Psalm 119:81-88 features the Hebrew letter Koph in each of its verses.
The pictograph for koph is an open palm. In worship we lift up our palms to the Almighty. When blessing we lay our palm on the head or shoulder of the one we bless (or pray for) in an act known as “laying on of hands.” The letter kaph is meant to remind us of the work of Y’shua, the name that is translated Salvation in the old testament, He is Jesus in the new. It was Y’shua-Jesus’ hands that broke and multiplied the bread (Matthew 14:19), that reached out and touched the leper for cleansing (Matthew 8:3), that healed Peter’s mother-in-law (Matthew 9:18) and it was the hand of Y’shua-Jesus that took the hand of a dead girl and brought her back to life. It was the hands of Y’shua-Jesus that broke the bread at the table of the couple from Emmaus, and more likely than not, it was the sight his nail scared hands that caused them to recognized who he is (Luke 24:30-31)
Kaph in Psalm 119:81-88 has some funny English translations. The very first kaph word is kalah ( kaw-law) which means, “it is finished” (not faint or fail) The Hebrew word for bride comes from the same root word. Verse 81 is a cry of victory, the bride price has been paid, she is delivered! She (we) wait for Him with our eyes and hope in The Word.
Following the first two triumphant verses of Psalm 119:81-88, we come to a transition verse that I think is meant to remind us that we are “in the world but not of it (John 17:16)” Ezra (the most likely author of Psalm 119) says that we are like a wineskin in the smoke (bottles are a very new invention, they did not have them, even in the days of Jesus) yet we do not forget your statutes. What does this strange verse mean? It is difficult to know for certain, but this is what I think. As believers, we are filled with the Joy of the Lord. Wine, no matter how you feel about its use, represents joy (but is not needed to have joy). Inside of us we have the joy of the Almighty. But we are in the world, like a wineskin in the smoke. Smoke can stain your skin and clothes with soot, it can make it difficult to see clearly because of the tears it makes. I think that in the world we will have tears, lots of tears, because of the pain in the world. I also think that we can get dirty because of the world. When Jesus washed Peter’s feet, Peter eventually wanted Him to wash all of him, but what did Jesus say?
John 13:9-11 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” nasu
What is in us (the Ruach aka- Holy Spirit) makes us clean, but we stay that way by submitting to Y’shua-Jesus, or as the verse teaches, by keeping his statutes.
The next few verses are going to tell us about the pain we may experience from the unsaved world (or sometimes even from the saved world). But we have a refuge (our word of the week is not in the Psalm, just the idea of it). Our safe place can be found in our own redeemed hearts, the center of our spiritual body that we have given to Jesus. It is the lovingkindness (verse 88), known as grace in the new testament, that washes us, that keeps us able to tell about the joy we have in our hearts, even when it comes through our tears. The Word made alive by the Spirit of God, indwelling us. It is our victory, our testimony, our encouragement.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 nasu
Mrs. Hagerty, October 21, 2015