WFT- defile

19 September 2009

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for August 29th was defile.  The surprise definition:

to march off in a line

Here is what M-W provided on this word:

The "defile" that means "to contaminate," a homograph of today's Word of the Day, dates back to the 14th century and is derived from the Old French verb "defouler," meaning "to trample on" or "mistreat." Today's word, on the other hand, arrived in English in the early 18th century. It is also from French, but is derived from the verb "défiler," formed by combining "de-" with "filer" ("to move in a column"). "Défiler" is also the source of the English noun "defile," which means "narrow passage or gorge."

Marching off in a line... travelling down a narrow passage or gorge... hmmm.  This brings to mind the words of the Master:

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

and this:

"Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, 'Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know where you are from.'  Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets';  and He will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.' (Luke 13:24-27)

If the way is narrow and we are to enter through the narrow door then we should not turn to the right or to the left and wander from the path that G-d has set before us.  G-d's Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105).  We should study His Word to determine whether or not we have departed from the path.  Consider these words from Jeremiah:

Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' (Jeremiah 6:16)

The words of the Psalmist relate blessing:

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! (Psalm 1:1)

Consider the words of King David in Psalm 23:

He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. (Psalm 23:3)

His words in Psalm 25 are also a blessing:

Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old.  Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness' sake, O LORD.  Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.  He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. (Psalm 25:4-10)

The first label for the believers in Messiah Yeshua was not "Christians" it was "followers of The Way" (Acts 9:2).  Is this "the way" that G-d instructs sinners (Psalm 24 above)?  Indeed it is for salvation is found in Messiah Yeshua alone.  Let us walk in His Way for

... the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. (Proverbs 4:18)

May we keep His covenant and His testimonies, walk in His paths, and seek to enter through the narrow gate, that is Messiah Yeshua, our Lord and Savior.

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)

Prov 4:14, 18


Torah Portion




or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Rivi'i, 14 Iyar, 5784 - Pesach Sheini

Wednesday, May 22, 2024


Learn more about this date in history.