1st of the 2nd month 2016/2017
Shabbat Shalom all,
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:26-27 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, when you obey the commands of יהוה your Elohim which I command you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commands of יהוה your Elohim, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other mighty ones which you have not known.”
These words that were spoken to the generation that were about to enter into the Promised Land could not have been any clearer than this! Sadly there are so many today who fail to recognise the Truth that Scripture tells us repeatedly, which is simply this: It is a blessing to obey the commands of יהוה our Elohim and it is a curse to not obey and turn and follow false ways! Blessing for obedience and curse for disobedience – it is as simple as that, yet why is it that most people fail to see the true blessing and joy that steadfast obedience brings? The Torah portion that we will be going through in the morning, as part of this week’s Sabbath readings, is from Shemoth/Exodus 27:20-30:10 and this portion is typically known as or called, ‘Tetzaveh’ – תְּצַוֶּה “You shall command” which comes from the root word צָוָה tsavah – Strong’s H6680 meaning, ‘to lay charge, give charge, command, appoint, give direction or a decree, i.e. state with force/authority what others must do’. The opening wording of this Torah portion could be expressed as, “And you, you shall command the children of Yisra’ĕl…” and these were clear words that Mosheh was commanded to command! Why is it that when the term ‘command’ is heard that many seem to cringe and shut their ears as if it were a bad thing? Many years ago I had a guy who would tell me that whenever I would use the terminology ‘you must…’ he shut off and would not hear anything further as he made it clear to me that I have no right to tell him that ‘he must…’ do anything, for he does not have to! This is the saddened state of many lawless believers who have been deceived into following the vain lies of handed down dogmas of man-made traditions that have been taught as teachings while the commands of Elohim have been cast aside. What most fail to recognise is the clear blessing of obedience to the commands of Elohim, and when we hear the terminology that demands our attentive ears to hear, guard and do, then we would do well to listen and follow what is commanded and instructed for set-apart living, as opposed to turning a deaf ear and nullifying the commands and the called for obedience thereof through the submission to the ear-tickling erroneous teachings of men who have twisted the Truth for self-gain.
Tonight in a message called, THE BLESSING OF OBEDIENCE’ I would like to highlight for you the absolute truth of what a blessing it is to be obedient, while at the same time recognise the dangers for disobedience due to a stubborn and hardened head and heart that refuses to hear what is required for set-apart living in the Master!
If people would simply understand the blessing of obedience then they would truly understand the true joy of loving Elohim, which is to obey His commands, and recognise that it is not a heavy task at all but is rather a very fulfilling one.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Tonight I would like to take you through a wonderful Psalm that expresses the beautiful joy and blessing for the wise and upright obedient servants of the Most High Elohim as well as the fate of the disobedient fool who disregards the necessity to guard the commands of Elohim. Please turn with me to Tehillah/Psalm 112 (Read)
This Tehillah/Psalm is an acrostic poem, which is a poetic composition in which the first letters of successive lines or stanzas spell out the alphabet, a word, or a motto. This style of writing poetry was often used as means to help the reader memorize the words more easily. In the Hebrew text this poem consists of 22 lines, with each line beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The heading for this poem is הַלְלוּ יָהּ – ‘halelu Yah’ from the two words:
1) הָלַל halal Strong’s H1984 which means, ‘to shine; to be boastful; to be clear; to make a show; to rave; be foolish; to celebrate; praise, cheer, brag or extol, i.e., extol the greatness or excellence of a person, object or event.’
2) יה – ‘Yah’ – Strong’s H3050 which is the contracted Name of יהוה.
This psalm is classed as a wisdom psalm which gives clear instruction on the rewards of the commands of יהוה our Elohim, the One who is to be praised! In fact, a life of praise is best expressed through the steadfast loving-obedience to His commands, which teaches us that many people might be saying ‘HalleluYah’, and assume to be bringing a worthy praise offering yet their lives reflect no willing obedience to His commands which renders their assumed praise as null and void!
On the other hand, however, the praise of the true obedient servants carries a unique sound that esteems our Master and Elohim continually and joins in with the declaration that is made day and night before His throne in the heavens when true obedience of set-apartness is pursued and lived out. For the blessing of our steadfast obedience echoes that which the four living creatures declare day and night without ceasing, when saying, “Set-apart, set-apart, set-apart, יהוה Ěl Shaddai”.
It truly is a blessing to join in with the declaration of the set-apartness of our Master and Elohim when we are living set-apart as we are commanded to. As we consider this I ask you whether your life is truly able to declare our Master’s set-apartness, without ceasing or has compromise often caused the blessing of obedience to be silenced and forgotten!
As we consider the words of this very poetic psalm we are encouraged to remember our need to walk in the blessing of obedience and let our life be a song of continual praise before our Mighty Saviour, Redeemer and King.
While we can understand the necessity for our lives to be echoing the praise of set-apartness, through our continual obedience, we are able to see how this Tehillah/Psalm highlights for us the clear rewards or blessings of obedience as what is worth taking note of here is that the rewards that are spoken of in this Tehillah/Psalm 112 are rewards that belong or pertain to this life that we are living now, as faithful set-apart ambassadors. In other words we are able to experience on a daily basis the true blessing of obedience, which causes me ask why it is that so many are stubbornly refusing to submit to the called for obedience to the guarding of the Torah and commands of Elohim! It is a blessed thing to do!!!
Those who fail to obey His Torah, commands, statutes, ordinances or laws are classed as the wicked, which are doomed to destruction if they continue in disobedience!
What I would like to do tonight is go through this poetic psalm of wisdom line by line and break down some of the powerful blessings we are able to see for being obedient to the Word of Elohim. While there may only be 10 verses in the text, we take note that in the Hebrew text there is also 10 verses yet there are 22 lines, with each line beginning with a successive Hebrew letter from the Alphabet. The first line of this psalm after the heading of ‘Praise Yah!’ begins with the first letter in the Hebrew Alphabet, which is the letter – א – and is known as ‘aleph’. Each new line begins with the next letter with the last line of this psalm beginning with the letter – ת – which is known as ‘taw/tav’. So as we look at this Psalm we are able to glean from this the ‘Aleph to Taw’ reminder of the blessing of obedience to the commands of יהוה, who is the first and last! Ḥazon/Revelation 1:8 “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, Beginning and End,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
As we look at each phrase with the corresponding letter of the Alphabet that begins the statement, I will also be showing you the corresponding Hebrew pictographic letter from the ancient script, which will further help us understand the power of this boastful praise for יהוה.
Verse 1 – Aleph and Bet
א – Aleph – Blessed in the man who fears יהוה.
The first line of this acrostic poem sets the tone for the entire Psalm as it clearly expresses the blessing that the man who fears יהוה receives! Without the fear of יהוה no true understanding of the blessing of obedience that comes forth from the heart and practically lived out can be received!
The first word of the first line is אַשְׁרֵי – asherey which comes from the root word אֶשֶׁר esher – Strong’s H835 which means, ‘happiness, blessedness, bliss’, and comes from the root verb אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833 which means, ‘blessed, lead, guide, to go straight, make progress to be advanced, to be led forth’.
אֶשֶׁר esher – Strong’s H835 is used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that יהוה is good; blessed is the man that takes refuge in Him!”
There are two verbs in Hebrew that render the meaning ‘blessed’: This one we have just mentioned – אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833 and the one we all know – בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 which means, ‘to kneel down, bless, abundantly bless’.
What is worth taking note of when looking at the primary difference between these two words that both mean ‘blessed’, is that בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 is used by Elohim when He blesses somebody or even a nation, but nowhere do we find the use of אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833 coming from the lips of Elohim! When man blesses Elohim the word בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 is used and never אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833. יהוה never pronounces man אָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H833, and it should be pointed out that when baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 is used, the initiative comes from Elohim. Therefore with the words here in this Psalm saying that ‘blessed is the man who fears יהוה’, we are able to see that for man to be אֶשֶׁר esher – Strong’s H835, man has to do something!!! Hence the blessing for the man who fears יהוה! There is a clear action of obedience involved! A ‘blessed’ – אֶשֶׁר esher – Strong’s H835 – man is one who fears יהוה, takes refuge in יהוה and who trusts in יהוה completely, submitting completely under the authority of His Torah:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people are let loose, but blessed is he who guards the Torah.”
It is also a blessing for man to not follow wrong advice:
Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 but his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night.”
The ancient script has this letter א (Aleph) pictured as which is ‘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! יהוה is the beginning of our strength, and our ability to be strong and not be afraid is in יהוה, who has become our deliverance:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 12:2 “See, Ěl is my deliverance, I trust and am not afraid. For Yah, יהוה, is my strength and my song; and He has become my deliverance.”
The beginning of our strength is the fear of יהוה and we also take note of the following:
Tehillah/Psalm 111:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, all those doing them have a good understanding. His praise is standing forever.”
Where Tehillah/Psalm 111 ends we see Tehillah/Psalm 112 kicking off with the beginning of the blessing for obedience! Where there is no true fear of יהוה there is no true obedience, as those who do not walk in the fear of Elohim may attempt at trying to live set-apart only to find that it is short lived due to a lack of true reverent fear for our Master and Elohim.
To fear יהוה implies that we faithfully walk in His ways!
Tehillah/Psalm 128:1 “Blessed are all who fear יהוה, who walk in His ways.”
ב – Bet – Who has greatly delighted in His commands.
The blessing of delighting in the commands of Elohim is that we are built up in Him as living stones in order to be the dwelling place of the Most High!
The ancient script has this letter ב (Bet) pictured as which is 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.
Here we are able to see how important praise is in the assembly or gathering of the set-apart ones!!!
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 1:8-9 “Please remember the word that You commanded Your servant Mosheh, saying, ‘If you trespass, I shall scatter you among the peoples, 9 but if you shall turn back to Me, and guard My commands and do them, though you were cast out to the end of the heavens, I shall gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen, to make My Name dwell there.’”
Tehillah/Psalm 71:3 “Be to me a rock to dwell in, to go into continually. You have given the command to save me, for You are my rock and my stronghold.”
The blessing of delighting in His commands is that we have a firm foundation as we are built up in Him, the Rock of our Deliverance! Guard His commands and he will cause you to dwell. What we take note of here is that a proper guarding of His commands should be a delightful thing to do and not something burdensome!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘delighted’ is the root verb חָפֵץ ḥaphets – Strong’s H2654 and means, ‘to delight in, desire, take pleasure in’, and the noun that is derived from this verb is חֵפֶץ ḥephets – Strong’s H2656 which means, ‘delight, pleasure, desire, longing, purpose’, which is used in:
Tehillah/Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 but his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night.”
The blessed man’s delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and we are able to clearly see that the one whose delight is in the Torah does not walk in wrong counsels, nor does he stand in sinful paths or sit in scoffing seats! The one who delights in the Torah of יהוה meditates in it day and night because it is his pleasure that he does with exceeding joy and satisfaction!
Those who are of the world and walk in fleshly ways take no delight in meditating on the Torah as they have no interest in it whatsoever and to do so would seem boring, dull and too much hard work to do. What you delight yourself in will never become boring or feel like it is too hard to do, even though it may take much effort, time and much energy.
Tehillah/Psalm 119:35 “Make me walk in the path of Your commands, for I have delighted in it.”
The two lines of verse 1 makes it clear that it is a true blessing to fear יהוה and delight in His commands!
Verse 2 – Gimel and Dalet
ג – Gimel – Mighty in the earth shall be his seed.
The ancient script has this letter ג (Gimel) pictured as – which is ‘a foot’ and carries the meaning to ‘walk, gather, carry’, as clearly referring to the functions of a foot; and it can also give the meaning of a gathering of people, and we know that ‘feet’ in Hebrew speaks of one’s walk and ability to keep the Feasts of יהוה, and represents one’s ‘walk!
We just looked at the blessing of not walking in wrong counsel, from Tehillah/Psalm 1, and therefore recognise the blessing of having a walk that is set-apart as we sojourn here in the earth! The blessing of a righteous walk is that our seed with be mighty, showing us the promise of the blessing of family obedience! When children are trained up in the ways of the Torah they will not depart from it as they too can walk in the blessing of obedience!
Miḵah/Micah 4:5 “For all the peoples walk, each one in the name of his mighty one, but we walk in the Name of יהוה our Elohim forever and ever.”
In speaking of the returning remnant we see the following words:
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 10:12 “And I shall make them mighty in יהוה, so that they walk up and down in His Name,” declares יהוה.”
Messiah is The Seed who is Mighty and in whose Name we walk up and down!!!
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘mighty’ is גִּבּוֹר ‘gibbor’ H1368 which translates as ‘mighty man, brave man, and valiant warrior, powerful’. The blessing of obedience is that we are equipped to be brave and faithful soldiers of the Master who can fight the good fight of the belief and stand firm!
ד – Dalet – The generation of the straight ones shall be blessed.
The promise given to Aḇraham in:
Berěshith/Genesis 22:18 “And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
The ancient script has this letter ד (Dalet) 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 being the only means of access into the Assembly of Elohim. 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! We are told that we should seek and shall find, and knock and it will be opened for us, and our seeking and knocking is in our searching the Great works of יהוה, as we guard our duty of coming to the Door of His Appointed Times, including His weekly Sabbaths, which opens up for us a very satisfying discovery of His great works!
Yoḥanan/John 10:9 “I am the door. Whoever enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture.”
The Torah also commands us to write the commands on the doorposts of our homes as this will remind us in our going out and coming in to guard the commands!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8:34 “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.”
Blessed in the man who listens, watches and waits at the Door! The blessing of obedience is further explained here in showing us the blessing of listening, watching and waiting! The Hebrew word for ‘listens’ is שָׁמַע ‘shama’ – Strong’s H8085, which carries the meaning not just simply to hear, but rather, ‘to hear with attention and comprehend and discern and give heed to what is being spoken’.
Shemoth/Exodus 19:5-6 “And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine – 6 ‘and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.’ Those are the words which you are to speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl.”
These verses make it very clear – for us to truly be a treasured possession of the Most High, we are to make sure that we obey His voice and guard His Covenant.
In the above verse the root word שָׁמַע ‘shama’ is used twice in a row, which means to ‘hear, listen and obey’. The structure is as follows:
אִם־שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ – ‘im-shamoa tishmau’ which literally translates as: “If hearing, you shall hear” and this reminds me of how often we see the term being used in Ḥazon/Revelation to the assemblies:
“He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says.”
The call here is to hear the depths of what is being spoken – hear the spirit that lies behind the letter! Now if people are not even listening to the letter, how are they ever going to hear what the Spirit says!!!
The blessing of listening as we should and the relevant obedience that comes with hearing and doing we shall be the Master’s treasured possession and a reign of set-apart priests. That is a blessing of obedience worth listening properly for!
The Hebrew word that is used for ‘watching’ is שָׁקַד shaqaḏ – Strong’s H8245, which means ‘to watch, keep watch, and lie awake’.
We are to be awake and watching, guarding the Torah and not be found to be sleeping and unable to bear the fruit of righteousness. יהושע continually reminds us to be an awake people:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Master is coming.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:13 “Watch therefore, because you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Aḏam is coming”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into trial. The spirit indeed is eager, but the flesh is weak.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:2-3 “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before Elohim. 3 “Remember, then, how you have received, and heard. And watch and repent. If, then, you do not wake up, I shall come upon you as a thief, and you shall not know at all what hour I come upon you.”
Marqos/Mark 13:33 “Take heed, watch and pray, for you do not know when the time is”
Luqas/Luke 21:36 “Watch then at all times, and pray that you be counted worthy to escape all this about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Aḏam.”
The Hebrew word for ‘waiting’ is 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’.
The blessing of listening (shama), watching (shaqaḏ) and waiting (shamar) is that we shall be a sober treasured possession that can walk in the True life of the Word!
The Hebrew word for ‘straight ones’ is יְשָׁרִים – ‘y’shariym’, which is the plural derived from the root word יָשָׁר yashar – Strong’s H3477, and means, ‘right, straight, upright and righteous’. A derivative of this word is יְשֻׁרוּן Yeshurun – Strong’s H3484, which is used 4 times in Scripture, and is used as a symbolic name for Yisra’ĕl, in describing Her perfect character in being the true upright one, being knit together as One in Messiah, as the Dwelling Place/Tent of the Most High!
In verse 2 we see the blessing of the upright who guard the commands – they shall have abundant life!
Verse 3 – Hey and Waw/Vav
ה – Hey – Wealth and riches are in his house.
The ancient script has this letter ה (Hey) 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!
The blessing of obedience is the assurance that we shall never lack!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 15:6 “The household of the righteous is a great treasure, but in the income of the wrong is trouble.”
This is not a ‘prosperity gospel blessing’ but is simply a clear picture of the blessing of obedience which highlights that we need not worry about what we shall eat, what we shall drink or what we shall wear, for our Father knows what we need, and He has given all we need for life and reverence with the firm assurance that if we seek first His Reign and His righteousness then all that we need shall be added! The blessing of obedience is that we need not worry!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘wealth’ is the noun הוֹן hon – Strong’s H1952 which means, ‘wealth, sufficiency, possession’.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8:18 tells us that with wisdom is enduring wealth and righteousness! Having said that we take note then that true wealth/riches is with our Master and Elohim. Our sufficiency and wealth is with our Saviour and King!
The Hebrew word used here for ‘wealth’ is עשֶׁר osher – Strong’s H6239 which means, ‘riches, wealth’, and comes from the root verb עָשַׁר ashar – Strong’s H6238 which means, ‘to be or become rich, made rich, enriched’.
We have been given all we need for life and reverence in Messiah, and we need not chase after wealth/riches as sinners do, and we must not be enticed to do so either.
Luqas/Luke 12:15 “And He said to them, “Mind, and beware of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the excess of his possessions.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John2:15-17 “Do not love the world nor that which is in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 Because all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but the one doing the desire of Elohim remains forever.”
With Elohim, and the knowledge of Him, is enduring wealth/riches and righteousness!
ו – Waw/Vav – And his righteousness is standing forever.
The Hebrew word that begins this phrase is וְצִדְקָתוֹ – ‘v’tsidqatho’ meaning ‘and His righteousness’, with the letter ‘ו’ (waw) at the beginning of the word being translated as ‘and’. The root of this word is צְדָקָה tsedaqah – Strong’s H6666 meaning, ‘righteousness, righteous acts, merits, righteous deeds’ and one of my favourite verse says it so plainly:
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.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 12:28 “In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.”
Tehillim/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.”
The ancient script has this letter ו (waw/vav) pictured as , which 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’. It is by the work of Messiah, in His own Blood, that has secured for us His Covenants of promise, to which we are added to; and His righteousness stands forever secured in Him!
Righteousness is a ‘work’ of obedience as it is a true guarding of commands!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 32:17 “The work of righteousness shall be peace, and the service of righteousness be rest and safety forever.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘stand’ is עָמַד amaḏ – Strong’s H5975 which carries the meaning, ‘to take one’s stand, present oneself, abide, appoint, arise, stay, be steadfast, remain, be or become a servant’.
So when Sha’ul instructs us in Eph’siyim/Ephesians to put on the Armour of Elohim and STAND, STAND and STAND, he is reminding us of the blessing of our responsibility as a priesthood that must be properly dressed in righteousness and SERVE!
Verse 4 – Zayin and Ḥet
ז – Zayin – Light has risen in the darkness to the straight ones, Those showing favour.
The ancient script has this letter ז (Zayin) 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’. A mattock would be a tool that was also used to dig up the soil so that seed could be planted. As we continue to remember to guard His Sabbaths and His Appointed Times, and remembering to keep His commands, we are able to break up the tillable soil of our hearts and allow His Word to be worked in us, allowing His Word to cut away any dross or weeds that arise and allow the fruit of righteousness to spring forth!
Hoshěa/Hosea 10:12 “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap according to kindness, break up your tillable ground, it is time to seek יהוה, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”
The Hebrew word for ‘light’ the word אוֹר ‘oor’ – Strong’s H216 which we know in Scripture, in being the opposite to darkness, carries with it the clear significance it has for us in speaking of knowledge and insight and understanding.
In fact in Berěshith/Genesis 1:3 when Elohim said, “let light come to be”; I firmly believe that He was in essence saying that His Word brings order to the chaos, and wisdom and understanding is established by His Word as His Light brings order that restores confusion!
The Hebrew word for ‘darkness’ is חשֶׁךְ ḥosheḵ – Strong’s H2822 which means, ‘darkness, obscurity’.
When Elohim created the heavens and the earth ‘darkness’ was on the face of the deep, and Elohim said ‘Let Light come to be’ and He separated the ‘light’ from the ‘darkness’ and called the ‘light’ day and the ‘darkness’ he called night.
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 “But you, brothers, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.”
In the plague of darkness over Mitsrayim we are told that thick darkness came over the land and they could not even see each other for 3 days!!! This darkness represented the complete removal of the presence of יהוה from the Mitsrians while the ‘Light’ of His presence remained with the children of Yisra’ĕl who had light in their dwellings!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60:2 “For look, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness the peoples. But יהוה arises over you, and His esteem is seen upon you.”
Darkness snuffed out life for Mitsrayim; and without light life ceased. Scripture said that no one could move. They were literally paralyzed for those three days.
Without the life support of light, even the air around them was thickened and immobile and breathing was even difficult for many. Fire could not even burn. This plague was so terrible they could actually feel the darkness.
The blessing of obedience is that in the midst of the darkness of ignorance and sin, Messiah came and let His Light shine so that the straight one who believe in Him will find favour and be equipped to see!
ח – Ḥet – The compassionate, and the righteous.
The ancient script has this letter ח (ḥet) pictured as , which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent, or 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’
These two lines that form verse 4 teach us the clear lesson of how our Master has given us His light and called us out of darkness and separated us as a people for Himself and therefore we need His Torah to light our path as we sojourn here, causing us to live set-apart lives that reflect obedience of those who have come out and are separated and continue to work righteousness! The blessing of obedience is that we can walk in His favour and compassion!
Verse 5 – Tet and Yod
ט – Tet – Good is a man showing favour and lending.
The ancient script has this letter ט (Tet) pictured as , which is ‘a container made of wicker or clay’. Containers were a very important item among the nomadic Hebrews. They were used for storing grains and other items. Wicker baskets were used as nets for catching fish. The meanings of this letter are ‘basket, contain, store and clay’. We as clay, do not ask the Potter why He made us the way we are, we simply recognise that He is the One who fills that which He made, for which we give Him all praise, as we walk in the fear of Elohim!
In terms of a basket we recognise how our Master has filled us with His goodness and has given us all we need for life and reverence and equipped us to give as He has given! This also teaches us the blessing of obedience that can be seen practically in how we give to others.
Tehillah/Psalm 37:25-26 “I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his seed begging bread. 26 All day long he is showing favour and lending; and his seed is for a blessing.”
The Hebrew word used for ‘good’ is טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 and carries the meaning, ‘pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well’, and comes from the primary verb טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2895 and carries the meaning, ‘pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well’.
In the true understanding of this word טוֹב toḇ we can see that it may best be translated in most cases as ‘functional’, for when יהוה said in Berěshith/Genesis 1:31 that when He saw all that He had made, that He said it was very good. What He saw was His creation functioning properly and working the way it should and this is why it was ‘good’.
The blessing of obedience is that we shall never lack but have the blessing of life overflowing from our lives and be always ready to show favour and lend where needed!
י – Yod – He sustains his matters in right-ruling.
The ancient script has this letter י (yod) pictured as , which is ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
The Hebrew word used here for ‘matters’ is דָּבָר daḇar – Strong’s H1697 meaning, ‘speech, word, commandment, chronicles, message’, which comes from the primitive root verb daḇar – Strong’s H1696 meaning, ‘to speak, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’.
His Word is sustained in right-ruling! The Hebrew root word used here for ‘sustains’ is כּוּל kul – Strong’s H3557 and means, ‘maintain, provide with sustenance’. The Hebrew word used for ‘right-ruling’ is מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 – ‘judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 – meaning, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.
The blessing of obedience is that we have the firm assurance of His Word that sustains us and provides us with sustenance through His proper right-rulings.
Tehillah/Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on יהוה, and let Him sustain you; He never allows the righteous to be shaken.”
Verse 6 – Kaph and Lamed
כּ – Kaph – For he is never shaken.
The ancient script has this letter כּ (Kaph) pictured as , which is ‘an open hand’, and 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, picturing our praise to the One to whom we submit.
Yoḥanan/John 20:27-28 “Then He said to T’oma, “Bring your finger here, and see My hands. And bring your hand and put it into My side – and do not be unbelieving, but believing. 28 And T’oma answered and said to Him, “My Master and my Elohim!”
Messiah revealed His unshaken hand and further caused His taught ones to not be shaken and this is the blessing of obedience – that we shall not be shaken, for our Master’s hand works deliverance for us, as long as we submit under His leading and authority!
Tehillah/Psalm 16:8 “I have set יהוה always before me; because He is at my right hand I am not shaken.”
ל – Lamed – The righteous is remembered forever.
The blessing for the righteous is that they are remembered forever!
The ancient script has this letter ל (Lamed) pictured as , which is as 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. יהוה has not only revealed His Hand, He is the One who leads us into the wilderness where He can speak to our heart and we can call Him our Husband and give Him all the praise that is due to His Name (Hoshěa/Hosea 2:14)!!!
Mishlĕ/proverbs 10:7 “The remembrance of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wrong ones rot.”
We have a Shepherd, who will never leave us nor forsake us, and this is the blessing of obedience – you shall be remembered and not forsaken!
Verse 7 – Mem and Nun
מַ – Mem – He is not afraid of an evil report.
The blessing of obedience is that we shall not be afraid of evil reports!
The ancient script has this letter מַ (Mem) pictured as , which is ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. And so we are able to see that by the works of His Hands, we are drawn out of many muddied waters and cleansed to serve and worship Him in perfection and truth!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:22 “let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water.”
Luqas/Luke 21:9 “But when you hear of fightings and unrests, do not be alarmed, for these have to take place first, but the end is not immediately.”
Marqos/Mark 6:49-50 “And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought it was a phantom, and cried out, 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. And immediately He spoke to them and said to them, “Take courage, it is I. Do not be afraid.”
The righteous are not afraid of the raging waters of chaos for we serve the ‘water walker’ who calms the seas and washes us in His Word!!!
נ – Nun – His heart is steadfast, trusting in יהוה.
The ancient script has this letter נ (Nun) pictured as , which is a ‘sprouting seed’ and gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy. It is through the life, death and resurrection of Messiah (The Seed) that the trustworthy Word of Elohim has been established and confirmed. Messiah told us that He came to establish and fully proclaim the Torah, not to destroy it – He came to confirm and fully proclaim the life we too are able to have in Him, through the resurrection power that now lives in us! He came to establish our belief in Him!
Luqas/Luke 17:6 “And the Master said, “If you have belief as a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
How steadfast and trusting is your belief? The blessing of obedience causes one be steadfast and trust in יהוה.
The Hebrew root word used for ‘steadfast’ is כּוּן kun – Strong’s H3559 which means, ‘ready, steadfast, established, firm, set up, determined, prepared’. We are called to be a Bride who is prepared and ready for her Husband, and the only way we can do this successfully is by walking in the fear of Elohim as we get wisdom and understanding through the diligent seeking hearing, guarding and doing of His pleasant Word, that we make our study and meditate upon day and night!
The Hebrew word used here for ‘trusting’ comes from the root בָּטַח bataḥ – Strong’s H982 which means, ‘to trust, rely on’. We can put our firm trust in our Master and Elohim, as we ‘walk in Him and walk as He walked’!
The blessing of obedience is that we can walk in the life of our Master and be continually steadfast and trusting!
Verse 8 – Samek and Ayin
ס – Samek – His heart is upheld, he is not afraid.
The ancient script has this letter ס (Samek) pictured as , which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing. The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! 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!
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘upheld’ is סָמַךְ samaḵ – Strong’s H5564 which means, ‘to lean, lay, rest, support, uphold, sustain’, and can also carry the meaning, ‘to grab hold of’.
Tehillim/Psalm 119:116 “Support me according to Your word, that I might live; and put me not to shame because of my expectation.”
It is by the Word of Elohim that we are supported and upheld, that we might live and praise His Mighty Name! We are to ‘grab hold of’ His commands and cling to Him in total trust; in order that we do not fall, and find ourselves leaning on our own understanding!
ע – Ayin – While he looks on his adversaries.
The ancient script has this letter ע (Ayin) pictured as , which is an ‘eye’ and carries the meaning ‘to watch, pay attention, take heed, look’ in the understanding of ‘keeping one’s eye on something’ and illustrates the importance of what one sets their eyes upon. We are to fix our eyes upon the Prince and Perfecter of our faith and guard His commands with great joyous celebration for His great works! When our eyes are fixed on the Truth – the very thing we love, we will not be swayed by wrong paths and not let our eyes be lured to lawlessness and sin, but rather serve in perfection and truth:
Tehillim/Psalm 119:127-128 “Therefore I have loved Your commands more than gold, even fine gold! 128 Therefore all Your orders I count as right; I have hated every false way.”
The confidence we have in fixing our eyes on our Master is that we can remain steadfast and not be afraid when we look on our adversaries!
Tehillah/Psalm 59:10 “Elohim does go before me, He lets me look upon my enemies.”
Tehillah/Psalm 118:7 “יהוה is for me among those helping me; therefore I look on those hating me.”
The blessing of obedience is that we can look at our enemies and not be afraid!
Verse 9 – Pey and Tsadi and Qoph
פ – Pey – He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor
The ancient script has this letter פ (pey) pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’ from the functions of the mouth, and can also have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. In representing the mouth it can also picture the lips of a mouth, which are the ‘edges of the mouth’, and can also refer to things with edges, such as a sword or beard! His word endures forever and by His Word He has sent us redemption, and as we remember Him in all our ways, we guard His Word and praise Him greatly!
Sha’ul quoted this verse in:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 9:9 “As it has been written, “He scattered abroad, He gave to the poor, His righteousness remains forever.”
He quotes this verse to highlight the heart of generosity that a blessed and righteous set-apart one ought to have, as we take note of the context:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 9:6-12 “And this: He who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly, and he who sows on blessing shall also reap on blessing. 7 Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not of grief or of necessity, for Elohim loves a joyous giver. 8 And Elohim is able to make all favour overflow toward you, that you, always having all you need in every way, have plenty for every good work. 9 As it has been written, “He scattered abroad, He gave to the poor, His righteousness remains forever.” 10 And He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, shall supply and increase the seed you have sown and increase the fruit of your righteousness, 11 being enriched in every way for all simplicity, which works out thanksgiving to Elohim through us. 12 Because the rendering of this service not only supplies the needs of the set-apart ones, but also is overflowing through many thanksgivings to Elohim.”
The blessing of giving is an integral part of the blessing of obedience as it results in the overflowing of many thanksgivings to Elohim! The blessing of obedience is often marked by obedient giving that is done from the heart that seeks to obey the commands!
צִ – Tsadi – His righteousness is standing forever.
The ancient script has this letter צִ (Tsadi) pictured as , which is ‘a man on his side’, and it can represent the act of lying on one’s side in order to hunt or chase, when crouching in concealment, as well as laying one’s self down for another. We can also see how this can represent that which comes forth from the side! This can also picture for us a fish hook, giving us the meaning of ‘hunt or fish’. His Covenant is forever and in Him having laid down His life for us, He calls us and commissions us to go and make taught ones of the nations, as we too become fishers of men!
The fact that our Master laid down His life for us and was taken up again in order that we may have the promise of everlasting life, confirms to us the blessing of His righteousness standing forever!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.”
ק – Qoph – His horn is exalted with esteem.
The ancient script has this letter ק (Qoph) pictured as , which is a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity. His Set-Apart Name is to be praised forever!
Tehillim/Psalm 113:3 “From the rising of the sun to its going down, the Name of יהוה is praised.”
Tehillah/Psalm 104:31 “The esteem of יהוה is forever, יהוה rejoices in His works”
The Hebrew word for ‘horn’ is קֶרֶן qeren – Strong’s H7161 which means, ‘a horn, might, strength’.
Horns were a symbol power, victory and strength in biblical times. When the sacrifice was made, blood was dabbed on the horns of the altar, signifying the power of the blood to atone for sins. In the same way, there is mighty power in the blood of יהושע. יהושע is the “horn of our deliverance”:
Tehillah/Psalm 18:2 “יהוה is my rock and my stronghold and my deliverer; My Ěl is my rock, I take refuge in Him; My shield and the horn of my deliverance, my high tower.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘exalted’ is the root word רוּם rum – Strong’s H7311 which means, ‘to be high, exalted, rise, raised, set-apart’. Our strength is lifted up when we walk in obedience, so that we can properly praise our Master!
The Hebrew word for ‘esteem’ is כָּבֵד kaḇeḏ – Strong’s H3513 which means, ‘to be heavy, weighty or burdensome, to give high esteem and respect and honour’, and is often translated as ‘praise’ that is to be given to יהוה!
Verse 10 – Resh and Shin and Taw
This last verse highlights for us the fate of the wicked and all those who do not regard the blessing of obedience!
ר – Resh – The wrong one sees it and shall be vexed.
The ancient script has this letter ר (Resh) 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, He is the beginning of our strength and true praise entails a true fear of the One who is Chief over us!
שִׁ– Shin – He gnashes his teeth and shall melt.
The ancient script has this letter שֵׂ (Sin) pictured as , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’, which is what the teeth do and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or meditate on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Ḥazon/Revelation 16:10-11 “And the fifth messenger poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his reign became darkened. And they gnawed their tongues from pain. 11 And they blasphemed the Elohim of the heaven for their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their works.”
In speaking of the wrong we see the words of the psalmist declare the following:
Tehillah/Psalm 58:6-7 “O Elohim, break their teeth in their mouth! Break out the fangs of the young lions, O יהוה! 7 Let them melt, let them vanish as water; Let Him aim His arrows that they be cut down”
ת – Taw – The desire of the wrong ones does perish.
The ancient script has this letter ת (Taw) pictured as , which is a picture of ‘crossed sticks’ which means ‘to seal or covenant’ or ‘mark’ or ‘sign’. This also pictures the two Houses of Yehuḏah and Yisra’ĕl being brought together as One in Messiah – the purpose for which He came! His Covenant with His Bride has been secured in His Blood and we have been sealed by the Set-Apart Spirit for the day of redemption.
The wrong do not have the sign of the covenant upon their hands and foreheads, which is identified by the keeping of the Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה and as a result will perish along with their false hope!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:28 “The righteous look forward to joy, but the expectancy of the wrong ones perish.”
This is a brief overview of this very poetic acrostic psalm that highlights for us the blessing of obedience while also making known to us the curse for disobedience! This poem, in many ways, sets before us a song that presents to us life and death, blessing and curse, and we must choose life and walk in obedience if we desire to experience the blessing of obedience!
While I certainly recognise that there is far more detail that we could seek out and find here in this Tehillah/Psalm of praise for יהוה, I do hope that I have simply stirred your interest therein so that you too may seek more pearls of wisdom within the Word of Elohim and recognise the blessing of obedience, so that you will be joyfully equipped and empowered to praise יהוה and let your life song echo the song of set-apartness as you walk in the blessing of obedience!
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!
(for future reference, please see the ancient Hebrew Alphabet chart below)