Psalm 119:49-56 (Zayin)

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.

Zayin – Weapon – Axe or Sword

Word Picture - Sword

To Divide, Cut or Pierce

“Remember your promise to your servant, through which you have given me hope. In my distress my comfort is this: that your promise gives me life. Though the arrogant scorn me completely, I have not turned away from your Torah. Adonai, I keep in mind your age-old rulings; in them I take comfort. Fury seizes me when I think of the wicked, because they abandon your Torah. Your laws have become my songs wherever I make my home. I remember your name, Adonai, at night; and I observe your Torah. This [comfort] has come to me, because I observe your precepts.”

Simeon says in his prophecy to Mary that “a sword will pierce your own heart too. All this will happen in order to reveal many people’s inmost thoughts” (Luke 2:35).   What would it be like to be told when you are redeeming your firstborn son that a sword will pierce your heart and your inmost thoughts would be revealed?   What does that ‘sword’ have to do with her son? 

The Word of God, which has its foundation in Torah, is a weapon, a double-edge sword that cuts to the heart where soul meets spirit. Those who love Torah with their heart receive comfort when the Word of God judges their inner reflections and attitudes.   Those who understand the purpose of the ancient rulings will sing about them, and proclaim the life that they have brought to their walk of faith (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Mary’s son, Yeshua, is the Word of God in a flesh body (John 1:14). He will pierce her heart with his sinless life –– imagine being his mother or his sibling. He will convict her life when she tries to push or pull him in her own direction –– turning water into wine. She will not just give birth to the Son of God, she will also watch the brutal death of her firstborn son. She must trust the prophecies, and put her hope in the promise of the new covenant through her son’s life, death, and resurrection.

If used wrongly, weapons can be dangerous.  The double-edged sword of the Word is meant to ‘cut’ our own heart; it is not to be used for piercing someone else’s. The Spirit of God is to convict others of sin, and write His Torah on the heart line by line, precept by precept (Isaiah 28:10).

Even though arrogant men scorn David for observing the precepts of Adonai, he does not turn the sword into a chainsaw and chase after the wicked; he doesn’t beat them over the head with God’s Torah.  Instead, he faithfully observes God’s precepts and extends mercy to those who have abandoned Torah and live lawless, wicked lives.  Even when he had numerous opportunities to kill King Saul, David chose not to.  He had already been anointed the next King and would receive his reward at God’s appointed time.

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