Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Iscah - In Shadows of the Mighty

Iscah by Margot Cioccio 
A Devotional by Margot Cioccio 

There is only one woman listed in the bible with a name that begins with the letter I. We really know very little about her except that she is a sister to Milcah and Lot. We hear about her primarily because she is a relation of Abraham. Some have tried to say that she and Sarai are one and the same, but I don't think so because they are both mentioned in the very same passage. Plus Sarai, we later find out is the sister of Abraham as well as his wife but and they share the same father, named Terrah. 

Genesis 11:29

New King James Version (NKJV)
29 Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah.

Her names is the ancient hebrew for Jessica. It means observant or she who looks forth according to Strongs Concordance. 

We know that she is a daughter to Haran, and a sister to Milcah and Lot  and a niece to Abraham.  It is possible that her name comes from the ancient word suk which according to Strongs means to anoint.  

I feel a bit stumped on where to go with this one. Her name makes it into the bible but all that is known of her is how she is related to others we do know. 

I suppose there is something to be said of those who live in the shadows of those who become great, the mighty or the recognized. Something to be said for the people who are not the visible ones in the story. Who were the people behind the people we think of as great.

I found this story of an unknown English woman to whom D.L. Moody attributes the move of Gods Spirit in what became a revival in England. It is written by his son. Her name is not known. 

An English Woman
From The Life of Dwight L. Moody by His Son, William R. Moody (his son), pp. 152-154.

...Finding...that he could be spared from Chicago, and desiring to learn more of the Bible from English Bible students, Mr. Moody determined to cross the sea again. He started for a short trip in June, 1872. This visit calls for special consideration on account of one incident that undoubtedly marked another turning point in Mr. Moody's career.

He was determined not to get into work, if he could help it; but one day, at the close of the service in the Old Bailey prayer-meeting, the Rev. Mr. Lessey, pastor of a church in the North of London, asked him to preach for him the next [Sunday]. Mr. Moody consented.

The morning service seemed very dead and cold. The people did not show much interest, and he felt that it had been a morning lost. But at the next service, which was at half-past six in the evening, it seemed, while he was preaching, as if the atmosphere was charged with the Spirit of God. There came a hush upon all the people, and a quick response to his words, though he had not been much in prayer that day, and could not understand it.

When he had finished preaching he asked all who would like to become Christians to rise, that he might pray for them. People rose all over the house until it seemed as if the whole audience was getting up.

Mr. Moody said to himself:

"These people don't understand me. They don't know what I mean when I ask them to rise." He had never seen such results before, and did not know what to make of it, so he put the test again.

"Now," he said, "all of you who want to become Christians just step into the inquiry room."

They went in, and crowded the room so that they had to take in extra chairs to seat them all. The minister was surprised, and so was Mr. Moody. Neither had expected such a blessing. They had not realized that God can save by hundreds and thousands as well as by ones and twos.

When Mr. Moody again asked those that really wanted to become Christians to rise, the whole audience got up. He did not even then know what to do, so he told all who were really in earnest to meet the pastor there the next night.

The next day he went over to Dublin, but on Tuesday morning received a dispatch urging him to return, saying there were more inquiries on Monday than on Sunday. He went back and held meetings for ten days, and four hundred were taken into that church.

After some time what was, perhaps, the secret of this marvellous manifestation of the Spirit's working was revealed. There were two sisters belonging to that church. One was strong, the other was bed-ridden. One day as the sick woman was bemoaning her condition the thought came to her that she could at least pray, and she began to pray God to revive her church. Day and night her prayer went up to God.

One day she read in a paper an account of some meetings Mr. Moody had held in America, and, though she did know him, she began to pray that God would send him to her church. On the Sunday Mr. Moody preached, her sister went home and said:

"Whom do you think preached this morning?"

She suggested the names of several with whom her pastor was in the habit of exchanging.   

Finally her sister told her, "It was Mr. Moody, from America."
"I know what that means," cried the sick woman; "God has heard my prayers!" 

God knows your name and he hears your prayers. You may never be great or recognized in this life, but God sees the faithfulness of those who stand beside those who become great. We do not begin to know the full the effect of our prayers of our lives upon those around us. 

I am reminded of the song Thank You by Ray Boltz 

"One by one they came Far as the eye could see
Each life somehow touched
By your generosity
Little things that you had done
Sacrifices made
Unnoticed on the earth
In heaven now proclaimed"

Perhaps you are like Iscah and observant and watchful one. Perhaps you are like the woman from England who was sick and could do little to help her church, so she prayed. Her name is not known but even D.L. Moody realized that something significant had happened in those meetings and he could not attribute it to anything special that he had done. One woman's prayers for her church started that revival. 

Some are called to be the hidden ones, the watchmen or women who give their lives to prayer. You may think your life does not account for much. Sometimes the effect we have in the spiritual realm is far greater than we realize. 


  1. Hi (still catching up here:). I enjoyed the D.L. Moody story. I saw the holy spirit move like that on a smaller scale in the 1970s in the small college town where I live. Have not experienced anything like it since, but I'm ready!

    1. Hi Sharon,
      I am catching up as well. I have just I have squeaked my posts in just under the wire this week. And I have not done well at responding to comments or visiting. Going to try and get caught up this weekend.

      Revive us Oh Lord - and let it begin with me.

      Blessings, Margot


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