The false statutes (Ezek 20:25-20:26)

“Moreover

I gave them statutes

That were not good.

I gave them ordinances

By which

They could not have life.

I defiled them

Through their very gifts,

In their offering up

All their firstborn.

Thus I might

Horrify them.

Thus they might know

That I am Yahweh.”

In some sort of cruel joke, Yahweh gave his people statutes and ordinances that he knew were not good or helpful for their life. In fact, he seemed to indicate that he had told them to offer up their first born babies as a sacrifice. He did this to defile and horrify them. However, like always, they should know that he was Yahweh. Was this some sort of primitive practice? This seems to contradict everything else that was said in this work.

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The bad behavior of the rich (Sir 13:3-13:7)

“A rich person does wrong.

A rich person even adds insults.

A poor person suffers wrong.

A poor person must add apologies.

A rich man will exploit you,

If you can be of use to him.

But if you are in need,

He will forsake you.

If you own something,

He will live with you.

He will drain your resources

Without a qualm.

When he needs you,

He will deceive you.

He will smile at you.

He will encourage you.

He will speak to you kindly.

He will say.

‘What do you need?’

He will embarrass you with his delicacies,

Until he has drained you

Two or three times.

Finally he will laugh at you.

Should he see you afterwards,

He will pass you by.

He will shake his head at you.”

Sirach warns that rich will do bad things to you and then insult you. If a poor person does something wrong, they have to apologize. Not so for the rich. They will exploit you if you can be helpful to them. However, if you need anything, they will leave quickly. The rich will use what you have and thus drain your resources. If the rich need you, they will deceive you with smiles and kindly words. They will encourage you by asking what they can do for you. They will provide embarrassing delicacies, until you are drained a couple of times over. Then they will laugh at you. If you see them later, they will pass you by and shake their heads at you. Do not be fooled by the rich and their false kindness.

 

The face of Yahweh (Ps 27:7-27:10)

“Hear!

Yahweh!

When I cry aloud,

Be gracious to me!

Answer me!

Come!

My heart says.

‘Seek his face!

I seek your face!

Yahweh!’

Do not hide your face from me!

Do not turn your servant away in anger!

You have been my help!

Do not cast me off!

Do not forsake me!

O God of my salvation!

If my father and my mother have forsaken me,

Yahweh will take me up.”

This seems to be the song or chant that David sang in the Temple. He wanted Yahweh to listen to his cry or plea. He wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him. He wanted to seek the face of Yahweh. He did not want Yahweh to turn his face away in anger. Yahweh had been helpful. He did not want him to cast him off or forsake him. Yahweh was his God of salvation. Even if his parents abandoned him, Yahweh would always be there for him.

The sad farewell (Tob 5:18-5:21)

“But his mother, began to weep. She said to Tobit.

‘Why is it that you have sent my child away?

Is he not the staff of our hand as he goes in and out before us?

Do not heap money upon money.

Let it be a ransom for our child.

The life that is given to us by the Lord is enough for us.’

Tobit said to her.

‘Do not worry.

Our child will leave in good health.

He will return to us in good health, safe and sound.

Say no more!

Do not fear for them, my sister.

A good angel will accompany him.

His journey will be successful.

He will come back in good health.’

She stopped weeping.”

Anna, the mother of Tobias, was crying. She wanted to know why he was sending her child away. He was so helpful around the house. Why was he seeking more money, when they were getting by. It was like he was ransoming his son. The Lord had provided for them. Tobit replied that she should not be afraid. He was leaving in good health and would return in good health. He was going to be protected by an angel. With that, she stopped crying. This was like sending your child off to college. You never know what is going to happen.