The power of God (Wis 11:21-11:26)

“It is always in your power

To show great strength.

Who can withstand the might of your arm?

Because the whole world is before you

Like a speck that tips the scales.

It is like a drop of morning dew

That falls upon the ground.

But you are merciful to all.

You can do all things.

You overlook people’s sins.

Thus they may repent.

You love all things that exist.

You detest none of the things

That you have made.

You would not have made anything

If you had hated it.

How would anything have endured,

If you had not willed it?

How would anything not called forth by you

Have been preserved?

You spare all things.

They are yours. O Lord!

You love the living!”

This is like a great prayer to God, who has power and strength. No one is able to withstand the might of his arm. The whole world (ὅλος ὁ κόσμος) is like a speck or a drop of morning dew before him. This is reminiscent of the folk spiritual song He’s got the Whole World in his Hands. God is also merciful to all. He overlooks people’s sins so that man can repent (ἀνθρώπων εἰς μετάνοιαν). He loves (ἀγαπᾷς) all things, but he detests none since he made everything. If God hated anything, it would not endure. If he did not will it, it would not happen. He has preserved all things, since all belongs to the Lord who loves all (πάντων) living things.

Royal power (Prov 19:10-19:12)

“It is not fitting

For a fool to live in luxury.

Much less it is not fitting

For a slave to rule over princes.

Those with good sense are slow to anger.

It is their glory to overlook an offense.

A king’s wrath is like the growling of a lion.

But his favor is like dew on the grass.”

A fool should not live in luxury. A slave should not rule over princes. There were clear social class distinctions. Those who are slow to anger show good sense. However, watch out for the senseless king who is angry, growling like a lion. His favor, on the other hand, is like the morning dew on the grass.

Yahweh questions Job about frost (Job 38:28-38:30)

“Has the rain a father?

Who has begotten the drops of dew?

From whose womb did the ice come forth?

Who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven?

The waters become hard like stone.

The face of the deep is frozen.”

Rain is once again considered in anthropomorphic terms. Who is the father of rain? Whose womb did the light morning dew come from? Whose womb did the ice come from? How did the waters become like stone, frozen in place? These continuing poetic expressions about rain and ice pose the unanswerable questions about weather and its changing face. Certainly these poetic terms appear again and again in encyclical Laudato Si of Pope Francis I.