Yahweh has second thoughts (Hos 11:8-11:9)

“How can I give you up?

O Ephraim!

How can I hand you over?

O Israel!

How can I make you

Like Admah?

How can I treat you

Like Zeboiim?

My heart recoils

Within me.

My compassion

Grows warm.

My compassion

Grows tender.

I will not execute

My fierce anger.

I will not again

Destroy Ephraim.

I am God!

I am not a mortal!

I am the Holy One

In your midst.

I will not come

In wrath.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, had second thoughts about the destruction of Israel. How could he give Ephraim up? How could he hand over Israel? He could not make them like Admah and Zeboiim, two of the five cities destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis, chapter 19. His heart was compassionate with warm tenderness. He decided not to execute his fierce anger against Ephraim. Yahweh was God, not a mere mortal. He was the Holy One in their midst. He was not going to come in anger.

Courage and hope (Bar 4:21-4:22)

“Take courage!

My children!

Cry to God!

He will deliver you

From the power

Of the enemy!

He will deliver you

From the hand

Of the enemy!

I have put my hope

In the Everlasting One

To save you!

Joy has come

To me

From the Holy One!

Because mercy

Will soon come

To you

From your everlasting Savior.”

Continuing with the personification of Jerusalem, this city wanted her children to have courage. They should cry to God who would deliver them from the power and hand of their enemy. Jerusalem had put her hope in the Everlasting One, not Yahweh, to save them from their enemy. Joy has come to Jerusalem because the mercy of the Holy One would soon come to them to be their everlasting savior.

The end of idolatry (Isa 17:7-17:8)

“On that day

People will regard their Maker.

Their eyes will look

To the Holy One of Israel.

They will not have regard

For the altars,

The work of their own hands.

They will not look

To what their own fingers have made,

Either the sacred poles

Or the altars of incense.”

The end of idolatry and the turning to the Holy One of Israel will take place on this day of destruction. On that day, they will turn away from the altars that they made with their own hands. They will not look at the idols that they made with their own fingers.   They will turn away from the sacred or holy poles or sticks, like totem poles, and the altars with incense on them. Idolatry will become a thing of the past.

Wisdom teaches those who love her (Sir 4:11-4:16)

“Wisdom teachers her children.

Wisdom gives help to those who seek her.

Whoever loves her

Loves life.

Whoever seeks her from early morning

Is filled with joy.

Whoever holds her fast inherits glory.

The Lord blesses the place she enters.

Whoever serves her

Ministers to the Holy One.

The Lord loves those who love her.

Whoever obeys her

Will judge the nations.

Whoever listens to her

Will live secure.

If they remain faithful,

They will inherit her.

Their descendants will also obtain her.”

The personification of wisdom continues here with wisdom as a teacher. However, it is clear that they have to seek her out. Wisdom loves those who love her. They will be filled with joy, if they seek her in the morning. They will inherit glory. The Lord blesses everyplace that she goes. If you minister to wisdom, you are ministering to the Holy One, God. The Lord loves those who love her. If they obey wisdom, they will judge other nations and live a secure life. If they are faithful to her, they and their descendants will inherit and obtain wisdom.

Scoffers (Prov 9:7-9:12)

“Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse.

Whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt.

A scoffer who is rebuked,

Will only hate you.

The wise man,

When rebuked,

Will love you.

Give instruction to the wise.

They will become wiser still.

Teach the righteous,

They will gain in learning.

The fear of Yahweh

Is the beginning of wisdom.

The knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

By me,

Your days will be multiplied.

By me,

Years will be added to your life.

If you are wise,

You are wise for yourself.

If you scoff,

You alone will bear it.”

If you mock or deride people as scoffers, there is no sense in rebuking you. You will only get hurt and abused because you are as if rebuking a wicked person. They will hate you. On the other hand, if you give instruction to the wise ones, they will become wiser still. If you teach the righteous, they will gain in learning. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of Yahweh. The knowledge of the Holy One leads to insight. Wisdom will multiple your days and years. If you are wise, it will go well with you. If you are a scoffer or cynic, you will bear the whole burden alone.

Happy are the people (Ps 89:15-89:18)

“Happy are the people

Who know the festal shout.

Happy are the people

Who walk in the light of your countenance.

Yahweh!

Happy are the people

Who exalt in your name all day long.

Happy are the people

Who extol your righteousness.

You are the glory of their strength.

By your favor our horn is exalted.

Our shield belongs to Yahweh,

Our king,

The holy one of Israel.”

The people are happy when they are able to shout at the festivals, when they walk in the light of Yahweh. They are happy when they exalt the name of Yahweh all day long. They extol Yahweh’s righteousness. They glory in his strength, since the horn was a symbol of strength. They were happy with their shield, the king who was the holy one of Israel.

Praise God (Ps 71:22-71:24)

“I will also praise you with the harp,

For your faithfulness,

O my God!

I will sing praises to you with the lyre,

O Holy One of Israel!

My lips will shout for joy,

When I sing praises to you.

My soul also will shout for joy.

You have rescued my soul.

All day long,

My tongue will talk of your righteous help.

Those who tried to do me harm

Have been put to shame.

They have been disgraced.”

This long psalm ends with the usual cry of praising God. This psalmist, like the Davidic psalms, talks about playing the harp and the lyre.   He was going to sing praises about the faithfulness of God, the holy one of Israel. His lips would shout for joy because his soul had been rescued. All day long, he would talk about the righteous help of God. He had to add the zinger that those who tried to do him harm were put to shame and disgraced.