Psalm 119:89-96 (Lamed)

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 - Cattle Goad

Lamed – A Cattle Goad, Staff

To control, to prod or urge forward, to go toward, a tongue

“Your word continues forever, Adonai, firmly fixed in heaven; your faithfulness through all generations; you established the earth, and it stands. Yes, it stands today, in keeping with your rulings; for all things are your servants. If your Torah had not been my delight, I would have perished in my distress. I will never forget your precepts, for with them you have made me alive. I am yours; save me because I seek your precepts. The wicked hope to destroy me, but I focus on your instruction. I see the limits of all perfection, but your mitzvah has no bounds.”

A cattle goad is a long stick with a pointed end used for prodding animals.  It is used to spur or guide livestock which are pulling a plough or  cart or to round up cattle.  The expression kicking against the goads was used by Yeshua when He confronted Paul on the Road to Damascus.  In essence,  Yeshua was asking Paul, why are you going against me, persecuting me, when I am the shepherd and you are the sheep?

Acts 26:14 “We all fell to the ground; and then I heard a voice saying to me, in Hebrew, ‘Sha’ul! Sha’ul! Why do you keep persecuting me? It’s hard on you to be kicking against the ox-goads!’ 

God’s Word needs to be our delight so that when times of distress come, we do not perish by kicking against the goad.   It is important to remember that it is God who established the earth and it stands or falls according to His rule.  He is the Sovereign, in control over all creation including our personal lives.  It is through His  precepts that we, as born again believers through water and Spirit,  are given abundant life because His Torah is His Spirit (Romans 7:14).

Psalm 23:4 “Even if I pass through death-dark ravines, I will fear no disaster; for you are with me; your rod and staff reassure me.”

When Pharaoh wanted to hold the Israelites as slaves, it was the staff of Moshe that God used to show his sovereign power over the gods of Egypt.  Every time Pharaoh kicked against the goad, his people, livestock and nation suffered.  When wicked people hope to destroy us,  we need to speak forth His instructions because the His Word is wise and sharp as a cattle goad.

Ecclesiastes 12:11 “The sayings of the wise are as sharp as goads, and those given by leaders of assemblies are like well-fixed nails; [in this case,] they are presented by a single shepherd.”

Though there are limits to having a perfect earth, the commandments of the Sovereign God are endless and His Word continues forever fixed in heaven and His faithfulness through every generation. 

©2014 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

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