Friday, March 17, 2006

No Enemy is Boring

joH'a', chay' wIj jaghpu' ghaj increased! law' 'oH chaH 'Iv Hu' Dung Daq jIH.

O LORD, how my adversaries have increased! Many are those who rise up against me. Psalm3.1

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The Klingons have an enigmatic saying: Dal pagh jagh - No enemy is boring.
It isn't clear (I think deliberately) whether they mean the lack of an enemy is dull, or that all enemies are of interest. I'd bet that most Klingons would heartily agree with both sentiments.

David might also agree - certainly this Psalm reflects a time when David was far from bored - when he was pursued by many enemies - led by his own son!

The Bible *is* an incredible book. I know that for some that means "not credible" - they doubt the truth of what scriptures present. Yet in this psalm we find evidence of how breathtakingly honest a book it is.

Consider what we learn from the Bible. Unlike most of us, it doesn't flinch from telling the whole story. We know that David murdered a man to steal his wife (after committing adultery WITH her), that Abraham practically gave his own wife away due to his cowardice, that Peter denied he even knew Jesus, and that the disciples cut and ran when Jesus was taken off to be crucified! This is not a book that covers up the truth.

The enemies David fears in this psalm don't come from afar - these words reflect the time that David's son Absalom was in rebellion and that David was on the run - he was surrounded by enemies - thousands if we take the words here literally. David was in desparate straits!

At the end of his rope, David turns from the many enemies (those who trouble him - the word here is related to the word for eneimes in Psalm 23's "in the presence of my enemies") to the ONE who can turn things around for him - the LORD.

How often do you find yourself immersed in trouble? Whether or not it is so dramatic, you may know what it is to be feeling, like David, as if you are surrounded at all sides by people and things that - once close who have now turned against you. It certainly isn't foolish to be worried.

But David knew - and if we listen to him, we do too - that he can call for help from the LORD. Not because we deserve it - but because God has made promise after promise to those who will turn to him.

As we read in Isaiah -
Behold, all those who are incensed against you will be disappointed
and confounded. Those who strive with you will be like nothing, and
shall perish. You will seek them, and won't find them, even those who
contend with you. Those who war against you will be as nothing, as a
non-existent thing. For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right
hand, saying to you, 'Don't be afraid. I will help you.' Isaiah 41:11-13

I agree with the Klingons Dal pagh jagh - No enemy is boring, but better is knowing that nep pagh joH'a' laytaHghach - no promise of God is false.


jec said...

I have really enjoyed your posts. This one hit home! Thanks!

Joel said...

Thanks - always nice to know someone is listening!