Yahweh would remember the just righteous ones (Mal 3:16-3:16)

“Then those who revered Yahweh

Spoke with one another.

Yahweh took notice.

Yahweh listened.

A book of remembrance

Was written

Before him

Of those

Who revered Yahweh,

Of those

Who thought on his name.”

However, there was a group of Israelites who revered Yahweh.  They spoke among themselves.  Yahweh saw and listened to this, as he took notice of what was going on.  There was a book of remembrance, where all the names of those who revered Yahweh and his name were written down.  This is where we get the idea that someone is keeping track of our lives in a book.

Praise for the Creator God (Am 9:5-9:6)

“Yahweh!

God of hosts!

He touches the earth,

So that it melts.

All who live in it

Mourn.

All of it rises

Like the Nile.

It sinks again,

Like the Nile of Egypt.

He builds his upper chambers

In the heavens.

He founds his vault

Upon the earth.

He calls for the waters

Of the sea.

He pours them out

Upon the surface

Of the earth.

Yahweh is his name.”

Amos has this praise of Yahweh, the Creator, the God of the heavenly hosts.  Yahweh merely touches the earth and it melts.  Everyone who lives on the earth mourns.  The earth itself rises and sinks like the Nile River in Egypt.  Yahweh has his upper chambers in heaven.  He has put a rounded vault over the earth.  Thus, he calls the waters from the sea and then pours them out on the earth.  He is none other than Yahweh.  Yahweh is his name, the continuing creator of the world.

Do not delay (Dan 9:17-9:19)

“Now therefore!

O our God!

Listen to the prayer

Of your servant!

Listen to his supplications!

For your own sake!

O Lord!

Let your face

Shine upon

Your desolated sanctuary!

O my God!

Incline your ear!

Hear!

Open your eyes!

Look at our desolation!

Look at the city

That bears your name!

We do not present

Our supplications

Before you

On the ground

Of our righteousness,

But on the ground

Of your great mercies.

O Lord!

Hear!

O Lord!

Forgive!

O Lord!

Listen!

Act!

Do not delay!

For your own sake,

O my God,

Because your city,

Your people,

Bear your name.”

Daniel finished up this prayer with a demand that the Lord God act right away and not delay. He wanted God to see and listen to his prayers and supplications, not because of their righteousness, but for the sake of his name and his great mercy. He wanted God to see their desolated sanctuary. He wanted God to see what was happening to the city that bore his name. He wanted God to see, hear, listen, forgive, act, and not delay.

The holy city is in disgrace (Dan 9:15-9:16)

“Now!

O Lord!

Our God!

You brought

Your people

Out of the land

Of Egypt

With a mighty hand.

You have made

Your name

Renowned

Even to this day.

We have sinned.

We have done wickedly.

O Lord!

In view of your righteous acts,

Let your anger,

Let your wrath,

We pray,

Turn away

From your city Jerusalem,

Your holy mountain.

Because of our sins,

Because of the iniquities

Of our ancestors,

Jerusalem

With your people

Have become a disgrace

Among all our neighbors.”

Daniel continued with this prayer to God, reminding him how he had brought them out of Egypt with a mighty hand. His name was renowned. However, they had sinned and done wicked things. Thus, God, the Lord, had a righteous anger and wrath. Daniel wanted God to turn away from the holy mountain, the city of Jerusalem, because it had become a disgrace to all its neighbors. Their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors have brought disgrace to Jerusalem and its people.

The call for deliverance (Dan 3:20-3:22)

“Deliver us

In accordance

With your marvelous works!

Bring glory

To your name!

O Lord!

Let all who do harm

To your servants

Be put to shame!

Let them be disgraced!

Let them be deprived

Of all power!

Let their strength

Be broken!

Let them know

That you alone are

The Lord God!

Glorious!

Over the whole world!”       

Finally, Azariah got to the point. He wanted to be saved from this flaming furnace. He wanted God to show his marvelous works. He wanted him to bring glory to his name. On the other hand, anyone who was trying to bring harm to his servants should be shamed, disgraced, and lose all power and strength. They should all know that the glorious God alone is the lord over the whole world.

 

The reaction of Yahweh to the rebellious children (Ezek 20:21-20:24)

“Then I thought

I would pour out

My wrath upon them.

I would spend

My anger

Against them

In the wilderness.

But I withheld

My hand.

I acted for the sake

Of my name.

Thus it should not be

Profaned

In the sight

Of the nations,

In whose sight

I had brought them out.

Moreover,

I swore to them

In the wilderness

That I would scatter them

Among the nations.

I would disperse them

Through the countries.

Because they had not

Executed

My ordinances.

They had rejected

My statutes.

They had profaned

My Sabbath.

Their eyes

Were set

On their ancestor’s idols.”

Yahweh’s reaction was pretty much the same as in the former rebellions. Yahweh immediately thought about destroying them in his anger. However, as earlier, he changed his mind for the sake of his name that he did not want profaned in the sight of all the other countries that had seen him bring them out of Egypt. Thus he swore to them in the wilderness that he would scatter them among the nations, instead of refusing to take them out of Egypt or refusing to take them to the Promise Land. This was a prediction of the exile that was due to their failure to keep his statutes, ordinances, and the Sabbath. They also still yearned for their ancestor’s idols.

For the sake of his name (Ezek 20:13-20:14)

“Then I thought

I would pour out

My wrath

Upon them

In the wilderness,

To make an end

Of them.

But I acted

For the sake

Of my name.

Thus it should not be

Profaned

In the sight

Of the nations.

In whose sight

I had brought them out.”

Once again, Yahweh was angry, like he had been in Egypt. This time he thought about putting an end to these Israelites in the wilderness. However, once again, he thought about his name. He did not want to profane the name of Yahweh in the sight of other countries. These other countries had seen him take the people of the house of Israel out of Egypt. Thus for the sake of his name, he spared them.

Yahweh’s reaction (Ezek 20:8-20:10)

“Then I thought

That I would pour out

My wrath

Upon them.

I would spend

My anger

Against them

In the midst

Of the land

Of Egypt.

But I acted

For the sake

Of my name.

It should not be

Profaned

In the sight

Of the nations

Among whom

They lived,

In whose sight

I have made

Myself known

To them.

I will bring them

Out of the land

Of Egypt.

So I led them

Out of the land

Of Egypt.

I brought them

Into the wilderness.”

Yahweh wanted to pour out his wrath on them right there and then in the land of Egypt, because he was angry with them. However, he acted for the sake of his name. He did not want to profane his name in the sight of other nations among whom the Israelites had lived. He did not want to embarrass his name among those who had heard that Yahweh was bringing them out of the land of Egypt. So he ended up leading them out of the land of Egypt into the wilderness.

Do not be afraid of the rebellious people (Ezek 2:4-2:7)

“‘These descendants are

Impudent,

As well as stubborn.

I am sending you

To them.

You shall say

To them.

‘Thus says Yahweh God.’

They are a rebellious house.

Whether they hear

Or refuse to hear,

They will know

That there has been

A prophet among them.

You!

Son of man!

Do not be afraid

Of them!

Do not be afraid

Of their words!

Even though briers

Or thorns surround you,

Do not be afraid!

Even though

You live among scorpions,

Do not be afraid

Of their words!

Do not be dismayed

At their looks!

They are a rebellious house!

You shall speak

My words to them,

Whether they hear

Or refuse to hear.

They are a rebellious house!’”

These Israelite descendants were impudent and stubborn. Yahweh was sending Ezekiel to them to speak in his name. They were a rebellious house. Whether they heard or refused to hear, they would know that there had been a prophet among them. Ezekiel, the son of man, a mere mortal, was not to be afraid of them or their words. Even though briers or thorns surrounded him, he should not be afraid. Even though he lived among scorpions, he was not to be afraid of their words. He was not to be dismayed at their looks either. Yahweh repeated again that they were a rebellious house, whether they heard him or not was up to them.

Do not remember the sins of our ancestors (Bar 3:5-3:8)

“Do not remember

The iniquities

Of our ancestors!

But in this crisis,

Remember

Your power!

Remember

Your name!

You are the Lord

Our God!

It is you!

O Lord!

Whom we will praise!

You have put

The fear of you

In our hearts

So that we would

Call upon your name.

We will praise you

In our exile!

We have put away

From our hearts

All the iniquity

Of our ancestors

Who sinned before you.

See!

We are today

In our exile

Where you have scattered us.

We are reproached.

We are cursed.

We are punished

For all the iniquities

Of our ancestors

Who forsook

The Lord

Our God.”

Baruch wanted God not to remember the iniquities of their ancestors. Instead he wanted God to remember his own power and his name. They, the Israelite exiles, were going to praise God whom they feared in their hearts, during this exilic time. They were going to call on his name. They wanted the stain of their ancestor’s sins removed. They were scattered in this exile, reproached, cursed, and punished. It was their ancestors who had given up on the Lord, their God, not them.