Hineni. This Hebrew word is usually translated, “Here I am.” Abraham responded to God in this way as did Moses, Samuel and Isaiah long before the Lord began to accomplish mighty works through their lives. Interestingly, we also find the widow in 1 Kings 17:12 uttering this phrase to Elijah when she brings her last bit of flour to the prophet with very little hope having enough to sustain her even until the next day. Here I am.
Hineni (hee-nay-nee) differs from po ani. The later also means I am here, but the former implies not only I am present, but I am listening, and I am willing to do whatever you reveal next. I will engage with everything I am.
On Thursday, the Jewish people celebrate Yom Kippur- which we translate “Day of Atonement” – the most holy day of their year. I learned when the rabbi prays at beginning of both the feasts, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah (the feast of Trumpets celebrated earlier this month), he utters the word “Hineni.”
Hineni can be a response to our Lord’s calling to action or Hineni can be an invitation for Him to reveal of transgressions. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my thoughts; and see if there is any hurtful way in me and lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24
When I come before the Lord, is it with an attitude of po ani or with the posture of hineni?
Here I am Lord. With everything I am, I am yours.