Have you ever been searching for one thing, but you found something better during the hunt? Like looking for breath-mints in your purse and you find a ten dollar bill tucked away under a bunch of receipts? Has this happened to you?
Anyway, I didn’t find ten dollars; I found something so much better. I found life and power. Words tucked underneath our English Bible translations that I believe tell us how to be brave and bold.
As I studied the verse from the Bite of Bread for yesterday (Psalm 89:14-17), I found treasure that I was not looking for. And, my friends, to me this is “Wow!” stuff. The reading plan is all about God’s faithfulness this week. Each day the verses speak of how faithful and good God is. But what I found is a key to experiencing His goodness and faithfulness. It’s the key to being bold and brave in our everyday.
Those words alone make me want to shout “Hallelujah!” But come dig with me.
I’m going to give you the different meanings of the Hebrew words we’ve translated, and then I’ll paraphrase these verses so you can see the treasure too. Look closely. Read slowly.
From verse 14:
- Righteousness- Sedeq: honesty and integrity
- Justice- (our definition): Fair, objectivity, neutrality, honesty, morality
- Love- Chesed: mercy, loving kindness, good deeds
- Faithfulness- emeth: comes from a word meaning stability, trustworthiness. (Anybody need some stability in her life?)
These are God’s qualities. Honesty, integrity, objectivity, fairness, mercy, loving kindness, stable, and trustworthy. The psalmist writes, “. . . love (chesed) and faithfulness go before you.” The Hebrew word translated for you and its definition is:
- Paniym: Plural but used as a singular it comes from paneh which means “face”. It means presence.
Can you imagine God (plural- Father, Son, Holy Spirit) walking down the road and the glow of mercy, kindness, and faithfulness enveloping Him. As He walks toward us, mercy and kindness reach us before He does, because they go before Him–they exude from His presence.
That’s good stuff, but there is more.
Verse 15: “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you . . .” (NIV). That’s good, but I started jumping up and down when I discovered how the King James translated this.
“Blessed are those who know the battle cry” !!!!!! After studying the Hebrew, I am voting for this translation. I think Mr. King James nailed this one. And how powerful is this? Let’s continue the verse, “Blessed are those who know the battle cry, who walk in the light of your presence (panyim), O LORD.”
What’s the battle cry?
Verse 16: “They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.”
The battle cry is rejoicing in who God is and His goodness. Look what happens to those who employ this battle cry.
Verse 17: “For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor, you exalt our horn.”
- Glory: tipharah- beauty, bravery, glory, honor, majesty.
- Strength: oze: boldness, loud, might, power
- Horn: power (figuratively)
Let’s paraphrase: “For you are their bravery and boldness, and by your favor, you exalt our power.”
Want to be brave?
Want to be bold?
Want to be powerful (by God’s grace)?
I believe these amazing words penned millenniums ago were written for you and me today. They hold an ancient mystery to strength and boldness when I just want to crawl under the covers and hide. The secret is the battle cry. It’s the proclamation of God’s goodness, faithfulness, mercy, and loving kindness.
The proclamation is important, but getting it from our heads to our hearts is essential. I’ll tell you why Friday. Hope you’ll meet me here. Same time. Same place.
Leave a comment! When will you use your battle cry?
Finding Purpose being bold and brave,