Tuesday, May 29, 2012

THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD WORD IN THE BIBLE...


If you are like me you have been reading, "FROWARD," in the Word of God for years and just thinking it was an Old English derivation of the modern word, "FORWARD." Well, we both made a big mistake...Quite by accident a few days ago, as I was studying and looking up the etymology of some words in the OT, I decided to investigate this word...

Much to my surprise I having been living in ignorance about this word, and I guess God decided I should know better. How many times in life have we taken things for granted and learned the hard way that knowledge was incomplete or that true meaning was buried behind ignorance, feelings, laziness or just plain carelessness. I am guilty on all counts, so its time to shed some light on a very important word in the Bible.
In 1779 John Newton penned an amazing hymn that frankly makes a better poem than a hymn. Here is just the first verse:

Quiet, Lord, my froward heart,
Make me teachable and mild,
Upright, simple, free from art,
Make me as a wean├Ęd child:
From distrust and envy free,
Pleased with all that pleases Thee.


In the Bible, froward is used several different ways, as follows:
    1. Froward-21 times in 20 verses.
    2. Frowardly-just once.
    3. Frowardness-3 times in 3 verses.
After some research I came up with some definitions of this word that I believe reflect the true meaning. Let's start with where the derivation of the word itself:
    1. In Hebrew the word is, "SHOWBAB," meaning apostate, turning away the truth, or backsliding.
    2. In Isaiah 57:17 the King James Version actually translates the word, "FROWARDLY" as backsliding.
    3. Found in the Old English as the word, "fra'ward." It meant to go the opposite direction.

My take on all of this is that being froward means to do an about face in your relationship with God. It certainly does not have to happen immediately, but frowardness has some obvious signs that you need to be aware of in you walk with Him. If you are beginning to turn back to your old ways, you are being froward. If you are always negative, seeing the darkside of everything, you are being froward. If you complain and whine constantly to the detriment of others, you are being froward. If the full moon is never bright enough and the stars never pure enough for you, then you are being froward.


Psalm 18:26 gives an additional slant that will hit many of us right between the eyes: "With the pure, you will show yourself pure and with the froward, you will show yourself froward." I call this a Christian Chameleon. The Book of Psalms was written at least in part by the second King of Israel, David. Under this King both pieces of the Hebrew nation became one for the first time. Somewhere approximately 3,000 years ago, he defined modern day hypocrisy in one easy sentence. Do you change color, clothes, hair, and anything else to fit in with your friends or family? Most of us like to blend into the surroundings, because it's safe and easy. God may have called us to be the exact opposite of froward in our daily lives, but He requires all believers to be loyal and righteous. You can't be either one and not stand out in a world where loyalty is traded to the highest bidder every day, while the light of righteousness gets blocked by the need to be accepted in this world. 

Dare to stand up for your God and accept the consequences. He promises to protect you in every way imaginable. Be proud of the fact that you might not fit in with all your friends and family, because you are making a difference. Without your light, they will remain in darkness...You may be the turning point in someone's life, but not if you are afraid to be loyal to God and allow your bright light to shine in a world of darkness.


The Digital Disciple



5 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:47 AM

    Thank you James for clarifying the word "froward". I too was ignorant of its meaning.

    May our Heavenly Father continue to bless and enlighten you, that you may enlighten others.

    Yours in Christ,

    Cila

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  2. Oh boy did I ascertain incorrectly all these years without looking up, what froward means. I appreciate not only your investigation but your heartfelt insight and passion for what our love for Christ is all about. With that loyalty and faith, the light of the Holy Spirit in us will shine in this dark world. Thank you James.

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  3. Oh boy did I ascertain incorrectly all these years without looking up, what froward means. I appreciate not only your investigation but your heartfelt insight and passion for what our love for Christ is all about. With that loyalty and faith, the light of the Holy Spirit in us will shine in this dark world. Thank you James for sharing a truth and helping us peal away a layer. The Lord Bless you.

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  4. Anonymous1:41 AM

    This a very good, I commend you for this research. It was pointed out to me about 30 or 40 years ago, and I had not thought about it for a long time. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, Psalms 119:105. I do have one thing to point out, completely in brotherly love, not bringing criticism, but offering correction in Jesus The Christ. The first King of Israel 1 Samuel 9:15-17, I Samuel 10:1, was indeed Saul the Benjamite. It is said of Saul that he did not trust God, I like to say that he did not have Faith in God. God removed Saul and installed David of whom God said, "a man after mine own heart". Acts 13:22. All verses KJV.

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  5. Thank you so much for correcting my mistake. Don't ever worry about correction or my response...I will repair the blog with your help. Accuracy is a critical element in any good exposition. God bless!

    ReplyDelete

Hearing from you is certainly not a requirement. Consideration of what is researched and written is all I ask of anyone who stumbles upon my writings. I believe that my God will take it from there. With His help I try to separate fact from fiction, sense from nonsense, and ultimately clarity from chaos.

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