Do you have an anchor in life? Do you know how to use it?
By Clay Perkins
Saturday, July 21, 2018
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you: I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” — Psalm 9:1-2 (The Bible, New International Version)
Aleph, Beyth, Giymel, Daleth, He, Vav, Zayin, Cheyth, Teyth, Yowd, Kaph, Lamed, Mem, Nuwn, Camek, Ayin, Phe, Tsadey, Qoqph, Reysh, Siyn, and Thav. Psalms 9 and 10 are acrostics; each verse begins with a letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Hebrew parents would use these chapters to teach their children their alphabet, but more importantly, about their God. These verses contain the basic elements of the faith they desire to leave to their children. The facts of life are in these verses.
Up river to the Niagara Falls, prior to the 180-degree drop at the American and Horseshoe falls, boating is quite popular in the gentler flow. At the crossing of Wellington and Niagara River is a pedestrian walkway which has two signs for the boaters below, each posing a question. First: Do you have an anchor? Second: Do you know how to use it?
Great questions. Important questions. Psalms 9 and 10 are teachings to keep children anchored in life. To keep them from going over the edge.
Aleph — Vav. Psalm 9:1-10, helps us teach our children that God is judge. Because he is such a righteous judge, we are to teach our children to praise God in our houses of worship. It is important to be in places where God is honored and praised. We need to hear others and ourselves give thanks to God. We should brag on God not only when we gather to worship with believers, but also as we go through life, especially among those who have yet to put their trust in God.
Like David, we should remember that God, as judge, has defeated our enemies. God is able and ready as a fair and righteous judge to offer refuge from the evil that is all around; therefore, we run to God. Where else would we go?
Zayin — Kaph. Psalm 9:11-20 reminds our little ones that God is King. Whom do you give praise to? When there is tragedy, whom do you praise? When there is joy, whom do you praise? David praises the King, the one who is enthroned in Zion. David knows that God, as king, will defeat the wicked. Man is really quite helpless without God. We fall. We fail. And often our pain is self-inflicted. But God is the good king. Are you in need? God can help. Are you hurting? God can heal. We are but mere mortals. God is King.
Lamed — Tsadey. Psalm 10:1-11 seeks to remind those about to enter adulthood to be careful for man can be evil. Man will prey on man. Life is not fair since men will do evil things. Be alert. But never forget, God has not forgotten.
There is a police report in the files from 1986 when a drunk driver was stopped. Since policemen were tending to an accident on the other side of the road, the driver was told to wait. After a while he drove home and told his wife to cover for him by saying he was home all night. Within the hour two state troopers were at his door. They apologized for troubling the lady of the house, but asked to see the car in the garage. When they opened the garage door, there was the patrol car, the blue lights still flashing.
We are foolish to think we can practice evil and not be discovered. We are foolish to think we should shield our young adults from the facts — the truth — of life.
Qowph — Tav. Psalm 10:12-18 teaches the young that God is a protector. God is a helper. God is the destroyer of enemies. God wants to help. It is great to know that we have God on our side.
I am not sure if it is important for us to know the Hebrew alphabet. But we need to know the facts of life from a very young age. God is judge. God is King. Man can be evil. God is protector. These facts will anchor us in a good life now and forever.
So, do you have your anchor? Do you know how to use it?
D. Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of MACU.