22nd of the 1st month 2016/2017
Shabbat Shalom all,
Tehillah/Psalm 47:1 “Praise Yah! For it is good to sing praises to our Elohim. For it is pleasant – praise is fitting.”
I often wonder how many times people tend to get so caught up in the ‘busyness’ of their lives that they neglect to realise and consider how good it actually is to sing praises to our Elohim! It is not only good for us to sing praises to our Elohim, but it is also fitting and very pleasant indeed!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘good’ is טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 and carries the meaning, ‘pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well’, and comes from the primary verb טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2895 and carries the meaning, ‘pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well’. In the true understanding of this word טוֹב toḇ 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 that 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’. 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 טוֹב toḇ 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!
IT IS A FUNTIONAL THING TO SING PRAISES TO OUR ELOHIM!
Sadly for many people praise does not seem to be very functional in their lives, yet it should be, especially if we are living according to His perfect Word and according to His design for His Temple, which we are! Praise is functional and it is fitting! The Hebrew word translated as ‘fitting’ is נָאוֶה naveh – Strong’s H5000 which means, ‘comely, lovely, becoming, fitting’, and is thought to come from either נָאָה na’ah – Strong’s H4998 which means, ‘to be comely or befitting, be at home’, or from the root נָוֶה naveh – Strong’s H5116 which means, ‘habitation, dwelling, pasture, meadow, who remains, abode of shepherd or flocks’. The Hebrew word used for the first ‘praise’ here is הַלְלוּ – ‘halelu’ which is 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.’
The 2nd Hebrew word translated as ‘praises’ in the above verse is זָמַר zamar – Strong’s H2167 meaning, ‘to make music (in praise of Elohim), sing praises’. This word carries with it the idea of ‘striking with the fingers’, and more properly meaning ‘to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument’. In other words this is not difficult to see that this clearly can give the meaning ‘to make music’, accompanied by the voice and therefore celebrate or praise in song and music. This is such a wonderful picture for me, as it gives reference of making music and singing songs unto יהוה with the aid of instruments. The 3rd Hebrew word translated as ‘praise’ in Tehillim/Psalm 147:1 is תְּהִלָּה tehillah Strong’s H8416 means, ‘praise, or a song of praise’ and comes from the word הָלַל halal.
Praise is good, pleasant and fitting!!!
What we can see here, as we understand these words, is that to ‘praise’ Yah is not only lovely and beautiful, functional and pleasing, it is where we feel at home – in other words, our praise should come from a complete place of comfort, and a secure boasting of who our Mighty Master, Redeemer and King is! How many of you love to sing in the shower or sing when you are alone, all because you are ‘comfortable’ in your environment? Well, that is what praise for יהוה should be, wherever we are – we should ‘feel at home’ in our confident boasting of beautiful praise for יהוה our Elohim! Now that you should understand the words being expressed here, let me ask you how your praise of Yah is – is it good, pleasant and fitting, or has it been the complete opposite and non-existent? Everything that has breath praise Yah – and make a bold boast of his comeliness and esteem, aměn!
In a message tonight called, ‘HOW PLEASANT IT IS…!’ I would like us to take a little closer look at this Hebrew word that is used here for ‘pleasant’ and its root along with other derivatives that express the clear understanding of pleasantness!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘pleasant’ is נָעִים na’iym – Strong’s H5273 which means, ‘pleasant, delightful, lovely, surpass in beauty’, and comes from the root word נָעֵם na’em – Strong’s H5276 which means, ‘to be pleasant, delightful, lovely, surpass in beauty’. Not only is it a functional thing to praise יהוה and guard His Word, but it is also something that surpasses beauty!!!
The Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the word ‘pleasant’ as follows:
Having qualities that tend to give pleasure; having or characterized by pleasing manners, behavior, or appearance.
It is also defined in other dictionaries as a word that speaks of something that is highly acceptable to the mind or senses and describes something that is agreeable, gratifying, pleasurable and welcome.
While we recognise that praise is pleasant, I want to take a look at some of the others things that are described as being pleasant in Scripture in order for us to understand the ‘life of praise’ we are to have before our Master and Elohim!
The root verb נָעֵם na’em – Strong’s H5276 with its various derivatives is used 28 times in the Scriptures and used to describe people, places and actions. I want to take a look at a few of these in order for us to get a better look into the mirror of the Word in order to determine how pleasant our lives are before our Master.
This word is used to describe Dawiḏ as being the ‘sweet’ singer of Yisra’ĕl:
Shemu’ĕl Bět/2 Samuel 23:1 “And these are the last words of Dawiḏ, the saying of Dawiḏ son of Yishai, the saying of the man raised up on high, the anointed of the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ, and the sweet singer of Yisra’ĕl:”
This word is used to describe the physical beauty between two lovers as seen in:
Shir HaShirim/Song of Songs 1:16 “See, you are handsome, my beloved! Yea, pleasant! Also our bed is green.”
Shir HaShirim/Song of Songs 7:6 “How fair and how pleasant you are, O love, in delights!”
In describing the benefits of accepting and guarding the instructions of Elohim, Shelomoh gives us a great parable on the pleasantness of knowledge that is learned and applied:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10 “For wisdom would enter your heart, and knowledge be pleasant to your being”
Knowledge in Hebrew is the word דַּעַת da’ath – Strong’s H1847 and comes from the word used in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 for describing those who are ‘seeing’ but do not ‘know’, which is the Hebrew word – יָדַע yaḏa – Strong’s H3045 meaning, ‘to know’.
‘To know’ Elohim is to guard His commands, commands that we are to be meditating on day and night. Those who are not doing so will perish and cease to be, as they will be violently cut off!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 describes for us those who are ‘seeing’ but do not ‘know’! It is one thing to look and see but to truly ‘know’ Elohim is to Guard and DO His commands!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:24 “And the one guarding His commands stays in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He stays in us, by the Spirit which He gave us.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:2-3 “By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands. 3 For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Yoḥanan could not be any clearer than this – to know Elohim is to guard His commands – which means ‘DO’ them as we should!
What we must recognise here is that knowledge of Elohim comes in the guarding and doing of His commands, and our understanding of Him can only come in the doing of His Word. And knowledge is pleasant to our being, which teaches us that it is truly a delightful thing to know Elohim and it is a beautiful and lovely thing to be hearing, guarding and doing his commands! Obedience to His commands is a pleasant reflection of true love for Elohim and it beautifies us!!!
Dawiḏ says in:
Tehillah/Psalm 16:6 “Boundary lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, a good inheritance is mine.”
Dawiḏ praises יהוה for the boundary lines that have fallen for him in pleasant places! This metaphor is taken from the divisions of the tribes in the Promised Land, yet we recognise that Dawiḏ is not talking here about physical boundaries of land but is using this figuratively for all that יהוה has done for him and how he has continually been protected wherever he has gone! With the lines have fallen in pleasant places Dawiḏ is expressing how he was always able to praise יהוה no matter where he was!
Are you able to express the praise that surpasses beauty wherever you are, knowing that the wonderful protective boundaries of His Word protect you in all you do, or have you at times overstepped your boundaries and tried to do things your own way and what should have been rendered as praise became a complaint?
Another derivative of the root verb נָעֵם na’em – Strong’s H5276 is the noun נֹעַם no’am – Strong’s H5278 which means, ‘delightfulness, pleasantness, beauty’. What is worth taking note of here is that we are told in Mishlĕ that wisdom’s ways are peasant:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:17 “Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.”
We are in the days of the commanded counting of 7 completed Sabbaths and in recognising how pleasant this ought to be for us we take note of the words that are contained in Tehillah/Psalm 90, which is ‘A prayer of Mosheh’, where he asks יהוה to teach us to number our days and let us bring the heart to wisdom (in order to walk in her pleasant ways) we see that he closes this powerful prayer with the following words:
Tehillah/Psalm 90:17 “And let the pleasantness of יהוה our Elohim be upon us, and confirm the work of our hands for us; O confirm the work of our hands!”
In this prayer of Mosheh we see the cry for the pleasantness of יהוה our Elohim to be upon us!
In closing this prayer the plea is given for Elohim to confirm the work of our hands, and the Hebrew root word used for ‘confirm’ is כּוּן kun – Strong’s H3559 which means, ‘ready, steadfast, established, firm, set up, determined, prepared’.
We are called to be a Bride who is prepared and ready for her Husband, and the only way we can do this successfully is by walking in the fear of Elohim as we get wisdom and understanding through the diligent seeking hearing, guarding and doing of His pleasant Word, that we make our study and meditate upon day and night!
This noun נֹעַם no’am – Strong’s H5278 is the name that is given to one of the staffs in:
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 11:7 “So I shepherded the flock meant for slaughter, the truly poor of the flock. And I took for myself two staffs, the one I called Pleasantness, and the other I called Unity, and I shepherded the flock.”
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 11:10 “And I took my staff, Pleasantness, and cut it in two, to break the covenant which I had made with all the peoples.”
This passage in Zeḵaryah is a clear prophecy that was given regarding יהושע Messiah, the Good Shepherd, who would lay down His life for His sheep that had broken unity and the submission to His pleasant rule!
One staff in pleasant and the other is unity! These two words remind us of the short Tehillah/Psalm that carries a wealth of pleasant wisdom:
Tehillah/Psalm 133:1-3 “See how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity – 2 like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aharon, running down on the collar of his robes – 3 like the dew of Ḥermon, that comes down on the mountains of Tsiyon. For there יהוה commanded the blessing, life forever!”
The Hebrew word used here in Tehillah 133 for ‘unity’ is יַחַד yaḥad – Strong’s H3162 meaning, ‘unitedness, alike, one accord, unity’, which comes from the root יָחַד yaḥad – Strong’s H3161 meaning, ‘to be united, be joined’, while the Hebrew root word used in Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 11 for ‘Unity’ is חֶבֶל ḥeḇel – Strong’s H2256 which means, ‘chord, territory, band, allotment, lines, region, rope’ and is the same word that is translated as ‘boundary lines’ in Tehillah/Psalm 16:6 that we already looked at where Dawiḏ said had fallen to him in pleasant places!
As we consider the various uses of these words that describe that which is pleasant we ought to be further inspired to lead a pleasant life of set-apartness before our Master and Elohim and render the pleasant praise due to His Name for His Name is pleasant, as we are told in:
Tehillah/Psalm 135:3 “Praise Yah, for יהוה is good; sing praises to His Name, for it is pleasant.”
All that we have in the Master is pleasant and sufficient for us so that our lives can reflect the pleasant praise that is due to His pleasant Name. Dawiḏ also says, in closing Tehillah/Psalm 16:
Tehillah/Psalm 16:11 “You show me the path of life; in Your presence is joy to satisfaction; at Your right hand are pleasures forever.”
Here the word נָעִים na’iym – Strong’s H5273 which means, ‘pleasant, delightful, lovely, surpass in beauty’ is translated as ‘pleasures’! יהושע Messiah is the revealed Right Hand of Elohim and He is The Way, The Truth and The Life and in His presence is joy to satisfaction and pleasant surpassing beauty that is forever! Dawiḏ recognised the beauty and pleasantness of the presence of our Master, Elohim and Saviour and he asked one thing of יהוה:
Tehillah/Psalm 27:4 “One matter I asked of יהוה – this I seek: to dwell in the House of יהוה all the days of my life, to see the pleasantness of יהוה, and to inquire in His Hĕḵal.”
What are you seeking? What are you asking?
HOW PLEASANT IT IS…!
HOW PLEASANT IT IS…:
– To seek first His kingdom and His righteousness
– To dwell in the Master’s presence!
– To grow in wisdom, knowledge and understanding
– To walk in His Ways!
– To walk in unity!
– To sing praises to the pleasant Name of יהוה
– To see the pleasantness of יהוה
The list could go on and on, for it is indeed pleasant – and while we are able to see the peasantness of this all, I ask you today… “How pleasant is it to you?” What, if anything, has blinded your ability to see HOW PLEASANT IT IS…! Or do you clearly see it, know it and can therefore let it be seen in your life of abundant pleasant praise for our King!
Where His pleasantness is there is unity and anointing and provision and blessing – and life forever!
HOW PLEASANT IT IS…!
May this brief message stir your heart and mouth to exult in the pleasant praise of our Mighty and very Pleasant Master and Elohim, especially as we consider the counting of our days before His pleasant face!
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!