The fool (Lk 12:20-12:20)

“But God said to him.

‘Fool!

This very night

Your life

Is being demanded

Of you.

The things

You have prepared,

Whose will they be?’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός Ἄφρων, ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ· ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται;

 

Luke uniquely continued with this story as Jesus indicated that God said to this rich land owner (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός) that he was a fool, calling him that (Ἄφρων).  A fool was a harsh title, meaning that someone who had no concern for God.  That very night (ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ), God would demand or require the soul or the life of this rich fool (τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ).  Who would get all the things that he had prepared (ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται)?  The best laid plans of men and mice often go astray.  Instead of enjoying his long indulgent luxurious life, this rich man was about to die.  Then the question remained, who would enjoy all the riches that he had attained?  Death is the only certainty in life.  The only question is when?  Work as if you were going to live forever, but live your life and pray as if you are going to die tonight.  Time’s up!  When do you anticipate your death?

Do not be like your ancestors (Zech 1:4-1:6)

“Do not be like your ancestors!

The former prophets

Cried out

Against them.

Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Return from your evil ways!

Return from your evil deeds!

But they did not hear.

They did not heed me.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Your ancestors,

Where are they?

The prophets,

Do they live forever?

But my words,

My statutes,

That I commanded

My servants,

The prophets,

Did they not overtake

Your ancestors?

Thus,

They repented.

They said.

‘Yahweh of hosts

Has dealt with us

According to our ways,

According to our deeds,

Just as he planned to do.’”

Yahweh, via Zechariah, wanted the people of Israel not to be like their ancestors.  They should return from their evil ways and deeds.  Their ancestors had not listened to the former prophets proclaiming the word of Yahweh.  What happened to their ancestors?  Neither they nor these prophets would live forever.  However, the statutes and commands of Yahweh as pronounced by his servants, the prophets, overtook them.  They repented and agreed that Yahweh had treated them fairly according to their ways and deeds.

Daniel responds to the king (Dan 6:21-6:22)

“Then Daniel said

To the king.

‘O king!

Live forever!

My God

Sent his angel.

He shut

The lions’ mouths.

Thus,

They would not hurt me,

Because I was found blameless

Before him.

Also,

I was found blameless

Before you,

O king!

I have done no wrong.’”

Daniel responded to the king with the familiar salutation that the king was to live forever. He explained to the king that God’s angel had come to him and shut the mouths of these lions. Thus, they were unable to hurt him. He was found blameless before God, just as he was blameless before the king. He wanted the king to know that he had not done anything wrong.

The Chaldean response (Dan 2:4-2:4)

“Then the Chaldeans

Said to the king,

In Aramaic.

‘O king!

Live forever!

Tell your servants

The dream.

We will reveal

The interpretation.’”

The Chaldean wise men responded directly to the king. They greeted him in Aramaic with the salutation that he might live forever, as was the Persian and later Islamic custom. Notice that they spoke in Aramaic, another indication of a later work. These Chaldeans told the king that they would be able to interpret his dream for him.

God provides shelter (Ps 61:2-61:4)

“Lead me to the rock

That is higher than I.

You are my refuge.

You are a strong tower

Against the enemy.

Let me live in your tent forever!

Let me find refuge

Under the shelter of your wings!”

Selah

David wanted to be led to a high rock. God was his refuge like a strong tower against his enemies. He wanted to live forever in the tent of God. He wanted to find refuge in a shelter under the wings of God. This idea of the wings of God as shelter is quite common. The reference to a tent is probably a reference to the temple which is far away. This section ends with a musical interlude meditative pause, a Selah.