Thursday, December 14, 2017

“Hitherto” … an Interesting Word

King James’ English is often viewed as being archaic and useless by today’s generation. Yet, there is a richness offered in the seemingly cumbersome wording that is all too often missed in more modern translations or paraphrases. Consider 1 Samuel 7:12:  “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” This verse is one that might have escaped a second look if it hadn’t been for that interesting word, “hitherto”.

I’m reading C. H. Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening: Daily Readings. I’ve grown to love this author who is used by the Holy Spirit to speak directly into my heart at any given time. I’ve never read anything by him that didn’t stir my heart to prayer, repentance, and/or worship.

This morning, he focused on that interesting word, “hitherto”. Wow! I never would have stopped to consider the enormity of such an archaic word. Yet, as I considered Spurgeon’s thoughts through the lens of my own life, I feel so humbled and unworthy of God’s help, protection and mercies throughout my life.

“Look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up your joys. Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received hitherto.

I am quickly reminded of a song I’ve sung countless times:

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever,
I will sing; I will sing.
And with my mouth will I make known
Your faithfulness, your faithfulness;
With my mouth will I make known
Your faithfulness to all generations.

The Lord’s hitherto faithfulness is evident in every area of my life—a faithfulness that must be made known to all generations. Counting our blessings, not necessarily to number them (if that were even possible), but to acknowledge God at work protecting, leading, guiding, forgiving, granting undeserved mercies, and so much more!

I’m sure I’m not adequately communicating what’s really stirring in my heart, but I invite you to check out the hitherto’s in your own life. Stop and consider your past where “hitherto the Lord hath helped!”

“Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, and on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, ‘hitherto hath the Lord helped us!’”

Contemplate the many evidences of His help in your life hitherto. Meditate on God’s boundless mercies covering you even when unaware. Allow the Spirit of God to show you some of those times when He carried you through a raging storm you didn’t even know existed. And, most of all, give God the glory due His Name by making known His faithfulness to ALL your generations.

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(c) Jan Ross 2014
All Rights Reserved

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