What is redeeming the time?

A recent conversation with a friend about ‘redeeming the time because the days are evil’ brought up more questions than answers about what that phrase means.  The surrounding words speak of walking prudently, being wise and knowing the will of the Lord.   I can’t say I figured it out, but I found some interesting concepts as I studied ‘redeem’ and ‘time’ in the Greek and Hebrew.

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:16 KJV).


Padah is the Hebrew word for redemption and means to ‘deliver’ or ‘sever’.  When the Israelites were delivered AND severed from Egypt by God through the blood of the lamb, they became His firstborn and were to be His kingdom of priests.  However, because they did not completely SEVER themselves from Egypt and sinned with the golden calf, only the Levites became the priests.  The rest of the Israelites had to be redeemed or purchased from their service in the priesthood.  Each firstborn son was presented to the Lord 40 days after birth and redeemed by a payment to the priests (Exodus 13:15,  Numbers 18:16, Luke 2:27).

Lutroo from the Greek luo means to redeem, loosen, to unbind or to set at liberty.    From both the Hebrew and Greek, redemption can mean to be ‘purchased from slavery’.    The three most powerful redemptive accounts in Scripture are God redeeming Israel from Egypt, Boaz redeeming Naomi as her nearest relative and Yeshua redeeming mankind from spiritual bondage to sin through his blood.

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Messiah, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19).


The Greek word kairos is translated ‘time’.   However, it does not mean length in minutes and seconds, but a fixed, definite time or an appointed time or season. In archery kairos refers to an opening or a long tunnel-like aperture through which an archer’s arrow has to pass.  This requires not only accuracy but the power to penetrate through.

Appointed Times and Seasons

“…Be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2).

To be prepared in season means understanding God’s seasons of time.   It is important to know the moed’im or appointed seasons of God because they encompass His complete will in  Yeshua from redemption to glory.  As in archery, God’s appointed times are openings through which His plans and purposes are powerfully revealed with accurate, on the bullseye, timing.

In Matthew 26:18, Yeshua states, “My appointed time draws near.”  The Greek word for appointed time in this verse is kairos.    Yeshua is saying that the definitive moment for His death, burial and resurrection had arrived.   This moment was not some random point in time.  It was an appointed time in the appointed season of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits.  It was YHVH’s appointed time for the redemption of mankind from sin and its power as well as from the stronghold of the enemy.

“The wisdom (godly wisdom, which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God) of the prudent is to understand his ways … (Proverbs 14:8 Amp.)

Out of Season

Another meaning of kairos involves the art of weaving.  There is a specific moment when the weaver must draw the yarn through a gap that briefly opens in the warp of the cloth being woven.  This use of kairos refers to a passing instant when an opening appears and the opportunity must be seized if success is to be achieved.

To be prepared  ‘out of season’ means as individuals we may be given specific times with ourselves and others in these evil days.  These opportune moments are individual moments that come to us, perhaps when we least expect them, and we must make the most of the time given to us.  By using godly wisdom and insight into the ways and purposes of God’s will, we will walk, act, and speak prudently making the most of the opportunity of personal spiritual growth or  planting and watering another’s seed.

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have …”  (1 Peter 3:15 NIV).  

We are commanded to redeem the time from the days of evil by being wise and knowing the will of God in Yeshua.   We are to sever moments at every opportunity from slavery to sin, unrighteousness and disobedience into freedom, righteousness and the ways of YHVH.  We are to buy back time from the enemy’s hold and use it to the wisdom and glory of God.

©2012 Tent Stake Ministries

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