Word Study: Fulfill “Gala”



FULFILL – Hebrew: gala – to make complete, to fill up to completion

Psalms 20:5: “The Lord  fulfill all your petitions.”

The word “gala” (fulfill)  raises an issue that no one seems to question.  “gala” does not mean to answer, or to grant.  It means to make compete, to fill up to completion, as  you would fill a cup of water up to the brim.  I find it hard to make sense out of the idea that the Lord will make your petitions full or will fill your petitions up to the brim. You could imply “fulfill” from this, but there are a number of  other Hebrew words that would express this idea much more clearly.  I believe the use of the word “gala” would really be an indication as to the proper syntax.  For this could be rendered not “The Lord fill or complete your petitions,” but rather “The Lord is complete or filled with your petitions.”   Hence, this is not a promise that God will grant your every petition, but He will receive your petition, and not ignore a single one.

I read in Jewish literature a comment on this passage.  In this comment the writer said that the main reason for repentance must be for God’s honor.  We repent not to save our own gizzard, but to restore the honor of God.  When God is restored to His rightful place in our hearts, He can then break the stronghold that sin holds on our lives.   Rabbi Mevaser Chukas put it this way: “In all you request, have in mind the honor of Shechinah,  that all God’s request be fulfilled.”   In other words, all of your requests to God should be that God is fulfilled.

David is sharing some really nifty insight here if we accept this little spin on the syntax.  We do not need God to fulfill all our petitions.  If we seek to fulfill God and He is made complete through our petitions to Him, then should it not naturally follow that we also will be made complete if we abide in Him?   Did not Jesus say:  “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33.   I think David is telling us in Psalms 20:5 that we should also seek Him first in our prayer of petition.  In other words our prayer is not: “Lord, here is my petition for you,”  but “Lord what is your petition for me.”  Do you think President Kennedy was revealing a little Jewish influence when he said: “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”