The beautiful prayer of Daniel (Dan 2:20-2:23)

“Daniel said.

‘Blessed be the name

Of God

From age to age!

Wisdom

With power

Is his.

He changes times.

He changes seasons.

He deposes kings.

He sets up kings.

He gives wisdom

To the wise.

He gives knowledge

To those who have understanding.

He reveals deep things.

He reveals hidden things.

He knows

What is in the darkness.

The light dwells

With him.

To you!

O God of my ancestors!

I give thanks!

I give praise!

You have given me

Wisdom.

You have given me

Power.

You have revealed

To me

What we asked of you.

You have revealed

To us

What the king ordered.’”

Daniel has this beautiful prayer to the name of the eternal God, who has wisdom and power. God changes times and seasons. He sets up and deposes kings. He gives wisdom to the wise. He gives knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and hidden things. He is the light in the darkness. Daniel then gave thanks and praise to the God of his ancestors, who has given him wisdom and power, when he revealed what the king had asked for.

The darkness (Isa 8:21-8:22)

“They will pass through the land.

They will be greatly distressed.

They will be hungry.

When they are hungry,

They will be enraged.

They will curse their king.

They will curse their gods.

They will turn their faces upward.

Or they will look to the earth.

But they will see only distress.

They will see only darkness.

They will see only the gloom of anguish.

They will be thrust into thick darkness.”

Isaiah has some kind of dark night march. These soldiers were greatly distressed, as they passed through some unnamed land. They were hungry. Thus they were mad at their king and their gods. Whether they looked up or just around them on earth, they could only see distress, darkness, gloom, and anguish. They seemed to be in some kind of thick darkness.

The righteous (Ps 112:1-112:6)

“Praise Yahweh!

Aleph 

Happy are those who fear Yahweh!

Bet      

Happy are those who greatly delight in his commandments!

Gimel

Their descendants will be mighty in the land.

Dalet  

The generation of the upright will be blessed.

He      

Wealth and riches are in their houses.

Vav     

Their righteousness endures forever.

Zain   

They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright.

Het     

They are gracious, merciful, and righteous.

Tet      

It is well with those who deal generously and lend.

Yod     

They conduct their affairs with justice.

Kaph  

The righteous will never be moved.

Lamed

They will be remembered forever.”

Psalm 112 is a companion psalm to Psalm 111. Even though it is fairly short, it is another line by line acrostic or Hebrew alphabet psalm without any title. Just like the preceding psalm, it also starts with the refrain “Praise Yahweh” or the Alleluia cry, the Hebrew word “Hallelujah.” Although there is a comparison between the righteous and the wicked, the emphasis is mostly on the righteous. The righteous are happy because they fear God. They delight in his commandments. Their descendants will be mighty. The generations of the upright are blessed and happy since their righteousness endures forever. They will have wealth and riches in their houses. They will be the light in the darkness. They are gracious, merciful, and righteous, just like Yahweh. They will be generous and just. They will be remembered because of their righteousness.

 

Yahweh as protector (Ps 91:3-91:6)

“He will deliver you

From the snare of the fowler.

He will deliver you

From the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his pinions.

Under his wings

You will find refuge.

His faithfulness is a shield.

His faithfulness is a buckler.

You will not fear

The terror of the night.

You will not fear

The arrow that flies by day.

You will not fear

The pestilence that stalks in darkness.

You will not fear

The destruction that wastes at noonday.”

Yahweh will save you from hunters and disease. He will cover you with his wings. He is like a faithful large shield or a buckler, a forearm shield. You will not have to fear the night, the day, the darkness, or the destructive noonday sun. God will protect you from all these things.

Yahweh gives power to David (Ps 18:25-18:30)

“With the loyal people,

You show yourself loyal.

With the blameless,

You show yourself blameless.

With the pure,

You show yourself pure.

With the crooked,

You show yourself perverse.

You deliver a humble people.

However, the haughty eyes,

You bring down.

You light my lamp.

Yahweh!

My God!

Lights up my darkness.

By you I can crush a troop.

By my God,

I can leap over a wall.

This God,

His way is perfect.

The promise of Yahweh proves true.

He is a shield for all those,

Who take refuge in him.”

Once again like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh is loyal and blameless to those who are loyal and blameless. However with the crooked he shows perversion. He delivers the humble and brings down the haughty. Yahweh is the light that lightens the darkness. With Yahweh, David was able to crush a troop or jump over a wall. God was his shield and refuge since his way was perfect.

The wicked are against the light (Job 24:13-24:17)

There are those who rebel against the light.

They are not acquainted with its ways.

They do not stay in its paths.

The murderer rises in the dark,

In order to kill the poor and the needy.

In the night he is like a thief.

The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight,

Saying,

‘No eye will see me.’

He disguises his face.

In the dark they dig through houses.

By day they shut themselves up.

They do not know the light.

Deep darkness is morning to all of them.

They are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.”

This is a diatribe against the darkness. The wicked rebel against the light. They do not like the light. That is why murderers like the darkness. They are like a thief at night. They attack the poor and the needy. The adulterers think that no one will see them at night. In fact, they prefer the twilight and do not like the morning sun. Deep darkness is all around them and their terrors. Thus the common theme of darkness, black, and bad versus light and goodness.