About a year ago a twenty years young boy turned his life to Christ. Last Sunday after worship service I had a fellowship with him at my backyard over a cup of tea. He is glowing with health and has a fine appearance and handsome features. A girl got attracted to him, and kept herself close to him. One day the young man said to her, "I would like to invite you to a Bible study at my church. Are you interested in Bible studies?" She said, "I am not religious." She then left him.
Once upon a time the Apostle Paul said, "I want to know Christ..." Before he was born, he used to regard many things such as family background, as valuable, but after the new birth into Him, he changed. He regarded as rubbish (or loss) all that he once cherished as valuable saying, "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." Phi 3:8
Once upon a time Christopher Columbus said, "I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous Presence."
In Hebrew mercy (often translated as love or loving kindness) is pronounced, "hesed" (or "chesed"- חסך), consisting of three letters, chet (8), samech (60), and dalet (4). Its numerical value is 72 alluding to the 72 elders of Israel. One of its key meanings is 'pity' as God has it for man, allowing men to gain victory over what is lowly resulting in the life in eternity in His presence.
Psalm 118 describes three classes of people to give thanks to the Lord for his mercy: Israel, house of Aaron, and those who fear the Lord.
Israel is a Christian name for Jacob, so to speak. It denotes an earthbound Jacob going after the mundane things like romantic love with Rachel running into a brick wall. There at the Jabok River he broke down, had a struggle with an angel of God, and thereby at dawn made a breakthrough, that is, he met the Lord and thus was given the name Israel, "You have struggled with God and men and won the victory." So the name denotes death to an old person resulting in the new birth into a new creation, just as it is written: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old is gone, the new is come."
The meaning of the house of Aaron is obvious - the priesthood. The priesthood sets forth the roadmap for earthbound man to journey to and arriving at the presence of the Lord, going through such steps as the gate, altar, the holy place, the holy of holies, etc. The house of Aaron then is the type of our Lord Jesus the true High Priest who stands before God for sinners to come to the Holy Father, so that in Him the sinners overcome the sinful condition and gain a blessed state in the presence of the King of Universe.
What about those who fear the Lord? In Hebrew 'fear' which is pronounced 'yara' (ירא).
The root meaning of the word yara is "to flow" and is related to words meaning rain or stream as a flowing of water. In Hebrew thought fear can be what is felt when in danger or what is felt when in the presence of an awesome sight or person of great authority. These feelings flow out of the person in such as actions as shaking when in fear or bowing down in awe of one in authority. (Jeff A. Benner)
The line-up of the three categories of people shows us that Israel is the beginning of the pilgrimage, the house of Aaron denotes the journey and those who fear the Lord stands for the result, that is an otherwise unworthy man being blessed with the presence of the Lord.
The three step process is the process by which one discards (or loses) what is in the way to the true bliss, that is, the presence of the Lord. For a believer this process takes place within him every day, just as the Apostel Paul says, "I die every day, brothers I mean it."
May the Lord bless your day and forever as you go for the point No. 5.