THE POWER OF “S”
SCENE ONE: Genesis 22: 16-18
“Abraham, I am impressed! You were willing to sacrifice your son as I instructed you to! It was just a test anyway: and you passed with flying colors. Because you passed, I will bless you, I will multiply your SEED (singular) as the stars in the sky and as the sand in the sea shore and your SEED shall possess the gates of HIS enemies, and through your SEED shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”
SCENE TWO: 2nd Kings 4: 1-7
“Sir, my husband is dead! You know he was a just man who feared God! Now his creditor has come to take my 2 sons as slaves to pay of my husband’s debt!”
“Really! Ok, what do you want me to do? What do you have in your house, ma’am?”
“I have nothing, sir! Well- I have some oil…”
“That’s good enough: go and borrow VESSELS (plural) from your neighbors and pour the oil into them.”
She did. When the vessels were all filled, she asked for more. “There are no more vessels, mum!” the son replied. The oil immediately stopped flowing.
SCENE THREE: Luke 5:3-5
“Thank you, Simon for allowing me use your boat to preach to these people. Now, let’s catch some fish, shall we? Go further into the sea and let your NETS (plural) down for a catch!”
“Er… Master, we have fished all night, we caught nothing! But no problem, there’s no harm in trying again: I will let down my NET (singular) as you say…”
There are times the Word of God comes to us in singular or plural form. This IS deliberate.
He had a conversation with Abraham: “I will bless you, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven and as the sand on the sea shore; your seed shall possess the gates of his enemies and through your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 22: 17-18). Do you notice anything here? God used the word SEED, singular! Paul broke it down in his epistle to the Galatians: “The promises were made to Abraham and his SEED: He didn’t say SEEDS meaning MANY; but SEED, meaning ONE, which is Christ” (Galatians 3:16). See that? God knew what He was saying when He used that SINGULAR word! This is a detail we may miss when studying scripture if we are not very observant.
Jesus gave a similar singular/plural instruction to Peter: “Launch out into the deep and let down your NETS (plural) for a catch” (Luke 5:4). Peter’s response is very interesting: “Master, we have worked all night, we caught nothing. But because you say so, I will let down my NET (singular)” (Luke 5:5).
He did. And he had a large haul of fish! Now, imagine he had let down several NETS? There was capacity to do much more than he did! No wonder when next Jesus gave him fishing instruction again, He told him: “Cast your NET (singular) on the right side of the ship…” John 21:6.
Going further into the Book of Galatians, Paul brought up this singular/plural dichotomy again. He wrote, “The ACTS (plural) of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, jealousy, anger, drunkenness, orgies etc.” (Galatians 5:19-21). In other words, SIN is multifaceted. There are different expressions of it, as listed in these verses. There are different ACTS: you may exhibit one but not the other. You may not have a problem with witchcraft, but you have with anger.
The next 2 verses are quite revealing! “But the FRUIT (singular) of the Spirit IS love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (verse 22-23).
In other words, ALL these virtues are categorized as ONE FRIUT: Either you have them ALL or you don’t. There are no half measures. If you are patience but not kind, you do NOT have the FRUIT of the Spirit. If you are loving but not gentle, you do NOT have the FRUIT of the Spirit.
The presence or absence of “S” makes the difference.