The right answer (Lk 10:28-10:28)

“Jesus said to him.

‘You have given

The right answer.

Do this!

Then you will live!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ Ὀρθῶς ἀπεκρίθης· τοῦτο ποίει καὶ ζήσῃ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to the lawyer (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) that he had given the correct right answer (Ὀρθῶς ἀπεκρίθης).  Jesus told him to do that (τοῦτο ποίει) and then he would live (καὶ ζήσῃ).  Mark, chapter 12:32-33, indicated that this Scribe said to Jesus, rather than the other way around, that Jesus was right.  He, in fact, respectfully called Jesus Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).  This Scribe agreed that Jesus had spoken according to the truth.  God was one, so that there was no other God but him alone. Thus, the Scribe and Jesus were on the same page as regards God and his commandments.  Then the Scribe pointed out that these 2 commandments were more important than all the Temple sacrifices.  He said that to love God with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, as well as to love your neighbor as yourself was much more important than all the various sacrificial burnt offerings.  This Scribe recognized the value of love of God and neighbor.  Do you love God with your whole being and your neighbor as yourself?

The confession of sins (Dan 9:4-9:6)

“I prayed

To the Lord!

My God!

I made a confession.

I said.

‘O Lord!

Great God!

Awesome God!

You keep the covenant!

You have a steadfast love

With those

Who love you,

With those

Who keep your commandments!

We have sinned!

We have done wrong!

We have acted wickedly!

We have rebelled!

We have turned away

From your commandments,

From your ordinances!

We have not listened

To your servants,

The prophets,

Who spoke

In your name,

To our kings,

To our princes,

To our ancestors,

To all the people

Of the land.’”

Daniel personally prayed to God with this first-person singular confession of sins. However, he quickly reverted to the first-person plural “we” from the singular “I.” God was great and awesome. He had kept his covenant with a steadfast love to those who loved him and kept his commandments. However, they had sinned and done wrong. They had acted wickedly. They had rebelled and turned away from his commandments and ordinances. They had not listened to their prophets, kings, princes, ancestors, or even the people of the land.

The judgment due to our sins (Dan 3:5-3:7)

“You have executed

True judgments

In all

That you have brought

Upon us,

Upon Jerusalem,

The holy city

Of our ancestors.

By a true judgment,

You have brought

All this upon us

Because of our sins.

We have sinned.

We have broken

Your law,

In turning away

From you.

In all matters,

We have sinned grievously.

We have not obeyed

Your commandments.

We have not kept them.

We have not done

What you have commanded us

For our own good.”

Azariah continued with his prayer to God. God has executed his true judgments upon the Judeans and their ancestral holy city of Jerusalem, because of their sins. They were sinners. They broke his laws. They turned away from God. They have sinned grievously, by not obeying his commandments. They did not do what God had commanded them to do for their own good.

 

One heart and a new spirit (Ezek 11:18-11:21)

“‘When they come there,

They will remove

From Jerusalem

All its detestable things,

All its abominations.

I will give them

One heart.

I will put

A new spirit

Within them.

I will remove

The heart of stone

From their flesh.

I will give them

A heart of flesh.

Thus they may follow

My statutes.

They will keep

My ordinances.

They will obey them.

They shall be my people.

I will be their God.

But as for those

Whose heart goes after

Their detestable things,

Their abominations,

I will bring their deeds

Upon their own heads.’

Says Yahweh God.”

The returning Israelites should remove all the detestable abominations from Jerusalem. Yahweh was going to give them one heart with a new spirit. He was going to remove their heart of stone. Instead, he was going to replace or transplant it with a heart of flesh. Thus they would follow the statutes. They would keep Yahweh’s ordinances. They would obey Yahweh. They would adhere to his commandments. They were going to be his people. He was going to be their God. However, those who still went after these detestable things and abominations would find that their very wicked deeds would fall upon their own heads. Thus ends the oracle of Yahweh, their God.

What Yahweh would have done for Israel (Isa 48:17-48:19)

“Thus says Yahweh!

Your Redeemer!

The Holy One of Israel!

‘I am Yahweh your God!

I teach you for your own good.

I lead you in the way you should go.

O that you had paid attention

To my commandments!

Then your prosperity would have been

Like a river.

Your success would have been

Like the waves of the sea.

Your offspring would have been

Like the sand.

Your descendants would have been

Like its grains.

Their name would never be cut off.

They would never have been destroyed

From before me.’”

Second Isaiah explains what Yahweh would have done had the Israelites followed his commandments. Yahweh said that he was the redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, their God. He had taught them how to live on the right path by following his commandments. However, they did not pay attention to him. They could have had prosperity and success like the rivers and the sea waves. They could have had offspring and descendants like the many grains of sand. They would have never been cut off or destroyed if they had only followed Yahweh’s teaching commands.

Fear God (Eccl 12:13-12:14)

“This is the end of the matter.

All has been heard.

Fear God!

Keep his commandments!

That is the whole duty of everyone.

God will bring every deed into judgment,

Including every secret thing,

Whether good or evil.”

The final message is a call to fear God. The deed is done. This is the end. Everything has been heard. Fear God! Obey his commandments! That is the whole purpose of life, the duty of everyone. God will judge everything, even secret things. He will decide whether it was good or evil. So ends the message of Qoheleth and this epilogue writer.

Parental advice (Prov 2:1-2:9)

“My child!

If you accept my words,

If you treasure my commandments within you,

You will make your ear attentive to wisdom.

You will incline your heart to understanding.

If you indeed cry out for insight,

If you raise your voice for understanding,

If you seek it like silver,

If you search for it as for hidden treasures,

Then you will understand the fear of Yahweh.

You will find the knowledge of God.

Yahweh gives wisdom.

From his mouth comes knowledge.

From his mouth comes understanding.

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright.

He is a shield to those who walk blamelessly.

He guards the paths of justice.

He preserves the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand righteousness.

You will understand justice.

You will understand equity.

You will understand every good path.”

This chapter of Proverbs is a poem and lecture at the same time. If you search for wisdom, it will come. This is a father telling his children how to live their lives. This section used the structure of the “if” phrases. If they accept his words and treasure his commandments, then they will be attentive to wisdom and understanding. If they cry out for insight and understanding, like they were seeking money or a hidden treasure, then they will understand the fear of Yahweh. The knowledge of God brings wisdom because God gives knowledge. wisdom, and understanding. He shields those who walk blamelessly. He guards the paths of justice. He preserves the faithful ones. With wisdom, you will be able to understand righteousness, justice, equity, and every good path. First, fear God, then everything else will fall into place.