The attack of the locusts (Joel 1:5-1:7)

“Wake up!

You drunkards!

Weep!

Wail!

All you wine-drinkers!

The sweet wine

Is cut off

From your mouth.

A nation has invaded

My land.

It is powerful.

It is innumerable.

Its teeth are

Lions’ teeth.

It has the fangs

Of a lioness.

It has laid waste

My vines.

It has splintered

My fig trees.

It has stripped off

Their bark.

It has thrown it down.

Their branches

Have turned white.”

Joel noted that the attack of the locust grasshoppers was very severe, like the invasion of another country. He wanted the drunkards to wake up and weep. All those wine-drinkers should wail. They were going to have their sweet wine cut off from them. The powerful, innumerable invasion of the grasshoppers in his land was like the fangs of a lion’s teeth. This attack had laid waste the vines and the fig trees. This plague of locusts had splintered and stripped off the bark of the trees. They had thrown the trees to the ground, as the branches of the trees turned white.

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The unfaithful ones (Jer 5:10-5:11)

“Go up through her vine-rows!

Destroy them!

But do not make a full end!

Strip away her branches!

They are not Yahweh’s.

The house of Israel

Has been utterly faithless to me.

The house of Judah

Has been utterly faithless to me,’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh told Jeremiah to go into their vineyards and destroy them, but not completely. Yahweh wanted him to strip away the branches that did not belong to Yahweh. Both the house of Israel to the north and the house of Judah, in the south, had been utterly faithless to him. Yahweh was clear.

The happy wise person (Sir 14:20-14:27)

“Happy is the person

Who meditates on wisdom,

Who reasons intelligently,

Who reflects in his heart on her ways,

Who ponders her secrets,

Who pursues wisdom like a hunter,

Who lies in wait on her paths,

Who peers through her windows,

Who listens at her doors,

Who encamps near her house,

Who fastens his tent peg to her walls,

Who pitches his tent near her,

Who so occupies an excellent lodging place,

Who places his children under her shelter,

Who lodges under her boughs,

Who is sheltered by her from the heat,

Who dwells in the midst of her glory.”

Sirach describes the happy person who has a relationship to wisdom. These happy people will meditate on wisdom. They will reason intelligently. They will reflect on wisdom. They will ponder the secrets of wisdom. They will pursue wisdom like a hunter who lies in wait for wisdom. They will look through the windows and listen at the doors of wisdom. They will camp near the house of wisdom. They will have tent pegs on the walls of the house of wisdom. They will have pitched a tent next to the house of wisdom, which is an excellent lodging place. They will place their children under the shelter of wisdom. They will live under the branches of wisdom, so that they will be sheltered by wisdom from the midday sun. They will live in the glory of wisdom. These happy people will really like wisdom.

Job thought that he was on top of the world (Job 29:18-29:20)

“Then I thought.

‘I shall die in my nest.

I shall multiply my days like the phoenix sand.

My roots spread out to the waters.

The dew was all night on my branches.

My glory was fresh with me.

My bow was ever new in my hand.’

Everything was wonderful for Job. He expected to die in his bed after a long life. His roots had water to make them grow. The nightly dew covered the branches of his trees. His glory was with him. He had a new bow practically every day for his arrows. Why worry? Everything was great.