Friday, July 25, 2014

Psalm 114: 1 -- Leaving the Land of Strange Shame

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This year, 2014, is the year of Greater Glory, and the Psalm for this year, Psalm 114, can yield great treasures of God's grace for us to receive, reflect, and release to the world.

בצאת ישראל ממצרים בית יעקב מעם לעז׃

The first verse of Psalm 114 is presented above in its original Hebrew.

Here are the key translations from the previous post to bring out the full meaning of this verse for this banner year of greater glory:

King James Bible
When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;

International Standard Version
When Israel came out of Egypt— the household of Jacob from a people of foreign speech—

Young's Literal Translation
In the going out of Israel from Egypt, The house of Jacob from a strange people,

The Amplified Bible
When Israel came forth out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,

The Message
After Israel left Egypt,
    the clan of Jacob left those barbarians behind;

The last translation brings out something more about the land which the Israelites were leaving.

Looking at the meanings behind the original Hebrew words, one finds more impressing things which we can learn about growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

Turning from the first word of the verse, let us now look at the last word "laaz", which mean: "strange":

3937 [e]lō-‘êz.לֹעֵֽז׃of strangeVerb

Notice that the word is a verb, not a noun or an adjective

One could call it a verbal, thus rendering the verse "from a people who spoke a strange language".

Yet the word gives off deeper meaning than just foreign.

The verb literally means:

laaz: to talk indistinctly or unintelligibly
Original Word: לָעַז
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: laaz
Phonetic Spelling: (law-az')
Short Definition: language
NAS Exhaustive Concordance
Word Origin
a prim. root
to talk indistinctly or unintelligibly

Barbarians, or babbling, like the Tower of Babel, where the people of the earth attempted to overcome God's strength in their own, and thus God confused their language so that they could not work together.

Yet the word "laaz", if someone looks up the word in an English-Hebrew dictionary, also means "slander".

In other words, the Israelites left a land where they did not understand the language, where the people did not speak clearly or distinctly, but they left a land where slander and shame were spoken, too.

In Christ, we are no longer subject to shame or condemnation:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8: 1, NIV)

and also

"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9: 14)


"For by one offering he hath perfected[in their conscience] for ever them that are sanctified." (Hebrews 10:14)

When we grow in grace, when we leave our old selves, dead in trespasses, we enter into the righteousness and grace of God, in which we neither hear nor heed the hues of shame which the Satan, our flesh, and the world heap upon us:

14In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
15Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
16Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
17No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54: 14-17)
Consider also Jesus' example during His earthly ministry:
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12: 2)
This year, leave the strange shame of yesteryear, the ancient sins from which you have been purged through the blood of Jesus (2 Peter 1:8-10), and growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord! (2 Peter 3: 18)

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