I have just had the most AMAZING week! Well, all my weeks are amazing really but this week was one out-of-the-box. I am currently in the midst of writing Deeper Bible 701 level and putting together the PowerPoint slides for it. I have been working on a solution (or proof) of something biblically that I have puzzled over for years and this week God has taught me a new word – Isopsethia. God dropped the solution to the puzzle on me in the wee small hours of Thursday morning as I lay wide awake in bed pondering it. Thursday morning when I got up early I began to realize that God wasn’t finished with what He had shown me in the night.
I have been writing Bible Gems since 2009. About four years ago I was in Koorong Books in Melbourne and saw on the shelf a book by Rick Renner called Sparkling Gems from the Greek. Well of course Ian would buy that book. I have been using it and loving it ever since. Thanks Rick. This year I noticed that Rick has published a second volume, Sparkling Gems from the Greek Vol 2. Of course I have bought that too. What struck me this week is the way God used Rick’s book and the timing of His revelation of isopsethia in a remarkable way to teach me something that I will only disclose in its fullness in Deeper Bible 701. However, this morning I intend to share with you all another Greek word which was the focus of Rick Renner’s reading for June 13th in Volume 2 of his Sparkling Gems.
Rick wrote of the Greek word [hupomimnesko] and its significance to the work of the Holy Spirit reminding us of the things Jesus said in God’s word. [hupo] carries the idea of juxtaposing two ideas or thoughts, laying thoughts or remembrances alongside one another. [mimnesko] contains the notion of “remember”, “recollect”, “recall” or “remind”. That is exactly what God did for me in the early hours of Thursday to solve a challenging puzzle. Thursday morning I had the word [isopsethia] playing over and over in my mind but I have never known that word before. It was totally and utterly new to me. I didn’t know what it meant but I recognised it as being Greek. Being a geographer, I recognised it’s semantic field. It fits in with isobar, isotherm, isohyet and isocline (which most of us know more commonly as “contour”). Iso has the idea of the linking of related things. In a geographical sense the isobars are lines linking the same values or qualities. In the case isobars they are lines linking values of the same barometric pressure to form a weather map. Contour lines link points of the same elevation above sea level. Ah what does [isopsethia] mean? That’s a secret due to be revealed in Deeper Bible 701.
However, allow me to share what Rick Renner talked about in his June 13th reading in Volume 2 of his book. He wrote about the work of the Holy Spirit in “teaching us all things, and bringing all things to our remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you” John 14:26. Rick also used John 12:16 in the KJV, which reads in the NLT “His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfilment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him.” The Holy Spirit being the One who brought it to the disciples’ recall or attention. Rick’s point was the Holy Spirit is the One behind the remarkable harmony of the accounts of the four gospel writers. The reason they don’t contradict each other is because the Holy Spirit has been the One to remind them of the exact words that Jesus said. I thought, “Exactly Rick. I have never thought of that angle before but that is exactly right.” That is a new angle on what I talked about in the Nuggets recently related to how the disciples could record accurately the words of Jesus in an oral society. See the Nugget How Could People Have Possibly Memorized the Teaching of Jesus in an Oral Society? Well there you are! Rick Renner has given us all a new slant on the matter. I know of two people who bought Rick Renner’s book (Vol 1) as a result. [It’s a pleasure Rick]
Rick Renner goes on to talk about the amazing relevance of this to people who live in parts of the world where the Bible is a banned book. How the Holy Spirit works to remind those leaders and church-loads of people what Jesus said after they have only heard it orally because as a group they share one solitary well-used copy of the Word of God. That touches my heart because I have met or heard of people like that. Like the Chinese woman who buried a hand-written copy of a portion of the Word of God in the forest in a plastic bag and would go out to read and memorise the words by moonlight in order to know the Word of God. These people put us to shame who have multiple copies of the Bible in our homes but hardly know it. When you store the Word of God in your heart, the Holy Spirit can bring things to mind and then link the significance to some other part of the Bible that we have never considered.
It is that which happened to me early on Thursday morning. Something God has done throughout my Christian life. He often juxtaposes two seemingly unrelated things which are pregnant with meaning when put together. That is what happened related to the thing I had been puzzling about for Deeper Bible 701. Only in this case he caused me to think of a word I didn’t even know and linked it to what Rick Renner had written in the reading for June 13th in Volume 2 of Sparking Gems from the Greek. What further blew me away was that I was reading what Rick Renner had written on the wrong day! Those detectives among you readers of my Nuggets and Gems may have already connected the dissonant thoughts. Thursday was actually June 14th. “What were you doing Ian, reading Rick’s entry for June 13th on June 14th? I thought you were totally organized.” I had fallen behind a day due to busyness. It happens! But my point is that God put my thoughts on a word out-of-the-blue that I hadn’t heard of before on the very (wrong) day I read Rick Renner’s reading for June 13th and set off a chain of thoughts that gave me a huge revelation. It was one of those serendipitous moments in God where He juxtaposed memories and a new thought [hupomimnesko] to lead to a new revelation.
I can tell you it left me so excited and a little emotional about the way God works in my life. Well ok . . . very touched and emotional. I sat there in my study for a while shedding tears over God’s involvement in my life. I hope somehow Rick Renner reads this and comes to realize how much his readings mean to me. I love it when my readers tell me how something I wrote challenges or touches them. Thanks Rick.