He will get up (Lk 11:8-11:8)

“I tell you!

Even though

He will not get up

And give him anything,

Because he is his friend,

At least,

Because of his persistence,

He will get up.

He will give him

Whatever he needs.”

 

λέγω ὑμῖν, εἰ καὶ οὐ δώσει αὐτῷ ἀναστὰς διὰ τὸ εἶναι φίλον αὐτοῦ, διά γε τὴν ἀναιδίαν αὐτοῦ ἐγερθεὶς δώσει αὐτῷ ὅσων χρῄζει.

 

Luke uniquely brought this parable story about waking up a friend at midnight to a surprise ending.  In this conclusion, Jesus proclaimed solemnly (λέγω ὑμῖν), that even though this friend will not get up and give him anything (εἰ καὶ οὐ δώσει αὐτῷ ἀναστὰς), because he was his friend (διὰ τὸ εἶναι φίλον αὐτοῦ), at least, because of his persistence (διά γε τὴν ἀναιδίαν αὐτοῦ), he will get up (ἐγερθεὶς) and give him whatever he needed (δώσει αὐτῷ ὅσων χρῄζει).  Problem solved, as persistence was better than friendship.  In a complete turnaround, this friend offered his requesting persistent neighbor friend whatever he wanted.  That’s what friends are for.  However, it was the persistence rather than the friendship that led him to act.  So that is the moral of this story.  Perseverance in prayer to the Father will lead to success.  Do you persist in prayer to God?

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The king reacts (Jer 36:24-36:26)

“Yet neither the king,

Nor any of his servants,

Who heard

All these words,

Was afraid.

They did not tear

Their garments.

Even when Elnathan,

Delaiah,

With Gemariah

Urged the king

Not to burn the scroll,

He would not listen to them.

The king commanded

Jerahmeel,

The king’s son,

With Seraiah,

The son of Azriel,

To arrest

The secretary Baruch

With the prophet Jeremiah.

But Yahweh hid them.”

Neither the king of Judah, King Jehoiakim, nor his servants, was alarmed by the words of the scroll. They did not tear their garments as a sign of sorrow or repentance. Instead, the king burned the scroll in its various pieces as mentioned above, despite the protests of some of his senior officials like Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah, who had demanded the first reading, earlier in this chapter. They did not want the king to burn the scroll, but he would not listen to them. Instead, he sent his son Jerahmeel with his friend Seraiah, someone in the royal service, to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah. However, Yahweh hid them, but it is not clear where or how.

God is with Israel (Isa 41:8-41:10)

“But you!

Israel!

My servant! Jacob!

I have chosen you!

The offspring of Abraham!

My friend!

I took you

From the ends of the earth.

I called you

From its farthest corners.

I said to you.

‘You are my servant.

I have chosen you.

I have not cast you off.

Do not fear!

I am with you!

Do not be afraid!

I am your God!

I will strengthen you!

I will help you!

I will uphold you

With my victorious right hand!’”

God will protect his servants, a theme that comes up over and over again. Second Isaiah used both terms ‘Israel’ and ‘Jacob’ to refer to the offspring of his friend Abraham, but there is little mention of Moses here. God uses the first person singular “I” when he says that he called them from the ends of the earth and all its corners. They were to be his chosen servants, since he would not cast them off. They should not be afraid or fear anything. God is with them to strengthen them, to help them, and to uphold them with his victorious right hand.

David was in mourning (Ps 35:11-35:14)

“Malicious witnesses rise up.

They ask me about things

That I do not know.

They repay me evil for good.

My soul is forlorn.

But as for me,

When they were sick

I wore sackcloth.

I afflicted myself with fasting.

I prayed with head bowed on my bosom.

I grieved as like for a friend or a brother.

I went about

As one who laments a mother.

I was bowed down.

I was in mourning.”

This seems to be something more family orientated. There were malicious witnesses against David who turned his good deeds into evil. He was forlorn and wore sackcloth in mourning for their illness. He fasted and bowed his head in prayer. He grieved as if it was his friend, his brother, or his mother. Somehow someone did not appreciate all his care and mourning.