Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Joyful Heart

" A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones"  Proverbs 17:22

This week I am studying the trait of joy, which means "sameach" in Hebrew.  It is written שמח.

The first letter of that word ש is "Shin".  Shin means the All-Sufficient, Unlimited One and Peace (Munk, 2007).  This letter instructs us to be prayerful (Munk, 2007), knowing that God is the All-Sufficient one and the giver of peace.  He is the unlimited one since He is not bound by man's limitations.  Nor is He bound by the limitations of nature, physics, etc.  Because we can trust that God Himself is sufficient, we know that we can have peace.

The second letter מ is "Mem".  This letters represents what is revealed and what is concealed (Munk, 2007).  Mem in this case (there are two forms of Mem) is referring to what is revealed.  It speaks to the revealed works of God's hands, that which is not hidden. Some of God's works are obscure and not readily visible.  However, the trait of joy is visible.  It is a result of the outpouring of God's love toward us.

The final letter ח translates to "Chet" some spellings "Ches".  It represents transcendence, Divine grace, and life (Munk, 2007).  Transcendence represents being free from any hindrances, being able to exceed expectations.   Ephesians 3:20 says "Now to Him who is able to do far more greater than we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us".  So we receive joy out of the fact that in the face of difficulty not only is God able to get us out, but He does it without being hindered.  He also goes beyond our greatest expectations.  Divine grace means that God shows us favor in the process which brings us to the opening scripture "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones".  This is where chet represents life.  When we are joyful in heart, leaning on and depending on God, that attitude adds years to our life.  For the Word states that "a man's spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?" Proverbs 18:14.

Munk, Rabbi Michael L. (1993, 2007).  "The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet:  The Sacred Letters as a Guide to Jewish Deed and Thought".  Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications.

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