Preparing for war (Lk 14:31-14:31)

“What king,

Going to wage war,

Against another king

Will not sit down

First.

Will he not consider

Whether he is able

With ten thousand

To oppose the one

Who comes

Against him

With twenty thousand?”

 

Ἢ τίς βασιλεὺς πορευόμενος ἑτέρῳ βασιλεῖ συμβαλεῖν εἰς πόλεμον οὐχὶ καθίσας πρῶτον βουλεύσεται εἰ δυνατός ἐστιν ἐν δέκα χιλιάσιν ὑπαντῆσαι τῷ μετὰ εἴκοσι χιλιάδων ἐρχομένῳ ἐπ’ αὐτόν;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told another unique story about a king (Ἢ τίς βασιλεὺς), who was planning to go to wage war (συμβαλεῖν εἰς πόλεμον) against another king (πορευόμενος ἑτέρῳ βασιλεῖ).  Would he not first sit down (οὐχὶ καθίσας πρῶτον) and consider or take counsel (βουλεύσεται) whether he was able (εἰ δυνατός ἐστιν) with ten thousand troops (ἐν δέκα χιλιάσιν) to oppose the other king who came (ὑπαντῆσαι) against him with twenty thousand troops (τῷ μετὰ εἴκοσι χιλιάδων ἐρχομένῳ ἐπ’ αὐτόν)?  Once again, Jesus was pointing out the importance of planning before any action.  Are you a good planner?

 

The distress of everybody (Ezek 7:25-7:27)

“When anguish comes,

They will seek peace.

But there shall be none.

Disaster comes

Upon disaster.

Rumor follows

Rumor.

They shall keep

Seeking a vision

From the prophet.

Instruction shall perish

From the priest.

Counsel shall fail

From the elders.

The king mourns.

The prince shall be

Wrapped in despair.

The hands

Of the people

Of the land

Shall tremble.

According to their way,

I will deal with them.

According to their own judgments

I will judge them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh concluded this oracle or vision to Ezekiel. In these times of trouble, they would seek peace, but there would be none. Disaster would come upon disaster. Rumor would follow rumor. They would keep looking for a vision from their prophets, but none would come. The priests would fail to instruct them. Counsel from the elders would fail. The king would mourn. The princes would be in despair. The hands of the land people would tremble. According to their ways, Yahweh would deal with them. According to their own judgments, Yahweh would judge them. They would know that Yahweh God was in charge. He was Yahweh.

The prayer of Jeremiah to the all powerful God (Jer 32:17-32:19)

“O Lord God!

It is you!

You made the heavens!

You made the earth!

By your great power!

By your outstretched arm!

Nothing is too hard for you!

You show steadfast love

To the thousandth generation.

But you repay

The guilt of parents

Into the laps of their children

After them.

O great mighty God!

Your name is Yahweh of hosts!

You are great in counsel!

You are mighty in deeds!

Your eyes are open

To all the ways of mortals!

You reward all

According to their ways,

According to the fruit

Of their doings!”

Jeremiah’s prays to an all powerful God, who has made heaven and earth by his potent outstretched hand. There is nothing too hard for God to do. God’s love lasts over 1,000 generations. However, he repays the guilt of the parents by putting it into the laps of their children, who come after them. Yahweh of hosts is the name of this God, who is great and mighty in deeds. He gives counsel, as his eyes are open to the various ways of mortals. He rewards humans according to their ways and the fruit of their actions.

The plot against Jeremiah (Jer 18:18-18:18)

“Then they said.

‘Come!

Let us make plots against Jeremiah!

Instruction shall not perish

From the priest.

Counsel shall not perish

From the wise.

The word shall not perish

From the prophet.

Come!

Let us bring charges against him!

Let us not heed any of his words!’”

This unidentified they, maybe the people of Anathoth mentioned in chapter 11, are making a plot against Jeremiah. This is Jeremiah reporting about a plot against himself. These people said, that if they got rid of Jeremiah, the priests would still instruct, the wise would still counsel people, and the prophets would still prophesize. Thus they decided to bring charges against him. They were not going to listen to his words anymore.

Yahweh is a universal God (Isa 45:20-45:21)

“Assemble yourselves!

Come together!

You survivors of the nations!

They have no knowledge.

They carry about their wooden idols.

They keep on praying to a god

That cannot save.

Declare!

Present your case!

Let them take counsel together!

Who told this long ago?

Who declared it of old?

Was it not I?

Yahweh?

There is no other god besides me.

I am a righteous God!

I am a Savior!

There is no one besides me.”

Next Second Isaiah has Yahweh proclaim to all the nations that he is the only God. Yahweh wanted all the survivors of the various nations to assemble and come together. They were stupid, since they carry around their wooden idols. They pray to these wooden idols that cannot save them. Let them make their case and counsel together. Who was able to tell about things long ago before they actually happened? Only Yahweh was able to do that. There is no other god besides Yahweh, who is a righteous God who saves. Yahweh defends himself against all these other gods.

Yahweh pleads for the Moabites (Isa 16:3-16:4)

“‘Give counsel!

Grant justice!

Make your shade

Like night

At the height of noon!

Hide the outcasts!

Do not betray the fugitive!

Let the outcasts of Moab

Settle among you!

Be a refuge to them

From the destroyer!’”

This appears to be an oracle from Yahweh, via Isaiah, asking the people of Judah to help the Moabites. Yahweh wanted them to grant counsel and justice to the Moabites. They were to provide noonday shade or protection for these fugitive immigrants. They were to hide these outcasts, who should not be betrayed. The Moabites should be allowed to settle among them as refugees from the Assyrian destroyer. This is a great plea to the Israelites to help the displaced neighboring people of Moab.

The Spirit of Yahweh (Isa 11:1-11:3)

“A shoot shall come out

From the stump of Jesse.

A branch shall grow out

Of his roots.

The Spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon him,

The spirit of wisdom,

The spirit of understanding,

The spirit of counsel.

The spirit of might,

The spirit of knowledge,

The spirit of piety,

The fear of Yahweh.

His delight shall be

In the fear of Yahweh.”

In this oracle of Yahweh, via Isaiah, the Spirit of Yahweh, the Lord, will rest upon a future king. This king will have his roots in Jesse, the father of David. Thus the Spirit of Yahweh will rest upon someone in the royal line of David. Thus there was great concern to have Jesus be in the line of David, via Joseph. What is the Spirit of Yahweh? For many Christians, it is what they call the “Holy Spirit.” Thus the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of the Lord are one and the same. Since the early CE centuries, Christians have associated this Spirit of Yahweh with anointing, the laying on of hands, or as the western Christians, since the Middle Ages, like to call it confirmation. Thus this sevenfold gift prayer of the Holy Spirit has been part of the Roman Catholic confirmation ritual. The 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit are then wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. In fact, this almost sounds like the later sapiential literature with its emphasis on wisdom and the fear of God. Thus the Christians, with their anointing or confirmation, see the special gift of the Holy Spirit, as described here in Isaiah, present in their ritual worship service of chrismation or confirmation.