The children in the marketplace (Lk 7:32-7:32)

“This generation

Is like children

Sitting

In the market place.

They call to one another.

‘We played

The flute

For you!

But you did not dance.

We wailed!

But you did not weep.’”

 

ὅμοιοί εἰσιν παιδίοις τοῖς ἐν ἀγορᾷ καθημένοις καὶ προσφωνοῦσιν ἀλλήλοις ἃ λέγει Ηὐλήσαμεν ὑμῖν καὶ οὐκ ὠρχήσασθε· ἐθρηνήσαμεν καὶ οὐκ ἐκλαύσατε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said this generation was like little children (ὅμοιοί εἰσιν παιδίοις) sitting in the market place (τοῖς ἐν ἀγορᾷ καθημένοις).  They would call to one another (καὶ προσφωνοῦσιν ἀλλήλοις ἃ), saying that they played the flute for them (λέγει Ηὐλήσαμεν ὑμῖν), but they would not dance (καὶ οὐκ ὠρχήσασθε).  They wailed or sang a dirge (ἐθρηνήσαμεν), but they would not weep (καὶ οὐκ ἐκλαύσατε).  Matthew, chapter 11:16-17, had a similar statement, indicating a possible common Q source.  Jesus took on this childish generation, since they were like little kids sitting in the market places calling to each other, as if playing games.  These spoiled little children grumbled about everything.  This childish generation complained that John and Jesus would not dance to their flute playing.  They would not wail and lament when they wanted them to join their dirge.  Jesus and John the Baptist would not play their childish games by dancing and mourning at the drop of a hat.  Are you part of a childish generation?

The glory of King David (Sir 47:6-47:11)

“They glorified him

For the tens of thousands that he conquered.

They praised him

For the blessings bestowed

By the Lord.

The glorious diadem was given to him.

He wiped out his enemies on every side.

He annihilated his adversaries,

The Philistines.

He crushed their power even to our own day.

In all that he did

He gave thanks to the Holy One,

The Most High,

Proclaiming his glory.

He sang praise

With all his heart.

He loved his Maker.

He placed singers before the altar.

They made sweet melody with their voices.

Daily they sing his praises.

He gave beauty to the festivals.

He arranged their times

Throughout the year.

They praised God’s holy name.

The sanctuary resounded from early morning.

The Lord took away his sins.

He exalted his power forever.

He gave him a covenant of kingship.

He gave him a glorious throne in Israel.”

Sirach told of the glory of King David who had killed thousands of his enemies. He was praised for the Lord’s blessings that he had received. He was given a glorious diadem crown to wear, after an unmentioned dispute with King Saul. David wiped out his enemies, especially the Philistines, but they kept coming back for more. However, David gave thanks to the Holy One, the Most High God. He loved his creator. He sang praises to him. He had singers at the altar as well as set up wonderful festivals throughout the year. Although there is mention of a sanctuary, the Temple was not built until his son King Solomon built it. The Lord took away the sins of David and established a covenant of kingship with him on the throne in Israel. In light of what was to come, there was no eternal covenant of kingship.

Sinners in Egypt (Ps 106:6-106:12)

“Both we with our ancestors have sinned.

We have committed iniquity.

We have done wickedly.

Our ancestors,

When they were in Egypt,

Did not consider

Your wonderful works.

They did not remember

The abundance of your steadfast love.

But they rebelled

Against the Most High

At the Red Sea.

Yet Yahweh saved them for his name’s sake.

Thus he would make known his mighty power.

He rebuked the Red Sea.

Then it became dry.

He led them through the deep

As through a desert.

He saved them from the hand of the foe.

He delivered them from the hand of the enemy.

The waters covered their adversaries.

Not one of them was left.

Then they believed his words.

They sang his praise.”

The psalmist associates himself with his ancestors in Egypt who doubted Yahweh with iniquity and wickedness. His ancestors did not realize the wonderful work that Yahweh was doing. They never understood the steadfast love of Yahweh. Thus they rebelled against the Most High God before crossing the Red Sea. However, Yahweh saved them so that they could go forth and proclaim his name. Yahweh made the Red Sea dry. Then they passed through it like it was a desert instead of a sea. They were saved from the hands of their foes and enemies. In fact, their adversaries were covered in water so that no was left. After this the Israelites believed in his words and sang praising his name.

Thanksgiving for the harvest (Ps 65:9-65:13)

“You visit the earth!

You water it!

You greatly enrich it!

The river of God is full of water.

You provide the people with grain.

You have prepared it.

You water its furrows abundantly.

You settle its ridges.

You soften it with showers.

You bless its growth.

You crown the year with your bounty.

Your wagon tracks overflow with richness.

The pastures of the wilderness overflow.

The hills gird themselves with joy.

The meadows clothe themselves with flocks.

The valleys deck themselves with grain.

They shout.

They sing together for joy.”

This psalm ends with a thanksgiving to God for the great harvest. There was a profound sense of God as the grand gardener who made the crops grow. A good example of this basic belief is how God watered the earth and enriched it.  God’s river was full of water. God also provided the grain, but how was not exactly clear. There was just the right amount of rain from the showers to make the crops grow. There was a great bounty or harvest as the heavy wagons made deep tracks. Also the pastures were rich for the various animal flocks. The grain and the grass were growing at a good rate in the valleys. Thus the land and the people all shouted together. They sang with joy in thanksgiving for the great harvest time.

David praises God (Ps 63:5-63:8)

“My soul is satisfied

As with a rich feast.

My mouth praises you

With joyful lips.

I think of you

On my bed.

I meditate on you

In the watches of the night.

You have been my help.

In the shadow of your wings

I sing for joy.

My soul clings to you.

Your right hand upholds me.”

David’s soul was satisfied like as if it were at a great feast. His mouth praised God with his joyful lips. At night when he was in bed, he meditated on God. During the 3 night watches, God had been a help to him. Once again, there is allusion to the refuge in the shadow of the wings of God, when in fact God did not have wings. The cherubim in the Holy of Holies had wings. David sang for joy. His soul clung to God because God helped him with his right hand. Once again, God did not have hands. These metaphorical phrases of a thirsty soul and a winged God with a right hand are ways of explaining his trust in God.

A northern plea (Ps 42:6-42:8)

“My soul is cast down within me.

Therefore I remember you

From the land of Jordan,

From Hermon,

From Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deep

At the thunder of your cataracts.

All your waves have gone over me.

All your billows have gone over me.

By day,

Yahweh commands his steadfast love.

At night,

His song is with me.

It is a prayer to the God of my life.”

The psalmist was far from the Temple in the land along the Jordan River. He was at Mount Hermon, the northern mountain range between Syria and Lebanon. He was at Mount Mizar, a small mountain range near Mount Hermon which was the source for the Jordan River. He felt like he was in the deepest spot possible. Thunder and cataracts filled his eyes. He felt like waves and gases had overcome him. However, he still was steadfast in the love of Yahweh during the day. At night he sang his song to God, the source of his life.

The face of Yahweh (Ps 27:7-27:10)

“Hear!

Yahweh!

When I cry aloud,

Be gracious to me!

Answer me!

Come!

My heart says.

‘Seek his face!

I seek your face!

Yahweh!’

Do not hide your face from me!

Do not turn your servant away in anger!

You have been my help!

Do not cast me off!

Do not forsake me!

O God of my salvation!

If my father and my mother have forsaken me,

Yahweh will take me up.”

This seems to be the song or chant that David sang in the Temple. He wanted Yahweh to listen to his cry or plea. He wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him. He wanted to seek the face of Yahweh. He did not want Yahweh to turn his face away in anger. Yahweh had been helpful. He did not want him to cast him off or forsake him. Yahweh was his God of salvation. Even if his parents abandoned him, Yahweh would always be there for him.