The assembly at the statue dedication (Dan 3:3-3:3)

“Then the satraps,

The prefects,

The governors,

The counselors,

The treasurers,

The justices,

The magistrates,

All the officials

Of the provinces,

Assembled

For the dedication

Of the statue

That King Nebuchadnezzar

Had set up.

They stood before

The statue

That King Nebuchadnezzar

Had set up.”

Guess what! All these officials showed up for the dedication of this statue. The satraps, the prefects, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered around the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. They all understood that the request was really an order to show up.

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Wisdom and knowledge (Prov 24:3-24:7)

“By wisdom

A house is built.

By understanding

The house is established.

By knowledge

The rooms are filled

With all precious and pleasant riches.

Wise warriors are mightier

Than strong ones.

Those who have knowledge are mightier

Than those who have strength.

By wise guidance

You can wage your war.

In an abundance of counselors

There is victory.

Wisdom is too high for fools.

At the gate

They do not open their mouths.”

You need wisdom and understanding to build a house. You need knowledge so that you can fill up the rooms with precious and pleasant rich items. The wise knowledgeable warrior is mightier than the physically strong warrior. You need wise guidance to wage a war. The more counselors you have, the greater the possibility of victory. Fools think that wisdom is too high and foolish. Thus at the meetings at the gate, they say nothing.

City life (Prov 11:10-11:14)

“When it goes well with the righteous,

The city rejoices.

When the wicked perish

There is jubilation.

By the blessing of the upright,

A city is exalted.

But the city is overthrown

By the mouth of the wicked.

Whoever belittles another

Lacks sense.

But an intelligent person remains silent.

A gossip goes about telling secrets.

But one who is trustworthy in spirit

Keeps a confidence.

Where there is no guidance,

A nation falls.

But in an abundance of counselors

There is safety.”

The city dwellers are happy with the righteous. They rejoice when all goes well with them. However, they are just as happy when the wicked perish. The city dwellers exalt at the blessings of the upright. However, the words of the wicked can overthrow a city. Anyone who belittles another lacks sense because the intelligent person keeps silent. You cannot trust gossips that go about telling secrets because they are not trustworthy. If there is no guidance, a city or country will fall. It is much better when there are many counselors, since they will keep the city or country safe.

Job would prefer the eternal rest in death (Job 3:11-3:19)

“Why did I not die at birth?

Why did I not come forth from the womb and then expire?

Why were there knees to receive me?

Why were there breasts for me to suck?

Now I would be lying down and quiet.

I would be asleep.

Then I would be at rest.

With kings and counselors of the earth.

They rebuilt ruins for themselves.

I would be asleep with princes who had gold,

Who filled their houses with silver.

Why was I not buried like a stillborn child?

Why was I not like an infant that never sees the light?

There the wicked cease from troubling.

There the weary are at rest.

There the prisoners are at ease together.

They do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.

The small and the great are there.

The slave is free from his master.”

Job would prefer to be dead. Why didn’t he die at childbirth? Why didn’t he die as he left the womb? Why were there people to receive him? Why were there breasts to suck on? Otherwise, he could have eternal rest and quiet just like the kings, counselors, and princes with their monuments, gold, and silver. Why wasn’t he stillborn? He could be with the wicked who have no troubles, the prisoners who have no cares, and the slaves who have no masters. Death appears as a time of rest and no more troubles. Both the great and the small die. All have that eternal rest. This is often the allure of those who are thinking about suicide. However, I believe that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.