22nd of the 2nd month 2016/2017
Shabbat Shalom all,
Tehillah/Psalm 40:16 “Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let those who love Your deliverance always say, “יהוה be exalted!”
As we gather here together in the Master’s presence on His Shabbat, we do so with great joy and delight in Him who delivers us from all our enemies and causes us to stand and fight the good fight of the belief. In our daily seeking of our Master’s reign and righteousness we are given the firm assurance that we will not lack and here the call is clear for all who seek Elohim should rejoice and be glad in Him and always say, ‘יהוה be exalted!’ How often do you forget or neglect to say this, especially when you find yourself facing an onslaught of pressures, trials and persecutions? It is of vital importance that we remember to always make יהוה great, for in doing so our perspective or outlook on any given situation can be properly aligned with the steadfast belief and trust we are to have in our Master and Elohim! In a message called, “LET ELOHIM BE MADE GREAT!” I want us to be reminded that we must not forget to make Him great, always!!! In order to do this I would like us to go through a very short yet powerful psalm of remembrance that will teach us to always make יהוה our Elohim great! Please turn with me to Tehillah/Psalm 70 (Read).
As you can see from the words in verse 4, I chose the title of this message from the call of Dawiḏ given to all who love the deliverance of יהוה – LET ELOHIM BE MADE GREAT!
This psalm is an urgent and desperate cry for help and it is a song or psalm of remembrance as we take note that the heading for this Tehillah is as follows:
לַמְנַצֵּחַ לְדָוִד לְהַזְכִּיר – ‘lamnatseaḥ leDawiḏ lehazkiyr’
This can be translated as: ‘to the choirmaster. Of Dawiḏ, to bring to remembrance’
The term לְהַזְכִּיר – lehazkiyr comes from the root verb ָכַר ‘zaḵar’ – Strong’s H2142 which means ‘to remember, or be mindful, or bring to remembrance’. This phrase can also be understood as a ‘remembrance or memorial offering’ and so we take note that this is a psalm or song of remembrance that is designed to cause us to remember to offer up the proper praise to Elohim and how we are to always make His Name great! We are to offer up our lives as a daily living offering that is set-apart and well pleasing to Elohim, for this is our reasonable worship (Romiyim/Romans 12:1). When we understand this we can see the instructions given in Shemoth/Exodus 20:24 make great sense in seeing the importance of our need to remember to make Elohim great!
Shemoth/Exodus 20:24 “Make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall slaughter on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I cause My Name to be remembered I shall come to you and bless you.”
We are earthen vessels that carry the great treasure of His Truth and presence and as we remember this we have the assurance of His presence that blesses us, no matter what circumstances we may find ourselves in:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:7-10 “And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power might be of Elohim, and not of us – 8 being hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; being perplexed, but not in despair; 9 being persecuted, but not forsaken; being thrown down, but not destroyed; 10 always bearing about in the body the dying of the Master יהושע , that the life of יהושע might also be manifested in our body.”
In this song of remembrance we see Dawiḏ ringing out a desperate cry for help, and this psalm or song of remembrance certainly causes us to remember where our help comes from and who our help is!
Tehillah/Psalm 146:5 “Blessed is he who has the Ěl of Yaʽaqoḇ for his help, whose expectancy is in יהוה his Elohim”
יהוה is our help and our help is in Him!!!
Dawiḏ’s cry to יהוה was desperate and urgent and many of us, if not all, can relate to the urgency of this cry for help. Many of us have had times where we may have felt so desperate and without a clue of how things will work out and do not know what to do, except cry out to Elohim in a desperate plea for help! Perhaps some have found themselves in a desperate position and not knowing what to do; they do not even cry out to Elohim for help and find that they spiral into a dark place of depression and despair, feeling hopeless and without any help!
Dawiḏ was crying out here for help because of his enemies that were constantly threatening his life and this prayer or cry for help is one that is often repeated throughout the Tehillim/Psalms. He had quite a few enemies and what is very important to take note of is that he did not have all these enemies because he deliberately went out of his way to make enemies! No, they just found him! Why? Because of obedience to יהוה! From Golyath to king Sha’ul and his own close friends and family, he faced some intense hatred, opposition and persecution. There is a great lesson we are able to learn from the example of Dawiḏ’s life, as we recognise how we too will often face opposition, hatred and persecution from many, even those who are close to us. It is not that we deliberately go out to be confrontational and make enemies but rather that we recognise the clear fact that there will be many times when simply just obeying the Word and doing what is right will bring on the conflict from others.
Living an obedient life that does not tolerate compromise will certainly unleash much dislike, slander and hatred from those who will easily cut corners when it suites them as they find vain reasons to justify their need to compromise and neglect to fully submit to doing what the Word commands!
The early apostles and many first century believers faced intense persecutions from all sides and most were killed for their standing firm in the belief! They too may have had times where they cried out like Dawiḏ and sought the urgent and desperate help of יהוה! How about you? In the midst of the desperate plea for help Dawiḏ calls for all who rejoice in יהוה and delight in His deliverance to ALWAYS say, ‘LET ELOHIM BE MADE GREAT!’
Think about this for a moment: here Dawiḏ is in desperate need for יהוה’s help and he is calling for the righteous to make יהוה and His Name great! This in itself is a great lesson that we can take from this song as we recognise that while he indeed needed the urgent help from יהוה, he was not so self-consumed that he did not consider what the righteous ought to be doing! So many people get so caught up in their problems and the mountains that they are facing that they neglect to actually seek יהוה’s help, never mind call others to always be making His Name great! This call was being given by a man who was facing very tough circumstances, which may not necessarily inspire many today, as most look to the fleshly circumstances to determine their ability to praise or not! This song or psalm is all about remembering to ALWAYS make יהוה great, no matter the circumstances you find yourself in! How forgetful are you at making יהוה great when facing huge pressures and intense battles of life? Do you call for others to make His Name great with you when you are under immense pressure and in great despair or do you forget to do this?
What we can learn from this is that there should never be a moment in our lives where we are not able to make יהוה great, both in what we say and do!!! We must not let pressures, hardships or persecutions cause us to bring His Name to nought for He must ALWAYS be made great!
Dawiḏ’s appeal in verses 2-3 for his enemies to be ashamed and humiliated was not a vindictive cry against them, nor was it an appeal to return hate for hate but that proper justice and right-ruling be administered and in this cry for help he does not want the negative influence of his enemies to affect his ability to bring proper praise and esteem to Elohim as he was earnestly calling for יהוה’s righteous judgment to come speedily.
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.”
Dawiḏ knew where his help came from, do you?
Tehillah/Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the hills; Where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from יהוה, Maker of the heavens and earth.”
In this song of degrees the psalmist declares that he lifts up his eyes to the hills and asks the question of where his help came from and then expresses the truth that his help comes from יהוה who is higher than all the hills; for יהוה is Maker of the heavens and earth! What we take note of here is that this Psalmist looked higher than the hills and we are able to learn a great lesson here. How often do you look at a big mountainous problem or situation or circumstance and then think to yourself, ‘where does my help comes from?’, or, ‘where am I going to get help?’ Do you often get stuck at not being able to have the proper true answer as you get stuck at looking at the problem or hill, so to speak? We must learn to look higher and look to the Maker of heaven and earth. We must look to the Perfector of our belief and His work of redemption and deliverance, as He is our Head and Chief who is exalted above all!!!
This psalm or song of remembrance is a call to remember where our help comes from and that we are to always let Elohim be made great! As I pondered on this and looked at the Hebrew word for ‘help’, which we see being used twice in this Psalm, I took a closer look and took note that in verse 1 the phrase: ‘to help me’, is written as לְעֶזְרָתִי – ‘le’ezrathiy’ which comes from the noun עֶזְרָה ezrah – Strong’s H5833 which means, ‘help, helper, assistance, support’. This word comes from the noun עֵזֶר ezer – Strong’s H5828 which means, ‘a help, helper, one who helps’, and is the root word used in verse 5 in the term ‘my help’ which is written as עֶזְרִי – ‘ezriy’. This noun comes from the primitive root verb עָזַר azar – Strong’s H5826 which means, ‘to help, give relief, aid, support’. What struck me when looking at these nouns and verb for help is that in the ancient pictographic script it becomes clear at who our eyes should be looking at.
The noun עֵזֶר ezer – Strong’s H5828 and the root verb עָזַר azar – Strong’s H5826 both look like this in the ancient pictographic letters:
The noun עֶזְרָה ezrah – Strong’s H5833 has one extra letter and looks like this:
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’ and the clear function of the eye is to look at and observe.
Zayin – זְ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is a mattock (a sharp digging tool such as an axe or pick) and carries the meaning of ‘a weapon or tool that cuts, farming instrument’. A mattock would be a tool that was also used to dig up the soil so that seed could be planted. This picture clearly pictures a tool that is used to work and therefore can also render for us the meaning of work or a work that is done!
Resh – רָ:
The ancient pictographic 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.
Hey – ה:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is “behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation”; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit! It also declares the surrendered praise to the One who is exalted above all!
As we consider these pictographic letters that are used to render for us the meaning of ‘help’, and more specifically who our help is, we can see the following meaning being rendered:
LOOK TO THE WORK OF THE HEAD WHO IS EXALTED AND IS TO BE PRAISED AND MADE GREAT!
The clear concept of understanding the true and bold confession that יהוה is our help can only be fully grasped if one is actually looking to Him and the work of redemption and deliverance that He has done and brought to us so that we are able to find His help in distress!
The noun עֶזְרָה ezrah – Strong’s H5833 is found in:
Tehillah/Psalm 46:1 “Elohim is our refuge and strength, a help in distress, soon found.”
He is our help in distress soon found! The Hebrew word used here for ‘distress’ is 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’; and this word is also often translated as tribulation, which teaches us a vital lesson of realising that in the very distressing times that lay ahead, our help is in our Master and Elohim alone. In order to remember and not forget it we have to be keeping our eyes fixed on Him and looking to Him who has worked a perfect work for us so that we can throw off all sin and run with great endurance and make His Name great!
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 Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.”
The Greek word 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’.
To find help in distress we must be fixing our minds upon our Master and Elohim, through the proper meditating upon His Torah day and night and carefully consider how we are to live set-apart lives, always making Elohim great in all we say and do, no matter the circumstance or situation we find ourselves in!
Dawiḏ was being attacked by various enemies, yet he knew who his Helper was!
Those who walk in the stubbornness of their own fleshly ways and try to accuse our good obedient behaviour of set-apartness shall stand ashamed before the Master one day, as we see in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:14-17 “But even if you suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not fear their threats, neither be troubled.”15 But set apart יהוה Elohim in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone asking you a reason concerning the expectation that is in you, with meekness and fear, 16 having a good conscience, so that when they speak against you as doers of evil, those who falsely accuse your good behaviour in Messiah, shall be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the desire of Elohim, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
When we walk in total obedience to the Torah and commands of Elohim we shall not stand ashamed nor act shamefully but shall be able to esteem Elohim and make His Name great:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4:14-16 “If you are reproached for the Name of Messiah, you are blessed, because the Spirit of esteem and of Elohim rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is praised. 15 For do not let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or doer of evil, or as a meddler. 16 But if one suffers being a follower of Messiah, let him not be ashamed, but let him esteem Elohim in this matter.”
As one takes a look at Tehillah/Psalm 69, which is much longer than Tehillah/Psalm 70, we are able to see that what Tehillah/Psalm 69 says at length, Tehillah/Psalm 70 expresses as a sharp, to the point, urgent cry for help. Dawiḏ was under intense personal threats and these words contained in this Tehillah/Psalm 70 are almost identical to the words we see in:
Tehillah/Psalm 40:13:17 “Be pleased, O יהוה , to deliver me; O יהוה , hasten to help me! 14 Let those who seek to destroy my life be ashamed and abashed altogether; let those who are desiring my evil be driven back and put to shame. 15 Let those who say to me, “Aha, aha!” be appalled at their own shame. 16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let those who love Your deliverance always say, “יהוה be exalted!” 17 But I am poor and needy; let יהוה think upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my Elohim, do not delay!”
We all face battles and struggles that can often overwhelm us and when looking to the fleshly things all we may see is a hill or mountain standing in front of us with no idea as to how to climb it or get around it, and here in these words of Dawiḏ we are able to learn the vital necessity of exalting יהוה our Elohim and making Him and His Name great as we walk by belief/faith and not by sight, lest we find that we lack faith and end up bringing His Name to nought and get choked out by the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth!
The call to be glad and rejoice is not in the fact that our enemies will be put to shame but rather that we can be strengthened by the joy of יהוה throughout any crisis or distress soon found! The call here is given for the righteous to rejoice and be glad in the Master!
Listen to some of the words of another psalm of Dawiḏ when he changed his behaviour before Aḇimeleḵ who drove him away:
Tehillah/Psalm 34:1-6 “I bless יהוה at all times; His praise is continually in my mouth. 2 My being makes its boast in יהוה; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 Oh, make יהוה great with me, and let us exalt His Name together. 4 I sought יהוה, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked to Him and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed. 6 This poor one cried out and יהוה heard him, and saved him out of all his distresses.”
I love Dawiḏ’s call to make יהוה great together and this is something we should remember to do, for in doing so we will all be strengthened to remember where our help comes from and who our help is!
Dawiḏ also said in:
Tehillah/Psalm 69:30 “I praise the Name of Elohim with a song, and I make Him great with thanksgiving.”
As we consider these words of Dawiḏ and the clear lessons we can take from the need to make יהוה great with song and thanksgiving, we must recognise the urgency of remembering to do this is our deepest and darkest hours when we are crying out to Elohim for His help.
As I was preparing for this message I found myself being greatly challenged with this as we too have often found ourselves in some distressful situations and recognise that as we call upon our Master and Elohim for His help, we are to be continually reminded that we are to always say:
LET ELOHIM BE MADE GREAT!
We are also reminded to be encouraged to call others to make Elohim great together – always!
The Hebrew word used here for ‘always’ is the word תָּמִיד tamiyḏ – Strong’s H8548 which means, ‘continuity, all times, always, constantly, regularly, continually’. This word is frequently used in an adjective construction with the word עֹלָה olah – Strong’s H5930 meaning, ‘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 olah offering represents a giving totally of oneself to יהוה, as we are to present your bodies as a living offering, that is set-apart and well-pleasing to Elohim, for this is our reasonable worship unto יהוה. The lamps were to ‘burn continually’, and as we walk in the Master and uphold His Torah, we keep shining the Light of His Truth! And this we are to do continually! This is a clear picture for us given in the command to keep our lamps burning continually, and we take note of Dawiḏ’s words in:
Tehillah/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 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 we have in our Master and King, and our boast in His Name must be ever present, shining bright continually – even in the midst of the darkest trials, pressures or persecutions we may face! We are to always make יהוה great!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘great’ here in Tehillah/Psalm 70:4 is גָּדַל gaḏal – Strong’s H1431 which means, ‘to grow up, become great, to cause to be large, magnify, boast, lift up, promote’. This word is often used to describe an action or expression of true praise for Elohim, and is translated as ‘make great’ in:
Tehillah/Psalm 34:3 “Oh, make יהוה great with me, and let us exalt His Name together.”
Some translations have this word translated as ‘magnify’ and we clearly ought to recognise our need to remember to make יהוה and His Name great!
Our need to boast in and magnify our Master and Elohim calls for us to be doing it together – and making יהוה great is contagious, in a good way! This kind of praise does not shy away from making great the esteem of the Name of יהוה, but rather it boldly calls for others to do so as well. How is your praise life – is it calling for others to make Him great with you, or is the evidence of praise non-existent? We are to always say:
LET ELOHIM BE MADE GREAT!
Will you make יהוה great with me? Let us exalt His Name together, for then we shall certainly recognise and remember that He is our help and have our faith stirred to not have our belief blocked by hills and mountains, but lift our eyes higher to the One who is exalted above all!
When the taught ones could not heal a boy that was demon possessed we take note of the words of our Master in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 17:20 “And יהושע said to them, “Because of your unbelief, for truly, I say to you, if you have belief as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move. And no matter shall be impossible for you.”
He went on to tell them that this kind of demon that they could not cast out would only come out through prayer and fasting, which echoes the clear lesson of having our eyes looking to our Princely Leader and Perfector of our belief, for prayer and fasting helps one focus their eyes and minds on Him who is our help while setting aside the flesh that often blinds us with crippling hills!
Some of you may have been going through some very tough times and may even be going through some right now and you may find yourself echoing the urgency that Dawiḏ had in petitioning יהוה for His help. My encouragement to you is simply this: keep looking to Him and let us make יהוה great together and praise Him with a song as we make Him great with thanksgiving!
We may all be calling for our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, to come speedily and hasten to our help and not delay!
I encourage you to hold fast to the belief that He is coming soon and He is our help in distress soon found, so endure in the witness of our Master each and every day and do not let go of Him for He is your help, so always say:
LET ELOHIM BE MADE GREAT!
I will close with the closing words of Scripture:
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:20-21 “He that bears witness of these matters says, “Yes, I am coming speedily.” Aměn. Yes, come, Master יהושע! 21 The favour of our Master יהושע Messiah be with the set-apart ones. Aměn.”
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!