Hebrew Highlights 60 – WILL TO RUN
Shalom. This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
PHI 3:12-14, “Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
In Hebrew, the word translated here as “press on” is “ratz”, which means simply to run. So then, we “run” toward the prize of the upward call of God in Messiah Yeshua. This little root word in Hebrew is fascinating. If you explore this root in Strong’s Concordance, you will find that it is the basis for no fewer than 22 different words in English. Let’s investigate just two of them.
In PRO 23:26, we read, “Give me your heart, my son, And let your eyes delight in my ways”. The last phrase in Hebrew sounds like this: “v’eineicha drachai tirtseina”. Simply put, it says, “and your eyes will want my ways”. Here, as in the passage we read in Philippians, the point is to find God’s will and “go for it”. So you see, there is a real connection between running and delighting.
In the next scripture, a completely different root word is translated as delight, but our subject of “ratz”, appears in a different way. PSA 40:8, “I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart." In this case, our root appears in the word “ratson” or “will”. This word is common in both modern Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew, and can mean will, or want, or desire. Now, any good coach will tell you that if you have no desire, you cannot be a good runner. Olympic competitors spend a long time praying, or otherwise preparing themselves mentally, before each race. If you don’t “will” to win, you “will” come in last place. If we don’t desire and delight in God’s will, we will never find it.
I’ll leave you with the Apostle Paul’s exhortation from 1CO 9:24, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win!”
Shalom, Shalom, from Jerusalem.