You have commanded us to keep [H8104 – shamar] Your precepts [H6490 – piqquwd] diligently.
We in the West have an aversion to the word “command” unless, of course, WE are the ones doing the commanding. The simple truth is, we don’t like being told what to do.
Because of this aversion, we interpret this verse as God suggesting that we keep His precepts diligently, or He would prefer that we keep them, but that’s not what is being said here.
A command demands obedience.
A command is a command is a command.
And the word “keep” …what does that mean? We touched on this a little in the last devotional.
When we think “keep,” we usually think of getting to “keep” something given to us, but that’s not even close to what this word means.
The Hebrew word for “keep” is “shamar,” which means to guard and pay special attention to something, like it’s invaluable.
Why is it so important to the Father that we GUARD Yah’s “precepts diligently?”
Because guarding something prevents any outside influence. When you guard a priceless object, you guard it with your life.
Fathers, think of how you guard your teenaged daughters.
If there is even a remote possibility of physical harm coming to them, you are out of your chair and reaching for a gun… if you’re a good father, that is.
How many of us feel that way about His commands?
When someone tries to marginalize or pervert what our Father says, do we get filled with a holy fire, or do we just shrug our shoulders, roll over and go back to sleep?
It’s time to face the truth that, as children of the Most High, as guardians of the truth, we have failed to guard His precepts. We have allowed syncretism and compromised thinking to creep in and soften what was meant to be absolute…
But what are His “precepts”?
The Hebrew word for “precepts” is the word “piqquwd” [H6490].
Quite honestly, the main BlueLetterBible definition of this word is pretty vague, so in order to find more detail, you have to check out its root word “paqad” [H6485].
Strong’s Concordance says that “paqad” means “to visit (with friendly or hostile intent); by analogy, to oversee, muster, charge, care for, miss, deposit, etc.” and if you look into Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, you will find the definition reading as follows:
- in a good sense, to go to any person or thing to visit, inspect, explore
- to cause anyone to look after another so that he should care for them
Who are you to tell ME what to do?
Not only do we not like being told what to do, in the West, but we also loathe the idea of someone looking over our shoulders, making sure that we are living righteously.
Like I said, we’re rebellious.
But such is the nature of Cain.
This nature thinks that it can serve YHWH the way it sees fit. (Genesis 4:2-7) Then, when asked about its brother, the Cain nature thinks “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9)
This kind of perverted thinking is almost second nature to those of us in the West.
But He has commanded us to guard His laws, both in our own lives and in others’.
Do you feel the prideful spirit rising up within you? … Nobody’s going to tell ME what to do! … Yeah, me too.
This “Cain nature” needs to be dealt with, in order to offer a proper sacrifice.
He is worthy of it.