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Be Careful! It's not what you think.

Psalms 119:17

Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word.

This morning I started reading my Bible in Psalms 119:1, and then my eye was caught by words I had written next to verse 118; "prayer before study." I stopped reading and prayed verse 18 ("Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law"), asking God to show me more in the scriptures than I had seen before.

I returned to verse 117 and read, "Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word." Instantly, this did not make sense to me. It went against everything I had ever been taught; you don't bargain with God to get what you want. I just asked God to help to see more than I had ever seen in scripture. Now I am battling with my thoughts. To keep God's word, I expect Him to give me a lot? Bountifully? Give me a lot, God, so I can live and keep Your word? Yes, my mind went there! I questioned; surely, David was not telling God he expected Him to give him wealth and things, and if God did, he would be able to live and keep His word. The word bountifully had to mean something more. So, out came the concordance, dictionary, other versions of the Bible, and Google. I will tell you that I was not ready for what I found.

I started with the obvious, the dictionary, and found that bountifully means to be liberal or generous in bestowing gifts or favors. Okay, so it could mean that David expected God to give him much, and then he would keep His word. But, you know how you get that feeling inside that tells you there has to be more? The Holy Spirit was stirring inside me even more loudly, saying that is today's meaning; keep digging.

Since the book of Psalm was initially written in Hebrew, I needed the Hebrew meaning. So, I moved to the concordance. Then it happened; the lightbulb shone brighter than ever. I can't wait until you see it too.

Bountifully comes from the Hebrew word Gamal (gaw-mal') - to treat a person well or {ill} that {is} benefit or requite; by implication {of toil} to {ripen} that is specifically to wean: bestow {on} deal {bountifully} do ({good}) {recompense} {requite} {reward} {ripen} + {serve} {wean} yield.

The word bountifully is totally opposite of my original thoughts. Gamal is a word used for the weaning of a child, a sign of growing up, maturing, and not being so dependent upon mama. When a baby is weaned, it can taste other food options. The same goes for our spiritual walk with God. When we first learn of God and his saving Grace, we are babies feeding on spiritual milk. Then as mature, we should be weaning from spiritual milk (the basics) and diving deeper into His Word (the meat and potatoes, as my grandmother would call it). It is an excellent thing, after all, to receive Gamal or bountifulness from God! It shows that we are ready to move to more, bigger, and better things from God.

The sad part is Christians are all too often satisfied to remain an infant in God, missing the Gamal, being bountifully blessed by God. I know because I have been that content Christian infant. We wonder why there is no spark in our Christian walk, why going to church is boring and does not leave us with the same spiritual high as before, why the church does not offer things or do things in a way that interests us, and why the Bible no longer excites us. It has to be the fault of the preacher, deacons, or even the praise team, right? The next step is to leave the church.

Here's a thought, could it be that you expect God to deal bountifully with you in the way you want to be bountiful? Perhaps, these words are familiar to you; they are one of the basics you learn as a new Christian, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord." Isaiah 55:8. Maybe you are not getting bountifully what you want because God is dealing with you in the Hebrew Gamal. Maybe God is telling you that you are long past what you think is bountiful. Step into the next level of maturity to discover what you are genuinely looking for.

Pray Psalm 119:18, "Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law." then get in God's word daily; there is so much Gamal blessing to be had.


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