Nepaug Bible Church -
MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell -

MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell
Part II: Examining Scripture On The Will-Related Doctrines
Chapter II: Examining God's Predestination Throughout Scripture
A. Old Testament Hebrew Words
  1. Our view that God's election does not result in justification would lead some to ask how we would handle a verse like Acts 13:48 KJV that says: " . . . as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."
  2. We answer this question and many others like it by examining divine predestination in Scripture beginning with Old Testament Hebrew words key to the debate on God's election and predestination.
    1. Hoq
      1. This word means "something prescribed; a statute," B.D.B., A Heb. and Eng. Lex. of the O.T., p. 349.
      2. It is used of God's decree that, in accord with Eph. 1:4, exists from eternity past and administers God's agenda for the universe throughout history, cf. Job 23:14; Psalm 2:7; 148:6, Zephaniah 2:2 et al.
      3. Yet, no verse using this word proves God directly authors man's choices in any particular way.
    2. Huqah
      1. Related to hoq, huqah is "something prescribed, an enactment, statute," Ibid., p. 349-350.
      2. It is used in Job 38:33, Jer. 31:35 and 33:25 to show God has decreed the fixed order of the universe.
      3. However, its use offers no insight into the authorship of faith in the justification process.
    3. Haras
      1. In the Niphal stem, this word may mean "decisive" or a "strict determining," Ibid., p. 358.
      2. Used of God's appointments for events, Job 14:5; Isa. 10:22-23; 28:22; Dan. 9:26-27 and 11:36 present this word in various contexts without explaining any details on human and divine will relationships.
    4. Hashab
      1. Meaning "to think, account, devise, plan, count or reckon," this word is used of God's activity toward man in a wide variety of contexts, Ibid., p. 362-363.
      2. However, no Scripture passage reveals God controls man's choices in any clear way.
    5. Yakah
      1. This word may mean "to appoint, show to be right" in the Hiphil at Gen. 24:14, 44, Ibid., p. 406-407.
      2. Though this context may be used to claim God made Abraham's servant pray specific details or that God forced Rebecca to go great lengths to water the camels, one might argue both people, being believers (Gen. 24:42-50), freely chose to heed God's prompting described in Philippians 2:12-13.
      3. Yet, believers may resist God's prompting and sin, so God does not author their choices, 1 Jn. 1:8-10.
      4. Thus, other verses would be needed to prove God authors human will, esp. in reference to justification.
    6. Ya'as
      1. This verb means "to advise, counsel, determine, consult together, take counsel," Ibid., p. 419-420.
      2. It is used of God in a variety of contexts where He judge the nations (Isa. 23:9; 19:12 et al.) and exercises sovereignty over the efforts of man to the oppose His decisions, cf. Isa. 14:27.
      3. Isaiah 40:13-14 suggests God's total independence and hence sovereignty in planning world events.
      4. However, these verses offer no insight in the authorship of man's will esp. relative to justification.
    7. Manah
      1. Manah means to "count, number, reckon, assign," Ibid., p. 584.
      2. Various contexts use it to display God's activity in the course of history relative to man, cf. Jonah 1:17; 2:1 and 4:7; Isaiah 65:12; Psalm 61:7(8); Isaiah 53:12; Job 7:3 et al.
      3. Though each pertinent passage shows God is sovereign over historical events, none of them describes the justification process and the roles of God's or man's wills in the justification process.
    8. Niham
      1. Niham means either to "be sorry," to "relent" of a former decision or to "be comforted," Ibid., p. 636f.
      2. Though God does not "relent" acc. to 1 Sam. 15:29 and Num. 23:19, He does this (as in Amos 7:2-6) in an anthropomorphic way when it is His original intent to do so in keeping with His eternal plans and grace (Carson, D. A., "God's Love And God's Sovereignty," Bib. Sac., vol. 156, No. 619, p. 266).
      3. Thus, contrary to "open theism" that holds one can manipulate the eternal divine decree by intercessory prayer, there is no proof in this word's use that God's eternal decrees are affected by man's actions.
      4. Also, passages using this word do not prove God authors human decisions, esp. relative to justification.