Martha was troubled (Lk 10:41-10:41)

“But the Lord

Answered her.

‘Martha!

Martha!

You are worried

And distracted

By many things!’”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ ὁ Κύριος Μάρθα Μάρθα, μεριμνᾷς καὶ θορυβάζῃ περὶ πολλά

 

Luke said that the Lord answered Martha (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ ὁ Κύριος).  Jesus, the Lord, told Martha (Μάρθα Μάρθα) that she was too worried, anxious, troubled and distracted by many things (μεριμνᾷς καὶ θορυβάζῃ περὶ πολλά).  This almost sounds like a reprimand.  Jesus simply stated that Martha was too concerned about all the serving things that it distracted her from him.  Does your work sometimes distract you from listening to the Lord?

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Zechariah on duty (Lk 1:8-1:8)

“Zechariah

Was serving

As a priest

Before God,

Because his section

Was on duty.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ ἱερατεύειν αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ τάξει τῆς ἐφημερίας αὐτοῦ ἔναντι τοῦ Θεοῦ,

 

Having described Zechariah and his wife, Luke turned to the action around Zechariah.  This happened (Ἐγένετο) as he was serving as the priest (δὲ ἐν τῷ ἱερατεύειν αὐτὸν) before God (ἔναντι τοῦ Θεοῦ).  His section or division of Levite priests were on duty (ἐν τῇ τάξει τῆς ἐφημερίας αὐτοῦ).  Apparently, his group of Abijah priests served for 2 weeks at the Temple each year.  Not bad, instead of 2 weeks off for vacation, they served for only 2 weeks a year, since there were 24 groups of priests with various tasks.

The true judgment was delivered (Dan 3:8-3:9)

“Thus,

All that you brought

Upon us,

All that you have done

To us,

You have done

By a true judgment.

You have handed us over

To our enemies,

Lawless,

Hateful rebels.

You have handed us over

To an unjust king,

The most wicked

In all the world.”

Azariah continued his prayer. Due to their sinfulness, God executed a proper and true judgment. He has handed over the Judeans to their enemies, the lawless and hateful rebels of Babylon. They were turned over to an unjust king, the most wicked king in the whole world. Remember, up until this incident of the golden statue, Azariah and his 2 friends were serving this king in his royal court. I could see how this furnace punishment might change their minds.

The accusations against his Jewish appointees (Dan 3:12-3:12)

“‘There are certain Jews

Whom you have appointed

Over the affairs

Of the province

Of Babylon,

Shadrach,

Meshach,

Abednego.

These pay no heed

To you.

O king!

They do not serve

Your gods.

They do not worship

The golden statue

That you have set up.’”

These Chaldeans were more specific. They accused the 3 companions of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were in charge of the provinces of Babylon, of not listening to the king. They were not serving the gods of Babylon. They even did not worship the golden statue that the King had set up. Thus, these Babylonian officials, although Jewish, were not following the king’s orders.

The speech of Gedaliah (Jer 40:9-40:10)

“Gedaliah,

The son of Ahikam,

The son of Shaphan,

Swore to them

With their troops.

Saying.

‘Do not be afraid

To serve the Chaldeans!

Stay in the land!

Serve the king of Babylon!

It shall go well with you.

As for me,

I am staying at Mizpah,

To represent you

Before the Chaldeans

Who come to us.

But as for you,

Gather wine!

Gather summer fruits!

Gather oil!

Store them in your vessels!

Live in the towns

That you have taken over!’”

Gedaliah, whose father Ahikam and grandfather Shaphan were well known, swore to these field leaders and their troops. As in 2 Kings, chapter 25, he told them not to be afraid of these Chaldean officials. They would be better off staying in the land and serving the Babylonian king. He would take care of things with the Chaldean officials, representing their causes. They should just go home and enjoy their wine, fruits, and oils. They should store them up and live in their towns. Everything was okay. Thus it was clear that not everyone was sent into captivity.

The message of Yahweh’s prophets (Jer 25:5-25:7)

“They said.

‘Every one of you!

Turn now

From your evil ways!

Turn now

From wrong doings!

You will remain

Upon the land

That Yahweh has given

To you

As well as your ancestors

From of old

And forever.

Do not go

After other gods

To serve them,

To worship them!

Do not provoke me to anger

With the work of your hands!

Then I will do you no harm.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Yet you did not listen to me.

Thus you have provoked me

To anger

With the work of your hands

To your own harm.’”

Jeremiah says that Yahweh’s prophets had told all of them to turn away from their evil ways and wicked doings. If they had done that, they would remain in the land that Yahweh gave to them and their ancestors forever. However, they were not to go after other gods, serving and worshipping them. Thus they should not provoke Yahweh to anger with their own hands. Yahweh was not going to harm them. However, they did not listen. They had to provoke him to anger with the works of their own hands that only brought harm to them.