Yahweh’s controversy (Mic 6:1-6:2)

“Hear what Yahweh says!

‘Rise!

Plead your case

Before the mountains!

Let the hills hear

Your voice.

Hear

The controversy of Yahweh!

You mountains!

You enduring foundations

Of the earth!

Yahweh has a controversy

With his people.

He will contend with Israel.”

Yahweh wanted them to rise up and plead their case.  He wanted them to do this before the mountains.  All the great communications between Yahweh and his people took place on the mountains or the hills, the closest that humans could get to heaven.  Yahweh then spoke directly to the mountains, called them ‘you’.  Yahweh had a controversy with his people, the Israelites.  This controversy was that they had forgotten how to walk with Yahweh.  They had forgotten the sayings and actions of their ancestors.  He was going to contend with them.

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The explanation (Dan 10:20-10:21)

“Then he said.

‘Do you know

Why I have come to you?

Now I must return

To fight

Against the prince of Persia.

When I am

Through with him,

The prince of Greece

Will come.

But I will tell you

What is inscribed

In the book of truth.

There is no one

Who contends

Against these,

Except Michael,

Your prince.’”

Then this angel told Daniel why he was there. He had come to fight against the prince of Persia. However, he had to go to fight against the prince of Greece, after he had finished with the prince of Persia. Nevertheless, this angel was going to tell Daniel what was written in the book of truth. No one could contend with these great empires in Persia and Greece except for him and the prince Michael, the archangel Michael. Thus, this chapter ends with no real solution to the situation.

God will vindicate the servant of Yahweh (Isa 50:7-50:9)

“Yahweh God helps me.

Therefore I have not been disgraced.

Therefore I have set my face

Like a flint.

I know that I shall not be put to shame.

He who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me?

Let us stand up together.

Who are my adversaries?

Let them confront me.

It is Yahweh God who helps me.

Who will declare me guilty?

All of them will wear out

Like a garment.

The moth will eat them up.”

Second Isaiah says that this suffering servant will be vindicated. God would help him, so that he can suffer for God’s sake. This servant had a hard flint like face, because he knew that he would not be put to shame. Yahweh was near to him. Who was going to contend with this servant? Where were his adversaries? He would stand together with Yahweh. Let them try to confront him, because God would help him. No one will declare him guilty.   All of them will wear out like a moth eaten old garment. Thus this is suffering for God with a clear purpose.

God is greater than any mortal man (Job 33:12-33:22)

“But in this you are not right.

I will answer you.

God is greater than any mortal man.

Why do you contend against him?

You say.

‘He will answer none of my words.’

God speaks in one way.

God speaks in two ways,

Although people do not perceive it.

In a dream,

In a vision of the night,

When deep sleep falls on mortals,

While they slumber on their beds,

Then he opens the ears of men.

He terrifies them with warnings.

So that he may turn man aside from their deeds.

He tries to keep them from pride.

He wants to spare their souls from the pit.

He wants to spare their lives from traversing the river.

They are also chastened with pain upon their beds.

They have continual strife in their bones.

Their lives loathe bread.

Their appetites loathe dainty food.

Their flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen.

Their bones, once invisible, now stick out.

Their souls draw near the pit.

Their lives draw near to those who bring death.”

Elihu felt that Job was wrong. He cannot contend against God, since God is greater than any mortal. Job was complaining that God was not listening and communicating with him. Elihu explained that God communicated in 1 or 2 ways but people do not understand it. Sometimes, he communicates via a dream when people are asleep with terrifying results. Other times, God strikes mortals with painful illness while they are in their beds also. This painful experience may be a learning experience. They get so sick that they do not want to eat anything. They waste away so that all that you see are their bones sticking out through their skin as they get close to death. So God does communicate but we mortals do not hear or understand dreams and illness. The pit may mean a burial place or Sheol, but probably just a burial place.