Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left. Is 30:20-21
The previous two parts on studying these two verses have taught me more about the Hebrew language, and the use of imagery in the words to help understand more of what God’s word wants to show me. I believe in all the studies, this one has an application that I need right now in advancing my witness for Jesus. Why do I fear being a witness sometimes, maybe this wrap-up will encourage and embolden us.
Scripture has a weird way of meaning something a little different to all of us, yet retains its primary message. Rabbis and Sages teach there are 70 shades of Torah, or 70 different ways of looking at scripture, yet there can still remain one primary meaning. As I reviewed each word in these two verses, partook in the depths of study, the end result blows me away in how a Hebrew professor sums up these two verses.
Why does scripture read different to us, because it is supposed to, based on our experiences, circumstances and needs. The first Hebrew word in this verses shows us why this is. The word is u-nathan, root to give, which is in an imperfect tense. It can be translated as “And Adonai has given, gives, is giving, and will give to you.” This is the flexibility of scripture to relate to our current needs, and then change as we grow older. Whether we can relate to a time we have been in a storm, are in a storm, or will be in a storm, depends on how you read the verse.
In this writing, I want to finish up the last of the word review, and then show the summary and application to today’s world. The first word is the type of Bread given.
Bread of Privation / Adversary
200 90 40 8 30
The type of bread here is Tsar, which can mean enemy, as one who closes in with pressure. In the verb form, it means to press, crush, and in the imagery of an archer as seen in parts 1 and 2, to strike. Keep this in mind (hint hint). In the Jewish culture, when you had an argument with someone, you were to get together and make bread. As you are rolling and pounding the dough, you pound the negativity into the bread, then once it is baked, you eat it together as a symbol of settling the dispute. Renewed fellowship is sweet and can be enjoyed again.
Using the letters for Adversary, TSaR, the Tsade, which was primitively drawn as one bowing down, represents humility, but is also a letter related to righteousness. It is in our humility we find righteousness. The second letter, Resh could be how we find this righteousness, through repentance, but without humility and repentance, the Resh and Tsade have a shadow warning of self-righteousness, which may have gotten us in the situation we experienced.
When I work on a home project, especially when using a hammer, I have found it a time of release from things that have made me angry. I recall the negative events, and pound them into the project, trying to let go, in a therapeutic sense. When I was praying about this part, the Lord impressed on me the bread of adversary is similar to an English expression, “Eating Crow”, or “Swallowing Pride.” Ouch!
Water of Oppression / Affliction
90 80 30 40 10 40 6
The second word to review is the type of water God is giving, LaChaTS (lahas), which is translated as oppression, affliction, but can also mean pressure or stress. The Hebrew word for water also means chaos, water brings sudden destruction, but water also has an eroding effect over a long period of time. If you read the content (v18-26) where the focus verse is found, you will see God wants to be gracious, have mercy, but is still a God of justice (v18). He says to wait as God is not bound by time.
The Jewish interpretation I read points to the imagery of water slowly cutting into stone, or the purpose of the Bread of Adversary and Water of Affliction is used by God to slowly break or chip into our hearts, slowly chipping away, little by little, to bring us to a place of humility, want and repentance. This verse is about our hearts and being drawn to God.
We are born into sin, we are all sinners, so what did God do so he could be gracious, have mercy and yet remain a God of Justice? He sent the Master Teacher (Master Archer) Jesus the Christ to this world to show us how to hit the mark, to have a personal relationship with God. This is where the primary symbolism of these two verses come into play.
The Master Teacher is still hidden to the lost world, but imagery in the Hebrew word for hidden (Knaph), shows that the lost are like winged, elusive animals. Moreka (Your Teacher), shoots out knowledge like an archer shoots arrows. Imagine trying to hit a flying bird with an arrow. Alas, as God strikes away at the stony heart, an arrow finds its mark, and the Hidden Teacher is revealed.
How is this Hidden Teacher revealed? The Hebrew professor sums up the imagery in these two verses as follows: An alcoholic went to a revival. The first night, he heard the Gospel. An arrow was shot. The second night, he heard the Gospel. Another arrow was shot. The third night, he finally HEARD THE GOSPEL. The arrow pierced his heart, The Way (Haderek) was revealed, and he came to a saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior.
How do I apply this to me? We as Christians are called to be witnesses for Christ. Often times I question if being an evangelist is what God has called me to do, but each time I pray about this, I get the short response, “Be My witness.” There are some scary people out there, but if God draws you to someone, it is because He is working on them, chipping away at the stony heart. You may be called as part of that chipping away even if it is an unpleasant event, or may be present when the arrow finally pierces the heart of the lost person. We do not know what is going on inside of the person, but these two verses have shown me much in the characteristics of God. After going through these verses in depth, this passage is amazing, and even more amazing that it was 700+ years before Christ was revealed.
As a Christian, I also like the imagery of verse 21, of God having my back and giving me the word, Haderek (The Way), walk in it. If I take a right or wrong path, He will still be there guiding me, and when adversity, affliction, pressure or stress comes, He is using it for His purpose. This concludes a three week study on one or two shades of the 70 or more these two verses may take on. May God Bless you and Keep you.