The punishment for the idol worshippers (Am 9:2-9:4)

“Though they dig

Into Sheol,

From there,

Shall my hand take them.

Though they climb up

To heaven,

From there,

I will bring them down.

Though they hide themselves

On the top of Carmel,

From there,

I will search out.

I will take them.

Though they hide

From my sight

At the bottom of the sea,

From there,

I will command

The sea serpent.

It shall bite them.

Though they go into captivity,

In front of their enemies,

From there,

I will command the sword.

It shall kill them.

I will fix my eyes

Upon them,

For harm,

Not for good.”

The punishment for these northern idol worshippers would be severe.  They might try to hide in Sheol, the afterlife shadowy existence, but Yahweh would find them.  If they tried to get to heaven, he would take them out of there.  If they tried to hide on Mount Carmel, Yahweh would still find them.  If they went to the bottom of the sea, a sea monster would get them.  Even if they went into captivity, their captives would kill them with the sword.  No matter what, Yahweh was going to keep his eyes on them, so that nothing good would happen to them.  Quite the opposite, something harmful would happen to them.

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You cannot hide from the Lord (Sir 16:17-16:23)

“Do not say.

‘I am hidden from the Lord.

Who from on high

Has me in mind?

Among so many people,

I am unknown.

What am I

In a boundless creation?

Look!

At his visitation,

Heaven trembles,

The highest heaven trembles.

The abyss trembles.

The earth trembles.

The very mountains quiver.

The foundations of the earth shake,

When he looks upon them.

No human mind can grasp this.

Who can comprehend his ways?

Like a tempest

That no one can see,

So most of his works are concealed.

Who will announce

His acts of justice?

Who will await them?

His decree is far off.’

Such are the thoughts

Of one devoid of understanding.

A senseless person

Thinks foolishly.

A misguided person

Thinks foolishly.”

Sirach warns those who say that God is too busy to worry about them. They think that that they can hide from the Lord because there are so many people in this great boundless created world. After all the heavens, the seas, and the earth tremble and quake when the Lord comes. The mountains and the foundations of the earth shake when he sees them. No human mind can comprehend the ways of the Lord because most of his works are concealed to us. The Lord is like a storm that we never see coming. Who is going to announce his judgments because his decrees seem so far away? These are the thoughts of the foolish misguided people who think that God does not care about them.

A description of the wicked enemies (Job 27:7-27:12)

“May my enemy be like the wicked ones!

May my opponents be like the unrighteous!

What is the hope of the godless?

When God cuts them off?

When God takes away their lives?

Will God hear their cry?

When trouble comes upon them?

Will they take delight in the Almighty Shaddai?

Will they call upon God at all times?

I will teach you concerning the hand of God.

What is with the Almighty Shaddai?

I will not conceal it.

All of you have seen it yourselves.

Why then have you become altogether vain?”

Job or is it Zophar described the lot of the wicked. His enemies should be like the wicked and unrighteous. The godless people have no hope. When God cut them off, he takes their lives. God did not hear their cry when trouble came to them. They did not delight in the almighty Shaddai. Job knew about the almighty God, but they did not know him. Job did not hide so that anyone can see what is vain.

Job bitterly complains (Job 7:11-7:21)

“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth.

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit.

I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

Am I the sea?

Am I a dragon?

Am I a sea monster?

Do you set a guard over me?

When I say,

‘My bed will comfort me.

My couch will ease my complaint.’

Then you scare me with dreams.

You terrify me with visions.

Thus I would choose strangling and death

Rather than this body.

I loathe my life.

I would not live forever.

Let me alone!

My days are a breath.

What are human beings?

Why do you make so much of them?

Why do you set your mind upon them?

Why do you visit them every morning?

Why do you test them every moment?

Will you not look away from me for a while?

Will you not let me alone until I swallow my spittle?

If I sin,

What do I do to you?

You are the watcher of humanity.

Why have you made me your target?

Why have I become a burden to you?

Why do you not pardon my transgression?

Why do you not take away my iniquity?

For now I shall lie in the earth.

You will seek me,

But I shall not be.”

Job would not restrain himself. He was bitter. Was he like the chaotic sea, a sea monster, a dragon or Leviathan? When he sought rest on his bed or couch, God sent him dreams and visions.   He would rather die strangled than have this terrible body. He hated his life as he did not want to live any longer. He did not want to live forever since he realized that he was like a breath. Why does God care about humans anyway? Why is he the watcher visiting them in the morning, and every moment of their lives? Job wanted God to look away for a while, so he could swallow his spittle. Why was he the target? What burden was he to God? If he had sinned, why not pardon him. Job said that God might come after him, but he would not find him, because he was no more.