The final praise of God (Dan 4:37-4:37)

“Now I,

King Nebuchadnezzar,

Praise

The king of heaven!

I extol

The king of heaven!

I honor

The king of heaven!

All his works

Are true!

His ways

Are justice!

He is able to

Bring low

Those who walk

In pride.”

The king continued, in the first-person singular, to praise, extol, and honor the king of heaven. All God’s works are true. All his ways are just. God is able to bring low those who walk in pride. The king was referring to himself and his new-found God.

Blessing God (Dan 3:3-3:4)

“Blessed are you!

O Lord!

God of our ancestors!

Worthy of praise!    

Glorious is your name

Forever!

You are just

In all

You have done!

All your works

Are true!

Your ways are right!

All your judgments

Are true!”

This hymn or canticle of Azariah begins with a blessing to God, the God of his ancestors, the Lord, whose glorious name is to be praised forever. God is just to all people. All his ways, works, and judgments are true. Everything he has done is wonderful.

The just way of Yahweh (Ezek 33:17-33:17)

“Yet your people say.

‘The way of Yahweh

Is not just!’

When it is

Their own way

That is not just.”

Just like earlier in chapter 18, Yahweh received a challenge about fairness. Why was Yahweh unfair? Yahweh responded to his people that it was not his ways that were unjust, rather it was their own ways that were not just.

Is Yahweh fair or unfair? (Ezek 18:29-18:29)

“Yet the house of Israel

Say!

‘The way of Yahweh

Is unfair!’

‘O house of Israel!

Are my ways unfair?

Is it not your ways

That are unfair?’”

Just like earlier in this chapter, Yahweh received a challenge about fairness. Why was Yahweh unfair? Yahweh responded to the house of Israel that it was not his ways that were unfair, rather it was their ways that were unfair.

The fair way (Ezek 18:25-18:25)

“Yet you say!

‘The way of Yahweh

Is unfair.’

‘Hear now!

O house of Israel!

Is my way unfair?

Is it not your ways

That are unfair?”

Yahweh received a challenge about fairness. Why was Yahweh unfair? Yahweh responded to the house of Israel. It was not his ways that were unfair, it was their ways that were unfair.

Yahweh explains why he is doing this (Jer 9:13-9:14)

“Yahweh says.

‘They have forsaken my law

That I set before them.

They have not obeyed my voice.

They have not walked in accordance with it.

But they have stubbornly followed

Their own hearts.

They have gone after the Baals,

As their ancestors taught them.”

Yahweh explains why this punishment was about to take place. They simply have forsaken the law of Yahweh that he set before them. They have not obeyed his voice. They have not walked according to his ways. They have stubbornly followed their own hearts. They went to the pagan idol gods of Baal, like their ancestors. Yahweh clearly explained his reasoning.

Acknowledgment of sins (Isa 63:17-63:19)

“Yahweh!

Why do you make us stray

From your ways?

Why do you harden our hearts,

So that we do not fear you?

Return

For the sake of your servants!

Return

For the tribes of your heritage!

Your holy people took possession

For a little while.

But now our adversaries

Have trodden down your sanctuary.

We have long been

Like those whom you do not rule.

We have long been

Like those who are not called

By your name.”

The prophet acknowledges that they are sinners. However, he seems to put the blame on Yahweh who let this happen. Yahweh seems to have let them stray from his ways and harden their hearts, so that they do not fear Yahweh any longer. This prophet wanted Yahweh to return for the sake of Yahweh’s servants and the tribal heritage. His people had possession of the sanctuary for a short time, but now Yahweh’s adversaries trampled down this holy place. In the end, he admitted that they have been too long without Yahweh’s rule. They have not called Yahweh by his name.