The Chaldean cavalry (Hab 1:8-1:8)

“Their horses

Are swifter

Than leopards.

They are more menacing

Than evening wolves.

Their horsemen

Come from far away.

They fly

Like an eagle,

Swift to devour.”

The Chaldean horses and riders were extraordinary.  Their horses were quicker than leopards and more menacing than wild wolves at sunset.  The cavalry horsemen came from distant places.  They seemed to fly on their horses like fast eagles ready to devour their prey.

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Powerful providence (Isa 40:27-40:31)

“Why do you say?

O Jacob!

Speak!

O Israel!

‘My way is hidden from Yahweh.

My right is disregarded by my God!’

Have you not known?

Have you not heard?

Yahweh is the everlasting God.

He is the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint.

He does not grow weary.

His understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint.

He strengthens the powerless.

Even youths will faint.

They will be weary.

Young men shall fall exhausted.

But those who wait for Yahweh

Shall renew their strength.

They shall mount up

With wings

Like eagles.

They shall run.

They shall not be weary.

They shall walk.

They shall not faint.”

This chapter concludes with a shout out to the great providence of God. Do not be concerned that God does not know about you. Yahweh is an everlasting God, the creator of everything. Although he is unsearchable, he does not grow faint or weary in his understanding of you. He gives power to the faint. He strengthens the powerless. Even if some young people grow faint, weary, and exhausted, anyone who waits for Yahweh will find renewed strength. They will fly with wings like they were eagles. They will run and not be weary. They will walk and not be faint. They just need to trust Yahweh, their God.

The vision of Isaiah about the Seraphs (Isa 6:1-6:2)

“The hem of Yahweh’s robe

Filled the temple.

Seraphs were

In attendance

Above him.

Each had six wings.

Two covered their faces.

Two covered their feet.

With two they flew.”

In Isaiah’s vision, Yahweh had a long flowing robe that filled the whole Temple. The seraphs or cherubim were sculptures in the Temple. These heavenly seraphs or cherubim were associated with the brilliance and glory of God. Here they are above Yahweh, each with 6 wings. 2 wings covered their faces, while the other 2 covered their feet. Finally they used their 2 other wings to fly.

Confidence in Yahweh (Ps 11:1-11:3)

To the choirmaster leader, of David.

‘In Yahweh I take refuge.

How can you say to me?

‘Flee like a bird to the mountains!

Look!

The wicked bend the bow!

They have fitted their arrows to the string,

They shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.

If the foundations are destroyed,

What can the righteous do?’”

Once again in Psalm 11, the theme of confidence dominates. The opening remarks are only to the choirmaster leader as this is a generic psalm of David. David or the psalmist takes refuge in Yahweh. Are you really safe if you fly to a mountain like a bird? The faithful ones are often compared to birds. Mountains were considered a safe place. However, the problem was more immediate as the wicked ones had their bow and arrows ready to shoot at them. They could shoot in the dark. What can the righteous ones do?

The troubles with being human (Job 5:1-5:7)

“Call now!

Is there anyone who will answer you?

To which of the holy ones will you turn?

Surely vexation kills the fool.

Jealousy slays the simple.

I have seen fools taking root.

But suddenly I cursed their dwelling.

Their children are far from safety.

They are crushed in the gate.

There is no one to deliver them.

The hungry eat their harvest.

They take it even out of thorns.

The thirsty pant after their wealth.

Misery does not come from the earth.

Trouble does not sprout from the ground.

But human beings are born to trouble

Just as the birds fly upward.”

Being human is being in trouble just as birds fly. Eliphaz told Job to call, but no one will respond. Which angels or holy ones will respond to him? Irritation and jealousy kill the fools and simple ones. Eliphaz has cursed fools and their children so that they were crushed at the main gate to the town. No one helped them. The hungry ones took and ate their harvest, even from the thorny section. The thirsty ones went after their wealth. Misery and trouble do not come from the ground or the earth, but come from within humans. This is to suggest that human trouble comes from within and is not imposed. Humans are born to be troubled just like birds are born to fly. Accept this fact!