WORD STUDY – DISQUIETNESS OF MY HEART
Psalms 38:8 “I am feeble and sore broken, I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.”
Psalms 103:2: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:”
Sometimes it is really hard to bless the Lord. The old soul gets knocked down, dragged out and stomped upon and the last thing it wants to do is praise the Lord. It would just like to crawl under yon rock from whence it same, lick its wounds and feel sorry for itself.
The disability vehicle that I drive blew an engine. The problem was that they just replaced the engine with a used engine and now a month later that engine goes out. I noticed it was burning oil, I brought it into the town maintenance department to get two quarts of oil, I asked if I should be driving it, I was told it was ok. Two days later I left a note with my dispatcher saying I needed an oil change, AC repaired and that the engine needs to be check, something is wrong, it is burning two quarts of oil every 3,000. Two days later they finally brought the vehicle in, changed the oil, fixed the AC and said nothing about the engine. One week later the vehicle just stops and I am unable to start it. It made no noise before it quit, it cranked like it was not getting gas so I figured it was a fuel pump or something. I found out today that the engine was blown and the director of maintenance was blaming me saying I abused the engine and he was going to recommend I get fired. Somehow I felt a lot like David, sore broken and crying out by reason of the disquietness of my heart. It is really tough to have someone lie about you for doing something you never did and then to recommend they fire you. I wasn’t in the mood the praise the Lord or even study the Word of God. But I did and I was reminded about David. He also faced accusations and people trying to dethrone him, his own son almost succeeded. There was a disquietness in his heart. Grant it David is talking about his sin but you can bet I spent a lot of time confessing my sins to God today. Even though I know this was not the result of my sin, I had to be especially close to God right now and my unconfessed sin was staring me in the face saying; “Unless you confess it to God and ask His forgiveness, your heart will remain disquiet because of the guilt of that sin and God cannot comfort you.
You see the word disquietness in the Hebrew is minahemath from the root word naham. Naham means to groan and roar in anquish. In its Semitic root it means to breath deeply. It’s later use evolved to mean regret or sorrow over sins, repentance. In this Psalm I would suggest the word anguish as David’s heart was in anguish and he knew his sin had separated him from God who was ready to offer comfort, but could not because it was blocked by his guilt.`I was doing a lot of deep breathing and I confessed every known sin to God. I sat back and waited for that flood of peace and joy which did not come. My soul was still crying out in anguish. “How will I pay my rent, how will I met my financial obligations, how will I make my car payment? All because someone lied to cover up for their mistake, ie., not getting an engine that was rebuilt with a warranty.” I thought of Moses and how, according to the Talmud, Korah started to spread the rumor that Moses committed adultery and pointed out that half the gold and silver for the tabernacle went missing and of course it was Moses who stoled it (turned out to be an accounting error). He did not say a word but, like me, went right to God and cried out to Him telling God he was innocent (which God knew already, but it felt good to tell Him anyways). Still, I felt no peace.
Then I looked at Psalms 103 and I discovered one of David’s secrets. He commanded his soul to forget not the benefits of God. In our culture we hear the word benefits we are automatically thinking of things involved with employment like health insurance, 401k’s, vacation days. Considering my situation, that word got my attention. But then, for me personally, I never did sign on with God for the benefits, I signed on because He loved me and I wanted to love Him. So for myself, I needed to find another English word rather than benefits.
The word benefit in Hebrew is gimal, like the Hebrew letter which is also the name for a camel. What does a camel have to do with benefits? The word gimal has its origins in the Phoenician language and means stopping, weaning, going without and repaying in like kind. It is used for a camel because of the camel’s ability to go without food and water for a length of time. The service of a camel will increase with the care that is given to it. It other words you care for your camel and he will take care of you, he will repay you in like kind. Camels are believed to have been domesticated around 2,500 BC although the only evidence found for domesticated camels in the Arabian Peninsula is around 930 BC which would date it about the time of Abraham. So gimal is likely a word related to the domesticated camel.
A camel in ancient times was key to survival in the desert. In fact one meaning behind the letter Gimal is lovingkindness. The letter itself is a picture of a man running to offer assistance to someone. If someone shows lovingkindness to you it will be chock full of benefits. Only these benefits will come from a heart of love and not a sense of obligation. Thus David is saying forget not his lovingkindness.
David was reflecting on the past and all the times God rescued him. So rather than just sit groaning; “Oh Lord, Oh Lord,” I began to think of all the times in the past when someone lied about me. I even lost a job in the past because of lies, yet it opened the door to another position that was much better. I would not have gotten that new position if I stayed at the old job. It was like I would not leave on my own so God had to force the issue to get me out and into something more in His will. As I reflected on half a century of God’s faithfulness and darn near miraculous deliverances that peace and joy came flooding back. I had a half century of testimonies to encourage me.