01 “Choneni, Elohim” Have Mercy on me, Oh God!

A few years ago, there was a church that went through a difficult period of chastisement from God, one I hope you never experience; however, in the aftermath, there were calls for public repentance by those deemed spiritual.  Only one person came before the church, offering repentance for a lie he had added to the end of a testimonial in a verbal report before the congregation from sharing the Gospel in public.

He explained after the testimonial, he had felt God physically grab and squeeze his heart saying, “I do not need any of your lies!”  He thought he was going to die at that moment.  Afterwards, there was a slow release of his heart.

As I read through this Psalm and the images the Hebrew language painted, I get the idea that David was experiencing something similar or worse!  When one finds themself in trouble, they often return to something they excel, and as for David, this was writing a Psalm to the LORD.

The first two words are carefully chosen with “Choneni, Elohim” translated as “Have mercy on me oh God.”  David could have wrote Adonia – Lord , or the sacred name of God, YHWH (LORD), but chose Elohim (God), which can be translated as judge(s), ruler(s), god(s)…  

Why do I see this as important?  When the world was created, Jewish rabbi’s have explained it was created with Justice and Mercy, words related to Elohim, used in Genesis 1 and 2, and YHWH, used only in Genesis 2.  Why?  They explained, the earth could not survive with only Justice, nor only Mercy.  

As I studied Choneni, the root spelled (Chet – Nun – Final Nun), in pictorial Hebrew (Jeff Benner’s Lexicon); it painted a picture of a circle of tents creating a wall used for protection.  Pondering further on the letters, the chet reminded me of a wall of separation by arrogance, but also gives a chance at a new beginning.  The popular Strong’s concordance, defined this root to mean properly: to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior.  

In a moment of meditation, I jotted down the following:  In these first two words, David is throwing himself at the mercy of God’s judgment.  He had known the ways of God, His love, favor, protection, courage, and now finds himself separated from God, outside the wall of protection.  In his arrogance as king, he “royally” messed up and is now pleading for God to consider him as still valuable; having compassion.  Separated by his acts of rebellion and arrogance, he is appealing for a new beginning.  

Making a child like appeal to a parent (for the next word study), I see David as a little child, where the parent overlooks the mistakes, no matter how grave, and is still willing to accept them, no longer remembering the offenses.  He is willing to accept the consequences or any punishment that may come, but “let me back into the camp or wall of protection.”  (A mother or father’s arms.)


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