Every Preparation Day (Friday before Shabbat) we busy ourselves rushing to ready our homes and meal for Shabbat. We're often so busy that we can lose sight of the purpose and blessings of Shabbat. A couple of years ago I got into the habit of prayerfully reading the Tehillim each day. It has truly blessed my life. Within those songs are strength, comfort, peace, and rejoicing. They are a reminder to us that no matter what is going on in our lives that The Eternal watches over us. I hope that sometime during your busy Preparation Day that you will take some time with the Tehillim. It is with this in mind that I have started this blog, which are insights into each song, posted every Friday morning. Shabbat Shalom!
By In the Shade of the Tent | January 31, 2014 at 03:42 PM EST | No Comments
This is one of my favorite Tehilim. I remember saying it when I was child, and besides Tehillim 23, it is one that I could recite from memory. As the introduction for the Tehillim states in Artscroll Transliterated Linear Tehilliam/Psalms, The Eternal "provides comfort amid life's swirling waters of pain and disappointment." This Tehillim is traditionally recited during Yamim Noraim, the Ten Days of Awe. (between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur). It is not known exactly why, but the overwhelming theme, is hope in The Eternal at time when we are praying in a spirit of repentance not knowing what the new year will bring.
Adonai is my light and salvation;
whom do I need to fear?
Adonai is the stronghold of my life;
of whom should I be afraid?
When evildoers assailed me
to devour my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
they stumbled and fell.
If an army encamps against me,
my heart will not fear;
if war breaks out against me,
even then I will keep trusting. vs 1-3
Adonai is my light. Ephesians 5:13 states But everything exposed to the light is revealed clearly for what it is. He is the one who shines the light in the darkness. He sheds light so that we can see.
When reading these verses I am reminded of the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem during the reign of King Hezekiah. This is recounted in 2 Kings chapters 18 and 19. Sennacherib, king of Assyria surrounded Jerusalem with an army 185,000 strong. You can read history or the Internet to get an understanding of the viciousness of the Assyrian army and how they were feared. Not only did they lay siege to Jerusalem, but as our enemies often do when they sense weakness, the general of the Assyrian army began to taunt the people behind the walls, telling them not to trust Hezekiah when he says Yahweh will save them, and then began to recount all of the other nations the mighty army had conquered, and how their gods were unable to save them. So great was the insult to our God that the men relaying the message to Hezekiah had torn their clothes. His response to the insult? He sought the word of the Eternal through the prophet Isaiah. What was this word? He said, "I will defend this city and save it, both for my own sake and for my servant David's sake. (2 Kings 19:34) Not because of anything they or we have done, but for Him, and the promises that He made and continues to keep to this day. That night, all 185,000 in the Assyrian army were killed by the the angel sent by The Eternal. When the king returned to Assyria, he was killed while worshipping his god by his own sons.
People ask, But how can I know that He will deliver me? How can we possibly know the greatness of our God, if we don't read the recounting of the mighty things He has done in Scripture? They were put there to encourage us, so we would know His wonders, and not fear or doubt. He is our fortified place, our defense, our rock. There are many times in our lives when we experience fear because our enemies. In this Psalm David is saying that because The Eternal is our light, salvation, and stronghold, who shall we fear? The answer is no one! No man, woman or situation when it comes against us will succeed. It may seem like they will, but even that is to glorify Him, because who can say it was anyone else but Him who made a way when there was no way. Stand strong and do not fear. The Creator of the universe, the Judge of all men, The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Hezekiah, and so many others who trusted in Him, is with us!
Shabbat Shalom & blessings in the name of Yeshua!
Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek Yahweh: look to the rock whence you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him, and made him many.