Wednesday, July 06, 2005


jach vaD Quch Daq joH'a', Hoch SoH puHmey!
Shout for joy to the LORD, all you lands! Psalm 100:1
podcast version

What makes you stand up and cheer?

Sometimes at a ballgame, or in the theater, something happens that surprises and delights you so much that - without thinking about it - you cheer or clap or just shout out your approval. You just HAVE to praise something wonderful.

And that may not be enough. If you're really excited, you'll nudge your neighbor and exclaim "Wow, wasn't that GREAT?!"

That kind of enthusiasm is what the author of Psalm 100 is sharing with us:

jach vaD Quch Daq joH'a', Hoch SoH puHmey!
Shout for joy to the LORD, all you lands! Psalm 100:1

Nobody presents a lecture at the baseball game, giving a detailed reason to express approval. When the ball is hit out of the park, everyone cheers. Likewise, without argument or explanation, this is the kind of direct, spontaneous joy that this psalm urges us toward.

"jach," the Klingon word used here means just this kind of noise: yell, scream, cry out! It is familiar to many Klingon speakers from the common toast "'IwlIj jachjaj," "may your blood scream." That word is very close in meaning to the psalm's Hebrew word, "roua." Used 42 times in the Bible, it means to make a lot of noise. The idea is literally "to break," like to split the eardrums with noise in alarms, or cheers. The context of the psalm makes clear that everyone, everywhere is being commanded to rejoice and cheer because of what God has done.

And - just what has God done?

Now, the subtitle of this psalm is "a psalm of thanksgiving," a powerful theme throughout the Bible. Some take the scriptures mandate to praise as their starting point: if we do this (praise God) , then we will experience divine blessing. Indeed some do find this so, and I rejoice with them.

But you're not likely to cheer if you don't see the homerun, if you don't notice the great play. Part of our responsibility is to watch carefully and appreciate what is going on so we WILL jach vaD Quch - shout for joy - at God's work. "Count your blessing," in other words

And there is more to the duty of believers. When we are blessed, then we can share with others - and when we do - then we've helped give others a chance to be thankful to God.

As Jesus reminds us - give people something to cheer about!:

'ach vaj, chaw' lij wov shine qaSpa' loDpu'; vetlh chaH may legh lij QaQ vum, je glorify lij vav 'Iv ghaH Daq chal.
Let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

No comments: