“Restore unto me the joy of your Salvation; and let a willing Ru’akh uphold me”
I have been meditating on and teaching/encouraging His Body concerning going ‘into’ His Presence, and ‘practicing’ it more and more. It is as much a function of the mind as it is the Ru’akh. The mind of a believer in Messiah is supposed to be a ‘sacred’ place. It is the ‘seat’ of ‘renewing’ who we are.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, consecrated and acceptable to Elohim, by means of reasonable service. Do not imitate the way of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, that you may discern what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of Elohim.” [Rom 12:1-2]
“If you then are risen with Mashi’akh, seek those things which are above, where Mashi’akh sits on the right hand of Elohim. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth, for you are dead, and your life is hidden with Mashi’akh in Elohim.” [Kol 3:1-3]
This very thing is the ‘practice’ I previously mentioned. And recent events have spurned me to hone the practice of actually going into His throne room; not that I’ve never been there, but to be evermore aware of what I’m doing when I pray.
Tehillah 51 is probably one of the better ‘praises’/’prayers’ to foster that. It is Melekh David’s prayer of ‘teshuva’, or repentance, after he had committed both adultery and murder. In the verse I cited in the title in Hebrew, there’s a bit of depth I wanted to “Selah” on, after having read the prayer this morning. Typically, I read the “Tehillim” [psalms] in order, in batches of 15 or so per day, give or take a bit depending on circumstances. This morning, however, I ‘chose’ this one, for some reason. And stayed in it. I read it in English first, and then ‘yearned’ to read it in Hebrew. When I got to this verse, verse 14, I did ‘pause and reflect’, [Selah], as several of the words were very ‘familiar’, and their meanings redoubled on me.
First, “hashivah li”. From the root word of ‘return’ , ‘shuv’, where we get our word “teshuva” for repentance. “Return unto me”… then, “yishekha”, ‘your Yeshua’, where Yeshua’s name has the vav [nail] removed and replaced with an extended khaf, or ‘hand’. “Return to me joy your Yeshua”. Our punctuation is what gives us more meaning. But, what if the bare meaning without punctuation is better? “V’ru’akh nedivah tism’kheni”. First, ‘nedivah’ is ‘free will’, and is the name of one of the offerings in the Torah, the ‘free will offering’. We all know and trust that every offering was in some way a foreshadowing of Yeshua giving up his life for us. So now, when we pray, depending on our prayers, He takes the place of those offerings. In the case of asking Messiah to return to him, David says, expressed another way, “Let a spirit of free will lay upon me.” “Lay upon” comes from ’tism’kheni’, where ‘samakh’ is the root, and gives us the concept of ‘the laying on of the hand’. The verb describes ‘leaning on’, where the object leaned upon actually does the supporting. This is pictured in the ‘smikhat ha yad’ on a lamb offering, where the lamb has the hand leaned upon him, and the lamb takes the sin burden off of the supplicant. It’s kind of a ‘two way’ verb.
His Ru’akh is His, Yeshua’s, JOY! And it ‘lays upon us,’ and ‘holds us up,’ as much as we ‘hold it up’ by having it upon us. His Ru’akh is indeed ‘freely given’ to us by Yeshua, through our trust in Him. Many times in the Tehillim we are told to rejoice in His “Salvation”, which is the meaning of Yeshua’s Name.
There are many ways to look at these words. Not just the one from any singular translation we may read, however good. When we err, then, does His abiding breath [Ru’akh] depart? This is at least what David feared, and must have felt, as He asked Him to ‘return’ to him. Or do we walk out from under it? Either way, it is devastating. When we do teshuva, like David does here, genuinely, in brokenness, then His Joy returns to us. David said after this, “THEN will I teach transgressors your ways, and sinners ‘yashuvu,’ [will return, third person plural, from shuv] unto YOU! Verses 14 and 15 are bookended by ‘return’. When He returns to us, they return to Him. The ‘declaration’ of His good news is sometimes best done through demonstration of true contrition over our own offenses, because when we understand the depth of our offense, and experience the ‘return’ of the Joy of Yeshua in His Ru’akh, ‘offenders’ of G-d cannot help but see it.