May Yahweh accept this meditation (Ps 19:14-19:14)

“Let the words of my mouth

Be acceptable in your sight!

Let the meditation of my heart

Be acceptable in your sight!

Yahweh!

My rock and my redeemer!”

David or the psalmist wants his words to be acceptable in the sight of Yahweh as he comes to the end of this psalm. He also wanted the mediation in his heart to be also acceptable to Yahweh, who is his rock and redeemer.

Blessed be Yahweh (Ps 18:46-18:48)

“Yahweh lives!

Blessed be my rock!

Exalted be the God of my salvation!

God gave me vengeance.

He subdued peoples under me.

He delivered me from my enemies.

Indeed,

You exalted me above my adversaries.

You delivered me from the violent ones.”

Once again like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh lives as David’s rock of salvation. Yahweh should be blessed. Yahweh gave him vengeance against his enemies. He exalted him above all his adversaries. Yahweh delivered David from all the violent people against him. Yahweh had given David vengeance.

Yahweh is David’s rock (Ps 18:31-18:42)

“Who is God except Yahweh?

Who is a rock, besides our God?

This is the God who girded me with strength.

He made my way safe.

He made my feet

Like the feet of a deer.

He set me secure on the heights.

He trains my hands for war.

Thus my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have given me

The shield of your salvation.

Your right hand has supported me.

Your help has made me great.

You gave me a wide place for my steps under me.

My feet did not slip.

I pursued my enemies.

I overtook them.

I did not turn back

Until they were consumed.

I struck them down.

Thus they were not able to rise.

They fell under my feet.

You girded me with strength for the battle.

You made my assailants sink under me.

You made my enemies turn their backs to me.

Those who hated me

I destroyed.

They cried for help.

However, there was no one to save them.

They cried to Yahweh,

However he did not answer them.

I beat them fine.

They were like dust before the wind.

I cast them out

Like the mire of the streets.”

Once again, like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh was the strength and rock for David. His feet were like the hoofs of a deer in their ability to run fast. Yahweh made his arms so strong that he could even use a bronze bow. Yahweh made his feet steady so that he would never slip. When the battle raged, he was faster and stronger than his enemy. He crushed his enemies. They were utterly destroyed as they were struck down and fled. No one was there to save them, even when they cried out to Yahweh. David beat them like the dust of the earth. As usual, there was no indication of any empathy for enemies. He just wiped them out completely.

Job wants his story and words remembered (Job 19:23-19:24)

“O that my words were written down!

O that they were inscribed in a book!

O that they were inscribed with an iron pen and with lead

O that they were graven in the rock forever!”

Job wanted his words written down. Luckily for him, they have been inscribed in this book of Job. Are these his exact words? Probably not, but the gist is the same. He wanted to be remembered for something. He wanted someone with pen or lead to write it on a rock. He wanted everyone to know about his sufferings.

The tragic suicide death of Razis (2 Macc 14:37-14:46)

“A certain Razis, one of the elders of Jerusalem, was denounced to Nicanor as a man who loved his compatriots. He was very well thought of. For his good will, he was called father of the Jews. In former times, when there was no mingling with the gentiles, he had been accused of Judaism. He had most zealously risked body and life for Judaism. Nicanor, wishing to exhibit the enmity which he had for the Jews, sent more than five hundred soldiers to arrest him. He thought that by arresting him, he would do them an injury. When the troops were about to capture the tower, they forced the door of the courtyard. They ordered that fire be brought and the doors burned. Being surrounded, Razis fell upon his own sword. He preferred to die nobly rather than to fall into the hands of sinners and suffer outrages unworthy of his noble birth. But in the heat of the struggle he did not hit exactly. The crowd was now rushing in through the doors. He courageously ran up on the wall. He bravely threw himself down into the crowd. But as they quickly drew back, a space opened and he fell in the middle of the empty space. Still alive and aflame with anger, he rose up. Although his blood gushed forth and his wounds were severe, he ran through the crowd. Standing upon a steep rock, with his blood now completely drained from him, he tore out his entrails. He took them with both hands and hurled them at the crowd, calling upon the Lord of life and spirit to give them back to him again. This was the manner of his death.”

Wow, what a gruesome description of the death of Razis! Razis was a well respected Jewish elder, sometimes referred to as the father of the Jews. He was accused of Judaism because he would not mingle with the gentiles. Nicanor wanted to make an example of him so he sent 500 troops to arrest him. So far this does not sound outlandish. Then when they got to his house, they decided to set fire to his door to get in. Then Razis was surrounded and decided to kill himself with a sword, a common Roman practice, rather than die in disgrace. However, in the heat of the excitement with the 500 troops running at him, he somehow missed killing himself but merely cut himself. So Razis ran to the top of the wall. He wanted to hurl himself into the crowd, but they stepped back and he fell into an empty space. Now as he was angry and still alive, he ran through the crowd of troops until he got to a sharp rock. The blood was gushing out all over the place. Somehow he tore out his own intestines and threw them at the crowd. This was some weird scene. Here then is the main point. He cried to the Lord of life to give them back to him. Of course, he died. Somehow this father of Judaism believed that his intestines would be restored in some kind of afterlife, a resurrection. This is one of the few times that we have a Jewish attempted suicide.

Water from the rock (Ex 17:1-17:7)

“From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as Yahweh commanded.  They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.  The people quarreled with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’  Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me?  Why do you test Yahweh?’  But the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?  So Moses cried out to Yahweh, ‘What shall I do with this people?  They are almost ready to stone me.’  Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you.  Take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.  I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb.  Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.’  Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.   He called the place Massah and Meribah, because of the Israelites quarreled and tested Yahweh, ‘Is Yahweh among us or not?’”

They went to Rephidim, a little further southwest, but there was no water there.  Once again they complained. This certainly was a complaining group, and Moses asked them why they were quarreling with him and testing Yahweh.  They complained some more when they said that they would be better off if they stayed in Egypt.  So Moses asked Yahweh, ‘What shall I do with these people?’  Then Yahweh told him to take his staff and go to a rock at Horeb and strike the rock, and water will come out of it. So he decided to call this place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites tested Yahweh here.  The place seems to have two names.  This worked because water was beneath the limestone in the Sinai area.  It is difficult to tell who is doing the complaining and how widespread it is.  With 600,000 men, it would be easy to find some people who would be complaining all the time.