A PSALM OF PRAISE IN DIFFICULT TIMES! - Psalm 25

5th of the 12th month 2016/2017

Shalom all,

Tehillah/Psalm 46:1 “Elohim is our refuge and strength, a help in distress, soon found.

 In this opening verse of this Tehillah/Psalm 46, which was a song for the sons of Qoraḥ, we are able to see a very valid and bold declaration of truth being made, by declaring that Elohim is our refuge and strength and that He is a help in distress soon found! This Tehillah celebrates the power of Elohim and celebrates that יהוה of Hosts if a refuge and defender for His Covenant people, causing us who find refuge in Him to not fear that which may come against us!

We all face difficult times and we all face various trials and temptations that need to be overcome as we stay in our Master and Elohim and find our proper refuge and strength in Him! When we make יהוה our refuge and strength then we have the firm hope and assurance that He is and always will be our help in distress that we may find ourselves entangled in, for whatever reason!

The Hebrew word used here for ‘refuge’ is מַחְסֶה maḥseh – Strong’s H4268 which means, refuge, shelter, which comes from the root verb חָסָה ḥasah – Strong’s H2620 which means, to seek refuge, have hope, put trust in (Elohim)’.

Naḥum/Nahum 1:7יהוה is good, as a stronghold in the day of distress. And He knows those who take refuge in Him.

Taking refuge in יהוה expresses a deeper intimate relationship of one who fully trusts in and relies upon יהוה, by holding on to the sure hope of deliverance being made complete, as they work out their deliverance with fear and trembling, by walking wholeheartedly in the clear Torah of Elohim!

The Hebrew word used for ‘refuge’ - מַחְסֶה maḥseh – Strong’s H4268, and its root חָסָה ḥasah – Strong’s H2620 is collectively used well over 50 times in Scripture, with the predominant use of these being found in the Tehillim/Psalms and other poetic and prophetic literature! The idea of taking refuge may certainly be derived from the experiences of fugitives or men at war that would find shelter in the hills and find protection against their enemies. We know in Scripture that the term ‘refuge’ is used as an epithet for Elohim! An epithet is a characterizing word or phrase accompanying or occurring in place of the name of a person or thing. What Scripture repeatedly reveals to us is that יהוה, above all, is our Refuge, our Shelter and our Stronghold, and complete trust in Him protects those who take refuge in Him.

Tehillah/Psalm 118:8-9 “It is better to take refuge in יהוה than to trust in man. 9 It is better to take refuge in יהוה than to trust in princes.

He is a secure shield to those who take refuge in Him:

Tehillah/Psalm 18:30 “The Ěl – His way is perfect; the Word of יהוה is proven; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

The analogy of taking refuge in יהוה can also be pictured in Scripture by the proper dwelling in His Tent which speaks of walking in complete set-apartness before Elohim and staying in Him!

Tehillah/Psalm 61:4 “Let me dwell in Your Tent forever, let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.

The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘strength’ in Tehillah/Psalm 46:1 comes from the word  עֹז oz – Strong’s H5797 which means, strength, might, fortress, power, stronghold, and this comes from the root verb עָזַז azaz – Strong’s H5810 which means, to be strong, be brazen, prevail, display boldness’.

Where do you find your strength? In Tehillah/Psalm 28 Dawiḏ declares the following:

Tehillah/Psalm 28:7-8 “יהוהis my strength, and my shield; My heart has trusted in Him, and I have been helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I thank Him. 8 יהוהis the strength of His people, and He is the stronghold of deliverance of His anointed.

The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘my strength’ is עֻזִּיuzziy, which comes from the word  עֹז oz – Strong’s H5797 which means, strength, might, fortress, power, stronghold, and this comes from the root verb עָזַז azaz – Strong’s H5810 which means, to be strong, be brazen, prevail, display boldness’.

For more on these words of Dawiḏ please see the notes of a message called,יהוה IS MY STRENGTH AND MY SHIELD!” which you can find under the ‘sermons 2016/2017’ menu on our site (http://atfotc.com) or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2016-2017/673-is-my-strength-and-my-shield-psalm-28

Is יהוה your strength or not? Blessed are those whose strength is ion יהוה! When יהוה is your strength and you recognise and acknowledge the source of your strength being יהוה then His highways shall be in your hearts and you shall keep a firm stand on walking in complete set-apartness and be on guard against turning away from it!

When considering the clear Truth that יהוה is our refuge and strength, we must take note or carefully consider that it is when facing distress and troublesome times that we realise our need for יהוה to be our refuge and strength!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘distress’ in Tehillah/Psalm 46:1 comes from the root word צָרָה tsarah – Strong’s H6869 which means, ‘affliction, anguish, distress, trouble, tightness’, which comes from the word צַר tsar – Strong’s H6862 that can mean, ‘adversary, enemy, foe’; and is also often translated as tribulation, which teaches us a vital lesson of realising that in the very distressing times that lay ahead, our help is in our Master and Elohim alone. This word comes from the primitive root verb isצָרַר tsarar – Strong’s H6887 and means, bind up, tie, restrict, be restricted, narrow, cramp, frustrate, distress, trouble’.

Why I am highlighting these words is to simply emphasise that in this world we will have trouble, yet we can put our firm trust in our Master and Elohim as we find our refuge and strength in Him.

In the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) we see that the Greek word being used for ‘distress’ is θλῖψις thlipsis – Strong’s G2347 means, tribulation, pressure, affliction, distress, persecution, trouble and comes from the primitive verb θλίβω thlibō – Strong’s G2346 which means, to press or afflict, to distress, suffer affliction, and in the literal sense can mean, to squash, press, hem in, rub, harassed, and also can be understood as beingnarrow or hard pressed. This word θλῖψις thlipsis – Strong’s G2347 is used in:

Yoḥanan/John 16:33These words I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you have pressure, but take courage, I have overcome the world.

The Word of Elohim is what we have, to recognise the True peace we have in our Messiah King; and while we certainly will have much pressure in the world, we are able to be strong and courageous as we stand firm on the Rock of our Salvation and hold fast to the Living Word, aměn!

In the world we have pressure….! How true is that statement!!! Pressure, pressure and more pressure… is that how it feels at times for most of you? Well take heart … because this is our lot, and our only means of enduring the sure pressure is to ‘hear – guard – do’ the Word of Elohim! What is very clear to us is that we, who are walking faithfully in Messiah, will have pressure in this world – the question is how we are handling the pressure – with courage and joy, or do we find ourselves stumbling under pressure?

How do you handle times of distress? Having set forth a reasonably long introduction I want you to carefully consider how you react in times of distress and assess whether you are able to overcome as you find your refuge and strength in Elohim or do you find yourself faltering and in a state of panic that cripples your belief and ability to stand firm in your trust of Elohim when the pressures get too string?

In a message called, A PSALM OF PRAISE IN DIFFICULT TIMES! I would like to go through a very powerful psalm of Dawiḏ. Please turn with me to Tehillah/Psalm 25 (Read).

This psalm is an acrostic poem that has each verse beginning with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet, from the first letter (aleph) to the last (taw). This Psalm expresses a great deal of emotions which we can all identify with as we take note that, when writing this Psalm, Dawiḏ was facing some serious troubles and trials! While we are not exactly sure when this was written, some believe that it was at the time when his son Aḇshalom was seeking to kill him and take the throne from his father and be set up as king. In a time when Dawiḏ faced difficult times, be it from his enemies from neighbouring lands or from his own people, even his own family, he knew that his refuge and strength was in Elohim, in whom he could put his full trust in!

We can all identify with troublesome times and distress, yet the big question is how we respond in those times!

We all will have ‘bad days’, so to speak! What do you do when you have them? How do you handle difficult times?

We can learn a great deal from the Dawiḏ and the many psalms that he wrote and sang during some intense times of distress; and so it is with that in mind that I would like us to go through this powerful song that was sung in difficult times in order that we all may be better equipped to properly handle and overcome the pressures we may face, as we keep our eyes fixed on our Master and Elohim! As we go through this psalm and dig a little deeper by looking at some of the key Hebrew words used herein we will be greatly encouraged to give the proper praise and esteem to The One in whom we trust and find our strength!

In verse 1 we are able to learn a great deal in recognising the first step to handling difficult times! We must look to our Master and Elohim and turn to יהוה and give Him the praise that is due to Him!

In other words, when your life looks all down and gloomy and filled with much distress and trouble then ‘look up’!

This is what the prophet Yeshayahu did:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:1 “In the year that Sovereign Uzziyahu died, I saw יהוה sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the Hĕḵal.

In the first verse we take note that Yeshayahu looked up and saw the esteem of יהוה in the year that the Uzziyahu, the king of Yehuḏah, had died. I find the introduction of these events that took place very fitting in teaching us a great lesson on how we are to look up to our Master who is seated in the heavens! The name Uzziyahu - עֻזִּיָּהוּ –Strong’s H5818 means ‘my strength is Yah’ or ‘Yah is my strength’.

Uzziyahu was certainly one of the most successful and powerful kings in Yehuḏah’s history and his reign lasted 52 years and had started out very well as he humbly recognised that he could do nothing without יהוה. Sadly we take note that once he had experienced success he forgot that it was יהוה who had helped him and strengthened him and he became proud and ignored the instructions of יהוה and even went into the Hěḵal of יהוה to burn incense, which he was not allowed to do because he was not a priest. He was chased out by Azaryahu and 80 other priests, which made Uzziyahu mad and he immediately became leprous and remained a leper until he died. What we can see from the first 5 chapters of Yeshayahu is that Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah had become extremely leprous, so to speak, as the apostasy and depravity of the people was clearly evident and Yeshayahu was called to speak up against the rebellion and lawlessness that was happening. With this account in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6 happening in the year that Uzziyahu had died we take note that in many ways the strength of the people had died, or rather that the people were not being strengthened by יהוה as worship had become so corrupt that it did not bring esteem to יהוה at all. Yeshayahu certainly felt the frustrations of people not listening to the call to repent and get cleaned up and at a time when there may have seemed to be no strength left in Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah this prophet is given a clear opening of his sight to see יהוה enthroned in His Hěḵal!

A once great king may have died and had left his throne on earth yet Yeshayahu looked up and saw the King of kings seated on His throne in the Heavenly Temple! What a magnificent sight this must have been for this courageous prophet who was called to speak to an apostate Bride. When he looked up, who did he see? He saw יהוה seated on His throne!!!

This would have certainly given him great comfort and encouragement as we see how through this event he was faithfully equipped to go and proclaim the Good News, even to a people who would refuse to hear!

This first verse in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6 is a great metaphor that can be used as a mirror to ask the following question: “when your strength is down or ‘dead’, so to speak, then what do you do? Let me tell you what you should be doing: look up and see יהוה seated on His throne – He is in control!!!

When the world looks upside down and in a terrible state because of lawlessness and most refuse to hear the Truth, what are you doing? Are you falling prey to the trouble and distress all around or are you looking to the Master and finding strength to be a faithful ambassador of His coming reign!

Getting back to Tehillah/Psalm 25, we see that Dawiḏ starts this psalm off with confidence in declaring where his eyes were looking! He says: To You, O יהוה, I lift up my being.

This is a powerful intro to a very strong psalm that seeks יהוה as Dawiḏ makes it clear that it is to יהוה that he lifts up his being!

The Hebrew phrase that is translated here as ‘I lift up my being’ is written in the Hebrew as follows: נַפְשִׁי אֶשָּׂאnaphshiy essa – which literally translated would render ‘my being I lift up, which comes from the two root words:

The Hebrew word translated as ‘being’ is נֶפֶשׁnepheshH5315 which is ‘a soul, a living being, the inner being of a man’.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘lift up comes from the root verb נָשָׂא nasa – Strong’s H5375 which means ‘lift up, carry, take up, exalt, and accept’. The clear image we are given here is that Dawiḏ lift up his whole being unto Elohim, revealing that he is intentionally turning his thoughts, emotions, desires, cares, anxieties, doubts and fears over to יהוה by ‘looking up’ and fixing his eyes on יהוה and the Truth of His Word!

Despite the torrid threats and the intense dangers that Dawiḏ faced, he focused his attention on seeking and praising the Most High, יהוה of Hosts! When you are going through some rough times do you find yourself intentionally seeking יהוה and earnestly give Him the due praise or do you find that your eyes are so fixed on the distress and difficult circumstances that you become so blinded by pressures that you fail to see the Truth and stand firm in our Mighty Elohim and Saviour?

When you look around at the depravity and corruption of the world that we are to be faithful sojourners in are you looking up or are you falling prey to the panic of increasing conspiracies and threats that are crippling the belief of many?

Luqas/Luke 21:28 “And when these matters begin to take place, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.

These were some of the words that our Master spoke to His taught ones when He shared with them what would take place before all shall see Him coming in a cloud with power and much esteem. As one reads through Luqas/Luke 21, Mattithyahu/Matthew 24 and Marqos/Mark 13 in regards to what will take place before our Master returns we can certainly see how much of what our Master describes in these chapters is already clearly evident in these last days, and He tells us that when we see these things that we are to see to it that we are not troubled by these things that have to take place and that we must possess our lives by endurance. Here in the account of Luqas/Luke we take note that our Master tells us that when these matters begin to take pace that we are to ‘look up’ and lift up our heads!

The Greek word that is used here in Luqas/Luke 21:28 and translated as ‘look up’, is the root word ἀνακύπτω anakuptō – Strong’s G352 which means, straighten up, stand upright, lift oneself up, look up (as a person in hope). The call of our Master here is clear – straighten up and hold fast to the hope we have in Him and stand upright and firm in the belief! This is also a kind of a military type instruction that is given by our Commander to us, His troops, with the call to lift ourselves up from any despair and stand upright, being ready and armed in His Truth. We can only do this if our eyes are fixed on Him!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:1-2We too, then, having so great a cloud of witnesses all around us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 looking to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.

The Greek word for that is translated here as ‘looking’ is ἀφοράω aphorao - Strong’s G872 which means ‘to look/ to turn eyes away from all other things and fix them on something’. Metaphorically speaking it means ‘to fix the mind upon/ give full attention/ looking intently upon/ to take heed’, and it can also carry the meaning, to consider carefully, attentively look at. This word comes from the two Greek words: ἀπό apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and participle that means, from, away from, at, in, to and the word ὁράω  horaō – Strong’s G3708 which means, to see, perceive, attend to, take heed, see with the mind, beware, to see – as in becoming acquainted with by experience.

The two words used here for our Messiah are:

PRINCE - ἀρχηγός - archēgos Strong’s G747 – translates as ‘prince, captain, chief leader and author’ and describes ‘one that takes the lead in anything and thus affords an example, a predecessor in a matter, pioneer’.

PERFECTER - τελειωτής - teleiōtēs Strong’s G5051 – this is the only place this Greek word and denotes a ‘finisher, completer, perfecter’ and describes ‘one who has in his own person raised faith to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith. This is a description given only to יהושע Messiah who has become the supreme model for us to follow.

We are told to be ‘looking’ to Messiah – and what we can see from the verse before this one, is that in order to be able to properly ‘look’ at Messiah, we need to throw off and lay aside every weight and sin that easily entangles us and run with endurance - looking intently at our King as we run faithfully as servants of the Most High Elohim!

Many are trying to run, yet find themselves getting tired and unable to endure the hardships and persecutions that come as a result of trying to be set-apart amidst a crooked generation! The question that you need to ask yourself as you take an eye test so to speak is, “What are you looking at?” Are you looking at Messiah?

We are to look to Messiah and careful consider our ways and we are, at the same time, to make sure that our eyes are not looking elsewhere as we ‘take heed’ of the dangers of the corrupt teachings of man-made dogmas and traditions that lead people astray. If we are not looking to our Master, Saviour, Elohim and King then our eyes may be dangerously looking at that which cannot save us!

You may not be able to control your circumstances but you can control or choose how you respond to them!

When things get a little, or a lot, rough then just consider the example we have in Scripture through the life of Iyoḇ and all that he faced! He lost all his children, his livestock, his wealth and his health; and if that were not bad enough, he had a wife that told him to curse elohim and die!!! What did Iyoḇ do? He turned to יהוה and praised Him! Yes, he poured out his complaints, yet he never denied Elohim and would not take his eyes off of the truth! We too must give our burdens and complaints to יהוהDawiḏ did this when he was hiding in a cave!

Tehillah/Psalm 142:2 “I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my distress.

Declare to Elohim your distress and do not worry at all, but in every matter, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to Elohim. And the peace of Elohim, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Messiah יהושע. (Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:6-7)

In difficult times we must not let our eyes be blinded by circumstances but must keep them fixed on our Mighty Elohim, who is our refuge and strength and a help that is soon found in distress!

When you are looking to the Master and seeking Him with your all, you will find Him! Secondly, our seeking must be done because of the trust that we have in Him. In verse 2 Dawiḏ declares this too, as he states that he put his trust in Elohim! Sometimes we need to vocalise this I order to embrace it!!! In praising יהוה Dawiḏ reaffirms his complete trust in Elohim and this ought to teach us how vital praise is, especially as we remember that this is a song/poem that Dawiḏ is bringing unto יהוה! Our ‘praise life’ will have a tremendous influence on our ability to put our trust in יהוה or not!!!

Keeping eyes fixed on the One you trust involves a proper ability to praise Elohim in all circumstances, good or bad!

Tehillah/Psalm 123:1-2 “I shall lift up my eyes Unto You who dwell in the heavens. 2 See, as the eyes of servants are toward the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a female servant are toward the hand of her mistress, so are our eyes toward יהוה our Elohim, until He shows favour to us.

Trust in יהוה is a must!!! If we do not trust Him then we will never be able to properly fix our eyes on Him as the distractions of distress will continually cause us to look away and seek help from other sources that cannot save at all!

The Hebrew is the word that is translated as ‘trust’ is the word בָּטַח bataḥ – Strong’s H982 which carries the meaning, to trust, be bold, confident, be secure, courageous.

This word for ‘trust’ – בָּטַח bataḥ – Strong’s H982 – in the ancient pictographic script looks this this:

chettet beit

 

beit This is the letter ‘Beyt’, which is written as בָּ in the Modern Hebrew text of this word we are looking at. This pictographic letter is a picture of ‘a tent floor plan’ and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself, and represents the Dwelling Place of the Most High, which we are, as we are ‘living stones’ that are being built up in Messiah.

 

tet This is the letter ‘Tet’, which is written as ט in the Modern Hebrew text of this word. The original pictograph for this letter is pictured as ‘a container made of wicker or clay’. Containers were a very important item among the nomadic Hebrews. They were used for storing grains and other items. Wicker baskets were used as nets for catching fish. The meaning of this letter is ‘basket, contain, store and clay’. It can also mean ‘surround’ as a basket is used to ‘surround’ something in order for it to be protected and secure.

 

chet This is the letter ‘et, which is written as חַ in the Modern Hebrew text of this word.  The ancient pictographic letter is pictured as a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent. It can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and can therefore also symbolise protection and security to those who are inside, while picturing ‘a cutting off’ of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, or separated from’.

As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones that are being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the Master!

When we look collectively at these pictographic letters that form this word we are able to glean some valuable insight into the encouraging message that is being given through this word, as the following meaning can be rendered from these pictures:

THE HOUSE OF THE BASKET IS SAFELY ESTABLISHED!

Our Master and Elohim has firmly established the end from the beginning and for this reason we are able to put out complete trust in Him and stay in Him as He is coming to gather us to himself and let His kingdom be firmly established forever, where He will rule and reign with His adorned and capable Bride!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in יהוה, and whose trust is יהוה. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and does not see when heat comes. And his leaf shall be green, and in the year of drought he is not anxious, nor does he cease from yielding fruit.

For more on ‘trust in יהוה’ please see the notes of a message called, ‘THE STEADFAST HAVE PEACE FOR THEY TRUST IN יהוה!’, which can be found on our site (http://atfotc.com) under the sermons 2015/2016 menu or by clicking on the following link:

 http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2015-2016/638-the-steadfast-have-peace-for-they-trust-in

Trust and praise go hand in hand and praise that is given to the One that you are looking to cannot be done with a proper trust in Him! If you cannot trust in יהוה then how can you praise Him? If your praise life is not as it should be or is non-existent then perhaps it may be an indication that your trust in יהוה is being hindered! As we stay in Him He stays in us! Reaffirming our trust, as Dawiḏ did, requires a proper focus and praise, done in complete faith!

Fixing eyes on our Master, praising Him and putting complete trust in Him also requires us to be steadfast and be faithfully waiting on Him! In verse 5 we see Dawiḏ emphasising another key element that must be evident in the life of a true praising and trusting believer of the Most High, and this must be added to praise and trust! This is a proper waiting upon יהוה! This is something that many fail at doing and in the process find their trust being questioned within themselves, causing praise to become non-existent as bitterness takes over, destroying the joy of the Master that ought to strengthen the one who looks to Him!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘wait’ in verse 5 comes from the word קָוָה qavah – Strong’s H6960 which means, to wait for, eagerly wait, expect, hopefully waiting and this word carries the intensity of being commanded to look eagerly for the soon return of our Light, Saviour and Refuge in who we continually trust and praise and are taught by; for when we wait on יהוה our strength is renewed – and waiting on יהוה requires our active response to who He is, with great intensity.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:28-31 “Did you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting Elohim, יהוה, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men stumble and fall, 31 but those who wait on יהוה renew their strength, they raise up the wing like eagles, they run and are not weary, they walk and do not faint.

This passage of Scripture is a powerful Truth that reaffirms why Sha’ul could say that he has strength in all situations because it is our Master and Elohim and Saviour who empowers and strengthens us. The One who made all is the One who empowers us!!! This is something that we must never forget. There will certainly be times when we may feel faint and out of strength. Yet as we properly wait on יהוה we will have our strength renewed to not faint or grow weary but press on and overcome.

Dawiḏ declares something extremely important here in Tehillah/Psalm 25:5 as he states that on יהוה he waits all the day!!! How long do you wait on יהוה? Waiting on יהוה is an all-day thing and when I say this, please take note that this ‘waiting’ is not an idle sitting around and waiting for better days, for it involves and requires obedient action!

Proper waiting involves an obedient submission to being led and taught in the Truth, as we clearly take note of Dawiḏ’s words in verses 4-5 as it highlights for us a clear picture or pattern of what true ‘waiting on יהוה’ entails!

In verses 4-5 we see Dawiḏ asking יהוה 3 things:

1 – Show me Your ways; 2 – Teach me in Your paths; 3 – Lead me in Your Truth! He then summarises these by saying teach me!

Here we have a clear picture of a diligent student of the Master who desires to learn as he seeks to be shown the right way and be taught and led in the true path of life! While being hunted by enemies Dawiḏ seeks to be taught in the narrow way of set-apartness!

 The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘show me’ is written as – הוֹדִיעֵנִיhodiyeniy which comes from the root word יָדַע yaḏa – Strong’s H3045 meaning, ‘to know, to acknowledge, clearly understand, to perceive, distinguish and discern’, and here it is written in the ‘hiphil’ verb tense which is the ‘causative tense’ and can render the meaning of, to be made known, to be instructed, be revealed. What we can see here is that Dawiḏ is asking יהוה to cause him to know the pure and clean ways of יהוה.

The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘ways’ comes from the root word דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ – Strong’s H1870 which means, way, road, distance, journey and is from the word דָּרַךְ daraḵ – Strong’s H1869 which means, to tread or march; and so speaks of our walk, and every step that we take – and our ‘ways’ we are to commit to יהוה, which we do by walking in His Torah:

Tehillah/Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to יהוה, and trust in Him, and He does it.

The first time this root word דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ – Strong’s H1870 is used, is in:

Berěshith/Genesis 3:24and He drove the man out. And He placed keruḇim at the east of the garden of Ěḏen, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Due to the sin of Aḏam and Ḥawwah, they were driven out of the garden of Ěḏen, and driven from the presence of יהוה, with no access to the way to the tree of life! Before they were driven out Elohim made for them coats of skin, and in this we are able to see the powerful shadow picture of the protection and covering we have in יהושע Messiah, the Passover Lamb that was slain for us, in order that we can once again be brought near to the presence of Elohim and have access to the tree of life and have the full assurance of an everlasting life with our Master who shall come and receive us to Himself!

In the ancient pictographic symbols of this word, we are given a greater insight in understanding how יהושע Messiah is THE WAY! This word - דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ - in the ancient script looks like this:

kaphreshdalet

Daletדֶּ

The ancient script has this letter as dalet and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.

 

Resh - רֶ

The ancient script has this letter as resh and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. ‘Top’, as in ‘the top or head of a body’ and ‘chief’ as in ‘the head of a tribe or people’, as well as the one who rules the people.

 

Kaph - כֶּ:

The ancient form of this letter is pictured as kaph - which is ‘an open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. This also pictures for us that which has been openly revealed – by the ‘open hand’, or the revelation of the hand that has worked a function!

As we consider these three pictures in making up the Hebrew word דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ, in reference to this meaning THE WAY, we can clearly see how it is יהושע Messiah who is THE WAY. As we come to the DOOR of the Tent of APPOINTMENT we are able to come and submit under the hand of our Master and Chief, who gives us access into His presence.

Yoḥanan/John 10:19I am the door. Whoever enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture.

As one understands the design and service of the Tabernacle, then we are able to understand perfectly the clear words of our Master. It was at the door of the Tabernacle that the people would bring their offerings to the Priest, and before they were able to enter they needed to be washed.  Looking at this ancient pictographic of the word that renders for us the meaning of THE WAY, we are also able to see the clear work of our Master, who is the Lamb that was slain, and it was His hands that took the nails for us, and in doing so released us from the dogmas which stood against us! His shed blood covers us from the punishment of death, as long as we remain in Him! The Houses that applied the blood of the lamb to the doorposts of their homes would not be visited by the Messenger of death, but would be passed over, as the final plague in Mitsrayim swept over the land, killing every first born of those homes that did not have the blood on their doorposts!

Dawiḏ was earnestly asking יהוה to show Him the Way of Truth and be caused to follow Him!

When things are a little hectic and you are facing some uphill battles are you asking יהוה to show you His Way?

In order to be properly shown the True Way one must be willing to learn! Dawiḏ asks יהוה to teach him His paths!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘teach’ comes from the root word לָמַד lamaḏ – Strong’s H3925 which means, to exercise in, learn, accept, instruct, train.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 48:17 “Thus said יהוה, your Redeemer, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, “I am יהוה your Elohim, teaching you what is best, leading you by the way you should go.

יהוה teaches us what is best – He teaches us what is profitable for us and what is good for us!

It is יהוה our Redeemer and Elohim that teaches us to do what is best, through His Torah and instructions given to us through His Word, and therefore the laws and right-rulings of Mosheh that we are to ‘exercise in’ and learn, accept and become fluent in, as we diligently train ourselves to be true set-apart people, is what causes us to be true servants of Messiah! We are therefore called to incline our ears and hear those who teach and instruct in His Torah, and teach the difference between the set-apart and profane and between the clean and unclean.

We do not learn for nothing – we learn and are taught – TO DO!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:7Remember those leading you, who spoke the Word of Elohim to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their belief.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:17 “Obey those leading you, and be subject to them, for they watch for your lives, as having to give account. Let them do so with joy and not groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘path’ is the word אֹרַח ora – Strong’s H734, and figuratively speaks of the way of living, and comes from the root verb אָרַח ara – Strong’s H732 which means, to wander, journey, go, travel, traveller.   

When we look at the ancient pictographic rendering of these words we are able to get some great insight in recognising our need to be faithful sojourners and ambassadors who are proclaiming the reign of the Heavens to which we belong, and is soon coming here to earth!

In the ancient script the word אֹרַח ora – Strong’s H734 which means, a way, path, highway, course looks like this:

chetreshaleph

Aleph – אֹ:

The ancient script has this letter as aleph and is pictured as the head of an ox, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!

Resh - רַ:

The Ancient picture for this letter is resh, which is ‘the head of a man’. This letter has the meanings of ‘head or man’ as well as ‘chief, top, beginning or first’.

etח:

The ancient script has this letter as chet which is a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall.

 

The two letter parent root of this word is רַח – which Jeff Benner explains in his AHLB (Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible) the following:

The pictograph resh is a picture of ‘the head of a man, the pictograph chet is a picture of ‘a wall’ that separates the inside from the outside. Combined these two pictographic letters mean, "MAN OUTSIDE". The responsibilities of the nomad outside of the tent include the feeding, watering and caring for the livestock. Livestock are healthier and more productive when on a routine, therefore the man follows a routine or "A PRESCRIBED PATH" each day when caring for his livestock.

With the letter אֹAlephaleph – at the beginning of this word, we are able to see the strength we have in our Master and Elohim to sojourn here in the prescribed path given for us through His Torah, as we await His soon return! The ox representing a yoke speaks of being driven or guided in a prescribed direction, under the hand of a master. This word can also render for us:

ONE WHO FOLLOWS A PRESCRIBED PATH TO ARRIVE AT A SPECIFIC DESTINATION

Dawiḏ did not want to be on any other path than that which is prescribed by Elohim and His Word and this should be our desire too, no matter the difficult times we may go through! In fact it is during the difficult times where we need to be earnestly seeking יהוה to show us His path and the Way in which we should go!

Show me, teach me and… Lead me in Your Truth!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘lead’ comes from the root word we have already looked, which is דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ – Strong’s H1870 and is written in the ‘hiphil’ tense which can render the meaning, cause to go, tread, march.

He was calling out to Elohim for His word to be that which causes him to walk in the Truth of Elohim!

In Hebrew the word for ‘truth’ is אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means,truth, firmness, faithfulness, and this word carries an underlying sense of certainty and dependability – and we know that The Word of יהוה is truth:

Tehillim/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.

Tehillim/Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O יהוה, and all Your commands are truth.

Tehillim/Psalm 119:160 “The sum of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous right-rulings are forever.

Anyone who claims to serve יהוה without walking in and giving heed to follow His Torah, commands and instructions are not serving in Truth, and those who claim that the Torah/Law of Elohim has been done away with are sadly riddled with the leaven of the hypocrisy of man’s theologies and dogmas that seeks only to serve self rather than the Giver of Life, while claiming the opposite!

In the ancient pictographic symbols of this word, we are given a greater insight in understanding how יהושע Messiah is THE TRUTH! This word - אֱמֶת emeth in the ancient script look like this:

tawmemaleph

Aleph – אֱ

The ancient script has this letter as aleph and is pictured as the head of an ox, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!

 

Mem – מֶ

The ancient script has this letter as mem and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture.

Taw – ת

The ancient script has this letter as taw which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!

As we consider these letters in describing Messiah as being the TRUTH we are able to clearly see that it is by His strength and might that He has passed through the waters in order to secure for us His Covenants of Promise! Messiah is the Aleph and the Taw – the first and the last, who came from above (passing through the waters of the heavens and the earth) in order to redeem us according to His Word!

He is the Truth and His Word does not return empty! His Word is Truth and His Word leads us in His Truth. His Word lights our WAY and as we walk in Him by walking in His Word we are assured that our feet are on His solid path!

What I find very powerful, in this pictographic rendering of the word for Truth, is the immense insights that we can glean from these pictures. We know that the Aleph and the Taw are the first and the last letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, and that the letter ‘mem’ is the 13th letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. The term אֶחָד eḥad – Strong’s H259 in Hebrew means ‘ONE’ and carries the numerical value of 13 - אֶ =1 (Aleph); חָ =8 (ḥet); ד =4 (Dalet); and so, we who are immersed in the Master are grafted into His body, and are caused to walk in His Word as we submit to His clear commands, as given through His Written Word! Another aspect of the Aleph and Taw is seen in the Urim and Tummim:

אוּרִים Urim – Strong’s H224 means ‘lights, illuminations

תֻּמִּים Tummim – plural of תֹּם tom, and carries the meaning of ‘perfections

While there is no evidence to clearly tell us what the Urim and Tummim consisted of, be it stones or any other substance, what we can see is that the High Priest would use these in order to get right-ruling and so the Urim and Tummim speaks of our seeking the perfect truth from יהוה. What is very interesting and worthy of noting is that the first letter of ‘Urim’ is the אaleph’ and the first letter of Tummim is the תtaw’:

Ḥazon/Revelation 1:8I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, beginning and end,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:6 “Thus said יהוה, Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and his Redeemer, יהוה of hosts, ‘I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no Elohim.

What are the urim and tummim? They are the things that illuminate and perfect. We know that יהושע is the Light and He was the Perfect Lamb, and so this represents for us our need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be perfect before Elohim, for He is perfect; and we are called to be the salt and light, which we can only be when we seek out His Right-Ruling and walk according to that which is to be upon our heart – His Torah (notice the positioning of the Urim and Tummim in the breastplate – by the heart!!!)

He writes His Torah on our hearts, and so it is to be in our hearts and in our mouths in order that we may do it! (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14)!

This pictographic lettering of the word for TRUTH clearly shows us our need to seek, study, meditate upon and walk in the Torah! Anyone who claims to know the Truth while refusing to submit to guard and keep the Torah and instructions of Elohim are liars and the Truth is not in them! How can people say that the Truth is in them when they say that the Truth is no longer applicable!!!

Dawiḏ could not be clearer here in his earnest cry during difficult times!

His eyes were on the Master and His Truth and in a song of praise unto Elohim his clear desire is to be taught and led in the Way of Truth! Is this your desire when facing difficult times? Learn from Dawiḏ and seek to have the same heart after Elohim as he did!

Dawiḏ could confidently ask Elohim to show him, lead him and teach him as he knew that יהוה was the Elohim of His deliverance! We can be secure and confident in being led and taught in the Truth of Elohim for He is our deliverance!

Not only does proper waiting upon יהוה require obedient submission to His teaching and leading, we also have the full assurance that those who properly wait on יהוה shall never be ashamed!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘ashamed’ in verse 3 comes from the root word בּוֹשׁ bosh – Strong’s H954 which means, be ashamed, act shamefully, disconcerted, disappointed.

Those who walk in the stubbornness of their own ways and try to falsely accuse our good behaviour, shall stand ashamed before the Master one day!

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:14-17 “But even if you suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not fear their threats, neither be troubled.” 15 But set apart יהוה Elohim in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone asking you a reason concerning the expectation that is in you, with meekness and fear, 16 having a good conscience, so that when they speak against you as doers of evil, those who falsely accuse your good behaviour in Messiah, shall be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the desire of Elohim, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

When we walk in total obedience to the clear instructions of Elohim, we shall not stand ashamed, nor act shamefully:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4:14-16 “If you are reproached for the Name of Messiah, you are blessed, because the Spirit of esteem and of Elohim rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is praised. 15 For do not let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or doer of evil, or as a meddler. 16 But if one suffers being Messianic, let him not be ashamed, but let him esteem Elohim in this matter.

I hope you can see a pattern of true set-apart behaviour being presented through this psalm of praise during difficult times! We can faithfully wait on יהוה because our trust is in Him and those who do not trust in יהוה cannot praise Him and therefore become impatient and cannot ‘wait’! Those who do not ‘wait on יהוה’ will never grow, while those who trust, praise and wait on יהוה will never be ashamed as they grow to maturity and become a Bride that is ready for Her soon returning King!

The treacherous shall be ashamed! The Hebrew word translated as ‘treacherous’ is בָּגַד bagaḏ – Strong’s H898 which means,to act or deal treacherously, act deceitfully, faithless, transgressor and this verb is used to denote unfaithfulness in several different relationships; and it is used in connection with unfaithfulness in marriage – and more specifically how Yisra’ĕl had acted treacherously toward Elohim:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:20 “But indeed as a wife betrays her husband, so have you betrayed Me, O house of Yisra’ĕl,” declares יהוה.

 This word בָּגַד bagaḏ also carries the literal meaning of ‘to cover (with a garment)’, bringing about the figurative meaning of acting covertly. And today this is how we see so many that have transgressed the Covenant, acting covertly – and that is through the cover up of lies and the dogmas and traditions of man, that so many hold fast to while forsaking true obedience to the commands of Elohim.

The whore and strange woman catches many in her deep pit and narrow well and makes more and more people become treacherous as they end up betraying the One True Husband by not keeping their eyes fixed on the Truth but rather fall for the trap of the whore’s deep pit that leads to death!

After making it clear that he seeks only to walk in the True Way of Elohim, Dawiḏ then asks יהוה to remember His compassion and loving-commitment while at the same times asks יהוה to not remember his sins and transgressions!

Tehillah/Psalm 119:77 “Let Your compassions come to me, that I might live, for Your Torah is my delight.

Here the psalmist appeals to יהוה to extend His compassion toward him in response to his ardent delight in the Torah.

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘compassion’ comes from the root word רַחַם raḥam – Strong’s H7356 which means, compassion, tender love, deep mercy, and at its root it refers to a deep love (usually of a superior for an inferior) which is rooted in a natural bond.

In a psalm of Dawiḏ we are reminded of the dealing of Elohim that we are not to forget, as he crowns us with His compassion:

Tehillah/Psalm 103:4 “Who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving-commitment and compassion

We see this word רַחַם raḥam – Strong’s H7356 being used here in this Psalm, in describing the deep love Elohim has on those who fear Him, being likened to the love of a father for his children as seen in verse 13:

Tehillah/Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion for his children, so יהוה has compassion for those who fear Him.

יהוה does not just put a crown on our head – He literally surrounds us with His kindness and tender love. I wonder how many times we have forgotten this.

In Hebrew the word translated as ‘loving commitment’ is חֶסֶד ḥeseḏStrong’s H2617 and means, goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, faithfulness’.

Tehillah/Psalm 101:1 “I sing of loving-commitment and right-ruling; to You, O יהוה, I sing praises.

Dawiḏ sings of the ḥeseḏ – that is loving-commitment, and can also be expressed as the ‘Covenant love’ that binds us to our Master by His own Blood! יהוה is lovingly-committed and His loving commitment is forever!!!! That is certainly something great to sing about!!! He proved His love for us by shedding His own blood, in the flesh, for us – this should make you sing!

But what is the ‘loving-commitments of יהוה’? It is important for us to understand this very important Hebrew word that expresses to us a great comfort and assurance we have in a lovingly committed Creator and Redeemer!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘loving-commitment’ is חֶסֶד ḤESEḎStrong’s H2617 and means, goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, faithfulness, and is closely linked to the word that is often translated as kindness, favour, grace’, which is the word חֵן en – Strong’s H2580 meaning, grace, adornment, favour, gracious and comes from the primitive root חָנַן anan – Strong’s H2603 meaning, show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour. These two words, חֵן en and חָנַן anan, are collectively used 141 times in the Tanak (O.T.). What we must understand is that both חֵן en and חֶסֶד ḤESED are uniquely related in terms of understanding the fullness of our relationship with our Creator. Although these two words are closely linked in relation to walking in a relationship with our Saviour, we note that חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ is different to חֵן en. We find both these words being used together in:

Berěshith/Genesis 39:21But יהוה was with Yosĕph and extended kindness to him, and He gave him favour in the eyes of the prison warden.

יהוה extended חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ to Yosĕph and gave him חֵן en in the eyes of the prison warden.

What we find in Scripture is that חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ is used only where there is a prior relationship bond, be it through family, marriage or kinship, and it is used in regards to a bond or relationship that produces in the bond itself a requirement or an obligation for action, where both parties share חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ, and can expect from each other and even demand, in a sense, reciprocal responsibilities, and so חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ is not a free gift, but is rather the resulting action that comes from that which has already been established and is required!

Over and over חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ is used to describe and express יהוה’s relationship with Yisra’ĕl, His Covenanted Bride, which includes all who are brought near and grafted in to these Covenants of promise by the Blood of Messiah!

We must understand therefore that חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ is a word often associated with the understanding of obligation and commitment and not simply unmerited favour alone!

Yisra’ĕl and יהוה are obligated to each other, in marriage, as a result of the Covenants made by יהוה with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ!

חֵן en may certainly be, and actually is, the primary reason behind the establishment of the Covenants of Promise, however the moment the Covenants were made, obligation became attached to it by both parties. And while Yisra’ĕl constantly broke their obligation to the Covenants we see how lovingly committed יהוה is by extending His favour to us, an undeserving people; and by His חֵן en (being gracious toward us and adorning us with favour in His eyes), He has extended to us His Kindness - חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ – His loving-commitment to the Covenants which He remains faithful to in being obligated and fully committed to; and thus because of His  חֵן en which is freely given to us, we too are now, by our acceptance of His free gift, also required to express true commitment in understanding our obligation to guarding the Covenant!

 חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ is the essential relationship of Covenant that is often paired with truth’ which is the Hebrew word אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means,truth, firmness, faithfulness, and this word carries an underlying sense of certainty and dependability – and we know that The Word of יהוה is truth!

Tehillah/Psalm 89:14 “Righteousness and right-ruling are the foundation of Your throne; loving-commitment and truth go before Your face.

Tehillah/Psalm 25:10 “All the paths of יהוה are loving-commitment and truth, to those who guard His covenant and His witnesses.

Everything that יהוה does, whether we understand it or not, is an expression of His חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ and אֱמֶת emeth, and we know from Scripture that the חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ of יהוה speaks or represents a great deal of His perfect and unwavering character, upon which we can find our complete identity and character! Having said that, we also recognise how חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ is bidirectional; and by that I mean that while we are clearly given the purity of the חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ of יהוה toward His Covenant and His Covenanted Bride, we must recognise our need to reciprocate חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ to the Covenants of Promises that we are grafted into by the חֵן en (favour/grace) of יהוה through the precious Blood of Messiah! Hence the verse 10 of Tehillah/Psalm 25 making it clear that חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ and אֱמֶת emeth are for those who guard His covenant and His witnesses! In order to fully experience חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ we must actively participate in keeping His commands, so that we may come boldly to the Throne of חֵן en and find help in time of need!

Tehillim/Psalm 103:11 “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His loving-commitment toward those who fear Him

‘Loving-commitment’ - חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ is not just a felling or an emotion, but it is a commitment to devotion, expressing יהוה’s loving-commitment and kindness toward others. The Greek word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ is ἔλεος eleos – Strong’s G1656, which means, compassion, mercy, pity, as we see Miryam relating the words from this Psalm in:

Luqas/Luke 1:50 “And His compassion is from generation to generation, to those who fear Him

יהוה’s loving-commitment to His Covenant has caused us to be born again to the living expectation we have in Messiah, who was raised from the dead:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:3Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע Messiah, who according to His great compassion has caused us to be born again to a living expectation through the resurrection of יהושע Messiah from the dead

Compassion, in the truest sense, speaks of an unwavering commitment to walking in the Truth, and completely passionate about of steadfast obedience to our great king, who has by His compassion, caused us to have abundant life! Our expression of the חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ of יהוה is seen in how we extend His character toward others as we remain loving-committed to guarding His Covenant and expressing the complete set-apartness we ought to, being set-apart as He is set-apart!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:3Let not loving-commitment and truth forsake you – bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart

In the ancient pictographic form the Hebrew word for ‘loving-commitment’ - חֶסֶד ḤESEḎStrong’s H2617 looks like this:

daletsamekchet

et חַ

The ancient script has this letter as chet which is a tent wall’, and carries a meaning of separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, and represents a ‘boundary’, or better understood as our ‘boundaries’ in recognising the need to walk within the boundaries of the Torah and not step outside of that which has been prescribed for us!

Samek - סָ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as samek, which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.

The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger and to that which is secure.

Daletדֶּ

The ancient script has this letter as dalet and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.

When understanding חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ in this ancient pictographic letters we are able to clearly see that the boundaries for the way in which we are to live have been established and the entrance to walking in חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ and אֱמֶת emeth is by our coming to the Door – that is our Master and Saviour - יהושע Messiah!

WE AS LIVING STONES ARE TO GRAB HOLD OF AND CLING TO THE DOOR!

The commands that are to be written upon the doorposts is there to remind us that we are to submit to the rules of the House – and as we recall to mind the חֶסֶד ḤESEḎ of יהוה, we can be comforted and encouraged to remain lovingly-committed to walking in and guarding His Covenant with us, unhindered by the vain threats and ridicule of others!

As we look to Elohim and keep our eyes fixed on Him and let Him teach us His Ways and Lead us in His Paths of righteousness we can faithfully wait on Him and bring to remembrance His compassion and loving-commitment and also have the confidence that He shall remember our sins and transgressions no more!

 

The Hebrew word used here for ‘sin’ is חַטָּאָה ḥatta’ah – Strong’s H2403 which means, sin, sinful thing, sin offering. This word is often used to refer to the condition of sin, and appears many times alternating in meaning between sin: the reality of disobedience to יהוה, and sin-offering: the means of removing the guilt and penalty of sin before יהוה through the required sacrifice. This word comes from the root word חָטָא ḥata – Strong’s H2398 meaning, ‘to miss the mark, do wrong, incur guilt, fail to reach’, and when understanding  the root meaning of Torah, one can clearly see that to sin is to walk against, or walk contrary to, the Torah, for:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

When shooting an arrow or other object to a target, the distance that one misses is measured with a cord. The wrong actions of one are also measured against the correct action! The Torah is the ‘chord’ or ‘plumb-line that we are ‘measured against’, for we would not know what we have missed if there was no measuring line to guide and instruct us! Sinners are those who walk contrary to the Torah and ‘miss the mark’ of called for set-apartness and obedience to the Torah.

With Dawiḏ asking יהוה to remember his sin no more he was basically declaring his commitment to walking in the Truth and guarding righteousness. Understanding his words here amidst difficult times we can learn how we too are often gripped by the remembrance of our past sins when facing difficult times, and what we can learn from this psalm is that we need to be reminded that as long as we stay in the Master we have the firm assurance that He has cleansed us from our sins and we need to be growing in His Word lest we forget that we were cleansed (Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 1:5-9)!!!


In verse 8 Dawiḏ declares how good and straight יהוה is and because of that He is able to teach sinners in the Way! This is a powerful verse that highlights that יהוה’s good and straight way can teach any sinner to walk good and straight and sin no more! In verse 9 we see him declaring that יהוה guides and teaches the meek and then in verse 10 he makes it clear that all the paths of יהוה are loving-commitment and truth to all who guard His covenant and witnesses! This is very important for us to understand as we take note of the message being made clear here in these 3 verses!

Those who refuse to submit to the Truth and neglect the need to walk in the Way remain proud sinners and for them the Word is a burden and is not truth to them, but to the repentant sinner who turns from unrighteousness and humbly submits to walking in and guarding the Torah and commands of Elohim find all His ways lovingly-committed!

To the disobedient, יהוה’s Way is not a true way for them and therefore strive with those who walk in His way!

Ya’aqoḇ tells us clearly in:

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Master, and He shall lift you up.

The one who is truly humble subjects himself to Elohim and Ya’aqoḇ also tells us in Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:6 that Elohim resists the proud and gives favour to the humble!

In verse 11 we see how Dawiḏ was confident in יהוה’s forgiveness! No matter how big or great your sin is, יהוה shall pardon – if you repent and submit to Him and are led by Him in loving-commitment and truth!

Tehillah/Psalm 103:1-5 “Bless יהוה, O my being, and all that is within me, bless His set-apart Name! 2 Bless יהוה, O my being, and do not forget all His dealings, 3 who forgives all your crookednesses, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with kindness and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desire with the good, your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘forgives’ is סָלַח salaḥ – Strong’s H5545 which means, to forgive, pardon, spare, which is the same root word used in Tehillah/Psalm 25:11 for ‘pardon’!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘crookednesses’ is עָוֹן avon – Strong’s H5771 meaning, iniquity, guilt, punishment for iniquity, blame, perversity, depravity, which comes from the root verb עָוָה avah – Strong’s H5753 which means, to twist, bend, distort, make crooked, pervert. The first thing Dawiḏ mentions here in the dealings of יהוה with us who fear Him, is that He pardons our guilt and spares us from the punishment of our perversion and distortions of the truth – now that is something to praise and bless our Elohim for!!!

In declaring the mighty loving-commitment and truth of Elohim and how it is the humble that are cleansed and are led in Truth, Dawiḏ then asks the big question: Who fears יהוה? He then proceeds in verse 14 in telling us that the secret of יהוה is with those who fear Him and His covenant is made know to them!!!

The Hebrew word that is translated here in Tehillah/Psalm 25 as ‘secret’ is the root word סוֹד soḏ – Strong’s H5475 which means, council, circle, company, assembly, fellowship, secret counsel, intimacy with El’. The primary meaning of the word is “confidential speech”, and gives, in essence, the confidence one ought to have in seeking counsel from יהוה! This term carries an essence of intimacy in relationship where trust and confidence can be exchanged due to the nature of the closeness of the relationship.

Tehillim/Psalm 147:11 “יהוה takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who wait for His kindness.

This was the key verse that got me looking into that which יהוה takes pleasure in, and the word used here for ‘pleasure’ is רָצָה ratsah (as already mentioned), as He clearly ‘accepts favourably’ those who ‘fear’ Him, and the Hebrew root word here for ‘fear’ is יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3373 meaning, to fear, be afraid, reverence, respect, and also is used as an adjective to describe one who is wise, and therefore  giving us the better meaning of, to stand in awe of, be awed, to reverence, honour, and respect.

Here are a couple of well-known verses that make it very clear for us:

Tehillah/Psalm 111:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, all those doing them have a good understanding. His praise is standing forever.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:7 The fear of יהוה is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:7 The beginning of wisdom is: Get wisdom! And with all your getting, get understanding.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.

A fool does not delight in gaining true knowledge of the Set-Apart One and by actions of lawlessness (without Torah) he reveals his lack of fear for Elohim! People who claim that the torah is no longer valid and has been ‘done away with’ lack knowledge and understanding and clearly do not know Scripture at all and are fools!

In verse 15 Dawiḏ again confirms his focus, which is upon יהוה! The one who fears יהוה never loses focus and never takes their eyes off of Him! Dawiḏ knew that if he kept his eyes upon יהוה then he would be delivered from any and all trouble! Keeping your eyes upon יהוה does not eliminate distress and troublesome times and we clearly see this in the words of Dawiḏ as he cries out for יהוה to deliver him out of all his distresses, distresses that had gotten too much for his heart to bear! How many times have you felt so overwhelmed by difficult times that you do not know which way to turn! Do not think for a moment that יהוה has forsaken you, for He does not forsake His Bride but rather calls her to take courage and overcome as He leads, teaches and guides us in His Way!

Amidst this entire desperate cry for help in distress Dawiḏ says, ‘let integrity and straightness guard me for I have waited for You!’

In declaring that he has waited on יהוה shows his commitment to meditating and studying the Torah of Elohim and walking according to it and recognises that this can only be done properly through a walk that is marked by integrity and straightness, showing us that there must never be any room for compromise, despite how difficult times may be!

The Hebrew word used here for ‘integrity’ is תֹּם tom – Strong’s H8537 and carries the meaning ofcompleteness, prosperity, perfect integrity. It is also translated in Scripture as ‘blamelessly’, and יהוה is a shield to those who walk blamelessly and keep the soil of their hearts good!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:7And He treasures up stability for the straight, a shield to those walking blamelessly

We take note of the words of Dawiḏ in:

Tehillah/Psalm 26:1 “Rule me rightly, O יהוה, for I have walked in my integrity. And I have trusted in יהוה, without wavering.

In the first verse of this Psalm Dawiḏ says, “… I have walked in my integrity…”, and the term ‘walked in my integrity’ in the Hebrew is written as בְּתֻמִּי הָלַכְתִּיb’thumiy halaḵtiy The root word translated here as ‘walked’ is הָלַךְ halaḵ – Strong’s H1980, meaning, ‘to walk, to go, to live, manner of life, cause to live, manner of life (figuratively)’ and literally speaks of how one lives. It is used as a verb indicating that it is an active expression of one’s life. The Hebrew root word translated as ‘integrity’ is תֹּם tom – Strong’s H8537.

In another Tehillah/Psalm Dawiḏ says:

Tehillah/Psalm 41:12 “And I, You uphold me in my integrity, and set me before Your face forever.

Dawiḏ praises יהוה for the fact that יהוהupholds’ him in his integrity! The root word translated as ‘uphold’ is תָּמַךְ tamaḵ - Strong’s H8551 which means, to uphold, retain, hold up, support. יהוה upholds and supports the righteous in their integrity, and this we can be sure of!

There are many other verses I could quote and what I am trying to make clear is the joy of knowing that יהוה upholds the righteous in righteousness and he upholds us when we faithfully walk in our integrity!

The Hebrew word for ‘integrity, as I have already mentioned, is תֹּם tom – Strong’s H8537, and this comes from the primitive root word תָּמַם tamam – Strong’s H8552 meaning, to be complete, to be finished, be at an end, blameless.

The plural of תֹּם tom – Strong’s H8537 is a word we all should know… and that is the word תֻּמִּים Tummim – Strong’s H8550 which means perfections, from which we get the word תָּמִים tamiym – Strong’s H8549 meaning, complete, whole, sound, perfect, without blemish, blameless’. The Urim and the Tummim were to be placed into the breastplate of the high priest and be on his heart when he went in before יהוה.

אוּרִים Urim – Strong’s H224 means ‘lights, illuminations’, and is the plural of אוּר ur – Strong’s H217 which actually means, a flame, fire, fires, lightor light of fire.

While there is no evidence to clearly tell us what the Urim and Tummim consisted of, be it stones or any other substance, what we can see is that the High Priest would use these in order to get right-ruling and so speaks of seeking the perfect truth from יהוה. What is very interesting and worthy of noting is that the first letter of ‘Urim’ is the א ‘aleph’ and the first letter of Tummim is the ת ‘taw’:

Ḥazon/Revelation 1:8I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, beginning and end,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

What are the urim and tummim? They are the things that illuminate and perfect – it represents ‘The Perfect Light’. We know that יהושע is the Light and He was the Perfect Lamb, and so this represents for us our need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be perfect before Elohim, for He is perfect and we are called to be the salt and light, which we can only be when we seek out His Right-Ruling and walk according to that which is to be upon our heart – His Torah (notice the positioning of the Urim and Tummim in the breastplate – by the heart!!!)

What Dawiḏ was basically declaring here is that he walked in the perfect light! How complete are you? How is your walk, or better put, your manner and way of life? We are called to be perfect as He is perfect! How is your integrity?

Integrity and straightness!

The Hebrew word that is translate as ‘straightness comes from the root word ישֶׁר yosher – Strong’s H3476 meaning, straightness, uprightness, correctly, honesty and comes from the primitive root verb יָשַׁר Yashar – Strong’s H3474 meaning, straight, right, pleasing, be level, upright, just and lawful.

The poetic term ‘Yeshurun’ – which means ‘upright one’ is used as a symbolic term of all 12 Tribes of Yisra’ĕl serving together in unity! יְשֻׁרוּן Yeshurun – Strong’s H3484 comes from the word יָשַׁר yashar – Strong’s H3474 which means, straight, right, pleasing, be level, upright, just and lawfull.

This is what יהוה has chosen Yisra’ĕl (His called out Bride) for - to be straight and upright and walk in His Torah, shining the Light of His Besorah (Good News) amidst a crooked world. The upright ones who walk in straightness fear יהוה!

In this psalm of praise for difficult times we take note that Dawiḏ recognises the power of one’s sinful instincts of the flesh and understands that without Elohim he would be unable to withstand temptations, trials and distress and therefore highlights how vitally important it is for us to keep our eyes fixed on יהוה, for when we do so we can have the full assurance and confident trust in Elohim, knowing that He will lead us out of all distresses and any traps of temptation and trouble!

This Tehillah/Psalm 25 expresses more than just the hope that we have in יהוה’s deliverance and forgiveness of our sins and transgressions, as it also highlights for us how we are to continually seek יהוה in order that He may lead us in His prescribed set-apart path of righteousness. This is a powerful psalm of praise in difficult times as it is a psalm of praise unto יהוה for His protection and forgiveness as well as the trust that we are to continually have in Him!

As we consider the many powerful expressions of praise that is being boldly proclaimed here in this acrostic poem amidst difficult times, how does your praise life measure up in comparison to Dawiḏ’s, which has been given to us as an example to learn from!

Perhaps you have been or currently are facing difficult time and have found it extremely hard to get your eyes focused on יהוה and His Truth. If that is so then take great courage from the words of this Tehillah and be urgent in your proper praise, trust and waiting on יהוה, seeking Him with your all and giving Him your all as you too get equipped to bring to יהוה:

A PSALM OF PRAISE IN DIFFICULT TIMES!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to and give you shalom!