WORD STUDY – DESIRE – לקח
Deuteronomy 32;2: “My doctrine shall drop as rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.”
We learn in Deuteronomy that God sends his doctrine as the rain or the dew. Boy you can bet the translator who translated that Hebrew word into English was well steeped in church tradition. I mean I am not opposed to doctrine. I adhere to a doctrines myself. Webster defines doctrine as a particular principle, position, or policy that is taught by a particular church or religion. Most church denominations will say that their doctrine is Biblical based. Yet, if Biblically based, how can there be such a difference in doctrines. We have the doctrine of baptism for instance. Everyone claims to be Biblically based but they tend to all look at it a little differently. Some baptize by immersion, some by sprinkling, and some by pouring.
If we render this word in Hebrew laqach as doctrine then we learn that God sends His doctrine as the rain or dew. I mean I know rain and I know dew, but doctrines are not that clear, to me at least, and if God sends them why do so many churches have different doctrines. Obviously, if God sends doctrines, then only one church can have the true the doctrine, the rest is heresy.
Let’s take a look at this word in the Hebrew that is translated as doctrine. It is the word laqach, which has a root meaning of teach or to give insight. It also means to influence. If you trace this word to its Semitic origins you find it has its roots in a Phoenician word liku which is used to express the impregnating of a female or a female conceiving. There is a tenderness to this word. It its original Hebraic use it means to take. It is the word used when man announces that “I have taken for myself a bride.” This is not as it sounds. I mean it is not the: “Ugh a boo, ugh boo ugh boo boo ugh a, me cavemen, me take woman.” What everyone hears when a young man says; “I have taken myself a bride” is “I have found a woman that I can love, honor and cherish. A woman I can take of and someone for whom I would give my life.” We have to realize that there is a tenderness, a gentleness and a desire behind the history of this word laqach.
So how does laqach end up being doctrine or church teachings. For me a doctrine is not a set of rules or regulations. It is like marriage vows. My doctrines are my marriage vows to God. These are things I believe in because I believe my adherence to these doctrines will bring pleasure to the God I love. So in that I can render laqach as doctrine, but since there is so many different ideas as to what doctrine really means and what they are, I think I will search for a better word for laqach in this verse.
Remember the basic meaning of laqach is to take as one would take a bride or a treasure. So I think God is saying, “I am taking you as a bride as the dropping of rain.” In other words whoever is touched by the drops of His rain or love and desire will be taken as His bride. Thus, the only ones not taken as his bride are those who try to avoid the rain and hide under rocks or other shelters until the rain ceases.
I will never forget that scene in the movie, The Shawshank Redemption when Dufresne finally escapes from prison after crawling through sewage and then stands outside the prison in the midst of a rainstorm. He did not try to find cover from the storm he just stood in the middle of the storm, throwing his head back and spreading his arms embrace his freedom. All the filth of prison, the filth of crawling through the sewage system was being washed off of him as he entered his new life. That is so like the picture we have here in Deuteronomy 32:2 “My love and desire to make you my bride shall drop as rain.” When God does that, like Dufresne, we will just throw our heads back, spread our arms and let the love and desire of God make us His pure bride. He will wash us and cleans us of all that filth when we were in bondage to the enemy.
The word drop in Hebrew is araph which means to trickle. This is not a pouring rain like in the Shawshank Redemption but a gentle rain or small rain that falls on the tender herb but does not harm it. It is like the dew. The word in Hebrew for dew is katal which comes from the root word talal. It means to moisten, to be soft and tender. It is spelled Teth, Lamed, Lamed.” The Teth is a picture of shedding the old, allow ourselves to be washed clean of all our sin allowing use to enter that marriage relationship with God. The Lamed speaks of a connection with God. It is like a hand reaching up to heaven to receive that cleansing from God.
So I don’t see this as God sending his doctrines from heaven for it is not doctrine that purifies us, it is the blood of Jesus and God is sending his love and desire to take us as His bride. This love and desire for us to be His bride comes to all who will stand in the open and spread their arms wide to receive his gentle cleansing as the falling rain, covering us like the dew upon a flower.
Do you ever notice how a plant will wilt when it is not watered and then when you do water it you can almost visibly see that plant come to life. I believe that is the picture here. So when God rains his love and desire upon us, don’t run and hide but be like Dufrense and just spread your arms, turn your face to heaven and receive the full benefit of His love and desire.