Living in Peace

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Camak yetser natsar shalowm shalowm kiy batach.


Seven simple Hebrew words. But what do they mean?


Camak – verb – “to lean against, rest upon; to support or uphold.” I immediately envision a ladder, propped against the house in order to bear weight as I climb higher.


Yetser – noun – “a frame, formation; also an intention.” This word depicts the ladder itself, sturdy and useful, but only as it is placed properly against something secure.


Natsar – verb – “to guard, watch over, keep.” This is no passive watching. This is a hard-core, defensive watching like troops guarding their military position. Round the clock and scheduled, this guard is on the alert against danger.


And then the doubled noun: Shalowm, shalowm.


Doubled to create emphasis. Doubled to press a point. Doubled to stress its significance and importance within the phrase.


Shalom, shalom – noun – “quietness, tranquility, whole, entire, secure.”


Peace, peace. Peace from war. Peace from anxiety. Peace in relationships.


To rest the intention. To guard the peace….


The peace.


But how?


Kiy – Here’s our particle that tells us how. Translated as “because, for, through”, this is the hint that the answer is coming. We are about to discover the cause of this much guarded peace — about to unearth the action which allows our intent to lean so securely.


Batach – verb – “to trust, to have confidence.” Belief! God always speaks of trust. He’s always interested in faith.


“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).


Had you recognized it? Yes, those seven Hebrew words are the actual translation of this verse that we’ve had memorized for years. But seeing it stark and naked in the original language gives fresh insight into its depth.


In order to guard the peace, we must keep our intention leaning toward faith.


I find this very comforting. God looks at the true motivation of my heart. Despite distractions that swirl and interruptions that storm, we can incline our intent upon Him.


God’s Name is not actually penned into this verse. The One Who is the Rock upon which we may lean, the Strength upon Whom we may depend — He is so large and all encompassing that He spills into and fills up the next verse. “Trust in the Lord forever…in God the Lord” (Isaiah 26:4).


Jehovah, Ja (abbreviated form of Jehovah), Jehovah. Three times He is mentioned. We have the double-blessing of peace because of the triple fullness of our God. “This being of ours, in itself frail, anxious, feverish, needs steadying, staying; and its only sufficient prop must be “Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.” – H.M. Spence.


O Holy Father,
     May I stop looking at myself in the midst of my circumstances. Indeed, my heart and my strength will fail. You are the strength of my heart (Psalm 73:26). The contrast is great: My wavering soul. Your Steadfast Spirit. My distracted thoughts. Your Constant Wisdom. I must prop my vacillating motive upon You, my Rock of Refuge (Psalm 94:22). For as I lean into You I find that I already have peace through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:5). Hallelujah!