people for they are waiting for their special one to return.  May You protect them with Your many legions of angels, LORD.  Hold their minds in Your loving hands, that their eyes would stay fixed upon You, that they would come home whole.  Amen.

Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?  Matthew 26:53

I love You, LORD, for the love You have given me.  I feel the river of living waters running through me with newness and refreshment, with life and grace, with mercy and peace.  You hold my tears in a bottle.  You calm me.  You are God.  Thank You for my Kenneth and His loving sweetness for me.  Thank You for His faithfulness to You and to me.  Thank You for holding us in Your arms and teaching us Your ways.  Amen.
Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer.From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy.  Psalm 61:1-3

Being Filled With the Spirit of Wisdom

So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.  Exodus 28:3
As I was reading Exodus 28 recently, this verse halted me, calling me to further study.  It is so fascinating to me how God slows me down, actually stopping me to spend time on a word or a verse.  Verses that I would have skimmed over carry a word from the LORD, and unless I do stop, I would miss a treasure, a pearl.  

Being a weaver and spinner of wools, two words, ‘gifted artisans’, are my first stop.  Other versions of the Bible use ‘skillful artisans’, ‘skilled men’, ‘have special skills’, ‘have ability’, ‘wise-hearted’.  The Hebrew word for gifted artisan, skillful men/person, one with ability is chakam (Strong’s H2450)חכם – one may be skillful in his technical work, wise in administration, shrewd, crafty, cunning, wily, subtle, learned, prudent, or wise ethically and religiously. 
In Hebrew, the word ‘wise’ is literally attached to this person of skill, although we may not see the actual word ‘wise’ with ‘gifted artisan’.  The actual meaning is ‘wise-hearted’ or ‘those who are wise at heart’.  The Hebrew word leb לבis connected with chakam.  Not only is this person a gifted artisan, but his inner man is the seat of understanding, will, courage, emotion, conscience, morality; this is truly the soul. 
Then I move through the verse to where God fills this person with ‘the spirit of wisdom‘ and find that the Hebrew word is Strong’s H2451 chokmah חכמה  meaning skill in war, wisdom in administration, shrewdness, prudence in religious affairs, wisdom ethically and religiously. 
Both of these words have their root in H2449: chakam חכם– which is ‘to be wise’.  

All the skilled women spun with their hands, and brought what they had spun, {in} blue and purple {and} scarlet {material} and {in} fine linen.  Exodus 35:25   (The word ‘skilled’ has the same meaning here – ‘stirred with wisdom’.)
Artisans are called by God.  As in Exodus 28:3 and Exodus 35:25, Exodus 35:31-35 is just one more example of this calling:  “And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work.  He also has put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.  He has filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver and of an embroiderer, in blue and in purple {and} in scarlet {material,} and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of designs.”   Exodus 35:31-35
All wisdom has its source in God.  No matter what skill I have, the ability to accomplish it comes from God.  To handle it wisely is the gift that God has given me if I am doing it through His hands.  God reveals right and wrong to man.  We apply His teachings to our daily lives, walking in His moral principles.  When I read “wise-hearted’ in several versions of Exodus 28:3, I sense a far deeper meaning from my Abba – that as I receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, breathing into my beating heart, the endowment is not only the skill or gift of creativity but the oxygen mixed with the Blood of Jesus to give me life, to give me wisdom in all I am and do, to give me Himself.  The artisan is spiritually guided in her works, proceeding carefully, with detail, with high quality.  But the product is certainly not the only result.  As I worship Him and know Him, love Him and revere Him, walking closely with Him, allowing Him to guide and work through my hands and heart, His character continues to filter through me and I begin to resemble Christ more and more, as does the piece of art I am creating.
“And to man, He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'”  Job 28:28