Saturday, October 01, 2005

Speedy Delivery!

yImev toD jIH Dung Daq the neH vo' wIj jaghpu'
Don’t deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries (Psalm 27:12)

I have discovered a revolutionary communciations tool - one that quickly and cheaply moves messages and packages - the MAIL!

My youngest child just started school at an out of town college and we have been having fun sending her notes and occasional packages. We're enjoying how easy (and fast!) it is to keep in touch this way. Of course we've got all the other ways to keep in touch. Email, cell phones and Instant Messages and they are good, but being able to routinely deliver things (letters, cookies, USB drives) is something we never used (or needed) when our son attended a local university and lived at home.

DELIVER: that's the Klingon word to consider today.

The word that David uses in this psalm when he says " Don’t deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries" is nathan, and it means "to give." It is the root of the name Nathan (gift), Nathaniel (God's gift) and Jonathan (The LORD's gift).

However, the mechanical process I used to transform the World English Bible with Klingon vocabulary maps a single English word to a Klingon term. "Deliver " occurs over 200 times in the WEB, both meaning "deliver" as in 'delivering the mail' and 'delivering me from trouble.' The first three occurences are in Genesis, and each translates a different Hebrew word: "deliver me from the hand of my brother" (natsal - to snatch away, 32:11), "that he might deliver him out of their hand" (shuwb - to turn back, 37:22), and "I will deliver your brother to you" (nathan - to give 42:34). Two out of three encompass the notion of rescue.

By not using the Klingon word for deliver, as in delivering a package (HIj), the translation introduces a bit of wordplay to this passage. Using "toD," (to save) I seem to have David not just saying "don't hand me over" to my enemy, but "don't save me for my enemy's evil plans."

There ARE times when we feel this is what is happening. The Israelites, when fleeing from the Pharoah, ignored the way they'd been freed from slavery and complained to Moses: "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you treated us this way, to bring us forth out of Egypt" (Exodus 14:11).

Is this your fear? There are times when we cannot see how God is doing good in our lives. That's why we need to recall Scripture's words of promise. Jesus said he "didn't come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." (Luke 9:56). And he promised to his followers "I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly." (John 10:10b)

You've got mail! Day after day there are messages - being delivered to you on paper or computer screens. Not all are welcome - but the best delivery is the words from God's word that bring you good news:

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD.
“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give
you a future and a hope.

In those days when you pray, I will listen.

If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me."
(Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT)

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