Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday!
This week I finish my series on Psalm 119. It’s taken about 6 months to go through this beautiful Psalm in its entirety and I feel I’ve barely cracked the surface. Thank you to all who have participated in this awesome journey!
My goal with this series was not lofty. I pray I was able to share some insight. And I hope this series was an extra encouragement to you and that you were blessed through it!
Psalm 119: 169-176
Let my cry come before You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your Word!
Let my plea come before You; deliver me according to Your Word.
My lips will pour forth praise, for You teach me Your statutes.
My tongue will sing of Your Word, for all Your commandments are right.
Let Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts.
I long for Your Salvation, O Lord, and Your Law is my delight.
Let my soul live and praise You, and let Your rules help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments.
Psalm 119 is all about hearing and doing the Scriptures.
The final letter in the Hebrew alphabet is the letter tav. Tav represents the Hebrew word emet, which means truth. There is an anomaly here. Typically when a Hebrew word is used to represent a Hebrew letter, it is the FIRST letter in that word that is used symbolically. Really, the word truth in Hebrew should be represented by the letter Aleph. BUT, that is not the case. In the case of truth, it is the LAST Hebrew letter — tav — that symbolizes the word. Why?
It’s a pretty cool reason actually. In the Talmud, the Rabbis of long ago state, “The reason emet is represented by its last letter, tav, and not by its first is because the essence of truth is determined at the END of a journey or passage, not at the beginning” (Talmud, Shabbos 104a; Chabad.org). The truth is starting a journey is easy, it’s maintaining the journey and finishing it that really matters.
This concept reminded me of Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” The goal of every human who follows Jesus is to fight the good fight, finish the life God has given us, and remain faithful in Jesus Christ to the very end!
I’m not going to lie, there are days I struggle to be as strong as Paul. In fact, I feel more like the psalmist when he states, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments” (line 176). It feels like I end up making more mistakes than successes in my walk with Jesus. I am one of Jesus’s sheep, I know His Voice, but I do make some dumb choices sometimes.
Look at line 176 one more time — it commands God to “seek [His] servant BECAUSE the servant knows God’s commands. It gives God the power and agency. It illustrates that GOD is the BOSS, not the faithful servant who knows all of God’s statutes. But it also illustrates a relationship between God and the servant. The servant seeks God with His whole heart AND God seeks the servant. This is why Paul could finish his race well — he knew where his power source came from, he knew he was in real relationship with God. And I think this is the psalmist’s point of all of psalm 119.
Yes, we are to seek God with our whole hearts. Psalm 119 in its entirety is about being in God’s Word, studying it, digesting it, and living it. But this very long psalm ends with GOD acting. Because at the end of the day, it isn’t about what we can do. It’s about what God did, does, and will do THROUGH those who seek Him with their whole hearts. And what He does THROUGH His servants is help them finish the race strong. God is amazing and that is the TRUTH!
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!
WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?
Check out more Thursday Encouragement from my fellow blogger friends:
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Becca @ The Becca Files
Gina @ Stories by Gina
Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes
Andi @ Radiant Light
Leslie @ Words of Hope
Claudia @ Claudia Moser
Keneesha @ Women Loving God’s Way