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A Bottle in Smoke?

Posted by Emma on February 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Filed under:Analogies,Christianity,Psalm 119,Studying the Word

“For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.” Psalm 119:83

This verse starts out with the word כי (cey) which is a conjunction meaning that, for, or when. It would seem to mean for in this verse. The next word, הייתי (hayity), means come to pass, become. The word כנאד (cenod) begins with a כ (caph) which means like or like as. The root of the word means a skin-bottle, or skin. The root of the word בקיטור (bekitor) means thick smoke. The ב (beit) at the beginning means in.

The word חקיך (chukecha) means thy statutes or thy dues. This is something prescribed. These are God’s statutes, the things He wants us doing. לא (lo) means no or not. The final word in this verse is שכחתי (shacachety). The root of which is a verb meaning forget.

Why would the psalmist use the description of a bottle in the smoke to describe himself? From the previous verses we know that the psalmist is tired and down. But why this analogy? What is it about a bottle in the smoke that is bad? The bottles that they had back then were different then the glass or plastic bottles we think of today. As you can pick up from the actually meaning of the word translated bottle, they were made of skin. Adam Clarke comments in his commentary that, “one of these hung in the smoke must soon be parched and shriveled up. This represents the exhausted state of his body and mind by long bodily affliction and mental distress.” The psalmist felt like he was parched and shriveling up. Often times when we are going through trials and tribulations we can feel like we are parched and almost gone. At those times describe yourself as a bottle in smoke.

Even thorough all of this, the psalmist did not forget God’s statutes. He still remembered God’s word and did it. That takes faith. It is hard to keep obeying God and seeking Him when He seems far away and we are tired and feel drained, but we must keep seeking Him. He is a reward of those who diligently seek Him. He promises that in Hebrews 11:6. No matter how hard your trial is, no matter how tired you feel, no matter how much like a bottle in smoke you have become, keep seeking God. Do not forget His statutes. Do not forget His word. Do not forget Him. He will show Himself strong at the end.

One Response to “A Bottle in Smoke?”

  1. Sigrun Says:

    Hi and thanks for taking the time to describe the terminlogy for the starters!