The wicked (Prov 15:8-15:12)

“The sacrifice of the wicked is

An abomination to Yahweh.

But the prayer of the upright is

His delight.

The way of the wicked is

An abomination to Yahweh.

But he loves whoever

Pursues righteousness.

There is severe discipline

For one who forsakes the way.

But one who hates rebuke will die.

Sheol and Abaddon lie open before Yahweh.

How much more the human hearts!

Scoffers do not like to be rebuked.

They will not go to the wise.”

The wicked are so bad that their sacrifice to Yahweh is an abomination. However, the prayer of the upright is delightful to Yahweh. The way of the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh because Yahweh loves righteousness. He rebukes those who forsake his way. However, the wicked do not like to be rebuked. These wicked ones will die and go to Sheol, the shadowy underground world, or Abaddon, the bottomless pit. Those cynic scoffers do not like to be rebuked either. They refuse to go with their human heart in following the wise ones.

The lazy ones (Prov 13:1-13:4)

“The wise child loves discipline.

But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

From the fruit of their words,

Good persons eat good things.

But the desire of the treacherous is for violence.

Whoever guards their mouths preserves their lives.

Whoever opens wide their lips comes to ruin.

The appetite of the lazy craves,

But gets nothing.

The appetite of the diligent is richly supplied.”

The wise child loves discipline because it leads to knowledge. However, the lazy mocking scoffer does not listen to criticism. Good people eat good things because of the good fruit of their words. The treacherous only want violence. If you guard your mouth, you will preserve your life. However, if you open your mouth wide, it will only bring you ruin. The lazy people crave for food but they get nothing, while the appetite of the diligent gets richly supplied and satisfied.

Truth (Prov 12:17-12:22)

“Whoever speaks the truth

Gives honest evidence.

But a false witness

Speaks deceitfully.

Rash words are like sword thrusts.

But the tongue of the wise

Brings healing.

Truthful lips endure forever.

But a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil.

But those who counsel peace have joy.

No harm happens to the righteous.

But the wicked are filled with trouble.

Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh.

But those who act faithfully are his delight.”

Truth is important. Telling the truth is giving honest evidence. The false witness was full of deceitful speech. Their rash words were like sword swipes. The tongue of the wise truthful one brings healing and endures forever. The lying tongue only lasts a moment. The deceitful people plan their evil deeds. If you counsel peace, you will bring joy. The righteous are not harmed, but the wicked are full of trouble. Yahweh hates lying lips, but loves faithful true lips.

A description of wisdom (Prov 8:12-8:21)

“I

Wisdom,

I live with prudence.

I attain knowledge.

I attain discretion.

The fear of Yahweh is hatred of evil.

I hate pride.

I hate arrogance.

I hate the way of evil.

I hate perverted speech.         

I have good advice.

I have sound wisdom.

I have insight.

I have strength.

Kings reign by me.

Rulers decree what is just.

Rulers rule by me.

Nobles govern by me.

All who govern rightly rule by me.

I love those who love me.

Those who seek me diligently

Find me.

Riches and honor are with me.

Enduring wealth is with me.

Prosperity is with me.

My fruit is better than gold,

Even fine gold.

My yield is better than choice silver.

I walk in the way of righteousness.

I walk along the paths of justice,

I endow with wealth those who love me.

I fill their treasuries.”

In an interesting use of a literary form, female wisdom describes herself in the first person singular, “I.” She is prudent, knowledgeable, and discreet. As God fearing, she hates evil, pride, arrogance, and perverted speech. On the other hand, she has good advice, sound wisdom, insight, and strength. All the kings, rulers, and nobles govern rightly because of her. She loves those who love her and seek her out diligently. When you have lady wisdom, then you have riches, honor, wealth, and prosperity. The fruit of wisdom is better than fine gold and silver. She walks in the way of righteousness along the paths of justice. Those who love her will be filled with wealth and treasures.

Accept the discipline of Yahweh (Prov 3:11-3:12)

“My child!

Do not despise Yahweh’s discipline!

Do not be weary of his reproof!

Yahweh reproves the ones he loves.

Just as a father reproves

The son in whom he delights.”

You were not to despise the discipline of Yahweh. You should not be weary of his disapproval. God only disciplines those whom he loves. Just like a father only disciplines his favorite beloved son. You should look on a rebuff from God as a sign of love.

Yahweh protects all (Ps 146:7-146:9)

“Yahweh executes justice for the oppressed.

Yahweh gives food to the hungry.

Yahweh sets the prisoners free.

Yahweh opens the eyes of the blind.

Yahweh lifts up those who are bowed down.

Yahweh loves the righteous.

Yahweh watches over the strangers.

Yahweh upholds the orphan and the widow.

Yahweh brings to ruin the way of the wicked.”

Yahweh makes sure that there is justice for the oppressed. He gives food to the hungry. He sets prisoners free. He opens the eyes of the blind. He lifts up those who are bowed down. He loves the righteous. He watches over strangers. He helps orphans. He holds up widows. However, he brings to ruin those who are pursuing wicked ways.

Yahweh has been good to me (Ps 116:1-116:4)

“I love Yahweh

Because he has heard my voice.

He has heard my supplications.

Therefore I will call on him

As long as I live,

Because he inclined his ear to me.

The snares of death encompassed me.

The pangs of Sheol laid hold of me.

I suffered distress.

I suffered anguish.

Then I called on the name of Yahweh.

‘Yahweh!’

I pray!

Save my life!’”

Psalm 116 is a thanksgiving psalm without any titles. This psalm begins with the psalmist talking about how he loves Yahweh because Yahweh has heard his voice. Unlike the psalms that ask God to listen, this psalmist has already had his prayers answered. Yahweh heard his voice and supplications because he inclined his ear to him. The result is that he will always call upon Yahweh as long as he lives. He apparently was near his death in great distress and anguish almost near Sheol. Then he called out the name of Yahweh and he was saved. This is like a call to prayer for the others in the congregation.

Yahweh as king (Ps 99:1-99:5)

“Yahweh rules as king.

Let the peoples tremble!

He sits enthroned upon the cherubim.

Let the earth quake!

Yahweh is great in Zion.

He is exalted over all the peoples.

Let them praise your great and awesome name!

Holy is he!

Mighty King!

Lover of justice!

You have established equity.

You have executed justice.

You have executed righteousness in Jacob.

Extol Yahweh!

Our God!

Worship at his footstool!

Holy is he!”

Psalm 99 continues the theme of Yahweh as king. Once again there is no title to this psalm. Yahweh rules as king. The people tremble. He sits enthroned on the angelic cherubim in Zion over all the people. This holy king should be praised because his name is awesome. He is the mighty holy king who loves justice and equity. He has executed justice and righteousness upon the descendants of Jacob. We should extol holy Yahweh as our God when we worship at his footstool. We see the repeated refrain “holy is he.”

The righteous will be with Yahweh (Ps 97:10-90:12)

“Yahweh loves those who hate evil.

He guards the lives of his faithful.

He rescues them from the hand of the wicked.

Light dawns for the righteous.

Joy comes for the upright in heart.

Rejoice in Yahweh!

O you righteous!

Give thanks to his holy name!”

This psalm ends with the righteous rejoicing in Yahweh. Yahweh loves those who hate evil. He guards the lives of the faithful. He rescues them from the hands of the wicked. Light shines for the righteous as joy comes to their heart. The righteous are to rejoice in Yahweh. They are to give thanks to his holy name.

Song of praise for the Temple (Ps 84:1-84:2)

To the choirmaster leader, according to the Gittith, a psalm of the Sons of Korah

“How lovely is your dwelling place!

Yahweh of hosts!

My soul longs,

Indeed it faints

For the courts of Yahweh.

My heart sings for joy!

My flesh sings for joy!

I sing to the living God!”

Psalm 84 is a choral song of praise for the Temple on Mount Zion. This psalm is part of the series of Korah psalms, the Temple singers, using Gittith, a stringed instrument. This psalmist loves the house of Yahweh as his soul longs for and faints for the courtyards of Yahweh. His heart and flesh sings for joy to the living God.