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 | June 06, 2014 at 07:17 PM EDT | No Comments
This Psalm was written by David for the eventual dedication of the future Temple. It is also recited in some traditions during the season of Chanukah. Verses 2-4 speak of times in David’s life when his enemies pursued him and mocked him, (vs 2) when he was in need of healing, (vs3) and salvation from the punishment after death. (vs4)
We ourselves go through these predicaments all through our lives. Sometimes they only last a day, other times for a season. Day in and day out, we need to realize that The Eternal is the one who rescues us from those who seek to harm and degrade us. He is our Healer, and our salvation from the pit. David was alive when he wrote this Psalm, however we need to realize that we can suffer the torment of Gehinnom* and be alive. It is the utter hopelessness of circumstances where there is no one to turn to, nowhere to go. However, only the God of Israel, The Eternal can raise us up from that place, and preserve us, if we put our trust in Him. In ancient times, kings and princes of the earth had complete authority. They had the power of life or death over their subjects. Even so, Scriptures tells us that it is better to put our hope in Adonai than to trust in princes. (Ps. 118). The hearts and minds of those who have earthly power over us are controlled by the Creator of all things, and just as He caused Joseph to be looked upon with favor by those who had charge over him, so The Eternal does for us. Joseph was literally and figuratively in the pit, but He lifted him up and placed him over all of Egypt.
As with Joseph our elevation may not occur overnight, but it will happen in His time, through his mercy, and to accomplish His purposes. Most of us have experienced nights where you could not sleep. The night seem to drag on forever while you tossed and turned. So it is with our trials and tribulations, but remember David’s words - weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning! (vs 6b)
Shabbat Shalom to you and your families!
*Gehinnom is a valley outside of ancient Jerusalem where it is thought that people took their refuse to be burned. It is also the valley where Israelites who had turned away from The Eternal went to worship other gods and sacrifice their children in the flames of molech. (2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6) The place was cursed and became known as a place where the wicked are eternally punished. This is a different place than Sheol. However, English Bibles have translated both words as hell.
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.