The carpenter makes an idol (Isa 44:13-44:13)

“The carpenter stretches a line.

He marks it out with a stylus.

He fashions it with planes.

He marks it with a compass.

He makes it into a human form.

It has human beauty.

He sets it up in a shrine.”

Second Isaiah has the carpenter seem to be more efficient. This carpenter artist stretches out a line on a piece of wood. He uses a stylus or pencil to mark it off. He then planes it down and marks it with a compass. He finally carves it into a human beauty, before he sets it in a shrine.

The human weakness of the Egyptians (Isa 31:2-31:3)

“Yet Yahweh too is wise.

He brings disaster.

He does not call back his words.

But he will rise

Against the house of the evildoers.

He will rise

Against the helpers of those

Who work iniquity.

The Egyptians are human.

They are not God.

Their horses are flesh.

Their horses are not spirit.

When Yahweh stretches out his hand,

The helper will stumble.

The one helped will fall.

They will all perish together.”

Isaiah says that Yahweh is also wise. He will bring disaster since he does not change his mind. He will rise up against the house of the evildoers and those who help others commit iniquity. Those Egyptians are mere humans and not God. Their fleshy horses have no spirit. When Yahweh stretches out his hand, both the helped and the helper will stumble, fall, and perish together.

Job responds that God is powerful (Job 9:1-9:12)

“Then Job answered.

‘Indeed I know that it is so.

But how can a man be just before God?

If one wished to contend with him,

One could not answer him once in a thousand times.

God has a wise heart.

He is mighty in strength.

Who has resisted God?

Who has succeeded?

He removes mountains.

They do not know it,

When he overturns them in his anger.

Who shakes the earth out of its place?

Who makes its pillars tremble?

Who commands the sun?

It does not rise without him.

Who seals up the stars?

Who alone stretched out the heavens?

Who trampled the waves of the sea?

Who made the Bear?

Who made the Orion?

Who made the Pleiades?

Who made the chambers of the south?

Who does great things beyond understanding?

Who does marvelous things without number?

Look!

He passes by me.

I do not see him.

He moves on.

But I do not perceive him.

He snatches away.

Who can stop him?

Who will say to him?

‘What are you doing?’”

Job posed the basic question of how could a mere moral become just before God? What is righteousness? In a sense he is answering Eliphaz rather than Bildad. God is a thousand times better than man. He is wise and strong. Who could resist God successfully? He moves mountains in his anger and they do not even know it. He commands the sun, the stars, and the waves of the sea.  He makes all the heavenly constellations of stars like the Bear, the Orion, and the Pleiades. In fact these clusters of stars were sometimes thought of as gods. God stretches out the heavens like a tent. He does great marvelous things that we sometimes do not understand. He passes by and we don’t see him. No one asks him what he is doing. He just does it. No one can stop him.

Queen Esther sends a message to Mordecai (Esth 4:9-4:11)

“Hachratheus went in and told Queen Esther all these things that Mordecai had said. Then Queen Esther said to him.

‘Go to Mordecai and say.

‘All nations of the empire know

That if any man or woman goes to the king

Inside the inner court without being called,

There is no escape for that person.

All alike are to be put to death.

Only the one to whom the king stretches out the golden scepter is safe.

It is now thirty days since I was called to go to the king.’”

Hachratheus, the eunuch, went to Queen Esther and told her everything that Mordecai had said. Then she sent him back with another message. She told him that everyone knew that you just cannot stop in and visit with the king. If anyone shows up without being requested, they would die. Only when the king stretches out his golden scepter was it safe to visit with him. She had not seen the king in 30 days.