“Alas!” To “Aha!”

…oh no… (2 Kings 6:5, 15). 

The words “Oh no!” are actually a single word in the Hebrew language (Hebrew: ‘ahahh) that has been transliterated into English as “Aha!” 

But I think the old English translation is better in this context: ALAS! 

ALAS is usually a painful realization of the situation, not a cry of enlightened discovery. Here are the other times that this Hebrew/English word for ALAS! is used: 

  • Joshua said it after his army was defeated at Ai 
  • Gideon said it after realizing he had been face-to-face with God 
  • Jephtha cried it out after he knew that his daughter would have to be sacrificed
  • King Joram uttered this when he realized his troops and animals had no water in the desert 
  • Jeremiah said this to God after he was called to be a prophet, and after he was asked by God to speak countercultural words (he actually said ALAS! four times!) 
  • Ezekiel also cried out ALAS! four times when God asked him to do or to watch difficult things 
  • Joel cried it out when he saw the Day of the Lord quickly approaching 

(check out the above references by clicking here) 

In all of these ALAS! painful moments, these men were at their wits’ end, at the end of their own abilities—they couldn’t do anything to help themselves. 

In all of these ALAS! moments, they came to just one important realization: Only Yahweh can help me. That realization is truly the AHA! of an enlightened discovery! 

Calling on God turns a painful ALAS! moment into a God-glorifying AHA! moment. God alone can provide where no one else can.

Don’t despair in the ALAS! times, but cry it out loud to the only One who can help you, and then watch to see how He alone will turn your situation into a defining, God-glorifying AHA! testimony. 

The Unusual History Of The King James Bible

on-this-day“How odd that the most famous Bible in history should bear the name of a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, ego-driven homosexual who rejected all demands for reform within the church.

“James VI of Scotland, son of imprisoned Mary, Queen of Scots, was raised in drafty Scottish castles by self-serving lords. He grew up religious and well-trained in theology. He went to church every day. But he was rude, rough, loud, conceited, and bisexually immoral. He was also shrewd.

“At age 37 he managed to succeed his cousin, Elizabeth I, as England’s monarch. As he traveled from Scotland to London, he met a group of Puritans bearing a ‘Millenary Petition’ signed by nearly 1,000 pastors. It demanded renewal within the church. The Puritans, stirred by the Geneva translation of the Bible and by Foxe’s popular Book of Martyrs, wanted to purify the church. The established clergy opposed Puritan demands, and the new king realized his kingdom was torn.

“He convened a conference for church leaders at his Hampton Court estate on January 12, 1604, and the Puritans vigorously presented their concerns. James rejected their requests, sometimes thundering against them, white with rage. At the conclusion of the conference he flung his arm toward the Puritans, shouting, ‘I shall make them conform or I will harry them out of this land, or do worse.’ Many of the dispirited Puritans, abandoning hope for the Anglican Church, began worshiping in small groups as they felt the Bible taught them. They were tagged Separatists, but from these persecuted cells came the Baptists in 1611, the Pilgrims who fled to America in 1620, and other dissenting groups.

“But on one issue at Hampton Court the king and Puritans had agreed. When Puritan John Rainolds requested a new translation of the Bible, James promptly approved it, saying, ‘I have never yet seen a Bible well-translated. But I think the Geneva is the worst.’ Seven years later the Authorized Version was unveiled, ironically making vice-prone King James one of the best-recognized names in English church history.” —Robert Morgan, On This Day

7 Quotes And A Helpful Memory Tool From “A Brilliant Mind”

A Brilliant MindIn his latest book, Dr. Frank Minrith tells us about a vital link between our vocabulary, and the growth in the human brain. It’s really quite fascinating! Check out my review of A Brilliant Mind by clicking here. Below are a few quotes from this book I wanted to share with you, along with a helpful list for increasing your memorization capacity.

“Only 3,500 words separate the culturally literate from others.”

“The average adult probably has a vocabulary of thirty to sixty thousand words. The highly literate may extend to one hundred thousand words. Yet the English language has well over one million words. Moving above the thirty-thousand-word range will greatly enhance our communication skills.”

“Many other tests since Dr. Johnson O’Connor’s have confirmed the correlation between career success and vocabulary knowledge.”

“Neuroplasticity simply means that the brain is capable of being molded: it can change and develop more connections between its many nerve cells so that, to a degree, it can even develop more cells. Neurogenesis is a similar term; it means that the brain is capable of growth and development. … You can increase the number of synapses in your brain by memorizing words. The more words you memorize, the more you can memorize because of the increase in neural synapses.”

“K. Warner Schaie, who investigated cognitive decline, found that the risk of cognitive decline could be reduced by three factors: higher education, extensive reading, and being married to a spouse with high cognitive status.” 

“We are, to a degree, what we repeatedly take into our brains. As we begin to expand our mental capacity through memorization, the brain chemistry is rearranged and memory is stored. Not only do we gain greater memory capability, but our brains actually change and improve. It is as if we program the brain with new software, and therefore we can respond to life around us in a healthier manner.”

Eight memory techniques:

  1. Review
  2. Employ visualization
  3. Use exaggeration
  4. Utilize association—synonyms, antonyms, subordination, relationships, etc.
  5. Use classification
  6. Command yourself—“When you direct the brain to do a task, it releases powerful chemicals in the direction requested. These chemicals are so powerful that if one hundred people with major medical depression—documented by a medical PET scan—are given a placebo, 33 percent will respond and their PET scan often returns to normal.” 
  7. Learn prefixes, suffixes, and roots
  8. See the origins in foreign words
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