As I was studying for this series on Psalm 23, I was touched again and again by the depth of God’s Word, and the way that every word has such a deep and powerful meaning.
The last part of the final verse in our Psalm 23 series starts with such a word. In this last series of blog entries from Psalm 23, I would like to focus on this one special word: “וְשַׁבְתִּ֥י” (VeShavti). The word can have a few different connotations, but the one I want to focus on in this entry connects to what I wrote in my last entry about God’s goodness and grace, which is based in His amazing love for you and me.
“VeShavti” in this context means “and I returned”. What does returning to God have to do with His love and grace? Let’s go back to the very beginning…
Chapter 1 of the Book of Beginnings (Genesis) describes the way by which God created the Heavens and the Earth, and all that is within them. Everything was created in perfection according to God’s plan.
Chapter 2 shows God’s great love for mankind, in that God Himself breathed life into Adam’s nostrils. This was a very intimate act, and reveals a deep love that the Creator had for His creation. But, that love did not end there. God saw that Adam was alone and desired for him to have a mate; to that end, woman was created, also in God’s image. And then it goes on to describe that God planted and provided everything for mankind in order to live.
God also showed his love by providing boundaries to protect Adam and Eve:
“But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16
After God gives permission to Adam and Eve to eat from any tree which He created, he warns them against eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, telling them that they will die if they eat from it. We all know the story from chapter 3, when Adam and Eve disobeyed and ate from the tree.
While they continued to live in their earthly bodies, but they suffered a separation from God;
“…therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:22-24
God promised death in return for sin; this death was both physical and spiritual in that we have been separated from God. However, God gave us a way to return to Him and bridge that separation. However, our returning to Him cannot be done in our own power or in our own way.
From the Book of Beginnings, after man sinned for the first time, we see an indication of what it would take for us to return to God. After the famous account of God walking in the garden, and Adam and Eve hiding in shame because they were aware of their nakedness, we see God’s provision for them through a sacrifice:
“And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.”
The animal skin is the first indication that God would require a blood sacrifice as atonement for our sins. Later in scripture, we learn of this, and that Israel was given a ritual for these sacrifices in the Tabernacle, and later on, in the Temple.
However, the reality is that we don’t have a Temple today, and therefore, do not have a way to truly return to God… or do we? God has always had a plan for us, and a solution for us to return to Him:
“He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our grief’s He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.” Isaiah 53:3-6
The prophesies from the Book of Isaiah, as well as all the other prophesies about redemption in the Bible point to the same person who would fulfill them and give us access to the Father once again. Yeshua is the perfect and final sacrifice that gives us restoration in our relationship with God the Father.
If you have not yet done so, now is the time to repent, to accept Yeshua as God’s atonement for your sin, and return to Him. There is only one way to dwell in the house of the Lord and I don’t want you to miss it. Today is the day of salvation.
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