Thanksgiving prayer (Isa 25:1-25:5)

“O Yahweh!

You are my God!

I will exalt you!

I will praise your name!

You have done wonderful things,

Plans formed of old,

Faithful and sure.

You have made the city a heap.

The fortified city has become a ruin.

The palace of aliens

Is a city no more.

It will never be rebuilt.

Therefore strong people

Will glorify you.

Cities of ruthless nations

Will fear you.

You have been a refuge

To the poor,

To the needy in their distress.

You have been a shelter

From the rainstorm.

You have been a shade

From the heat.

The blast of the ruthless was

Like a winter rainstorm.

The noise of aliens was

Like heat in a dry place.

You subdued the heat

With the shade of clouds.                                                        

The song of the ruthless was stilled.”

Isaiah gives thanks and praise to Yahweh because he has done wonderful faithful and sure things from of old as there are echoes of the acrostic Psalm 145. Then there is a turn to an unnamed ruined fortified city, where the palace of the aliens or foreigners was destroyed, never to be rebuilt again. There is no indication where this city was. Some people will glorify Yahweh, while other ruthless people will fear him. Yahweh has been a refuge to the poor and the needy in their time of distress. Yahweh was their shelter against the ruthless winter rainstorm and a shade in the hot sunny days against the noise of the aliens or foreigners. Yahweh was able to subdue the heat with his shady clouds. He was able to still the song of the ruthless. Thus Yahweh was their protector against the rain and the heat of ruthless people.

The invitation to praise God (Sir 39:12-39:15)

“I have more on my mind

To express.

I am full

Like the full moon.

Listen to me!

My faithful children!

Blossom like a rose!

May it grow

By a stream of water!

Send out fragrance

Like incense!

Put forth blossoms

Like a lily!

Scatter the fragrance!

Sing a hymn of praise!

Bless the Lord

For all his works!

Ascribe majesty to his name!

Give thanks to him

With praise!

Give thanks

With songs on your lips!

Give thanks

With harps!

This is what

You shall say in thanksgiving.”

Sirach assumes the first person singular in talking to his children. He has a lot more to tell them because his mind is like a full moon. He wanted his children to be like rose blossoms and grow by a water stream. He wanted the scent of the lily blossoms to be like incense that would be scattered around. He wanted them to sing a hymn of praise to the majestic Lord. The Lord should be blessed for all his works. Praise and thanksgiving should be given to the Lord with songs and harps. He was about to tell them what they should say in their thanksgiving prayer.