Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled down, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.Psalm 37:23-24 (NASM2020)
According to Jewish teaching, there are four levels of interpretation when reading and studying the Bible. The Hebrew acronym to remember these four levels is PARDES. PARDES refers to P’shat, Remez, D’rash, and Sud.
P’shat, meaning “simple,” is the face-value meaning of the text. Remez, meaning “hint,” is an implied meaning of the text. D’rash means “concept” and is the teaching-level of a text. D’rash is when a pastor or rabbi or priest gives a sermon, a teaching, on a specific Biblical text to a group of people. And, finally, Sud, which means “hidden,” is the secret meaning of a text. Basically, when Jesus says throughout the Gospels, “He who has ears…,” He is referring to the Sud meaning of Biblical text. Those who really have a relationship with God get the sud, or hidden meanings of the Bible.
So, at face-value, at the p’shat-level of meaning, Psalm 37:23-24 is one of the most comfort-bringing places in all of the Bible, at least to me. I love the imagery of God establishing His kids’ steps and taking joy in that walk. It’s a picture of a proud Papa looking down at His beautiful kids smiling a big, joyous smile. It’s also a picture of a protective Abba holding His kids’ hands, and when they stumble they do not fall because God is there. It’s like an earthly father holding his toddler’s hand. If you’ve been around a toddler, you know they are a bit unsteady on their feet. They stumble often. But when daddy’s holding their hand, they don’t go down. This is exactly what I see in verse 24. God’s got our hands as we toddle along in this life. What a sweet, comforting image of our relationship with God!
I’m not going to pretend that I am an amazing Biblical scholar, so I won’t even try to get to the d’rash and sud levels of meaning in verses 23-24. But I will take a stab at the remez level. So, here I go…
Once again, I rely on my favorite Jewish resource, Chabad.org, for inspiration behind today’s post. And once again, we have a translation issue. According to the Jewish translation, the English should read as follows: “From the Lord a mighty man’s steps are established, for He delights in his way. If he falls, he will not be cast down, for the Lord supports his hand.”
So, the step of not just ANY man is directed by God, but a mighty man. When I think of mighty I think of massive soldiers well-equipped to take down bad guys. I certainly don’t think of myself as mighty. When I read this verse without really digging into what it actually means, I admit to getting a little sad. I am not a mighty person. Does this mean I am excluded from God establishing my steps? Am I just left out? This can’t be what this verse means. So, what does it mean to be mighty? Well, it means to be a person who fears the Holy One, God. This means anyone can be a mighty man, we just have to choose to fear God as Lord and Savior. When we do, God considers us His kids and delights in our steps and holds our hands. AND, when we do stumble, we won’t be cast down — we won’t be forsaken by God — because the Lord supports us BECAUSE we fear Him.
Yes, we all make mistakes. We all stumble. But IF we fear and love God, He will never forsake us. He will never let us fall. Why? Because He holds our hands. God is a good, good Father who guides and supports His kids.
Again, dear reader, I hope this post has blessed you as much as it has me. God really is an amazing, wonderful, loving, protecting Father. Learning the deeper meanings of God’s Word truly draws me closer to Him, and I hope it’s drawing you closer, too!
3 thoughts on “His Encouragement #201”
Your verse goes perfectly with a post that I did earlier this week about falling down. I’m glad that I don’t have to be mighty, but I just have to revere the Lord, fearing Him as the awesome God that He is. Good post, Nicole!
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Thank you, Vickie! I appreciate that you read my posts. And I, too, am super grateful that in my weakness I can lean on God for strength. He is so good!
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