Friday, August 10, 2007


ghaH DichDaq ghobe' allow lIj qam Daq taH vIHta'. He will not allow your foot to be moved. Psalms 121:3a

(click for podcast version)

What does it mean to be "unmoved?" I ask because, over and over, the book of Psalms present an interesting phrase along these terms - something that seems to promise immobility to the "saints," to believers:

  • Psalms 15:5 He who doesn't lend out his money for usury, Nor take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be shaken.
  • Psalms 16:8 I have set Yahweh always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
  • Psalms 21:7 For the king trusts in Yahweh. Through the loving kindness of the Most High, he shall not be moved.
  • Psalms 46:5 God is in her midst. She shall not be moved. God will help her at dawn.
  • Psalms 125:1 Those who trust in Yahweh are as Mount Zion, Which can't be moved, but remains forever.
  • Psalms 66:9 Who preserves our life among the living, And doesn't allow our feet to be moved.
  • Psalms 112:6 For he will never be shaken. The righteous will be remembered forever.
  • Psalms 121:3 He will not allow your foot to be moved. He who keeps you will not slumber.
  • Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on Yahweh, and he will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be moved.

The Hebrew word here, in all these is mowt - a primitive root meaning to waver, and translated in the KJV as terms like fallmoved, shake, slide, and slip among others - it's a word we've run into in other Psalms, and here again I've used the Klingon work vIH, move, to be in motion.

Now any space traveler - Klingon, Vulcan, Ferengi or Human - anyone who knows the smallest thing about space travel would know "remaining unmoved" is an impossibility. The biggest boulder on Earth, rooted in the ground MOVES. Aside from the movement of the solar system and our whole galaxy, this whole planet itself moves in orbit around the sun 30 kilometers (or 18.5 miles) EVERY second!

The problem is that the English word "move," and the Klingon "vIH" are too general. The heart of the Hebrew word is not just motion; MOWT has the idea of slip, or waver - it isn't really that believers will be frozen in place, but that their course in life will be steady. Their path, their destination is sure.

This last week I got to help out some neighbors running a kids summer science club. My special guest appearance was to show off (and fly) rockets with the kids - it was terrific fun for me - the kids seemed to enjoy it too, especially when I let them launch the air rockets ( OF the three air rockets, I found I'd made one with badly attached fins - and it was clear in flight after flight that, while the other two flew straight and true, the third (with the bad fins) had a weird corkscrew path every time. Each time that one flew it slipped, and wavered in a sloppy trajectory - but the ones with the good fins were anchored in a course that was like a ruler.

Those fins could keep the rocket on (or off course). They gave them their direction - and God can do that in the believer's life. The English preacher Spurgeon says this about this verse:
in the slippery ways of a tried and afflicted life, the boon of upholding is of priceless value, for a single false step might cause us a fall fraught with awful danger. To stand erect and pursue the even tenor of our way is a blessing which only God can give, which is worthy of the divine hand, and worthy also of perennial gratitude. Our feet shall move in progress, but they shall not be moved to their overthrow

How do you set your course? If you wish to remain vIHHa', unmoved - just ask, and He'll be happy to set you on the right course!

ghaH DichDaq ghobe' allow lIj qam Daq taH vIHta'. He will not allow your foot to be moved. Psalms 121:3a

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