The saving redemption (Lam 3:58-3:60)

Resh

“You have taken up

My cause!

O Yahweh!

You have redeemed

My life!

You have seen

The wrong

Done to me!

O Yahweh!

Judge my cause!

You have seen

All their malice!

You have seen

All their plots

Against me!”

This personalized lament continued, but this time on a positive note. Yahweh has taken up his cause. He has redeemed his life. He has seen the wrong things that were done to him. Yahweh was going to judge his case, since he saw all the malice that other people have done against him with their various plots. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Resh in this acrostic poem.

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Hymn to Yahweh (Jer 20:12-20:13)

“O Yahweh of hosts!

You test the righteous!

You see the heart!

You see the mind!

Let me see your retribution

Upon them!

I have committed my cause

To you!

Sing to Yahweh!

Praise Yahweh!

He has delivered

The lives of the needy

From the hands of evildoers.”

Jeremiah praises Yahweh. He knows that God tests the righteous ones because he sees their hearts and minds. Jeremiah wanted retribution to come upon those who had opposed him. However, he has committed his cause to Yahweh. They were to sing and praise Yahweh, because he has delivered the lives of the needy from the evildoers.

Jeremiah’s prayerful response (Jer 11:20-11:20)

“But you!

Yahweh of hosts!

You judge righteously

Those who try the heart,

Those who try the mind.

Let me see

Your retribution upon them!

I have committed my cause

To you.”

This prayerful response of Jeremiah is addressed to Yahweh. He knew that Yahweh judged righteously the hearts and the minds of all people. Thus Jeremiah wanted retribution to come to those who had plotted against him. However, he was committing his cause to Yahweh, to let him do as he pleased.

 

The discussion between Yahweh and his servant (Isa 49:3-49:4)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘You are my servant!

Israel!

I will be glorified in you.’

But I said.

‘I have labored in vain.

I have spent my strength

For nothing,

For vanity.

Yet surely my cause is with Yahweh.

My reward is with my God.’”

Second Isaiah has Yahweh call his servant Israel, not Isaiah. Yahweh was going to be glorified in his servant. However, the servant responded that he had labored in vain, spending all his strength on nothing but useless things. Nevertheless, this servant was willing to say that his cause was with Yahweh. He expected his reward from his God.

Job wants to meet God (Job 23:1-23:7)

“Then Job answered.

‘Today also my complaint is bitter.

His hand is heavy,

Despite my groaning.

O that I knew where I might find him!

O that I might come even to his dwelling!

I would lay my case before him.

I would fill my mouth with arguments.

I would learn what he would answer me.

I would understand what he would say to me.

Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?

No!

But he would give heed to me.              

There an upright man could reason with him.

I should be acquitted forever by my judge.’”

Job was still bitter. Despite all his complaints, he still wanted to find God. He wanted to meet him face to face in his house. Then he would lay out his cause with many arguments. However, he would learn and understand by listening. He believed that he, the upright man, would get a fair hearing. In the end, he would be acquitted by God, if only he could present his case.