Friday, August 05, 2005

When Evildoers Come

ghorgh evildoers ghoSta' Daq jIH Daq Sop Dung wIj ghab, 'ach wIj jaghpu' je wIj foes, chaH stumbled je pumta'.
When evildoers came at me to eat up my flesh, even my adversaries and my foes, they stumbled and fell. Psalm 27:2

Podcast Version

There is not much wishful thinking among Klingons. Practical and direct, their idea of pleasantry is to say nuqneH - what do you want?

So, to a Klingon, verse 2 of Psalm 27 comes as no surprise.

ghorgh evildoers ghoSta'
When evildoers came

Yes, joH'a' ghaH toDwI'wI' - God is my salvation - but enemies will come still.

Maybe a human would think that declaring God was your "light and salvation," as this Psalm does in its first verse would be leading into something, well, upbeat? This psalm made clear that it's author has no fear, yet the next words express an equal confidence that enemies lurk around the corner.

He's got no question that they are out there - worse yet when you hear his assessment of their intentions:

Daq Sop Dung wIj ghab
to eat up my flesh

This is not an indictment of cannibalism - it is just a strong way of saying how vicious the enemy is considered (we see this same idea expressed in psalms 14 and 53, by the way). I don't know of this ever being taken literally, but the meaning is clear: like Klingons with their bluntness, scripture presents us here with a realistic picture of the world - there are terrors to be faced, even when you trust God to be your light and salvation.

How do you face such trouble?

Well, when you're in the middle of a battle it is too late to plan for it. As the saying goes, "when your up to you waist in alligators, it's too late to drain the swamp." You need to prepare ahead of time. This is a theme, to "be prepared" that continues through this psalm - watch for it as we continue.

But notice as we see victory, as we see the enemy's defeat, it comes by grace. NOT by the battle prowess of the Psalmist, not by some warrior's might. The enemy, the evildoer will stumble -the word is kashal , "to totter or waver." Not just that, they will finally fall. The Hebrew is naphal, a primitive root with a host of meanings, like "lost, lying, overthrow, overwhelm, perish."

And remember, we trust in a God who not only ensures that evildoers will fall in the end, but sees to it that believers will not - as Psalm 94 says:

ghorgh jIH ja'ta', “ wIj qam ghaH slipping!” lIj muSHa'taH pung, joH'a', held jIH Dung.

When I said, “My foot is slipping!” Your loving kindness, LORD, held me up. (v18)

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