Monday, 8 January 2018
To be brought out of dry places
Psalm 53:2(1b) "O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You. My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You in a dry and weary land, where there is no water." (TLV)
The word A'shakharekha means "I will diligently seek You". The A-aleph prefix means "I will". The suffix ekha means "toward you" or more appropriately in common English, "you". This leaves the middle of the word, Shakhar which, as was mentioned a moment ago, means "diligently seek".
The name of our morning prayers (Jewish law is to pray three times a day) is Shakharit. We wake up every day (except Shabbat) with a prayer service that means "diligently seek". And who is the object of our seeking? The Lord God Himself.
What follows is a description of the level of our seeking. "How much (Kamah) my soul (Nafshi) [is] toward you (L'kha)."
Then we learn that the conditions are really harsh. The place is described as a dry place without water.
There is one more word in our verse, Ayaf translated as a "weary" land. This word means "tired" in modern Hebrew. In Biblical Hebrew it is translated as weary of course, but also as both parched and famished in different places.
The concluding thought of the day is that without God, Who sends His Holy Spirit to refresh us, we will dry out because our natural environment is parched. Isaiah got it right when he wrote ... Isaiah 55:6 "Seek Adonai while He may be found, call on Him while He is near."
Rabbi Michael Weiner,