Jesus calms the sea (Lk 8:24-8:24)

“They went

To Jesus.

They woke him up.

Shouting.

‘Master!

Master!

We are perishing!’

Jesus woke up.

He rebuked the wind

And the raging waves.

They ceased.

So that

There was a calm.”

 

προσελθόντες δὲ διήγειραν αὐτὸν λέγοντες Ἐπιστάτα ἐπιστάτα, ἀπολλύμεθα. ὁ δὲ διεγερθεὶς ἐπετίμησεν τῷ ἀνέμῳ καὶ τῷ κλύδωνι τοῦ ὕδατος· καὶ ἐπαύσαντο, καὶ ἐγένετο γαλήνη.

 

Luke said that the disciples went to Jesus (προσελθόντες).  They woke him up (δὲ διήγειραν αὐτὸν), shouting at him (λέγοντες) “Master (Ἐπιστάτα)!  Master (Ἐπιστάτα)!  We are perishing (ἀπολλύμεθα)!”  Jesus then woke up (ὁ δὲ διεγερθεὶς).  He rebuked (ἐπετίμησεν) the wind (τῷ ἀνέμῳ) and the raging water waves (καὶ τῷ κλύδωνι τοῦ ὕδατος), so that they ceased (καὶ ἐπαύσαντο).  Finally, there was a calm sea (καὶ ἐγένετο γαλήνη).  This waking of Jesus and calming the waters can be found in Matthew, chapter 8:25-26, and Mark chapter 4:38-39, in a somewhat similar fashion.  Matthew said that these disciples went to wake up Jesus.  They cried out to him calling him “the Lord (Κύριε)”.  They wanted to be saved or rescued, because they were dying or facing certain death.  They were definitely afraid and scared.  After waking up, Jesus then turned to his followers and asked them why they were afraid.  Was it because they had little faith?  The unfaithful “ὀλιγόπιστοι” was a favorite word of Matthew.  Then Jesus got up.  He then rebuked or admonished the winds and the sea itself, so that there was a great calm in the air and on the sea.  Jesus called out his disciples for their lack of faith or trust, while showing his great power.  Mark was not as frantic, but he had more details.  He said that Jesus was in the stern or the back of the boat, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke up Jesus as Mark said that they called Jesus “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).”  They said that Jesus did not care if they were perishing, or facing certain death.  They were definitely afraid and scared.  Notice that they did not call Jesus “Lord, Κύριε” as in Matthew, but rather “Teacher, Διδάσκαλε.”  Mark said that after Jesus woke up, he then rebuked or admonished the wind.  Then he spoke to the sea itself, as he told the sea to be silent, peaceful, and still   Thus, the wind abated or was still.  There was a great calmness in the sea.  Do you believe that God controls the wind and the sea?

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Yahweh controls nature (Zech 10:1-10:3)

“Ask rain from Yahweh

In the season

Of the spring rain!

Yahweh makes

The storm clouds.

He gives

Showers of rain

To you.

He gives

The vegetation in the field

To everyone.

The teraphim

Utter nonsense.

The diviners

See lies.

The dreamers

Tell false dreams.

They give

Empty consolation.

Therefore,

The people wander

Like sheep.

They suffer

For lack of a shepherd.

My anger is hot

Against the shepherds.

I will punish the leaders.

Yahweh of hosts

Cares for his flock.”

Yahweh is in charge of the world.  If you want rain, ask Yahweh for spring rains, since he controls storm clouds and rain showers.  He provides the vegetation for the fields.  However, there are various people like teraphim, some kind of diviners or dreamers, who have lied and uttered nonsense.  They provided false dreams and empty consolations.  Thus, the people suffer like sheep who wander around, because they have no shepherd to lead them.  Yahweh was angry at his shepherd leaders, so that he was going to punish them, because they did not care for his flock.

The unhumble king (Dan 5:22-5:23)

“‘You!

His son!

King Belshazzar!

Have not humbled

Your heart,

Even though

You knew all this!

You have exalted yourself

Against the Lord of heaven!

The vessels

Of his temple

Have been brought in

Before you.

You,

Your lords,

Your wives,

Your concubines,

Have been drinking wine

From them.

You have praised

The gods

Of silver

Of gold,

Of bronze,

Of iron,

Of wood,

Of stone.

They do not

See,

Hear,

Or know.

You have not honored

The God

In whose power

Is your very breath,

To whom belong

All your ways.’”

Daniel then turned to King Belshazzar himself, because he had not humbled his heart, even though he knew all about his father or grandfather. He too exalted himself against the Lord of heaven. He even took the vessels from his holy temple for his feast or party to drink wine with his lords, wives, and concubines. He even praised the false idol gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone who could not see, hear, or know anything. He did not honor the true God, who controls his life and his actions.

The Creator (Isa 40:21-40:24)

“Have you not known?

Have you not heard?

Has it not been told you

From the beginning?

Have you not understood

From the foundations of the earth?

It is he

Who sits above the circle of the earth.

Its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.

He stretches out the heavens

Like a curtain.

He spreads them

Like a tent to live in.

He brings princes to naught.

He makes the rulers of the earth

As nothing.

Scarcely are they planted,

Scarcely sown,

Scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,

When he blows upon them,

They wither.

The tempest carries them off

Like stubble.”

Second Isaiah continues to use the questioning style to make his point. He seems to call attention to the ignorance of the people. Do they not understand that God created them? God sits on top of the dome over the earth in the heavens, As Second Isaiah was expressing the cosmology of his day. God has stretched out the heavens like a curtain or a tent. All humans are like grasshoppers since he has such a lofty view. He controls the earthly princes and rulers. As soon as someone plants something and it begins to take roots, he blows on it and it withers. Then he sends a tempest storm to carry it off as stubble. Clearly God is in control as the creator of this world and the things in it.

The seas (Sir 43:23-43:26)

“By the Lord’s plan,

He stilled the great deep sea.

He planted islands in it.

Those who sail the sea

Tell of its dangers.

We marvel at

What we hear.

In the sea

Are strange creatures.

In the sea

Are marvelous works.

There are

All kinds of living things.

There are

Huge sea-monsters.

Because of him,

Each of his messengers succeeds.

By his word

All things hold together.”

Next Sirach explains how the Lord controls and stills the seas. The Lord planted the islands in these seas. Many sailors tell of their dangerous adventures on the high seas, mostly on the Mediterranean Sea. Within these waters, there are many strange and marvelous creatures. Among the many living things in the sea are the sea monsters, in particular Leviathan that played a major role in biblical stories, particularly in the book of Job, chapter 41. All these things stay together because of the power of the Lord.

The useless tongue (Sir 37:16-37:21)

“Discussion

Is at the beginning of every work.

Counsel precedes every undertaking.

The mind

Is the root of all conduct.

It sprouts four branches,

Good and evil,

Life and death.

The tongue continually rules them.

Some people may be

Clever enough to teach many.

Yet they may be

Useless to themselves.

A skilful speaker may be hated.

He will be destitute of all food.

The Lord has withheld

The gift of charm.

He is lacking in all wisdom.”

Sirach points out that some discussion precedes all actions. Thus counsel and advice precede any undertaking. The mind is the source of all conduct. There are 4 branches to the mind, good, evil, life, and death. This is hard to figure out. I am not sure how the mind controls life and death, except spiritually. Good and evil are easy to see. The tongue rules over all 4 branches. Once again, it is hard to see how the tongue controls life and death other than in a spiritual way. Some people are clever enough to teach others, but not worth much to themselves. You can be a skilled but hated speaker, so that you might end up with not much food. The Lord may have withheld charm from this speaker, since he is lacking in wisdom.

Praise Yahweh for all he does for you (Ps 147:12-147:20)

“Praise Yahweh!

O Jerusalem!

Praise your God!

O Zion!

He strengthens the bars of your gates.

He blesses your sons within you.

He grants peace in your borders.

He fills you with the finest of wheat.

He sends out his command to the earth.

His word runs swiftly.

He gives snow like wool.

He scatters frost like ashes.

He hurls down hail like crumbs.

Who can stand before his cold?

He sends out his word.

He melts them.

He makes his wind blow.

He makes the waters flow.

He declares his word to Jacob.

He declares his statutes and ordinances to Israel.

He has not dealt thus with any other nation.

They do not know his ordinances.

Praise Yahweh!”

The end of this alleluia psalm naturally has the phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” This section begins and ends with that phrase. This is a long description of what Yahweh is doing in the current time to help Israel with the use of the present tense. He keeps the bars strong on the gates into the town. He blesses them with children. He grants them peace at home. He fills them with a good harvest of wheat. Yahweh commands the whole earth. His word controls the climate as snow, frost, and hail follow his command. He sends out his wind to make the snow melt and the waters flow in the various rivers. He has given his word, his statutes, and his ordinances to Jacob or Israel. No other nation is like Israel. Notice that this is not the Mosaic code but the ordinances of Jacob.