A Review of
Arise & Shine – Genesis to Revelation, Personalized for Victorious Living,
Tate Publishing - By Justine Marie Nettleton
Someone accurately termed Christianity as “the great confession.” Confession of the truth of God’s Word is so much more than “quoting scripture.” We come into God’s great family through acceptance of Jesus Christ. The manner in which we accept Him is by confessing Him as our Lord and Savior. (Romans 10:9,10) No matter how the prayer of our acceptance may have been worded, the essence of our prayer must have indeed been a confession, acknowledging our belief, our decision to trust in the fact, that Jesus died for us, and that He was raised from the dead for our justification from the sinful nature we inherited from Adam. Each of us demonstrated our individuality through our own personal expression of prayer. Through this “acceptance,” we are given the gift of righteousness. Just as each of us may have worded our prayers differently, expressing our own hearts, we met the criteria for salvation, and through this prayer we have our personal testimony that we “confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior.”
From that moment on, the growth of our Christian life comes from a continual “acceptance” of the progressive revelation given us by the Holy Spirit. As additional aspects of the life of Christ are revealed, we continue our “acceptance” of them in a similar manner as we did our salvation. Having the same spirit as the Psalmist David, “we believe and therefore we speak.” (2Corinthians 4:13)
The Old Testament book of Psalms, much like Arise and Shine, does not take on itself to be a rendering or quoting of the commandments, judgments and precepts of God, but rather a series of personal meditations regarding them. In the Psalms, when the writer chose to speak a direct quote of the law, he did so accurately. But he also took the freedom of putting his meditations of the actual scriptures into his own words, never adding to or taking from their original setting, but clearly sharing their divine effects personally upon him.
Psalms, quoting from the Amplified Bible and the Message Translation, introduces itself, not as the law, but as meditations of the law. Thus:
Psalms 1:1-2 AMP “BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. (2) But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. [Rom. 13:8-10; Gal. 3:1-29; II Tim. 3:16.]”
Psalms 1:1-2 MSG “How well God must like you-- you don't hang out at Sin Saloon, you don't slink along Dead-End Road, you don't go to Smart-Mouth College. (2) Instead you thrill to GOD's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night.”
No matter the translation in which one reads Psalms, one message comes through very clear: they are David’s meditation, thrilling and delighting in, desiring, pondering, and “chewing,” on God’s written Word. Also, in a sense the Psalms are about David himself, revealing many aspects of his own personal relationship with God. He is not taking away from God’s law, rather he is demonstrating what God’s Word means in his own personal life, and how the sharing of that might encourage those who read the Psalms.
Clearly, in reading the Psalms, one ultimately not only learns about God, but also about David. We discover many attributes about his walk with the Lord, his challenges in that walk with God, and the discoveries made in his journey with God as his redeemer and Lord.
Arise and Shine, much like Psalms, are meditations. The Hebrew defines meditation as:
ָהָגהhāg̱āh: A verb meaning to growl, to groan, to sigh, to mutter, to speak; used figuratively: to meditate, to ponder. The Lord told Joshua to meditate on the Law day and night (Jos_1:8), and the Psalms proclaimed people blessed if they meditate on the Law (Psa_1:2). Job promised not to speak wickedness (Job_27:4). The Hebrew verb can also refer to the mutterings of mediums and wizards (Isa_8:19); the moans of grief (Isa_16:7); the growl of a lion (Isa_31:4); the coos of a dove (Isa_38:14).
As the Psalmist put these meditations into words they became “confessions of his faith.”
Interestingly, the word confession is defined in the Greek as ὁμολογία homología; gen. homologías, fem. noun from homologéō “to agree, confess, speak in so many words the same. A confession, profession, or recognition, i.e., our common faith. Homología is also used in 2Co_9:13; Heb_10:23. Used in an absolute sense, meaning confession of Christ and to Christ (1Ti_6:12-13; Heb_4:14 [cf. Rom_10:10]). It is synonymous with pístis, faith, the body of confession; eulogía, blessing, commendation; eucharistía, expressing gratitude, thanksgiving; épainos, commendation, praise; euphēmía, speaking well of, good report.”
Arise and Shine demonstrates the concept of keeping with the spirit of the Psalmist, taking the scripture and leading us into a reverential process of “thrilling and delighting in, desiring, pondering, and chewing it.” In the same spirit of the Psalms, Arise and Shine, when quoting scripture, does so with absolute accuracy, even as Justine Nettleton’s meditations lead us into greater depths of a divine relationship with God’s Word, contextualizing it into what it personally means to the writer as she shares the spiritual, emotional and vital effects of God’s word to her, also encouraging us the reader and listener to translate it into our own personal experience, and in our own way discovering its effect upon us.
As you experience this book, whether you are reading or listening to it, and as you catch a glimpse of its effects upon the author, you will be inspired to find your own spiritual, emotional and vital relationship with God’s eternal Word.
Don G. Pickney, Th.D.
A Prosperity Phenomenon – A Revelation of the Day of Jehovah Tsaba,
Creation House, a Charisma Media Company