Disclaimer: Although the title may suggest this post will be discussing two Hebrew words, it isn’t! Sorry to disappoint- maybe next time 🙂
I love to break down Scripture and go back to the original Hebrew or Greek text. (Sounds like fun, huh?!) If you did a word study on Psalm 37:4, you would find that the Hebrew root word used for “delight” is not common. Another word for “delight” is found many more times in Scripture. In fact, within the same Psalm, David uses a different Hebrew word for “delight”. In verse 23 he says, “The steps of a man are established by the LORD when he delights in his way…” Why would David choose two different words for “delight” in the same Psalm? Why in the world should we care?
Well let’s put it in 21st century terms. If I were writing a blog, I would choose my words carefully. For example, if I was writing a post about things I loved or liked, I would choose the word based on the intimacy of the relationship. I might say “I love my husband, and I like my Starbucks barista.” Well for those who know me that might not be the best example, but you get my point! (Ha! Totally kidding Andy! I LOVE you!)
If our measly human words are important and have meaning within our thought process, how much more important and significant are the words of our Almighty God? 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us,
ALL Scripture is God-breathed..
What does that mean? It means that the Holy Spirit inspired the words, the verses, the passages, everything. All Scripture is inspired by God.
When David wrote the Psalms, and Paul wrote his letters to the early churches, they were not rambling out of fleshly emotions or using their ancient thesauruses and dictionaries to come up with big, complicated words to confuse us. The Holy Spirit inspired them to put their ink to the paper, speaking through them to give us the perfect Word of God.
This is one of the reasons why I just LOVE studying Scripture. Of course, we don’t want to go crazy and over-analyze everything to make meanings fit where there are none, but by asking the Holy Spirit to teach us (John 14:26) and taking the time to dig deeper into the Word of God, sometimes even looking at the word choices can clue us into precious truths from our Father. Isn’t that exciting?
And one of the best parts of all is that we don’t need a seminary degree, a minor in Greek, a perfect past, or a life filled with Sunday School lessons to be captivated by God’s Word. His Word is for all of us no matter what our background!
So back to Psalm 37:4. Why did David choose that particular Hebrew word? Honestly, I don’t really know. Ha!! I have some thoughts, but I won’t share unless I have some solid research to back up that kind of thing. We don’t always have to know everything in Scripture, but it’s fun to ask questions and learn! We will spend the rest of our lives learning new things and going deeper and deeper into His truth. At the same time, the most important parts, especially the GOSPEL are as simple for a child to understand. Isn’t that awesome? I’ll leave you with this written by the apostle Paul to the early church at Ephesus:
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” Ephesians 1:17 (NIV)
Praying God draws us to Him through His Word 🙂 Happy Labor Day Weekend!
P.S. For anyone who wants to look into the two words for “delight” used in Psalm 37, here is the info: (Definitions are taken from the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible)
Strong’s H6026 anag (Psalm 37:4) to be soft or pliable (figurative), effeminate or luxurious: delicate(-ly), (take) delight
Strong’s H2654 chaphets (Psalm 37:23) to incline to (by implication, literally but rarely used); to bend (figurative) to be pleased with; desire: delight, desire, favor, meant, have please, pleasure, purpose, put, x make stiff, will, willing, wish.