Jehovah’s Law Written in the Hearts of Israel
Jehovah’s Law Written in the Hearts of Israel
Psalm 119. In this remarkable acrostic Psalm we have the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:33; “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:33). This is the longest Psalm in the Psalter, and the theme is the Word of God, which is mentioned in almost every verse! The Word is called by a number of terms (ten), each with a slightly different meaning: the law of Jehovah, “thy word”, “thy words”, “the word of truth”, “thy testimonies”, “thy precepts”, “thy statutes”, “thy commandments”, “thy righteous judgments”, and “thine ordinances”. As already mentioned, this is an acrostic Psalm in which there are twenty-two sections of eight verses that each correspond with one letter of the Hebrew alphabet, but different from others in that the letters of the alphabet are stated as headings above each section. The acrostic Psalms have an emphasis on what pertains to Israel as a nation, because of the peculiar association with the Hebrew language. The Hebrew alphabet is similar to other alphabets in that the letters are used to compose words, each letter having a phonetic sound. However, the Hebrew alphabet is unique in that each letter also has a meaning! This is similar to Chinese, and others. As we come to each section, we will try to point out the meaning of each letter. This is also an Asherite Psalm in that it begins with the words, “Blessed are…”. As with the other Psalms that being thus, this Psalm gives us another great key to happiness: treasuring the Word of God in our heart, and living in obedience to it!
1 ALEPH. Blessed are the perfect in the way, who walk in the law of Jehovah.
2 Blessed are they that observe his testimonies, that seek him with the whole heart;
3 Who also do no unrighteousness: they walk in his ways.
4 Thou hast enjoined thy precepts, to be kept diligently.
5 Oh that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7 I will give thee thanks with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
8 I will keep thy statutes: forsake me not utterly.
vv.1-8 Aleph (Ox), Obedience. The first section is an introduction to the Psalm and gives us the general principle: happiness is a result of learning, enjoying, and obeying the Word of God. The letter ‘Aleph’ is the first letter of the word ‘asher’ or ‘blessed’, which means happy. The letter ‘Aleph’ also means ‘ox’ which represents patience or endurance in a path of service. We see in v.8 that there are circumstances which require faith, which means this could be a backward look of Israel on their time of tribulation.
9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his path? by taking heed according to thy word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: let me not wander from thy commandments.
11 Thy WORD have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.
12 Blessed art thou, Jehovah! teach me thy statutes.
13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all wealth.
15 I will meditate upon thy precepts, and have respect unto thy paths.
16 I delight myself in thy statutes; I will not forget thy word.
vv.9-16 Beth (House), Association. In this section we find the saints brought into association with God, and thus His claims upon them, and the need of cleansing. This is the “washing of the water by the word” (Eph. 5:26). Verse 11 gives us the best thing (“Thy Word”) stored in the best place (“my heart”) for the best reason (“that I might not sin against Thee”). The letter ‘beth’ means ‘house’, and it is connected with the house of God, the place where His claims are owned. Since we are associated with God, and His claims are upon us.
17 GIMEL. Deal bountifully with thy servant and I shall live; and I will keep thy word.
18 Open mine eyes, and I shall behold wondrous things out of thy law.
19 I am a stranger in the land; hide not thy commandments from me.
20 My soul breaketh for longing after thy judgments at all times.
21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, who wander from thy commandments.
22 Roll off from me reproach and contempt; for I observe thy testimonies.
23 Princes also did sit and talk together against me: thy servant doth meditate in thy statutes.
24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.
vv.17-24 Gimel (Camel), Dependence. These verses present the faithful as strangers one the earth, cast upon God for sustenance; “Deal bountifully with thy servant and I shall live”. The letter ‘Gimel’ means ‘camel’, and it signifies the path of a stranger; “I am a stranger in the land”. It looks back on a time when the faithful remnant were isolated and alone, standing for God in the midst of persecutions from the apostate nation of Israel. The law of Jehovah comforts and encourages the hearts of the faithful in times of trial.
25 DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken me according to thy word.
26 I have declared my ways, and thou hast answered me: teach me thy statutes.
27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts, and I will meditate upon thy wondrous works.
28 My soul melteth for sadness: strengthen me according to thy word.
29 Remove from me the way of falsehood, and graciously grant me thy law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; thy judgments have I set before me.
31 I cleave unto thy testimonies; Jehovah, let me not be ashamed.
32 I will run the way of thy commandments when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
vv.25-32 Daleth (Door), Liberty. In this section the trial is more extreme, and the soul looks to the Word of Jehovah for quickening and strength. There is a cry for mercy and deliverance, and the expression of the soul’s desire for liberty, “I will run the way of thy commandments when thou shalt enlarge my heart”. The letter ‘Daleth’ means ‘door’, and it is consistent with the thought of liberty.
33 HE. Teach me, O Jehovah, the way of thy statutes, and I will observe it unto the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I will observe thy law; and I will keep it with my whole heart.
35 Make me to walk in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to gain.
37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; quicken me in thy way.
38 Establish thy WORD unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
39 Turn away my reproach which I fear; for thy judgments are good.
40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
vv.33-40 He (Window), Occupation. In this section, we see the focus of the soul on the Word of God; “I will observe it”, “I will keep it with my whole heart”, “therein do I delight”, etc. The soul that is occupied with the word of God desires that their heart would remain focused there; “Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to gain. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity”, etc. The fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet means ‘window’, and it speaks of the object or focus of one’s heart.
41 VAU. And let thy loving-kindness come unto me, O Jehovah, — thy salvation according to thy WORD.
42 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me; for I confide in thy word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; because I have hoped in thy judgments.
44 Then will I keep thy law continually, for ever and ever;
45 And I will walk at liberty, for I have sought thy precepts;
46 And I will speak of thy testimonies before kings, and will not be ashamed;
47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved;
48 And I will lift up my hands unto thy commandments, which I have loved, and I will meditate in thy statutes.
vv.41-48 Vau (Nail), Preservation. This section deals with the soul’s desire to be sustained in the presence of enemies that reproach him, and that a testimony might be maintained before kings! The word ‘Vau’ means ‘nail’, and is consistent with the thought of being preserved or sustained through the Word of God.
49 ZAIN. Remember the word for thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
50 This is my comfort in mine affliction; for thy WORD hath quickened me.
51 The proud have derided me beyond measure: I have not declined from thy law.
52 I remembered thy judgments of old, O Jehovah, and have comforted myself.
53 Burning indignation hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked who forsake thy law.
54 Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
55 I have remembered thy name, O Jehovah, in the night, and have kept thy law.
56 This I have had, because I have observed thy precepts.
vv.49-56 Zain (Sword), Protection. In this section we have the soul’s comfort in affliction and confidence in God for protection that comes through the Word of God. The letter ‘Zain’ means ‘sword’, and it has the thought of protection against enemies.
57 CHETH. My portion, O Jehovah, I have said, is to keep thy words.
58 I have sought thy favour with my whole heart: be gracious unto me according to thy WORD.
59 I have thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
60 I have made haste, and not delayed, to keep thy commandments.
61 The bands of the wicked have wrapped me round: I have not forgotten thy law.
62 At midnight I rise up to give thanks unto thee, because of thy righteous judgments.
63 I am the companion of all that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.
64 The earth, O Jehovah, is full of thy loving-kindness: teach me thy statutes.
vv.57-64 Cheth (Fence), Portion. In these verses we find that the faithful have made Jehovah’s words their portion. The whole life is consumed by the Word of God: the thoughts, the walk (v.59), the night seasons (v.62), and the companions (v.63) are governed and characterized by the Word of God. How important this last point is! Who are our companions? Are they those who fear the Lord and obey His word? The letter ‘Cheth’ means ‘fence’, and it has the idea of a property boundary, consistent with the thought of v.57, that keeping Jehovah’s words is the portion of the faithful remnant.
65 TETH. Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Jehovah, according to thy word.
66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge; for I have believed in thy commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep thy WORD.
68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
69 The proud have forged falsehood against me: I will observe thy precepts with my whole heart.
70 Their heart is as fat as grease: as for me, I delight in thy law.
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes.
72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
vv.65-72 Teth (Serpent), Chastening. These verses deal with the issue of chastening. The faithful confess that that, before the chastening of the Lord afflicted them, they went astray (v.67), but God had taught them otherwise. They could look upon the proud and see the result of sin where chastening does not prevent the course of sin; ” Their heart is as fat as grease”. Thus they confess, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes.” This is “the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11). God uses the ‘Teth’ or serpent to accomplish His purposes for blessing in the lives of His people, as we see in the example of Job.
73 YOD. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, and I will learn thy commandments.
74 They that fear thee will see me, and rejoice; because I have hoped in thy word.
75 I know, Jehovah, that thy Judgments are righteousness, and that in faithfulness thou hast afflicted me.
76 Oh let thy loving-kindness be for my comfort, according to thy WORD unto thy servant.
77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live; for thy law is my delight.
78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they have acted perversely towards me with falsehood: as for me, I meditate in thy precepts.
79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that know thy testimonies.
80 Let my heart be perfect in thy statutes, that I be not ashamed.
vv.73-80 Yod (a closing hand), Work. This section speaks of the soul as a work of Jehovah. The opening verse gives the beginning of that work of Jehovah as Creator; “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me”. The prayer continues that Jehovah would deliver and bless the soul, crowning the work of creation with a work of deliverance. This is all to be accomplished through the Word of God. The letter ‘Yod’ means ‘a closing hand’, as if to grip a tool or implement in service. It is consistent with the thought of Jehovah’s work.
81 CAPH. My soul fainteth for thy salvation; I hope in thy word.
82 Mine eyes fail for thy WORD, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; I do not forget thy statutes.
84 How many shall be the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?
85 The proud have digged pits for me, which is not according to thy law.
86 All thy commandments are faithfulness. They persecute me wrongfully: help thou me.
87 They had almost consumed me upon the earth; but as for me, I forsook not thy precepts.
88 Quicken me according to thy loving-kindness, and I will keep the testimony of thy mouth.
vv.81-88 Caph (a covering hand), Salvation. This section deals with the longing of the soul for salvation, and this deliverance according to Jehovah’s Word. The faithful remnant reflect on the wicked who persecute them and dig pits for them to fall in, and many other evils which run contrary to the Word of God. The remnant cry out to God to protect them from these attacks, which are almost successful; “They had almost consumed me upon the earth” (see Matt. 24:22). The Hebrew letter ‘Caph’ means ‘a palm of a hand’, or ‘to cover’. It is consistent with the thought of protection.
89 LAMED. For ever, O Jehovah, thy word is settled in the heavens.
90 Thy faithfulness is from generation to generation: thou hast established the earth, and it standeth.
91 By thine ordinances they stand this day; for all things are thy servants.
92 Unless thy law had been my delight, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
93 I will never forget thy precepts; for by them thou hast quickened me.
94 I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.
95 The wicked have awaited me to destroy me; but I attend unto thy testimonies.
96 I have seen an end of all perfection: thy commandment is exceeding broad.
vv.89-96 Lamed (a Staff), Faithfulness. These verses speak of the dependability and faithfulness of the Word of God. It does not change with the times and seasons, because it is forever “settled in the heavens”. The earth itself is sustained by the Word of God (v.91). Likewise, the soul of the faithful is sustained by the law of Jehovah; “Unless thy law had been my delight, I should then have perished in mine affliction”. The expression in v.94 is beautiful; “I am thine”. The Word of God gives us the wonderful assurance that we belong to God, and therefore we can trust His ways with us, even in the midst of total failure; “I have seen an end of all perfection”. The Word of God becomes precious to the soul by faith, proving its value in broad application; “thy commandment is exceeding broad”. The Hebrew letter ‘Lamed’ means ‘a staff’, and it is consistent with the thought of the Word of God as something to lean on or confide in.
97 MEM. Oh how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
98 Thy commandments make me wiser than mine enemies; for they are ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers; for thy testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged, because I have observed thy precepts.
101 I have refrained my feet from every evil path, that I might keep thy word.
102 I have not departed from thy judgments; for it is thou that hast taught me.
103 How sweet are thy WORDS unto my taste! more than honey to my mouth!
104 From thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false path.
vv.97-104 Mem (Deep Waters), Resource. In this section we have the Word of God as a treasured resource for the soul, leading to separation from evil. The Word gives wisdom for deliverance from enemies (v.98), wisdom beyond teachers (v.99), and wisdom beyond natural age (v.100). The key to this is meditating on the Word of God. This resource of the Word of God results also in a separation from evil, lest the joy of walking according to the Word be lost. The soul values the Word of God and delights in it; “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! more than honey to my mouth!” The soul appreciates that it is not merely words, but the voice of God speaking to us; “for it is thou that hast taught me”. The Hebrew letter ‘Mem’ means ‘deep waters’, and it is consistent with the thought of the Word of God as a resource for the soul.
105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.
107 I am afflicted very much; O Jehovah, quicken me according to thy word.
108 Accept, I beseech thee, Jehovah, the voluntary-offerings of my mouth, and teach me thy judgments.
109 My life is continually in my hand; but I do not forget thy law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me; but I have not wandered from thy precepts.
111 Thy testimonies have I taken as a heritage for ever; for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
112 I have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes for ever, unto the end.
vv.105-112 Nun (Fish, or Sprouting Seed), Guidance. In this section we have the Word of God as a guide for the faithful. God’s word provides illumination for our feet (the next few steps), and also for our path (the road ahead). The soul speaks out of great affliction (v.107), as one close to death (v.109), and under attack by the wicked (v.110). In spite of much opposition, by relying continually on the Word of Jehovah, the soul can persevere. The Hebrew letter ‘Num’ means ‘fish’, and it is consistent with the thought of perseverance in spite of opposition, like a fish swimming against the current.
113 SAMECH. The double-minded have I hated; but thy law do I love.
114 Thou art my hiding-place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
115 Depart from me, ye evil-doers; and I will observe the commandments of my God.
116 Uphold me according to thy WORD, that I may live; and let me not be ashamed of my hope.
117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe; and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.
118 Thou hast set at nought all them that wander from thy statutes; for their deceit is falsehood.
119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross; therefore I love thy testimonies.
120 My flesh shuddereth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.
vv.113-120 Samech (A Prop or Support), Upholding. This section deals with the preservation of the soul from evil. The faithful look around with horror on “the wicked of the earth”, the “double-minded”, the “evil-doers”, who “wander” from the path. The soul finds its “hiding-place” in God and His Word, and counts on God to uphold him; “Uphold me according to thy word, that I may live… Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe”. Observing the governmental judgment of God upon the wicked (vv.118-120) has a positive impact on the soul, causing him to fear the Lord. The Hebrew letter ‘Samech’ means ‘prop’, and it is consistent with the thought of being upheld by God through His Word.
121 AIN. I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors.
122 Be surety for thy servant for good; let not the proud oppress me.
123 Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the WORD of thy righteousness.
124 Deal with thy servant according to thy loving-kindness, and teach me thy statutes.
125 I am thy servant; give me understanding that I may know thy testimonies.
126 It is time for Jehovah to work: they have made void thy law.
127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold, yea, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I regard all thy precepts concerning all things to be right: I hate every false path.
vv.121-128 Ain (the Eye), Anticipation. This section deals the anticipation of faith for God’s intervention; “Mine eyes fail for thy salvation”. The soul observes the wicked apparently successful, and the righteous about to fall into the hands of their oppressors. The soul is impressed that it is now “time for Jehovah to work”. The faith of the remnant anticipates the intervention of Jehovah to deal with the evil-doers. The Hebrew letter ‘Ain’ means ‘eye’, and it is consistent with the thought of the eye of faith, which anticipates the intervention of God according to His Word.
129 PE. Thy testimonies are wonderful; therefore doth my soul observe them.
130 The entrance of thy words giveth light, giving understanding unto the simple.
131 I opened my mouth wide and panted; for I longed for thy commandments.
132 Turn unto me, and be gracious unto me, as thou art wont to do unto those that love thy name.
133 Establish my steps in thy WORD; and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Deliver me from the oppression of man; and I will keep thy precepts.
135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes.
136 Mine eyes run down with streams of water, because they keep not thy law.
vv.129-136 Pe (a Mouth), Communion. This section deals with the soul delighting in the Word of God which brings light and understanding (v.130), and in response the mouth opened to express dependence and confidence (v.131). The faithful cry out for grace (v.132), preservation from iniquity (v.133), deliverance from the oppression of man (v.134), and for a sense of Jehovah’ presence; “Make thy face to shine upon thy servant” (v.135). The transgressions of the wicked cause the faithful to weep and pour out their soul to the Lord. The Hebrew letter ‘Pe’ means ‘a mouth’, and it is consistent with the thought of communion.
137 TZADE. Righteous art thou, Jehovah, and upright are thy judgments.
138 Thou hast commanded thy testimonies in righteousness and exceeding faithfulness.
139 My zeal destroyeth me, because mine oppressors have forgotten thy words.
140 Thy WORD is exceeding pure, and thy servant loveth it.
141 I am little and despised: thy precepts have I not forgotten.
142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is truth.
143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold upon me: thy commandments are my delights.
144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is for ever: give me understanding, and I shall live.
vv.137-144 Tzade (a Fish Hook), Drawing. This section describes how the Word of God has a powerful drawing influence over the soul of the faithful, because they love His Word. An emphasis is laid on the righteousness of Jehovah and the purity of His Word. To the righteous, this gives the Word of God a powerfully attractive influence on the soul. This attractive power of the Word of God draws the soul along through trouble and anguish, because they delight in His commandments. The Hebrew letter ‘Tzade’ means ‘fish hook’, and it is consistent with the thought of drawing or pulling.
145 KOPH. I have called with my whole heart; answer me, O Jehovah: I will observe thy statutes.
146 I call upon thee; save me, and I will keep thy testimonies.
147 I anticipate the morning-dawn and I cry: I hope in thy word.
148 Mine eyes anticipate the night-watches, that I may meditate in thy WORD.
149 Hear my voice according to thy loving-kindness: O Jehovah, quicken me according to thy judgment.
150 They have drawn nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.
151 Thou, Jehovah, art near, and all thy commandments are truth.
152 From thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
vv.145-152 Koph (Back of the Head), Dependence. This section speaks of the faithful upon their faces in prayer and supplication to Jehovah. They call on Jehovah for salvation (v.146), they pray all night until the morning (v.147), and all day until the night-watches (v.148). They remain in this dependent state, calling for God to hear and save. In those seasons the Word of God is a comfort to the faithful, and it strengthens them as they meditate on it. The Hebrew letter ‘Koph’ means ‘back of the head’, and it may suggest the idea of prayer, as of one on his face in dependence.
153 RESH. See mine affliction, and deliver me; for I have not forgotten thy law.
154 Plead my cause, and redeem me: quicken me according to thy WORD.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked; for they seek not thy statutes.
156 Many are thy tender mercies, O Jehovah; quicken me according to thy judgments.
157 Many are my persecutors and mine oppressors; I have not declined from thy testimonies.
158 I beheld them that deal treacherously, and was grieved; because they kept not thy WORD.
159 See how I have loved thy precepts: quicken me, O Jehovah, according to thy loving-kindness.
160 The sum of thy word is truth, and every righteous judgment of thine is for ever.
vv.153-160 Resh (a head), Salvation. This section deals with the judgments of Jehovah on behalf of His people. They are seen as surrounded by persecutors (the apostate nation of Israel), and yet remaining faithful to the revealed Word of God. The observation of the wicked around them cause the remnant to be grieved, but is does not dissuade them from keeping Jehovah’s testimonies. They have the assurance of the verity and surety of the Word; “The sum of thy word is truth, and every righteous judgment of thine is for ever”. The Hebrew letter ‘Resh’ means ‘head’, and it may suggest the idea of deliverance or salvation.
161 SHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause; but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.
162 I have joy in thy WORD, as one that findeth great spoil.
163 I hate and abhor falsehood; thy law do I love.
164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.
165 Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing doth stumble them.
166 I have hoped for thy salvation, O Jehovah, and have done thy commandments.
167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies, and I love them exceedingly.
168 I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies; for all my ways are before thee.
vv.161-168 Shin (Tooth or Peak), Praise. This section bring the soul to the highest point, the place of praise! The Word of God is what brings the soul to this place, in spite of perfection (v.161). The soul can even have joy through the Word of God, which leads to praise! There is peace as well for the soul who rests in, obeys, and delights in the Word of God. The Hebrew letter ‘Shin’ means ‘tooth’ or ‘peak’, and it may suggest the idea of a high point such as a mountain top, which is consistent with the joy that is emphasized in this section.
169 TAU. Let my cry come near before thee, Jehovah: give me understanding according to thy word.
170 Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy WORD.
171 My lips shall pour forth praise when thou hast taught me thy statutes.
172 My tongue shall speak aloud of thy WORD; for all thy commandments are righteousness.
173 Let thy hand be for my help; for I have chosen thy precepts.
174 I have longed for thy salvation, O Jehovah, and thy law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep: seek thy servant; for I have not forgotten thy commandments.
vv.169-176 Tau (a Mark), Belonging. This section gives a brief summary of the entire Psalm, bringing in a fresh call for deliverance (the beginning), and looking forward to praising the Lord as a result of learning His Word (the end). There is an acknowledgment of past failures; “I have gone astray like a lost sheep: seek thy servant”. Yet there is a claim upon the mercy of God as belonging to Him, and as one who has not forgotten His commandments. The Hebrew letter ‘Tau’ means ‘mark’, and it may suggest the idea of ownership or belonging.