They will be miracle workers (Mk 16:18-16:18)

“They will pick up

Snakes

In their hands.

If they drink

Any deadly thing,

It will not hurt them.

They will lay

Their hands

On the sick.

They will recover.”

 

ὄφεις ἀροῦσιν κἂν θανάσιμόν τι πίωσιν οὐ μὴ αὐτοὺς βλάψῃ, ἐπὶ ἀρρώστους χεῖρας ἐπιθήσουσιν καὶ καλῶς ἕξουσιν.

 

This is another unique section of this longer ending to Mark.  Jesus was reminding his followers of what would happen to them.  They would have special powers.  They would be able to pick up snakes in their hands (ὄφεις ἀροῦσιν).  They would be able to drink any deadly drink (κἂν θανάσιμόν τι πίωσιν), without it hurting them (οὐ μὴ αὐτοὺς βλάψῃ).  They would be able to lay their hands-on sick people (ἐπὶ ἀρρώστους χεῖρας ἐπιθήσουσιν) and they would recover or become well again (καὶ καλῶς ἕξουσιν).  They would be like miracle workers or super heroes with special powers.

Bows and arrows (Hab 3:9-3:9)

“You brandished

Your naked bow!

Overflowing arrows

Were at your command.”

Selah

This hymn of Habakkuk talked about a bow ready to shoot many arrows, since there were more than enough arrows for this empty bow.  Then we have the psalmist pause for mediation with Selah, reminding us that this was a chant or hymn being sung.

The holy city is in disgrace (Dan 9:15-9:16)

“Now!

O Lord!

Our God!

You brought

Your people

Out of the land

Of Egypt

With a mighty hand.

You have made

Your name

Renowned

Even to this day.

We have sinned.

We have done wickedly.

O Lord!

In view of your righteous acts,

Let your anger,

Let your wrath,

We pray,

Turn away

From your city Jerusalem,

Your holy mountain.

Because of our sins,

Because of the iniquities

Of our ancestors,

Jerusalem

With your people

Have become a disgrace

Among all our neighbors.”

Daniel continued with this prayer to God, reminding him how he had brought them out of Egypt with a mighty hand. His name was renowned. However, they had sinned and done wicked things. Thus, God, the Lord, had a righteous anger and wrath. Daniel wanted God to turn away from the holy mountain, the city of Jerusalem, because it had become a disgrace to all its neighbors. Their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors have brought disgrace to Jerusalem and its people.

Israel should remember its evil past (Ezek 36:31-36:32)

“‘Then you shall remember

Your evil ways.

You shall remember

Your dealings

That were not good.

You shall loathe yourselves

For your iniquities.

You shall loathe yourselves

For your abominable deeds.’

Says Yahweh God!

‘It is not for your sake

That I will act.

Let that be known

To you.

Be ashamed!

Be dismayed

For your ways!

O house of Israel!’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, has an implied warning in reminding the Israelites, the house of Israel, to remember their past evil bad dealings. They should loathe themselves because of their past iniquities and abominable deeds. Yahweh was kind to them, but not for their own sake. They should be ashamed and dismayed about their former evil ways.

 

Two examples of tough times (Jer 12:5-12:5)

“If you have raced with foot runners

That have wearied you,

How will you compete with horses?

If in a safe land

You fall down,

How will you fare

In the thickets of the Jordan?”

Yahweh responds to Jeremiah by reminding him that if he has a hard time in a foot race that tires him out, what will happen if he has to race against horses? The same is true that if he is falling down in a safe land, how would he do if he was lost in the thickets along the Jordan River? Things could be worse than they are.

Hurtful sins (Sir 21:1-21:3)

Have you sinned?

My child!

Do so no more!

Ask forgiveness

For your past sins!

Flee from sin

As from a snake!

If you approach sin,

It will bite you.

Its teeth are lion’s teeth.

They can destroy human lives.

All lawlessness is

Like a two-edged sword.

There is no healing

For the wounds it inflicts.”

Sirach uses his parental tone in reminding others about the sting of sin. If you have sinned, stop! Ask forgiveness! You should run away from sin like you would run away from a snake. Do not go near to sin or it will bite you like a snake. Sin has lion’s teeth that can destroy people. Breaking the law is like a sharp two edged sword because there is no healing the wounds that it inflicts. Stay away from sin or you will get hurt.

Yahweh is my shield (Ps 84:9-84:12)

“Behold our shield!

O God!

Look on the face of your anointed!

A day in your courts is better

Than a thousand elsewhere.

I would rather be a doorkeeper

In the house of my God

Than live in the tents of wickedness.

Yahweh God is a sun.

Yahweh God is a shield.

He bestows favor.

He bestows honor.

No good thing does Yahweh withhold

From those who walk uprightly.

Yahweh of hosts!

Happy is everyone who trusts in you!”

This psalm ends with the psalmist reminding people on how to be happy, trust in Yahweh. Yahweh is his shield and protector. The psalmist wants God to look at his anointed one. He believes that one day in the courts of the Temple was better than 1,000 days elsewhere. He was happy to be a Temple door keeper than live in the tents of the wicked. Yahweh was his sun and shield at the same time. Yahweh had bestowed favors and honors on him. Yahweh does not hold back anything from the upright. Everyone who trusts in Yahweh is happy. How to be happy, trust in Yahweh.