Waiting for the battle (Hab 3:16-3:16)

“I hear!

My body trembles!

My lips quiver

At the sound.

Rottenness enters

Into my bones.

My steps tremble

Beneath me.

I quietly wait

For the day

Of calamity

To come upon the people

Who attack us.”

Habakkuk was waiting for the eventual defeat of his enemy.  However, there would be a battle.  Thus, he could hear his body tremble and his lips quivering.  There was a certain rottenness in his bones.  He was weak kneed as he walked.  He was quietly waiting for the day of calamity when his attackers would suffer.

Advertisements

The redeeming savior (Isa 63:8-63:10)

“Yahweh said.

‘Surely they are my people.

Children will not deal falsely.’

He became their Savior

In all their distress.

It was no messenger.

It was no angel.

But it was his presence that saved them.

In his love,

In his pity,

He redeemed them.

He lifted them up.

He carried them

All the days of old.

But they rebelled.

They grieved his Holy Spirit.

Therefore he became their enemy.

He himself fought against them.”

Yahweh responded that surely his people and children would not respond falsely. He was their savior in times of distress. He did not merely send a messenger or an angel. It was his very presence that saved them. He showed them love and pity as he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them away as in the good old days. However, they rebelled against him as they saddened the Holy Spirit. They became his enemy so that Yahweh had to fight against them.

Words of fools and the wise (Sir 21:25-21:28)

“The lips of the babblers

Speak of what is not their concern.

But the words of the prudent

Are weighed in the balance.

The mind of fools

Is in their mouth.

But the mouth of the wise

Is in their mind.

When an ungodly man

Curses his adversary,

He curses himself.

A whisperer degrades himself.

He is hated in his neighborhood.”

Sirach indicates that foolish babblers talk about things that do not concern them. However, the words of the prudent wise ones are heavily weighted in the balance. The minds of the fools are in their mouths, but the reverse is true for the wise. In other words, the foolish speak without thinking, while the wise think before they speak. When an ungodly fool curses his enemy, he is actually cursing himself. The foolish whisperer is degrading himself, because his neighbors hate his whispering gossip.

Yahweh is David’s rock (Ps 18:31-18:42)

“Who is God except Yahweh?

Who is a rock, besides our God?

This is the God who girded me with strength.

He made my way safe.

He made my feet

Like the feet of a deer.

He set me secure on the heights.

He trains my hands for war.

Thus my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have given me

The shield of your salvation.

Your right hand has supported me.

Your help has made me great.

You gave me a wide place for my steps under me.

My feet did not slip.

I pursued my enemies.

I overtook them.

I did not turn back

Until they were consumed.

I struck them down.

Thus they were not able to rise.

They fell under my feet.

You girded me with strength for the battle.

You made my assailants sink under me.

You made my enemies turn their backs to me.

Those who hated me

I destroyed.

They cried for help.

However, there was no one to save them.

They cried to Yahweh,

However he did not answer them.

I beat them fine.

They were like dust before the wind.

I cast them out

Like the mire of the streets.”

Once again, like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh was the strength and rock for David. His feet were like the hoofs of a deer in their ability to run fast. Yahweh made his arms so strong that he could even use a bronze bow. Yahweh made his feet steady so that he would never slip. When the battle raged, he was faster and stronger than his enemy. He crushed his enemies. They were utterly destroyed as they were struck down and fled. No one was there to save them, even when they cried out to Yahweh. David beat them like the dust of the earth. As usual, there was no indication of any empathy for enemies. He just wiped them out completely.

Yahweh should punish David (Ps 7:3-7:5)

“Yahweh my God!,

If I have done this,

If there is wrong in my hands,

If I have requited my ally with harm,

If I plundered my enemy without cause,

Let the enemy pursue me.

Let him overtake me.

Let him trample my life to the ground.

Lay my soul in the dust.

Selah”

David set up a series of hypothetical things that he might have done. If he has done any of these things he should be pursued, overtaken, and trampled to the ground.   His soul or liver should be crushed to dust. What were the potential evil things he might have done. Had his hands done any wrong thing? Had he turned on his allies and friends? Had he plundered his enemy unjustly? It was all right to plunder the enemy if there was a good cause. This seems unrelated to his defeated dead son. However, he felt he was being punished by Yahweh for something he did. Once again, there is a pause for a musical interlude, a Selah.

The prayer of Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 4:30-4:33)

“When Judas saw that their army was strong, he prayed, saying.

‘Blessed are you!

O Savior of Israel,

You crushed the attack of the mighty warrior

By the hand of your servant David.

You gave the camp of the Philistines

Into the hands of Jonathan, the son of King Saul,

To the man who carried his armor.

Hem in this army

By the hand of your people Israel!

Let them be ashamed of their troops and their cavalry!

Fill them with cowardice!

Melt the boldness of their strength!

Let them tremble in their destruction!

Strike them down with the sword of those who love you!

Let all who know your name praise you with hymns!’”

Judas Maccabeus saw that they had a strong army, so he prayed to the Savior of Israel, God. He reminded God of how he had saved David against the Philistines in 1 Samuel, chapter 14. Now he was asking God to hem in the army of his enemy. He wanted them to become ashamed and cowardly so that their strength would melt. He hoped that they would be destroyed by the sword. He wanted the name of the Lord known and praised. He was praying for God’s help by reminding God what he had done in the past. He was comparing himself to the men at the time of King Saul.