Psalm 119:81-88 | כ Kaph (Kaf) Part 1

Let your life reflect the faith you have in God. Fear nothing and pray about everything. Be strong, trust God’s word, and trust the process.

― Germany Kent

Have you ever felt behind in your season? Like you’re not doing enough or you’re outside of God’s will as if you don’t even know it? Or maybe you’ve been busy and feel you’ve fallen outside or apart from His will?

In Psalm 119:81-88, the psalmist seems to be in a rut. But he gives us some clues about seeing God’s will in every season. The 11th Hebrew letter and its definition will help you understand these verses and what to do when you can’t see God’s will clearly.

In the next few minutes, I’ll reveal the definitions of Kaph, share the verses of this section, and 2 of the 4 principles we can draw from the verses. There is a lot to elaborate within each definition and its connection to the verses, so we will break it up into 2 parts. Stay tuned for part 2 and enjoy the rest of this post!

For more on this series, click here.

Definition of Kaph כ

If you cup your right hand and turn it upright, it looks like the letter Kaph from the side. Depending on which way you turn your hand, its form will help you remember the 4 definitions of Kaph.

The first definition comes from a root Hebrew word, kafah, and it means bent or bowing down. Bowing down displays submission and humility. The second meaning we will talk about is the literal meaning of the word: “palm” of a hand. Because of its form, it represents what it might contain or can hold.

With these definitions, we will draw the first 2 principles from Psalm 119:81-84. These principles will help you see God’s will more clearly, and remind you what to do when you feel purposeless, clueless, or behind in your season:

  1. The Principle of Submission & Humility
  2. The Principle of Contentness & Gratitude

Psalm 119:81-84

81 My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word.
82 My eyes fail with longing for Your word, While I say, “When will You comfort me?”
83 Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget Your statutes.
84 How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me?

1/4 Bowing Down = The Principle of Submission & Humility

When reading through these verses for the first time, you can see the psalmist’s anguish and desperate need in his prayer. It’s not wrong to assume that he’s experiencing hardship. Like trauma, desolation, or purposelessness. Or maybe he feels clueless about where to go and what to do next.

Undoubtedly, we have all experienced one or more of these feelings.

Christian or not, you can feel purposeless and lose motivation, which results in mediocrity and mundaneness. But especially for Christians, feeling purposeless is painful. It leads to assumptions that God doesn’t see, hear, or know you. It also leads to complacency and falling out of step with His Spirit.

When we feel “stuck” or “in the waiting,” it’s essential to take a step of submission and humility towards God’s will. You may not know God’s specific will for you yet, or may feel left out, unheard, or unwanted, but here’s what you can do during that. In verses 81-82, he says 2 specific action words which reveal how to take this step: wait and say.

He waits for God’s Word, and says, “when will You comfort me?”

These 2 actions help remind you to submit to God’s will through waiting for His word (continuing to learn and study it), and saying (or praying) what you need from Him (asking God questions). Such as, when WILL You comfort me? How can I see You today? By doing so, you constantly turn your heart towards God and His will, which results in a deeper desire to know Him and understand His will for you.

We don’t always like to hear that we need submission or humility. But in God’s will for you, submission and humility are acts of faith and trust, which strengthen your relationship with God.

2/4 Palm of the Hand = The Principle of Contentness & Gratitude

In the next 2 verses, the psalmist compares his current state to a wineskin in smoke.

According to Google,wineskin repeatedly exposed to smoke would shrivel and harden until it lost its flexibility and became useless.

If you’ve ever felt useless or like you’re not doing enough, this next principle will help you immensely.

Sometimes situations and life experiences appear as smoke in life, and you are this wineskin constantly exposed. Trial after trial causes you to shrivel up and harden, and lose your flexibility or openness to certain parts of God’s will. You become displeased and somewhat dissatisfied with life, which often leaves you feeling without purpose or even behind.

This happens to me more than I care to admit. But what helps me is to literally look at the palms of my hands and (figuratively) see or envision what I already have.

Having physical reminders enforces determination and motivation for you to remain firm in what you already know. Like the psalmist says, I do not forget Your statutes.

Despite what was going on, he looked at what he already had and what he knew: God’s word!

Interestingly, though, verse 84 is one of the few verses that doesn’t mention God’s word in this chapter. This reveals that they (his persecutors) distracted him enough for him to lose focus of what would truly help him.

We are visual and habitual creatures. When you look at what you have and know instead of what you lack, you position yourself to be content, which makes it easier to express gratitude. Then, when the smoke appears in your life yet again, you can resort to God’s word and truth.

Through contentness and gratitude, you’ll shield yourself from shriveling up or hardening in your season and in God’s will. You’ll remain focused, determined, and ultimately content and grateful with where you’re at!

Takeaways:

My challenge to you if you feel clueless, purposeless, stuck, or closed off to God’s will, is to journal about the following points during your prayer time and read the scriptures:

  1. What does waiting on God’s word mean to you and how can you actualize that?
  2. What is it you need from God? (direction, sense of purpose, etc.)
  3. What truth do you already know about your identity in Christ?
  4. What can you do daily to remind yourself of His purpose and will for your life? (some ideas: look at the palms of your hands, write a sticky note on your mirror, find an accountability partner, etc.)

Meditate and talk to God about your answers to these questions. After doing so, read the following scriptures (in no particular order), and comment below your experience from this challenge. I’d LOVE to hear your testimony ❤

  • Psalm 91
  • Proverbs 16
  • John 15
  • Romans 8

Stay tuned for part 2 of Psalm 119:81-88 Kaph. Sign up below to get it straight to your inbox!

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