Good news (Lk 2:10-2:10)

“But the angel

Said to them.

‘Do not be afraid!

See!

I am bringing you

Good news

Of great joy

For all the people.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος Μὴ φοβεῖσθε· ἰδοὺ γὰρ εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην, ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ,

 

Luke said that the unnamed angel tried to reassure these shepherds not to be fearful.  This angel said to them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος) that they should not be afraid (Μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  He said that they should see or realize that he was bringing them good news or the gospel news like a Roman proclamation (ἰδοὺ γὰρ εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν) of great joy (χαρὰν μεγάλην) that would be for all the people (ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ).  The angel said that he had some good news for them and their fellow Israelites.

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The conversion of the sailors to Yahweh (Jon 1:16-1:16)

“Then the sailors

Feared Yahweh even more.

They offered a sacrifice

To Yahweh.

They made vows

To Yahweh.”

Thus, Jonah, despite his attempt to run away, converted these sailors to the worship of Yahweh.  Once the sea was calm, they were even more fearful of Jonah’s God, Yahweh.  Thus, they offered a sacrifice and made vows to Yahweh, the God who calmed the seas.

Eat and drink with trembling (Ezek 12:17-12:20)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Eat your bread

With quaking!

Drink your water

With trembling!

Be fearful!

Say to the people

Of the land!

Thus says Yahweh God

Concerning the inhabitants

Of Jerusalem

In the land of Israel.

They shall eat

Their bread

With fearfulness.

They shall drink

Their water

In dismay.

Because their land

Shall be stripped

Of all it contains,

On account of the violence

Of all those who live in it.

The inhabited cities

Shall be laid waste.

The land

Shall become a desolation.

You shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

The word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. He was told to eat his bread with quivering. He was to drink his water while trembling. He was to be fearful. He was to tell the people of the land what Yahweh, their God, had said about the people of Jerusalem in Israel. All of the people there would eat their bread with fearfulness. They would drink their water in confusion. Their land would be stripped of everything because of the violence of the people who lived in the cities there. The land would be all laid waste. Then they would know that Yahweh was the God of Israel.

Get out of town (Jer 51:45-51:46)

“Come out of here!

My people!

Each of you!

Save your lives

From the fierce anger

Of Yahweh!

Do not be fainthearted!

Do not be fearful

At the rumors

Heard in the land!

One year

One rumor comes!

The next year

Another rumor is

Of violence in the land!

There will be

Ruler against ruler.”

Yahweh warned them that they should get out of Babylon. They should save their lives from the fierce anger of Yahweh. However, they should not be fainthearted or fearful about the various rumors in the land. Each year there was a new rumor. There were always rumors of violence, as rulers fought against each other.

Yahweh God as your husband (Isa 54:4-54:6)

“‘Do not fear!

You will not be ashamed.

Do not be discouraged!

You will not suffer disgrace.

You will forget the shame of your youth!

You will remember no more

The disgrace of your widowhood.

Your Maker is your husband.

Yahweh of hosts is his name.

The Holy One of Israel is

Your Redeemer.

He is called

The God of the whole earth.

Yahweh has called you

Like a wife forsaken,

Like a wife grieved in spirit,            

Like the wife of a man’s youth

When she is cast off.’

So says your God.”

Second Isaiah says that you should not be fearful or discouraged because you will not be ashamed or suffer disgrace. You will forget the shameful sins of your youth. You will forget the disgrace of your widowhood, living in Exile. Your maker or creator, Yahweh of hosts, is your husband. The Holy One of Israel will be your redeemer. He is God of the whole earth, not just Israel. You were like a grieving spurned wife or like the first wife who has been cast off for the trophy wife. God is telling you this so that you do not feel bad.

Yahweh brings joy to the blooming desert (Isa 35:1-35:4)

“The wilderness shall be glad.

The dry land shall be glad.

The desert shall rejoice.

The desert shall blossom.

Like the crocus,

It shall blossom abundantly.

It shall rejoice with joy.

It shall rejoice with singing.

The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it.

The majesty of Carmel

Shall see the glory of Yahweh.

The majesty of Sharon

Shall see the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands!

Make firm the feeble knees!

Say to those who are of a fearful heart.

‘Be strong!

Do not fear!                                      

Here is your God!

He will come with vengeance!

He will come with terrible recompense!

He will come!

He will save you!’”

Isaiah seems to indicate here that God will make the deserts bloom abundantly. The wilderness and the dry land will rejoice and be glad with singing. The glory of the cedar trees of Lebanon will be given to the areas of Carmel and Sharon in Israel, where the glory and majesty of Yahweh God will be seen. God will strengthen their weak hands and their feeble knees. Thus the cry of Isaiah to those who are fearful is that they should be strong and not afraid. Your God is coming with a vengeance to make up for past problems. He will come to save you.

God is with us (Isa 8:8-8:10)

“O Immanuel!

Band together!

You peoples!

Be dismayed!

Listen!

All you far countries!

Gird yourselves!

Be dismayed!

Gird yourselves!

Be dismayed!

Take counsel together!

But it shall be brought to naught!

Speak a word!

But it will not stand!

God is with us.”

This section begins and ends with Immanuel, God is with us. All the people should join together. All the far countries should be fearful and dismayed. They should gird themselves for the battle. They can take counsel together, but it will come to nothing. Any words that they issue will not hold up. God was with us, not them.