Psalm 119:153-160 (Reysh)

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 Head

Word Picture – A Head

ר Resh – A Head

A person, what is the highest, most important person

“Look on my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law. Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees. Your compassion, Lord, is great; preserve my life according to your laws. Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from your statutes. I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word. See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, Lord, in accordance with your love. All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.”

There are only two Hebrew letters after resh. By this time of reading through Psalm 119, a person either loves God and His Torah more because of the way David praises and honors it or a person is sick of reading about God’s Law, God’s Torah, God’s Word.  One becomes the faithful follower of God; the other faithless.  

Yeshua, the most important and highest person is far from the wicked because they do not seek out God’s decrees.   Since Yeshua means salvation in Hebrew, this means exactly what David says, “Salvation is far from the wicked” those who do not seek out God’s commands.  Which person are you?  The one who sees the importance, value and blessing of the Torah from King David’s eyes or one who is tired of counting the omer and reading about God’s statues and eternal righteous laws.  

Recently, I was involved in a discussion about homosexual sin.  One woman in the discussion felt judged by ‘lawkeepers’ because a family member was gay.  This woman did not want to hear that her child was in sin and returned the ‘judgment’ on  those who were calling it for what it is.  No one was actually judging this woman’s child as no one knew her situation until she began ‘judging’ back.  It was merely a discussion on sin and idolatry.  A person is either faithful to God and His Word or faithless.  Those who were being faithful to God’s Word stood for God’s righteous standards while this woman chose to be faithless and make excuses and judge God’s people standing on His Word.

What I find interesting in reading today’s portion of Psalm 119 is the word, loathing in the NIV.   David looks on the faithless with loathing.  Loathing is a feeling of intense dislike or hatred.   David loathed people, the faithless people, those who ignored God’s commandments.  No one loathed this woman, in fact when she revealed her situation there was a lot of compassion and offerings of prayer for her child.  The woman didn’t want this.  She wanted the righteous to back down and say ‘it’s all okay’ and make her feel good again.  She wanted to live in her world of defeat.   No one went that direction nor would King David who “looked on traitors with disgust because they don’t keep your Word” (Complete Jewish Bible).   Remember, King David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22).

What a different world we live in!  The highest, most important person, salvation, has been compromised.  Tolerance has replaced the genuine compassion, mercy and grace of Yeshua found in God’s Word.   Disobedience has made God’s love ‘unconditional’ rather than an outward expression of relational love allowing all sorts of sin and rebellion to proliferate within the Body of Messiah.   Lives can’t be full of joy and peace when they are consumed with wickedness, immoral behavior, disease and death.  More and more loves are no longer preserved through a wholehearted love for God.  Deliverance from sin and a sinful way of life through suffering leading to  repentance is no longer embraced as an eternal righteous truth.  Faithlessness is everywhere.

In Mark 12:28-29, Yeshua reveals the highest and most important calling in the life of the faithful then and now.  We must love God and our neighbor as is outlined in the Torah.  Contrary to those who always consider the ‘teachers of the law’, the ones rejected by Yeshua,  it is a Torah teacher, a teacher of the law, that was not far from the Kingdom of God.  He was actually on his way to being called ‘the greatest in the Kingdom’ for teaching the Torah (Matthew 5:17-20).   

“One of the teachers of the Torah came and heard them debating. Noticing that Yeshua had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Yeshua answered, “The most important is, ‘Sh’ma Yisra’el, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, O Isra’el, the Lord our God, the Lord is one],  and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other mitzvah greater than these.”

“The Torah-teacher said to him, “Well said, Rabbi; you speak the truth when you say that he is one, and that there is no other besides him; and that loving him with all one’s heart, understanding and strength, and loving one’s neighbor as oneself, mean more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  When Yeshua saw that he responded sensibly, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

©2014 Tent Stake Ministries

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