Saturday, July 15, 2006

nob the nobmey vo' QaQtaHghach.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness. Psalm 4:5a
(click for podcast)

On any planet, in any solar system - "giving a gift" (nob nobtaH) is a tricky matter.

Now, given the directness of tlhIngan interactions they may be puzzled at our human wisdom: "it's the thought that counts." After all, among the sayings of Klingon wisdom is the terse: ram meqmey. / Motives are insignificant. To a Klingon ACTIONS do speak louder than words. They don't care about "the thought."

Of course, when it comes to those times when we are RECEIVING the gift - birthdays, for example, sadly we may look at the GIFT - the substance - instead of the intent, the soul, as it were , of the giver.

The Bible details a complex system of gifts, of sacrifices that are part of the faith of ancient Israel.

As the Life Application Bible notes,

Worship in David’s day included animal sacrifices by the priests in the Tabernacle. The animal’s blood covered the sins of the one who offered the animal. There were specific rules for offering sacrifices, but more important to God than ceremony was the offerer’s attitude of submission and obedience.

It is in such a context that we hear David say:

nob the nobmey vo' QaQtaHghach.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness.Psalm 4:5a

Here's something I find interesting - in the Hebrew, the Latin, the Klingon, and the English, we tie the object to the act. That is we GIVE a GIFT. Or we OFFER an OFFERING. The Klingon says we "nob" a "nob" - the verb and noun give and gift are the same. Even further across the Galaxies, we find that the Mando'a language - spoken by Mandalorians, like Jango or Boba Fett connect the act to the object - they "dinuir" (give) a "dinui" (gift). You could render this phrase as dinuir haar tor dinui - give the justice gift.

Now, in our giving/nobtaH we are to be "righteous" or "just" - we aren't MERELY supposed to give a gift, but to do it the RIGHT way.

What does that mean? Here, is where the Hebrew parallelism of the psalm helps us out.

Often in the Bible's poetry we find one phrase parallels the thought to emphasize or clarify the meaning - this is no exception - I think the meaning here is much more clear when we read the whole verse:

nob the nobmey vo' QaQtaHghach. lan lIj voq Daq joH'a'.

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness.
Put your trust in the LORD

We are to GIVE to God - in service to him in worship, in service to others - it takes many forms, but the measure of "righteousness" comes in the simple clause - put your trust in the LORD.

"I couldn't," "I can't," "that's too much,"... I have so many ways to hold back, to limit the way I give, but this psalm stills my complaints with just a simple

lan lIj voq Daq joH'a' / put your trust in the LORD.

voq or trust - represent the Hebrew word batach - a word with the idea "to hie for refuge " - that is depend on God for our ultimate security.

This is where we can expand our gifts, our service beyond the limits we impose. TRUST in the LORD - depend on him and I'll find I don't need to hold back, I don't need to save a reserve. I'll give rightly, give the tor dinui, the righteous gift.

I like these words from St. Peter

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.
(1 pt 5:7 NLT)

What gifts do you have to share? Trust in the LORD and give!

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