Proverbs 22:6 — “Train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it.”

The Hebrew verb commonly translated as “train up” in Proverbs 22 is “chanak.” It occurs only five times in the Bible.

In Deuteronomy 20:5, it’s used twice to refer to a newly built house.

If a soldier has built a new house but not chanaked it, he is excused from battle.

In 1 Kings 8:63 and 2 Chronicles 7:5, it refers to the dedication of the Lord’s house.

Solomon offered thousands of sacrifices to chanak the temple. The Jewish festival of Hanukah, or Chanukah, which celebrates the cleansing and re-dedication of the Lord’s house, is from the same word; they chanaked the temple.

Word search? Do you like to search out words, their meaning, or their meaning in other languages?

Chanaked is used five times in the Bible. Four of them have to do with a person’s home or the temple of Yahweh. A building that has been lived in, owned, set aside, dedicated.

To chanak a house is to say, “this place belongs to.”

Looking at our opening Scripture of Proverbs 22:6, one of the reasons it takes me so long to write these short articles is because of “rabbit trails” or word searches and/or verifying a point. For example, for the Proverb 22:6 I looked at six different English translations, plus the two Jewish Bibles I have.

The thorn in my paw is the word “should.”

I don’t read Hebrew or Greek but from what I understand the word “should” isn’t in the original writings of Scripture but is in most of my translations. If the “should” is taken out, it definitely changes the verse.

For example, the most common use I can find is “in the way he should go,” but if I understand the original Hebrew translation of it as, “according to his way and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

As parents, guardians, mentors or sponsors, we have a tendency to add the word “my” — my child, my mentee, my sponsee, when in fact they are God’s. We’ve simply been given the task of stewardship, to help, to guide.

To help them discover their strengths and talents, to build on their positives while aware of potential character defects.

As I watch the news and read the articles and postings, I am conscious of my youthful rebellion. There is something that stands out to me. In the midst of my youthful rebellion, I was using my natural personality traits to enhance the acts of rebellion which produced the damage and chaos of my past. It was after I called out to God to deliver me from the hate and anger that was within me, killing me.

I share with you the Scripture that convinced me that God heard my prayer in that moment of desperation, from the Old Testament book of Jonah 2:2 — “In my distress I called out to God and He heard me.”

2 Corinthians 6:17-18 says, “Come out from amongst them and be ye separate, says the Lord. I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord.”

The timing of these two Scriptures, my receiving them is what opened my understanding of a personal relationship with Christ.

As I watch and listen to the ugly chaos of our times, I can’t help but remember my youthful days of hate and anger. The dictionary definition for “chaos” is “complete disorder and confusion.”

This shouts out to me as repentance and reconciliation.

A reality for me was Ephesians 2:1 — “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.”

So the hope I have today is quite simple: Psalm 86:13 — “For great is Your love toward me; You have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.”

Christ Jesus teaches about being “Born Again” in the Gospel of John 3:1-21.

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