The blessing of Yahweh (Isa 65:16-65:16)

“Then whoever invokes a blessing

In the land,

They shall bless

By the God of faithfulness.

Whoever takes an oath

In the land,

They shall swear

By the God of faithfulness.

Because the former troubles

Are forgotten.

They are hidden from my sight.”

On the other hand, Yahweh will bless those who were faithful.   They will have the power to bless because of their faithfulness to God. If the faithful take an oath, God will help them because their former troubles were forgotten. They were lost out of sight. Blessings come to the faithful.

Yahweh is incomparable to the weak false idols (Isa 46:5-46:7)

“To whom will you liken me?

Can you make me equal?

Can you compare me?

Do you think that we are all alike?

Those who lavish gold

From the purse,

They hire a goldsmith

To make it into a god.

Those who weigh out silver

On the scales,

They hire a silversmith,

To make it into a god.

Then they fall down.

They worship it.

They lift it to their shoulders.

They carry it.

They set it in its place.

It stands there.

It cannot move

From its place.

If one cries to it,

It does not answer.

It does not save anyone

From trouble.”

Second Isaiah continues with this theme of the useless idols and how incomparable they are to Yahweh. Once again, Yahweh defends himself. How can you say that these false idols and Yahweh are the same? How could you even make a comparison? Then Yahweh repeated his thought about the uselessness of human made idols, even though they are made of lavish gold and silver. After the goldsmith or silversmith has made their idols, they would bow down and worship before it, knowing that they had just made it. Then they would carefully carry the idol on their shoulders to set it in a place where it could not move. If anyone went to cry before this idol, it could not answer or save that person from their troubles.

The lamentation (Isa 33:7-33:9)

“Listen!

The valiant cry in the streets!

The envoys of peace weep bitterly!

The highways are deserted!

The travelers have quit the road!

The treaty is broken!

Its cities are despised!

Its obligations are disregarded!

The land mourns.

The land languishes.

Lebanon is confounded.

Lebanon withers away.

Sharon is like a desert.

Bashan shakes off their leaves.

Carmel shakes off their leaves.”

Now we have a lamentation. Things are in bad shape. Once again, there is the continual plea to listen. The valiant ones are crying in the streets. The peace envoys are also weeping. The highways are deserted, since no travelers are going any place. The treaties have been broken. The city is despised since no one keeps their obligations. The land itself mourns and languishes. Even the northern neighbor Lebanon is confused and withering away. Sharon and Carmel on the west and Bashan on the southeast are like dying trees in a desert. Everybody is having troubles.

Deliverance (Sir 51:2-51:4)

“You have been my protector!

You have been my helper!

You have delivered me

From destruction!

You have delivered me

From the trap laid

By a slanderous tongue!

You have delivered me

From lips that utter lies!

In the face of my adversaries

You have been my helper.

In the greatness of your mercy,

In the greatness of your name,

You have delivered me

From grinding teeth

About to devour me.

You have delivered me

From those seeking my life.

You delivered me

From the many troubles

I endured.

You delivered me

From choking fire on every side.

You delivered me

From the midst of the fire

That I had not kindled.”

The Lord was his protector and helper. The Lord delivered him from many different awkward situations. He delivered him from destruction, slanderous traps, lying lips, grinding teeth, those trying to kill him, enduring troubles, fires on every side, and fires that he had not started. All this he did out of the greatness of his mercy and his name.

The good diner (Prov 15:16-15:17)

“Better is a little

With the fear of Yahweh

Than great treasure

Along with trouble.

Better is a dinner of vegetables

Where love is

Than a fatted ox

Along with hatred.”

What kind of meal do you want? It is better to fear Yahweh than have a great treasure and all the troubles that come with it. It is better to be a vegetarian with love than have a fatted ox, or steak, with hatred. Score one for the loving vegetarians!

At the doorstep of death (Ps 88:3-88:7)

“My soul is full of troubles.

My life draws near to Sheol.

I am counted

Among those who go down to the Pit.

I am like

Those who have no strength.

I am like

Those forsaken among the dead.

I am like

Those slain that lie in the grave.

I am like

Those whom you remember no more.

Thus they are cut off from your hand.

You have put me

In the depths of the Pit.

You have put me

In the regions dark and deep.

Your wrath lies heavy upon me.

You overwhelm me with all your waves.”

Selah

This psalmist is in bad shape, near death. He was full of troubles. He was counted as dead already. He was like a dead man with no one to help him. He was like a forsaken dead person that nobody cared about. No one remembered him. He sounds a little like Job. He was cut off from the hand of God as if he were already in the deepest pit in some dark area. God’s wrath had come upon him as he was overwhelmed with the waves. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.

The success of the arrogant wicked people (Ps 73:3-73:9)

“I was envious of the arrogant.

I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

They have no pain.

Their bodies are sound and sleek.

They are not in trouble as others are.

They are not plagued like other people.

Therefore pride is their necklace.

Violence covers them like a garment.

Their eyes swell out with fatness.

Their hearts overflow with follies.

They scoff.

They speak with malice.

Loftily they threaten oppression.

They set their mouths against heaven.

Their tongues range over the earth.”

Here we have a vivid description of these wicked arrogant people. Asaph, this psalmist, was envious of their prosperity. They did not have any pain with their sound slick bodies. They did not have troubles like other people who had various illnesses. They were proud violent people. Their garments and their necklaces were indications of their violent nature. They had fat eyes and foolish hearts. They were malicious people who threatened violence. They spoke against heaven as they pursued things here on earth.