Psalm 119: 73-80 (Yod)

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 - Closed Hand

Yod – Hand (closed)

To work, a deed done

“Your hands made and formed me; give me understanding, so I can learn your mitzvot. Those who fear you rejoice at the sight of me, because I put my hope in your word. I know, Adonai, that your rulings are righteous, that even when you humble me you are faithful. Let your grace comfort me, in keeping with your promise to your servant. Show me pity, and I will live, for your Torah is my delight. Let the proud be ashamed, because they wrong me with lies; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts. Let those who fear you turn to me, along with those who know your instruction. Let my heart be pure in your laws, so that I won’t be put to shame.”

“But now, Adonai, you are our father; we are the clay, you are our potter; and we are all the work of your hands” (Isaiah 64:7). 

The hands of God made and formed each one of us for a purpose – to glorify Him.  When we walk in faith by the commands of the Lord, those who fear Him will rejoice when they see us.  They will look to us, along with others who know God’s instructions, for we become examples of a righteous life like our savior,  Yeshua.

God’s grace is more than just a saving grace according to King David,  it is a comforting grace especially when we break His commands.  He is faithful to forgive us our sins and purify us from everything that contaminates our walk of faith (1 John 1:9).  

I love that David says that he will live because the Torah is his delight.  God said the same thing to Israel about His Torah: obey, live and be blessed (Deuteronomy 30:16).   These are the same words that Yeshua says to a leader in Israel when he asks how he might inherit eternal life. 

“Just then a man came up to Yeshua and asked, “Rabbi, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Yeshua replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

“Which ones?” he inquired.

Yeshua replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony,  honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”  Yeshua answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Matthew 19:16).  

So often when this encounter between Yeshua and the ‘rich man’  are quoted, the focus is on the man’s wealth. Yeshua didn’t say that to enter eternal life, the man  had to become poor.  He said the man had to give up the idol of his wealth to become a disciple and follow him.  However, even before Yeshua reveals the man’s heart condition regarding his wealth, he tells him to ‘enter eternal life’, the man had to keep the commandments.  The commandments given come from the Big Ten that are grounded in loving God and loving our neighbor.  Only several verses later does Yeshua say “All the Torah and the Prophets HANG on loving God and loving our neighbor” (Matthew 22:40).  Thus, the Big Ten as some have said are the Table of Contents to obeying the Torah and Yeshua’s answer for ‘how to inherit eternal life.’

David understands and knows his life (present and eternal) is found in honoring the commandments of God.   Unlike the rich young ruler, David didn’t count the cost of following Messiah; he didn’t turn from God’s command and walk away sad.   We must be like David and not like the rich man.  We must be willing to give up our idols,  the lies we have been taught, and the pride and arrogance we have embraced through deception.  We must allow God’s Spirit to put His teachings and instructions in our pur hearts then He will complete the work He began in us and we will never be put to shame.

The Big Ten in Word Pictures

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