Moment in the Word
Thu, 08/31/2023 - 9:54am admin
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his praises:
Psalm 103:2 (102:2) Greek Septuagint
In David's beautiful song, we are reminded to praise God for all His many benefits. One of those amazing blessings is that God will renew our youth.
An oddity of history is that great explorers made phenomenal discoveries while looking for the mythical Fountain of Youth. But even today, scientists, doctors, and geneticists are still desperately searching for the secret of perpetual youth. Some spurious individuals even promise the same, using vitamins and supplements, but still we age. However, according to King David, God is the single source of eternal life.
Consequently, let's turn to the Psalms to discover how God is our Fountain of Youth.
"A Psalm of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2(102:2) Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his praises: 3(102:3) who forgives all thy transgressions, who heals all thy diseases; 4(102:4) who redeems thy life from corruption (Death - Hell); who crowns thee with mercy and compassion; 5(102:5) who satisfies thy desire with good things: SO THAT THY YOUTH SHALL BE RENEWED LIKE THAT OF THE EAGLE." (Psalm 103:1-5) (102:1-5) Greek Septuagint
So, after reading verse 5, what does it mean to have our youth renewed like an "eagle?"
Well, here is a surprising twist regarding the Hebrew "root word" of eagle! In the Hebrew, the word eagle is "neh'-sher," which means "to lacerate!"
But what can we draw from this? Obviously, an eagle "lacerates" (rips/tears) its prey apart to kill and eat. But a "laceration" is also an injury that is "renewed" as the wound heals. Thus, based on just the root word "neh'-sher," after we have been wounded or lacerated by time, God will renew us like an injury heals.
But let's return to David's reference of an eagle as we search for a bird that is renewed to youth. Much like a majestic eagle, I am reminded of the mythical Phoenix!
The Phoenix is a fabled bird that endures incineration/cremation to be reborn new again! That is the very same promise stated in verse 4, when God "redeems" our lives from the "corruption" of death, hell, and the grave!
This legendary bird appears in various commentaries on the Bible more than once. In Genesis Rabbah — a midrash comprising a collection of ancient rabbinical homiletical interpretations of the Book of Genesis — the Phoenix is referred to as "Khol," the Hebrew word for "twisting, swirling sand." This association between the Phoenix bird and churning sand originates from one verse in the Book of Job: "Then I said, I shall die in my 'nest,' and I shall multiply my days as the 'sand.'" (Job 29:18)
But to what hidden mystery did Job allude in his cryptic statement?
Consider the imagery of Job's words, "he would die in his NEST..." every thousand years, the Phoenix's nest bursts into twisting flames that burns the writhing tortured creature to ash... from which the eternal millennium bird is resurrected or gloriously reborn to multiply its days like tiny grains of swirling sand. Thus, the "Khol - Phoenix," compares well to David's renewed youthful eagle.
According to the midrash, Eve offered all the animals in the Garden of Eden to taste the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, and only the animal referred to as the "Khol - swirling sand" refused to eat. Therefore, the Phoenix was not subjected to death like the rest of the living creatures and thus enjoys eternal life.
Consider Christ's words, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying." (John 11:25)
Truly, God is our Fountain of Youth!