Hebrew Highlights 10 – Across the Table
Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
Lets read from PSA 16:8. “ I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
The first phrase in Hebrew goes like this: “Shiviti Adonai kenegdi tamid.” The word translated before in English is literally “against” or “across from”. Before is fine, but we could mistakenly see it as “in front of”. In that case, we might see ourselves as walking continually walking behind the Lord in this particular verse.
However, if we grasp the literal meaning, it is as we are sitting directly across from the Lord at a table, looking straight into His eyes.
First of all, you can imagine, what that would be like if we were in sin at that particular moment. We would probably see disappointment and possibly even some anger, mingled with an invitation to repentance and grace.
If we set the Lord continually before us, we will have to look at the world through Him. It actually sounds a little scary, but lets continue with the next 2 verses:
PSA 16:9-10 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol; Neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.
So, yes, the Lord is also looking at us, and keeps us from sin and therefore eternal death. It is a place of rejoicing. It is only scary if we have made a decision to keep sinning, while knowing the Lord is watching.
PSA 38:9 says “Lord, all my desire is before Thee; And my sighing is not hidden from Thee.”
When the Lord is continually looking into our eyes, and we into His, He is constantly aware of our needs, desires, pains, and trials. We need have no doubts of His constant vigilance.
PSA 69:19 gives us a further insight into this word. It reads, “Thou dost know my reproach and my shame and my dishonor; All my adversaries are before Thee.” So, our enemies are also standing in front of God, and blaming us. We see this in the story of Job. Of course, because of this, if we have actually sinned, we do suffer reproach and shame and dishonor. But, if we have asked forgiveness and repented, the Lord will assuredly rebuke our enemies.
Now, we have an interesting warning in PSA 101:3 which is very appropriate to these times. “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.” Now, I am not sure what could have come under this category in the days when this Psalm was written, but today, we can literally set a computer or TV or video smack dab in front of our face. If it is worthless, of course, depends on what is on the screen. But remember, this doesn’t mean only evil things, but also things which simply have no value, and are a waste of time. They become harmful when they take the place of the Lord as our focus.
Just one final reminder of a scripture which I often quote. God, speaking of Jerusalem, says in ISA 49:16 "Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.”
The walls of Jerusalem are continually in front of God’s face. As you think of us here in the Holy City, try to see us through God’s eyes, not the TV or internet. Pray for us. Hold on to that right hand of God. Take part in His intercession.
May the Lord be continually before you. May you not be shaken. Amen
Shalom, Shalom from Jerusalem.