Saturday, August 12, 2006

Gladness in my Heart!

SoH ghaj lan Quchqu'taHghach Daq wIj tIq, latlh than ghorgh chaj grain je chaj chu' HIq 'oH increased.

You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and their new wine are increased. Psalm 4:7
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We don't know much about how Klingons face death. Yes, bravely, and yes they have a loud cry to warn those in the afterlife that a great warrior approaches. They also have legends and beliefs that, well, hardly parallel the Biblical message - any more than my Scandinavian ancestors did. And, of course, that's why we - Klingons and Humans - need someone to give us the witness of scripture, because without it we DON'T know that we can face death - and life - with gladness.

I've seen this. I can picture it in funerals I've been at - my mother's and my father's for example - that were great celebrations. Even in the midst of grief, no one could mistake the confidence and gladness that attended the services.

Gladness - that's the word we consider today. Simchah in Hebrew, it occurs more than 80 times in the Bible. From a root, sameach, to be blithe, or gleeful. You may hear that word at celebrations in Israel when people would call out "hag sameach," happy holiday!

This gladness is an adjective we might covet for our lives, but not always find. One tlhIngan Hol word that might do would be "tIv" - to enjoy, but I used - constructed really - a far longer one - Quchqu'taHghach, from Quch, be happy, plus the intensive qu' plus, taH, on-going. All wrapped up with the nominalizer -ghach: Quchqu'taHghach. With the small known Klingon vocabulary, we could connect this to "blessed", at least for ashri, which in Hebrew, meaning "happy" or Quch. It is interesting to note the Hebrew and Greek scriptures include a word for "blessed" that means "happy."

This connection of being happy and blessed, even in the midst of grief is fresh in my mind, as I return from the funeral of a good friend. Again, a remarkable scene of witness to joy, despite grief. A compelling example for believers.

This verse comes at the end of a psalm - really a pair of psalms (3 and 4) that come from a desperate moment in David's life, a time when he was on the run for his life. And STILL he had confidence in God's care. Still he could say:

SoH ghaj lan Quchqu'taHghach Daq wIj tIq, latlh than ghorgh chaj grain je chaj chu' HIq 'oH increased.

You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and their new wine are increased. Psalm 4:7

The Life Application Bible reflects on this kind of gladness, saying:

Two kinds of joy are contrasted here—inward joy that comes from knowing and trusting God and happiness that comes as a result of pleasant circumstances. Inward joy is steady as long as we trust God; happiness is unpredictable. Inward joy defeats discouragement; happiness covers it up. Inward joy is lasting; happiness is temporary.



That's the goal. Not to have happiness that comes from temporary fortune, but rather to achieve inward joy - gladness that lasts, not for the moment, but on into eternity. That's what David found in God's gracious love - and so can we.

2 comments:

E. Louise said...

Thanks for this today. Hope you had a good conference.

Joel said...

Oh, I did - thanks!