ELIMINATE DOUBTS BY LOVING THE TORAH - PSALM 119:113-120

19th of the 5th month 2018/2019

Shalom all,

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:5-8If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Elohim, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it shall be given to him. 6 But he should ask in belief, not doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man should not think that he shall receive whatever from the Master – 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

The dangers of doubting thoughts are made very clear here in Ya’aqoḇ’s letter! They will cause one to be double-minded and unstable in all one’s ways!!! That is not a good thing at all! Being unstable in all your ways is not a good state to be in, for there can never true peace and contentment in the Master as doubts will cause fear, panic, stress and anxiety, which also causes severe confusion and a lack of trust in the Truth of the Word!

One who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. This picture helps us understand the instability of a doubting mind as it is simply driven by the wind and is unable to stabilise its own path.

Sha’ul reminds tells us in his letter to the believers in Ephesos that our Master appointed clear functional positions in His body in order to equip His body to maturity, so that they are not tossed about by every wind of teaching and trickery of men:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:11-16 “And He Himself gave some as emissaries, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as shepherds and teachers 12 for the perfecting of the set-apart ones, to the work of service to a building up of the body of the Messiah, 13 until we all come to the unity of the belief and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the completeness of Messiah, 14 so that we should no longer be children, tossed and borne about by every wind of teaching, by the trickery of men, in cleverness, unto the craftiness of leading astray, 15 but, maintaining the truth in love, we grow up in all respects into Him who is the head, Messiah, 16 from whom the entire body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the working by which each part does its share, causes growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

The severe danger of being tossed about by every wind of teaching is very real in these last days, especially as most prefer to seek out those who will simply tickle the ear with twisted falsehood and he encourages Timotiyos to proclaim the Word and be urgent in doing so, being ready to convict, warn and appeal with patience and teaching of the Word!

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:2-4 Proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Convict, warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching. 3 For there shall be a time when they shall not bear sound teaching, but according to their own desires, they shall heap up for themselves teachers tickling the ear, 4 and they shall indeed turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths.

For there shall be a time…. Well, we do not have to look to far to recognise that this time that Sha’ul spoke about is certainly upon us! So many ear tickling messages that go against the proper sound teaching of the Torah of Elohim has led so many people turning their ears away from the Truth and are being turned aside to myths that simply tickle one’s ear in order to justify their fleshly desires in order to appease the doubts that arise when the pressures of this world begin to be felt!

Those who get gripped with doubts are those who can be likened to the seed that is sown on the wayside, as they do not understand the word of the reign and allow the enemy to come and snatch away that which was sown in their heart! Doubting thoughts and double mindedness leaves one being unstable in all one’s ways and therefore can never properly take a secure stand in the belief!

This picture of instability and doubting minds is one that can clearly be evidenced in these last days, with so many people being blown back and forward with all sorts of trickery teachings of falsehood!

There is a solution for doubting thoughts! And the solution is very clear: Love for the Torah!!!

In order to stand firm and not be rocked or tossed by every wind of teaching and trickery of evil men, we need to put on the armour of Elohim and stand, and after having done all…still stand – stand firm on the Rock of our deliverance as we put on the armour of light and delight in the Torah of Elohim!

In a message called, ELIMINATE DOUBTS BY LOVING THE TORAH! I would like to take a look at a section from Tehillah/Psalm 119. It is believed by most scholars that this Tehillah/Psalm 119 was written by Ezra the scribe, at the time of their return to Yerushalayim and the rebuilding of the Temple, and this entire Tehillah praises יהוה for His Torah and expresses a deepened love for the Torah that protects, sustains, guides, equips and nourishes us as we love it and walk according to it!

Tehillah/Psalm 119 is a beautifully constructed masterpiece that truly expresses the psalmists love for the Torah of יהוה. It is divided into twenty-two parts or stanzas, denoted by the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Each stanza contains eight verses, and the first Hebrew letter of each verse corresponds to that which gives name to the stanza. It is also worth noting that in every one of the 176 verses of this Tehillah, Elohim is either addressed or referred to.

For the purposes of this message I will be going through the second stanza or section that consists of 8 verses from verse 113-120, all beginning with the Hebrew letter ‘samek’ – ס – and the ancient pictographic script has this letter ס (Samek) pictured as , 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 and every doubting thought!

This stanza or section under the letter ‘samek’ is as follows in the Hebrew text:

 psalm 119v113-120

 

As you will see, I have highlighted the letter ס – that begins each verse/line of this section or stanza.

In this section of 8 verses, the psalmist denounces his enemies and all forms of doubt, expresses a true love for the Torah of Elohim and prays to יהוה for help.

True Love for יהוה is expressed in our loving obedience to His Torah and commands, as we naturally tend to do that which we love to do rather than that which we hate!

As we know in Scripture, we are told in:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3For this is love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy.

Yoḥanan Bět/2 John:6And this is the love, that we walk according to His commands.

Our love for יהוה is expressed in our obedience to His commands – to His Torah! So now understanding that, do you think you can we truly say, based on your actions that ought to correspond with our confession of faith, that you love His Torah? Or do you find yourself entertaining doubting thoughts that end up diminishing a proper love for the Torah!

 

Tehillah/Psalm 119 is a beautifully constructed masterpiece that truly expresses the psalmists love for the Torah of יהוה. In this Tehillah/Psalm we see various words that are repeatedly used, in reference to the instructions, decrees, words and ordinances etc. of יהוה.

Throughout the entire Tehillah/Psalm 119 there is, in every verse, one of the following expressions; except for one verse and that is verse 122; and these ten expressions correspond to, or rather point us to, ‘The 10 Words’ of Elohim; or as we know it as the Ten Commandments:

So, let us take a brief look at these ‘10 words of Tehillah/Psalm 119’ before digging a little deeper into the section from 113-120:

1 - תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 which means, utterance’, ‘teaching’, ‘instruction’ or ‘revelation’ from Elohim. Other definitions include: ‘information that is imparted to a student; direction; body of prophetic teaching; instruction on Messianic Age; body of priestly direction, and comes from the primitive root verb יָרָה yarah – Strong’s H3384 meaning, to shoot, throw, instruct, direct, teach, which therefore can give us the understanding of ‘Torah’ to mean the following:

TO AIM OR POINT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION and MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION

The Torah gives us our ‘direction’ and bearings as we sojourn here, looking forward to the sure and promised hope of the return of our King and Teacher of Righteousness! This word occurs 219 times in 213 verses in the Tanak (O.T.)

Here in Tehillah/Psalm 119 it is used 25 times and refers to the whole body of Scriptures teaching and instructions as found in the writings of Mosheh. Torah, from its root, means - to aim or point in the right direction and move or shoot in that way. We fix our eyes on יהושע – the Living Torah - and walk in Him!

The word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451 is first used in Berěshith/ Genesis 26:5 (in the plural) and in this Tehillah/Psalm 119 it is used in the following verses:

1, 18, 29, 34, 44, 51, 53, 55, 61, 70, 72, 77, 85, 92, 97, 109, 113, 126, 136, 142, 150, 153, 163, 165, 174.

2 - מִצְוָה mitzvah – Strong’s H4687 which means, ‘commandment, command, obligation, precept’, which comes from the primitive root verb צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 which means, ‘to lay charge (upon), give charge to, command, order, appoint, commission, ordainand hence speaks of the constitutional, or set up, commands and is used 22 times referring to the clear definitive directives issued by יהוה. It is used first in Berěshith/Genesis 26:5 and here in Tehillah/Psalm 119 it is used in the following verses:

6, 10, 19, 21, 32, 35, 47, 48, 60, 66, 73, 86, 96 (sing.), 98, 115, 127, 131, 143, 151, 166, 172, and 176.

 

3 – דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ – Strong’s H1870 which means, way, road, distance, journey and comes from the root word דָּרַךְ daraḵ – Strong’s H1869 which means, to tread or march and so speaks of our walk; our every step that we take.

It is used 13 times in this Tehillah/Psalm 119. First occurrence of this word is in Berěshith/Genesis 3:24 and in this Tehillim/Psalm 119 it us used in the following verses:

1, 3, 5, 14, 26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33, 37, 59, 168.

 

4 – עֵדָה eḏah – Strong’s H5713 which is the feminine of the word for ‘witness’, which is עֵד eyḏ – Strong’s H5707 which means, witness, evidence, testimony, which comes from the root word עוּד uḏ/ooḏ – Strong’s H5749, which means, to return, go about, repeat, do again, encircle, supports. A word that is derived from this root verb and is used to describe the Ark of the ‘witness’, is the noun עֵדוּת eḏuth – Strong’s H5715 which means, testimony, witness, ordinance, warning’. עֵדָה eḏah – Strong’s H5713 occurs 23 times in this Tehillah/Psalm 119.

The first occurrence of this root word is in Berěshith/Genesis 21:30. It occurs in this Tehillim/Psalm 119 twenty-three times; nine times ('eduth), vv. 14, 31, 36, 88, 99, 111, 129, 144, 157; fourteen times ('edah, fem. sing.), vv. 2, 22, 24, 46, 59, 79, 95, 119, 125, 138, 146, 152, 167, 168.

In Shemoth/Exodus 31:18 it speaks of the two tablets or stones of the witness which is the word עֵדוּת eḏuth – Strong’s H5715, speaking clearly of His commandments!

 

5 – פִּקּוּד piqqud – Strong’s H6490 which means, precepts, commandments, statutes, regulationsand refers to mandates that are joined together – precept upon precept! It is used 21 times here in Tehillah/Psalm 119. It occurs only in the Book of Tehillim/Psalms (see 19:8; 103:18; 111:7). In this Tehillah/Psalm 119 it is used in the following verses: 4, 15, 27, 40, 45, 56, 63, 69, 78, 87, 93, 94, 100, 104, 110, 128, 134, 141, 159, 168, and 173.

 

6 – אִמְרָה imrah – Strong’s H565 and means, utterance, speech, command, and this word is predominantly used in Scripture in reference to the Word of יהוה: and is used 19 times here in Tehillah/Psalm 119.First occurrence of this root word is seen in Berěshith/Genesis 4:23, rendered as ‘speech’ and is used in this Tehillah/Psalm 119 in the following verses: 11, 38, 41, 50, 58, 67, 76, 82, 103, 116, 123, 133, 140, 148, 154, 158, 162, 170, 172.

 

7 – מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 – judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 – meaning, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’. The first occurrence of this root word is in Berěshith/Genesis 18:19. It is used 23 times here in Tehillah/Psalm 119, in the following verses:

7, 13, 20, 30, 39, 43, 52, 62, 75, 84, 91, 102, 106, 108, 120, 121, 132, 137, 149, 156, 160, 164, 175.

 

8 – צֶדֶק tseeq – Strong’s H6664, צְדָקָה tseaqah – Strong’s H6666, צַדִּיק tsaddiq –Strong’s H6662 – 3 root words that are used here is this Tehillah/Psalm 119, translated as righteousness and are collectively used 15 times here in this Tehillah/Psalm 119.

By comparing the first occurrence (Wayyiqra/Leviticus. 19:15) with the second (Wayyiqra/Leviticus. 19:36) we get the idea that the word has special reference to equal balancing.

צֶדֶק tseeq – Strong’s H6664 (masculine.) occurs twelve times, and is rendered as "righteousness" : vv. 123, 142 (second), 144, 172; "right", v. 7, 62, 106, 138, 160, 164; "justice", v. 121. 

צְדָקָה tseaqah – Strong’s H6666 (feminine), first occurrence, Berěshith/Genesis 15:6.  In Tehillah/Psalm 119, "righteousness", vv. 40, 142 (first). 

צַדִּיק tsaddiq –Strong’s H6662 (adjective), spoken of a king (Shemuʼěl Bet/2 Samuel 23:3), once, in v. 137. 

 

9 – חֹק ḥoq – Strong’s H2706 meaning, something prescribed or owed, boundary, allotment, portion, ordinance, statute. This word comes from the primitive root חָקַק ḥaqaq – Strong’s H2710 which means, to cut, inscribe, hack, engrave, decree, carve, sceptre, lawgiver. The plural of this word, which is translated as ‘laws’ is חֻקִּים uqqiym, and in essence we get the clear understanding of a oqqim as being ‘laws cut in stone’, which means that they are set and fixed!

It is used 22 times. First occurrence is seen in Berěshith/Genesis 26:5. Here, in Tehillah/Psalm 119 it is used in the following verses: 5, 8, 12, 16, 23, 26, 33, 48, 54, 64, 68, 71, 80, 83, 112, 117, 118, 124, 135, 145, 155, 171.

 

10 – דָּבָר daḇar – Strong’s H1697 meaning, speech, word, commandment, chronicles, message which in its primitive root form - דָּבַר daḇar – Strong’s H1696 means, ‘to speak, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’. First occurrence is seen in Berěshith/Genesis 11:1.

It is used 24 times here in Tehillah/Psalm 119, usually giving reference to the 10 Words spoken at Mount Sinai:

9, 16, 17, 25, 28, 42 (twice), 43, 49, 57 (pl.), 65, 74, 81, 89, 101, 105, 107, 114, 130 (pl.), 139 (pl.), 147, 160, 161, 169.

 

Ok, are you still all with me? A whole lot of Hebrew words at once – crazy I know, but what I am showing you here is, in a nutshell, the wonder and design of this magnificent Tehillah/Psalm 119 which praises יהוה and His Word as this psalmist continually expresses the joy he finds in Scripture and the love he has for the Torah and commands of Elohim!

Having laid a brief setting of the powerful declaration of an ardent love for the Word of Elohim that Tehillah/Psalm 119 expresses, let us take a closer look at the clear remedy for doubt, as we look at the stanza from verses 113-120.

Verse 113: I have hated doubting thoughts, but I have loved Your Torah. 

This section begins with a clear statement that the psalmist has hated doubting thoughts!

The first word that is used in this section is – סֵעֲפִ֥יםse’aphiym which comes from the root word סֵעֵף seeph – Strong’s H5588 which means, divided, half-hearted, double-mindedness

The Hebrew word used here for ‘hate’ is the primitive root word שָׂנֵא sane – Strong’s H8130 which means, to hate, detest, turn against’. The Psalmist is making a very clear statement here, by saying that ‘half-hearted’ attempts he hates and detests! He sets a clear declaration of the only true standard that is acceptable for a true servant of Elohim, which is to love the Torah of Elohim! True ardent love for the Torah will be the remedy for half-hearted, double-minded issues that arise. The Hebrew root word that is translated here as ‘love’ is אֵהָב aha - Strong’s H157 which means, to love, dearly loved, friend, friends, lover’; and an interesting side note is that the numerical value for this word for love is ‘8’ – which speaks of ‘fullness, complete and everlasting’!

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:11 “Beloved ones, if Elohim so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:19-21 “We love Him because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love Elohim,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one not loving his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love Elohim whom he has not seen? 21 And we have this command from Him, that the one loving Elohim should love his brother too.

The Greek word that is used here for ‘love’ here in Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:11, 19-21 is the verb ἀγαπάω agapaō – Strong’s G25 which means, to love, welcome and entertain, be fond of, to be contented at or with a thing. While many may think that they know what love means, Scripture makes it very clear to us what ‘the love for Elohim’ is:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:2-3By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands. 3 For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy

 

The Greek noun that is derived from the root verb ἀγαπάω agapaō – Strong’s G25 is ἀγάπη agape – Strong’s G26 which means, brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence, love feasts, which is translated as ‘love’ in Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3. This noun, ἀγάπη agape – Strong’s G26, is used 9 times in the 13 verses of Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13!!!

The Hebrew equivalent to ἀγάπη agape – Strong’s G26 is the noun אַהֲבָה ahaḇah – Strong’s H160 and comes from the root verb אָהֵב aheḇ – Strong’s H157 meaning. to love, dearly loved, friend, friends, lover.

Qorintiyim Aleph/ 1Corinthians 13 speaks of what love is, and makes it very clear that walking in love is THE MOST EXCELLENT WAY! It is not simply a feeling or an emotion, as love is an action and the goal of the commands is love! Love for Elohim, and love for our neighbours, are what the Torah and Prophets hang upon! Please note that the Torah and the Prophets have not been “hung” and put to death – Elohim forbid – No – they hang on them – so that we are able to properly carry out and uphold His Torah, by walking in the love for Elohim and love for one another through total obedience to what has been written and instructed for us in His Torah and the prophets.

 

We have already looked at the Hebrew word תּוֹרָה torah – Strong’s H8451, but I would like to expand on this word a little, in order to further express how awesome, the Torah of Elohim is and how our love for His Torah equips us to be single-minded and stable as we take our firm stand in Him!

The original language spoken and written by Hebrews is referred to as Ancient Hebrew Script which consisted of an alphabet of pictographic symbols that each rendered its unique meaning, which later developed into the ‘middle script’ or Paleo-Hebrew and then into what is known as ‘Biblical Hebrew’ as we have it available for us today; and though the Hebrew Language went through a number of changes, we are able to discern the original symbols or pictures that were used which actually resembled their meaning.

Each symbol or picture carried a meaning or meanings and when symbols were collectively put together they would spell a word that carried a meaning or clear description.

The word TORAH is a combination of four symbols: (Remember Hebrew is read right to left):

heyreshwawtaw(Ancient Hebrew) and   תּורה (Biblical Hebrew)

taw      = תּ (tav) a picture of ‘crossed sticks’ which means ‘to seal or covenant’ or ‘mark’ or ‘sign

waw        = ו (vav) a “nail” or a “peg” which means ‘to add or secure or hook

resh      = ר (resh) “a head of a man” meaning “a person, the head or the highest” or “first” or “top” or “beginning

hey      = ה (hay) “a man with arms raised” which means “to reveal” or “behold” or “what comes from

 

When we consider these pictographic symbols and their meanings, we can by the word rendered ‘Torah’ see the wonderful work of Messiah, who secures for us the Covenant in His Own Blood that brings the two houses (Yehuḏah and Yisra’ĕl) – two sticks – together!

It could best be rendered in a powerful testimony of the work of Messiah as follows:

Behold the man, Messiah our Head, who by His own Blood renewed the covenant, nailing to the ‘stake’ that which was written against us, and securing the covenant in order that the two sticks can be brought back together in Him, whom we praise

Other definitions based on this word could also render:

What comes from the man nailed to the ‘cross’ or upright pole and

Behold the man who secures the covenant and

To a cross is nailed the highest, it is revealed in Torah

 

Wow – how awesome is this!!! Now – does this sound like a heavy law??? Not at all – this description or definition does not make me think of fines or of a judge or of punishment or even of prison! יהושע tells us that His yoke is easy – His yoke is His Torah (instructions and teaching)!

We are NOT to forsake the Torah!!! We are NOT to cast away His instructions! A clear warning is given to those who do so, while claiming to be part of a covenant people of Elohim!

Tehillah/Psalm 50:16-17 “But to the wrong Elohim said, “What right have you to recite My laws, or take My covenant in your mouth, 17 while you hated instruction and cast My Words behind you?

 

What we can learn from the words of verse 113 here in Tehillah/Psalm 119 is that if we find ourselves entertaining any doubting thoughts then our love for the Torah and the proper direction of our life is being neglected and we may be in danger of falling from our steadfast position in the Master. Hating doubting thoughts implies a clear standard of discarding that which tries to set itself up against the Most-High and His clear standards of righteousness! When we hate the doubting thoughts that the enemy may try to plague us with, we will discard them immediately, and to do so effectively we need to make sure that we run in the way of the commands of Elohim, as we find ourselves delighting in and meditating day and night upon, the Torah of Elohim!

 

Verse 114: You are my hiding place and my shield; I have waited for Your word.

After having declared a love for the Torah of Elohim and a hatred for doubting thoughts, the psalmist makes it clear where his safe place is – and that is in יהוה. The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘hiding place’ is the noun סֵתֶר sether – Strong’s H5643 which means, a covering, hiding place, secrecy, protection, covertly, which comes from the root verb סָתַר sathar – Strong’s H5641 which means, to hide, conceal, cover.

The root verb סָתַר sathar – Strong’s H5641 is also used in:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 29:29The secret matters belong to יהוה our Elohim, but what is revealed belongs to us and to our children forever, to do all the Words of this Torah.

As we do His instructions we learn the secret matters of Elohim and get understanding!

Tehillah/Psalm 25:14 “The secret of יהוה is with those who fear Him, and He makes His covenant known to them.

To true followers/disciples of Messiah the secret matters are revealed, yet to those who do not walk in His commands there will always remain a veil and an inability to truly understand His parables:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:10-11 “And the taught ones came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 And He answering, said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the secrets of the reign of the heavens, but to them it has not been given.

 

The Hebrew word for ‘shieldcomes from the word מָגֵן magen – Strong’s H4043 which means, shield, buckler, defence, and is also understood as representing ‘a wall of protection’.

This kind of shield being spoken of here would often be as large as a door that would cover the whole man or even a door which could also cover the entrance to a cave; and many of the ancient shields were typically made of wood and covered with animal’s skins. When we think of the picture of this kind of shield, we can immediately see this pointing to יהושע Messiah, who is The Door, and in reference to the Tabernacle, we remember that the Set-Apart Place that had coverings of animal skins, we are able to understand that יהוה is our shield and we find our refuge in Him!

With יהוה being the psalmists hiding place and shield, he is basically declaring his ardent love in seeking out the hidden matters of Elohim and finding true security and strength in the Word of Elohim, hence his declaration that he has waited for the Word of Elohim. This is not simply a sitting around waiting for better days, but a proper waiting by seeking!

The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘wait’ is יָהַל yaḥal – Strong’s H3176 which means, to wait, wait expectantly, have hope and implies the hope that is the solid ground of expectation for the righteous.

Tehillah/Psalm 147:11 “יהוה takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who wait for His loving-commitment.

This further highlights the emphasises we are to have in waiting on Elohim! It is not a sitting on your butt and waiting for better days, but is an earnest waiting that seeks Him with our all, listening to His clear and powerful voice that teaches us how to hear and fear and live set-apart lives unto Him, holding firm to the hope we have in the great loving-commitment of Elohim!

When we are properly waiting for the Word of Elohim, then our hearts and minds will be properly focused in seeking His Word and meditating upon His Torah, giving us clarity and discernment, enabling us to hate and destroy doubting thoughts!

 

Verse 115: Turn away from me, you evil-doers, for I observe the commands of my Elohim! 

The enemies of this psalmist are those who have repeatedly tried to keep him from obeying the Torah and commands of Elohim and here he boldly rebukes their attempts at trying to lure him away from that which he loves!

He is basically making a clear statement that he observes the commands of Elohim, therefore there is no room for their evil ways in his life! How may of you can make a bold statement like this? Do not be unevenly yoked, for you are the Dwelling Place of Elohim and bad company can quickly corrupt good character if it is not guarded against!

The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘turn away’ is סוּר sur – Strong’s H5493 which means, turn, turn aside, depart from a way, avoid, be removed from, put away’. This word סוּר sur – Strong’s H5493 is used in Scripture in reference to ‘putting away’ that which we should not be associated with and to put away would be to turn aside from and come out of that which is foreign to the Covenants of Promise.

The Hebrew word translated here in Tehillah/Psalm 119:115 as ‘observe’ comes from the root verb נָצַר natsar – Strong’s H5341 meaning, to keep watch, guard, preserve; and what is worth taking note of is that a derivative of this word is the word נֵצֶר netser – Strong’s H5342 which means, Branch, a sprout, descendant and is used as a reference to Messiah:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:1 “And a Rod shall come forth from the stump of Yishai, and a Sprout from his roots shall bear fruit.

As ‘branches’ of THE VINE, we are ‘watched over’ by יהוה, and equipped to bear much fruit:

Yoḥanan/John 15:4 “Stay in Me, and I stay in you. As the branch is unable to bear fruit of itself, unless it stays in the vine, so neither you, unless you stay in Me.

Being ‘watched over’ must cause us to ‘watch over/observe’ that which we have been entrusted with, and that is His Torah that He has written upon our hearts! The way we are able to faithfully observe/keep watch over the Torah is through a proper understanding of the Torah, which comes in the faithful doing of the Word so that understanding may increase!

Watching over that which we have been entrusted with, will keep us single-minded and on guard against the distractions of the evil-doers!

 

Verse 116: Support me according to Your word, that I might live; and put me not to shame because of my expectation. 

This verse expresses a powerful display of the humility of the psalmist! He has just rebuked the evil doers and declared his observance of the commands of his Elohim and then immediately seeks Elohim for the proper support through His Word! We can learn a great deal from this, as we learn that we are always to seek the proper support of the Word of Elohim and never allow ourselves to get puffed up with knowledge that cannot be properly applied, especially when we take a stand against evil and declare our observance of the commands!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘supportcomes from the root word סָמַךְ samaḵ – Strong’s H5564 which means, to lean, lay, rest, support, uphold, sustain, and can also carry the meaning, to grab hold of.

At this point I think that it is a good idea to remind you that this stanza of 8 verses is that which highlights the true support we have in the sure Word of Elohim! Each line begins with the letter ‘samek’ and helps us be reminded how we are to grab hold of the Word of Elohim and let it be our true support!

It is by the Word of Elohim that we are supported and upheld, that we might live and praise His Mighty Name! We are to ‘grab hold of’ His commands and cling to Him in total trust; in order that we do not fall, and find ourselves leaning on our own understanding!

Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:7-8So, brothers, be patient until the coming of the Master. See, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You too, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Master has drawn near.

In this mini parable Ya’aqoḇ instructs us to have our hearts properly established and strengthened in the Truth in order for us to be steadfast as faithful and trustworthy servants of Elohim!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘establish’ comes from the word στηρίζω stērizō – Strong’s G4741 which means, to make fast, establish, support, fixed, strengthen, and has the understanding, ‘to set fast (your face).

His Word establishes us and as true ambassadors of His coming reign we are therefore called to establish and make firm His Truth in our lives. The Greek word στηρίζω stērizō – Strong’s G4741 comes from the word is ἵστημι histēmi – Strong’s G2476 which means, to make to stand, to stand firm, be established, stand upright, stand ready and prepared, be of a steadfast mind, to uphold and sustain the authority of something, which is translated as ‘established’ in:

Romiyim/Romans 3:31 “Do we then nullify the Torah through the belief? Let it not be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.

An established heart establishes the Torah and guards to do all that our Master has commanded us to! Anyone who neglects to meditate upon and walk in the Torah and so easily casts the instructions of Elohim aside does not have an established heart! Anyone who compromises their called for set-apartness does not establish their hearts and will not be able to properly endure and be patient until the return of our King!

This sobering reality of how many people today have wavering hearts and doubting thoughts is seen in how easily they are falling away from their steadfast position in the Master through compromise and sin when the pressures and battles of life become too hard for them to endure, which happens when the soil of their hearts are not keep good.

 

Our sure expectation in Elohim is firm as long as we grab hold of His Word and cling to Him, allowing His Word to support and establish our hearts and minds in Him, standing steadfast in love for His Torah!

 

Verse 117: Sustain me, that I might be saved, and always look to Your laws. 

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘sustain’ is סָעַד sa’a – Strong’s H5582 which means, to support, sustain, uphold, stay, and is used in speaking of Messiah who establishes and sustains His reign:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6-7 “For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder. And His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His rule and peace there is no end, upon the throne of Dawiḏ and over His reign, to establish it and sustain it with right-ruling and with righteousness from now on, even forever. The ardour of יהוה of hosts does this.

It is our Master who sustains us, and when we are able to recognise and acknowledge that, then our eyes will continually be fixed upon Him, the Prince and perfecter of our belief!

What is important to highlight here is the psalmists desire to guard the Torah of Elohim continually, forever and ever. There is never a thought in his mind that it shall be done away with or become extinct but rather he acknowledges that the Torah of Elohim is forever and is something that is to be guarded continually!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘always’ is the word תָּמִיד tamiyḏ – Strong’s H8548 which means, continuity, all times, always, constantly, regularly, continually, and what is worth taking note of in the instructions regarding the Tabernacle is that the lamp was to burn continually:

Shemoth/Exodus 27:20 “And you, you are to command the children of Yisra’ĕl to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually.

The Word of Elohim – is both a lamp to our feet and a light for our path

Tehillah/Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

The word used here for ‘lamp’ is נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216 meaning, lamp, candle, light. Now a lamp in ancient times would primarily be a vessel with a wick for burning a liquid such as oil in order to produce light; and as one would walk the lamp would typically be carried in one’s hand!

This word for lamp - נֵר ner – is also used in:

Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:29For You are my lamp, O יהוה, and יהוה makes my darkness light.

Shemoth/Exodus 25:37 “And you shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall mount its lamps so that they give light in front of it.

This was part of the instructions given for the construction of the Tabernacle and the lampstand with its seven lamps that were to be in the Set-Part Place giving light over the table of showbread, and this is also a clear pointing to the seven lampstands as seen in Ḥazon/Revelation 2 & 3, and how יהושע walks in the midst of these!

How we keep our lamps ‘burning continually’ is to be a people who are guarding His pure and clear Torah, day and night!

It was the responsibility of the priest to ensure that the fire would not burn out and so one of the most critical roles in the duty of the priests was to make sure that the fire was maintained!

Kěpha Aleph/ 1Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light

We as a chosen and set-apart royal priesthood have a responsibility. And that is to keep alive and burning the flame of His presence within us at all times! We are to guard the flame, be keepers of the flame and maintain the flame – and this takes diligence and discipline in keeping a watchful eye on what we do in our daily lives!

 

You want to keep doubting thoughts away – then you need to keep your lamp burning – and we can do that as long as we keep our eyes upon His Word!!!

 

Verse 118-119: You have made light of all those who stray from Your laws, for falsehood is their deceit. 119 You have made to cease all the wrong of the earth, like dross; therefore I have loved Your witnesses. 

I have grouped these two verses in this exposition of this stanza as they both highlight the fate of the wrong!

Those who stray from the laws of Elohim will cease to exist as they will be the dross that is taken away through the refining fire of His wrath upon the sons of disobedience!

Knowing the fate of the wrong should cause us to love the witnesses of Elohim, for they are sure and stand firm forever!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘stray’ comes from the root word שָׁגָה shagah – Strong’s H7686 which means ‘to go astray, to err, to wander or stray, and to be intoxicated’. Mishlĕ/Proverbs 5:20 tells us that many stray, or are captivated by a strange woman, which is a result of turning away from the truth.

We are constantly warned in Scripture against those who lead astray through falsehood and vain teachings, and how they will even come masquerading as teachers of truth yet they are savage wolves.

What we often need to ask ourselves, when looking intently in to the mirror of the Word and desiring to keep our path clean is, “What am I seeking first?” and “Am I seeking יהוה with all my heart or has my seeking been a half-hearted effort that actually does not produce the proper fruit of righteousness?

In his earnest seeking of יהוה with his all the psalmist asks to be guarded against straying from the commands!

Tehillah/Psalm 119:10 “I have sought You with all my heart; let me not stray from Your commands!

 

Falsehood is the deceit of the wrong!

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘deceit’ here is תַּרְמִית tarmiyth – Strong’s H8649 which means, deceitfulness, deception, delusion and is also derived from the root verb רָמָה ramah – Strong’s H7411

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘falsehood’ comes from the root word שֶׁקֶר sheqer – Strong’s H8267 which means, deception, disappointment, falsehood, lies, and this comes from the root verb שָׁקַר shaqar – Strong’s H8266 which means, to do or deal falsely, lie’.

Ěḵah/Lamentations 2:14Your prophets have seen falsehood and folly for you, and have not shown you your crookedness, to turn back your captivity. But their visions for you are false and misleading messages.

Through the many false and misleading messages of deceit we are able to see how so many have actually begun to teach themselves to speak falsehood; a falsehood that has been so ingrained in them, as we are able to see through the mirror of the example given to us in all of these verses that I have highlighted in regards to deceit!

 

We are to make sure that we are doing the desire of Elohim, which is our set-apartness and in doing so we are to be on guard against the deceit of lawlessness, which is presented with a lot of power, signs and wonders of falsehood!

Tas’loniqim Bět/2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, 10 and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth, in order for them to be saved.

Lawlessness is promoted by the deceit of unrighteousness! What I mean by that is that many are falling prey to the deceit of unrighteousness that promotes that observance of the Torah and commands of Elohim is no longer valid. We know that Scripture clearly defines for us what righteousness is:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.

With righteousness being clearly defined for us as the guarding of the commands we are then able to clearly understand that unrighteousness involves defiance toward the guarding of the commands and therefore promotes lawlessness and is sin!

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:17-19All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death. 18 We know that everyone having been born of Elohim does not sin, but the one having been born of Elohim guards himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are of Elohim, and all the world lies in the wicked one.

When we guard righteousness, we are guarded against the deception of the lawless one!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘unrighteousness’ is ἀδικία adikia – Strong’s G93 which means, unrighteousness, iniquity, wrong, deed violating law and justice and the reason that I am highlighting this here is to point out that ‘unrighteousness’ is ‘sin’, which is the Greek word is ἁμαρτία hamartia – Strong’s G266 which means, sin, failure, miss the mark, to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong, and also carries the meaning of, wandering from the law of Elohim, violate the law of Elohim. I am sure some of you know where I am going with this!

Ok… unrighteousness is sin - ἀδικία adikia is ἁμαρτία hamartia – that is pretty clear!

All unrighteousness is sin!!! But what else does Yoḥanan tell us?

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

Sin is lawlessness!!! The Greek word for ‘lawlessness is ἀνομία anomia – Strong’s G458 meaning, lawlessness or lawless deeds, unrighteousness and comes from the word ἄνομος anomos – Strong’s G459 meaning, lawless or without law, transgressors.

This verse spells it out very plainly for those who seem to miss the fact that to not walk in the Torah is sin! It is as though Yoḥanan was spelling out this fact very bluntly and straightforward for those who struggle with a Greek mind-set and see no need to walk in the Torah – well right here in the Greek it is clear – If you are lawless (that is to walk contrary to the Torah) then you are indeed sinning!

Sin is lawlessness: ἁμαρτία hamartia is ἀνομία anomia!

With this in mind we are able to clearly see that with ‘unrighteousness’ being ‘sin’, that unrighteousness is lawlessness: - ἀδικία adikia is ἀνομία anomia!!!

 

Sha’ul warns us in his letter to the believers in Thessalonica about the deceit of unrighteousness, as already quoted from Tas’loniqim Bět/2 Thessalonians 2:10! In this verse the Greek word that is translated as ‘deceit’ comes from the root word ἀπάτη apatē – Strong’s G539 which means, deceit, delusion, deception and is used 7 times in the Renewed Writings (N.T.). Let us take a look at the other 6 verses:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:22And that sown among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the worry of this age and the deceit of riches choke the word, and it becomes fruitless.

These words form part of the parable of the sower and the seed and warn us against the deceit of riches that choke out the life of the Word. We are also told in:

Luqas/Luke 8:15 “And that which fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with worries, and riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

Bringing fruit to perfection can only happen when we do not allow the worries, riches and pleasure of life to get in the way of our set-apartness in the Master. The worries, riches and pleasures of life can cause many to shrink back, as the Truth is choked out; and this can only happen when the soil of our heats are not being continually tilled and kept free from these deceitful wicked thorns and weeds of doubt that render one fruitless.

Marqos/Mark 4:18-19And others are those sown among thorns, these are they who hear the word, 19 and the worries of this age, and the deceit of riches, and the desires for other matters, entering in, choke the word, and it becomes fruitless.

The Greek word translated as ‘riches’ is πλοῦτος ploutos – Strong’s G4149 which means, to flow or abound in wealth and riches, and comes from the root word πλέω pleō – Strong’s G4126 which means, to sail, sailing, passenger! I find this an interesting picture here, for if your dreams and hopes are set on ‘sailing off into the sunset’ with all your worries taken care of, think again. This mind-set of being so wealthy that you can live the dream life and have no cares or worries is a lie and a fantasy that is not a Scriptural concept for the true set-apart believer, and having this mind-set can be very dangerous in choking out the very Truth that ought to sustain you. The world today is riddled with the luring attraction of finding wealth and happiness; and movies and media play a big role in shaping many minds into thinking what their dream fantasy must look like – this is dangerous and choking, to say the least. With this word also meaning ‘passenger’ we need to take heed that we are not ‘passengers’ here but rather ‘sojourners’. The difference between a passenger and a sojourner is that the passenger thinks that they are the ones to be served and simply seeking to be on a cruise of success, whereas a sojourner realises that he is a foreigner and stranger, and his need to guard the commands of the reign to which he belongs is vital, as his need to serve as an ambassador of that coming kingdom will cost him everything!

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:22that you put off – with regard to your former way of life – the old man, being corrupted according to the desires of the deceit

Put off the former way of life! Put of the desires of the deceit! These words of Sha’ul emphasise for me the clear power that deceit has, especially as we consider the deceit of riches and the desires that many have, in chasing riches that cannot satisfy!

 

Let not the deceit of falsehood lead you astray with the wrong! The way to do this is to receive and hold fast to the love for the Truth and delight yourself in the Torah of Elohim, guarding against the danger of doubting thoughts that the deceit of falsehood attacks weakened hearts and minds!

 

Verse 120: My flesh has trembled for fear of You, and I am in awe of Your right-rulings.

At the end of this section of 8 verses the psalmist expresses a fear and apprehension and declares the awe ad fear that Elohim inspires in him. While this may seem odd, when we see how he expresses a clear fear as opposed to a delight, we take note that a proper fear of Elohim is clearly understood by the psalmist. We are not to take Elohim lightly at His Word, but are to show the proper awe and respect for His Word, by diligently submitting to His Word and obeying Him with our all! What we take note of today is that while many claim to know Elohim, their lack of fear from Him is evident in their compromised lifestyles and their double-mindedness and half-hearted approach at their attempt of obedience!

The psalmist trembles at the Word of Elohim! That is something that is greatly lacking in the body today!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 13:13He who despises the Word is destroyed, but he who fears the command is rewarded.

This parable is very clear – fear the commands and be rewarded with everlasting life or despise the Word and be destroyed! There is a clear contrast drawn between a proper fear of Elohim and a despising of His Word being presented here, along with the reward for each.

The Hebrew word used for ‘despise’ here is בּוּז buz – Strong’s H936 which means, to despise, scorn, hold in contempt, hold as insignificant. From this definition we are able to clearly see how foolish the ‘lawless’ are, for they are those who hold to the lie that claims that the Torah is insignificant and is of no longer use to anyone!!!

To ‘despise’ the Word is to ‘hold as insignificant’ the clear redemptive work of our Master and Elohim, and those who cast aside His Word shall be destroyed!

The Hebrew word used here for ‘destroyed’ is חָבַל ḥabal – Strong’s H2254 which means, to destroy, hurt, ruin, harmed. We take note of the words in Miḵah that tells us that uncleanness destroys:

Miḵah/Micah 2:10 “Arise and go, for this is not your rest, because uncleanness destroys, and the destruction is grievous.

The Hebrew word for ‘uncleanness’ is טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2930 which means, to be or become unclean, defiled, become impure’. To be ‘unclean’ or ‘defiled would render a priest unfit for service as they would be ceremonially unclean and unable to perform the requires set-apart duties of the priesthood. This teaches us a vital lesson on how we are to prefect set-apartness and not become stained with the uncleanness of the world, for it destroys and renders one unfit to serve as a royal priesthood in Messiah!

The Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘uncleanness’ here in Miḵah/Micah 2:10 is ἀκαθαρσία akatharsia – Strong’s G167 which means, uncleanness, impurity – physically and in the moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, extravagant and self-indulgent living; which we are told should not even be named among us:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:3 “But whoring and all uncleanness, or greed of gain, let it not even be named among you, as is proper among set-apart ones

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:7 “For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.

Why I am mentioning this is to simply highlight that to despise the Word of Elohim renders one unclean and unfit to be counted worthy to serve and be a part of a royal and set-apart priesthood, and those who despise His Word will be destroyed!

 

He who fears the command is rewarded!

What Shelomoh is making very clear here in this parable is that the opposite to despising the Word and becoming unclean is to fear the command, with the full assurance of being rewarded with life!

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.

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

יהוה takes pleasure in those who fear Him, and the word used here for ‘pleasure’ is רָצָה ratsah – Strong’s H7521 which means, to be pleased with, accept favourably, delight, take pleasure in’.

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

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:7The 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!

 

The Hebrew root word used here for ‘rewarded’ is שָׁלֵם shalem – Strong’s H7999 which means, ‘to be complete or sound, finished, fully repay, make and end, make full restitution’.

Our reward is in the heavens and is great and it is coming when the Master comes in His esteem. We must be faithful and overcome as we guard His commands!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when they reproach and persecute you, and falsely say every wicked word against you, for My sake. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, because your reward in the heavens is great. For in this way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Ḥazon/Revelation 22:12And see, I am coming speedily, and My reward is with Me, to give to each according to his work.

 

For more on ‘The Fear of יהוה’ please see the notes from a message called, “THOSE FEARING ELOHIM LISTEN!” on our site (Http://atfotc.com) under the ‘sermons 2011/2012’ menu or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/~atfotc/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2011-2012/192-those-fearing-elohim-listen

 

As we consider this powerful section in Tehillah/Psalm 119:113-120, we need to be urgently reminded that we are to grab hold of the Word of Elohim and let His Word be that which leads us, equips us, guides and shields us. We are to make sure that we do not let our love for His Torah grow cold so that we can guard against the subtly attacks of doubting thoughts that creep in, of the helmet of deliverance and the full armour of Elohim is not properly worn!

 

As you take time to meditate further on this stanza, along with the rest of this wonderful Tehillah/Psalm 119, may you be encouraged and equipped to take a firm stand in the Truth, always ready to give an answer for the sure hope you have in our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, and be continually on guard against the threats of doubting thoughts.

Hate doubting thoughts and love the Torah!!!

 

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