Eric Ludy – The Ancient War Cry

Photo credit biblewalks.com – Valley of Elah where David battled Goliath

1 Samuel 17 2:And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together,
and pitched by the valley of Elah,
and set the battle in array against the Philistines.

Where’s our war cry?

We don’t even know that we’re at war! We don’t understand that we’re in hostile territory. This isn’t a time of peace. It’s against the principalities and the powers that are puppeteering the people. And we are in a position to see souls set free!

This has been the ancient war cry throughout all the generations of the Hebrew nations. Rak Chazak! Where does it come from? Chazak, this is the Hebrew: the rock like „oomph” of the spiritually zealous heart. The game face of a mighty man. Tenacity of soul, the gritting of the teeth of the Spirit inspired warrior. And the bearing of those teeth to the enemy. Chazak is possessing a resolute and growling resolve for the glory of God. A flush of spiritual fervor. A tensing of all of a soldier’s muscles. There’s a Chazak.

We don’t have that spiritually. We should. We don’t. Because we don’t know what we’re engaged with. Did you know that we have the armory of heaven? That you have everything you need for life and godliness to push the enemy forces back? And so, when you hear Chazak, your knuckles spiritually should immediately turn white. And you should find yourself gritting your spiritual teeth with a belligerence against the enemy. He goes down! There are souls that must be saved!

The Hebrew statement is Rak Chazak. However, in the Bible, where it came from it’s Chazak Amats. The other word that goes with it, Amats, it’s heavenly audacity. It’s rushing headlong into the most hazardous and impossible battles without pausing to consider the impossibilities.

Who had Amats in the Bible?

  • David against Goliath? That’s some serious Amats. He’s rushing headlong against Goliath. „David, you might think about this for a minute.” „No, I am not weighing the impossibilities. This is for my God!” It’s a confidence in victory, even before the field is taken. It’s lambs moving with liquid ferocity straight into the lion’s lair.
  • How about the three that overheard him in the cave of Adullam? All for a cup of cool water  from the well of Bethlehem. Those guys had Amats. They go running out, break through a garrison of Philistines to grab a cup of cool water, and then bring it back through the garrison. They’re being hunted by the Philistines the whole time, trying not to spill a cup of water. That’s Amats.

Mere men and women on earth are being eaten up by the enemy.

However, we’re not just mere men and women of this earth. We are redeemed. We are bought with a price. And we’ve been changed into the body of Christ. Amats means swift-footed, all believing, super conquering, prevailing faith in the Lord of battles. What happens to the world, if Christians once again get Chazak and Amats? Do you know what the apostles had after Pentecost? Something came into them. What was it? You can say it very simply as Chazak and Amats – the Spirit of God. He came in to win. He came in to turn this world on its head.

Moses’s last gasp, this is his great speech before the promised land, which he never got to enter into, and he’s laying out the ground rules for the kingdom that is about to be established across that Jordan river. „Be strong, and of good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid of them. For the Lord, thy God, He it is that does go with thee. He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, „Chazak! Amats!” Be strong and of good courage! For thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord has sworn unto their fathers to give them. And thou shalt cause them to inherit it.

What’s happening there? The men and women of God are coming in to take what was purchased.. The promise. You are surrounded by 31 hostile empires. You know, that’s what they were headed into: 31 empires on the other side of that Jordan river. 31!

This is where we are at, as the church of Jesus Christ. Yet, we are there without a war cry. Let’s understand that we are out to win for the glory of Jesus Christ. And, even if we die, we win. It doesn’t matter what happens to our bodies. We obey… God wins. Now, suddenly we’re crossing. Joshua is the same name for Jesus in the New Testament, by the way. Yeshua- this is the Savior, the Man of Salvation, who is coming to bring us into the inheritance. Be strong and of good courage, for unto this people shall thou divide for an inheritance, the land which I swore unto their fathers to give them. Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage. Rak Chazak! Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God is with thee, withersoever thou goest. Rak Chazak, Israel! Rak Chazak, men and women of God almighty. And all the powers of earth and hell that come against your soul, and all the powers of earth and hell that are puppeteering the lost masses, you hit them square in the teeth, and you show love to this world. To anyone who would spit in your face, you serve them and you love them in return, and say, „Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” Rak Chazak, Israel!

Video by  setapartlife

Archaeologists uncover a fortified city in Judah from the time of King David

Read also – Archaeologists Uncover Proof of Pre-Jesus Bethlehem at the Christian Post

Source www.biblicalarchaeology.org and Hebrew University – http://www.huji.ac.il

The exciting finds just keep coming at Khirbet Qeiyafa. This unique, fortified Judahite city on the border with Philistia had a short-lived existence between 1020 and 980 B.C.E., according to carbon-dated remains excavated at the site, that places it at the dawn of the Israelite Monarchy, the time of King Saul and King David. In 2008, excavation director Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem revealed an ostracon with five lines of early script that had been discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa. Among the earliest examples of alphabetic writing found in Israel, the enigmatic Qeiyafa Ostracon has been the focus of several articles in Biblical Archaeology Review, including two features in the May/June 2012 issue.

 Now even more fascinating finds from Khirbet Qeiyafa are shedding light on the crucial historical period of King David. Announced today at a press conference in Jerusalem, Garfinkel shared with the public for the first time several cultic items that were recently excavated from three “shrine rooms” at the site, including two portable shrine models, two basalt altars, two pottery libation vessels and five standing stones. According to Garfinkel and his codirector, Saar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority, these finds offer the first clear archaeological evidence of cultic activity in Judah during the time of King David. The shrine models also show the existence of sophisticated royal architecture styles during that period and may shed light on design elements of Solomon’s Temple as described in the Bible.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Department of Media Relations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hebrew University archaeologist finds the first evidence of a cult in Judah at the time of King David, with implications for Solomon’s Temple

Jerusalem, May 8, 2012—Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, the Yigal Yadin Professor of Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, announced today the discovery of objects that for the first time shed light on how a cult was organized in Judah at the time of King David. During recent archaeological excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a fortified city in Judah adjacent to the Valley of Elah, Garfinkel and colleagues uncovered rich assemblages of pottery, stone and metal tools, and many art and cult objects. These include three large rooms that served as cultic shrines, which in their architecture and finds correspond to the biblical description of a cult at the time of King David.

This discovery is extraordinary as it is the first time that shrines from the time of early biblical kings were uncovered. Because these shrines pre-date the construction of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem by 30 to 40 years, they provide the first physical evidence of a cult in the time of King David, with significant implications for the fields of archaeology, history, biblical and religion studies.

Located approximately 30 km. southwest of Jerusalem in the valley of Elah, Khirbet Qeiyafa was a border city of the Kingdom of Judah opposite the Philistine city of Gath. The city, which was dated by 10 radiometric measurements (14C) done at Oxford University on burned olive pits, existed for a short period of time between ca. 1020 to 980 BCE, and was violently destroyed.

The biblical tradition presents the people of Israel as conducting a cult different from all other nations of the ancient Near East by being monotheistic and an-iconic (banning human or animal figures). However, it is not clear when these practices were formulated, if indeed during the time of the monarchy (10-6th centuries BC), or only later, in the Persian or Hellenistic eras.

The absence of cultic images of humans or animals in the three shrines provides evidence that the inhabitants of the place practiced a different cult than that of the Canaanites or the Philistines, observing a ban on graven images.

The findings at Khirbet Qeiyafa also indicate that an elaborate architectural style had developed as early as the time of King David. Such construction is typical of royal activities, thus indicating that state formation, the establishment of an elite, social level and urbanism in the region existed in the days of the early kings of Israel. These finds strengthen the historicity of the biblical tradition and its architectural description of the Palace and Temple of Solomon.

According to Prof. Garfinkel, “This is the first time that archaeologists uncovered a fortified city in Judah from the time of King David. Even in Jerusalem we do not have a clear fortified city from his period. Thus, various suggestions that completely deny the biblical tradition regarding King David and argue that he was a mythological figure, or just a leader of a small tribe, are now shown to be wrong.” Garfinkel continued, “Over the years, thousands of animal bones were found, including sheep, goats and cattle, but no pigs. Now we uncovered three cultic rooms, with various cultic paraphernalia, but not even one human or animal figurine was found. This suggests that the population of Khirbet Qeiyafa observed two biblical bans—on pork and on graven images—and thus practiced a different cult than that of the Canaanites or the Philistines.”

Description of the findings and their significance

The three shrines are part of larger building complexes. In this respect they are different from Canaanite or Philistine cults, which were practiced in temples—separate buildings dedicated only to rituals. The biblical tradition described this phenomenon in the time of King David: “He brought the ark of God from a private house in Kyriat Yearim and put it in Jerusalem in a private house” (2 Samuel 6).

The cult objects include five standing stones (Massebot), two basalt altars, two pottery libation vessels and two portable shrines. No human or animal figurines were found, suggesting the people of Khirbet Qeiyafa observed the biblical ban on graven images.

Two portable shrines (or “shrine models”) were found, one made of pottery (ca. 20 cm high) and the other of stone (35 cm high). These are boxes in the shape of temples, and could be closed by doors.

The clay shrine is decorated with an elaborate façade, including two guardian lions, two pillars, a main door, beams of the roof, folded textile and three birds standing on the roof. Two of these elements are described in Solomon’s Temple: the two pillars (Yachin and Boaz) and the textile (Parochet).

The stone shrine is made of soft limestone and painted red. Its façade is decorated by two elements. The first are seven groups of roof-beams, three planks in each. This architectural element, the “triglyph,” is known in Greek classical temples, like the Parthenon in Athens. Its appearance at Khirbet Qeiyafa is the earliest known example carved in stone, a landmark in world architecture.

The second decorative element is the recessed door. This type of doors or windows is known in the architecture of temples, palaces and royal graves in the ancient Near East. This was a typical symbol of divinity and royalty at the time.

The stone model helps us to understand obscure technical terms in the description of Solomon’s palace as described in 1 Kings 7, 1-6. The text uses the term “Slaot,” which were mistakenly understood as pillars and can now be understood as triglyphs. The text also uses the term “Sequfim”, which was usually understood as nine windows in the palace, and can now be understood as “triple recessed doorway.”

Similar triglyphs and recessed doors can be found in the description of Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 6, Verses 5, 31-33, and in the description of a temple by the prophet Ezekiel (41:6). These biblical texts are replete with obscure technical terms that have lost their original meaning over the millennia. Now, with the help of the stone model uncovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa, the biblical text is clarified. For the first time in history we have actual objects from the time of David, which can be related to monuments described in the Bible.
Source – http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/artifacts-and-the-bible/breaking-news—evidence-of-cultic-activity-in-judah-discovered-at-khirbet-qeiyafa/

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