2nd of the 5th month 2017/2018
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:21-22 “If, then, anyone cleanses himself from these matters, he shall be a vessel unto value, having been set apart, of good use to the Master, having been prepared for every good work. 22 And flee from the lusts of youth, but pursue righteousness, belief, love, peace with those calling on the Master out of a clean heart.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘clean’ is καθαρός katharos – Strong’s G2513 which means, ‘clean, innocent, pure’ and is also the same word used in:
Yoḥanan/John 15:3 “You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you.”
Having been redeemed by the pure and spotless blood of Messiah we were made clean, and are now expected to keep clean! We take note how Messiah our Husband gave Himself for us in order to wash us and set us apart:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, 26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, 27 in order to present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless.”
Being cleansed by the blood of the spotless Lamb, and called to set-apartness, we are to keep our reverent worship clean and undefiled, as we guard His commands without spot, and keep ourselves unstained from the world!
Ya’aqoḇ teaches us how we are to remain unstained from the world! He tells us in:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:21-22 “Therefore put away all filthiness and overflow of evil, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your lives. 22 And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Simple isn’t it! Put away all filthiness and overflow of evil and be doers of the Word! He then tells us how we can do this, in:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:7-8 “So then subject yourselves to Elohim. Resist the devil and he shall flee from you. 8 Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded!”
Subject yourself to Elohim, which implies a proper submission to hearing, guarding and doing His Word. This will enable you to put away all filthiness and resist the devil and his staining ways! Keep your hands clean and hearts focused as you renew your minds through the Word!
As we see this thread of teaching in Ya’aqoḇ’s letter we are able to see that his message is no different to that which we see being given in Yeshayahu:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:16-18 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Stop doing evil! 17 “Learn to do good! Seek right-ruling, reprove the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together,” says יהוה. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
I love being able to see the same message being given throughout the Word as it clearly shows us that the Word of Elohim does not change! His message is the same and the warnings against being stained by sin and lawlessness is the same!
By ‘world’ Ya’aqoḇ is referring to the corrupt values system that is adhered to in a sin-filled world!
Having therefore taken a brief look at a few clear verses that highlight how our Messiah has cleansed us and that we have a responsibility, as a Bride who is making Herself ready, to keep clean, I would like to take a closer look at how essential it is for us to keep our lives free from been stained and defiled by the corrupt effects of a sinful world. In a message called, ‘KEEPING IT CLEAN!’ I would like to go through a section from Tehillah/Psalm 119, which gives us some wonderful lessons on how we keep our way clean and pure.
The passage I am referring to is Tehillah/Psalm 119:9-16 (Read)
Tehillah/Psalm 119 is a beautifully constructed masterpiece that truly expresses the psalmists love for the Torah of יהוה. It is divided into twenty-two parts or stanzas, denoted by the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
Each stanza contains eight verses, and the first Hebrew letter of each verse corresponds to that which gives name to the stanza. It is also worth noting that in every one of the 176 verses of this Tehillah, Elohim is either addressed or referred to.
For the purposes of this message I will be going through the second stanza or section that consists of 8 verses from verse 9-16, all beginning with the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which is the letter ‘Bět’ – ב – which is written in the ancient pictographic script as – – which is pictured as 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 being 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, and the House of Elohim has clear instructions for those that are in the House! In other words, the way we keep the House clean and in order is by adhering to the rules of the House! This stanza or section under the letter ‘bet’ is as follows in the Hebrew text:
As you will see, I have highlighted the letter ב – that begins each verse/line of this section or stanza.
The dominant theme in this stanza of 8 verses that begin with the letter ‘Bět’ is that of joy and a continued eagerness to obey wholeheartedly, the Torah of יהוה. What becomes abundantly clear through this section is the reality that the one who obeys the Torah of יהוה will be filled with His strengthening joy. Many who wilfully refuse to obey the Torah of יהוה lack the true joy of Elohim that strengthens! Walking in obedience and complete subjection to His Torah is a joy and so should it be, for it is not a burden as some seem to suggest. Our Master clearly tells us, in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:29-30 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your beings. 30 “For My yoke is gentle and My burden is light.”
A ‘yoke’ is something that would be fitted on the neck of oxen for the purpose of binding to them the traces by which they might draw the plough. In other words, it would keep them from wandering from the path that needed to be ploughed. The Greek word that is translated here as ‘yoke’ is ζυγός zugos – Strong’s G2218 which means, ‘a yoke, pair of scales’ and is understood as being a frame that was used for draft animals, for pulling and labour. This word is used in Scripture to figuratively speak of severe bondage, or affliction, or subjection and is also used to denote servitude.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘yoke’ is עֹל ol (ool) – Strong’s H5923 and comes from the primitive root verb עָלַל alal – Strong’s H5953 which means, ‘to insert, thrust in’, and this word speaks of relationships. It is used to indicate the exercise of power over another person, generally in a bad sense, hence meaning “to maltreat.”
Many ‘yokes of traditions’ have been thrusted upon people, as the twisted and vain dogmas of man have exercised power over the masses causing them to submit to their heavy yoke of bondage by thrusting them into customs that are taught as truth! Messiah came to break the yoke of bondage in order to give us as easy yoke – His yoke – that is not heavy and negative, but rather a yoke that leads to life.
This Hebrew word for ‘yoke’ – עֹל ol (ool) – Strong’s H5923 – in the ancient pictographic script looks like this:
Ayin – ע:
the ancient script has this letter is pictured as , which is ‘an eye’ and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’, as the eye is the window of knowledge.
Lamed – לַ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as ,which is a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
With the eye representing knowledge and experience and the shepherds rod representing a staff or yoke, we are able to see that these two pictures together render the clear meaning of, ‘EXPERIENCE THE STAFF’ or ‘EYE ON THE SHEPHERD’!
The yoke is attached to the oxen for performing work, and so to do we recognise from this picture that we ‘experience the staff’ as we submit to the clear leading and guidance of our Good Shepherd, Master and Elohim, as we fix our eyes on the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our faith and submit to His authority!
Scripture clearly tells us what love for Elohim is, as seen in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
His commands are NOT heavy – for His yoke is light! Our proper love for Elohim is expressed in our willing obedience to having His yoke upon us so that we guard His commands by walking in His proper way of righteousness and keeping ourselves clean and undefiled from the deviations that sin and compromise cause many to be led astray by.
Love for Elohim should be a continual joyful expression of one’s walk and to stray from the path of obedience to His Torah can be understood in the picture of removing His light and easy yoke from one’s neck, which will cause one to stray and be headed for destruction on a broad lawless path, leaving one defiled and stained and unable to enter in to His reign for having wrong garments on!
This section in Tehillah/Psalm 119:9-16 ought to be a reminder to us of the joy of keeping our path clean, by holding firm to our commitment of saying the ‘I DO’, as a faithful Bride of Messiah that has been caused to enter into a Marriage Covenant by His Cleansing Blood!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘path’ in verse 9 come from the word אֹרַח oraḥ – Strong’s H734, and figuratively speaks of the way of living, and comes from the root verb אָרַח araḥ – Strong’s H732 which means, ‘to wander, journey, go, travel, traveller’.
When we look at the ancient pictographic rendering of these words we are able to get some great insight in recognising our need to be faithful sojourners and ambassadors who are proclaiming the reign of the Heavens to which we belong, and is soon coming here to earth!
In the ancient pictographic script, the word אֹרַח oraḥ – Strong’s H734 which means, ‘a way, path, highway, course’ looks like this:
Aleph – אֹ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!
Resh – רַ:
The Ancient picture for this letter is , which is ‘the head of a man’. This letter has the meanings of ‘head or man’ as well as ‘chief, top, beginning or first’.
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.
The two-letter parent root of this word is רַח – which Jeff Benner explains in his AHLB (Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible) the following:
The pictograph is a picture of ‘the head of a man’, the pictograph is a picture of ‘a wall’ that separates the inside from the outside. Combined these two pictographic letters mean, “MAN OUTSIDE“. The responsibilities of the nomad outside of the tent includes the feeding, watering and caring for the livestock.
Livestock are healthier and more productive when on a routine, therefore the man follows a routine or “A PRESCRIBED PATH” each day when caring for his livestock.
With the letter אֹ – Aleph – – at the beginning of this word, we are able to see the strength we have in our Master and Elohim to sojourn here in the prescribed path given for us through His Torah, as we await His soon return! The ox representing a yoke speaks of being driven or guided in a prescribed direction, under the hand of a master. This word can also render for us:
ONE WHO FOLLOWS A PRESCRIBED PATH TO ARRIVE AT A SPECIFIC DESTINATION
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘cleanse’ זָכָה zaḵah – Strong’s H2135 which means ‘to be clear, clean or pure, to be blameless, cleansed, make yourself clean and be kept pure’. This word is only used 8 times in Scripture and also gives us the meaning of being clear and pure and free from any foreign substances; being flawless and in a perfect state, being free of guilt and able to stand before the throne of Elohim which we can, by the blood of Messiah, come boldly to in order to find favour in time of need!
In Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:16 we see a very clear call given to a corrupted Yisra’ěl to wash themselves and make themselves clean:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Stop doing evil!”
Wash and make yourself clean – put away and stop doing evil! Those who take heed to these words and take their stand in the Master shall overcome and be equipped to properly praise Elohim with their all!
The question that is being asked here in verse 9 is basically – ‘how would a young man keep his path clean?’
This is an interrogative question that is being asked here and it is directly followed with the answer, which is: ‘to guard it (his path) according to Your Word’. The Psalmist is directing his earnest question to יהוה and in asking the question he immediately knows the answer as he declares to יהוה the truth of the responsibility that he has toward keeping his path clean and recognises that the only way to do so is to guard his path according to the Word of Elohim! In verse 105 he declares very clearly that the Word of Elohim is a lamp to his feet and light to his path – highlighting that to stray from the Word of Elohim would be to walk in darkness and therefore risk defiling his path and not keep it clean, as he should!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘guard’ comes from the root word שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104 and carries the meaning, ‘keep watch, observe, perform, protect, pay attention’, and the basic idea of the root of this word is ‘to exercise great care over’.
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:17-18 “You, then, beloved ones, being forewarned, watch, lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the delusion of the lawless, 18 but grow in the favour and knowledge of our Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah. To Him be the esteem both now and to a day that abides. Aměn.”
These were the words that ended the second letter of Kěpha and are words that expressed the urgency of the need to be a watchful people, having been forewarned about the clear fact that just as there came to be false prophets in the past so too shall there be false teachers who shall secretly bring in destructive heresies, and deny the Master who bought them, as seen in the previous chapter of his letter.
The Greek word used in Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:17 for ‘watch’ is φυλάσσω phulassō – Strong’s G5442 which means, ‘to guard, watch, keep, observe, obey and keep orders’, which we also see being translated as ‘watching over’, in:
Luqas/Luke 11:28 “But He said, “Blessed rather are those hearing the Word of Elohim and watching over it!”
This word φυλάσσω phulassō – Strong’s G5442 is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek text of the Tanak – O.T.) in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:1 “My son, guard my words, and treasure up my commands with you.”
Here it is used for the word that is translated as ‘guard’, which in the Hebrew text is the word שָׁמַר shamar – Strong’s H8104
As we guard His Torah and exercise great care over our need to walk upright, we will be protected against the delusion of the lawless! Why I am highlighting this is to make it very clear that in order to properly watch and be on guard against being led astray we need to be properly guarding the Word of Elohim by paying attention to it, as we hear, guard and do what the Word commands!
To watch as we should we need to know the Word, which takes proper study and daily meditation of the Word and those who are not interested in knowing the Word set themselves up to be an easy target for being led astray by the delusion of the lawless.
How one ‘watches’ is of vital importance, as we also take note of the warning that Kěpha is giving here, saying that if one does not watch properly then the danger of falling away from one’s own steadfastness is very real indeed and sadly we see that there are so many who are not taking this warning seriously enough and are not keeping their path clean!
We keep our path clean by guarding it according to the Word of Elohim!!! According to His Word, not our own or according to vain traditions of man that are taught as teachings while the commands are forsaken!!! According to His Word! I wonder how many have missed this truth? So many think that they are keeping their path clean while they have clearly set aside the need to guard the commands and walk according to the Torah of Elohim, as they falsely claim that it is no longer valid or required. This lawless mind-set defiles any garments that are assumed to be clear and clean!
If one wants to keep their path clean then there is only one way – and that is to guard it according to the Word! In other words, we keep our path clean by being a doer of the Word and not just a hearer, for then we shall be blessed in the doing of the Torah! Once again, I remind you what Ya’aqoḇ tells us in:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:21-25 “Therefore put away all filthiness and overflow of evil, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your lives. 22 And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah. ”
Guarding the Word is an active duty that must continue in every step we take or stand we make and requires proper discipline and steadfast obedience and commitment to learning, studying, seeking, meditating and rejoicing in the Word. Having understood the clear answer of how one keeps their path clean the psalmist continues to highlight in the next 7 verses his dedication and commitment to guarding the Word of Elohim, along with his plea for יהוה to instruct and protect him as he earnestly seeks to stay pure on the narrow path that leads to life! We can learn a great deal from these words as we can allow these words to be a mirror for our own lives, when assessing our own walk before our Master and Elohim, to determine if we are keeping our path clean or not.
In verse 10 we see the Psalmist declaring how he has sought יהוה with all his heart! This, in itself, is a ‘mirror moment’ for us all, so to speak, as we all need to assess how our seeking of יהוה is – is it with all our heart or not!
How are you seeking יהוה?
We, as the capable Bride of Messiah, are to be seeking Him with our all! The Hebrew word for ‘seek’ is דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 which means, ‘to resort to, seek out, ask, avenge, consult, investigate, search carefully, make inquiry, question’. Now when we see that this word carries more than simply just take a quick peek, but rather emphasises the need 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 – we must recognise that this is not an instruction that gives the notion that you look at it and now that you have seen it you can go on your merry way – NO! To seek His Kingdom requires hard work and discipline every day. A word that is derived from דָּרַשׁ darash is מִדְרָשׁ miḏrash – Strong’s H4097 means, ‘a study, record, writings or story, commentary’. A ‘miḏrash’ speaks of the ability to search out something and often refers to that which is written to teach, and later became known as a Hebrew word relating to the in-depth study of the word, often done together. 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!
A true capable wife is one who seeks her husband and is found by him! We take note of the words that Shelomoh was clearly told when 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.”
A true capable wife that is seeking יהוה shall be found by Him!
This Hebrew word דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 can also carry the understanding of seeking out and learning information that what 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.
True seeking is done with all one’s heart! The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘all’ is כֹּל kol – Strong’s H3605 which means, ‘whole, all, everything, entire, throughout, wholehearted, perpetual, completely, continually’, and comes from the primitive root verb כָּלַל kalal – Strong’s H3634 which means, ‘to complete, perfect, perfected’. Why I am emphasizing this word for ‘all’ is because it is just that – all – not just some and not even 99% but ALL!
The Hebrew word for ‘heart’ is לֵב leḇ – Strong’s H3820 which means, ‘inner man, mind, will thought’, or is often also written as לֵבָב leḇaḇ – Strong’s H3824 which means, ‘inner man, heart, mind, understanding’; and what is interesting to take note of here is that these two letters for ‘heart’ in the ancient Hebrew pictographic Script make it clear that the rule and authority of Elohim is to be upon our hearts!
In the ancient pictographic script, the Hebrew word לֵב leḇ – Strong’s H3820 looks like this:
Lamed – לֵ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
Bet – 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.
In terms of these two pictures representing the ‘heart’ or the inner man and the will and thoughts of man, we are able to see that a pure heart is one that submits to the authority of the Good Shepherd, having been grafted into His Body, that is the Tabernacle of Elohim, which in Messiah we now are. And in recognising this we see that we, as legitimate sons and daughter of the Most-High that have been grafted in by the Blood of Messiah, have upon our hearts His Torah, under which we submit to walking in – for His Torah are the rules of His House! Even with the word for heart being expressed as לֵבָב leḇaḇ, we are able to see in the ancient text a second ‘bet’ – ב – , showing us the clear picture of the True authority for both Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, that collectively make up the entire body of Messiah, or Tabernacle of Elohim, which we now are!
To love Elohim with all your heart implies that His commands are written upon your heart, for true love for Elohim is to guard His commands; and if one does not think upon or meditate upon His Torah in order to walk in it, then it shall be very clear that the Truth is not in them!
יהוה knows what is in our hearts, while we may not; and He tests our hearts in order to see if we will obey Him or not:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:2 “And you shall remember that יהוה your Elohim led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, prove you, to know what is in your heart, whether you guard His commands or not.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Yisra’ĕl, what is יהוה your Elohim asking of you, but to fear יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, 13 to guard the commands of יהוה and His laws which I command you today for your good?”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:18 “And you shall lay up these Words of Mine in your heart and in your being, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14 “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.”
The reason I am quoting all these verses is to show that ‘it is a heart thing’ and the Word must be in our hearts and mouths, and not just a vain rendering of a corrupted lips service that has no heart or follow through with obedience and submission to doing the commands with joy!
Seeking יהוה with all our heart implies that we are truly seeking first His kingdom and in doing so we ought to recognise that the first sets the tone for what follows. By that I mean that when we are seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness then the foundation of what we seek is established and leaving no room for seeking an alternative way that seeks to satisfy the corrupt desires of the flesh, but rather seeks to put יהוה and His Word first in all we say and do!
What we often need to ask ourselves, when looking intently in to the mirror of the Word and desiring to keep our path clean is, “What am I seeking first?” and “Am I seeking יהוה with all my heart or has my seeking been a half-hearted effort that actually does not produce the proper fruit of righteousness?”
In his earnest seeking of יהוה with his all the psalmist asks to be guarded against straying from the commands!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘stray’ comes from the root word שָׁגָה shagah – Strong’s H7686 which means ‘to go astray, to err, to wander or stray, and to be intoxicated’. Mishlĕ/Proverbs 5:20 tells us that many stray or are captivated by a strange woman, which is a result of turning away from the truth.
We are constantly warned in Scripture against those who lead astray through falsehood and vain teachings, and how they will even come masquerading as teachers of truth yet they are savage wolves.
The Hebrew word for ‘commands’ is מִצְוַת mitzvoth which is the plural of the root word מִצְוָה mitzvah – Strong’s H4687 which means, ‘commandment, command, obligation, precept’, which clearly speaks of the commands of Elohim, and His מִצְוַת mitzvoth are those rules which apply to specific situations and are tailored for each unique situation in determining the correct action to be taken in a specific circumstance and so we ‘guard’ his commands to know how to respond and take action for any given situation we may find ourselves in. Be on guard against those who cause others to stray from the commands of Elohim! How will one know if they are being led astray if they do not seek יהוה with all their heart?
In verse 11 the psalmist highlights how he has not only sought יהוה with all his heart but that he treasured up the Word in his heart so that he would not sin! יהושע Messiah tells us that out of the heart come forth wicked reasonings, murders, adulteries, whorings, thefts, false witnessings, slanders. (Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:19)
He also tells us, in:
Luqas/Luke 6:45 “The good man brings forth what is good out of the good treasure of his heart, and the wicked man brings forth what is wicked out of the wicked treasure of his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks.”
What is treasured up in your heart will come out!!! Here in Tehillah/Psalm 119 the psalmist declares that he has treasured up the Word of Elohim in his heart! The Hebrew word for ‘treasure’ is צָפַן tsaphan – Strong’s H6845 meaning, ‘to hide, treasure up, store, save’. Those who treasure up His Words in their heart shall be hidden by Yah. The name of the prophet צְפַנְיָה Tsephanyah – Strong’s H6846 which means ‘Hidden by יהוה’ or ‘Treasured by יהוה’, comes from the word צָפַן tsaphan – Strong’s H6845. Tsephanyah is often a book regarded by many as the ‘hottest book’ in Scripture, as it speaks more about the coming Day of יהוה than any other prophet – in fact the entire book’s message is centred around the coming Day of יהוה, with the call to repentance to all who are walking in darkness through their rebellious and lustful living.
The more I read through this book the more I come to grips just how alive it is for us today, and how important it is for the true sons of Elohim to be found treasuring up The Word of יהוה in our hearts! Now treasuring up does not signify a collection of wisdom that is hidden away and never used, but rather it symbolises the devotion that a true child of Elohim has toward the hearing, guarding and doing of His Word, for the treasuring up of His Word in our hearts will equip us to walk humbly before Him and live set-apart lives according to His treasured Word!
The Hebrew root word translated as ‘word’ in verse 11 is אִמְרָה imrah – Strong’s H565 and means, ‘utterance, speech, command’, and this word is predominantly used in Scripture in reference to the Word of יהוה:
Tehillah/Psalm 12:6 “The Words of יהוה are clean Words, silver tried in a furnace of earth, refined seven times.”
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.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:140 “Your word is tried, exceedingly; and Your servant has loved it.”
Treasuring up His Word in our hearts will equip us to not sin! The Hebrew word used here for ‘sin’ comes from the root word חָטָא ḥata – Strong’s H2398 which means, ‘to miss the mark, do wrong, incur guilt, fail to reach’, and when understanding that the root meaning of ‘Torah’ means to aim or point in the right direction and move in that direction, one can clearly see that to sin is to walk against, or walk contrary to, the Torah, for:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”
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’.
When shooting an arrow or other object to a target, the distance that one misses is measured with a cord. The wrong actions of one are also measured against the correct action! The Torah is, in a manner of speaking, the ‘chord’ or ‘plumb-line’ that we are ‘measured against’; for we would not know what we have missed if there were no measuring line to guide and instruct us! Sinners are those who walk contrary to the Torah and ‘miss the mark’, so to speak, of the called for set-apartness and obedience to the Torah.
The Greek word for ‘sin’ is ἁμαρτία hamartia – Strong’s G266 which means, ‘sin, failure, miss the mark, to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong’, and also carries the meaning of, ‘wandering from the law of Elohim, violate the law of Elohim’. I am sure some of you know where I am going with this!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 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!
We also take note of the words we see 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’.
Ok… unrighteousness is sin – ἀδικία adikia is ἁμαρτία hamartia – that is pretty clear!
That means that unrighteousness is lawlessness, and we are clearly told in Scripture 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.”
To sin is to disregard the need to guard the commands and walk in the Torah of Elohim and here the psalmist expresses how he has treasured up the Word in his heart so that he would not be lawless and sin!
In verse 12 he acknowledges the blessedness of Elohim and earnestly seeks the blessed Elohim to be his Teacher!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘teach’ comes from the root word לָמַד lamaḏ – Strong’s H3925 which means, ‘to exercise in, learn, accept, instruct, train’.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 48:17 “Thus said יהוה, your Redeemer, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, “I am יהוה your Elohim, teaching you what is best, leading you by the way you should go.”
יהוה teaches us what is best – He teaches us what is profitable for us and what is good for us!
It is יהוה our Redeemer and Elohim that teaches us to do what is best, through His Torah and instructions given to us through His Word, and therefore the laws and right-rulings of Mosheh that we are to ‘exercise in’ and learn, accept and become fluent in, as we diligently train ourselves to be true set-apart people, is what causes us to be true servants of Messiah!
We are therefore called to incline our ears and hear those who teach and instruct in His Torah, and teach the difference between the set-apart and profane and between the clean and unclean.
We do not learn for nothing – we learn and are taught – TO DO!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:7 “Remember those leading you, who spoke the Word of Elohim to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their belief.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:17 “Obey those leading you, and be subject to them, for they watch for your lives, as having to give account. Let them do so with joy and not groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘laws’ is חֻקִּים ḥoqqim, which is the plural of the word for law – חֹק ḥoq – Strong’s H2706 meaning, ‘something prescribed or owed, boundary, allotment, portion, ordinance, statute’. This word comes from the primitive root חָקַק ḥaqaq – Strong’s H2710 which means, ‘to cut, inscribe, hack, engrave, decree, carve, sceptre, lawgiver’. This word is often written in the feminine form as חֻקָּה ḥuqqah.
In essence, we get the clear understanding of a חֻקִּים ḥoqqim as being ‘laws cut in stone’, which means that they are set and fixed! A חֻקָּה ḥuqqah is often seen as something that must simply be obeyed, even when the full understanding may not be available; and as we look at what has been labelled as a law that may not be fully understood we in fact come to learn that all is made clear and understandable through the life, death and resurrection of Messiah.
In being a faithful disciple (student/taught one) of Messiah, the Good Teacher, we recognise the true blessing we have in the doing of His Torah! Guarding to do and the blessing that comes with it gives one confidence in being a trustworthy ambassador that boldly proclaims the reign of Elohim and teaches others to do the same!
In verse 13 the psalmist declares how he has loved to recount the right-rulings of the Word of Elohim.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘recounted’ comes from the root word סָפַר saphar – Strong’s H5608 which means, ‘to score, mark as a tally, record, inscribe, recount, celebrate, commune’. It is used 161 times in the Tanak (O.T), also being translated into English as, ‘tell, told, number, tell me, declared, numbering’. This Hebrew word סָפַר saphar is the denominative root verb of the word סֵפֶר sepher – Strong’s H5612 which means, ‘a missive, document, writing, book, scroll, letters’, and is used to describe the Book of the Torah! The word סָפַר saphar – Strong’s H5608 is used in our command to count to Shaḇu’oth and this teaches us to continually be a ‘counting people’ who daily ‘count the cost’ of following our Master and Redeemer, יהושע Messiah. And to be faithful in being a ‘counting people’, we need to realise that we cannot do this without the Word of Elohim – as we are to meditate on His Torah day and night and allow this סֵפֶר sepher or Book of the Torah to lead us each and every day:
Yehoshua/Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.”
If we do not count we cannot be cleansed! To count means to reflect on where we are and repent of our sin and be filled with the Good News of the Kingdom.
The word סָפַר saphar (spelt from right to left is with a סָ – samek, פַ – pey, ר – resh).
Now when we see these symbols as written in the ancient script we get a wonderful picture of what true cleansing entails when we ‘count’:
THE ANCIENT FORM OF WRITING THE WORD “COUNT” – SAPHAR!
Samek – סָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.
The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His Word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘turning’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger to that which is secure.
Pey – פָּ:
This is the letter ‘pey’, which is pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established!
Resh – ר:
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!
When seeing the construct of this word for count in its ancient form we have a clear picture of how cleansing entails true repentance through being able to correctly count! This ancient grouping of letters can carry various meanings for us, and in terms of being a people who count, we realise that this can only be done when we:
GRAB HOLD OF THE WORD OF THE HEAD!
This picture, in terms of counting, teaches us that our shield and refuge is in our Head and Master, who teaches us through His Word to number our days and we recognise that When we bring our sins (pictured by the thorn) and confess them (open mouth) to יהושע our Messiah (head of a man); then He is the one who cleanses us!
As we count the cost of following our Master and surrender and submit our lives to His Word that leads us, we then recognise how we are to be hearers and doers of His Word and not simply hearers only!
In Tehillah/Psalm 119:13 we see how the psalmist declares that he has faithfully declared with his lips the right-rulings of יהוה, emphasising how he has been a faithful ambassador of the Truth. The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘right-Rulings’ is מִּשְׁפָּטִים mishpatim, which is the plural of the root word מִּשְׁפָּטִ mishpat – Strong’s H4941which means right-ruling or judgement’ and these are understood as the ‘legal procedures’ or firm rulings that are non-negotiable. It is through these מִּשְׁפָּטִים mishpatim that the community is to be ruled and how any issues that may arise would be dealt with in a prescribed way that is just and fair. These are what we could call the ‘social laws’ that clearly teach us how to get on with each other and how we are to behave and how we are to live according to how we have been created to be in יהושע.
Tehillah/Psalm 89:14 “Righteousness and right-ruling are the foundation of Your throne; kindness and truth go before Your face.”
Tehillah/Psalm 97:2 “Clouds and darkness all around Him, righteousness and right-ruling are the foundation of His throne.”
In the garments of the high priest we are told that the breastplate is a breastplate of right-ruling:
Shemoth/Exodus 28:15 “And you shall make a breastplate of right-ruling, a work of a skilled workman, like the work of the shoulder garment. Make it of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material, and fine woven linen.”
The Hebrew word for ‘breastplate’ is חשֶׁן ḥoshen – Strong’s H2833, translates as ‘breastplate, breast-piece, pouch’ and it was made of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material, and fine woven linen. It held the stones bearing the names of the Yisra’ĕlites safely in place and also carried the urim and tummim.
A breastplate of ‘right-ruling’ – ‘RIGHT-RULINGS’ – מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 – ‘judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 – meaning, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:22 “for יהוה is our Judge, יהוה is our Lawgiver, יהוה is our Sovereign, He saves us”
There is only One who gives us the Law by which we must live and by which we are governed and these judgements and right-rulings and regulations given by Him we must DO!!!
What the psalmist is basically declaring here in Tehillah/Psalm 119:13 is that he is not just rendering a vain lip service but is bringing forth the correct lip service that lines up with a heart that has treasured up the Word of Elohim as his obedience through his speech and actions are according to the Word of Elohim!!!
Many may ‘recount’ the Word with their mouths yet their disobedience in their lawless actions reveals how far their hearts are from Elohim, rendering tehri worship as vain and fruitless!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:8-9 “This people draw near to Me with their mouth, and respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9 ‘But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men.’”
How confident are you in declaring the Word of Elohim with your lips? Do your actions match your word and reveal that the Truth is treasured up in your heart and that you continually seek יהוה with all your heart or has your witness and worship of Elohim been tainted through compromise and the following of erroneous commands of men that are taught as teachings? Being confident in declaring the Word to others entails that you are confident in living it out as a true set-apart one that does not compromise and upholds the clear set-apart standard of the Word of Elohim in all you do!
When we are confident and bold in our ability to be a trustworthy and faithful ambassador that proclaims the reign of Elohim, doing all – whether in word or deed – in the Name of יהושע our Messiah, then we will certainly experience the true joy of living in accordance to His Word!
This the psalmist clearly expresses in verse 14, as he declares how he has rejoiced in the way of the witnesses of Elohim, which is of far more worth than any amount of riches!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘rejoice’ comes from the verb שׂוּשׂ ‘sus’ H7797 meaning ‘to be bright, cheerful, exult, rejoice, display joy’. How joyful is your display of walking in the ways of Elohim? Our joy of walking in the Truth should be evidenced in our walk.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘way’ comes from the root word דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ – Strong’s H1870 which means, ‘way, road, distance, journey’ and is from the word דָּרַךְ daraḵ – Strong’s H1869 which means, ‘to tread or march’; and so speaks of our walk, and every step that we take – and our ‘ways’ we are to commit to יהוה, which we do by walking in His Torah:
Tehillah/Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to יהוה, and trust in Him, and He does it.”
The first time this root word דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ – Strong’s H1870 is used, is in:
Berěshith/Genesis 3:24 “and He drove the man out. And He placed keruḇim at the east of the garden of Ěḏen, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”
Due to the sin of Aḏam and Ḥawwah, they were driven out of the garden of Ěḏen, and driven from the presence of יהוה, with no access to the way to the tree of life! Before they were driven out Elohim made for them coats of skin, and in this we are able to see the powerful shadow picture of the protection and covering we have in יהושע Messiah, the Passover Lamb that was slain for us, in order that we can once again be brought near to the presence of Elohim and have access to the tree of life and have the full assurance of an everlasting life with our Master who shall come and receive us to Himself!
In the ancient pictographic symbols of this word, we are given a greater insight in understanding how יהושע Messiah is THE WAY! This word – דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ – in the ancient script looks like this:
Dalet – דֶּ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.
Resh – רֶ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as chief, top, begging or first. ‘Top’, as in ‘the top or head of a body’ and ‘chief’ as in ‘the head of a tribe or people’, as well as the one who rules the people.
Kaph – כֶּ:
The ancient form of this letter is pictured as – which is ‘an open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. This also pictures for us that which has been openly revealed – by the ‘open hand’, or the revelation of the hand that has worked a function!
As we consider these three pictures in making up the Hebrew word דֶּרֶךְ dereḵ, in reference to this meaning THE WAY, we can clearly see how it is יהושע Messiah who is THE WAY. As we come to the DOOR of the Tent of APPOINTMENT we are able to come and submit under the hand of our Master and Chief, who gives us access into His presence.
Yoḥanan/John 10:19 “I am the door. Whoever enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture.”
As one understands the design and service of the Tabernacle, then we are able to understand perfectly the clear words of our Master. It was at the door of the Tabernacle that the people would bring their offerings to the Priest, and before they were able to enter they needed to be washed. Looking at this ancient pictographic of the word that renders for us the meaning of THE WAY, we are also able to see the clear work of our Master, who is the Lamb that was slain, and it was His hands that took the nails for us, and in doing so released us from the dogmas which stood against us! His shed blood covers us from the punishment of death, as long as we remain in Him! The Houses that applied the blood of the lamb to the doorposts of their homes would not be visited by the Messenger of death, but would be passed over, as the final plague in Mitsrayim swept over the land, killing every first born of those homes that did not have the blood on their doorposts!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘witnesses’ comes from the root word עֵדוּת eduth – Strong’s H5715 which means, ‘testimony, witness, ordinance, warning’, which becomes more meaningful to us when we look at the ancient pictographic script, which is rendered as follows:
= עֵ –This is the letter ‘ayin’ and in the ancient alphabet this letter is pictured as , which is ‘an eye’ and represents the idea of seeing and watching, as well as knowledge, as the eye is the window of knowledge.
= ד –This is the letter ‘dalet’, which in the ancient script 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.
= וּ– This is the letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ and 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’.
= ת – this is the letter ‘taw or tav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as – – which is the picture of two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!
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 – as we look continually into the perfect Torah of Freedom and not forget what we look like!
The Word of יהוה shall be a witness against those who are not ‘looking’ at His Word and guarding to do it!
This word comes from the root word עוּד ud/ood – Strong’s H5749, which means, ‘to return, go about, repeat, do again, encircle, supports’, which is another great practical lesson in understanding how we are to continually be meditating on the Word of Elohim, as we also find ourselves repeating the cycle of studying His Torah each week, doing it again and again!
Rejoicing in the way of His witnesses is an expression of joy for running in the way of the commands of Elohim, as we fix our eyes upon Him and run this race with great perseverance and joy, having thrown off all that entangles as we keep our path clean!!!
In both verses 14 & 16 he describes his delight and pleasure he has in doing יהוה’s will and in verse 15 he commits to studying יהוה’s Word. At first glance of verse 14 it may seem like he rejoices in the way of the witnesses of Elohim as much as he does in riches, however this could better be understood as him declaring that he rejoices in the way of the witnesses of Elohim more than riches! This expression emphasises the clear value that he puts on the ways of the witnesses of Elohim and when carefully considering this declaration of joy-filled value that he places upon the Word of Elohim we can be reminded of the words of יהושע Messiah, when describing what the reign of the heavens is like:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:44-46 “Again, the reign of the heavens is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man having found it, hid, and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 “Again, the reign of the heavens is like a man, a merchant, seeking fine pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
How precious and valuable are the ways of the witnesses of Elohim to you? Do you rejoice over them more than riches or do the worries of this life and the deceit of riches choke out the Word, due their being too many thorns that keep one from retaining the Truth and cultivating good fruit of righteousness that lasts!
In verse 15 we are able to see a further reflection of what true rejoicing over the Word results in, or perhaps understood as what causes one to rejoice over the Word. Meditating on the ways of Elohim and regarding His laws will certainly bring about a rejoicing for His Word and vice versa too!
So many people find it a bore to meditate on His Word and for those who think it is a bore you will find that they have no true joy in guarding the proper witness of His Word but will rather run after the deceit of riches that cannot save!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘meditate’ comes from the root word שִׂיחַ siaḥ – Strong’s H7878 means, ‘talk, speak, meditate’. We are to open up our mouths and speak the Truth! However, to be able to speak the Truth you have to know the Truth and know what you are proclaiming; and one’s ability to speak Truth only gets better by meditating on the Word day and night! If you are not meditating on His Word daily how do you think you will be able to speak it???
This word is translated as ‘talk’, in:
Tehillah/Psalm 77:12 “And I shall meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.”
The basic meaning of this verb שִׂיחַ siaḥ – Strong’s H7878 seems to carry the picture of ‘rehearsing, repent or go over a matter in one’s mind’ and is used in reference to a ‘silent reflection on the works of Elohim’, and so we see that we are to not only have the silent reflections and meditations but we are also to rehearse aloud His works. As the world battles for the attention of the mind, through ever increasing tactics of very attractive and ever increasing forms of media persuasion, we need to realise just how important it is for us to be renewing our minds daily, guarding against the danger of being conformed to the patterns of this world; and at the same time we need to make our voice of praise and the declaration of our lips heard with great passion and zeal so that other we witness to are not lured away by the fleshly attraction of the world!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘orders’ comes from the root word פִּקּוּד piqqud – Strong’s H6490 which means, ‘precepts, commandments, statutes, regulations’, which comes from the root word פָּקַד paqaḏ – Strong’s H6485 and carries the meaning, ‘to attend to, call up, muster, appoint, number, call to account, charge’.
Meditating on the orders of Elohim implies a proper inspection of one’s life, as measured by the clear commands and regulations of the Word of Elohim. A proper meditation of the orders of יהוה will bring about a sober assessment of where one’s walk is in terms of the required set-apartness that is called for and sadly many choose to be ignorant of the orders of יהוה so that they can continue in their compromised lifestyles and vainly assume that their path is being kept clean, yet they have no ability to actually keep it clean and will sadly perish through a lack of knowledge that they wilfully choose not to seek and meditate upon!
When we properly meditate on the order of Elohim then we will certainly regard His ways!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘regard’ 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 for us the clear cry of the psalmist here as he earnestly seeks יהוה to open his eyes so that he may be caused to see the wonders that are contained in the Torah of יהוה. His eyes are fixed on the ways of Elohim and this declaration ought to remind us how we too are to have our eyes fixed on our Master and Elohim by fixing our eyes on His ways through a proper meditation and study of His Word, which equips us to throw off all that hinders so that we can run with great joy in our Master and keep our paths clean!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:1-2 “We too, then, having so great a cloud of witnesses all around us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 looking to the Prince and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.”
The Greek word for that is translated here as ‘looking’ is ἀφοράω – aphorao – Strong’s G872 which means ‘to look/ to turn eyes away from all other things and fix them on something’. Metaphorically speaking it means ‘to fix the mind upon/ give full attention/ looking intently upon/ to take heed’, and it can also carry the meaning, ‘to consider carefully, attentively look at’. This word comes from the two Greek words: ἀπό apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and participle that means, ‘from, away from, at, in, to’ and the word ὁράω horaō – Strong’s G3708 which means, ‘to see, perceive, attend to, take heed, see with the mind, beware, to see – as in becoming acquainted with by experience’.
The two words used here for our Messiah are:
PRINCE – ἀρχηγός – archēgos – Strong’s G747 – translates as ‘prince, captain, chief leader and author’ and describes ‘one that takes the lead in anything and thus affords an example, a predecessor in a matter, pioneer’.
PERFECTER – τελειωτής – teleiōtēs – Strong’s G5051 – this is the only place this Greek word and denotes a ‘finisher, completer, perfecter’ and describes ‘one who has in his own person raised faith to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith’. This is a description given only to יהושע Messiah who has become the supreme model for us to follow.
We are told to be ‘looking’ to Messiah – and what we can see from the verse before this one, is that in order to be able to properly ‘look’ at Messiah, we need to throw off and lay aside every weight and sin that easily entangles us and run with endurance – looking intently at our King as we run faithfully as servants of the Most High Elohim!
Many are trying to run, yet find themselves getting tired and unable to endure the hardships and persecutions that come as a result of trying to be set-apart amidst a crooked generation! The question that you need to ask yourself as you take an eye test so to speak is, “What are you looking at?” Are you looking at Messiah?
We are to look to Messiah and careful consider our ways and we are, at the same time, to make sure that our eyes are not looking elsewhere as we ‘take heed’ of the dangers of the corrupt teachings of man-made dogmas and traditions that lead people astray. If we are not looking to our Master, Saviour, Elohim and King then our eyes may be dangerously looking at that which cannot save us!
Meditating on the orders of יהוה and regarding His ways s what true followers of Messiah do, as we carefully give heed and pay attention to His Word! How concerned are you in regards to meditating on the Word of Elohim? Is it of utmost importance to you to do so or do you shrug it off and find yourselves being concerned with other natters that do not profit you? Are you paying attention to His Word or do you quickly forget what you may have heard as your ears were not attentive to the proper hearing of His Word?
Do you delight in His Word? If you do then you will regard His Word by paying careful attention to hearing and doing His Word.
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘delight’ comes from the root verb שָׁעַע sha’a – Strong’s H8173 which means, ‘take joy in, delight in, have a feeling or attitude of taking pleasure in, having fondness for an object’.
As this psalmist meditated on the orders and ways of Elohim he expresses how he delights himself in the laws of Elohim and takes great pleasure in them, having a proper attitude toward them!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:70 “Their heart has become like fat, without feeling; I have delighted in Your Torah.”
While the wrong have fattened hearts of deceit without feeling, this psalmist declares that he takes great pleasure in the Torah of Elohim! How about you? Does the Torah give you great pleasure and do you have great fondness and delight for it? Or has your heart become calloused by the worries of this age and the deceit of wealth that chokes out the Word and renders one fruitless?
What is interesting to take note of if that this root verb שָׁעַע sha’a – Strong’s H8173 can also carry the meaning of, ‘to be smeared over or blinded, to smear the eyes shut’, and is translated as ‘shut’, in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:10 “Make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and shall turn and be healed.”
What in essence is being said here is that those who have not delighted in יהוה and His Torah, and have shut their eyes to the Truth are given over to their own evil that they have delighted in. This is a negative use of this word that highlights the danger of not delighting in יהוה and being given over to the delights of a fattened and calloused heart!
Understanding our need to be delighting ourselves in יהוה, His Torah and the comforting breath of His Word, we recognise that this verb teaches us that our delight in Him must express an intensive and intentional action of seeking Him and continually doing so, lest our eyes become smeared shut by deceit!
To delight in יהוה is a continual action of a committed obedience that is required to be done out of a pure pleasure and joy as opposed to it being a heavy burden that is too hard to bear! What one delights in will not be too hard to do, even if it takes hard work and costs you!
Knowing that delighting in our Master and Elohim is a required action what we also need to learn is what things of יהוה we are to delight ourselves in, and this is where the noun that is derived from this root verb שָׁעַע sha’a – Strong’s H8173 comes into play! The noun that is derived from this verb is שַׁעֲשֻׁעִים sha’ashuiym – Strong’s H8191 which means, ‘delight, pleasant, object of delight’, which is an intensive noun that is written in the plural. When being written as ‘my delight’ it is written as שַׁעֲשֻׁעָי – sha’ashuai. This noun is used 9 times in the Tanak, 5 of which are used in Tehillah/Psalm 119 in the construct of שַׁעֲשֻׁעָי – sha’ashuai meaning, ‘MY DELIGHT’. It was this Hebrew word – שַׁעֲשֻׁעָי – sha’ashuai – that gripped me and led me to dig deeper into what we are to be delighting ourselves in. Let us take a look at these 5 verses and see what the object of the psalmist’s delight was:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:24 “Your witnesses also are my delight, my counsellors.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:77 “Let Your compassions come to me, that I might live, for Your Torah is my delight.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:92 “If Your Torah had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:143 “Distress and anguish have found me; Your commands are my delight.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:174 “I have longed for Your deliverance, O יהוה, and Your Torah is my delight.”
As we can clearly see from these verses the object of the psalmist’s delight was the witnesses, Torah and commands of יהוה! As we stop and ponder on this and see exactly what this psalmist took great pleasure in, we have to question the motives of some who claim to follow the Creator yet delight not in His witnesses, His Torah and His commands.
True delighting in the laws of Elohim will cause one to be on guard to not forget His Word. After all, how can you forget something you delight yourself in and love!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘forget’ comes from the root word שָׁכַח shaḵaḥ – Strong’s H7911 and means, ‘forget, cease to care, ignore’
We are clearly reminded in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:11-14 “Be on guard, lest you forget יהוה your Elohim by not guarding His commands, and His right-rulings, and His laws which I command you today, 12 lest you eat and shall be satisfied, and build lovely houses and shall dwell in them, 13 and your herds and your flocks increase, and your silver and your gold are increased, and all that you have is increased, 14 that your heart then becomes lifted up, and you forget יהוה your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage”
The sad reality is that so often when things seem to be going well with people, they ‘forget to not forget’, so to speak – which we are constantly to be on guard against!
We see in Hoshěa a clear use of this word שָׁכַח shaḵaḥ – meaning, ‘to forget’, being used as an antonym for יָדַע yaḏa – meaning, ‘to know’, in:
Hoshěa/Hosea 13:4-6 “But I am יהוה your Elohim since the land of Mitsrayim, and an Elohim besides Me you shall not know, for there is no Saviour besides Me. 5 “I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought. 6 “When they were fed they were satisfied. They were satisfied and their heart was exalted, therefore they forgot Me.”
To ‘forget’ יהוה and His Torah is simply another way of saying that one does not know Him! To forget יהוה is to reject walking in His Torah – and for this people will die!
Here at the end of this stanza or section of lines that begin with the letter ‘Bět’, the psalmist declares how he does not forget the word of Elohim and this is a fitting thing to declare at the end of this section, especially as we consider how the letter ‘Bět’ is pictured as a tent floorplan in the ancient pictographic script, as it represents the House. The psalmist is making a bold statement in his celebration of the Word of Elohim as he declares that he does not forget the Word of the House of Elohim and by doing so commits to upholding the Word and guarding to do all that has been commanded – for this will certainly keep his path clean and give the full assurance that he will not be kicked out of the House for having defiled garments!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘word’ in Tehillah/Psalm 119:16 is which comes from the noun דָּבָר daḇar – Strong’s H1697 meaning, ‘speech, word, commandment, chronicles, message’ which in its primitive root verb form – דָּבַר daḇar – Strong’s H1696 means, ‘to speak, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’.
which looks like this is the ancient pictographic script:
Dalet – דְּ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door; and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging, as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access, showing us the importance of the Appointed Times/Feasts of יהוה. Therefore, our need to gather as we are commanded to, is the starting point for us to embrace, learn and understand what His Word teaches and instructs us to do.
Beyt – בָ:
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!
Resh – רִ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as ‘chief, top, begging or first’; top, as in the top or head of a body, and chief, as in a head of a tribe or people; as well as the one who rules the people. Every House has a head of the home, and all in the House submit to the instructions of the One who is head of the home, listening to and obeying the words that the Head speaks!
What these pictographic symbols or letters clearly show us here in reference to these collectively expressing ‘The Word’ is that THE WORD IS: THE DOOR TO THE HOUSE OF THE HEAD! יהושע Messiah is The Door and He is the Head and we are His Dwelling Place, and our only means of access is through our Master and Elohim, who is the Door that has been revealed to us in the flesh in order that we can be grafted in and enter into the Covenants of promise that we were once far off from and without Elohim in the world!
We do not forget the Word as we continue to be faithful and trustworthy ambassadors of Messiah, who is the Word of יהוה and in doing so we keep our path clean by guarding His Word and delighting ourselves in His Word that is treasured up in our hearts and is in our mouths, to do it – “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.” (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14)
KEEPING IT CLEAN!
In summary, ‘How do we keep our path clean?’ By not forgetting His Word! This takes disciplined learning and application, which is done with exceeding joy!
Are you keeping your path clean? He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!