Judgment against the wicked (Mal 3:5-3:5)

“‘Then I will draw near

To you

For judgment.

I will be swift

To bear witness

Against the sorcerers,

Against the adulterers,

Against those who swear falsely,

Against those who oppress

The hired workers

In their wages,

Against those who oppress

The widow

With the orphan,

Against those who thrust aside

The alien,

Against those who

Do not fear me.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.”

Yahweh was going to deliver his judgment against various wicked people.  He was gong to bear a swift witness against them.  Then he specifically mentioned them, the sorcerers, the adulterers, and the liars.  He also would bear judgment against those who oppressed their hired workers, the widows, and the orphans.  He also would bear witness against those people who did not treat aliens correctly or did not fear Yahweh.  There was no ambiguity in what he was talking about.

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Israel does not need a king or Yahweh (Hos 10:3-10:4)

“Now they will say.

‘We have no king!

We do not fear Yahweh!

What could a king

Do for us?’

They utter mere words.

They make covenants

With empty oaths.

Thus,

Litigation springs up

Like poisonous weeds,

In the furrows of the field.”

Now the Israelites would say that they did not need a king. They did not fear Yahweh. What good would a king do for them? The Israelites had become very independent. As a result, they uttered mere words. They made false treaties. This then led to contentious litigation and lawyers springing up like poisonous weeds in the well tilled fields. This state of anarchy led to all kinds of disputes.

Yahweh is the great one (Jer 10:6-10:7)

“There is none like you!

Yahweh! You are great!

Your name is great in might!

Who would not fear you?

O King of the nations!

That is your due.

Among all the wise ones of the nations,

In all their kingdoms,

There is no one like you.”

Jeremiah proclaims in strong terms that there is no one like Yahweh, his God. Yahweh is great. Everyone should fear Yahweh. Thus they should give him his due, since he is the king of all the nations. Even among all the wise men, in all the various kingdoms, there is no one like Yahweh.

The stubborn rebellious heart (Jer 5:22-5:25)

“‘Do you not fear me?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Do you not tremble before me?

I placed the sand

As a boundary for the sea.

This is a perpetual barrier

That it cannot pass.

Though the waves toss,

They cannot prevail.

Though they roar,

They cannot pass over it.

But these people have a stubborn heart.

They have a rebellious heart.

They have turned aside.

They have gone away.

They do not say in their hearts.

‘Let us fear Yahweh our God.

He gives the rain in its season.

He gives the autumn rain.

He gives the spring rain.

He keeps for us

The weeks appointed for the harvest.’

Your iniquities have turned these away.

Your sins have deprived you of good.”

Why don’t they fear Yahweh? Why don’t they tremble before him? Yahweh has placed sand as a perpetual barrier against the sea so that the sea cannot pass over it. Even though the waves toss and roar, they still were not able to prevail and pass over the sand. They have a stubborn and rebellious heart. They have turned away and gone astray. They do not fear Yahweh their God. Yahweh gives the perfect rain for every season with autumn and spring rains. Yet they have sunshine for the harvest time. Yahweh, via Jeremiah reminds them that their iniquities have turned them away from him. Their sins have deprived them of the good things in life.

Fear Yahweh (Prov 31:28-31:31)

Shin

“Charm is deceitful.

Beauty is vain.

But a woman

Who fears Yahweh

Is to be praised.

Tav

Give her a share

In the fruit of her hands.

Let her works praise her

In the city gates.”

Although charm and beauty are deceitful and vain, a woman who fears Yahweh is to be praised. She should share in the fruits of her hands. She should be praised at the city gates among the elders of the village. So Proverbs comes to an end with this eulogy to the perfect hard working wife. It is interesting to note that this author says that charm and beauty are not what makes a good wife.

Fear Yahweh (Prov 24:21-24:22)

“My child!

Fear Yahweh!

Fear the king!

Do not disobey either of them!

Disaster comes from them suddenly.

Who knows the ruin that both can bring?”

You are to fear Yahweh. However, a new element has been added, the king. You are to fear the king just like Yahweh. You are not to disobey either of them. Disaster can come suddenly to you. Either one of them can bring ruin to you. Thus we see the divine right of kings, as the king takes the place of God here on earth. You should listen to both of them equally. You should fear both of them equally, since the king is practically divine.

Riches (Prov 22:1-22:4)

“A good name is to be chosen

Rather than great riches.

Favor is better than silver or gold.

The rich and the poor have this in common.

Yahweh is the maker of them all.

The clever see danger.

They hide.

But the simple go on.

They suffer for it.

The reward for humility is

Riches,

Honor,

Life.

The reward for fear of Yahweh is

Riches,

Honor,

Life.”

Interesting enough, a good name is better than riches. But then these proverbs go on to explain that richness and wealth is a reward for a good life. Favor with God is better than gold and silver. Both the rich and the poor have one thing in common. God made both of them. Now the clever or prudent ones see danger and they hide. However, the simple ones see the same danger, but they keep going on. Thus they suffer this danger. If you are humble, you will have a life of riches and honor. The same goes for those who fear Yahweh. They too will have a rich and honorable life.