A plan (Lk 16:4-16:4)

“I have decided

What to do.

When I am

Dismissed

As a house manager,

People

Will welcome me

Into their homes.”

 

ἔγνων τί ποιήσω, ἵνα ὅταν μετασταθῶ ἐκ τῆς οἰκονομίας δέξωνταί με εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἑαυτῶν

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this fired household manager came up with a plan.  He decided what to do (ἔγνων τί ποιήσω).  After he was dismissed as a house manager (ἵνα ὅταν μετασταθῶ ἐκ τῆς οἰκονομίας), he wanted people to welcome him into their homes (δέξωνταί με εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἑαυτῶν).  It is always a good idea to make plans before you leave a job.  This dishonest house manager was no exception.  He had a plan to survive.  Do you have any plans in case you lose your job?

The signs that the day of Yahweh was coming (Joel 2:30-2:32)

“I will show portents

In the heavens,

As well as on the earth.

There will be

Blood,

Fire,

Columns of smoke.

The sun shall be turned

To darkness.

The moon shall be turned

To blood.

This will happen

Before the great day

Of Yahweh comes.

Before the terrible day

of Yahweh comes.

Then everyone

Who calls

On the name of Yahweh

Shall be saved.

In Mount Zion,

In Jerusalem,

There shall be

Those who escape,

As Yahweh has said.

Among the survivors

Shall be those

Whom Yahweh calls.”

Yahweh, via Joel, talked about the signs that the day of Yahweh was coming. There would be signs in the heavens and on earth, with blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun would darken and the moon would turn to blood before the great and terrible day of Yahweh. Everyone who called on Yahweh would be saved at Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Some would escape. Others would survive, but they would be called by Yahweh.

Against human fortresses (Hos 8:14-8:14)

“Israel has forgotten

His Maker.

They built palaces.

Judah has multiplied

Fortified cities.

But I will send

A fire

Upon his cities.

It shall devour

His strongholds.”

The final swipe in this chapter is against southern Judah also. Northern Israel had forgotten its creator maker. They had built palaces that they thought would survive. Meanwhile, southern Judah also built a number of fortified cities. Yahweh, via Hosea, reminded them that he could devour their cities and strongholds. They should have relied on Yahweh and not their own construction.

The punishment in Egypt (Jer 44:13-44:14)

“I will punish

Those who live

In the land of Egypt,

As I have punished Jerusalem,

With the sword,

With famine,

With pestilence.

Thus none

Of the remnant of Judah

Who have come

To settle

In the land of Egypt

Shall escape,

Or survive,

Or return

To the land of Judah.

Although they long

To go back

To live there,

They shall not go back,

Except some fugitives.”

In a twist of irony, Yahweh was going to punish the Judeans who had left Judah to settle in Egypt. Just as he had punished the Egyptians centuries earlier so that the Israelites could leave Egypt, he now will punish the Judeans who came to live in Egypt. Thus this great symbiotic relationship of the Israelites and the Egyptians continues, even until the present day. Yahweh was determined to punish this remnant from Judah, as he had punished Jerusalem, with his often repeated 3 weapons, the sword, famine, and pestilence. None of these Judean remnants would escape or survive to return to their beloved Judah. The only exception would be those who

In a twist of irony, Yahweh was going to punish the Judeans who had left Judah to settle in Egypt. Just as he had punished the Egyptians centuries earlier so that the Israelites could leave Egypt, he now will punish the Judeans who came to live in Egypt. Thus this great symbiotic relationship of the Israelites and the Egyptians continues, even until the present day. Yahweh was determined to punish this remnant from Judah, as he had punished Jerusalem, with his often repeated 3 weapons, the sword, famine, and pestilence. None of these Judean remnants would escape or survive to return to their beloved Judah. The only exception would be those who turned out to be fugitives.

turned out to be fugitives.

The four options (Jer 15:2-15:2)

“When they ask you.

‘Where shall we go?’

You shall say to them.

‘Thus says Yahweh.

‘Those destined for pestilence,

Go to pestilence!

Those destined for the sword,

Go to the sword!

Those destined for famine,

Go to the famine!

Those destined for captivity,

Go to captivity.’”

Yahweh told Jeremiah that these people had 4 options. They would either end up dying from pestilence, the sword, famine, or captivity. It seems like the sword was the quickest and the most fatal. The other options were more long lasting punishments, but some of them might be able to survive these punishments.

Second devastation of Moab (Isa 16:13-16:14)

“This is the word

That Yahweh spoke

Concerning Moab

In the past.

But now

Yahweh says.

‘In three years,

Like the years of a hired worker,

The glory of Moab

Will be brought

Into contempt.

In spite of all its great multitude,

Those who survive

Will be very few.

They will be feeble.’”

Now we have a clear oracle of Yahweh presented by Isaiah. Should this have been at the beginning of this section on Moab? Or is this another devastating blow to Moab in 3 years? It appears to be the later, another attack. The glory of Moab will again be brought into contempt. Even though there are a lot of Moabites, very few will survive. Those that do survived will be feeble. Thus ends this long but gentle 2 chapter diatribe against Moab that was also part of the territory of Reuben.

Multiple bad kids (Sir 16:1-16:3)

“Do not desire

A multitude of worthless children!

Do not rejoice in ungodly offspring!

If they multiply,

Do not rejoice in them,

Unless the fear of the Lord is in them!

Do not trust in their survival!

Do not rely on their numbers!

One can be better than a thousand.

To die childless

Is better

Than to have ungodly children.”

You should not desire many children, if they are worthless. Therefore you should not rejoice just because you have many children. They will not survive if they do not fear the Lord. Do not think because they are so many, it does not matter. It is better to have one good child than 1,000 useless children. It is even better to die without children than to have many ungodly children. Having more children does not mean they are better children.