“Yet I will rejoice
I will exult
In the God
Of my salvation!
Is my strength.
He makes my feet
Like the feet of a deer.
He makes me tread
Upon the heights.”
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.
Habakkuk ended his song or hymn with great rejoicing in Yahweh his God, who saves him. Clearly this was a psalm or canticle with the notation about the leader or choirmaster and the stringed instruments. Yahweh, God, was his strength, who gave him the ability to run like a deer. He could even ascend to the heights. This psalm has a very optimistic ending.
You survivors of the nations!
They have no knowledge.
They carry about their wooden idols.
They keep on praying to a god
That cannot save.
Present your case!
Let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
Who declared it of old?
Was it not I?
There is no other god besides me.
I am a righteous God!
I am a Savior!
There is no one besides me.”
Next Second Isaiah has Yahweh proclaim to all the nations that he is the only God. Yahweh wanted all the survivors of the various nations to assemble and come together. They were stupid, since they carry around their wooden idols. They pray to these wooden idols that cannot save them. Let them make their case and counsel together. Who was able to tell about things long ago before they actually happened? Only Yahweh was able to do that. There is no other god besides Yahweh, who is a righteous God who saves. Yahweh defends himself against all these other gods.
“Whoever keeps the law
Controls his thoughts.
Wisdom is the fulfillment
Of the fear of the Lord.
The one who is not clever
Cannot be taught.
But there is cleverness
That increases bitterness.
The knowledge of the wise
Will increase like a flood.
Their counsel is
Like a life-giving spring.”
If you keep the law, you will control your thoughts. Wisdom completes those who fear the Lord. If you are not clever, you cannot be taught. Yet there is cleverness that increases bitterness. The knowledge of the wise people increases like a flood. Their counsel is like a refreshing spring of water that saves lives.
“In all toil
There is profit.
But mere talk
Leads only to poverty.
The crown of the wise
Is their wisdom.
Is the garland of fools.
A truthful witness saves lives.
But one who utters lies is a betrayer.”
There is profit or gain in all kinds of work. Mere talk, on the other hand, just leads to poverty. The crown for the wise is their wisdom, but the foolish have a garland of folly as their crown. The truthful witness saves lives, while the liar actually betrays life itself.
A psalm of David
O my soul!
All that is within me,
Bless his holy name!
O my soul!
Do not forget all his benefits!
Who forgives all your iniquity?
Who heals all your diseases?
Who redeems your life from the Pit?
Who crowns you with steadfast love?
Who crowns you with mercy?
Who satisfies you with good
As long as you live?
Thus your youth is renewed like the eagles.”
Psalm 103 is simply a thanksgiving psalm of David. In the opening verses, he repeats the same phrases. Yahweh is to be blessed from his soul. Then David pointed out all the benefits of Yahweh with a series of questions. Yahweh forgives iniquities. He heals all diseases. He saves people from the pit or the grave. He crowns us with steadfast love, mercy, and goodness. He sustains our lives so that we remain young eagles.
The needy when they call.
Those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak.
He has pity on the needy.
He saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence
He redeems their life.
Precious is their blood in his sight.”
This ideal king helps the needy when they ask for help. He delivers the poor and those who have no one to help them. He has pity on the weak and the needy. He saves them from oppression and violence as he redeems their lives. Their blood is precious in his sight.
“Your steadfast love!
Extends to the heavens!
Your faithfulness extends to the clouds!
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains!
Your judgments are like the great deep!
You save humans and animals alike!
How precious is your steadfast love!
Here is a beautiful expression of the steadfast love of Yahweh that extends to the heavens and the clouds. His righteousness is like the highest mountain, while his judgments are like the deepest part of the sea. Yahweh saves humans and animals because of his steadfast love. Yahweh is the great God. The idea of the precious steadfast love of God is a common theme of these psalms.
“The eyes of Yahweh are toward the righteous.
His ears are open to their cry.
The face of Yahweh is against evildoers.
He would cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help,
He rescues them from all their troubles.
Yahweh is near to the brokenhearted.
He saves the crushed in spirit.”
Once again, Yahweh has eyes, ears, and a face to hear and see. There was this continual cry to have Yahweh listen to them. Much like “the eyes of Texas are on you” so too the eyes of Yahweh on the righteous ones. The ears of Yahweh are open to hear the righteous cry. The face of Yahweh was against the evildoers, whose memory would be wiped away. When the righteous cry, Yahweh hears them with his ears. He rescues them from all their troubles. He is near to the broken hearted. He saves those with a crushed spirit.