In quietness and trust shall be your strength, your power, your victory, your mastery over troubles
Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)
The sayings of my mouth.
Expressions that expose what is in my heart, revealing what I perceive to be truth and wisdom.
Are you diligent in examining the sayings of your mouth?
The meditation of my heart.
To earnestly, deeply think and to murmur with tenderness, evoking a strong emotional response.
Do you continually make a conscious effort to know what evokes strong emotional responses in you?
As God reveals who we really are…
Luke 2:34-35 – Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother, This child [Christ Jesus] marks both the failure and the recovery of many in Israel, A figure misunderstood and contradicted — the pain of a sword-thrust through you — But the rejection will force honesty, as God reveals who they really are. (MSG)
Falling and rising. Failure and recovery. Dying and resurrection. As God reveals who they really are…
The fall. Opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Speaking against him. Misunderstanding him. Contradicting him. Trouble. Anguish. Addiction. Fear.
The rising again. A standing up again, i.e. literally a resurrection from death, or figuratively a recovery of spiritual truth.
This is the pattern of life.
Note how the prophet Isaiah described the process of failure and recovery, falling and rising again. Dying and resurrection. Recovery of spiritual truth.
Isa 30:8-18 – So, go now and write all this down. Put it in a book So that the record will be there to instruct the coming generations, Because this is a rebel generation, a people who lie, A people unwilling to listen to anything God tells them. They tell their spiritual leaders, “Don’t bother us with irrelevancies. “They tell their preachers, “Don’t waste our time on impracticalities. Tell us what makes us feel better. Don’t bore us with obsolete religion. That stuff means nothing to us. Quit hounding us with The Holy of Israel.”
Therefore, The Holy of Israel says this: “Because you scorn this Message, Preferring to live by injustice and shape your lives on lies, This perverse way of life will be like a towering, badly built wall That slowly, slowly tilts and shifts, and then one day, without warning, collapses — Smashed to bits like a piece of pottery, smashed beyond recognition or repair, Useless, a pile of debris to be swept up and thrown in the trash.”
God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me — The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do. You’ve said, ‘Nothing doing! We’ll rush off on horseback!’ You’ll rush off, all right! Just not far enough! You’ve said, ‘We’ll ride off on fast horses!’ Do you think your pursuers ride old nags? Think again: A thousand of you will scatter before one attacker. Before a mere five you’ll all run off. There’ll be nothing left of you — a flagpole on a hill with no flag, a signpost on a roadside with the sign torn off.”
But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right — everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. (MSG)
But you were unwilling
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling (Isa 30:15 ESV)
But you were unwilling.
Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves
In returning and rest you shall be saved
Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me
In quietness and in trust shall be your strength
The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed [happy] are all those who wait for him. (Isa 30:18 ESV)
You were unwilling
Therefore, the Lord waits
Are you aware of a deep longing within you?
Do you know your longing is due to the Lord’s waiting for you to become willing to settle down in complete dependence on him?
Are there treasures that you hold dear that you’re unwilling to return to the Lord God?
Are there thoughts, feelings, perceptions, expectations that you’re unwilling to turn away from, trusting yourself more than you trust the Lord God?
On what or whom do you depend so that you are unable to settle down in complete dependence on the Lord God?
You were unwilling…
Therefore, the Lord waits
Why does the Lord God wait to be gracious to us while we are unwilling to return to him and settle down in complete dependence on him?
Isa 26:10 – If favor is shown to the wicked [one who is estranged from God], he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly and does not see the majesty of the Lord. (ESV)
You were unwilling
Unwilling to return to me
Unwilling to stop your efforts to save yourself
Unwilling to rest in me
Unwilling to settle down in complete dependence on me
Therefore, I exalt myself to show mercy to you
For I am a God of justice.
Grace, mercy, justice.
How the Lord God longs to be gracious to you and me! He wants us, but he does not take us unwillingly. Instead, he waits for us to want him the way he wants us. The Lord waits to be gracious to us. The Lord exalts himself to show mercy to us, even in our state of unwillingness. For the Lord is a God of justice.
Pause and give the words of the Lord God, spoken through the prophet Isaiah, time and opportunity to come alive within you, to create in you the same desire that is in the Lord your God. Let the word of God bring you to awe, for all his ways are right and all his works are kind.
Ps 145:17 – The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. (ESV)
I’ve lived more than half my life thinking God’s justice/judgment is about punishment, vengeance, getting even, destroying me because I don’t measure up to his expectations. That misperception caused me to work hard at trying to make myself acceptable, until I became utterly exhausted and absolutely convinced that I couldn’t possibly do it. How perverted my knowledge and wisdom! I was unwilling, I was unaware that the secret of deep, experiential knowing of my Lord was in stopping my efforts to save myself.
“I show mercy to you, for I am a God of justice”
You were unwilling to settle down in complete dependence on me. Therefore, I exalt myself to show mercy to you, for I am a God of justice.
Justice. Deciding who is in the right. Delivering from injustice or oppression. Justice. Delivering you and me from the oppression of our perverted knowledge and wisdom. Justice. A process where order and law are maintained despite our present state of perversion. Judge. Hearing a case. Rendering a proper verdict. Rights. Things are in proper relationship to one’s claims.1
Who has claim over whom?
Deciding who is in the right. God? Me? You?
Who has authority and proper claim to decide?
What is the proper relationship to one’s claims?
Matt 9:13 – Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (ESV)
How often I have railed against God, accusing him of failing to love, to be kind, to be a place of safety, to care. I had a problem with proper relationship! I wanted, expected, demanded justice according to my idea of what that looked like. I had no idea what God was doing, why, or how.
Mic 7:9 – I will endure Adonai’s [the Lord’s] rage, because I sinned against him; until he pleads my cause and judges in my favor. Then he will bring me out to the light, and I will see his justice. (CJB)
I sinned against him. I did not entrust myself to him. I maintained my independence from him, relying on my warped thinking and my feeble efforts to save myself, rather than settling down in complete dependence on him.
At what point does falling come to an end and rising again begin?
When the Lord God pleads my cause and judges in my favor.
Then he will bring me out to the light
And I will see
I will see his justice
Experience death and resurrection with Christ
Be brought back into proper relationship through spiritual recovery.
Prov 12:18 – There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (ESV)
My words, when not in harmony with the Lord’s words, are like sword thrusts. But the tongue of the wise, in harmony with the Lord’s words, brings healing.
Isa 30:15 – For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” (ESV)
For thus said the Lord God… The tongue of the wise brings healing. My [Jesus Christ’s] words will not pass away.
Words, Spirit, Life
Christ Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63 ESV)
For thus said the Lord God…
In returning. Turning back. Turning away. To retreat.2 Mind, heart, soul, and body.
In returning and rest.
Rest: to sink; descend; to press or lead down; to bring away. Deposit; to place or entrust for safekeeping. Depose. Lay down. Lay aside.
Rest: Settle down; to dwell, stay, let fall, place, let alone, withdraw, give comfort.3
In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.
In quietness: to repose; lie at rest; to rest in death or a grave. Idleness. Rest. Settle. Be still. Be supported. Have trust in. Rely on. Calm tranquility. Peace.4
In quietness and trust: confidence; a place of refuge; safety, both the fact (security) and the feeling (trust)5
In quietness and trust shall be your strength: force, valor, victory, power, mastery.6
Open yourself wide; mind, heart, soul, and body to the Lord God’s words. Let them roam freely through your mind and heart and emotions and imagination. Be still. Be silent. Wait patiently for the Spirit of God to commune directly with your spirit, to enlighten you, for you cannot know God and his ways with your mind. Give his words time and opportunity to bring into the light the various ways that you are unwilling to return and rest in the Lord God. Give the Spirit of God opportunity and time to bring these written words to life, to become living, breathing, cutting, refreshing, healing, enlightening… deeply intimate within your inner being.
Do you hear the Lord God asking us to simply stop? Stop what we’re doing. Stop talking. Stop running. Stop hiding. Stop trying to fix our earthly tents. Stop rebelling. Stop asking for what makes us feel better temporarily. Stop trying to save ourselves. For what we’re doing is hurtful in effect and influence. What we’re doing is an exercise in futility!
Listen! Listen to God’s word!
The prophet Isaiah says it this way: This perverse way of life that you’re living, by injustice and shaped on lies, will be like a towering, badly built wall that slowly, slowly tilts and shifts, and then one day, without warning, collapses-smashed to bits like a piece of pottery, smashed beyond recognition or repair, useless, a pile of debris to be swept up and thrown in the trash.
This perverse way of life… injustice… lies… collapses… smashed beyond recognition or repair… useless… a pile of debris… thrown in the trash.
Painful as this experience can be, this is the experience of returning!
“…for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Gen 3:19 ESV)
God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me — The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do.
Return. He’s waiting.
Turn back. Dust. Settle down. Settle down in complete dependence on me. The tongue of the wise brings healing.
Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me – the very thing you’ve been unwilling to do. The tongue of the wise brings healing.
Unwilling to do: Unwilling to breathe after, unwilling to be acquiescent, unwilling to consent, unwilling to be willing.7
What is the Lord God doing all the while you and I are unwilling to breathe after him, unwilling to rest in him, unwilling to let his word bring healing and life to us?
He’s waiting to be gracious to you and me! He’s waiting for you and me to wake up and wait for him, with him.
As he waits to be gracious to you, God is letting natural law take its course. What we reap we will sow.
“…for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Gen 3:19 ESV)
God’s not finished! He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right — everything. (Isa 30:18 MSG)
Waiting. Through the idea of piercing. To adhere to. Long. Tarry.8
God’s perspective, our perspective
What does the Lord God’s waiting look and feel like from his perspective and from ours?
Hos 5:15 – I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me. (ESV)
Jer 31:18-20 – I have heard Ephraim grieving, ‘You have disciplined me, and I was disciplined, like an untrained calf; bring me back that I may be restored, for you are the Lord my God. For after I had turned away, I relented, and after I was instructed, I slapped my thigh; I was ashamed, and I was confounded, because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he my darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I do remember him still. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, declares the Lord. (ESV)
Luke 15:20-24 – And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. (ESV)
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (ESV)
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.
You have disciplined me
Bring me back that I may be restored, for you are the Lord my God
I trust your word
I rest in your word
You remember me
Your heart yearns for me
You will surely have mercy on me
You watch and wait for me with compassion
Me, your child who was dead and is alive again
Me, your child who was lost and is found.
You watch and wait for me with compassion
That I should reach repentance
Acknowledge my guilt
And seek your face.
Rise to new life!
The good news is that we don’t need to literally, physically die and return to dust to rise to new life!
Hos 6:1-3 – “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” (ESV)
Let us return to the Lord
For he has torn us, that he may heal us
He has struck us down, and he will bind us up
After two days he will revive us
On the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him
He has done it!
It is finished!
Of the Spirit.
Let us know
Let us press on to know the Lord
His going out is sure as the dawn
He will come to us as the showers
As the spring rains that water the earth.
Settle down in complete dependence on him.
Rom 3:23-24 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (ESV)
Rom 3:23-24 – Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. (MSG)
In quietness and trust shall be your strength, your power, your victory, your mastery over troubles that arise through estrangement from God. In quietness and trust shall be your power over your perverse way of life in being out of step with God. In quietness and trust shall be your victory over your flaws, defects and errors that keep you addicted to denial and illusion, fearing a painful exposure.
God did it for us!
We are utterly incapable
So the Lord God did it for us
He restored us to where he always wanted us to be
Living the glorious lives he wills for us.
He did it by means of Jesus Christ.
So willingly depend on him!
Willingly breathe after him.
Consent quietly to him without protest.
Wait for him as he waits for you. Through the idea of piercing. To adhere to. Long. Tarry.
Blessed [happy] are all those who wait for the Lord, who is a God of justice.
This is rising again!
Anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is. (John 3:21)
Interact with the words of Scripture through deep, careful study.
Read the Lord God’s words. Read slowly. Read reflectively. Let his words sink in. Ruminate upon his words. Take from them what he wants to give to you.
Meditate. Experience the word of Scripture bodily by moaning, growling, uttering, speaking aloud each word, syllable by syllable. Experience the words of Scripture expressing the longing and desire and hope in the depth of your own soul. Become acquainted with your longing. Anticipate that your soul’s longing will be satisfied, its hunger will be filled with good things, and it will be healed and made complete again. Let the inspired word of God arouse feelings of awe.
Respond by setting your thoughts and emotions aside and let your heart speak to God without words.
Then move beyond logic and reason; move from head to heart to spirit.
Simply rest in God’s words. Listen to God at the deepest level of your inner being. Listen as Love speaks with a still small voice that moves you to silence and an ever-deepening listening in which the Word becomes active and alive in you, gradually transforming you from within.9
2 Cor 13:14 – the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, [is] with you all! Amen. (YLT)
Contemplate. Sit quietly without thinking, without murmuring. Simply be. Become conscious of your companions. Longing for you. Your longing for them.
Stay in this place of rest and fellowship for as long as you can.
When finished, select just one word or phrase and carry it with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Let it soak deep into your soul. Tomorrow meditate on the entire text again. Select the same word or phrase or a different one to carry with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Do this practice every day. Let God’s Word begin to fill your soul with good things.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it. (Ps 119:15-16 MSG)
But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)
I have discovered that the key to discovering, becoming, living into the truth and reality of who my Creator/Potter has formed me and is forming me to be, a vessel of mercy, is complete dependence on the Lord God.
Meditation on Scripture that leads me into silent contemplation, letting my own words and thoughts and desires die, so that my spirit communes directly with Holy Spirit is my path to complete dependence on the Lord God. It isn’t quick, easy, crystal clear or painless.
Meditation/contemplation isn’t a simple formula or ritual to follow. It’s a process of establishing and growing a relationship with the Lord God. It is learning to open my heart and mind to God’s living word, which pierces and cuts away the rottenness in me, rotten because it’s not infused with the grace, love and fellowship of my counterpart.
I’ve discovered that my work is not to make myself good or to work hard to obey commands and rules.
Rather, my work is to return to dust. My work is to yield to my Creator/Potter as he chips away the vessel of wrath and makes me a new creation through which he freely flows, Grace, Love, unifying Fellowship.
This practice was not just a one-time exercise for me, but the beginning of a regular, life-long process of developing a trusting relationship with my Lord and God to discover who I really am, and what the Lord God wants from me. Maybe you will find it beneficial, too.
Become aware of your breath.
It is the spirit in you, the breath of the Almighty, that makes you understand.
Do you regularly focus on your soul’s condition and needs as you do your body’s condition and needs? Your soul is dependent upon the steady flow of the breath of the Almighty just as your physical body is dependent upon breath to prosper and flourish.
I was totally ignorant of this crucial tidbit of information for more than half my life. I’m certain there are many ways that we can nurture our soul through awakening to the breath of the Almighty. The way I know is through meditating on the words of Scripture. The Lord God’s words are spirit, living, and vibrant, giving healing and new life to whoever will receive them, eat and drink them, and allow them free reign.
John 6:63 – It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (ESV)
Focus intently on your breath to the exclusion of all else.
Accompany your breath down
Then go deeper still than your physical breath
Accompany the words, the Spirit, the life, the breath of the Almighty
Down into the depth of your soul
To the inner sanctuary where the Lord God dwells in you.
Become aware of the condition of your soul.
Is it depressed? In turmoil? Making a loud, confused, droning sound? Raging? Moaning? Agitated? Thirsty?
Pour out your soul. Spill it.
Through words of complaint to the Lord God.
Through tears. Through groaning. Through panting.
Willingly breathe after him.
Consent to his cleaning, piercing, emptying you of all that hinders you from living the glorious life he wills for you.
Begin with the sayings of your mouth.
Speak openly and honestly to the Lord God. Express aloud and/or write down your thoughts, feelings, doubts, fears, failures, unbelief, distrust, expectations, needs, questions, desires… God already knows what’s in your heart/soul/mind, but you may not until you work at getting honest with yourself and with him.
Express aloud or write down what you know about God, his/her character, words, ways, works, purposes, justice, thoughts about you… Does what you know cause you to draw near or back away?
Now turn to the meditation of your heart.
Meditation is an exercise/experience in which the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart can be corrected or affirmed in the light of God’s words which reveal who God is and who you are; what God is doing and what you are doing; how God is doing it and how you are doing it regarding life.
Become aware that your soul is dependent upon the steady flow of the breath of the Almighty just as your physical body is dependent upon breath to prosper and flourish. If you’ve not given much attention to your soul lately, you’ll discover that it is floundering.
Pour out your soul
Pour out your longing.
Pour out your helplessness to satisfy your longing.
Become aware of your breath.
Acknowledge the gift that your breath is.
Acknowledge the gift that the spirit in you, the breath of the Almighty, is.
It is the spirit in you, the breath of the Almighty, that gives you understanding
Of who God is
Of who you are
Of your relationship with God.
Become aware of your complete dependence on the Lord God for your next breath.
If he chooses not to give it to you, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
Return to dust.
Keep your soul in this fixed condition.
Responsive, receptive, formable clay
Simply by acknowledging your complete dependence upon the Lord God.
Rest quietly, confidently in your Creator/Potter’s tender, skillful hands as he reshapes you.
Become aware of your complete dependence on the Lord God to discover who you really are.
But, Oh, so much more!
What is the Lord God asking you to lay down?
What is the Lord God asking you to lay aside?
Sense yourself sink down.
Breathe in. Descend.
Breathe out. Being led down.
Breathe in. Being brought away from what you know and are comfortable with.
Breathe out. Pressed down.
Lie at rest
As in death.
You are utterly incapable
Of living the glorious life
God wills for you.
Become aware of your complete dependence on the Lord God for your next breath.
If he chooses not to give it to you, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
Give up your perceived godship.
Acknowledge proper ownership.
You Lord God. My Maker. Creator. Potter. Owner. God.
Me. I am clay.
Return to dust
Lie at rest as in death.
From what busyness is the Lord God asking you to be idle?
What is the Lord God asking you to let fall?
What is the Lord God asking you to let alone?
From what/who is the Lord God asking you to withdraw?
For God alone my soul waits in silence.
With what is the Lord God asking you to trust him?
What is the Lord God asking you to allow to fail?
What is the Lord God asking you to allow to perish?
What is the Lord God asking you to allow him to destroy?
From God alone comes my salvation.
Willing to breathe after the Lord God.
Willing to be willing.
Focus intently on being willing from the depths of your soul and outward.
Focus intently on breathing after the Lord God.
Longing, seeking, pursuing from the inner sanctuary within while perfectly still in body, mind, will, emotions, imagination
Pour out your heart before him
God’s not finished!
He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.
He’s gathering strength
To show mercy to you.
God takes time
To do everything right.
Wait for him!
Mirror the Lord Jesus Christ
Breathe in. For God alone, O my soul
Breathe out. Wait in silence.
Sense calm tranquility envelop you.
Rest in complete dependence on the Lord God
Luxuriate in your newfound freedom
In complete dependence
On the Lord God, your Creator/Potter.
Delight in your freedom to breathe after the Lord God only.
You are made right
By his grace
As a gift.
Out of sheer generosity
God put you in right standing with himself.
A pure gift.
He restored you
To where he always wanted you to be.
And he did it
By means of Jesus Christ.
Work and live in truth and reality
So the work can be seen
For the God-work it is.
Now surrender in contemplation.
This is where you’ve gone as far as you can go with your mind and will. This is where you let go and allow God. This is where Holy Spirit works with your spirit to reconcile God and you, what God is doing and what you are doing, how God is doing it and how you are doing it regarding life.
Wait in silence.
Thrust away everything that would rob you of the joy and freedom of complete dependence on God.
Return to dust.
God, the Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit giving new life.
Writhe in pain.
Life in the Spirit.
In complete dependence on God.
Stay in this position of stillness, silence and anticipation for as long as you can. Simply be. Willing your Creator/Potter to do as he pleases with the dust, the lump of clay that is you in his capable, trustworthy hands.
Sense joy beginning to rise in you. Sense strength beginning to rise in you. Sense power, mastery, victory begin to flow over, around and within you.
Allow yourself to rise to live in complete dependence on the Lord God as he reveals who you really are.
Close your eyes. Stay in this position of quiet anticipation for as long as you can.
When ready open your eyes.
Sense the promise of rising, of recovery of spiritual truth, of resurrection to new life, through complete dependence on the breath of the Almighty!
Go, live with the Lord your God in his house, in the inner sacturary within, the whole day long, his praise in your mouth continually, his word the unceasing meditation of your heart.
The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. (2 Tim 4:22 ESV)
2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)
Resources/For deeper study:
1Justice: OT:4941 <START HEBREW>fP*v=m! <END HEBREW> mishpat (mish-pawt’); from OT:8199; properly, a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or [participant’s] divine law, individual or collective), including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; abstractly, justice, including a participant’s right or privilege (statutory or customary), or even a style: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Justice/to judge: A. Verb. shapat OT:8199, “to judge, deliver, rule.” This verb also occurs in Ugaritic, Phoenician, Arabic, Akkadian, and post-biblical Hebrew. Biblical Hebrew attests shapat around 125 times and in all periods.
In many contexts this root has a judicial sense. Shapat refers to the activity of a third party who sits over two parties at odds with one another. This third party hears their cases against one another and decides where the right is and what to do about it (he functions as both judge and jury). So Sarai said to Abram: “My wrong [outrage done me] be upon thee [in your lap]: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee” Gen 16:5 — the first occurrence of the word. Sarai had given Hagar to Abram in her stead. This act was in keeping with ancient Nuzu law, which Abram apparently knew and followed. The legal rights to the child would be Sarai’s. This would mean that Hagar “did all the work” and received none of the privileges. Consequently she made things miserable for Sarai. As the tribal and family head Abram’s responsibility was to keep things in order. This he did not do. Thus Sarai declares that she is innocent of wrongdoing; she has done nothing to earn Hagar’s mistreatment, and Abram is at fault in not getting the household in order. Her appeal is: since Abram has not done his duty (normally he would be the judge of tribal matters), “the Lord decide” between us, that is, in a judicial sense, as to who is in the right. Abram granted the legitimacy of her case and handed Hagar over to her to be brought into line Gen 16:6.
Shapat also speaks of the accomplishing of a sentence. Both this concept and those of hearing the case and rendering a decision are seen in Gen 18:25, where Abraham speaks of “the Judge [literally, “One who judges”] of all the earth.” In 1 Sam 3:13 the emphasis is solely on “delivering” the sentence: “For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth….”
In some cases “judging” really means delivering from injustice or oppression. David says to Saul: “The Lord therefore be judge and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand” 1 Sam 24:15. This sense (in addition to the judicial sense), “to deliver,” is to be understood when one speaks of the judges of Israel Judg 2:16: “Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that [plundered] them.”
Shapat can be used not only of an act of deliverance, but of a process whereby order and law are maintained within a group. This idea also is included in the concept of the judges of Israel: “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time” Judg 4:4. This activity was judicial and constituted a kind of ruling over Israel. Certainly ruling is in mind in Num 25:5: “And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, ‘Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baal-Peor'” 1 Sam 8:1.
The military deliverer was the head over a volunteer army summoned when danger threatened (militia). In the time of Samuel this procedure proved inadequate for Israel. They wanted a leader who would organize and lead a standing army. They asked Samuel, therefore, for a king such as the other nations had, one who was apt and trained in warfare, and whose successor (son) would be carefully trained, too. There would be more continuity in leadership as a result. Included in this idea of a king who would “judge” them like the other nations was the idea of a ruler; in order to sustain a permanent army and its training, the people had to be organized for taxation and conscription. This is what is in view in 1 Sam 8:6-18 as Samuel explains.
- Nouns. mishpat OT:4941, “judgment; rights.” This noun, which appears around 420 times, also appears in Ugaritic.
This word has two main senses; the first deals with the act of sitting as a judge, hearing a case, and rendering a proper verdict. Eccl 12:14 is one such occurrence: “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
Mishpat can also refer to the “rights” belonging to someone Ex 23:6. This second sense carries several nuances: the sphere in which things are in proper relationship to one’s claims Gen 18:19 — the first occurrence; a judicial verdict Deut 17:9; the statement of the case for the accused Num 27:5; and an established ordinance Ex 21:1.
The noun shepatim refers to “acts of judgment.” One of the 16 occurrences is in Num 33:4: “For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the Lord had smitten among them: upon their gods also the Lord executed judgments.” (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)
2In returning: OT:7729 <START HEBREW>hb*Wv <END HEBREW> shuwbah (shoo-baw’); from OT:7725; a return:
OT:7725 <START HEBREW>bWv<END HEBREW> shuwb (shoob); a primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbial, again: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
3Rest: OT:5183 <START HEBREW>tj^n^<END HEBREW> Nachath (nakh’-ath); from OT:5182; a descent, i.e. imposition, unfavorable (punishment) or favorable (food); also (intransitively; perhaps from OT:5117),
OT:5182 <START HEBREW>tj^n=<END HEBREW> nechath (Aramaic) (nekh-ath’); corresponding to OT:5181; to descend; causatively, to bring away, deposit, depose:
OT:5181 <START HEBREW>tj^n* <END HEBREW> nachath (naw-khath’); a primitive root; to sink, i.e. descend; causatively, to press or lead down:
OT:5117 <START HEBREW>j^Wn<END HEBREW> nuwach (noo’-akh); a primitive root; to rest, i.e. settle down; used in a great variety of applications, literal and figurative, intransitive, transitive and causative (to dwell, stay, let fall, place, let alone, withdraw, give comfort, etc.): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
4In quietness: OT:8252 <START HEBREW>fq^v* <END HEBREW> shaqat (shaw-kat’); a primitive root; to repose (usually figurative): KJV – appease, idleness, (at, be at, be in, give) quiet (-ness), (be at, be in, give, have, take) rest, settle, be still. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Repose: to lie at rest; to rest from work, travel, exercise, etc. To rest in death or a grave; to lie quiet and calm; to lie, rest, or be supported; to have trust in; rely on; calm tranquility; peace. (Webster’s Dictionary)
5Confidence: OT:985 <START HEBREW>hj*f=B!<END HEBREW> bitchah (bit-khaw’); feminine of OT:984; trust:
OT:983 <START HEBREW>jf^B#<END HEBREW> betach (beh’takh); from OT:982; properly, a place of refuge; abstract, safety, both the fact (security) and the feeling (trust); often (adverb with or without preposition) safely: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
6Your strength: OT:1369 <START HEBREW>hr*WbG=<END HEBREW> gebuwrah (gheb-oo-raw’); feminine passive participle from the same as OT:1368; force (literally or figuratively); by implication, valor, victory: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
7Willing/Would: OT:14 <START HEBREW>hb*a*<END HEBREW> ‘abah (aw-baw’); a primitive root; to breathe after, i.e. (figuratively) to be acquiescent: KJV – consent, rest content will, be willing. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
8Will wait: OT:2442 <START HEBREW>hk*j* <END HEBREW> chakah (khaw-kaw’); a primitive root [apparently akin to OT:2707 through the idea of piercing]; properly, to adhere to; hence, to await: KJV – long, tarry, wait. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
9Lectio Divina as described by the 12th century Carthusian monk called Guigo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guigo_II