The works of the Lord (Sir 42:15-42:17)

“I will now call to mind

The works of the Lord.

I will declare

What I have seen.

By the word of the Lord,

His works are made.

All his creatures

Do his will.

The sun looks down

On everything

With its light.

The work of the Lord

Is full of his glory.

The Lord has not empowered

Even his holy ones

To recount

All his marvelous works.

The Lord,

The Almighty,

Has established

That the universe

May stand firm

In his glory.”

Sirach now recalls the works of the Lord in nature.   He was speaking about what he had seen. The works of the Lord were made by his word. This is in slight contradiction with the creative role of wisdom. Here it is the word of God that creates the world. All these creative things do the will of the Lord. Thus the sun lights up and glorifies the world. Thus you see the ancient inclination to make the sun a god. Just like today, we think that all things look so beautiful on a gorgeous sunny day. No one, not even the holy angels, can tell all about the marvelous works that the Almighty Lord has done. The universe stands as an example of his glory.

Eliphaz instructs Job about the wicked ones (Job 15:20-15:27)

“The wicked men writhe in pain all their days.

All the years are laid up for the ruthless.

Terrifying sounds are in their ears.

In prosperity the destroyer will come upon them.

They despair of returning from darkness.

They are destined for the sword.

They wander abroad for bread, saying,

‘Where is it?’

They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand.

Distress and anguish terrify them.

Distress and anguish prevail against them.

They are like a king prepared for battle.

Because they stretched out their hands against God,

They bid defiance to the Almighty Shaddai.

They run stubbornly against him with a thick-bossed shield.

They have covered their faces with their fat,

They have gathered fat upon their loins.”

The wicked people are in pain all the time, just like Job. Terrifying sounds are in their ears. They live in darkness and are destined for death by the sword. They wander about looking for bread. Distress and anguish are part of their lives. They like getting ready for battle against God Shaddai, the Almighty one. They run stubbornly against shields with their fat faces and fat loins.