Saturday, March 21, 2020

Truth

In the last few days I have found myself waking up wondering how the world is and falling asleep with a heavy heart and a wave of anxiety.

Thursday night, I scanned an article that included bible verses before completing my bedtime routine. When I attempted to close my eyes the wave of anxiety washed over me. Thoughts ran through my head. Sleep eluded me. I went back to the article and looked up the verses on my Bible app and was struck with wonder.

Maybe as I process this with words, they will give someone just a little hope as we continue to navigate social distancing and live out this new for now normal.

 אֱמֶת

This is the Hebrew word emet. It means truth. The first letter is aleph, א , it is the first letter in the Hebrew aleph-bet, the second letter, mem, מ , is the middle letter in the alpeh-bet, and the third letter tav, ת , is the last letter in the aleph-bet. This shows us is that truth spans the entire alpeh-bet, just as G-d's truth spans the Bible. Every letter of the aleph-bet is a way He communicates truth. Each of these letters that make up the word emet, has a broad and stable base. 

With all the uncertainty going on we need a stable base.

I have seen several of my Jewish friends and my Christian friends post about reading Psalm 91 in regards to COVID-19. I have read it many times over the years. I wear my favorite verse from this Psalm around my neck almost daily. 

It was anxious thoughts and this verse, combined with my understanding of Hebrew that kept me from sleeping. 

"He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His truth is a shield and protection." Tehillim (Psalm) 91:4

As I read these words over and over again the letter zayin, ז , came to mind. This letter is a picture of a weapon, a sword.  I thought about this letter as I read "His truth is a shield and protection.

My mind can often wonder into the darkness of what ifs and falsehoods. If we were to look closely at the Hebrew word for falsehood, we would notice a word made up of letters that do not span the aleph-bet nor have a stable base.

I must always remind myself to look to truth. That is my stability. That is my weapon.

In the New Testament, Ephesians 6:17 it says "....and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of G-d." 

The truth that spans the Hebrew aleph-bet and the Bible is a sword. It is His stability, His truth that is our covering, our shield, and our protection. 

I discovered that the zayin does not appear in Psalm 91 in the original Hebrew, despite this psalm being one of warfare and often used in times of needed deliverance.

The world needs deliverance. 

There is a group of 8 Hebrew letters given a tagin or crownlet, zayin is included in this group. While the zayin is in not in the Psalm, the other 7 of this group are. Some of the Jewish sages have said that these crownlets are small zayinin and therefore when Psalm 91 is said, they function as spiritual weapons. 

I wrote briefly about this letter in my post for my one word for the year, explaining how this letter also symbolizes rest. 

As I read and mediated on all of this, the words truth, weapon, and rest stood out. 

As we all find ourselves in an ocean of unchartered waters, may the stability and foundation of truth be our life raft, may the words of our Creator be our weapon, and may we find rest and peace as we navigate this new normal. 

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