The return to Yahweh (Jer 4:1-4:2)

“‘If you return!

O Israel!’

Says Yahweh.

‘If you return to me!

If you remove your abominations

From my presence!

If you do not waver!

If you swear!

‘As Yahweh lives!’

In truth,

In justice,

In uprightness,

Then nations shall be blessed

By him.

They shall boast

By him.’”

Would Israel return to Yahweh? Yahweh sets down some conditions. They would have to remove their abomination idol statues from his presence. They would have to not waver. They had to swear that Yahweh lives. If this was done in truth, justice, and uprightness, then the nations would be blessed by him. Then they could boast in Yahweh.

Advertisements

The confession of sins (Isa 59:12-59:15)

“Our transgressions before you are many.

Our sins testify against us.

Our transgressions indeed are with us.

We know our iniquities.

We have transgressed Yahweh.

We have denied Yahweh.

We have turned away

From following our God.

We talk oppression.

We talk revolt.

We conceive lying words.

We utter them from our hearts.

Justice is turned back.

Righteousness stands at a distance.

Truth stumbles in the public square.

Uprightness cannot enter.

Truth is lacking.

Whoever turns from evil is despoiled.”

Third Isaiah seems to have a community confession or acknowledgement of sins. They have committed many transgressions, since their sins will testify against them. They know that they have denied God. They have tried to turn away from him, as they wanted to revolt. They lied from their hearts. They have turned back justice since righteousness is now far away. There is no truth in the public squares, no uprightness. Anyone who turns from evil is attacked.

Hymn of praise to gracious Yahweh (Ps 111:4-111:10)

Het                                                                         

“Yahweh is gracious and merciful.

Tet      

He provides food for those who fear him.

Yod     

He is ever mindful of his covenant.

Kaph  

He has shown his people the power of his works.

Lamed

He gave them the heritage of the nations.

Mem   

The works of his hands are truth and justice.

Nun    

All his precepts are trustworthy.

Samek

They are established forever and ever.

Ain     

They are to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.

Phe     

He sent redemption to his people.

Cade   

He has commanded his covenant forever.

Qoph  

Holy and awesome is his name!

Resh   

The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom.

Shin   

All those who practice it have a good understanding.

Tav     

His praise endures forever!”

This short psalm ends by telling Yahweh that he is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him.  He is ever mindful of his covenant with Israel. He has shown them the power of his works as they are his heritage. His works are true and just. All his precepts are trustworthy as they last forever. They are to be followed with faithfulness and uprightness. He has saved or rescued his people. He has commanded them to follow his covenant forever because he is holy and awesome. This fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom, which is a key element of wisdom literature. Those who follow him will understand this. His praise will last forever.

Protection from enemies (Ps 25:19-25:21)

Resh   

“Consider how many are my foes!

With what violent hatred they hate me.

Shin   

O guard my life!

Deliver me!

Do not let me be put to shame!

I take refuge in you.

Tav     

May integrity and uprightness preserve me!

I wait for you.”

Yahweh should protect the psalmist from his foes and enemies. They hate him violently. Yahweh should guard his life and rescue him so that he would not be put to shame. He took refuge in Yahweh as he hoped that his integrity and uprightness would preserve him. Meanwhile he waited on Yahweh.