God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect.
2 Samuel 22:33 NKJV
For the past few months I have finally begun to get serious about learning Hebrew, which has always been something I wanted to do, but sadly lacked the motivation to make a serious attempt at. It must have something to do with my belief that our time is running out that I am finally trying to get a head start and learn this language before I get to Heaven.
I know I have mentioned before the number of people I hear from and about that are tired and hurting right now and trying to deal with all manner of things in their lives. I know we have talked in the past about how to cope with the struggles we encounter in our walk with God, but this week I learned a few things while studying the Hebrew name for God that really encouraged me, so I would like to share that with you today in the hope it will possibly be of help to you as well.
I couldn’t tell you how many times in my life I have made the mistake of trying to do or fix something under my own power without allowing God to do it for me. I call it a mistake because invariably I would mess up and discover it was beyond my ability to fix resulting in my having to call on Him anyway. In this passage from Samuel we are reminded that God is the one who has the strength and power to smooth the bumps in the road we are sure to encounter on our walk with Him. So what follows is a short summary of some of what I learned this week.
God. (El ) The one we need to call on is God, no one or nothing else. We are introduced to the name of God in the very first verse in the Bible which I am sure all of us are familiar with. There we are told God, Elohim, created the heavens and the earth. Elohim is a three part word in Hebrew with El meaning might, strength, and power, Oh which means to keep an oath, and Im, which makes the word plural. So in the very first verse in the Bible we learn that our God is all powerful, all faithful, and as explained later exists as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
is my strength (maowz) This word means a place of safety, or a stronghold that can be defended. This certainly wasn’t what I expected when I read the word strength, because like most of us I figured it simply meant power or the strength to defend myself. What it really means is that rather than trying to somehow do it ourselves, we need to go straight to God and let Him defend us. How often do we go to God last rather than going to Him first?
and power (chayil) Now we get to the real power that helps us cope with what comes against us. This word means more than just power and strength, but also the ability to force the powers that come against us to retreat. God has whatever it takes to defeat any problem that we may encounter in our walk with Him. Have you ever had a problem you thought God could not fix? Ever struggle with a problem you thought God might not have an answer to? There is nothing in this world that God does not have the ability to overcome.
And he maketh (nathar) This is the word in this verse I just love. It literally means to make something leap or jump, and shake or tremble with fear. Have you ever watched a movie where the bad guys are chasing the good guys and they turn the corner and come face to face with the hero? You name it, Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Arnold the Terminator, when the bad guys come face to face with them they just lose it and jump and run the other way. The picture here is that when we encounter anything in our lives that would give us trouble, if we but run to God and hide behind Him whatever it is that is chasing us will literally jump and run the other way when faced with the power of our God.
My way (derek) This word describes our way as a road, or journey through the course of our lives. The idea I get here is that although we often feel like we are wandering aimlessly or made a serious wrong turn that results in our encountering troubles, the truth is that God not only knows where we are, He also has the power to smooth the bumps and point us in the direction we should go. Have you ever thought about how often the word follow is used in the Bible? You see, if we follow God we will find the journey is a whole lot smoother than when we try to run on ahead.
Perfect (tamiym) The word perfect here is used in the sense of being complete or whole, not perfect as we often think of it as nothing bad or just exactly as we want it. So often we look at our lives from the perspective of what will make me happy rather than what might make God happy. If we allow God to lay out the path we follow then our lives will be perfect in the sense of being complete according to the purpose God has for us to accomplish His purpose. My personal feeling is that the perfect life is one where we can stand before the Father and hear Him say “well done my good and faithful servant”.
So after all of this, here is what this verse says to me;
God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all powerful and faithful, is where I should run when troubled because He has the strength and ability to make whatever is persecuting me to jump and run the other way allowing me to get on with walking the path God has set before me in order to finish the work He has for me.
It's easy to become discouraged and tired when this life seems to pile up on us, but the one thing we can always depend on is a God who already knows what we are struggling with and has provided just what we need to move past it. If you find yourself in that position today I encourage you to think about this verse, and especially about the power in His name.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose.
Romans 8:28 NKJV
"Behold, I [am] the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?
Jeremiah 32:27 NKJV