God’s Will, Has Made Your Will

Ok, this study will not make much sense if you do not have a NIV (mine is copyrighted 1990) or even a Holman Study Bible, mine is a 2006 copyright.  King James and several other popular versions use the word “shall” instead of the word “will.”

From Isaiah 59:15 to 62:12 the word “will” is used 86 times. (All scriptures are NIV.) The majority of the “wills” however is God stating what will happen for us or at least to our “enemies.”  When you see the word “will,” you think of inheritance; this is found in 61:7 it talks of the “double portion” which is the part that belongs to the first-born son of the family.  I will give an example form 60:10 of the promises that are found in this section of scripture – Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you

The section addresses these promises to two different things, the first is Zion and the second His people.  Zion refers to the hills that Jerusalem is built on but it has become synonymous with Jerusalem.  The way the promises are worded it seems that God is concerned about the physical land/city but they also apply to Jerusalem the “people of the city.”

Inside of these verses are some very popular scriptures; Isaiah 61:1-3 is a great example.  I can image the Apostle Paul reading/thinking about 59:17 when he wrote Ephesians 6:14 – the breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation, garments of vengeance, and the cloak of zeal.  Isaiah 59: 21 is a great promise – “This is my covenant with them”, says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth.”  Have you ever prayed for guidance and wondered how you would know what to follow look at 60:17 – I will make peace your governor and righteousness your ruler.  The first part of verse 17 is another example of the will of God making your will – Instead of bronze I will bring you gold, and silver in place of iron.  (See my blogs on metals – bronze, gold, silver, iron, these go to separate blogs.)

Another theme in these verses is “righteousness,” it is mentioned nine times. According to my concordance righteousness carries with it the idea of prosperity, this is from the concordance that has Vine’s Dictionary incorporated into it. (OK, it is a small part but it is there.)

Two verse that connect are 60:21b and 61:3b – (21b) They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor.  (3b) They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. 

God has a lot of “wills” for you in this couple of pages; take a look and find His will for you. I want to leave with 60: 22b – I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly.


You’ve heard the old adage about a team/chain is only as strong as its weakest member/link?  That simile or metaphor, depending how you use it, finally got to me and I had to think about it instead of just accepting it. That is when I realized that as a business or team model a chain is not how I wanted any organization to be run. Then I noticed that paradigms can come from our metaphors so “Life and Death is a power of the tongue” took on a whole new meaning.  After all when compared to a chain who wants to be the weak link and fail the whole team and cause everything to be ruined! No, pressure there right and what group after that simile has been laid on you has not looked around and started to predict who would be the first to break. Or have a bad day or week and see if that label ever leaves. And since this is a Bible Study blog I wondered about chains in the Bible.

Now an organization being pictured as a bunch of links working together is a valid image but not in a linear chain rather as chainmail. If a church or group is setup as a linear chain then the adage is true and the pressure is unbelievable on all of the links and it will eventually break.  A lesson that I learned in the book Good to Great is pick your team so that the “bus” can keep running in good or bad times.  Chainmail is a better model because in it every link is connected to someone, so even if one piece is hit it’s connected links will support it and the whole team does not break.

Here are thoughts on the adage of a linear link chain:

–        all the links look the same at the beginning

–        links fail due to stress but the strong links are incapable of helping the weak one

–       enough stress in a bind and any link can fail

–       links may fail because of external forces that eat away at it

–       links may fail because of an imperfection or an impurity in the metal

–       if a chain fails it cannot put itself back together, it takes a repairman to put in a replacement link

–       don’t mismatch links when making a chain

Now even in chainmail a link may fail and have to be replaced but the whole piece does not have to fall apart because of one piece.


Using my Strong’s Concordance I counted nineteen different words that are translated “chains.” One of those words, aboth, is translated also as rope and cord.  Before this study my first thought of  “chain” was a linear set of links used to restrain or link things together. This is a use of chains in the Bible especially in Judges 16:21 when the Philistines finally used chain instead of rope to bind Samson. But many of the references of chain are in connection with decorations especially things for human wear like necklaces, earrings and chainmail collars. The Old Testament has the most uses of the word chain and again many of those are for decorations; while in the Roman Empire controlled world of the New Testament the three words for chains all seem to reflect binding and restricting human movement and freedom.

Ropes and cords probably were used more than metal chains to bind people simply because cord was easier to make and less expensive.

Photos of chains are from http://www.stockvault.net/c/industrial/locks-and-chains/?p=2,  Photo of Egyptian chainmail http://www.flickr.com/photos/waltercallens/3465622123/

Test Revisited

Spiritual test like tests in school are tools that are used by the Master Teacher for our good.  Now, most students are fearful of tests.  So here are some thoughts about testing that may help rearrange our thinking.

1. A test show what we know.

2. A test show what we don’t know.

3. A test show what we need to learn. (It really is different than #2)

I think we associate grades or our worth with a number instead of viewing test, especially spiritual test, as a learning experience and not a symbol of failure and stress.  Jesus being the Master Teacher knows that if you cannot pass the test we should not move on but when we do pass He starts us on a whole new course of study.  So retesting is part of spiritual training. Ex. – John 21 when Jesus asked Peter three times about his love. (see Rock or Chip) So remember passing test are needed to move you to the next grade/level. (see Test, Attacks, and Storms part 1)

Depending on the translation of the Bible you read the word for a test is rendered in several ways: try, prove, examine, tempt, assay, investigate, know, challenge, etc.  I think there are four major groupings of the ideas prove/test or search /know.

1. Malachi/Meribah

2. Testing of Metal

3. Search and Know (the heart/mind)

4. Miscellaneous

Malachi/Meribah may seem like a strange pairing of verses but the same word for test/challenge is what ties them together.  The famous verse about testing God and open windows are in Malachi 3:10 but most of miss 3:15 where it talks about people who test God because they believe it is futile to serve Him.  But the intensity of that testing is reflected in Psalm 81:7, 95:9 and refers to Exodus 17 and Numbers 20 where the people wanted water and Moses was to speak or strike the rocks.

The comparison of us being tested as metals is used in a number of passages.  This was done with great heat and air.  The picture is that something pure is going to come from this type of testing. (see What Type of Metals Are You Part 1)

Psalm 11:4, 139:23 and 17:3 are verses that refer to God searching, knowing and testing us. (see Fight)

Other examples of testing are when Joseph tested his brothers in Genesis 42: 15,16 and God testing Levi in Deuteronomy 33:8.  (see Timeline)

I guess if there is a thought I want you to take away from this it would be; God tests us for our good so that He can promote us to better things and that tests are not attacks, storms or trials. (see Test, Attacks, and Storms part 2, part 3)


Using these concepts let us look at Achan  (Joshua 7).  His sin was one of rebellion and greed but the symbolism behind what he stole is important; he took a Babylonian garment, a wedge of gold, and some silver.  He wrapped the gold in the garment and buried it on top of the silver in floor of his tent.  The warning is not to wrap what is God’s in the false religion of the world and cover up the true religion that is acceptable to God.

Now that we have studied these metals let us, look at Jeremiah’s ministry again and see the people he observed.  In Jeremiah 28, we find Hananiah, a false prophet from Gideon (see Joshua 9). He is the perfect example of lead, he was dragging the Israelites down and hindering them from following God by saying, that the Babylonian’s power was broken and that the items from the Temple would be returned.

Baal worship and worshipers are “tin” in Jeremiah 7.  These harden the people of God by giving them a “form of God” and caused the real worship of God to be changed into pagan practices.

Zedekiah was both “copper” and “iron”.  In chapter 38:14-28 he showed concern for Jeremiah and had a desire to know God’s will, this shows us his “copper” side.   Jeremiah knew he still had an “iron” heart when he told Zedekiah that even when he heard God’s plan that he would not follow it.

In chapter 35 the Rechabites were “ pure silver” when they followed the orders of not drinking wine set down by their ancestors, even in the face of pressure from a “man of God” to do so.

Eded-Melech is “pure gold” in chapter 38 and 39, his concern for Jeremiah and helping him is impressive considering that some officials wanted to kill Jeremiah and anyone who would show concern for him.  God was so pleased with Eded-Melech that He promised him deliverance from the Babylonians because he had trusted in God.

So, what kind of metal or metals are you?

Can we change our habits?

Is there anything more important than gold?

In Isaiah 60:17 God said He would do some exchanging of metals, gold for copper and silver for iron, in an effort to show His greatness toward us.

All the sharpening, heating, beating, and blast of wind come into clear view when you read 1 Peter 1:6+7 where we find that our faith is greater than even gold.

And in Psalm 19:7-10 where the law, testimony, statues, commandment, fear, and judgment OF THE LORD are to desired more than fine gold.

The start of this series can be seen at What Type of Metal Are You? Part 1



Silver in Bible times was a metal for money, art, and jewelry. Many items in the Tabernacle were made of silver such as curtain hooks, hooks to hold up the curtain rods, and sockets to hold the floor to together.  This symbolizes the importance of silver to God as an element to hold His Church together.  Ezekiel 22:20 speaks about silver’s refining and how tin, lead, copper, and iron were the dross that had to be burned away.  This refining process was done with great heat and by pouring the metal into an earthen vessel and then blowing a lot of air into that vessel.

Silver represents the religious activities of our lives, which can be useful to God, and things of beauty. “Silver things”, however, need to be imported into our earthen vessels and heat and wind (the Holy Spirit) will have to refine the silver to get rid of the dross so it will be acceptable to God.  “ Silver” with the dross in it would be all the religious things we do to act righteous, make ourselves feel good, and to show-off before men; giving money to impress people, reading the Bible for the wrong reasons, volunteering to be seen by man.  “Pure silver” (religion God wants) according to James 1:27 is taking care of widows and orphans and not being polluted by the world.

Gold also had to be imported into Israel and has always been a standard of wealth.  Copper and silver can be added to gold to harden it and change its color, this is how we get white gold or 14 karat gold.  Metal workers have known for ages that gold can be hammered into very thin sheets and used to cover things, like the work done on the Ark of the Covenant.  The Ark was a box made of a common wood overlaid with gold so that it would be lighter to carry.

The “gold” in our lives are the things most precious to God, but we need to know that the “copper” and “silver” must be refined out so that only pure gold will be left.  If the “copper” of our good works or the “tarnished silver” of religiousness is in our gold it is not acceptable to God. “Gold” can be spread over some of the “common areas” of our life and become something of great value just like the Ark.   Jesus in dealing with the woman taken in adultery showed us pure “gold”; He accepted her where she was, did not condemn her, and gave her the chance of freedom from her sins.

To view part 4 – copper.