Fear of the Lord (Sir 34:14-34:20)

“The spirit of those

Who fear the Lord

Will live.

Their hope is in him

Who saves them.

Those who fear the Lord

Will not be timid.

They will not play the coward.

He is their hope.

Happy is the soul

That fears the Lord!

To whom does he look?

Who is his support?

The eyes of the Lord

Are on those who love him.

The Lord is a mighty shield.

The Lord is a strong support.

The Lord is a shelter

From the scorching wind.

The Lord is a shade

From the noonday sun.

The Lord is a guard

Against stumbling.

The Lord is a help

Against falling.

He lifts up the soul.

He makes the eyes sparkle.

He gives health.

He gives life.

He gives blessings.”

Sirach emphasizes the importance of fearing God with its consequences. Those who fear the Lord will live. They have hope that the Lord will save them. They will not be cowards or timid. The reason for their hope is that the Lord supports them. He loves them since he is like a shield. He provides shelter for them against the hot winds and shade against the hot midday sun. The Lord keeps them from stumbling or falling. He lifts up their souls as he makes their eyes sparkle. He gives them health, life and blessings. A lot of good things happen when you fear the Lord.

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Faithful Yahweh (Ps 145:13-145:20)

Nun

Yahweh is faithful in all his words.

He is gracious in all his deeds.

Samek

Yahweh upholds all who are falling.

He raises up all who are bowed down.

Ain

The eyes of all look to you.

You give them their food in due season.

Phe

You open your hand.

You satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Cade

Yahweh is just in all his ways.

He is kind in all his doings.

Qoph

Yahweh is near to all who call upon him.

He is near to all who call upon him in truth.

Resh

He fulfills the desire of all who fear him.

He also hears their cry.

He saves them.

Shin

Yahweh watches over all who love him.

But he will destroy all the wicked.”

Yahweh is faithful in his words and gracious in his deeds. He holds up all who are falling. He raises up those bowed down. He gives them food in due season. He opens his hand to fulfill desires. Yahweh is just in his ways and kind in his actions. He is near to those who truthfully call upon him. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him. He can hear their cry and save them. He watches over all those who love him. However, he will destroy the wicked. The next 8 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are found here in italic.

Yahweh will help defeat the wicked (Ps 94:16-90:23)

“Who rises up for me against the wicked?

Who stands up for me against evildoers?

If Yahweh had not been my help,

My soul would soon have lived

In the land of silence.

When I thought.

‘My foot slips,’

Your steadfast love held me up.

Yahweh!

When the cares of my heart are many,

Your consolations cheer my soul.

Can wicked rulers be allied with you?

Who are those who contrive mischief by statute?

They band together against the life of the righteous.

They condemn the innocent to death.

But Yahweh has become my stronghold.

Yahweh is my God.

Yahweh is the rock of my refuge.

He will repay them for their iniquity.

He will wipe them out for their wickedness.

Yahweh!

Our God will wipe them out.”

This psalm concludes with the psalmist not worried. Yahweh has already helped him, keeping him from falling. He has risen up against the wicked and the evildoers. He was the consolation of his heart. The evildoers and the wicked joined together to condemn the innocent. However, his God, Yahweh, had repaid them because of their wickedness. They will be wiped out because Yahweh is the rock of his refuge, the stronghold for this psalmist.

Thanksgiving to God (Ps 56:12-56:13)

“My vows to you

I must perform,

O God!

I will render thanksgiving offerings to you.

You have delivered my soul from death.

You have delivered my feet from falling.

Thus I may walk before God

In the light of life.”

This psalm ends with a thanksgiving to God. David renews his vows to give a thanksgiving offering to God. God had delivered him from death. He had kept his feet from falling. Thus he now was able to walk before God in the light of life instead of death.

The city of God (Ps 46:4-46:7)

“There is a river whose streams

Make glad the city of God.

This is the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of the city.

It shall not be moved.

God will help it

When the morning dawns.

The nations are in an uproar.

The kingdoms totter.

He utters his voice.

The earth melts.

Yahweh of hosts is with us.

The God of Jacob is our refuge.”

Selah

The symbolic river around the holy city of Jerusalem called streams only leads to the enchantment of this city of God. Those who live there are holy because God is in the midst of them. The city will not be moved since God is with them from early morning on. Even when the nations are in an uproar, or kingdoms are falling, God’s voice would be there to melt the earth. This section ends with the refrain of Yahweh, the God of Jacob, as his refuge. Perhaps this should have been in the first section also, before the Selah, musical interlude pause, as it is here.