The Hebrew letter tet (equivalent to our letter ‘t’) has the numerical value of ‘9’ and is linked to both the Jewish calendar year (5779) and to the 2019 of our Gregorian calendar.
T is for Training
The portion of Psalm 119 which is set apart to the letter tet (v 65-72) reveals a link between ‘tet’ and God ‘training’ His children.
In verse 67 the psalmist explains, “before I was afflicted/humbled I went astray, but now I keep Your word.”
He repeats the same theme in verse 71 – “It is good for me that I have been afflicted/humbled, That I may learn Your statutes.”
As we enter this New Year, it is important that we understand that the Father’s love for us is not just a love that comforts, consoles and encourages. It is also out of this love that He disciplines, corrects and trains His children. Without this discipline we would find ourselves on the wrong path, but time and again, patiently, lovingly, yet firmly God corrects and trains us in His way.
T is for Transformation
In recent weeks, I have done a study on Andrew Chan – the drug smuggler and ring leader of the Bali 9 whose arrest in Indonesia sparked headlines across Australia. After giving his life to Christ in jail, Andrew looked back at his arrest through new eyes. The affliction, the suffering, the tears and the pressure he went through following his arrest, caused this young man to turn away from his hardened life of drugs and girls towards a life of worshipping Jesus and ministering to others in jail. In Andrew’s words, his arrest was ‘the best thing that ever happened’ to him.
The Psalmist echoes Andrews conclusion. While describing God’s discipline and training, he says in verse 68 that ‘you are good, and do good’. In other words, His discipline in our lives is the best thing that can ever happen to us. As Jerry Bridges once said ‘The purpose of God’s discipline is not to punish us, but to transform us’.
It is truly God’s goodness to stop us in our tracks rather than letting us continue on wrong and even dangerous paths.
As we start off this New Year, will you join with me in giving God afresh the permission to correct and adjust whatever is needed in your life?
After all, His discipline is truly the best thing that can ever happen to us.
Enoch Lavender was born in Australia, raised in Norway, spent time living in China and is now based in Melbourne, Australia. He has been studying Hebrew and the Jewish roots of our faith for the past decade, and has a keen interest in the Middle East from a Bible prophecy perspective.