Devotional: Cry

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Written by Dr. Barri Cae Seif from Sar Shalom Israel.

In the days of His life on earth, Yeshua offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety [godly fear].

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience
from the things which He suffered.
Hebrews 5:7-8

In 1994, someone sent me a postcard with that verse on it, and I still have the dog-eared card. It’s funny how I can read the Bible, and yet not really see what is written? Until that person sent me the card, I never really saw that verse. It’s one of the hardest verses in the Bible for me to accept. Somehow, I just don’t want to think of Yeshua crying, beseeching God for Help. After all, He was God’s Son!

Last week while reading (or trying to read) Psalms in Hebrew, I came across the word “cry” as it is used in Psalms 34:15

The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
and His ears are open to their cry.

There are many different uses for the word cry in English:
1) to make inarticulate sobbing sounds expressing grief, sorrow or pain; weep
2) to shout or call
3) call, used of an animal or bird
4) to beg for, beseech or implore, cry forgiveness.
5) to belittle or disparage – cry down
6) to break or withdraw from a promise – cry down
7) to praise highly – cry up
8) a public demand as in outcry
9) an advertising of wares
10) a call to battle
11) a political slogan

In Hebrew, the word cry is Shah-vah-tem, as used in Psalm 34:15. What is neat about Hebrew, is that there are different words that describe some of these different cries. But when the LORD directs one to a word, it is for a specific reason.

The word Shah-vah-tem relates to the getting free from some trouble. It is used in the following verses:

And their cry for help, because of their bondage, rose up to God – Exodus 2:23 (Bondage) and the men who did not die were smitten with tumors and the cry of the city went up to heaven
I Samuel 5:12 (Health)

…in my distress I called upon the LORD, Yes, I cried to my God; and from His temple He heard my voice, and my cry for help came into His ears.
2 Samuel 22:7, Psalm 18:6 (Distress)

The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry. — Psalm 34:15 (Troubles)

Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears. — Psalm 39:12 (Chastening)

I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. — Psalm 40:1 (Waiting)

Hear my prayer, O LORD! And let my cry for help come to Thee. — Psalm 102:1 (Affliction)

He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. — Psalm 145:19 (Help)

This word – Shav-vah-tem – is used in all of these scriptures only, there are other words in English for the word – cry- but they have different meaning. They might mean the public outcry, or shout, or cry of praise,
but this word Shah-vah-tem specifically means to cry out with a personal heart’s cry.
It also means the word ” Halloo” which drove me back to Websters. Halloo is used to draw attention to oneself, it is a shout or call. Our English word “Hello” comes from that word. So this word in Hebrew is a plea for help, a personal cry to God, to release me from this burden! And as Yeshua, the Author and Perfector of our faith cried, we cry, too.

Yeshua was heard because of His godly fear, which we should have also. And Yeshua God’s Son, was heard, and we are heard too, and Yeshua was answered, and we are answered, too. What loving Father would turn away from His crying child?

A loving father hears the cries of his child, and he does all he can to comfort. How much more truly, does our Loving Father do for us?

Sometimes it is good to have a heart-to-heart talk with God. I mean really, sit down with a pad of paper and pen and pour your heart out to Him. If you are mad, say so! He’s a Big God, He can take it!

I remember having a temper tantrum with God some years ago, and I felt so much better after having done so. And truthfully, I have never had a temper tantrum since with God. But I have had plenty of heart-to-heart talks, I mean really honest, white-knuckled, grab several Kleenex type-of-talks with God, and I always feel better afterwards.

Here’s a challenge:
When you get the time, go back and look to see what happened each and every time that that word shah-vah-tem was used: Exodus 2:24, I Samuel 6:1-7:12, 2 Samuel 22:8-23:51, Psalm 34:17, Psalm 40:2-5, Psalm 102:2-17, Psalm 145:20.

Be encouraged!

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay. And He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm. — Psalm 40:2

As for God, His way is blameless.
The word of God is tested
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

2 Samuel 23:31


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