Who is the wise man? (Eccl 8:1-8:1)

“Who is like the wise man?

Who knows the interpretation of a thing?

Wisdom makes one’s face shine.

The hardness of one’s countenance is changed.”

How can you tell who is a wise man? How do you interpret this? You can tell by the face of the wise person. There is a shine of in the hardness of his face.

The final plea to Yahweh (Ps 88:13-88:18)

“I cry out to you!

Yahweh!

In the morning

My prayer comes before you.

Yahweh!

Why do you cast me off?

Why do you hide your face from me?

Wretched and close to death from my youth on,

I suffer your terrors.

I am desperate.

Your wrath has swept over me.

Your dread assaults destroy me.

They surround me

Like a flood

All day long.

From all sides,

They close in on me.

You have caused friends

To shun me.

You have caused neighbors

To shun me.  

My companions are in darkness.”

Just like Job, the psalmist remains faithful despite all his sufferings. Thus this psalm ends with a direct appeal to Yahweh, over and over again. He cried out in the morning to God. Why was he cast off? Why couldn’t he see the face of God? He believed that his physical suffering was related to his spiritual sufferings. His whole life he has been close to death with his physical afflictions. He felt like he was surrounded with waves of water all around him. More than that was the fact that his friends and neighbors were now shunning him. The only friend that he had left was darkness itself. Wow! This is a dreary bleak psalm of agony.

Gracious God (Ps 67:1-67:1)

A song to the choirmaster leader, with stringed instruments, a psalm

“May God be gracious to us!

May God bless us!

May God make his face to shine upon us!”

Selah

Psalm 67 is another short psalm of thanksgiving for a great harvest. This is another choral song and psalm, without any Davidic attribution. The psalmist wanted God to be gracious to him and his people. He wanted the face of God to shine on them. Once again, this verse ends with the musical interlude meditative pause, the Selah.

Longing for God (Ps 42:1-42:3)

To the choirmaster leader, a Maskil of the Korahites

“As a deer longs

For flowing streams,

So my soul longs

For you,

O God!

My soul thirsts for God,

For the living God!

When shall I come,

When shall I behold,

The face of God?

My tears have been my food,

Day and night,

While people say to me continually,

‘Where is your God?’”

There is a problem is this one psalm or 2 psalms of 42 and 43. There is no heading for Psalm 43, so that it probably was together with Psalm 42. For clarity purposes, I have decided to use the Oxford Bible division of 2 psalms rather than one. The title no longer has David, but this is a Maskil of the sons of Korah, who were first mentioned in 1 Chronicles, chapter 9. There name appears on 11 psalms. This is a maskil or psalm that has the plea of someone longing for God. He was like a deer looking for flowing water. His soul longed for God. His soul thirsted for the living God. Notice that is not the Lord or Yahweh, but the more generic God. However, like many others, he wanted to see the face of God. His tears had become his sustenance day and night. People kept asking him where his God was.

The face of Yahweh (Ps 27:7-27:10)

“Hear!

Yahweh!

When I cry aloud,

Be gracious to me!

Answer me!

Come!

My heart says.

‘Seek his face!

I seek your face!

Yahweh!’

Do not hide your face from me!

Do not turn your servant away in anger!

You have been my help!

Do not cast me off!

Do not forsake me!

O God of my salvation!

If my father and my mother have forsaken me,

Yahweh will take me up.”

This seems to be the song or chant that David sang in the Temple. He wanted Yahweh to listen to his cry or plea. He wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him. He wanted to seek the face of Yahweh. He did not want Yahweh to turn his face away in anger. Yahweh had been helpful. He did not want him to cast him off or forsake him. Yahweh was his God of salvation. Even if his parents abandoned him, Yahweh would always be there for him.