The sixth beatitude on pure of heart (Mt 5:8-5:8)

“Blessed are

The pure in heart!

They will see God.”

 

μακάριοι οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ, ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν Θεὸν ὄψονται.

 

The happy, blessed, and fortunate ones (μακάριοι) would be those who have a pure heart (οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ).  Their reward would be that they would see or behold God (ὅτι αὐτοὶ τὸν Θεὸν ὄψονται).  The heart was considered the center of thought and will.  Thus, we often hear people today who say that a person has a good heart.  They are good hearted.  The heart represents the whole person, so if the heart is pure, the whole person was pure.  Only the pure in heart would see God, which was a special reward.  In Psalm 24:3-4, they wanted to know who could ascend the hill to enter the holy place of Yahweh’s Temple.  Only those who had clean hands and a pure heart could enter the holy place, since they could not have a false or deceptive heart.  Then, they would receive the blessing from Yahweh.  They were the ones who would see the face of the God of Jacob.

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The sinful confession of the people (Jer 14:7-14:9)

“Although our iniquities testify

Against us,

Act!

Yahweh!

For your name’s sake!

Our apostasies are many.

We have sinned against you.

O hope of Israel!

Its savior in time of trouble!

Why should you be

Like a stranger in the land?

Why should you be

Like a traveler turning aside for the night?

Why should you be

Like someone confused?

Why should you be

Like a mighty warrior who cannot give help?

Yet you!

O Yahweh!

Are in the midst of us!

We are called by your name.

Do not forsake us!”

Here Jeremiah has the people of Judah confessing their sins to Yahweh. They were asking for help in no uncertain terms. Their iniquities and back sliding apostasies were many. They knew that they did not have clean hands. They admitted that they had sinned against Yahweh. However, they were placing their hope in Yahweh during this time of trouble. They wanted to know why God was like a stranger in this own land. Why was he like a traveler who was just looking for a night’s sleep? Why was he, a mighty warrior, not able to help out? Yahweh was there with them, since they are called by his name. They did not want Yahweh to give up on them.

Who can go into the sanctuary? (Ps 24:3-24:6)

“Who shall ascend the hill of Yahweh?

Who shall stand in his holy place?

Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,

Those who do not lift up their soul to what is false,

Those who do not swear deceitfully,

They will receive blessings from Yahweh.

Vindication comes from the God of their salvation.

Such is the company of those who seek him.

They are the ones who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Selah”

Who can enter the sanctuary or the holy place? Who can ascend the hill to be with Yahweh? They have to have clean hands and a pure heart. They cannot be false or deceptive. They will receive the blessings from Yahweh. Only God can vindicate their salvation. These are the ones who will seek and see the face of the God of Jacob. This section ends with a Selah, a musical pause or meditation. Notice that they are seeking the face of God of Jacob, not Israel.

Eliphaz wants Job to reconcile with God (Job 22:21-22:30)

“Agree with God!

Be at peace!

In this way good will come to you.

Receive instruction from his mouth.

Lay up his words in your heart.

If you return to the Almighty Shaddai,

You will be restored.

If you remove unrighteousness from your tents,

If you treat gold like dust,

If you treat the gold of Ophir like the stones of the torrent bed,

If the Almighty Shaddai is your gold,

If the Almighty Shaddai is your precious silver,

Then you will delight yourself in the Almighty Shaddai.

Lift up your face to God!

You will pray to him!

He will hear you.

You will pay your vows!

You will decide on a matter!

It will be established for you.

Light will shine on your ways.

When others are humiliated,

You say it is pride.

God saves the humble.

He will deliver even those who are guilty.

They will escape

Because of the cleanness of your hands.”

Eliphaz wanted Job to admit his guilt so that everything would be fine. He wanted him to just agree with God. Then Job would be at peace. He should listen to God and admit his failings. He wanted him to return to the almighty Shaddai. The almighty one should be his gold, silver, and precious metal. Then he could lift up his face to God since God would hear his prayers. God does not like the haughty, but prefers the humble. Eliphaz wanted Job to be humble before God. Thus even if he was guilty, God would forgive him because of his clean hands.

Job proclaims his terrible situation (Job 17:6-17:10)

“He has made me a byword of the peoples.

I am one before whom men spit.

My eye has grown dim from grief,

All my members are like a shadow.

Upright men are appalled at this.

The innocent men stir themselves up against the godless.

Yet the righteous men hold to their way.

They that have clean hands grow stronger and stronger.

But you,

Come back now.

All of you,

I shall not find a sensible person among you.”

Job has become a byword, a fable, or a symbol for the people. People spit at him. His eyes are failing. His body is a shadow of what it once was. Upright people are appalled at him. The innocent and righteous people hold their own, as their clean hands grow stronger each day. However, among the friends of Job, he could not find a sensible man.