Monday, October 31, 2011

All Evidence To the Contrary

7The Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so that they may know that I will be with you as I was with Moses. 8You are the one who shall command the priests who bear the Ark of the Covenant, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” 9Joshua then said to the Israelites, “Draw near and hear the words of the Lord your God.”10Joshua said, “By this you shall know that among you is the living God who without fail will drive out from before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites: 11the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is going to pass before you into the Jordan. 12So now select twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13When the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan flowing from above shall be cut off; they shall stand in a single heap.”
14When the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant were in front of the people.15Now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest. So when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the edge of the water, 16the waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap far off at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, while those flowing toward the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17While all Israel were crossing over on dry ground, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, until the entire nation finished crossing over the Jordan.   Joshua 3:7-17  (NRSV)
It's probable there are not many among us here, over 50 years of age, who haven’t looked back over life and, with nostalgia welling-up inside, said, "If I had my life to live over again, I would...         [fill in the blank]     ." 
I wish there was some wonderful place called the land of beginning again,
                 Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches,
                             And all our poor selfish sin,
     Could be dropped, like a shabby old coat at the door,                                                                                And never put on again."[1]
            The children of Israel had made their share of mistakes.  Forty years prior to the time of our text they had refused to move forward to possess the Promised Land.  Moses had sent a dozen spies across Jordan to check out how to conquer Canaan Land[2].  Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, returned to say that the land was ripe for the taking.  The other 10, the frightened spies, whined that the enemy was big.  God’s children believed the majority report, become fearful and sat down like mules in the sand.  Because they refused to move forward as God had ordered, they wandered around in the desert like lost children for forty years, during which a whole generation passed off the scene.
            Then Moses died and Joshua became their leader.  A new spy contingent looked over the land, and this time the people were going to go ahead with conquering what God had already declared was their possession.  It was a new day, a new time to serve.  God's people took their heritage that stretched back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 
·        They carried their memory of Joseph and Egyptian bondage, and also an ark with remembrances of wanderings in the wilderness. 
·        They carried the taste of manna, supernatural food with which God had fed them for forty years. 
·        They wore sandals and robes that hadn’t worn-out for generations, because God provided for their every need…cantankerous and disobedient as they were! 
With a kind and gentle hand God had prepared them for a new day.  Now it was time to leave the past and enter their destiny.  It was time to cross the Jordan River and step into the Land of Beginning Again!
“Crossing Jordan” is something of a symbol of passage and ritual.  It is referred to often as the crossing over of death’s river into the next life.  In African American culture (particularly in North America) Jordan’s crossing pictures the underground slave railroad’s path to freedom. 
For our purposes here I would like for us to concentrate on Jordan being the opening steps toward a new way of life by depending (in faith) on God’s promises.
In a sense every day is like that for the people of God.  Every day is an opportunity to move forward, even if – especially if – there has been failure and wandering in the desert of hurt feelings, bad economy, strained relationships and more.  God is the God of new mercies…every morning![3]
In our text, God played the mother eagle, urging “baby Israel-eagle”, to get out of their “comfort-zone nest” and move forward.  This speaks to where we are as a church; there is a wealth of wisdom for us in this passage if we will hear it!
This story of Israel’s moving forward is all about faith, and faith is always a place of uncharted waters; it’s a place that’s uncomfortable, fearful at times; and it is the place of greatest joy when you allow God to take you by the hand, and, together, you take this great, big, giant leap! 
That’s what happened in the life of a young priest by the name of Martin some 500 years ago.  He made a terrible mistake for a priest of that era – he read the Bible and believed it, and so started the Reformation…which we celebrate today.  Martin Luther’s life got turned upside down, dangerous, and he was never the same again.  And that’s what it’s like to truly follow the carpenter from Galilee. That’s what it would be like for us today!
So…are you ready for your Sunday nap?  Or are you ready to see yourself in this passage?  If you’re ready for a faith jump, please notice with me, three truths about walking by faith.

1.     You only move forward in faith by God’s Word.

In verse 9 we find Joshua calling the people to [d]raw near and hear the words of the Lord your God.  In Hebrew “hear” means much more than detecting sound; it means to listen with discernment, and to obey[4]
So this means Joshua was saying to the crowd…. “this is your heritage, your job; listen carefully to what God says….and DO it!  This is Joshua’s version of what our old hymn proclaims:
What he says we will do,
Where he sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.[5]
If as part of this church family, you’re waiting for someone else besides YOU to move this church forward – you have not “heard” the word of the Lord; to hear is to DO – no matter what anyone else is doing or not doing! 
The writer to the Hebrews told us that without faith it is impossible to please God[6].  The brother of our Lord, James, took it a step farther; he said that our [so called] faith, unless it is accompanied by doing [active obedience to what God has said] is stone-cold-dead! 
We only move forward in faith, by the Word of God!

2.     When you move forward in faith by God’s Word there will be change!

The people, moving forward, followed the Ark of the Covenant to the banks of Jordan.  When the priests took another step into the water, the river suddenly stopped flowing upstream and downstream.  There appeared a path in the middle of the Jordan River. 
The last time Israel had seen that was when Moses lifted up his staff and the Red Sea parted.  They knew what this meant.  It still means the same thing today:
You only really know for sure that it is God that is moving when the results of your prayers and actions are contrary to all evidence.
What had happened at Jordan’s banks was contrary to all evidence.  In verse 15 it tells us that it was natural and normal for the banks of the Jordan to be overflowing at this time of year.  In the next instant, 4 sets of bare Hebrew priest’s feet touch the water’s edge and the water stops flowing.  Which side of THAT bet would you have been on?
But that’s what happens when God is on the move…
·        Elijah had a contest with the prophets of Baal; they prayed and danced all day but couldn’t start a fire….Elijah had barrels of water poured over the sacrifice, and with one prayer God’s lightning barbequed the bull and licked up all the water…contrary to all evidence!
·        There was only one Daniel and many lions…but God’s servant Daniel prevailed that night in the den…contrary to all evidence!
·        It was three flesh and blood men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego against Nebuchadnezzar’s 800o fiery-furnace; they not only survived, but, when they came out of that furnace they weren’t singed, and they didn’t even smell like smoke….contrary to all evidence!
·        And there was death to contend with in a sealed, guarded tomb – and just a poor crucified rabbi they called a criminal; contrary to all evidence he carried the promises of God into the jaws of hell, and on Sunday morning that dead man got out of that tomb…and he’s still walking…contrary to all evidence!
And when you walk forward in faith by God’s word there WILL be change.  And some people won’t like it…but that’s not your concern; because God WILL like it…because….contrary to all evidence:

3.     Moving forward in faith by God’s Word will reveal God’s greatest victories in your life.

It tells us in the 16th verse that the people crossed over opposite Jericho.  A few chapters after this event we find the heavily fortified walls of Jericho falling flat…not one stone remained….and God’s people didn’t even have to fight…God did it all as they marched around the city like a cake walk!  It was contrary to all evidence!
Now, what would have happened at Jericho if they had never taken the first step out of the land of Ammon, to cross Jordan?  Nothing!  They’d still be waiting in Ammon.  There would be no Jerusalem; no Promised Land!
Now….shall I ask the question that hangs over us like a lead balloon?  Yes, let’s ask it:  What does that mean for us, here, today?  How do we walk by faith in God’s word, so we see His greatest victories in our lives?

What does that look like in our church?  What should WE do?

With Moses, and later, with Joshua, there were leaders and followers.  I see this in the same way for the church in 2011.  There are leaders and followers in our church; this text speaks to both.

1.     Leadership must pull in the same direction

The leadership of the church is like the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant into Jordan.  You need help to carry the responsibility of leadership.  We’re organized to have that, but sometimes we pull with our own agenda, rather than helping.  What would have happened if the priests wanted to go in independent ways instead of cooperating?  The ark would have been dropped in the mud.
Leadership in this church must make up our minds to pull together or we will be responsible to God for dropping His presence in the mud of our separate agendas…and leading God’s people astray.  Trust me…WE who are leaders in this church DO NOT want to do that!
If, as leaders, we are all pulling in the same direction we will enjoy the privilege the priests carrying the ark experienced….being right in the middle of God’s people moving across Jordan, they stayed firm until every person crossed over.  That is our job as leaders – hold up the symbols and point the way; we help God’s people get home!

2.     Followers must move forward in the same direction

As a follower of Jesus Christ you will see change when God moves.  You must not balk at that; move forward.  How do you do that?
·        Make a decision
Following implies following-through on your vows.  The children of Israel could have come up to the banks of Jordan and then wished the others well while they stayed on in Ammon.  Folks, there comes a time when you must let go of worldly Ammon in favor of moving forward into Canaan Land; you cannot do both!  Yes…as a Christian you give up some things!
·        Following through means being Christ’s follower
Often the Christian has been identified as a soldier.  Soldiers do several consistently basic things:
1.     They train.  We gather (those who are serious about following Christ) for Sunday School at 9AM, and on Wednesday evenings for Bible Study.  In addition, soldiers also practice their skills in-between group sessions.  Private devotions are essential to become a strong, skilled soldier of Christ.
2.     They suit up and fight the fight.  Putting on the whole armor of God[7] is a matter of preparing for battle. 
My son, Jason, who is a career soldier, has served three tours of duty in Iraq since 2003.  He is likely to serve in Afghanistan the next time around.  His mother and I asked him why the government would send him again.  Jason’s answer was simply, “I’m a soldier; it’s my job; that’s what I’m called to do.”
What are you called to do, or rather BE by God as His soldier, follower, disciple and child?
We’ll sing a song in a moment, a favorite for those weary in the battle; it is “Precious Lord, Take My Hand[8]”.  The last part of the third stanza reads,
…at the river I stand, guide my feet, hold my hand:
       Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.
You may be a leader in this church, or another; you may be a follower, or maybe you’d like to start following Christ.  Have you made a decision to cross Jordan and push on to the Promised Land?  Are you willing to follow through….to not just “hear with the ears” but to “heed with your life”?
·              Would you allow the Lord to take you by the hand….guide your feet to this altar to enlist in His service?
·              Would you commit yourself to pulling in the same direction as others who are leading?
·              Would you commit to training, putting on the armor, suiting-up and fighting the good fight?
Your mind may tell you that it doesn’t make sense to do that; the world is too sophisticated to be a “Jesus-person” these days.  Besides, you don’t know how to do that.  What will others say? 
You’re afraid of being a fanatic.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense to commit. 
Exactly…it’s against all evidence to the contrary.  But….wouldn’t you want to move forward?  Aren’t you ready for a change?  Aren’t you ready to start seeing God’s greatest victories worked out in your life, instead of just hearing about how He worked in someone else’s life? 
Against all evidence to the contrary….that’s what I want for my life!
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; let the church say, Amen!

[1]Louise Fletcher Tarkington
[2] Numbers 13
[3] Lamentations 3:23
[4]Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, © 2003, QuickVerse, שָׁמַע shâma shaw-mah' A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.;
[5] Trust and Obey, Sammis & Towner, The United Methodist Hymnal, (Nashville, UMC Publishing House, 1989), 467.
[6] Hebrews 11:6
[7] Ephesians 6:11
[8] Thomas A. Dorsey, Ó1938 Hill & Range Songs, The UMHymnal (Nashville, UMC Publishing House, 1989), 474

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Twinkle Twinkle Little Man

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.  2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.  3You turn us back to dust, and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”   4 For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.  5 You sweep them away; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning; 6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.

13 Turn, O LORD! How long? Have compassion on your servants!   14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.   15 Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil.  16 Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.  17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands— O prosper the work of our hands!
“Twinkle, twinkle little star; how I wonder what you are.”  Every person since Adam has looked into the starry sky and wondered about the enormity of the universe, and his or her own smallness.  We wonder about time and eternity.  John Wesley asked, “But what is time…in some sense, a fragment of eternity, broken off at both ends?”[1] 
Time is indeed measured against God’s eternity.  Our text this morning is a prayer of time and eternity and wisdom.  It is a prayer uttered as earnestly and hopefully as the innocent eyes lifting up that internal wonderment, little star….what are you, up there so high above the world?
The Psalm writer’s answer about the what of up there comes early in the prayer; verse two is filled with the pictures of our questions about time and God’s eternity.  He opens up for us his heart of faith towards God and, in praise declares God’s hand created it all.  He proclaims, Before YOU, JHWH, Jehovah God – before YOU formed the earth…(90:2b)  The word[2] “formed” suggests Jeremiah’s potter-God twisting the clay on the wheel as it whirls under his hands. 
He finishes his statement with a phrase that empties our paltry little imaginations:  from everlasting to everlasting, YOU are God.  “Everlasting” is literally the concealed place…a vanishing point on the horizon.[3]  We know we can’t see ahead in time – we can only speculate where tomorrow will take us; but as we look backward our vision disappears at fossils and   scientific guesses on the earth and universe’s age. 
With Wesley we imagine this fragment of “everlasting” which we call time-past and time-future.  And here we are, locked in this time-present, in-between the eternities of past and future.
Frankly, it’s comparing our time with God’s eternity that creates in me awe (and sometimes scares the stuffing out of me).  Here we are in this moment of time; there God is, and was, and is to be.  In Revelation, the beloved apostle gave us a glimpse of the worship scene in Heaven, and about the ever-existential God:
Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle.  8And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing, “Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”                Revelation 4:6-8 (NRSV)
God is eternal, having existed in himself before anything.  In the Christian Scriptures, James, the brother of our Lord said that our life (by comparison) is like a vapor, a wisp of smoke.  By comparison with God we are here today and gone tomorrow like a dandelion in the puff of a morning’s breeze.  John Wesley compared our ephemeral brevity in this life to that of a fly[4].  Most ephemerons are born in the evening; six hours later, like Cinderella, they leave this ball and are gone. 
Threescore and ten may seem like a long time to live, but compared to the broken ends of eternity, it’s hardly a blip on the radar!  The Psalmist sums up the funeral eulogy in two verses:
·        Verse 5 – we “appear” like renewed grass, winter rye[5].
·        Verse 6 – we “flourish” as the Hebrew word suggests we “twinkle”[6] like the little star in the children’s song…a quick and bright sliding-by in this life.
·        Verse 6 – we “fade” off the scene, withered or “cut short”[7]
To carry this grass metaphor, we germinate, we gleam then we’re gone!  Two verses; end of story!  Pretty depressing, eh?
But, is that what God’s purpose is all about?                                                         Here today; gone tomorrow?  Not by a long shot!
The Purpose of Paradise Lost
If you remember Milton’s “paradise” scenario, he wrote of Eden, and how Adam and Eve fell to the snare of sin.  Eden was a paradise…full of good; full of God.  Then selfish ambition grew its own fruit and man was ejected from the garden; paradise lost! 
God’s first family was full of excuses – Adam blamed Eve; Eve blamed the serpent; but God still said “what have YOU done?”  Paradise lost!
Now, it’s easy to get rather frustrated or fatalistic if this is where the story ends.  There have been many reactions through the millennia:
·        Anger – people turn their backs on God regularly in an effort to demonstrate just how unfair God is (if He really exists).  This is the moral equivalent of a two year old throwing a tantrum because the Burger King philosophy didn’t work for him…he couldn’t have it his way!
·        Avoidance people refuse to think about eternity and God.  The subject is shrugged off –these are like the Epicureans – “let’s eat drink and be merry…tomorrow we die”.  The implication is that they have no choice, or they act as if there is no eternity.  (It IS an act, you know…deep down they know better).
·        Apoplexy – depression, despair, becoming demoralized.  “Oh, it’s all set in fate….I can’t do anything about the future, woe, despair and agony on me.”  There’s just no purpose at all to life.
Friends, this is exactly the effect which was set as the Adversary’s target – that we would despair or get angry at God and avoid worshiping Him in Spirit and truth.  Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychiatry held this to be true – that we are alone in this universe, and there is no purpose to life.  He was an incredibly intelligent man, and the world is indebted for his contribution to scientific exploration of the mind – but he did not understand his own existence, or why he existed; for him any idea of paradise was lost.
Yet, to borrow from Freud’s thinking, it is the wise person who seeks to truly understand himself.  The thoughtful understand themselves, in that we should listen to that inner-understanding which tells us we’re all created in the image of Almighty God; eternal Almighty God. 
As another great mind, Paul Tillich said, The wise heart is the heart which does not try to hide this from itself, which does not try to escape into a false security or a false cynicism.[8]
The Purpose of Paradise Regained
The evidence of eternity-past forces us to consider eternity-forward.  This is the “what you are” of “twinkle, twinkle little star”.  And, in this case, the “what you are” is taken by faith. 
One preacher wrote about the middle verses of this psalm, about how God is the one who sweeps us away in death after our sixty or seventy years, “…the psalm arrives at the conclusion (judgment?) that all of human life passes under God’s judgment – ‘we are consumed by your anger…our years come to an end like a sigh.’”[9]
The Psalmist prays that God’s work would be manifest to him.  This is the point of understanding the “what you are” in “twinkle twinkle”.  The Psalmist really wants to know – to see God’s purpose in whatever God’s hand is doing on earth and in the universe.  He doesn’t want to be an ostrich, burying our head in the nearest sand hole.
Paradise regained means seeing the work of God.  Again, Paul Tillich said, “Christianity is based on this message: God [in Christ] subjecting Himself to transitoriness and wrath, in order to be with us.”[10]  Paradise was regained at the incarnation and on the cross – this was the work of God made manifest to us.  We accept this by faith, or we will never truly grasp any purpose in life. 
Thomas Aquinas said, To the one who has faith [in Christ] no explanation is necessary; to one without faith, no explanation is possible.  All of life is totally meaningless without God and Christ reconciling his creation to Himself.
So – Examination Time
Two questions for people of faith; are you a person of faith?  Take the quiz:

1.     With life so short, am I prepared for eternity?

The Psalmist prayed this prayer; he asked God to establish the work of his hands (see v.17).  The word “establish” means to stand erect[11].  He was praying, God, make sure what I do, and who I am stands the test of time.  A companion word in the Christian Scripture is resurrection, “to stand again”.  This is one of the pictures of new life, where those asleep are awakened.
In Acts 3 Peter preached the great Pentecost sermon, telling people to repent and avoid destruction.  He was preparing them for eternity.  
What is it like to repent?  It is a change of heart about sin; it is a change of heart that leads to a change of life towards Jesus.  It is more than being sorry.
In The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, the cartoon character Calvin says to his [imaginary] tiger friend, Hobbes, "I feel bad that I called Susie names and hurt her feelings.  I'm sorry I did it."
   "Maybe you should apologize to her," Hobbes suggests.  Calvin ponders this for a moment and replies, "I keep hoping there's a less obvious solution."[12]
Repentance is always the obvious solution.  God never yet has forgiven an excuse, or an intention; God forgives confessed sin.  When it comes to the sin in our lives there are some things that matter, and some things that don’t:
·     It doesn’t matter if you know it all if you refuse to confess
·     It doesn’t matter if you’ve served him well, if you’re stubborn now
·     It doesn’t matter if you’re not as bad as some, if you’re not better than Jesus
·     It doesn’t matter if you’re a good person, if you’re not saved.
Again, John Wesley couldn’t state this more strongly:
What then is he -- how foolish, how mad, in how unutterable a degree of distraction -- who, seeming to have the understanding of a man, deliberately prefers temporal things to eternal? Who (allowing that absurd, impossible opposition, that wickedness is happiness, -- a supposition utterly contrary to all reason, as well as to matter fact) prefers the happiness of a year, say a thousand years, to the happiness of eternity, in comparison of which, a thousand ages are infinitely less than a year, a day, a moment? Especially when we take this into the consideration, (which, indeed should never be forgotten,) that the refusing a happy eternity, implies the choosing of a miserable eternity:  For there is not, cannot be, any medium between everlasting joy and everlasting pain. It is a vain thought which some have entertained, that death will put an end to neither the one nor the other; it will only alter the manner of their existence. But when the body "returns to the dust as it was, the spirit will return to God that gave it." Therefore, at the moment of death, it must be unspeakably happy, or unspeakably miserable: And that misery will never  end…. "Thou art on the brink of either a happy or miserable eternity; thy Creator bids thee now stretch out thy hand either to the one or the other;" -- and one would imagine no rational creature could think on anything else. One would suppose that this single point would engross his whole attention. Certainly it ought so to do: Certainly, if these things are so, there can be but one thing needful. O let you and I, at least, whatever others do, choose that better part which shall never be taken away from us![13]
The first question when you think about God and eternity is, am I prepared to meet Him?
The second question comes in the shadow of the first, but has to do with the time you have here before seeing God in eternity:

With life so short and eternity so long, am I using my time well?

Again, this is tied to the Psalmist’s prayer that God would prosper the work of our hands 90.17   In Hebrew thought the very word “hand” means that hollow space between fingers and wrist – it means an open hand.  This is a good picture for answering the question about how we’re using our allotted time on earth. 
There are many things you can do with an open hand.  What the Psalmist has in mind when he prays “let the favor [beauty] of the Lord our God be upon us…” is that we would be like God.  God has an open hand to give.  His hand is also open to receive our worship.  We are to be like that – opening our hands to receive, so we can pass on to others.
This is a picture of what is earlier(verse 14) in the Psalmist’s prayer about showering Israel with God’s ‘steadfast love’.  Chesed (kheh'-sed[14]) is God’s lovingkindness.  It was part of His covenant with Israel.  The Psalmist prays, God, once you promised to love us with extreme mercy; please remember and do that again.  What’s implied is….we need it big-time!
God had also cautioned Israel that to receive that kind of mercy, you must be willing to extend that kind of mercy to others.  Receive and give; you can only do that with an open hand.
So…twinkle, twinkle, little star….now we know just what You are – full of an open hand of mercy and kindness, ready to receive the kind of worship only your people can give.
Our prayer today, then, should be, Lord, our hands are open and lifted up; fill them with your mercy and lovingkindness so we can go bless this neighborhood, and unto the uttermost ends of the earth.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, let the church say, Amen!

[1] John Wesley, On Eternity, Sermon #54, 1872 Edition, (Thomas Jackson, Ed.)
[2] Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, © 2003חִיל חוּל chûl chı̂yl khool, kheel A primitive root; properly to twist or whirl (in a circular or spiral manner)
[3] Ibid., עֹלָם עוֹלָם ‛ôlâm ‛ôlâm o-lawm', o-lawm' From H5956; properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point
[4] John Wesley, On Eternity, Sermon #54, 1872 Edition, (Thomas Jackson, Ed.)
[5] Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, ©2003   חָלַף  châlaph khaw-laf' primitive root; properly to             slide by…(by implication) to hasten away, pass on, spring up
[6]Ibid., ©2003 צוּץ tsûts tsoots A primitive root; to twinkle
[7] Ibid., ©2003 מוּל mûl mool A primitive root; to cut short, that is, curtail
[8] The Shaking of the Foundations by Paul Tillich, Chapter 8: On the Transitoriness of Life This material was prepared for Religion Online by John Bushell
[9] Rolf Jacobson, Luther Seminary, Commentary on Psalm, 10/11/09, on The Working
[10] The Shaking of the Foundations by Paul Tillich, Chapter 8: On the Transitoriness of Life This material was prepared for Religion Online by John Bushell
[11]Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, ©2003   כּוּן kûn koon  A primitive root; properly to be erect (that is, stand perpendicular);.
[12] Norm Langston, Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker), from the editors of Leadership.
[13] John Wesley, John Wesley, On Eternity, Sermon #54, 1872 Edition, (Thomas Jackson, Ed.)
[14] Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, ©2003   חֵסֵד chêsêd kheh'-sed steadfast love or lovingkindness