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Word #AtoZChallenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter W

Word seems an appropriate choice for W in this series about words from the Bible. Wisdom was an alternative, but Understanding perhaps leads to wisdom.

Words may be written or spoken. Did you know that Jesus Christ is known as The Word (or The Word of God)? At the beginning of the Old Testament we read that God (the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit) spoke everything into existence. Genesis 1-2:3

At the beginning of the Gospel of John in the New Testament we read that The Word was there in the beginning. John 1:1-18 Jesus was and is and evermore will be! The Holy Spirit is sometimes referred to as Wisdom.

Word appears over 950 times in the NIV translation. Sometimes it is used about ordinary words. Often it is ‘the word of the Lord’ – a prophetic word from the God, who speaks.

‘Sending word’ is used for sending a message. Word can also mean promise, or authority as in Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.’ Genesis 41:44 .

‘The word’ is also used in the New Testament as a shorter way of expressing ‘the Good News about Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God’.

Psalm 119 stands out among the Psalms as being about words. Psalm 119 has a section for each letter of the Hebrew alphabetic rather like an A to Z Challenge! Word (or words) appears about 30 times in this psalm, usually in praise of God’s word.

Moses receives and renews the covenant

The story about Moses in my post for the Letter B mentioned that Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. This happened on the Holy Mountain.

The Ten Commandments were written by the Lord on tablets of stone. Moses was very angry when he came down the mountain and found that the people had turned away from God to worship a golden calf, which they had made. He threw down the tablets and they smashed. Exodus 32:19 The story of how the replacement set of stone tablets came into being is told in Exodus 34: 1-28.

Towards the end of Moses’ life he began to prepare the people and Joshua for a handover of leadership to Joshua. Moses gathered all the people together and read them the whole of the law, which he had received from God. It was very long. Moses had stayed so long on the mountain when he first received it that the people had given up hope of him and of God.

The people responded to sections of the law, replying, ‘Amen’. Let it be so.

There were warnings about the result of breaking the Law and promises about obeying it.
Moses asked the people to ‘choose life’ by obeying the Law. Deuteronomy 30:19


How the Law was given and the episode with the golden calf can be found in Exodus 20-33

The renewal of the covenant is described in Deuteronomy 29-34

Jesus claimed not to have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfil them. Matthew 5:17

In John’s gospel Jesus Christ (the Word) is quoted: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ‘ Matthew 4:4

He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’
Luke 11:28

Romans 8:26 The Holy Spirit helps us pray with ‘wordless groans’.

1 Peter 1:25 The word of the Lord endures for ever.

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Spirit #AtoZChallenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter S

Spirit appears in the Bible more than 550 times. Spirit is a word, which is tricky to define. In the original languages of Bible it is often represented by the word for breath. In earlier times it was sometimes translated into English as ghost. The Holy Ghost is now usually called the Holy Spirit. Ghost has spooky associations. There is nothing spooky about the Holy Spirit.

Spirit is not always used in a positive way. Spirit of jealousy is one example of a negative spirit. A deceiving spirit is another.

As well as the Spirit of God there are many references to the human spirit, high spirits and other words of which spirit forms part.

Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, who would guide the disciples into all truth. John 16:12-14

The Holy Spirit is a person. The God of the Bible is one God, but three Persons, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit. This is the Trinity. Matthew 28:19

The Spirit of God was active in creating all things Genesis 1:2

Jesus Christ claimed that Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled in him, when he read Isaiah 61:1

Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah, that the Spirit of the Lord would rest upon him. Isaiah 11:1-3

Joel prophesied that God would pour out his Spirit on all people. Joel 2:28 Letter P.

To jump to the story Jesus is baptised by John click here.

Many characters in the Old Testament were notable for having the Spirit of God: Joseph Genesis 41:38, Bezalel son of Uri Exodus 31:2-4, Moses and his helpers Numbers 11:16-17, Caleb Numbers 14:24, Balaam Numbers 24:2, Joshua Numbers 27:18, The judge Othniel, younger brother of Caleb Judges 3:9-11, Gideon Judges 6:34, Jephthah Judges 11:29, Samson Judges 13:24-25, King Saul (at first) 1 Samuel 10:9-13, King David 1 Samuel 16:13, Elijah and Elisha 2 Kings 2:9, Amasai, chief of the Thirty 1 Chronicles 12:18, Azariah son of Oded 2 Chronicles 15:1 , Jahaziel son of Zechariah 2 Chronicles 20:14, Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest 2 Chronicles 24:20, Ezekiel in Ezekiel 3:12 and many other verses, Daniel aka Belteshazzar Daniel 4:9

Job was aware of the Spirit’s power Job 33:4

The prophets Micah, Haggai, and Zechariah all mention the Spirit of the Lord.

Jesus is baptised by John

Luke the physician (medical doctor) wrote about John’s parents, Elizabeth and the priest, Zechariah. Elizabeth was a relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The angel Gabriel visited Zechariah and told him that John would be born. John was not to drink alcoholic drinks, but would be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth.

Luke set the scene of John’s ministry firmly in history. When John began to preach and baptise people Tiberias Caesar was the emperor, having already ruled for 14 years. Pontius Pilate was the governor of Judea and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee. He mentions other rulers too. The high priests were Annas and Caiaphas.

Crowds went out to the other side of the River Jordan near Bethany to hear John preach. He was dressed in the same way as Elijah had been, wearing a garment of camel hair with a leather belt around his waist. He quoted the prophet Isaiah, telling people that his prophesies were about to be fulfilled.

He told people how they should behave, sharing their goods and food with the needy, acting honestly and being content with what they were paid.

John prophesied that another man would baptise with the Holy Spirit. John himself baptised with water as a symbol that people repented of their wrongdoing.

That was why he was surprised when Jesus went to him and asked to be baptised. Jesus had done nothing wrong. He did not need to repent. John suggested it would be better for Jesus to baptise him, but Jesus insisted on being baptised by John.

The two of them went into the river. John baptised Jesus. Heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove. A voice from Heaven declared, ‘You are my son, whom I love. I am very pleased with you’. (See also Letter L)

John had been waiting for a sign that the one he was preaching about had arrived. He had received a prophecy from God that the man on whom the Spirit would come down and remain on was the one, who would baptise with the Holy Spirit.

John testified that Jesus is the Son of God.


The story is compiled from Luke 1-2, Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:1-11, Luke 3:1-23, John 1: 1-34

In the New Testament there is more information about the Holy Spirit. Jesus teaches his disciples and the writers of letters to churches and individuals share their understanding of the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

(John 14:15-29, Romans 5:1-5, Galatians 5:22-23 and many more passages, especially in the Acts of the Apostles.)

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Justice #AtoZChallenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter J


Justice is a word associated in the Bible with fair laws for living and how to deal with people, who do not obey the law. It occurs 130 times in the New International Version of the Bible.

The rules for behaviour set out in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy include justice for various vulnerable members of society. The God of the Bible loves justice.

The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zechariah and Malachi all spoke about justice.

Jesus Christ claimed to be the one spoken about by Isaiah, who would bring justice. Matthew 12:17-21 

Hebrews 11:32-34 Speaks of the judges, Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, and about about David and Samuel and the prophets listing their acts of faith, which included administering justice.

The Book of Job and the Psalms include the word justice many times.

Unjust and just rulers

The law-abiding prophet, Samuel, had sons who perverted justice. 1 Samuel 8:1-3

Samuel had appointed them to rule over the people, but as they accepted bribes and perverted jujstice, the people asked for a king. (Up to this point Israel was unlike the surrounding nations, who had kings. God was the ruler of Israel; however he allowed the people to have a succession of kings and directed Samuel in the choice of the first kings.)

The kings were responsible for justice and resolving disputes. The first king was Saul, followed by David, who had been a shepherd boy and killed the giant Goliath. After David’s death his son Solomon became king. He began his reign well. God asked him in a dream, What would you like me to give you?

Solomon replied that he needed discernment in order to govern the people. This unselfish request pleased God, who also promised him wealth and (if he obeyed God’s laws) long life.

A story of how Solomon administered justice concerns two mothers with babies born days apart. They were living in a house together. Unfortunately one of the babies died in the night. The two mothers went to Samuel because they could not agree about whose the living baby was. Samuel asked someone to bring a sword. When he said they were to cut the baby in half and give each mother half, one of the mothers was horrified. She was not prepared to let that happen. ‘Don’t kill him. The other woman can have the baby as long as he lives’, she cried.

Solomon knew that this was the true mother of the baby and restored the child to her.

His reputation for wisdom and knowledge spread far and wide.


The story may be found in 1 Kings 3:1-28