Sunday, October 17, 2010

Daily Word: Meditating on the Hebrew Alphabet (Lamed)

The twelfth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Lamed. In ancient Hebrew, Lamed meant a cattle goad or shepherd's staff. A cattle goad was used to drive animals to their destination. The pictograph of a rod symbolizes control, prodding or urging forward, going forward, or a tongue. As we consider several Hebrew words with Lamed, remember the picture of control or going forward. One Hebrew name for G-d is el. The word picture informs us that G-d is the first or the strong authority. The Hebrew word for heart is lev. The word picture tells us that the heart is what controls the inside. One life lesson is that people generally do what they want to do. People are not overwhelmed by some outside force. Instead, they give in to an evil inclination that is inside of them. Too often, Christians like to "pass the buck" and blame the devil, when it is themselves at fault. The Hebrew word for tongue is la-shon. The word picture explains that the tongue is the rod that devours and establishes life. Proverbs 18:21 says: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue...."

In Psalm 119 verses 89-96, all verses begin with Lamed. Since Lamed means a staff, these eight verses tell us that G-d's authority controls and protects us like a shepherd's staff. When we see the Sovereignty of G-d and how it impacts our lives, we will be able to speak in confidence verse 94: "I am Thine, save me." However, don't forget the rest of the verse, "For I have sought Thy precepts." The Hebrew word for "precepts" is pikkudim and it means to take oversight or charge. G-d will save us when we allow Him to take charge of our lives. That includes obedience to Torah.

Today, consider who is in charge of your life. Who or what controls you? What is inside your heart that is the hand that guides you? If it is anything other than YHVH, you are on dangerous ground.

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