Oh, wait! That’s not quite what that says….
There is a prayer on ‘worry’ in the book of the Tehillim [Psalms], that starts with ‘fret not,’ or, “Do not worry.”
But the verse that caught my attention from that song was this one:
בְּטַח בַּיהוה , וַעֲשֵׂה-טוֹב; שְׁכָן-אֶרֶץ, וּרְעֵה אֱמוּנָה
Trust in יהוה , and do good; settle in the earth, and tend to EMUNAH…
That last phrase, ‘tend to Emunah’…. that’s what struck me.
In traditional translations it is rendered, ‘cherish faithfulness’.
But, here, its a bit more literal. An absolutely literal rendering might be, ‘shepherd absolute trust’.
Or, “FEED FAITH.”
In other words, this verse is instructing us to ‘calm down’ and trust in יהוה by building up our absolute trust…focus on HIM, and KNOW that He is going to iron it all out. Whatever “it” is.
I’ve lived for 52 years now, and for 41 years of that, I’ve ‘trusted in יהוה, albeit my trust in Him was not laced with much knowledge early on. It was truly ‘blind trust,’ coupled with / mixed with blind disobedience, for lack of teachers to teach me ‘how’ to walk out this “Emunah” I had been given. I did not know ‘how’ to ‘feed faith.’
This life has been full of challenges. Even right now, amidst all the many blessings Elohim has given me, we [my family] also face many challenges to our Emunah. Life is difficult, and for us, a mite bittersweet, for various reasons.
Believers in the U.S., as a people, also face many challenges to ‘absolute trust.’ Right now, people of faith are watching as people who oppose trust in God scream and cry like two-year-olds about their ‘rights’, things NOT enumerated in the Constitution as rights, while they have been murdering babies for fifty years, promoting illicit sex outside the bounds of marriage, creating a culture of hate and murder and lasciviousness, kicking God out of every corner of our society. FRET NOT! TRUST in יהוה ! FEED FAITH!
This ‘psalm’ goes on to say:
“For evil-doers shall be cut off; but those that wait for יהוה , they shall inherit the earth. And yet a little while, and there will be no more wicked; yes, you shall look well at his place, and he will not exist. But the humble shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of shalom.”
Our Master, Yeshua the Messiah, tried to teach us this. Do we have ears to ‘hear and do’?
“O you of little Emunah? Therefore do not worry or say, ‘What will we eat,’ or ‘what will we drink’, or ‘with what will we be clothed?’ For worldly people seek after all these things. Your Father in Heaven knows that all of these things are also necessary for you. But you, seek first Malkhut HaElohim [The Kingdom of God] and His Tzedaka [Righteousness], and all of these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry [FRET NOT!] for tomorrow; for tomorrow will look after its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.”
So, ‘how’ is it that we ‘shepherd’ or ‘feed’ EMUNAH?
By reading The Word under the lamp, the Menorah of Messiah Yeshua.
Most ‘active’ believers in Messiah know that ‘Tzedaka,’ or ‘righteousness’, is by Emunah, or ‘faith.’ So, WHY did Yeshua tell us to pursue/seek the Kingdom of Elohim and HIS Tzedaka? This is one of those scriptural riddles that people argue over. The Tzedaka of Elohim is PERFECT OBEDIENCE TO HIS TORAH. And yes, Yeshua is the ONLY MAN who ever pulled that off. And, because of His perfection, He does impart forgiveness, and a clean slate before the Judge for those who trust in the blood that He shed, and in the free gift of ‘khen,’ or undeserved favor, which is that clean slate. So, if that is given to us freely, HOW/WHY are we instructed, by Yeshua, the one who imparted that gift, to pursue/seek Tzedaka?
Because we STILL have to live in this earth after that gift is imparted! And, while we are perfected in our inner being, we ALL know deep down that we are NOT perfected as a human. We are to PURSUE that perfection in this natural life, by ‘feeding faith’. We ‘feed faith’ by partaking of His Word, and DOING IT!
Believers in Messiah Yeshua need to learn, as a people, to build our lives on the simplicity and ABSOLUTE TRUTH of His Word.
If one is CONVINCED of an absolute truth, one has ABSOLUTE TRUST in that truth. Example: Once we learn that when we add 1+1 and get 2, we are ALWAYS CERTAIN that adding 1 and 1 will ALWAYS BE 2. That can NEVER CHANGE. It is absolutely true. We never doubt it. We do not have to think about it, nor reconsider it. There is no logical argument against it.
The word “emunah”, for the English word ‘faith’, is from the Hebrew root ‘aman’, and means FIRM TRUST, or trust in a firmly established fact.
We, as believers, firmly trust that Elohim, יהוה , EXISTS [which is what the Name actually means, ‘perpetually existing One’], or we would not be very good people of ‘faith.’ If it is true that He exists, and that He created us, and that He revealed Himself to us through His Son, then we should be able to ‘take Him at His Word.’ Which means, we should be able to TRUST in Him and NOT FRET.
It is an absolute truth that wicked people exist, and seem to get away with murder, figuratively and literally. But, it is also an absolute truth, because HE told us so, that they will PAY for their wickedness.
It is an absolute truth that our Shepherd exists, and that He is our caretaker in every way. Do we REALLY believe that AS AN ABSOLUTE? If we did, we WOULD NOT FRET! EVER! So, why do we? Because we are not ‘feeding’ our Emunah [absolute trust]; we are not partaking of His Word, and obeying His Commands, to feed Emunah. When one does the little, simple things that God tells us to do, uncontaminated by the ‘spin’ of man, one begins to ‘see’ the EVIDENCE of ‘who’ he trusts, because Elohim is a ‘rewarder’ of those who seek Him. “Without Emunah, man cannot please Elohim; for he who comes near to Elohim must trust that He exists, and that He is a rewarder [גּוֹמֵל] of those who seek Him.” Ivrim 11:6 That word, ‘gomel’, interestingly, comes from ‘gamal,’ which is all over the psalms. It comes from the idea of ‘abundance,’ or ‘supply’.
Yeshua telling us to TRUST in Elohim and obey Him was not a new concept. Shlomo, after having been given more wisdom than anyone, and all the ‘abundance’ the world could offer, was meditating on his life, and all his pursuits, and accomplishments, which are more than any human that has ever lived. And, after pondering all the ‘vanities’ of this life, he concluded:
“The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear Elohim, and keep His Mitzvot; for this is the whole man. For Elohim shall bring every work into the judgment concerning every hidden thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil.”
So, dear friends, FRET NOT! Ever try to eat while in a mad run? It can’t be done. STOP! Trust in יהוה , and DO GOOD… SETTLE in the land, SIMMER DOWN, EARTHLINGS! You cannot FEED your Emunah if you’re all run amuck.