For a time period this blog is going to take a little different direction.I am going to be taking some dedicated time to doing various word studies in the Bible for the next few months and will be sharing some of those with you as I do. For years I have LOVED pulling out various translations of the Bible, Hebrew/Greek lexicons, and picking apart scripture, so I'm super excited to share some things with you as I study.
This morning I was specifically looking at Psalms 16:8. "I have set the Lord continually before me, because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken"
The phrase "I have set" is the word "shavah". Directly translated it means, "to avail".
Not being a vocabulary scholar, I went ahead and looked up the word avail, which means to be of use or of profit to.
As I dug deeper into "shavah", I found that it is used 21 times. The majority of the times it is used it is discussing construction projects. For instance when they are building a temple the term "shavah" is used when laying the foundation. It is a verb explaining that they are placing things in their "set place". It also meant they were smoothing things out to be perfect.
Shavah is a verb used in a positive sense when things are being put in order. As they are working and placing things it is of profit to the whole structure. Something is being built. A strong foundation is being laid.
Now I know that's a lot of information and you're probably thinking, "Jess just keep to your stories, they're more interesting LOL", but look at what this means for us.
So, when that verb is being used here in Psalms 16:8, literally we're saying as I put the Lord before me, I'm putting things in right order. I am in my set place, because I have my priorities straight. God is before me. He is who I am looking at. He is what I'm focused on. "Fixing my eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of my faith"
Bill Johnson says this about this verse, "I can't imagine anywhere that God is not, so I might as well believe that He's right here with me"
Shavah is a verb. It's an action. To place God before us is a choice. It is easy to place our eyes on what we can see with our natural eyes. We see our circumstances, we see our storms, we see our mountains, we see problems, we see our government, we see our economy, we see our spouse, we see our friends, we see our kids, we see our bank account. All of these things we can visibly see and therefore it is easy to be focused on and distracted by these things.
Whatever we are surrounded by most is what will shape our desires. What we constantly look at will become what we say and what we do. David is saying, I place the Lord continually before me. I let Him be what I am surrounded by most. He is what I constantly look at! And because He is what I am focused on, because He is at my right hand, I cannot be shaken.
Make a decision to put the Lord before you. Give Him the place of exaltation. Let Him be your focus. Set Him before you and you will not be shaken.
Be Blessed, J. Tate