The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.– David Bowie
It’s easy to become complacent.
Not only in your faith, but with your health, relationships, and overall lifestyle. Complacency is one of those things that kills motivation to improve the quality of life. You settle for less and become okay with where you’re at: okay with your beliefs, perspectives, and level of understanding.
But the older you get the more you’ll realize that everything in life happens for a reason. You have the option to learn and grow or run away. And even by running away, you grow somehow. Your habits, intellect, and emotional intelligence grows based on how you feed it.
Our entire life is a growth process and if at any point we feel or think or believe we’ve arrived, we’re in for another growth spurt.
As I’ve studied the Hebrew letters for this series, it was a process that showed me more uncovered ground. There were moments of frustration and getting overwhelmed with how much information I came across, because I knew I couldn’t include it all in one post per letters, or even digest for myself.
But this only reminded me we never really arrive.
Life is an ongoing process. It’s the ultimate “school of knowledge” because we never stop learning. Even though there are times of frustration and desire to just have it figured out, God’s grace covers us with the truth that we don’t have to have all the answers immediately.
As we grow in the knowledge of God, it’s important to give ourselves grace, too. God didn’t call us to know everything and have all the answers, but to obey what we do know from Him and His word.
This last section reveals how the cross of Christ transforms our identity but doesn’t leave us there. Transformation doesn’t stop at salvation, it actually begins. And through this LAST letter’s definition and the verses, we’ll see how it’s on us to stay out of complacency to continuously grow in God.
Definition of Tav
The definition of Tav is mark or seal. It can also represent a brand or design. In its earliest written form it looked more like an X or a cross and often signified the cross of Christ.
But just like the other letters, Tav holds many symbols and layers of deeper meanings.
One thing I didn’t mention earlier is that each Hebrew letter has a numerical value. This is a common practice in the Jewish culture where they assign a number to a name, word, or phrase according to an alphanumerical cipher. Based on the cipher, they attach multiple meanings, which is why these letters are multi-symbolic.
The mark of Tav represents our salvation in Jesus and how it’s available to both Jews and Gentiles. The gematria of this letter and the last Greek letter reveal this connection which you can find here.
Even though salvation came through the Jews and there’s a lot to learn from the Hebrew culture, ANYONE can come to the saving-knowledge of Jesus Christ who marks you, sets you apart, and seals you with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee for His return.
When you’re marked by God, there’s a paradox that happens: you get transformed and become a new creation, but you must pursue a continual sanctification in Him. Or in simpler terms, growth in your relationship with Him.
You don’t need “more” sanctification or transformation because your identity is new, but you do need to build and grow from there. Our life is a process, and if we think we arrive at salvation, we’re in for a rude awakening. Jesus paid the price, then He also gave us a commission and equipped us with all that we need to fulfill it during our life.
Your identity changes, but the rest of your body and mind needs to catch up now. Because even though we’re transformed, we need to train ourselves in the ways of God and out of the ways of the world.
The psalmist helps us understand how it’s important to pursue growth in God but also realize that we’re continually growing and being transformed into His likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). As soon as you arrive in a new understanding or revelation, you depart from an old view, and overtime, this revelation will also become old, as you step into deeper knowledge of God.
By the end of this post, you’ll get inspired to continue growing in God because He marked you for a greater purpose!
The Mark of Repentance
169 Let my cry come before You, Lord; Give me understanding according to Your word. 170 Let my pleading come before You; Save me according to Your word.
When we think of repentance, we often only associate it with the English definition: sincere regret or remorse. But just like the letter Tav, repentance has a deeper meaning which brings transformation.
Repentance is to change the way you think and to turn 180 degrees and go the other way. It is the decision to make drastic changes that transforms you into a better version of yourself. Ultimately, it’s a sign of change in your heart.
It doesn’t just leave you feeling regretful and full of remorse constantly, but empowered by the Holy Spirit to change your life. He leads you into times of repentance (changing of your mind, words, and ways) so that you can transform and grow as an individual.
In these 2 verses, the psalmist wants to be transformed according to the word of God. He’s not asking to get saved again (even historically that is inaccurate), but transformed by truth. He cries out for deliverance and understanding so that he could grow more in God.
After salvation comes continual growth based on God’s word, will, and way, and not his own agenda. He’s not asking for help based on what he wants or needs, but for transformation according to God’s word.
The letter Tav in these 2 verses helps us understand that our continual repentance is our pursuit for growth.
The Mark of Revelation
171 Let my lips pour out praise, For You teach me Your statutes. 172 Let my tongue sing about Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
These next 2 verses show us how revelation through the word marks our response and desire for more growth.
A changed heart leads to verbal expression. When you experience transformation, you will naturally share this with others. Not only that, but you’ll praise God because transformation leads to gratitude. It works the other way also, because gratitude can be the means of your growth.
As you fill yourself with the word, you mark yourself for revelation through the Holy Spirit. Not only does this transform your beliefs and knowledge of God, but it affects your actions. Rejoicing precedes revelation, and revelation leads to more growth.
Revelation also sets you up to be ready for whatever growth comes. Where repentance cultivates a desire to change out of our old ways, revelation is God’s grace for us to embrace change.
The letter Tav in these next 2 verses helps us understand that God does the growing. Revelations come through Him by the Holy Spirit in us, which ultimately marks us to understand more.
The Mark of Readiness
173 Let Your hand be ready to help me, For I have chosen Your precepts. 174 I long for Your salvation, Lord, And Your Law is my delight.
As you receive more revelation, God is ready to help you with whatever happens in your life. The mark of readiness is an innate desire to fulfill the will of God through your life. He equips, helps, protects, and leads you through His word.
But with this readiness comes the prerequisite of humility. You must be willing to let Him help you.
It seems like an obvious statement, but it’s kind of funny. We can easily dismiss His help, even in the mundane, little things. And more often than not, we tend to pushback on His help.
In these 2 verses, the psalmist reveals humility by saying, “hey God, even though I’m obeying your word and following your precepts, let your hand be ready in case I miss something.” This readiness takes on humility and a willingness to learn.
Even though you have salvation, transformation doesn’t stop there. So, like the psalmist, let God’s hand help you even when you feel like you’ve arrived. The letter Tav in these 2 verses reveals that we’ve still got a way to go, and what better way than with God’s help!
The Mark of Renewal
175 Let my soul live that it may praise You, And let Your ordinances help me. 176 I have wandered about like a lost sheep; search for Your servant, For I do not forget Your commandments.
Finally, the mark of renewal.
Renewal is our constant decision to pursue growth in God and letting it affect our lifestyle.
The cross renewed your identity, but it’s up to you to renew your mind. We’ve seen it now more than ever, that it’s easy to be a Christian outwardly, yet battle with internal thoughts that completely go against God and even ourselves.
It’s bound to happen because we are human and fall into ruts, but God gave us the best Helper along with specific instructions on how to counter the thoughts that so often control us.
According to Romans 12:2, it’s on us to train our minds to think according to the spirit. As you train your mind and take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5), God will grow you and lead you to visible transformation.
As the psalmist wraps up the chapter with these last 2 verses, the mark of renewal is prevalent as he asks God to help him in every season. His purpose is to praise God, but while he’s praising, he’s trusting God to help him through His ordinances. He admits he doesn’t have it figured out (like a wandering sheep) and invites God to continually search him, grow him, and finally, transform him.
The letter Tav in this section is a reminder that our life is a process and that God doesn’t leave us hanging after salvation. Through continual repentance, revelation, readiness, and renewal, we will experience transformation in every season of our lives which will ultimately bring Him glory, and an awareness to others that Jesus is alive!
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