Wisdom and the commandments (Sir 1:25-1:27)

“In the treasuries of wisdom

Are wise sayings.

But godliness is an abomination to a sinner.

If you desire wisdom,

Keep the commandments.

The Lord will lavish her upon you.

Fear of the Lord is wisdom.

Fear of the Lord is discipline.

Fidelity is his delight.

Humility is his delight.”

If you have wisdom, you will have the treasures of many wise sayings. Of course, the sinners do not like godliness. If you want wisdom, keep the commandments. Sirach clearly ties law and the commandments to wisdom and the fear of the Lord, since there is a strong tie between all of them. With this fear of God you will have wisdom and discipline. The Lord will delight in your fidelity and humility.

Stupidity (Prov 30:2-30:3)

“Surely I am too stupid to be human.

I do not have human understanding.

I have not learned wisdom.

I do not have knowledge of the Holy One.”

In a rare expression of humility, this Agur proclaims that he is too stupid to even be a human. He admits his human limitations since he does not even have human understanding. He has never learned about wisdom. He does not even know the holy one.

The strong tower of Yahweh (Prov 18:9-18:12)

“Whoever is slack in his work

Is close kin to a vandal.

The name of Yahweh is a strong tower.

The righteous run into it.

The righteous are safe.

The wealth of the rich is their strong city.

They image wealth like a protective high wall.

Before destruction

One’s heart is haughty.

But humility goes before honor.”

If you are slack in your work, you are like a vandal stealing from your employer. The name of Yahweh is like a strong tower. The righteous run to this tower of Yahweh where they are safe. The rich people live in a strong city. They believe that their wealth is like a protective wall for them. Generally speaking, one’s heart is haughty or proud before the destruction comes. Humility should go before honors.

Listen to instruction (Prov 15:31-15:33)

“The ear that heeds wholesome admonitions

Will lodge among the wise.

Those who ignore instruction

Despise themselves.

But those who heed admonitions

Gain understanding.

The fear of Yahweh is instruction in wisdom.

Humility goes before honor.”

Wise people listen to admonitions, while the ignorant ones ignore instruction. They despise themselves. Those who listen to instruction and admonitions gain a better understanding. After all, the fear of God is the true instruction in wisdom. You should choose humility before honors.

Integrity (Prov 11:1-11:4)

“A false balance is an abomination to Yahweh.

But an accurate weight is his delight.

When pride comes,

Then disgrace comes.

But wisdom is with the humble.

The integrity of the upright guides them.

But the crookedness of the treacherous

Destroys them.

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath.

But righteousness delivers from death.”

Yahweh wants integrity in humans. They should not use a false scale, but have accurate weights in their business dealings. Pride brings disgrace while humility is wise. Integrity should be your guide, as it is for the upright, because the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. On the day of wrath, riches will not be worth much, but righteousness will deliver you from death.

The prayer of the Israelites (Jdt 6:18-6:21)

“Then the people fell down and worshiped God. They cried out.

‘O Lord God of heaven,

See their arrogance.

Have pity on our people in their humiliation.

Look kindly today

On the faces of those who are consecrated to you.’

Then they reassured Achior. They praised him greatly. Uzziah took him from the assembly to his own house. He gave a banquet for the elders. All that night they called on the God of Israel for help.”

They prayed to the God of heaven. All night long they prayed to the God of Israel. They wanted God to see the arrogance of their enemies. As for their own humility, they wanted God to look kindly upon them. They praised and treated Achior very kindly as they had a banquet for him. In fact, Uzziah took Achior into his own house.

The prayer of King David (1 Chr 29:14-29:19)

“But who am I?

What is my people?

How are we able to make this free will offering?

All things come from you.

Of your own have we given you

We are aliens and transients before you.

As were all our ancestors.

Our days on the earth are like a shadow.

There is no hope.

O Yahweh, our God,

All this abundance that we have provided for building you a house

For your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.

I know, my God, that you search the heart.

You take pleasure in uprightness.

In the uprightness of my heart,

I have freely offered all these things,

Now I have seen your people,

Who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you.

O Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our ancestors,

Keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people.

Direct their hearts toward you.

Grant to Solomon my son

That with single mind,

He may keep your commandments, your decrees, and your statutes, Performing all of them,

That he may build the temple for which I have made provision.”

Once again, this is a beautiful prayer attributed to King David. It is no wonder that there is such great reverence for him. He prayed for the successful undertaking of the temple by his son Solomon. David, as always was humble. He asked who he and his people are that they should have such richness. Everything that they give in all these wonderful free will donations actually comes from Yahweh. He reminded everyone that we are all transients and aliens in our lifetime. We would have no hope without Yahweh. Only in the uprightness of Yahweh is there pleasure. Yahweh, as the God of our ancestors, should help us now as we try to build this temple. King David wants God to help his son, not only build the temple, but keep all the commandments of Yahweh. Hopefully, he will build the temple with the all these provisions here.