Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: ah-ka-TA-sta-tos
Strong's Number: 182
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 190
Key Verse: “… being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” -- James 1:8

This adjective akatastatos comes from the verb kathistemi, which means “to establish, to set in order.” By adding the “a” in front, the term takes on a negative form, meaning instability, disorder, disturbance, or confusion.

The noun, akatastasia, is found 5 times in the New Testament. In Luke 21:9, Jesus warns of wars and disturbances (civil dissensions) regarding the future destruction of Jerusalem. Paul instructed the prophets in 1 Corinthians 14:33 not to speak all at once, and not for self-glorification, but for God’s glory. He’s not a God of confusion (disorder), but of peace. In 2 Corinthians 6:5, Paul refers to imprisonments and tumults (political instability) produced by his preaching the gospel. In 2 Corinthians 12:20, disturbances is the last of a long list of undesirable behaviors Paul hoped not to find at the church when he visits. In James 3:16, it is clear that rivalry and anarchy within a church body produces only agitation and disorder.

The adjective, akatastatos, is found in Isaiah 54:11 in the Septuagint, “O, afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted.” In the New Testament, this word is found twice, both in the book of James. In James 3:8, the tongue is a “restless evil.” It is more unruly than the horse and mule, which are without understanding, who are kept in and governed, and turned any way by the bit and bridle. Though in nature the tongue is “double-fenced” by the lips and teeth, this is not sufficient to restrain it. Nothing but the grace of God can control it.

Finally, in JAMES 1:8, one who asks wisdom of God, yet with a doubtful mind, is “unstable in all his ways.” He is as a drunken man, unsteady, fickle, staggering, and reeling. This confusion and uncertainty does not please God nor procure any good for us in the end. He that is unstable as water shall not excel. We have but one God to trust and to be governed by, and this should keep us even and steady.

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