Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hebrew Mnemonic #6: Ken is the Door.

One of Ken and my favorite games in seminary was "name that tune." We played it whenever the opportunity arose, often driving somewhere in the car with the radio on, or hanging out eating tostada nachos at TGI Fridays. You got one point for knowing the name of the song, one for knowing the artist, and the most elusive third point was awarded for knowing the year the album was released. Other than that, the scoring was pretty informal.

The games were never close. If the classic rock station was on, Ken would blow me away. If the 90's or top 40 station was on, it was all me. Somehow the games were still fun, even though our musical tastes overlapped only minimally. Ken liked old music, and introduced me to such lesser known bands as The Beatles, The Who, and some song about a kid who played pinball.

Because of this, I considered Ken to be my door to a different generation. This was also helpful in remembering that the Hebrew word dor means 'generation.'

The word dor is important in the OT because God is presented as the God of generations.

Genesis 17:7 - "And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you."

Because the OT is a story that takes places over 1500 years (or so), it makes sense that God was not simply calling individuals to a static faith, rather he was creating a people. He started with one man, Abram, and promised to be his God, and the God of his family through the generations.

This became part of the standard confession of faith in the OT:

Exodus 34:6,7 - “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

It was also a standard feature in Israel's praise:

Psalm 100:5 - "For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations."

Israel found great comfort in the fact that their God was (is) a God of generations. Not only was he there for them, but he would be there for their children and their grandchildren. He is still here for us today, and we know that he is the God of all eternity. His love endures forever.

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