Power

  • Power:
    - force
    - ability
    - influence 
    - strength
    - energy
  • Tremendously beneficial
  • Potentially devastating
  • Everyone wants it
  • Many exploit it
  • Few know how to use it wisely


The Issue

The subject of power touches the life of everyone. It's a multi-faceted topic that invades the physical, the psychological, and the emotional dimensions of life. Power, or force, may be used constructively or destructively. It can provide vitally significant benefits or horribly devastating events. It ranges from the powers of nature itself to the ingenious or devious inventions of the human race - and beyond.

During our lifetimes most of us have witnessed the development of amazing displays of power. We've watched tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanoes devastate large segments of the countryside. We've seen engines grow from a few horsepower to thousands of horsepower. We observed small motors become large rockets, and small firecrackers become nuclear weapons of massive destructive capability. And we've watched small businesses grow into large industries producing massive machinery and volumes of products.

While many of these things have benefited us greatly some of these same things have destroyed countless lives and lifestyles. The impacts of "power" depend upon the intentions of those who control its various forms. 

The Word of YAHWEH has many significant things  to say concerning “power”.
It's a very complex subject.

If you've ever encountered a problem with some form of "power", especially one that's not merely physical in its nature, you'll want to take a closer look at what YAHWEH teaches us in this area. There are certainly some surprises.

The desire for power and influence has caused many to lose their way and end in despair or destruction. Perhaps that's why there's so much discussion concerning this topic found within YAHWEH's Word

In effect, it’s one of the ultimate issues of life.

Who has "the power"? 

To what "power" will you, or will you not, subject yourself.
The annals of history are overflowing with the schemes and devices that have resulted from the inexorable "
power struggles".

The issue, in a rather basic sense, is really about "government" in one form or another. Just who is going to "govern" our lives? Who's going to have the power? Us? Or "them"? Within the answers to these questions we can discover the roots of the troubles of the ages. Are we willing to "obey" those who "govern" us? Or will we "rebel" against such authority?

From the beginning of Scripture there are revelations concerning the interminable struggle for power. It begins with the story of Adam and Eve. It ends with Satan being cast into the Lake of Fire. And in the pages in between are countless stories of the battles waged over "power".

YAHWEH granted Adam and Eve the “power” (note that power also includes ability, or capability) to choose for themselves whether they would follow His instructions or rebel against them. From the moment He granted the freedom of choice the world has been immersed in the questions and issues of power. Eve was the first to choose to reject YAHWEH's instructions - His desire. The world has been living with the consequences of that choice ever since - a continual power play.

The Words

There are a multitude of Scriptures that pertain to this very broad subject. This study takes a look at the terms actually used to describe the various aspects of power. There are at least 17 Hebrew words translated as power. There are also at least seven Greek words used in this manner. There are variations on each. Given the significant number of terms utilized, it's important to try to get some sense of what these terms are and what they really mean.

Power does not come in one simple form, it comes in many, and some are not so simple. The distinctions between these forms become very important if we're going to try to comprehend what Scripture really says about this subject, and what various passages we read actually mean. Within the three parts of this study you'll find the terms used, their meanings, and examples of how they're used.

While this will certainly give you a basic perspective on the usage of these terms and their meanings you need to remember that in order to fully understand any Scriptural term it's best to look at it in context. Where is it used? Who's involved in the matter? What is the point being taught? Etc.
Context is critical.

It would certainly be easier for us today if we had the clarity of the Hebrew and Greek languages to assist us in expressing the various forms of power. The multiple terms used in those languages helped to make the distinctions needed.

Unfortunately, in the English language, we seem to use only a few words to attempt to convey the multitple ideas associated with the diverse concepts of power. For example: power generator (electrical power), power lifting (weight training), horsepower (the strength of the engine in your car), powers of multiplication (mathematical functions), wind power, solar power, physical power, political power, gravitational power - well, you get the idea. The list is quite long. It can easily lead to confusion about what kind of power is being referred to. If we just mentioned power, without any qualifying terms, our dialog would have little real meaning.

When we speak of power, then, it seems important to try to distinguish just what type of power we're referring to. For practical purposes we're going to limit our discussion in this article to the concepts of power that are typically involved in human and Divine interactions. 

We'll have little to say about the forces of nature and the power tied to them, including the animal realm. We'll have much to say about political, social, interpersonal, and religious power. We'll focus on what The Word of YAHWEH has to say about the sources of power and their applications, with an occasional comment added where it seems helpful.

The goal is to find practical understandings that can be applied more or less directly to our daily lives. The intent is to provide a foundation of insight that allows us to be able to function effectively within the world in which we live by looking at the teachings of Scripture on this complex subject.

May YAHWEH grant the clarity needed to understand His perspectives on power and its various uses. 

To gain the full benefit of this study you'll want to review all three parts. Yes, it will take a bit of time. However, the benefits are many. If you don't review all the concepts and terms you'll end up with a lopsided view of the subject. Also, you'll end up confused by some of the English uses of the terms. Because of the way the Hebrew and Greek are treated in English Bible translations there is much that is missed in terms of the subtleties  of the languages involved.

For a more up-to-date version of the Scriptures be sure to see The Old Covenant and The New Covenant, texts which are now available on this site. The Old Covenant is not yet complete but The New Covenant is finished.

Here are the links to the three parts:

  - Power - Part 1 - Hebrew
  
Power - Part 2 - Hebrew
  - Power - Part 3 - Greek

These links are also found in the sidebar for your convenience. Be sure to check out the other links found there as well. There's much to be learned. Some of it will change your way of thinking forever.


NOTE These pages are a "work in progress". They're updated fairly often as new information or insights are provided that require a change in what's presented. Please check back regularly to see what may have changed since your last visit. Scripture verses used on the site are from Scripture For Seekers (see the Home Page)They're not always presented on these pages in exactly the same format as they occur in the text due to space considerations but the text is the same. Every book is now available in PDF format. Download or print your own copy today.  Or, go to www.accordancebible.com and obtain your own copy of Accordance. Then follow the instructions on the Home page to download an electronic version of Scripture for Seekers, S4S from The Accordance Exchange.
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May YAHWEH speak to your heart and bless you with understanding as you explore His Word.