Psalm 119 is the most amazing acrostic ever written (in my seldom humble opinion). An acrostic uses different letters to make memorable little ditties. You have all heard the acrostic for the English word Grace. Each letter of the word is used to form a little do-dah to help us remember the essence of what grace means to Christians. God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. In a similar way, Psalm 119 has woven together the pictograph alphabet (aleph-bet after the first two Hebrew letters instead of the first two Greek letters) of Hebrew to sum up Torah. Many believe it was written by Ezra to give Israel a primer on Torah after they returned to The Land from their years in captivity.
Today’s morning devotion is from Psalm 119:73-80. These verses feature the letter yod, the 10th letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet. It is a pictograph of a hand. Physically it is the smallest of the Hebrew letters, the jot of Matthew 5:18, where the word yod has been lost in translation. Jesus, when spelled in Hebrew, transliterates to Y’shua (or Yeshua). Our Y sound comes from yod. As a matter of fact, nearly every important name in the English Bible that has been spelled with a J is actually spelled with a yod – Y in English. Jehovah is YHVH, Jerusalem is Y’rushalaim. Jacob is Yakov. Each of these words (and dozens more that I have not mentioned) begin with a yod. The yod generally represents the hand of God in guidance.
Psalm 119:73 begins with the word (and when I say the word, understand that I mean the word translated into English) “your hands” which is the essence of the meaning of yod in most of the names that start with it.
Ps 119:73 Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. nkj
The hands of the Almighty “made” me. This is about being “knit together in my mother’s womb” Psalm 139:13. The phrase, “and fashioned me” speaks of God’s hand guiding our life. Psalm 139:16 and Job 14:5. Since we have been created by God and the days of our life are directed by Him, the Psalmist asks God Himself to give him insight or understanding of The Commandments He has given us.
Skipping down to verse 75 we learn that God’s Judgments are righteous and that it is in His faithfulness that we are afflicted when we stray from His Way.
Psalm 119:75 I know, O YHVH, that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
Verse 75 brings us back to this week’s key word, discipline. God’s hands have formed us, He has every right to tell us how to live, but he doesn’t force that on us. The hand of the Almighty guides our lives. He has the right to subject us to his standard for living, but he does not force conformance. However, if we who love him ask him to redeem us, to buy us back from our sin with the blood of our Messiah, we give him the right, the privilege, of telling us how we should live. Though we long to see His precious and holy face, we look for his hands to guide and protect us. We agree with verses 76 and 77 that He is merciful, kind, a comfort, and that His Torah, the Word, is a delight not a burden.
Punishment is for the world, for those who refuse the gift of Jesus who is the Christ. He has paid for my sin with his blood but He does not force that payment on anyone. You are free to pay for your own penalty, though it will only get you an eternity of unspeakable pain in the next life (Hell). People make that choice because they want to direct their own lives, make their own choices, do things their own way. That is not the way of a believer.
Ephesians 4:21-24 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Paul summed things up nicely in his letter to the Galatians, I’ve given up the life I used to live so that my Messiah can live his life in and through me.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul put verbs in his sentence, “put to death,: “wrath is coming.”
Colossians 3:5-7 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
Note: the cross was the Roman punishment for Sedition, what we might call a holy rebellion against the way of the world (though Rome did not see it as holy). The Messiah is telling us that we are to embrace the consequences (take up your cross) for sedition against the Prince of the world, the world system of the devil.
Luke 9:23-24 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. nkj
I guess my question to you is, will you experience wrath in the world to come even though you get to make your own choices about how you live now, or do you experience the love of discipline in this world as you prepare for the Joy and Glory of the home Jesus is preparing for you in the next world?
Mrs. Hagerty, October 16, 2015