Hebrew Highlights 49 – TOO DIFFICULT
Shalom. This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
PSA 131:1-3 (A Song of Ascents, of David.) O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.”
One of the shortest of the psalms, this one is nevertheless full of wisdom. In Hebrew the first verse sounds like this, “Lo gava libi, velo ramu einai, velo halachti bigdolot, uniflaot mimeni.”
The phrase “lo gava libi, velo ramu einai” or “my heart is not proud, not my eyes haughty”, could be translated, “my heart is not lifted up and my eyes have not exalted themselves”. Sometimes as believers, this is a difficult statement for us. On the one hand, God has given us wisdom and discernment which, according to the scriptures, dwarfs the wisdom of the world, making it seem to be foolishness. On the other hand, God did not intend for us to go around spouting off about every world event and giving our comments. This is true not only about temporal affairs, but also those of God’s kingdom. The apostle Paul gave a number of warnings about this. Let me just read three of them before I continue my comments.
1TI 1:3-4, “As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.”
2TI 2:22-24, “Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged.”
TIT 3:8-9, “This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. But shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless.”
Yeshua himself was very good at avoiding arguments. He would often do something very Jewish when He answered a question with another question. Alternatively, He might agree to a conditional response as He did in MAR 11:29, “And Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question, and you answer Me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things.”
The familiar cliché, “what would Jesus do” comes in handy when we are speaking, as well as doing. He refused to be drawn into conversations about politics or religion when He knew the permutations available for dispute were endless.
Now, it’s true that we are told in 1PE 3:15, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” However, there is a big difference in telling of the faith which we ourselves experience, and waxing eloquent about every current event!
Even Paul said in ROM 15:18, “For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed.” Evidently, He did not quote Time magazine, or talk about miracles other people performed, or pretend to have solutions to the current government’s problems.
Many of us living in Israel receive questions by e-mail about the situation in the Middle East. Most of us have learned not to fall into the trap of answering. The third verse in Psalm 131 says, “O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.”
No matter what happens here, our hope is steadfast. And our reply to almost every question consists of one all-encompassing answer: “Yeshua”.
Shalom, Shalom, from Jerusalem.