Hebrew Highlights 131 - REWARD
Shalom. This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
PSA 116:7, “Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Within this soothing promise lies an interesting little word, “gamal” which is translated here as “dealt bountifully”. Other renderings are “recompense”, “reward”, “grant”, and “does good”.
The exact same pronunciation can mean “weaned”, or even “camel”. Obviously, when reading in Hebrew, the context is very important. The root is also found in “gimel”, or pension. I suppose that in a sense, one’s pension is a reward, or recompense for a life of hard work.
I confess to not knowing the connection between “reward”, and “weaning”, unless of course a child is rewarded by moving on the stage of eating solid food. It makes sense to someone like me, who enjoys a good meal.
King David uses the word “gamal” a number of times in his writings, notably in PSA 18:20, “The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.”
Notice that he does not say “rewarded me ‘for” my righteous, which would negate the doctrine of free grace. Being awarded “according” to my righteousness is a different story. We are also not told whether our reward is to be paid in this world or the next, but by cross-referencing different passages, we can see that both are true.
One comforting thought is found in PSA 103:10, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Thank God for this truth, otherwise we would all be in trouble!
By reading about the translation to “weaned” in PSA 131:2, we come full circle and return to our quieted soul. “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.”
A part of the peace within our souls is our own responsibility. Too often our being upset stems from our dwelling on our guilt, even after God has forgiven our sins, and recounted to us the righteousness won for us on the cross by Messiah Yeshua. We need to stop beating ourselves up with condemnation, and reward ourselves with forgiveness. PRO 11:17 says “The merciful man does himself good, but the cruel man does himself harm.”
The next scripture I want to explore translates the word “gamal” as “granted”. ISA 63:7, “I shall make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, According to all that the Lord has granted us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has granted them according to His compassion, And according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses.”
As always, we learn here that the Lord’s rewards are granted out of His compassion and lovingkindness. Again, if the bounty we receive because of our righteousness were weighed on a scale against the wages of our sin, we would be in the minus. But the Heavenly Father’s gift of His son tips the scale in our favor.
So, having found all of this bounty and reward, what do we do? PSA 119:17 pleads, “Deal bountifully with Thy servant, That I may live and keep Thy word.”
We will never deserve God’s goodness. However, having received it, at least we can try and obey His word. If we can wean ourselves from our appetite for sin, our reward will be great.
Shalom shalom, from Jerusalem.