Psalm 119:169-176 (Tav)

Psalm 119 is about loving God’s Torah, His statutes, commands and precepts.  It is broken up into sections with strange looking words or letters which are the Hebrew alphabet.  In the Hebrew Scriptures, each line of each section starts with a word beginning with this letter.  This is called an acrostic poem.    Each Hebrew letter also has a  word picture associated with it giving greater meaning and symbolism to each line of the specific letter-ed section.

Word Picture – A Sign

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks

Sign or Covenant, To Seal

“Let my cry come before you, Adonai; in keeping with your word, give me understanding. Let my prayer come before you; in keeping with your promise, rescue me. Let my lips speak praise, because you teach me your laws. Let my tongue sing of your promise, because all your mitzvot are righteous. Let your hand be ready to help me, because I choose your precepts. I long for your deliverance, Adonai; and your Torah is my delight. Let me live, and I will praise you; let your rulings help me. I strayed like a lost sheep; seek out your servant; for I do not forget your mitzvot.”

The letter tav is the final letter of the Hebrew alef bet. The letter tav as ‘Crossed Sticks’ symbolizes ‘the sign of a covenant’ or a ‘seal.’  There are seven covenants in Scripture and each one has a sign attached to it.  The covenant God made with Noah and all mankind had the ‘sign’ of the rainbow.   The promise of land and descendants covenant God made with Abraham had the ‘sign’ of circumcision.  The covenant of an eternal kingship God made with David had the ‘sign’ of a descendant sitting on the throne –– Messiah.   The marriage covenant of Torah God made with Israel had the ‘sign’ of the Sabbath (Ezekiel 20:20).

The new marriage covenant would have some differences from the original marriage covenant because of Israel’s unfaithfulness (Jeremiah 31:31-34). God did not change His mind about the ‘original’ marriage covenant and throw it away or abolish it to begin something new. God established Himself as Israel’s husband and that would never change.

The Hebrew word for ‘new’ is chodesh and means ‘renew.’ The ‘renewed’ covenant is not made with the nations, the gentiles or Christians. It is a ‘renewal’ of the covenant God made with Israel. Rather than Torah being written on stone tablets or stony hearts, it would be written on hearts of flesh. The new covenant would bring the Spirit of God into the heart of individuals causing Israel to live by His commandments and respect His precepts (Ezekiel 36:24-25).

Yeshua told his disciples that if they loved him and obeyed his commandments, he would ask his Father to send them the Comforter.  The Spirit of God would convict the world of sin and unrighteousness;  it would guide them into all Truth.  Through the outpouring of God’s Spirit into the hearts of men and women,  the new covenant came to Israel. Torah began to be written on their hearts and they preached the message of Yeshua in all nations.

The evidence of the new covenant would be Israel’s obedience to Torah and the culmination that all Israel will know Adonai from the least to the greatest. Their lawlessness, their Torah-lessness will be forgotten and their sin of infidelity will be forgiven. 

David has written Psalm 119 with 176 verses about his love for God’s Torah.  He is in a new covenant relationship with God, has been filled with the Spirit, and has a circumcised heart that seeks to obey God.  The Torah is his delight even though he may stray like a lost sheep. He does not forget God’s commandments and he longs for Yeshua (Psalm 98:1).

The ancient Hebrew letter tav resembles a cross. Is the ‘cross’ the ‘sign’ of the new covenant or the ‘sign’ that it has been instituted? What is the ‘sign’ of the new covenant? Torah says that every matter is established by a witness of two (Deuteronomy 19:15). What are the two witnesses of the new covenant? Judah and Israel joining together in the stick of Ezekiel? (Ezekiel 37:17) Jew and gentile making up the Commonwealth of Israel? (Galatians 3:28-29).

The tav also means ‘sealed.’ Those who are ‘sealed’ by the Holy Spirit have the ‘sign’ of the new covenant (Ephesians 1:13-14.) Both Jews and gentiles who are born again into the Kingdom are ‘sealed’ and become ‘one new man.’ As we worship the God of Israel together in Spirit and Truth, singing praises for God’s laws, choosing to obey Torah, and keeping its ‘sign’ of Sabbath, we become the ‘sign’ of the renewed covenant and will live out our faith loving God’s Torah just like King David.

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