All generations will call Mary blessed (Lk 1:48-1:48)

“God had looked

On the lowliness

Of his slave.

Surely,

From now on,

All generations

Will call me blessed!”

 

ὅτι ἐπέβλεψεν ἐπὶ τὴν ταπείνωσιν τῆς δούλης αὐτοῦ. ἰδοὺ γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν μακαριοῦσίν με πᾶσαι αἱ γενεαί·

 

This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:1-10, that praised Yahweh for the birth of her son, Samuel the prophet.  Mary’s lowliness was like Hannah’s misery.  Luke had Mary say that God had looked (ὅτι ἐπέβλεψεν) on her lowliness or the humiliation of his slave (ἐπὶ τὴν ταπείνωσιν τῆς δούλης αὐτοῦ), Mary.  However, from now on (ἰδοὺ γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν) all generations (πᾶσαι αἱ γενεαί) would count Mary blessed or happy (μακαριοῦσίν με).  Thus, the phrase “Blessed Mary, Mother of Jesus!”  By extension, as Jesus was the son of God, Mary became known as the Mother of God.

Strong drinks (Prov 31:4-31:7)

“It is not for kings.

O Lemuel!

It is not for kings to drink wine.

Rulers should not desire strong drink.

Otherwise if they drink,

They will forget what has been decreed.

They will pervert the rights of all the afflicted.

Give strong drink to him who is perishing!

Give wine to those in bitter distress!

Let them drink!

Let them forget their poverty!

Let them remember their misery no more!”

Now we have a warning against strong drink or alcohol, which was a common prohibition among the ancient and current Arabic countries. The king should not drink wine or strong drinks because he would forget what he had decreed. He might end up perverting the rights of all the afflicted. Even in this prohibition against strong drink, there was a sense of social justice in that the king might forget about his subjects and their afflictions. However, in a strange turn of events, it was okay to give strong drink to those who were dying. My father, who was dying of throat cancer, decided to drink alcohol rather than take drugs. Anyone in great distress could have a strong drink. They were allowed to drink because it would help them forget their poverty and misery. Strong drink was allowed for the dying, the poor, and the miserable, but not for a king.

Rescue me (Ps 119:153-119:160)

Resh

“Look on my misery!

Rescue me!

I do not forget your law.

Plead my cause!

Redeem me!

Give me life

According to your promise!

Salvation is far from the wicked.

They do not seek your statutes.

Great is your mercy!

Yahweh!

Give me life

According to your justice!

Many are my persecutors.

Many are my adversaries.

Yet I do not swerve from your decrees.

I look at the faithless with disgust.

Because they do not keep your commands.

Consider how I love your precepts!

Preserve my life

According to your steadfast love!

The sum of your word is truth.

Every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.”

This psalmist wanted to be rescued from his misery because he had not forgotten the law. He wanted a defense attorney and a redeemer. He wanted his life as Yahweh had promised. The wicked would not be saved because they did not seek Yahweh’s statutes. Yahweh’s mercy was great so that his justice would also help him. Although he had many persecutors and adversaries the psalmist did not swerve from Yahweh’s decrees. He looked at the unfaithful in disgust because they did not keep Yahweh’s commands. He, on the other hand, loved Yahweh’s precepts. He wanted his life preserved because of Yahweh’s love. The word of Yahweh is truth so that every one of his just ordinances would endure forever. So ends this section on the twentieth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Resh.

 

The law is my delight (Ps 119:89-119:96)

Lamed

“Yahweh exists forever!

Your word is firmly fixed in heaven.

Your faithfulness endures to all generations.

You have established the earth.

It stands fast.

By your appointment

They stand today.

All things are your servants.

If your law had not been my delight,

I should have perished in my misery.

I will never forget your precepts.

By them,

You have given me life.

I am yours!

Save me!

I have sought your precepts.

The wicked lie in wait

To destroy me.

But I consider your decrees.

I have seen a limit to all perfection.

But your commandment is exceedingly broad.”

Yahweh is eternal in heaven. His faithfulness endures forever. He has established the earth and keeps it going. All things are his servants. This psalmist admits that if he did not have this delightful law, he might have perished in his misery. He would never forget the precepts of Yahweh since they gave him life. He gave himself fully to Yahweh. He relied on Yahweh to save him since he always sought his precepts. However, the wicked lay in wait for him in order to destroy him. The psalmist would consider the decrees of Yahweh and seek perfection because of the broad commandments. So ends this section on the twelfth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Lamed.

Yahweh helped the prisoners (Ps 107:10-107:16)

“Some sat in darkness.

Some sat in gloom.

They were prisoners in misery.

They were prisoners in irons.

They had rebelled against the words of God.

They had spurned the counsel of the Most High.

Their hearts were bowed down with hard labor.

They fell down.

There was no one to help them.

Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble.

He saved them from their distress.

He brought them out of darkness.

He brought them out of gloom.

He broke their bonds asunder.

Let them thank Yahweh

For his steadfast love!

Let them thank Yahweh

For his wonderful works to humankind!

He shatters the doors of bronze.

He cuts in two the bars of iron.”

Some people were in darkness and gloom. They were prisoners in misery and in actual irons, shackled together, because they had rebelled against God. They had turned away from the counsel of the Most High God. They were in forced labor with no one to help them. These people were not innocent, since they had done or said something against God. However, they cried to Yahweh for help in their distress. Guess what? He saved them from their distress, darkness, and gloom. He tore their chains apart. Now they should give thanks to Yahweh for his steadfast love and wondrous deeds. He shattered the doors of bronze and the iron bars. They were now free people.

David was in bad shape (Ps 31:9-31:10)

“Be gracious to me!

Yahweh!

I am in distress!

My eye wastes away from grief!

My soul wastes away from grief!

My body also wastes away from grief!

My life is spent with sorrow!

My years pass with sighing!

My strength fails.

Because of my misery,

My bones waste away.”

David wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him because he was in great distress. His eyes, soul, and body were wasting away in grief. He was living a sorrowful life as each year passed with sightings all the time. His strength was failing him because of his misery. His bones were wasting away. He was a “woe is me” kind of guy. He sounded a lot like Job.

God punishes the wicked (Job 20:20-20:29)

“They know no quiet in their bellies.

In their greed,

They let nothing escape.

There was nothing left after they had eaten.

Therefore their prosperity will not endure.

In full sufficiency,

They will be in distress.

All the force of misery will come upon them.

To fill their belly to the full,

God will send his fierce anger into them.

God will rain upon them as their food.

They will flee from an iron weapon.

A bronze arrow will strike them through.

It is drawn forth.

It comes out of their body.

The glittering point comes out of their gall.

Terrors come upon them.

Utter darkness is laid up for their treasures.

A fire fanned by no one will devour them.

What is left in their tent will be consumed.

The heavens will reveal their iniquity.

The earth will rise up against them.

The possessions of their home will be carried away.

They will be carried off in the day of God’s wrath.

This is the portion of the wicked from God.

This is the heritage decreed for them by God.”

Zophar continued that God punishes the wicked and the greedy. Their stomachs are never full since they have an insatiable hunger. Their prosperity will not endure. They will be in distress and misery. Their food will be rain. They will face iron weapons, especially a bronze arrow in their gall bladder. Darkness will be their treasure. They will face a fire that no one starts. Their tents will be destroyed. Their possessions will be carried away. Heaven and earth will rise up against them. This will be the portion and heritage that God will give to the wicked. This seems to imply that Job was the wicked person who faced God’s wrath.