18th of the 11th month 2018/2019
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in all circumstances give thanks, for this is the desire of Elohim in Messiah יהושע for you.”
These are pretty clear words that Sha’ul wrote in his letter to the believers in Thessalonica, urging them to make sure that they do not stop rejoicing and giving thanks to Elohim, and make sure that they do so in all circumstances.
These words are words that we too need to take heed of today, especially as we find ourselves in circumstances that may not always be easy to give thanks in!
How many of you have found yourselves being hindered in your ability to rejoice and give thanks, due to horrific circumstances that have drained you of all your energy and consumed your desire to praise as you should?
Are there circumstances, people or things that have made you anxious or afraid, where you have found your belief being diminished, and weakened, amidst the onslaught of wicked circumstances, that have directly affected you or as a result of being affected by the wickedness and depravity of others around you?
What often seems to be a very difficult thing to do, yet is of vital importance that we do it, is to rejoice always and give thanks to Elohim, in all circumstances! Our ability to give thanks and rejoice must not be limited to, or determined by, our current circumstances, whether good or bad!!!
Tehillim/Psalm 105:1-6 “Give thanks to יהוה! Call upon His Name, make known His deeds among the peoples. 2 Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; speak of all His wonders. 3 Make your boast in His set-apart Name; let the hearts rejoice of those seeking יהוה. 4 Seek יהוה and His strength; seek His face always. 5 Remember His wonders which He has done, His miracles, and the right-rulings of His mouth, 6 O seed of Aḇraham His servant, children of Ya‛aqoḇ, His chosen ones!”
In this very powerful Psalm of praise, we see the psalmist calling The Covenant people of Elohim, to give thanks, sing praise and boast in יהוה and let our hearts rejoice as we seek Him always!
Herein lies a vital truth that in our call to rejoice always, we see a need to be giving thanks and singing praise unto Him always too, as we seek Him in all we do, and in all our circumstances!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘make your boast’, here in Tehillah/Psalm 105:3 is הִֽ֭תְהַלְלוּ – hith’hal’lu which comes from the root word הָלַל halal Strong’s H1984 which means, ‘to shine; to be boastful; to be clear; to make a show; to rave; be foolish; to celebrate; praise, cheer, brag or extol, i.e., extol the greatness or excellence of a person, object or event’.
Another word that is derived from this root word is the noun תְּהִלָּה tehillah Strong’s H8416 which means, ‘praise, or a song of praise, psalm, adoration, thanksgiving, an act of general or public praise’ and in terms of thanksgiving it carries the understanding of speaking positive words about the excellence of another!
Therefore, our need to have a continuous thanksgiving unto Elohim, is of extreme importance as we make sure that our words, and actions, relate the excellence of our Elohim, which further highlights the understanding of Sha’ul’s words, in:
Qolasim/Colossians 3:16-17 “Let the Word of Messiah dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing with pleasure in your hearts to the Master in psalms and songs of praise and spiritual songs. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Master יהושע, giving thanks to Elohim the Father through Him.”
The Hebrew word תְּהִלָּה tehillah Strong’s H8416 is possibly the most well-known word, in terms of praise, and what we must take notice of, is that our lives are to shine the light of the Truth as we make our boast in our Master and King, as we celebrate Him in all we do.
Our need to be a people who are making our boast in יהוה continually, must be clearly evident in all we do, whether in word or deed, as we do our utmost to continually shine the Light of the Truth of our Great Elohim, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in!
In other words, as we seek יהוה … always, we must do so, with a rejoicing heart that makes the unceasing boast in His set-apart Name!
How are you doing in that regard?
Tehillim/Psalm 105:4 “Seek יהוה and His strength; seek His face always.”
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘always’ is תָּמִיד tamiyḏ – Strong’s H8548 which means, ‘continuity, all times, always, constantly, regularly, continually’.
This word תָּמִיד tamiyḏ – Strong’s H8548 is frequently used in an adjective construction with the word עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 which carries the meaning of, ‘whole burnt offering, ascent, staircase, stairway’, in reference to the ‘continual burnt offering’ that was to be made at the door of the Tent of Meeting, every morning and evening.
The עֹלָה olah offering represents a giving totally of oneself to יהוה, as we recognise how we are to present your bodies as a living offering!
A living offering that is set-apart and well-pleasing to Elohim, for this is our reasonable worship unto יהוה.
In the Tabernacle and Temple, the lamps were to ‘burn continually’, and so too do we recognise, as we walk in the Master and uphold His Torah, that we are to keep shining the Light of His Truth! And this we are to do continually! This is a clear picture for us in the command to keep our lamps burning continually:
Tehillim/Psalm 119:44 “That I might guard Your Torah continually, forever and ever”
How we keep our lamps burning continually, is to be a people who are guarding His pure and clear Torah, day and night!
Guarding His commands and keeping our lamps burning is vital, but, more importantly, it is how we are doing this that reflects whether the light that we are shining is a pure and undefiled light, or not!
Simply ‘going through motions’, so to speak, just because you know you have to, is not enough!
Our obedience must be reflective of the joy that we have in our Master and King, and our proper boasting in His Name must be ever present, shining bright, even in the midst of the darkest trials!
It is easy to be boasting in יהוה when all seems well, but how about when the battles that you are facing are agonizingly tough and seemingly unbearable – can you still boast in יהוה and shine the joy of His sure Truth amidst the darkest times?
Are you able to boast in Him, when it feels like you are drowning under the chaotic sea of despair, or when you are facing the fiery heat of intense pressures and trials?
As a beloved servant you should! The question is – Are you?
In a message called, ‘BLESS YAHWEH AT ALL TIMES’, I would like us to learn some valuable lessons, in making sure that we are being a people who are able to continually make our boast in, and bless our Master and Elohim – at all times!!!
To do that I would like to expand on a wonderful Tehillah/Psalm of Dawiḏ that embraces the clear message of always blessing our Master, no matter what we are facing or going through!
That Tehillah is Tehillah/Psalm 34 – please read!
The title of this Tehillah/Psalm 34 is:
“Of Dawiḏ, when he changed his behaviour, before Aḇimeleḵ; who drove him away, and he departed.”
I think that the title of this Tehillah is very important for us, in helping us understanding the historical setting of this most powerful Tehillah/Psalm of praise. Before looking a little closer at this great psalm of a committed continual praise unto יהוה, let me first set the scene in regards to the accounts that led up to this point in Dawiḏ’s life.
The name of דָּוִד Dawiḏ – Strong’s H1732 means, ‘beloved’, and therefore, what we have here is a Tehillah/Psalm of the beloved! We all, as beloved servants of the Most-High, ought to be able to bless יהוה, and make our boast in Him, at all times, no matter what we are facing!
Dawiḏ had experienced some very great deliverances, and we are often able to recognise how experiencing deliverance produces thanksgiving and the urgent zeal to call and teach others to do the same!
Tehillim/Psalm 34 is one of 8 Tehillim/Psalms that are assigned to the time of Dawiḏ’s intense persecution that he was facing, under the wicked king Sha’ul who sought to kill him.
Let me briefly mention the headings of the other 7 Tehillim/Psalms that are attributed to the times of intense persecution that Dawiḏ faced from Sha’ul:
Tehillim/Psalm 7:1 “Shiggayon of Dawiḏ, which he sang unto יהוה, concerning the words of Kush the Binyamite.”
The Hebrew word שִׁגָּיוֹן Shiggayon – Strong’s H7692 is an uncertain term, yet this word has been described as being a musical term that means, ‘a wild passionate song with rapid changes of rhythm’, and this was written concerning the words of Kush the Binyamite, which is a clear reference to Sha’ul, the son of Kush, who repeatedly cursed Dawiḏ.
Tehillim/Psalm 52:1 “To the chief musician, maskil, A Psalm of Dawiḏ, when Do’eg the Eḏomite came and told Sha’ul, and said unto him, Dawiḏ is come to the house of Aḥimeleḵ.”
The Hebrew term – מַשְׂכִּיל maskil – Strong’s H4905 means, ‘a song or poem of contemplation’
Tehillim/Psalm 54:1 “To the chief musician on neginoth, maskil, a Psalm of Dawiḏ, when the Ziphim came and said to Sha’ul, does not Dawiḏ hide himself with us?”
The Hebrew term נְגִינַת neginath – Strong’s H5058 means, ‘music, songs, instruments’, and comes from נָגַן nagan – Strong’s H5059 – which is a word that is used 15 times in Scripture and has the meaning, ‘to touch or play a stringed instrument, minstrel, pluck the strings’:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 38:20 “יהוה, come to save me! And let us sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our life in the House of יהוה.”
Making and singing songs to stringed instruments is a great expression of boastfully praising in יהוה, and blessing Him!
Tehillim/Psalm 56:1 “To the chief musician upon Yonath elem reḥoqiym, miḵtam of Dawiḏ, when the Philistines took him in Gath.”
The Hebrew word מִכְתָּם Miḵtam – Strong’s H4387 is a technical term that is used in 6 of the Tehillim/Psalms, and are all linked with Dawiḏ – Tehillim/Psalm 16, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60.
This technical term is connected only to these 6 Tehillim/Psalms of Dawiḏ, which meaning is uncertain, and is thought to come from an ancient Akkadian word katāmu, which means, ‘to cover’, and could therefore render the meaning of, ‘a song of covering’, or ‘a song of atonement’.
While there may be some dispute over the meaning of this technical term, what we can see is that this term is likened to poems of confidence, written by Dawiḏ, whilst under immense danger and pressures from his enemies!
The Hebrew phrase יוֹנַת אֵלֶם רְחֹקִים Yonath elem reḥoqiym – Strong’s H3128 means, ‘the silent dove of far off places’, and while the meaning of this technical term has been debated over, in terms of its meaning, we are able to identify with the picture of Dawiḏ’s complete trust, in having the assurance of יהוה’s presence, giving him the ability to praise יהוה, even when he was far from his home!
Tehillim/Psalm 57:1 “To the chief musician, altashḥeyth, miḵtam of Dawiḏ, when he fled from Sha’ul in the cave.”
The Hebrew term אַל־תַּשְׁחֵת al-tashḥeyth – Strong’s H516 is a phrase that is used in the title of 4 Tehillim/Psalms (57, 58, 59, 75) and has the meaning, ‘do not destroy’.
Tehillim/Psalm 59:1 “To the chief musician, altashḥeyth, miḵtam of Dawiḏ; when Sha’ul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.”
Tehillim/Psalm 142:1 “Maskil of Dawiḏ; a Prayer when he was in the cave.”
The reason for mentioning the titles of these Tehillim/Psalms of Dawiḏ, is to simply show how Dawiḏ endured under intense persecution, and that he never stopped seeking יהוה, and he never stopped making his requests with thanksgiving, and he never stopped making his boast in יהוה, and he never stopped blessing יהוה!
These were just some, among many, of the great Tehillim/Psalms that Dawiḏ composed on the very weary way of suffering under the hand of Sha’ul, as he endured from Giḇʽah of Sha’ul to Tsiqlaḡ.
After having served in the palace of Sha’ul for 7 years, Dawiḏ fled from Sha’ul and was hunted by Sha’ul for 4 years; and after 4 years of being hunted he came to Tsiqlaḡ and stayed there for 4 years until Sha’ul died. During this time the Ark of the Covenant was at Qiryath Yeʽarim.
Let us take a quick recap of where the Ark of the Covenant had gone.
The Tent of Meeting had been in Noḇ, the city of the priests, for just under 80 years, after it having been moved from Shiloh, which was destroyed by the Philistines, after Eli and his two sons, Ḥophni and Pineḥas had died on the same day.
The Ark, however, was not with the Tent of Meeting, as it was captured by the Philistines and went on a 7-month journey through the Philistines cities, after which they had sent it back on a wagon to Běyth Shemesh.
At Běyth Shemesh some of the Yisra’ĕlites looked into the Ark of the Covenant and died and they sent it to Qiryath Yeʽarim, where it remained for over 90 years.
It was from here that Dawiḏ went to fetch the Ark and after the priests made a new wagon, Uzzah was struck dead when he touched the Ark, when the wagon hit a bump in the road.
The Ark was then placed in the house of Obeḏ–Eḏom for 3 months, after which Dawiḏ came to fetch it and carry it back to Yerushalayim as it should have been.
I wanted to mention this briefly, to simply put these events into historical perspective, as we recognise that the Ark of Elohim was not with the Tent of Meeting during the reign of Sha’ul.
The priesthood was performing their function and duties in the Tent while it was at Noḇ; and it was here that Dawiḏ came and got the sword of Golyath and he and his men ate of the showbread that was given to them by Aḥimeleḵ the priest.
Sha’ul was informed of this and he went and slaughtered the entire city of priests, even the women and children, and the oxen, donkeys and sheep. After Sha’ul killed the priests, the Tent of Meeting did not function, as there was no high priest and priesthood to serve, until after Sha’ul died.
The only survivor of Sha’ul’s slaughtering of Noḇ, was Eḇyathar the son of Aḥimeleḵ, who had escaped and reported to Dawiḏ what Sha’ul had done, and he remained with Dawiḏ until Sha’ul died.
After being hunted for 4 years, Dawiḏ came to Gath of the Philistines and dwelt with Aḵish, the king of Gath, who then gave Dawiḏ the city of Tsiqlaḡ.
There is much we can glean from studying the historical events that are given to us of Dawiḏ’s travels from Giḇʽah to Tsiqlaḡ, before he would return and be set up as king and rebuild the Tabernacle!
Giḇʽah was Sha’ul’s home town, a Binyamite city that has a frightening history on its own.
Giḇʽah has also been known as being referred to as ‘the second Seḏom’, a wicked place where sodomy was practiced!
It was at Giḇʽah that we also read of being the city that the Lĕwite priest’s concubine was raped and murdered, as recorded in Shophetim/Judges 19.
This city was known for its wicked acts of sexual perversion and cruelty; and after the Lěwites concubine was killed, he cut her up into 12 pieces and distributed her body parts throughout Yisra’ĕl. This ripped right through the heart of Yisra’ĕl, as such an act had never been seen in all their borders, and after investigation, the entire tribe of Binyamin was almost wiped out completely.
This was Sha’ul’s home town!
And it is from here that Dawiḏ fled from this wicked king and was hunted like a dog for 4 years.
In the midst of being hunted, Dawiḏ never lost his trust and hope in יהוה, and we are able to clearly see from many of His songs of praise, that he understood the necessity of guarding his ability to make his boast in יהוה, and forever have the praise of Elohim in his mouth!
When Dawiḏ came to Gath and came before Aḵish, the servants of Aḵish tried to accuse Dawiḏ of being a huge threat to Aḵish, and he acted like a madman before Aḵish, who then sent him out, and Dawiḏ fled to the cave of Aḏullam, where his family had joined him and many who were in distress, in debt and bitter, under the wicked reign of Sha’ul was gathered to Dawiḏ. After some time Dawiḏ returned to Aḵish and Aḵish gave him Tsiqlaḡ, were he dwelt until Sha’ul died.
This Tehillim/Psalm 34 was composed during the 4 years that Dawiḏ was being violently hunted by Sha’ul, and after the first time that he had come before Aḵish and pretended to be mad!
I do hope that I have helped you gain a better setting for this Tehillim/Psalm of Dawiḏ, for it is with a better understanding of a brief overview of this setting, that this Tehillim/Psalm can carry some vital lessons for us, in how our praise and boast in our Mighty and Wonderful Elohim, יהוה of Hosts, should be ever present, even in the midst of being hunted down by the enemy! We therefore need to learn how we are to bless יהוה at all times!
He begins this Tehillah by clearly expressing that he blesses יהוה at all times and that praise for יהוה is continually in his mouth!
How are you at this? Do you bless יהוה at all times, and is His praise continually in your mouth?
Or do you find yourself doubting and questioning the One you should be boasting in, especially when you find yourself in a very tough spot?
The Hebrew phrase ‘at all times’ is written as בְּכָל־עֵת ‘beḵal-eyth’: the letter ‘בְּ’ renders the preposition ‘at’ and the term for ‘all’ comes from the word כֹּל kol – Strong’s H3606 meaning, ‘whole, all, entire, every, continually’, and the Hebrew word for ‘times’ is עֵת eth – Strong’s H6256 which means, ‘seasons, time, appointed times, circumstances, always’.
A clear lesson for us here, is that we cannot use difficult and trying circumstances as an excuse to not be making our boast in יהוה, and not let tough times be an excuse to not be blessing Him and praising Him at all times!
In our ability to boast – that is to shine, we also recognise that this also implies our readiness to speak up and proclaim the Truth, no matter the season or circumstances!
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:2 “Proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove, warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching.”
Is praise for יהוה continually in your mouth? By that I mean… are you always ready to give Him praise and bless His Name, no matter what you are going through?
In his boast, we see in verse 2 that Dawiḏ cries out for the humble to hear and be glad!
We are to make known our boasting in, and blessing of, יהוה in the assembly, and in the hearing of our boasting, blessing and praise of His Name, we are to stir up others, and call them to join our praise, so that we can exult the Name of יהוה together!
This call for the humble to hear and be glad is a call to rejoicing praise, as the Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘glad’ comes from the root word שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’, and can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound!
A derivative of this word שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 is שָׂמֵחַ ‘sameaḥ’- Strong’s H8056 and carries the same meaning as well as implying ‘to be merry’.
Both of these words are used in the command to rejoice in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:14-15 in reference to Sukkot – the feast of rejoicing!
Tehillah/Psalm 97:12 “Rejoice in יהוה, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His Set-apartness.”
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in יהוה always, again I say, rejoice!”
This command to rejoice is very important, as we need to realise that we are to also make sure that everyone else is rejoicing too – everyone must participate in rejoicing before יהוה.
If a person is not joyful then they should not be where the rejoicing is, lest he causes others to stumble!!!
With Dawiḏ calling for the humble to hear and be glad, we recognise the powerful lesson of how important it is for us to praise יהוה together, especially when facing challenging times!
In the ancient pictographic script, these words שָׂמַח ‘samaḥ’ – Strong’s H8055 and שָׂמֵחַ ‘sameaḥ’- Strong’s H8056 look like this:
Shin – שָׂ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth, as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food. This can give us the meaning of WORD or Words.
Mem – מַ:
The ancient script has this letter as 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. This also carries for us the picture of washing, as we understand the function of water being that which cleanses us and sustains us, showing us how we are washed and sustained by the Living Waters of the Word! This letter also can represent any liquid, especially blood!
Ḥet – ח:
The ancient script has this letter as 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, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!
When looking at this word in its pictographic form, in terms of our command to rejoice, we are able to see why we are able to rejoice as we recognise the following:
THE WORD THAT WASHES US HAS SEPARATED US AND SECURED US!
This is a clear reason to rejoice, for as long as we allow the Word to wash us and keep us clean, we are able to confidently make our boast in Elohim, whom we praise and rejoice in, as we are built up as living stones in the Master; living stones that offer up lives as a daily living offering with rejoicing praise!
A life of praise is not a dull thing!
Does your life reflect the joy of the light of the presence of our King?
Do you shine His truth and ‘brighten up’ any company you find yourself in as you rejoice before Elohim?
As children of light, do you shine with jubilant praise?
Do people know who you serve and praise or is your light hidden most of the time?
A true life of praise does not hide the joy and delight that we are to have in serving, following and praising our Master and Elohim – especially when going through very trying and harsh circumstances!
In verse3 we learn that we should not be doing this alone!
Dawiḏ calls for the humble to make יהוה great with him.
Herein lies a vital key of fellowship and the ability to boastfully make the praise of יהוה, our Mighty Elohim, great and awesome together!
We are to stir each other up, as we bless and make a boastful praise of our King, and we need each other to do so – hence recognising the power of our collective praise! It is with thanksgiving that we enter His gates and with praise that we enter His courts – and here, we see how our collective gathering on the Shabbat and Feasts with the entrance of song and praise, causes us to enter into His presence to receive His righteous and just right-rulings, guidance and equipping for our walk as faithful ambassadors of His coming reign!
Neglecting fellowship can hinder one’s ability to seek יהוה as we should, and in doing so we may find that we experience no deliverance from our fears!
Many who neglect to gather, and celebrate with boastful and joyous praise of our Great King, often lack the ability to overcome the doubts, worries and cares of this life, and so, I encourage you all to never stay away from fellowship and the commanded gathering of the set-apart ones, because of trying circumstances.
Taking a time out away from fellowship is not the Scriptural way!
We have been truly blessed in being able to connect with Covenant Family from all over, as we have been able to live stream our Sabbath worship and readings, so that others who may not have the ability to find a fellowship nearby can be connected with us and fellowship together with us, either live or later, due to various time differences
The point I am trying to make is that we are to connect with the Body of Messiah and let fellowship grow through sharing and blessing the Name of יהוה together on a daily basis!
And with technology that we have available today, this has been made possible, regardless of distance!
The call to make יהוה great together is very important in our ability to stand and fight the Good fight of the belief and overcome, as we stay in the Master, armed in His Torah! I do, on a very regular basis, make יהוה great, together with very close Covenant family that is extremely far away, via WhatsApp chats, video calls, skype and emails, and this ability to do so is often a huge encouragement that is needed to keep blessing יהוה at all times!
The point I am trying to get across is that fellowship is of vital importance, as the need to bless יהוה and make great His Name together with others being clear when understanding the power of encouraging others, and being encouraged, during difficult times.
In verse 4 Dawiḏ declares that in His seeking of יהוה, he was heard and delivered from all his fears!
In this great Tehillah of praise for יהוה, Dawiḏ makes it clear that he blesses יהוה at all times, calls others to join him in this blessing and boasting of יהוה, and then reiterates why they should do so, as he gives a first-hand witness of how he had sought יהוה and was heard and delivered from all his fears! In essence he is telling others the reason that they can join him in his call to bless YHWH, and make His Name great together, is because of the fact that יהוה hears the prayers of the righteous and beloved set-apart Bride!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘sought’ comes from the root word דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 which means, ‘to resort to, seek out, ask, avenge, consult, investigate, search carefully, make inquiry, question’.
This word דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 carries more meaning than just simply taking a quick peek, as it actually emphasises the need for us to be digging deep, in seeking out carefully and with great diligence, through consultation, and asking.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the reign of Elohim, and His righteousness, and all these matters shall be added to you.”
When we are told to ‘seek’ first the Kingdom! To seek His Kingdom requires hard work and discipline every day.
A word that is derived from דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 is מִדְרָשׁ miḏrash – Strong’s H4097 means, ‘a study, record, writings or story, commentary’.
A מִדְרָשׁ miḏrash – Strong’s H4097 speaks of the ability to search out something and it often refers to that which is written to teach, and this term later became known as a Hebrew word relating to the in-depth study of the word, which was often done together with others. The point is that we are to be a people who are earnestly growing in wisdom and understanding of the Scriptures so we can remember what we look like when we look intently into the mirror of His Word!
We take note of the words that Shelomoh was clearly told by Dawiḏ when he was to become king:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 28:9 “As for you, my son Shelomoh, know the Elohim of your father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a pleasing life, for יהוה searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you do seek Him, He is found by you; but if you forsake Him, He rejects you forever.”
This Hebrew word דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 can also carry the understanding of seeking out and learning information that was not previously known and it implies having a relationship!
By that I mean that the information that is sought out is done so through proper requests and petitions and the information sought out is then carefully pondered upon and thought about, with a focus to think seriously and long about its meaning and ramifications that are expressed. In other words, this kind of seeking can only be done with the proper attention and concentration that is required to grasp and meditate on in order to apply what is sought after and learnt!
This word דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 is a verb that expresses an action of a careful attention and due diligence that is required in order to gain the knowledge sought after.
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 which means, ‘to resort to, seek out, ask, avenge, consult, investigate, search carefully, make inquiry, question’, looks like this:
Dalet – דָּ:
In the ancient script this letter is pictured as , which is 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. We also recognise that יהושע Messiah is The Door, and whoever enters through Him, shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture.
The commands are also commanded to be put on our doorposts as a continual reminder that we are to guard His commands, as we go out and come in, submitting under the authority of The Door, through which we have been given access to being built up as a spiritual House for Elohim.
Resh – רַ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief. Our true life of praise unto יהוה, our Head, begins when we fear Him, for He is the beginning of our strength, and true separated praise entails a true fear of the One who is Chief over us!
Shin – שׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Looking at these pictographic letters that make up the root word דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 we can, in terms of the command to seek יהוה and His strength, recognise that we are to come to The Door of the Head and ‘eat’ the Word, so to speak!
AT THE DOOR OF THE HEAD IS THE WORD!
When we gather together as commanded, on the Sabbaths and Appointed Times of Elohim then we are able to come and delight ourselves in Him as we meditate on His Word and Submit to our Head, which is Messiah, guarding to do all He has commanded us to, knowing that our coming in and going out shall be in peace!
Those who are not coming to The Head at The Door of Appointment are not truly seeking The Word!
Those who neglect to guard the Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה are not seeking Him as they should and therefore have not properly heard the command to seek. Hearing they hear but do not understand!
Dawiḏ sought יהוה and יהוה answered him! This emphasises the joy of knowing our Master and Elohim and the intimacy of a relationship that we are to have with Him who hears our prayers and answers us! It is through a proper seeking of יהוה that we get to know Him and are known by Him! As we gather to our Head and seek Him with our all, we learn to hear His clear voice and follow Him in complete obedience to His Word that delivers us!
All who call upon the Name of יהוה shall be delivered!
Calling upon His Name and being delivered from all fears and distresses, implies a relationship covenant bond that is entered into and guarded! We are able to call upon Him, with the full assurance of the covenant relationship and bond that we have in Him, due to the Blood of Messiah that has grafted us in and brought us near!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 15:29 “יהוה is far from the wrong ones, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.”
Many who are refusing to hear the Torah and reject the need to walk according to it are not ‘heard’ by יהוה!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:9 “He who turns away his ear from hearing the Torah, even his prayer is an abomination.”
Why I say that those who turn their ear away from hearing, which implies a doing, of the Torah, are not heard by יהוה, is not that יהוה does not hear what they are praying, for He hears all prayers, but that their prayers are an abomination and therefore are rendered as an unacceptable form of seeking Him!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘delivered’ comes from the root verb נָצַל natsal – Strong’s H5337 meaning, ‘to strip, plunder, deliver oneself, be delivered, snatch away, deliver, recover, escape’.
This is also written in the causative ‘hiphil’ form which can render the meaning, ‘to take away, snatch away, to rescue, recover, to deliver (from enemies or troubles or death), to deliver from sin and guilt’.
Tehillah/Psalm 18:17 “He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those hating me, for they were stronger than I.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘fears’ in Tehillah/Psalm 34:4 comes from the root word מְגוֹרָה megorah – Strong’s H4034 which means, ‘fear, terror, what they dread’, and comes from word מָגוּר magur – Strong’s H4032 which means, ‘fear, terror, panic’, coming from the word that expresses a living, or dwelling, in fear!
Dawiḏ was delivered from all terror and panic and possible threats! What he may have dreaded, and been afraid of, he was delivered from, when seeking יהוה!
There are many today who are literally living in fear, and will soak up every conspiracy theory they can find and be a messenger of doom and gloom! Modern day society has groomed the culture of the world today to live in fear of what may or may not happen to a person. Hence the increase in the marketing of life insurance policies, disability benefits, funeral plans and much more that is sold on the basis of “what if … was to happen to you?”
While I am certainly not speaking out against anyone for having various life policies and plans in place, what I am trying to highlight is that due to a drive of fear these things have become a strong marketing tool in the hand of the wrong.
Much marketing of the sales of many policies today is done on the sole basis of the fear of what may happen to you or not. This is a fairly modern trend for mankind, and what has happened in the process is that many have put their trust in policies and schemes and have neglected to look to the clear Creator, Provider and Sustainer of all life.
Once again this is not a ploy to refute anyone for having any kind of policy.
What I want to highlight, is that nothing should ever be done out of the fear of the unknown, and all actions and decisions, for any true believer, should and must be done from the clear foundation of knowing יהוה and being led by His Word, in every action and decision that is made, hence the need to be seeking Him always, praising Him always, rejoicing Him always and blessing Him always – no matter the threats and fears we may encounter!
Dawiḏ says, in verse 5, ‘they looked to Him and were enlightened’.
Firstly, the plural of ‘they’, speaks of a collection of people, and ‘looking to Him together’, speaks of our gathering with boastful praise! Doing this will not cause disappointment but will rather bring a lightening of the heavy load that you may have been carrying!
Dawiḏ announces the reality of how יהוה hears our cry and he expressed the joy of how he was heard and delivered from his distress! The promise of protection is given to those who fear יהוה, and to fear יהוה entails a complete submission to His Word, putting Him first above all else, despite the pressured lifestyles that are being faced, and the draining deadlines that seem to pressure one into a state of fear and panic! Obedience to His Word, and not neglecting to gather, and praise, as we should, will ensure a promised protection and encampment of His Presence!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘looked’ in verses 5 comes from the primitive root verb נָבַט naḇat – Strong’s H5027 which means, ‘to look, behold, gaze, observe, pay attention’ and it is written here in the ‘hifil’ verb tense, which is the ‘causative’ tense and highlights how ‘they’ were caused to look to יהוה and were lightened!
Dawiḏ’s witness of the deliverance of יהוה caused others to look to יהוה!
Our bold confession and witness of our Master can have a causative effect on others, causing them to look to יהוה too, and being lightened from their fears and pressures, as they take up the light burden and easy yoke of our Master and work out their deliverance with fear and trembling before His face!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘lightened’ comes from the root verb נָהַר nahar – Strong’s H5102 which means, ‘to shine, beam, be radiant’ and also has the meaning of, ‘to flow or stream’.
The image of shining, being radiant and flowing with light, is one that we can identify with, as we consider how our Master tells us that we are the salt and light of the earth and we are to let our light shine! We ‘flow’ or ‘beam’ the light of the Truth when we walk as children of light and guard the Word of Elohim, throwing off all works of darkness!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light”
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:5 “For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.”
Dawiḏ highlights here how those who responded to his witness of יהוה’s deliverance, were caused to look to יהוה and were lightened and not ashamed! This emphasises a praise for יהוה’s deliverance upon His people that turn to Him, for they shall not be ashamed!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘shame’ comes from the root word חָפֵר ḥapher – Strong’s H2659 which means, ‘to be ashamed, abashed, confounded, disgraced, humiliated, embarrassed’.
The basic idea of this root words expresses the loss of self-possession through humiliation, embarrassment or confusion!
This word is very close in meaning to the Hebrew word בּוֹשׁ bosh – Strong’s H954 which means, ‘be ashamed, act shamefully, disconcerted, disappointed’, which is frequently used parallel to חָפֵר ḥapher – Strong’s H2659, which suggests to us that חָפֵר ḥapher – Strong’s H2659 is often used as an amplification of the shame and disgrace that will be experienced!
Romiyim/Romans 10:11 “Because the Scripture says, “Whoever puts his trust in Him shall not be put to shame.”
The Greek word used here for ‘shame’ is καταισχύνω ‘kataischunō’ – Strong’s G2617 and means ‘to put to shame, to dishonour, to disgrace, to cause to blush’.
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:15-16 “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.”
Those who turn to the Master and take His easy yoke shall not be ashamed, as they are lightened from the burden of sin, in order to become trustworthy law-abiding citizens, and ambassadors, of the kingdom of Elohim, which they shine the light of Truth before all, amidst a darkened world!
When our faces are turned toward our Master, and we keep our eyes fixed on Him and follow Him, walking even as He walked, then we shall not be ashamed, as those who walk in darkness shall be!
Our blessing, boasting and rejoicing of יהוה, can cause others to be turned to the Truth and be relieved of their fears too, which highlights the importance of our being able to bless יהוה at all times, no matter what we face, as we show others the way to walking in the Light!
In verse 6 Dawiḏ declares, once again, how יהוה had delivered him out of all his distresses and refers to himself as ‘this poor one’, which highlights a great lesson on humility and being humbled before the Master in order for Him to lift you up!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘humble’ comes from the root word עָנִי aniy – Strong’s H6041 meaning, ‘poor, afflicted, humble, oppressed’ and primarily refers to a person who is suffering some kind of disability or distress, and the one who is afflicted and literally lives day to day, and is often found to be socially defenceless, being subject to constant oppression, and is translated as ‘humble, in:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:28 “For You save the humble people, but Your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.”
This root word עָנִי aniy – Strong’s H6041 is also translated as ‘afflicted one’, in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 54:11 “O you afflicted one, tossed with storm, and not comforted, see, I am setting your stones in antimony, and shall lay your foundations with sapphires”
We are able to see many verses that highlight the promise of deliverance and stability from chaos given to those who call on the Master and guard His commands, while with the wrong it is not so, as they are described as being like a raging sea that never rests:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 57:20-21 “But the wrong are like the troubled sea, for it is unable to rest, and its waters cast up mud and dirt. 21 “There is no peace,” said my Elohim, “for the wrong.””
This root word עָנִי aniy – Strong’s H6041 comes from the primitive root verb עָנָה anah – Strong’s H6031 and means, ‘to be bowed down, afflicted, humbled’ and another noun that we get from this root verb is עֳנִי oniy – Strong’s H6040 which means, ‘affliction, great pains, misery’, which is translated as ‘affliction’, in:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:50 “This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:92 “If Your Torah had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”
The reason for me highlighting these root words that are related to being humbled, brought low or afflicted, is to simply show how vitally important the Word of Elohim is to us, in giving us what we need to sustain us and cause us to be delivered from our afflictions and fears and distresses!
In the great praise for the Torah, the psalmist certainly expresses that without the Torah we would have no proper direction and would be on a path to destruction. And when being surrounded by, or dwelling in, a place of affliction we have comfort in recognising the fruit of meditating on the Torah day and night, and that in the working out our deliverance with fear and trembling through obedience to the Torah, we are able to set our expectation perfectly upon the favour that is to be brought to us at the revelation of יהושע Messiah.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘saved him’ in verse 6 is הוֹשִׁיעֽוֹ – hoshiy’o which comes from the root verb יָשַׁע yasha – Strong’s H3467 which means, ‘to deliver, brought salvation, saviour, saves’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘distresses’ comes from the root word צָרָה tsarah – Strong’s H6869 which means, ‘affliction, anguish, distress, trouble, tightness’ and comes from the word, צַר tsar – Strong’s H6862 that can mean, ‘adversary, enemy, foe’! This word is 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 – יהוה of Hosts – for it is He who fights for us and covers us under the shadow of His wings!
This word comes from the primitive root verb is צָרַר tsarar – Strong’s H6887 and means, ‘bind up, tie, restrict, be restricted, narrow, cramp, frustrate, distress, trouble’.
Tehillah/Psalm 20:1 “יהוה does answer you in the day of distress! The Name of the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ does set you on high!”
There is no better encouragement than hearing and knowing that יהוה hears your cry in times of trouble!
So, as we know that during the tribulation, we who are in Messiah have this wonderful promise we can be sure of! יהוה will defend those who know the Elohim of Ya’aqoḇ and cause them to stand in the day of distress for it is He who strengthens His taught ones in the wisdom, understanding and the proper counsel of our Master and King!
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 verse 7 Dawiḏ continues to highlight the power of the deliverance of Elohim, declaring that not only are those that fear Elohim delivered, they are also protected!!!
This highlights the power of our staying in the Master, as we are clearly told by Him that if we say in Him, He shall stay in us, and when we stay in Him, we have the firm assurance of being guarded by Him!
Our Master rescues those who fear Him!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘rescues’ in verse 20 comes from the root word is חָלַץ ḥalats – Strong’s H2502 and means, ‘be equipped, armed, to draw out, plunder, remove, tear out, rescued, delivered’ and is used in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:8 “The righteous is delivered from distress, and the wrong one takes his place.”
Shelomoh makes it clear here that the distress that the righteous face will not last as they will be rescued from it, while the wrong ones will take the place of the righteous and be greatly distressed in their wickedness and face the punishment of their lawlessness and sin!
Tehillah/Psalm 6:4 “Return, O יהוה, rescue my life! Oh, save me for Your loving-commitment sake!”
In a Psalm of Asaph, we see the words of יהוה being very clear:
Tehillah/Psalm 50:15 “And call upon Me in the day of distress – let Me rescue you, and you esteem Me.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘fear’ in verse 7 comes from the root word 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’.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 13:13 “He 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.
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!
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 1:7 “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 9:10 “The 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!
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:
In verses 8-9 we see a powerful plea that Dawiḏ makes to all, and possibly more so to those who do not grasp the power of surrendered praise, as he says, “oh taste and see that יהוה is good!”.
Until you actually do it properly, you will never get to truly taste and see His goodness as we should!
Cutting any corners, of our needed boasting, blessing, rejoicing and praise of Elohim, and any cutting of corners on engaging in the needed fellowship, and interaction of a united body that praises Him with boldness, will limit one’s ability to experience the complete goodness of Elohim, and cause a door for doubt and insecurity to find a way in!
Fearing יהוה comes with the promise of there being no lack, and here Dawiḏ pictures true fear, with no lack, against a lion that gets hungry and lacks, making it clear that when you truly seek יהוה as you should, then no good matter will be lacked!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘taste’ comes from the root verb טָעַם ta’am – Strong’s H2938 which means, ‘to taste, perceive, evaluate, decide’, and is primarily concerned with what one eats!
Taste and see that יהוה is good! The call here is not just to simply take a quick taste and go, but rather, it highlights that the Word of יהוה should become what we eat, as our staple diet, for it is good for us!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘good’ comes from the root word טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 which means, ‘pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well’, and comes from the primary verb טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2895 which means, ‘pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well’.
In the true understanding of this word טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 we can see that it may best be translated, in most cases, as ‘functional’, for when יהוה said in Berěshith/Genesis 1:31 that when He saw all that He had made, He said it was very good.
What He saw was His creation functioning properly and working the way it should and this is why it was ‘good’.
Sounds all good – yet as we study further into the Hebraic mind-set in regards to this word we get a fuller understanding of what טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 means. To do that it does help to look at the ancient script and get a wider perspective of the true meaning of this word.
In the ancient pictographic script, the root word טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 is pictured as:
Tet – ט:
The original pictograph for this letter is , 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 meanings of this letter are basket, contain, store and clay.
Waw – וֹ:
The ancient pictographic form of this letter is , a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.
Beyt – ב:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures 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.
From this pictographic rendering, we are able to learn and see that:
We as clay vessels are made secure through the Blood of Messiah that holds for us a secure covenant promise of being made complete in Him and becoming the Dwelling Place of the Most-High – where He that is Good – The Potter – may dwell with those He has created and called by name!
As we look at these letters, we find a great revelation in terms of the Good News (Besorah) or rather ‘טוֹב toḇ News’!
The way we, as ‘clay vessels’, are secured into the House of Elohim is by being secured by the peg! Listen to what it says in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 22:22-24 “And I shall place the key of the house of Dawiḏ on his shoulder. And he shall open, and no one shuts; and shall shut, and no one opens. 23 ‘And I shall fasten him like a peg in a steadfast place, and he shall become a throne of esteem to his father’s house. 24 ‘And they shall hang on him all the weight of his father’s house, the offspring and the offshoots, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the jars.”
We know that this is a great picture of how through יהושע Messiah we are fastened in a steadfast place!
Ezra 9:8 “But now, for a short while, favour has been shown from יהוה our Elohim, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His set-apart place, that our Elohim might enlighten our eyes and give us a little reviving in our bondage.”
This again, is a wonderful promise given amidst a time of bondage – that a peg is given in His set-apart place – a great picture of the loving-commitment and compassion יהוה has for His called out nation, that while the ‘House of Elohim’ had been neglected and broken down He would bring the necessary means to ‘secure’ His covenanted people to His House that he builds by His design!
It is through the work of Messiah, who has become the very ‘peg’ that secures us and adds us, the clay vessels, to His House!
The Word of Elohim made flesh – The Living Torah, יהושע Messiah came down and secured for us the ability to be made into the House that He Elohim shall dwell in forever!
His House/Dwelling Place is built by His design and His plan and so when we see how that we are the ‘Dwelling Place’ of the Most-High, then we are able to get a clearer understanding that we are built up according to His plans as instructed in His Torah that was given through Mosheh and revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Messiah.
Just as the Tabernacle in the Wilderness had to be built exactly according to the pattern shown to Mosheh on the mountain of the true heavenly Tabernacle, so too do we need to recognise that the only way we can be built up into being the True Dwelling Place of Elohim is through carefully following His instructions as we walk in and stay in Messiah – The Living Torah.
When something is working properly, we might say today something like, ‘working like a well-oiled machine’, when speaking of that which is functioning the way it should and the way it was designed to. So then, the Hebrew word טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896, in the true sense of the word, expresses the idea that something is ‘good’, when it is fulfilling the action for which a person or thing is specifically fitted or used, or for which something exists. In other words, it refers to something that functions within its intended purpose!
The opposite of טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 (good) is ‘evil’, which in Hebrew is the word, רַע ra – Strong’s H7451 meaning, ‘bad, evil, wicked, harmful’. The tree of knowledge in the garden was of טוֹב toḇ (good) and רַע ra (evil)!
Just as we understand that טוֹב toḇ represents that which is ‘functional’, we can then see that רַע ra represents that which is ‘dysfunctional’, which simply put speaks of that which reveals and abnormal and unhealthy lifestyle that is not functioning as it should.
We may often think something is good, yet if it is not being ‘functional’, according to the plumb line of the Torah of יהוה, then we had best be careful to consider our steps as we may just find that our walk has not been good at all!!!
Blessed in the man that not only tastes and sees how good יהוה is, but having tasted and seen, he stays in Him and takes refuge in Him!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘refuge’ is יֶחֱסֶה – yeḥeseh, which comes from the root verb חָסָה ḥasah – Strong’s H2620 which means, ‘to seek refuge, have hope, put trust in (Elohim)’.
Naḥum/Nahum 1:7 “יהוה 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!
This root verb חָסָה ḥasah – Strong’s H2620 is used 37 times in 36 verses, 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, He 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.”
There is no lack for those who fear יהוה!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘lack’ comes from the root word מַחְסֹר maḥsor – Strong’s H4270 which means, ‘a need, thing needed, poverty, lack, want’.
We have been given all we need for life and reverence and when we walk in the fear of יהוה and take refuge in Him, then we have the firm expectation that He shall fill all our needs according to His riches in esteem by Messiah יהושע (Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:19)
In the verses 11-21 we see this Tehillah of Dawiḏ being a call for those who hear his words and witness, to come and learn from him, so that he can teach them the fear of יהוה.
These verses carry a clear form of instructions, regarding the right way to live and the clear rewards for obedience, versus the punishment for disobedience!
Dawiḏ’s call to come and listen, as little children, is a call for true hearers to come and hear with attention and desire to guard to do what is being taught! He was inviting hearers to come and be made as taught ones, or disciples, of the Master!
The clear theme of his call being given here, to that that are willing to hear, is the need to turn away from all evil and guard righteousness! This Tehillah is actually a well-constructed message of deliverance and the necessary response that is required by all who claim to know יהוה!
In verse 21 we are told that those who hate the righteous are guilty! The righteous are therefore, as we are told in verse 22, ‘not guilty’!
The righteous are those who guard righteousness, which is a pretty obvious observation, yet so many may claim to be righteous while they hate the Torah and neglect the need to be obedient to the Word of Elohim, claiming that obedience to His Torah is not required.
Scripture give us a clear definition of what righteousness is:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:172 “My tongue sings of Your word, for all Your commands are righteousness.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 51:7 “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, a people in whose heart is My Torah: do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their reviling’s.”
We who call upon the Master, confess our sin and turn away from all unrighteousness, have the sure promise that He shall cleanse us from all unrighteousness! Having then been cleansed from all unrighteousness it makes perfect sense that we should keep clean and not become defiled by unrighteousness again!
Listen to what Yoḥanan says in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:17-19 “All 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 that 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 3:4 “Everyone 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, 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.
Getting back to Tehillah/Psalm 34:
The reason for me highlighting what righteousness is and what unrighteousness is, we are able to identify that those who take refuge in יהוה are those who hold fast to guarding the commands of Elohim and have been cleansed from all unrighteousness and are therefore blessed in their doing of the Torah and stand guiltless before Him, as long as they stay in Him!
Therefore, we can see that blessed and guiltless are the redeemed who take refuge in Him!
The Hebrew word used in this Tehillah/Psalm 34:8 is אֶשֶׁר esher – Strong’s H835 which means, ‘happiness, blessedness, bliss’, and comes from the root verb אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833 which means, ‘blessed, lead, guide, to go straight, make progress to be advanced, to be led forth’.
There are two verbs in Hebrew that render the meaning ‘blessed’: This one we have just mentioned – אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833 and the one we all know – בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 which means, ‘to kneel down, bless, abundantly bless’.
What is worth taking note of when looking at the primary difference between these two words that both mean blessed, is that בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 is used by Elohim when He blesses somebody or even a nation, but nowhere do we find the use of אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833 coming from the lips of Elohim!
When man blesses Elohim, the word בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 is used and never אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833. יהוה never pronounces man אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833, and it should be pointed out that when baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 is used, the initiative comes from Elohim.
Therefore, with Dawiḏ’s words here, in saying that ‘blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him’, we are able to see that for man to be אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833, man has to do something!!
Hence, the blessing for taking refuge in יהוה!
There is a clear action of obedience involved!
A ‘blessed’, אֶשֶׁר esher – Strong’s H835, man is one who takes refuge in יהוה, and one who trusts in יהוה completely, and one who submits under the authority of His Torah:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people are let loose, but blessed is he who guards the Torah.”
It is also a blessing for man to not follow wrong advice:
Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 but his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night.”
Those who take refuge in יהוה are blessed, as a result of right action, response and trust according to His Word, and are therefore guiltless!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘guilty’ in Tehillah/Psalm 34:19 comes from the root word אָשַׁם asham – Strong’s H816 which means, ‘to offend, be guilty, acknowledge guilt, found guilty, condemned’.
This root word is used 35 times in 32 verses and primarily speaks a clear verdict of guilt when breaking the commands of Elohim and rebelling against His clear Torah!
Romiyim/Romans 8:1 “There is, then, now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah יהושע, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
The blessing of walking in His commands is that in Messiah there is no condemnation, and the righteous are ‘not guilty’.
These are the great benefits of taking refuge in the Most-High and Dawiḏ makes clear, the sure hope that he has in the refuge that יהוה provides, in His salvation and deliverance of our lives!
Our speech is to be seasoned with salt, which highlights the picture of being a living offering before our Master, as we guard His Word in all we do. We are told in Scripture that all offerings are to be with salt and pictures a covenant language and an everlasting loving-commitment to walking in the Truth and keeping falsehood far from our lips!
We are to guard our tongues from all evil and our lips from deceit!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘deceit’ in Tehillah/Psalm 34:13 comes from the root word מִרְמָה mirmah – Strong’s H4820 which means, ‘deceit, treachery, dishonesty, falsehood’, and is used in Amos 8:5, with reference to those who couldn’t wait for the Sabbath to be over, so that they could trade and falsify their scales by deceit, and this word is also used in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26:24-26 “He who hates, pretends with his lips, and lays up deceit within him; 25 though he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26 Hatred is covered by deceit. His evil is disclosed in the assembly.”
What verse 24 here in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26 is saying is that the one who hates, gives a vain lip service and his heart is filled with deceit; which is the total opposite as to what should be in the heart!
The Torah is to be in our heart and in our mouths – to do it:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14 “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.”
Many today are rendering a vain lip service in their falsified confession of faith, while their actions reveal otherwise, as their lack of walking in the Torah reveals that the Torah is not in their mouth, nor in their heart; and if the Torah is not laid up in one’s heart then what is? Deceit of lawlessness!!!
יהושע Messiah tells us, in Marqos/Mark 7:22, that deceit is one of the defiling things that comes out of a man’s heart! In these last days, when deceit is all around, we recognise how small the true remnant of Elohim’s Bride is. And as יהוה restores a clean lip unto the remnant few, they will call on the Name of יהוה and serve Him with one shoulder, and we are told in:
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3:12-13 “But I shall leave in your midst an oppressed and poor people, and they shall trust in the Name of יהוה. 13 “The remnant of Yisra’ĕl shall do no unrighteousness and speak no falsehood, nor is a tongue of deceit found in their mouth. For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, with none to frighten them.”
No tongue of deceit found in their mouths!!!
Let no deceit be found in you, is a clear message we all need to hear in these last days – for the deceitful danger of deceit can cause us to be slain with the wrongdoers and workers of wickedness, the treacherous and adulterers, who do know יהוה, nor love Him as they do not guard His commands!
Deceit causes one to refuse to know Elohim, and deceit is a very dangerous and poisonous thing – it will cloud your judgement and your ability to think straight!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:10-11 “For “He who wishes to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit, 11 let him turn away from evil and do good, let him seek peace and pursue it.”
The Greek word used here for ‘deceit’ is δόλος dolos –Strong’s G1388 which means, ‘a bait, craft, deceit’.
What I find interesting to take note of here, is that the Greek word for ‘servant’ is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, a very similar sounding word, yet with only one additional letter – ῦ.
And this can certainly help us realise how fine a line it is, between being a true faithful servant of the Most-High, in which there is found no deceit, and being one in which there is deceit!
In Yoḥanan/John 1:47 when יהושע (Yahushua) saw Nethanĕ’l coming toward Him, He said this of Nethanĕ’l:
“See, truly a Yisra’ĕlite, in whom is no deceit!” – what a powerful compliment to receive! What we can learn from this is very clear: נְתַנְאֵל Nethanĕ’l – Strong’s H5417 means, ‘given of Ěl’, and here we are given a clear lesson of one who was a faithful servant of Elohim and one who knew the Scriptures and when he heard the voice of Messiah, He knew the voice of the true Vine and Master and King:
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
The time was ‘ripe’ and while most did not recognise Messiah, this ‘given one of Ěl’ did!
Messiah had found a faithful servant, in whom there was no deceit! This is encouraging for us, in showing us that it does not matter how blind the masses are, we whose eyes have been opened can still guard His commands, sit and learn, under the hand of our Master and have no deceit in us… the question is, when He does come again… shall He find you walking in faith or in deceit!!!
Turn away from evil!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘turn’ comes from the root word סוּר sur – Strong’s H5493 which means, ‘turn, turn aside, depart from a way, avoid, be removed from, put away’.
Dawiḏ says that he does not turn from the laws of Elohim!
By declaring this, he is making it clear that he gives his ear to the proper hearing of the Torah, in order to walk in it, whereas those who turn away from the hearing of the Torah, are simply acting wickedly against Elohim, and will not be heard in the day of their distress!
The clear picture of turning, implies that to turn away from something you have to be turning to something else! The call given hear to those who have ears to hear the teachings of the beloved, is that they are to turn away from evil and all dysfunctional ways that lead to destruction! And in doing so, they are to turn to the Truth and fix their eyes on our Master, having ears to hear what is commanded, in order to do what is required. Sadly, through the misguided teachings, under the deceit of lawlessness, most have turned away from righteousness by turning their ears away from hearing the Torah and are therefore unable to do any good, no matter what they may claim!
In verse 14 we are told, in our turning away from evil and doing good, that we are to seek peace and pursue it!
While we have already looked at the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘sought/seek’, which is דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875, we take note that the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘seek’ in verse 14 comes from the root word בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 which means, ‘to seek, aim, search, look, inquire’, and here, it is written in the ‘piel’ form, which expresses an ‘intensive or intentional action’ and could therefore be expressed as, ‘seek earnestly or seek the face, seek to find, demand, desire, ask’, and this kind of ‘seeking’ is an intense seeking with a purpose!
This root word בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 is also used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 27:8 “To my heart You have said, “Seek My face.” Your face, יהוה, I seek.”
We who stay in the Master and walk in integrity, are to seek (בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245) יהוה and His righteousness, with great intensity and desire to please Him.
How earnestly are you seeking יהוה?
When looking at this Hebrew root word in its ancient pictographic form, we are able to grasp a clearer picture of what this kind of seeking entails.
In the ancient pictographic script, this word בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245, which means, ‘to seek, aim, search, look, inquire’, looks like this:
Beyt – בָּ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures 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. We also recognise that the House/Dwelling Place of Elohim is the body of Elohim that is built up as living stones in our Master, יהושע Messiah. A house/tent speaks of your family and to whom you belong and under whom you submit and adhere to, as the House of Elohim has clear instructions for those in the House! The Light (that is His Word) is for those in the House!
Quph – ק:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘quph’, which is pictured in the ancient script as – – which is a picture of ‘the sun at the horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity. It also is understood as the ‘gathering of the light’ as has the understanding of that which is ‘continual’ and signifies a continued pattern that is faithfully repeated.
Shin – שֵׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is a picture of ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food. Understanding the concept of eating our daily bread, as we meditate on the Torah day and night, we also see this picture rendering for us the meaning of ‘The Word’.
When we consider this pictographic rendering of the Hebrew word בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 in terms of ‘seeking’ then we are able to see the meaning that is clearly expressed through this word, as it can render for us the following:
DWELLING CONTINUALLY IN THE WORD!
I do think that this clearly expresses what proper seeking Elohim and His righteousness entails!
How earnestly are you seeking Elohim and His righteousness?
Are you dwelling continually in His Word?
By ‘dwelling continually in His Word’ I do not mean being buried in the reading of His Word for 24 hours, with no time for anything or anyone else, but rather, that one’s life is continually centred around His Word, which entails a proper diligent reading, studying and seeking and then the proper practical application of the Word that is studied in all you do!
Dwelling continually in His Word, means that all that you think, say or do is done in the Name of יהושע.
Dwelling in His Word involves a proper understanding of how we are living stones that are being built up in Messiah and therefore recognise that we are no longer our own and to seek our own ways would be a foolish thing done in pride!
The Hebrew word בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 can also carry the meaning of, ‘desire, consult, discover, call upon’ and therefore implies that this kind of seeking is done in order to try to learn information about an object or person and implies a diligent procurement of the information required.
Those who have no desire for Elohim do not seek Him and are not interested in discovering and learning more about Him.
While we take note that בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 and דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 are synonyms of each other, we also recognise that there is a difference between the two.
Yes, they both mean ‘seek, inquire, consult, search out’, yet as we have noted, these two actions give us a better understanding of what true seeking of Elohim and His Righteousness entails as we recognise that we are called to dwell continually in the Word and in the process of doing this we are called to earnestly study and learn in order to grow!
בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 implies the eagerness and desire while דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 suggests care and intentionality in the process of looking for something; and we see both of these words being used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 105:4 “Seek יהוה and His strength; seek His face always.”
This verse could be paraphrased as follows:
“Carefully search for יהוה and His strength; continually and eagerly seek His face.”
We see these two words being used in Mosheh’s warning against turning away from יהוה:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 4:29 “But from there you shall seek יהוה your Elohim, and shall find, when you search for Him with all your heart and with all your being.”
In the context of these words of Mosheh, we are able to take heed of the warning against turning away from יהוה and in this verse, we are able to recognise two clear actions that will keep us from turning away and cause us to remain faithful and trustworthy ambassadors of His reign and recognise how we have all, from a scattered state, been able to seek Him and find Him and search for Him with all our heart, because of the Blood of Messiah, our Master and Elohim!!!
‘Seek’ and ‘search for’! Same, same… but different!
What? Well, we know that these are certainly synonyms yet we also recognise that they differ in their application.
As already discussed, we take note that that to “search for” is a verb that expresses an action of a careful attention and due diligence that is required in order to gain the knowledge sought after, which is the word דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875, which calls for intense discipline in study and learning.
To ‘seek’, which is the Hebrew word – בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245, carries the understanding of seeking something that exists or is believed to exist, in order to obtain it!
In other words, we could say that בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 is not only about knowledge but it is about possession! It is about earnestly seeking יהוה with intensity and passion, making Him your Elohim through a deepened personal and intimate relationship!
Both of these kinds of seeking are required to stay true to the word and stand firm in the Truth!
True seeking requires both בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 and דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875, collectively working together on a continual basis.
When we earnestly exercise a בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 kind of seeking then we are able to recognise Him as our True personal Elohim, Master and Saviour!
Seeking Him with intense passion, in order to know Him, will cause you to search for Him with all your heart.
True seeking collectively implies a cognitive investigation and a digging deeper into understanding the One who is sought after with your all!
Dawiḏ then further makes it clear that we should seek peace and pursue it, for the eyes of יהוה are on the righteous, and His face is against evil-doers!
Being obedient is critical, and as I said earlier it needs to be an obedience that reflect the true boastful praise of Elohim, done with great rejoicing, and not under compulsion!
In verse 19 Dawiḏ tells us that the righteous have many evils, yes…many evils!
That means that we are not exempt from trials and very tough battles and circumstances, but rather, the knowledge that it is יהוה who delivers us out of all of them, should cause us to be ignited with a boastful praise that never ceases to bless Him at all times!
We who stay in the Master have the full assurance of our deliverance being made complete when He returns!
This is not so for the wrong, for evil shall slay the wrong!
The clear fact that Dawiḏ is making here, in his boast and blessing of יהוה, is that no one, who trusts in יהוה shall be lost, hence the urgent call to make יהוה great together!
Yoḥanan/John 15:6 “If anyone does not stay in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
The Greek word translated as ‘stay’ is μένω menō – Strong’s G3306 and means, ‘to stay, abide, remain, stand, kept continually, endure’, and can also be understood as having the meaning, ‘remain as one, not to become another or different’.
In other words, when we ‘stay’ in The Master we do not change our commitment to bearing fruit of set-apartness, and we do not shrink back from standing firm in the Truth, but rather remain firm in our fervent stand of faith!
Verse 22, which closes this Tehillah/Psalm of the beloved, closes with a clear statement of belief and praise for the redemption of the servants of יהוה!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘redeems’ comes from the root word פָּדָה padah – Strong’s H6299 which means, ‘to ransom, redeem, redemption price’. Our Master has paid the price and redeemed us from the curse of the torah, which is death, giving us the ability to run in the way of His commands and look intently into the Torah of freedom, having the firm assurance, that in Him, we have the promise of everlasting life, where the second death shall have no power over the redeemed servants of Elohim!
We have already discussed how the righteous are not guilty and here we see how the righteous ones are true servants of Elohim!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘servant’ comes from the root word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 meaning, ‘servant, slave, bondservant’, and as a child of Yisra’ĕl, which we have become by the Blood of Messiah, we are servants of יהוה:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:55 “Because the children of Yisra’ĕl are servants to Me, they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Mitsrayim. I am יהוה your Elohim.”
The Hebrew word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ is used 800 times in the Tanak (O.T.) and is used as a noun and comes from the primitive root verb עָבַד aḇaḏ – Strong’s H5647 meaning, ‘to work, serve, observe, do the work, cultivate, worship’ and carries the understanding of ‘expending considerable energy and intensity in performing a task or function’ – in other words – ‘giving it your all’!
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ is pictured as:
Ayin – עֶ
The original pictograph for this letter is and represents the idea of seeing and watching, as well as knowledge as the eye is the window of knowledge
Beyt – בֶ
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures 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.
Dalet – ד
The ancient script has this letter as , which is 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. And we also know that Messiah is ‘The Door’, for we only are able to have access into the Kingdom through Him!
When we look at this word in the ancient script for a servant, we can see that it speaks of:
ONE WHO WATCHES AT THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE
And this is what our Master calls us to do!!!
And when we consider that יהושע Messiah is The Door, then we further see our need to continually be looking at Him, and praising Him as we diligently are serving in spirit and truth, guarding to do all His commands – and this is how we too keep watch over the House/Body of Messiah with true joy!
The closing statement of this Tehillah/Psalm 34 ought to cause us to recognise why we Dawiḏ makes the opening statement in verse 1, that He blesses יהוה at all times!
These are bold statements of belief, based on the witness of the deliverance and redemption of יהוה, that this humble beloved servant experienced, amidst some horrific and terrifying times! Despite the distresses, pressures and trials, this beloved one declares his commitment to blessing יהוה at all times, for He knew who His redeemer was!!!
This Tehillah/Psalm 34 is a hymn of thanksgiving, given by an individual who had been freed from serious distresses and difficulties! While we know that this is a Tehillah/Psalm of Dawiḏ, and have taken a look at the historical setting of this song of praise, in order to grasp the complexity of this earnest and zealous committed praise of one who had been redeemed and delivered from all evil, we can all personally identify with these words here and declare them as a declaration of praise unto our Master and Elohim, as we continue to seek Him with our all and do out utmost to bless יהוה at all times, no matter what we are facing!
While I have taken an in-depth look at this powerful hymn of praise, by highlighting some key word and statements, I also want to highlight that this well constructed song of praise, is an acrostic poem, where we see each line beginning a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Some may say that it is actually an incomplete acrostic poem as the 6th letter, which is the letter ‘waw/vav’, is not represented on its own line and then the last verse is outside the scheme altogether.
The letter ‘waw,vav’, is certainly identified in verse 5, together with the letter ‘hey’, and the last verse, which is used to close this poetic song of praise, is used as a defining statement of the well-constructed poem of praise and therefore fits as a perfect ending!
As we consider this well constructed poetic praise of Elohim, we are equipped to recognise that our Deliverance is in Elohim alone, for He is the Aleph and Taw, the Beginning and End! In recognising and acknowledging this then, we would do well to echo these words, personally in our own lives, and be bold in making the statement that we bless יהוה at all times too, with the accompanying works of obedient belief in Him, so that we do not simply render a lips service alone, but reveal that His Word is in our hearts and mouths, to do it!!!
While I have only taken a somewhat brief, but detailed, look at this Tehillim of boasting praise, my hope was to stir you to praise and recognise the powerful lessons that we can learn from Dawiḏ – showing us that our circumstances must NEVER determine our ability to be able to praise or not – for we are to BLESS יהוה AT ALL TIMES!
What battles have you been facing, or even have been running from?
What persecutions have you been facing?
What troubles are you being challenged with?
What distresses have you been facing?
Do not let them stop your ability to bless יהוה at all times!
One thing is sure, when we bless and praise Him continually, even in the face of intense trials, we may look mad to the world – but that is ok – because, if you don’t you do it, you will find it harder to cope and overcome that which we are called to, in our Master!
In verse 3 the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘together’ comes from the root word יַחַד yaḥad – Strong’s H3162 which means, ‘unitedness, alike, one accord, unity’!
In unity and in one accord!
Under times of intense persecutions, the early believers were in unity, making bold their boastful praise:
Ma’asei/Acts 2:46-47 “And day by day, continuing with one mind in the Set-apart Place, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising Elohim and having favour with all the people. And the Master added to the assembly those who were being saved, day by day.”
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘praising’ comes from the root word αἰνέω aineō – Strong’s G134 which means, ‘to sing praise’ and is used 9 times in the Renewed Writings (N.T.) and only in reference to praise being given to Elohim!
How has your praise and blessing of יהוה been?
Are you able to declare what Dawiḏ did and say, “I bless יהוה at all times; His praise is continually in my mouth”?
Perhaps you have been afflicted and tossed with storm, of late, or have been facing intense heat from trials and distresses that seem to drain you of all that you have!
Then take courage and be strengthened in the Master, as you cling to Him and keep your feet firmly planted in His Word, being built up as living stones that give continual praise unto Elohim, guarding to do all He has commanded us to do, so that we can be among those who overcome and inherit the fullness of our deliverance, that will be made complete at His return!
I will once again, repeat the words of Sha’ul, that I started this message with:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in all circumstances give thanks, for this is the desire of Elohim in Messiah יהושע for you.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘rejoice’, in giving reference to the rejoicing at harvest time, is χαίρω chairō G5463 meaning ‘to be full of cheer, be delighted and be glad’.
In our declaration of blessing יהוה at all times and having His praise continually on our lips, can only be done, truthfully, with a rejoicing heart that gives thanks in all circumstances and is correctly accompanied with complete obedience to His Torah!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:15 “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a slaughter offering of praise to Elohim, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.”
The continual offering up of praise to Elohim is The fruit of our lips!
The Greek word translated as ‘giving thanks’ is ὁμολογέω homologeō – Strong’s G3670 which means, ‘confess, profess, promise, give thanks, praise, celebrate’, and also means, ‘to profess one’s self the worshipper of one’.
This ‘giving thanks’ to His Name is a clear picture of words that involve an intense action of acknowledging the True Name that saves, having confessed our sin and guilt and profess our worship of the One who saves us, and showing this through both our words and actions.
We are to praise the Name of יהושע, our Master and Elohim, for He is יהוה who saves us!
We proclaim, make mention, acknowledge, make our boast in and extol His great Name, in prayer and in the offering of continual praise – a praise that is in sync with an uncompromised life of complete set-apartness, as we walk in righteousness and guard His commands!
In speaking of many unruly men, senseless talkers and deceivers, who teach what they should not teach for filthy gain, Sha’ul tells Titos in:
Titos/Titus 1:16 “They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.”
Many false teachers claim to know Elohim but their word and work contradict each other – their word confesses Elohim while their work denies Him, rendering the fruit of their lips as bad fruit, revealing that they are tress that will be cut down and thrown into the fire!
Having said this of false teachers, we must also be aware that this can be evident in many who are not teachers and who claim to know Elohim, yet by their lawless actions deny Him and His Table!
The offering up of the ‘the fruit of our lips’ is a quotation from Hoshěa/Hosea 14, in the appeal and call for Yisra’ĕl to return to יהוה:
Hoshěa/Hosea 14:2 “Take words with you, and return to יהוה. Say to Him, “Take away all crookedness, and accept what is good, and we render the bulls of our lips.”
The Greek word used in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:15 and in the LXX for Hoshěa/Hosea 14:2 is καρπός karpos – Strong’s G2590 which means, ‘fruit, benefit, gain, harvest, produce’ and typically refers to fruit that has been plucked, rendering the figurative meaning of the labours, works or acts of those who have fitted themselves with every good work unto everlasting life.
The Hebrew word that is translated here in Hoshěa/Hosea 14:2 for ‘bull’ is פַּר par – Strong’s H6499 which means, ‘bull, young bull, steer, heifer’, and in a metaphoric sense in speaks of us bringing our all and our best, offering up all we have, as we make our confession before Him who saves us and proclaim His praise!
Bringing the ‘Bull of our lips’ costs us! It costs us our all!
It will cost us relationships, and will cost us customs and handed down traditions and inherited comforts of the flesh, yet it will bring about the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by the disciplining of the Word!
As we consider the need to be a true beloved servant that blesses YHWH at all times, may we all be reminded that we are to guard our lips and makes sure that the fruit of our lips is not tainted with any deceit of unrighteousness as we celebrate our Master in all we say and do, giving thanks to Him in all, no matter what we face!
As you meditate upon this wonderful Tehillah of Dawiḏ, may you be encouraged keep blessing יהוה! Maybe your eyes have been distracted by unfavourable circumstances and you have been plagued by various troubles and distresses that have left you drained and in fear of what may come! Hear these words of this Psalm and be encouraged to lift up your eyes to our Master and find help in your distress! And start blessing Him, rejoicing in Him and making His praise be continually on your lips, joining in the declaration of praise for our Master with other believers, being strengthened in His love over you, so that you can, with great joy and boldness, declare:
I BLESS יהוה AT ALL TIMES!!!
I will close with the following verses:
Tehillah/Psalm 71:8 “My mouth is filled with Your praise, Your splendour, all the day.”
Tehillah/Psalm 71:14-15 “But I continually wait, and shall praise You more and more. 15 My mouth recounts Your righteousness Your deliverance all the day, though I do not know their numbers.”
Tehillah/Psalm 145:1-2 “I exalt You, my Elohim, O Sovereign; and bless Your Name forever and ever. 2 All day long I bless You, and praise Your Name forever and ever.”
BLESS יהוה AT ALL 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 you and give you Shalom!