Lamed + Titus
The 12th Hebrew letter pictures a shepherd’s staff or an ox goad. As a verb “lamad” means teach, learn, point, prick or goad. In my book, Crossing the Scriptures, I explain how each of the 22 Hebrew letters matches up to three books in the Bible, all 22 books equidistant. You’d expect to see the word teach show up a lot in this little New Testament book of Titus since it's the third book that matches up to lamed and, in fact, it does by a rate of about 10 times more (per 1000 words) than any other book.
What does Paul’s letter to Titus tell us? See chapter 2 for a list of what should be taught. Here’s my summary:
1. Teach older men temperance, to be respectable, to be self-controlled and to be sound in faith, love and endurance.
2. Teach older women to be reverent, not to be slanderers, not to be addicted to alcohol and to be teachers of what is good.
3. Older women are to train younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home and to be subject to their husbands.
4. Young men are to be encouraged to be self-controlled and to do what is good, to show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned.
But wait, there’s more. Slaves are to be taught, too. Here it would be helpful to substitute employees for slaves (some would argue they are the same thing nowadays).
5. Slaves/employees are to be subject to their masters/bosses in everything, to please them, not to talk back, not to steal from them and to show trustworthiness.
Think about these things from a boss’s perspective. How pleased would he be to have such an employee?
The end of chapter 2 tells us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives.
Read Chapter 3 for more – we are to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good. We are to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate and to show true humility toward all men. Some synonyms for humility are humbleness, modesty and meekness.
Can you see how well our Hebrew letter, lamed, relates? Throughout this epistle I envision Paul holding a staff and teaching, exhorting, explaining, and pointing with it. There is plenty to learn in this short book; take some time now and study it.