I am writing a series of articles on the Hebrew word “paga” commonly translated intercessor or intercession in the Old Testament. It is an unusual word that has a wide-range of meanings and each describes a particular attribute of intercession.
In my earlier article, I discussed how “paga” referred to claiming territory for the Kingdom of God.
In this post, I want to discuss the word “paga” and its meaning of negotiating with God on behalf of others.
In Genesis 23, Abraham was trying to buy property from a member of the tribe of Heth to bury his wife Sarah. In v 8, he approaches the leaders of the group and says “If it is your wish for me to bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and approach (paga) the son of Zophar for me.”
In this context, Abraham was petitioning the tribal leaders to use their influence and authority to negotiate — even pressure — Zophar, one of their clansmen, into selling the land. They were negotiating on behalf of Abraham.
We see the idea of pressuring in Ruth 1:16, when Ruth says “Do not urge (paga) me to leave you.” Here the word “paga” implies pressure and even includes the idea of driving her away forcibly, if needed.
But it is more than that. Due to friendship or a position of authority, the “paga” has a unique ability to influence someone into performing a certain action.
For the intercessor, he or she makes demands on God on behalf of another person — demands that individual may not be in a position to make, because as Christians we have influence with God.
Paga: Power and influence in the throne room
We see the influence in how the word “paga’ is used in Jeremiah 36. God told Jeremiah to write down all the words of judgment the prophet had spoken over Israel and Judah. At this point the prophetic words were written down by Jeremiah’s assistant Baruch (v1).
Jeremiah — who was not allowed to enter the temple (v 5) — then told Baruch to go into the House of the Lord and read the prophecies over Israel (v 6). These written words eventually ended up in King Jehoiakim’s throne room. After they were read to the king, he cut them up and threw them in a fire.
During this desecration, “Elnathan, and Delaiah and Gemariah pleaded (paga) with the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them” (v 25).
The three people — standing in the throne room — were officials in the King’s court (v 12) and functioned as the King’s’ advisers and as such were people of influence.
God wants the intercessor to understand that they are in exactly the same place as these advisers.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16 King James).
The Greek word “parrhesia” translated “boldly” in this verse is full of meaning.
According to Strong’s, it means with “all out-spokeness, that is, frankness, bluntness, publicity; by implication assurance: — boldly.” It even includes the idea of speaking “freely.”
The word boldly refers specifically to how we speak — our prayers . God wants us to enter His throne room with all gun’s blazing in prayer.
Because of Christ’s redeeming work on the cross, God wants us to come in boldly with our demands and intercession – be frank, be blunt and be out spoken. This does not mean God will give everything you ask for, but you do have influence.
We are all able to function as intercessors, and our effectiveness depends on how much we understand this unique position we have in God.
It’s clear from this passage, once you hit the Throne room — DON’T HOLD BACK.
Because of Christ’s work on the cross, you have an incredible access to God.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT!
Read more in this series:
- Paga: The Intercessor
- Paga: Hitting the mark in intercession
- Paga: The intercessor as a warrior
- Paga: The intercessor claims territory for God
- Paga: The intercessor negotiates with God
- Paga: The intercessor carries a burden