Psalms 18:1 “To the chief Musician, of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day
What is interesting is the use of the word ‘erachamka for love. The usual word you find in Hebrew for love is ‘ahav. ‘Erachamka comes from the root word racham and is the only time in the Bible when it is used in a Qal (simple verbal form). Everywhere else it is used as an expression of God’s love for us and is used in an Piel (intensive form). Man cannot, here on earth or in this earthly body, achieve racham in a Piel form, not even David so he uses it in a Qal (simple verbal form).
The problem is that we have no good English word for racham. We use the word love, mercy, compassion but all fall short of the meaning of racham. The correct use of racham is the womb. When expressing an emotion, it is the love that a mother feels for her baby while in the womb or just emerges from the womb. Have you ever seen a picture, movie or in person when a nurse hands a mother her newborn baby. The look on that mother’s face is the express of love. It is love that is natural, unmolested, unchallenged and almost perfect. This is racham. A few years later when that child rebels, causes problems, wounds and breaks the mother’s heart, that love becomes ‘ahav which is an unconditional love, but it is not that perfect love that was unchallenged.
As a human creature we cannot achieve such a high standard of love except at the birth of a child and even then you would have to be racham in a simple Qal form. It still falls short of racham in a Piel intensive form. As much as you love God, with all your heart, soul and might you may reach the level of David to say “Erachamka na Adonai. But it still falls short of God’s racham for us.
I don’t know why Michael Card chose to include Hebrew phrases in this song, but my guess is that as a Hebrew student himself, he knew he could not translate ‘erachamka so he just left it as the original Hebrew expression rightly figuring those true believers hearing the song will be moved. When the song was released it became a number one song on the Christian chart in 1982. I was teaching Hebrew and Old Testament at this time and students were continually coming up to me asking what those words meant. I usually responded, there is no translation in the English, just think of the ultimate love, if you can then you are not even close to the meaning. But before I said anything, I first asked? “Why do you want to know? Do you feel something when you hear those Hebrew words?” Without exception the students asking and anyone else asking would reply that indeed, their spirit was stirred when they heard those words. They knew it was something special, very special. Many said they felt a sense of peace, joy and even satisfaction when they heard these words that they did not understand. I believe that is because the mind and body may not have understood those words, but their spirit, their heart understood them and cried those words out to God just as David did. Your spirit and heart understand more than your mind and body will ever understand.
Laura will be offering a dream class this month. I hope you join our All Access and join her class because Christians really need to understand the dynamics of their spiritual life. When you dream that dream is coming from your spirit and heart joined with God, but what your mind picks up are often symbols because you mind just cannot comprehend what God is revealing to your spirit.
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Just as you cannot comprehend what those words in the song mean but you spirit leaps for joy at the sound of those words for it understands what your mind does not. If interested in participating in the dreams class, you can sign up here: https://www.hebrewwordstudy.com