That the way of human beings
Is not in their control.
As they walk,
Cannot direct their steps.
But in your just measure!
Not in your anger!
You will bring me to nothing.”
Jeremiah prays directly to Yahweh. He knows that humans cannot control their ways, since they are out of control. Someone needs to direct their steps as they walk. Thus Jeremiah wants Yahweh to correct him in a just way, but not in anger. Otherwise, Jeremiah would be reduced to nothing.
“The perverse get what their ways deserve.
The good get what their deeds deserve.
The simple believes everything.
But the clever consider their steps.
The wise are cautious.
They turn away from evil.
But the fool throws off restraint.
The fool is careless.
One who is quick tempered
The schemer is hated.
The simple are adorned with folly.
But the clever are crowned with knowledge.
The evil bow down before the good.
The wicked are at the gates of the righteous.”
Both the perverse and the good get what they deserve based on their ways and deeds. The simple believe everything, but the clever ones watch their steps. The wise clever ones are cautious. They turn away from evil. The foolish ones throw off restraint and are careless. As usual, it is better to be good and wise than a simple perverse fool. The quick tempered ones act foolishly. The schemers are hated. The simple ones are full of folly, but the clever ones are crowned with knowledge. The evil wicked ones bow down before the gates of the good and righteous ones.
“All this has come upon us.
Yet we have not forgotten you.
We have not been false to your covenant.
Our heart has not turned back.
Our steps have not departed from your way.
Yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals.
You have covered us with deep darkness.”
The psalmist complained about what has happened to them. They did not forget God. They remembered his covenant. Their hearts and their steps are still turned to God since they have not departed from his ways. Yet they are broken down. They have been covered with a deep darkness. They want to know why. What did they do wrong?