I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried:
I hoped in thy word.
Mine eyes prevent the night watches,
that I might meditate in thy word.
– Psalm 119:147-148 AKJV
Lord, I see these words as I am doing my morning devotions with You, and I am puzzled by the thought pf preventing the dawning of the morning or preventing the night watches. As I know it would seem a sad thing to prevent such a beautiful thing as a sunrise, and a scary thing to not have a night watch, I am suddenly aware there must be a misfire in my understanding of the word prevent.
In searching the dictionary, I find there are two time periods to distinguish from which one I am referring to… modern and archaic. If there is anything I have learned from studying Your Holy word it is that we have changed so many of Your definitions and word usage. Sure enough… the modern is the way I know the word prevent. Archaic is the word You intend in this passage.
Definition of prevent
a : to be in readiness for (something, such as an occasion)
b : to meet or satisfy in advance
c : to act ahead of
d : to go or arrive before
2: to deprive of power or hope of acting or succeeding
3 : to keep from happening or existing
steps to prevent war
4 : to hold or keep back : HINDER, STOP —often used with from
Before reading these definitions I had thought to myself, “How could I possibly even think of preventing the dawning of the day? Not only is that robbing myself of something spectacular, but is foolish of me to think a mere human could do such a thing. And preventing the night watches would remove my safety, although only God could allow me safety at all.” Confused by these passages and concerned with what I must not understand, my curiosity and longing to understand You fully in the Sacred word You have left us, I sought to know my error.
After reading these definitions I am empowered by the ability You have given to us to choose to meet the day in advance and to be ready for the night watch so that I can do as the next few words say in that verse… meditate in thy word! By being ready… prepared for the dawning of the day… I can find courage to meet my day and hope in the word that You have given me to meet my day with. By acting ahead of the night by making sure I have light to help my eyes see with, and a locked door to watch for me, I meditate on thy word. I am able to awaken to Your word to start my day with hope, and I am able to allow Your word to be the last thing I meditate on before I lay my head down.
The understanding You have given me, allows me to have confidence in Your word and in Your protection. I am filled with joy and peace.
Thank You for pointing out to me my misgivings with the understanding of Your word. Your messages are so dear to me, as is Your majestic dawning of the day, and the sweet stillness of the night with You and Your Holy Word. Now I am able to share that same wisdom with others and allow them to also read Your promises of meeting the day ahead to find hope in Your word, and to prepare for the night to be able to meditate on Your word. What perfect timing, as we are all looking for hope! ❤ Where else should we expect to find it, but by meditating on the messages You have left us!
A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth:
and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
– Proverbs 15:23 AKJV