A thanksgiving psalm (Ps 40:1-40:3)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David

“I waited patiently for Yahweh.

He inclined to me.

He heard my cry.

He drew me up from the desolate pit.

He drew me out of the miry bog.

He set my feet upon a rock.

He makes my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth,

A song of praise to our God.

Many will see Yahweh.

Many will fear Yahweh.

Many will put their trust in Yahweh.”

Psalm 40 has a simple title of David with the notation to the choirmaster leader. David had waited patiently for Yahweh. However, Yahweh heard his call and leaned down to him. He took him out of the desolate pit and the slimy bog. He put his feet on solid rock and make his steps secure. With that there was a new song of praise for God that came out of his mouth. Thus many people have seen, feared, and trusted in Yahweh.

Be patient with Yahweh (Ps 37:7-37:7)

Dalet              

Be still before Yahweh!

Wait patiently for him!

Do not fret over

Those who prosper in their ways!

Do not fret over

Those who carry out evil devices!”

However, you need to be still before Yahweh. You have to wait patiently for him. Thus, there is no need to fret over the prosperous ones who carry out evil designs.

The providential meaning of the persecution (2 Macc 6:12-6:17)

“Now I urge those who read this book not to be depressed by such calamities. You ought to recognize that these punishments were designed not to destroy but to discipline our people. In fact, it is a sign of great kindness not to let the impious alone for long, but to punish them immediately. In the case of the other nations, the Lord waits patiently to punish them until they have reached the full measure of their sins. However, he does not deal in this way with us. So that he may not take vengeance on us afterward when our sins have reached their height, he never withdraws his mercy from us. Although he disciplines us with calamities, he does not forsake his own people. Let what we have said serve as a reminder. We must go on briefly with the story.”

Here is a little editorial note of the biblical writer. In fact, he used the first person singular “I.” He did not want the reader to be depressed by these incidents. These punishments came to the Jewish people in order to discipline them, not to destroy them. With other nations, the Lord waited until they were totally sinful before he punished them. God’s mercy was always with the Jews, even when they were sinful. Although he disciplines the Jews, he never abandons them. Now that the author has put in this little reminder, he was going to continue on with the story. This is a rare look at the perspective of this biblical author. The Jews were unique in that God was merciful, no matter what.