Hebrew Highlights 44 – ONE ACCORD
Shalom. This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
I’d like to read part of a famous story today from the book of Acts. First let me remind you of the background. Peter and John had, through the power of the Holy Spirit, brought healing to a lame man in the portico of the temple. Afterwards they began to preach. About 5000 men were numbered among those who believed the message that day. The disciples were subsequently arrested by the High Priest and elders, and told to not speak again in the name of Yeshua.
Now I will begin reading from ACTS 4:23-33, “And when they had been released, they went to their own companions, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, "O Lord, it is Thou who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Thy servant, didst say,' Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples devise futile things? 'The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord, and against His Christ.' "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur. "And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Thy bond-servants may speak Thy word with all confidence, while Thou dost extend Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Thy holy servant Jesus. " And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness. And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own; but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.”
In verse 24, please note that the saints “lifted their voices to God with one accord”. In Hebrew it says, “Belev echad nasu kolam l’Elohim”, or “with one heart they lifted their voices to God’.
This idea is repeated in ACT 5:12, where we see that “at the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's portico.”
Again, the Hebrew says, “Ne’esfu lev echad”, or, “they gathered with one heart.”
The Hebrew strikes a slightly different note than the English in these passages. We might think of one accord as agreement. I’ve spoken before on Hebrew Highlights about the importance of the Heart in the language, as opposed the mind.
Unfortunately, intellectual agreement seems to be a rare circumstance in the Body of Messiah today. We find many doctrinal issues on which to base argument. I like to believe that these differences are merely a part of the growing pains we must go through until Yeshua’s return.
Yet, oddly enough, the knitting of our hearts appears to be healthy, and a natural part of our lives as believers. Whenever we sit down for a chat and a cup of coffee with people of other denominations, other nations, or other persuasions, our common ground is still Yeshua Himself. We often feel an immediate link, and even a Godly brotherly love towards people we have met for the first time. Even when we meet someone whom we have predisposed impressions about, our Heavenly Father is faithful to remove barriers if we are open.
A well-known Israeli folk song comes from PSA 133:1, “Hine ma tov uma naim, shevet achim gam yachad”. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!” The word “dwell” is “shevet” which simply means to “sit”. We don’t have to live together, or even worship under the same roof. We can enjoy the unity of heart by simply agreeing to sit together. In our sitting, talking, praying, and worshipping together, there is much power.
Power which we need to tap as the days grow darker.
Shalom, Shalom, from Jerusalem.