Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Confidence Man!

'a' an army should Dab Daq jIH, wIj tIq DIchDaq ghobe' taHvIp. 'a' veS should Hu' Daq jIH, 'ach vaj jIH DichDaq taH voqtaHqu'.

Though an army should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war should rise against me, even then I will be confident. Psalm 27:3

podcast version

There is a Klingon expression "Duj tIvoqtaH" - usually translated as "always trust your instincts." It is a phrase that, looking back over the beginning of Psalm 27 I would rephrase "joH'a' yIvoqtaH" - Always trust the LORD.

voq - to trust - this is the focus here. The word voqtaHqu' (really be trusting!) is used to represent the English word "confident," and translates the Hebrew word batach - to hie for refuge, in other words, to trust, be confident or sure. It is used over one hundred times in the Bible, and underlines the utter reliance of believers on the LORD, who they can turn to when surrounded by foes.

Taking this verse from Psalm 27, or even this whole Psalm, on its own, it may not be clear why the author is so trusting. There is not much more (at least so far) than just a declaration of trust in God, so where does this confidence come from? From history. Remembering all that God has done.

There is a principle I like to call "mnemonic theology," whereby when REMEMBERING what God has done, we reinforce the trust in what he can and will do. This remembrance is why being people of the book is so very important for believers. By reading and remembering the acts of God in history (his story, after all) we are encouraged to yIvoqtaH - continually trust - in Him. When we remember what God can do, we're more inclined to run to him when we are in need.

Fixing our thoughts on the LORD's deeds - thats what leads us to batach, to voqtaHqu', to TRUST: It's the same word in Isaiah 26:3's testimony to faith:

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
whose thoughts are fixed on you! (NLT)

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