Welcome to the Goadgetter!
I’m glad you’ve chosen to stop by and have a read. Here’s hoping when you’ve come to the last word of this blog, you will join me by becoming a Goadgetter.
You may be wondering, “What the heck is a Goadgetter?”
The expression Goadgetter was coined by a cherished friend who, along with her husband patiently listened to a longwinded story I shared regarding my take away from studying a particular Bible passage.
Grab a bottle of water and sit back as I share the story with you:
A few years ago, I was reading chapter 143 from the Book of Psalms in the Bible. I was reading from the King James Version because it maintains the original Hebrew and Greek translation…and I absolutely LOVE excavating the meaning of various words I come across. On this particular day, I read and reread verse 10:
Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
For those of you who prefer a more modern account of the passage, here’s the verse again from the New International Version:
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
The chapter is authored by a man named David, who from all accounts was not having a good day. He was overwhelmed by his circumstances and pleading with God to relieve him of his distresses. And just as I often do when I pray for something, David asked the Lord to hurry up and answer him. In the midst of his anguish, David manages to lift his hands to God as he reflects on His handiwork and supreme accomplishments.
Then David asks God something I found interesting:
to “teach him to do His [God’s] will.”
Of all the requests David had made during his heartfelt appeal, he requested the Creator of the universe to “teach” him something…that something being God’s will.
I want to pause for a moment. My youngest daughter is 10-years old. I wish she would come to me and say, “Mommy, I love you. Teach me to do ‘your’ will!”
While I’m highly doubtful I’m going to experience such an exchange, it’s certainly wishful to think it might happen.
But fancy that. A CHILD asking a PARENT, DAVID asking the FATHER GOD, or better yet, the CREATED asking the CREATOR to teach him or her to actually do—accomplish and practice His desires and His choices.
As David’s request resonated with me as one who follows Christ (on most days), I sought further to know what was meant by the word “teach.” The surprising insight forever changed the way I regard being taught something.
While I know the Bible was written in Classical Hebrew and Greek languages, I didn’t know much about the languages. According to scholars, the Hebrew language revolved around the arduous living of farmers and shepherds in uncultivated and desert regions from many centuries ago.
The Hebrew word for teach is Lamad. In the Strong’s Concordance, #3925, the definition includes the following: to teach; to goad; to instruct; to cause someone to learn…”
A Goad? Why that?
The goad, being a traditional farming tool, often long with a pointed end, was commonly used by ranchers to provoke, and yet direct livestock. According to Hayford’s Bible Handbook, lamad or rather teach is a verb and its origin may be traced to the goading of cattle. Similarly, teaching and learning are attained through a great variety of goading, by memorable events, techniques, or lessons.
Considering the Hebraic meaning and provocative use of a goad, I think about David’s appeal when he bids God to teach him to do His will. Being the son of a shepherd, David had experience in tending to his dad’s flock, thus it stands to reason he would be familiar with the process and the instruments used to care for the herd.
As I extracted the profoundness of David’s plea, it resulted in the following take away:
David was not simply asking the Lord to teach him to do His will. His prayer suggests his openness to God and His method of instruction. He was emphatic when he spoke, “You are my God” and “Your Spirit is good,” so it was fitting to ask the Lord to lead him to a level place—a place of uprightness—where one’s character is approved by God.
By asking the Lord to teach him, David was consenting to the Lord’s sometimes peculiar and incomprehensible ways He chooses to develop one’s character. And if you know anything about David, you know certain actions of his were far from perfect.
At the heart of the prayer (at least the way I perceive it), David was agreeing to practice God’s will—to do His choices and desires. And he was agreeable to the Lord’s teaching style, which on occasion included goading.
I see an image of the Divine Shepherd using the pointed end of His long staff to uncomfortably motivate the wayward, stubborn and slow-moving human flock to get going and do the things the Lord is asking of YOU.
Goadgetter was crafted as a means to help me stay focused and committed to the ways of God and to the personal endeavors I want to undertake.
Goadgetter is concerned with addressing insubordinate and apprehensive habits that unfavorably affect our spiritual wellbeing.
As the Lord God pricks and prods me from a lackadaisical temperament, I plan to pass along the discomfort. My aim is to use biblical insight to promote your Christian growth while goading you to do “whatever” it is you know you should do.
Be prepared to…
Get Goin’ Girl! and Get Goin’ Guy!