God will lead the servant of Yahweh (Isa 50:10-50:11)

“Who among you fears Yahweh?

Who obeys the voice of his servant?

Who walks in darkness?

Who has no light?

Who trusts in the name of Yahweh?

Who relies upon his God?

But all of you are kindlers of fire!

You are lighters of firebrands!

Walk in the flame of your fire!

Walk among the branches

That you have kindled!

This is what you shall have

From my hand.

You shall lie down in torment!”

Second Isaiah reminds the faithful that if they fear and trust Yahweh they will be okay. If they obey the voice of his servant and rely on God, they will be fine. However, if they walk in darkness, there will be no light. He wanted them to start fires and walk in the flames of their own fires. They will be tormented, but Yahweh will lead them to safety.

The blessings of the Lord (Sir 39:22-39:27)

“His blessing covers the dry land

Like a river.

His blessing drenches it

Like a flood.

But his wrath drives out

The nations.

He has turned a watered land

Into salt.

To the faithful,

His ways are straight.

But they are full of pitfalls

For the wicked.

From the beginning,

Good things were created

For the good.

But for the sinners,

Bad things.

The basic necessities of human life are

Water,

Fire,

Iron,

Salt,

Wheat flour,

Milk,

Honey,

The blood of the grape,

Oil,

And clothing.

All these are good

For the godly.

But for the sinners,

They turn into evils.”

Sirach remarks that the Lord’s blessing is a like a river on dry land or a drenching flood. However, he drives out countries with his wrath, as he has turned watered land into salt. The ways of the faithful are straight, but the wicked have all kinds of obstacles that they fall into. God created the good things, but the sinners get bad things. Then Sirach explained the basic necessities of life. I wonder if we would name all the same stuff. He had water, fire, iron, salt, wheat flour, milk, honey, grapes, oil, and clothing. These were good for the godly but evil for the sinners. In other words, you attitude towards them made them either good or bad.

Parental advice (Prov 2:1-2:9)

“My child!

If you accept my words,

If you treasure my commandments within you,

You will make your ear attentive to wisdom.

You will incline your heart to understanding.

If you indeed cry out for insight,

If you raise your voice for understanding,

If you seek it like silver,

If you search for it as for hidden treasures,

Then you will understand the fear of Yahweh.

You will find the knowledge of God.

Yahweh gives wisdom.

From his mouth comes knowledge.

From his mouth comes understanding.

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright.

He is a shield to those who walk blamelessly.

He guards the paths of justice.

He preserves the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand righteousness.

You will understand justice.

You will understand equity.

You will understand every good path.”

This chapter of Proverbs is a poem and lecture at the same time. If you search for wisdom, it will come. This is a father telling his children how to live their lives. This section used the structure of the “if” phrases. If they accept his words and treasure his commandments, then they will be attentive to wisdom and understanding. If they cry out for insight and understanding, like they were seeking money or a hidden treasure, then they will understand the fear of Yahweh. The knowledge of God brings wisdom because God gives knowledge. wisdom, and understanding. He shields those who walk blamelessly. He guards the paths of justice. He preserves the faithful ones. With wisdom, you will be able to understand righteousness, justice, equity, and every good path. First, fear God, then everything else will fall into place.

Israelite festival (Ps 149:1-149:5)

“Praise Yahweh!

Sing to Yahweh a new song!

His praise is due

In the assembly of the faithful!

Let Israel be glad in its maker!

Let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!

Let them praise his name with dancing!

Let them make melody to him

With the tambourine!

Let them make melody to him

With the lyre!

Yahweh takes pleasure in his people.

He adorns the humble with victory.

Let the faithful exult in glory!

Let them sing for joy on their couches!”

Psalm 149 begins with the phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” There is no introductory title. The Israelites were to sing a new song in the assembly of the faithful. They should be glad because Yahweh is their creator. They should rejoice with their king. They were to dance and play the tambourine and the lyre. Yahweh was pleased with his people. He would give them glory and victory. Thus they can sing with glory from their couches after their victory.

The righteous will be with Yahweh (Ps 97:10-90:12)

“Yahweh loves those who hate evil.

He guards the lives of his faithful.

He rescues them from the hand of the wicked.

Light dawns for the righteous.

Joy comes for the upright in heart.

Rejoice in Yahweh!

O you righteous!

Give thanks to his holy name!”

This psalm ends with the righteous rejoicing in Yahweh. Yahweh loves those who hate evil. He guards the lives of the faithful. He rescues them from the hands of the wicked. Light shines for the righteous as joy comes to their heart. The righteous are to rejoice in Yahweh. They are to give thanks to his holy name.

The righteous flourish like trees (Ps 92:12-92:15)

“The righteous flourish

Like the palm tree.

The righteous grow

Like a cedar in Lebanon.

They are planted

In the house of Yahweh.

They flourish

In the courts of our God.

They still produce fruit

In old age.

They are always green.

They are full of sap.

They show that

Yahweh is upright.

He is my rock.

There is no unrighteousness in him.”

This psalm ends with the righteous flourishing. The upstanding people flourish like palm trees or like the cedars in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of Yahweh. They flourish in God’s courtyards. Even in old age, they still produce fruit as they are green and full of sap. The growth of all these plants and trees shows the uprightness of Yahweh since there is no unrighteousness in him. Thus the faithful ones are like giant growing trees.

Yahweh will protect us (Ps 12:7-12: 8)

“Yahweh!

You will protect us!

You will guard us from this generation forever.

On every side

The wicked prowl.

As vileness is exalted among humankind.”

Now there is a direct appeal to Yahweh. Yahweh will protect the faithful ones and guard them from this wicked generation. These wicked people prowl around as their vileness is exalted everywhere. So ends this short psalm with a confident cry to Yahweh.