The sinful ancestors (Bar 1:19-1:20)

“From the time

When the Lord

Brought our ancestors

Out of the land of Egypt

Until today,

We have been disobedient

To the Lord,

Our God.

We have been negligent,

In not heeding

His voice.

So to this day,

There have clung to us

The calamities,

The curse,

That the Lord declared

Through his servant

Moses

At the time

When he brought

Our ancestors

Out of the land of Egypt

To give us

A land flowing

With milk and honey.”

The Lord brought their ancestors out of Egypt. However, even from the beginning of this relationship, their ancestors were negligent, not listening to the voice of God. They would rather be cursed and live in calamity than follow their God. Moses his servant was clear. God was going to lead them into a land flowing with milk and honey. How many times have you heard that? Their ancestors had set the stage for the later disobedience and negligence towards God.

The test of Yahweh (Ps 95:7-95:11)

“O that today you would listen to his voice!

Do not harden your hearts,

As at Meribah,

As on the day at Massah

In the wilderness.

Your ancestors tested me.

They put me to the proof,

Even though they had seen my work.

For forty years I loathed that generation.

I said.

‘They are a people whose hearts go astray.

They do not regard my ways.’

Therefore in my anger

I swore.

‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

This psalm concludes with an oracle from God, via the Temple prophet. Yahweh warns them against disobedience. The example of disobedience is from the time in the wilderness at Meribah and Massah in Exodus, chapter 17, when they complained about no water in the desert. The same story can be found in Numbers, chapter 20. Their ancestors had tested him even though they had seen his work in Egypt. Yahweh then said to them that their hearts had gone astray. Therefore they would not enter into the place of rest, the Promised Land.