The more I study God’s Word, the more I am in awe of the majesty and mystery of a holy God whom we cannot begin to understand. And yet, the more we seek of Him, the more understanding He gives. Psalm 119 is an acrostic of the Hebrew alphabet, with eight verses written for each letter. The following verses each begin with the Hebrew letter zayin. Zayin is one of my favorites. You’ll see why.
Psalm 119:49-56 – Zayin
Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. The arrogant mock me without restraint, but I do not turn from your law. I remember your ancient laws, O LORD, and I find comfort in them. Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law. Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge. In the night I remember your name, O LORD, and I will keep your law. This has been my practice: I obey your precepts (NIV).
If you have been following my blog lately, you know we have been looking at the spiritual significance of Psalm 119 and each of the Hebrew letters. In case you missed them, you can read about the first six letters here, here, here, here, here, and here. 🙂
Zayin comes from an ancient pictograph that looks like a sword, but the root of the word is zan, which means food, cut, or nourish. At first glance, these meanings may not seem all that significant, but, oh, how they are!
God says His Word is a sword.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:13-17).
We need to understand that in their context, these words are about our battle with the enemy, Satan, and not against other people. All of God’s armor against our enemy is defensive so that we can protect ourselves from his evil attacks against us. But the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s Word, is our only offensive weapon. With it we can take our stand against the enemy. But how?
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13).
The best way to defeat the devil with the word of God is to use it to search our own hearts. Let it penetrate. Let it judge. Let it reveal to us those things that are not pleasing in His sight, even when it hurts. A sword is painful, but God’s sword will bring healing. We must take time to let God’s Word reveal the truth in us, and then do something about what we find.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it ways is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does (James 1:22-25).
Look back at Psalm 119:49-56. The Psalmist is being mocked by the arrogant, and he is full of indignation because they have forsaken God’s Word. And yet, he takes no action against them. Instead, he looks to God’s Word for comfort and hope. He praises God with song, and he obeys His Word. That, folks, is how we defeat the enemy! And that is how we nourish our own souls.
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me (John 6:57).
When we feed on God’s Word, we live.
No devil in hell can stop a man or woman of God who will read the Word, search his or her own heart, and do what the Word says. That’s how God’s Word can be both a sword and bread. Let it be food. Let it cut. Let it nourish.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Ephesians 6:13).
Do you want to stand for Jesus? Then fall on the Sword of His Word.