"hagah"

This is what the Lord says to me:
          “As a lion growls,
               a great lion over its prey—
           and though a whole band of shepherds
               is called together against it,
           it is not frightened by their shouts
               or disturbed by their clamor..."
                                        ~ Isaiah 31.4

The Hebrew word for "growls" (highlighted above) is the word hagah.  It's one of those cases of 'onamonapia' -- where the word sounds like the very thing it describes.  You say the word hagah with a fierce tone and little roll of the 'g' sound.  It should sound like the deep, murmuring growl of a lion, hunched over its prey, proclaiming to the world around it that it means business.

The bible uses this term in another place as well...

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
   or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.
                                      ~ Psalm 1

Believe it or not, the word for meditate is the word hagah.  Contrary to the popular idea that we should pull up a chair in the corner of the porch, with a good cup of coffee and silently contemplate the scripture -- this psalm speaks of one who devours the Text with a fierce, hungry appetite (my goal is certainly not to downplay the importance of the other forms of meditation; these are good and beneficial as well).

Because of this call in the Text to be people that devour God's word, we issue regular "Hagah Challenges".  Some question that challenges the disciples to pour over the Text as a lion growls over his prey.  Some great stories have emerged from students staying up and texting the teacher at 1am, wanting to know if they've figured out the latest Text-teaser.

So, if you've stumbled across this page, join us!  Dive into the Text with a verocity that can only be matched by a mangy lion in search of his dinner.  Remember, as the psalmist states, it is only in our reckless pursuit of God and His text that we become like a tree planted by streams of living water.   It is in our fierce discipline of the Text that God will bear His fruit in its season...

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COME TO ISRAEL WITH US!

I know that I have done a very poor job of keeping these HAGAH Pages refreshed, but I'd like to use it at this point to invite you to come to Israel with us. We have two trips that are on the calendar for the next couple of years:

First of all, I will be leading a group from Indiana to Israel for 10 days this August!
This is not our typical student trip and will be shorter and cheaper; August 9-20, 2015.
More details can be found here.

Second, in August of 2016 we will be sending out SECOND student trip.
BEMA Trip 2016 (exact dates TBD) will be headed to Israel & Turkey for 3 weeks.
We invite everyone to come and join us.
More details will be coming in the fall.

If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please contact me and let me know!