Monday, March 2, 2020

Lent, Pentecost and the Day of the Lord

Lent has started this year on Wednesday, 26 February 2020 and ends on Thursday, 9 April 2020. We are looking for to Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks. This is the fiftieth day after the Passover in the Jewish tradition. Pentecost is also significant to Christians as it is the 'Outpouring of the Holy Spirit' and is the fiftieth day after the Crucifixion of Yshua the Messiah.

Peter the Apostle made a speech on the first Pentecost after Yshua's crucifixion and Resurrection, in which he quoted Joel. The full passage of Joel is given below. However, Peter's quote was only from last part of chapter 2 in Joel. Peter's emphasis was on 'pour out my spirit upon all flesh' and those who call upon the Lord will be saved; because at that time the Holy Spirit was pourd unto believers and that gift of the Spirit and salvation is available to those who called on the Lord.

It is interesting to see that the context of Joel 2 is the the Day of the Lord, which is about endtimes. It also mentions the remnant who call will be saved. Peter's verses can be used to encourage the Gentiles to come to Christ, which is up to the End Times. During those times, when the Christians would have been taken back to be with the Lord, much more of Joel 2 will be fulfilled on earth.

The situation facing the world today is showing the potential of increased severity. It seems that the current events may be a prelude to what will be coming in the future. Hence while Peter was sharing God's Salvation at that time, for us now is the time to also share God's Salvation plans. We should also take hold of the encouragement Joel 2, such as 'Fear not, .., be glad and rejoice' and that God is also going to restore what is lost, and replace it with plenty.

Joel 2 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
2 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion,
and sound an alarm in my holy mountain:
let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:
for the day of the Lord cometh,
for it is nigh at hand;
2 a day of darkness and of gloominess,
a day of clouds and of thick darkness,
as the morning spread upon the mountains:
a great people and a strong;
there hath not been ever the like,
neither shall be any more after it,
even to the years of many generations.
3 A fire devoureth before them;
and behind them a flame burneth:
the land is as the garden of Eden before them,
and behind them a desolate wilderness;
yea, and nothing shall escape them.
4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses;
and as horsemen, so shall they run.
5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap,
like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble,
as a strong people set in battle array.
6 Before their face the people shall be much pained:
all faces shall gather blackness.
7 They shall run like mighty men;
they shall climb the wall like men of war;
and they shall march every one on his ways,
and they shall not break their ranks:
8 neither shall one thrust another;
they shall walk every one in his path:
and when they fall upon the sword,
they shall not be wounded.
9 They shall run to and fro in the city;
they shall run upon the wall,
they shall climb up upon the houses;
they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
10 The earth shall quake before them;
the heavens shall tremble:
the sun and the moon shall be dark,
and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
11 and the Lord shall utter his voice before his army:
for his camp is very great:
for he is strong that executeth his word:
for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible;
and who can abide it?

12 Therefore also now, saith the Lord,
turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting,
and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 and rend your heart, and not your garments,
and turn unto the Lord your God:
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and of great kindness,
and repenteth him of the evil.
14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent,
and leave a blessing behind him;
even a meat offering and a drink offering
unto the Lord your God?

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
16 gather the people,
sanctify the congregation,
assemble the elders,
gather the children,
and those that suck the breasts:
let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber,
and the bride out of her closet.
17 Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord,
weep between the porch and the altar,
and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord,
and give not thine heritage to reproach,
that the heathen should rule over them:
wherefore should they say among the people,
Where is their God?

18 Then will the Lord be jealous for his land,
and pity his people.
19 Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people,
Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil,
and ye shall be satisfied therewith:
and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:
20 but I will remove far off from you the northern army,
and will drive him into a land barren and desolate,
with his face toward the east sea,
and his hinder part toward the utmost sea,
and his stink shall come up,
and his ill savour shall come up,
because he hath done great things.

21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice:
for the Lord will do great things.
22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field:
for the pastures of the wilderness do spring,
for the tree beareth her fruit,
the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.
23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion,
and rejoice in the Lord your God:
for he hath given you the former rain moderately,
and he will cause to come down for you the rain,
the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
24 And the floors shall be full of wheat,
and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.

25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten,
the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm,
my great army which I sent among you.
26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
that hath dealt wondrously with you:
and my people shall never be ashamed.
27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I am the Lord your God, and none else:
and my people shall never be ashamed.

28 And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
your young men shall see visions:
29 and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids
in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth,
blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.
32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered:
for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance,
as the Lord hath said,
and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Disastrous storms an fires

The reference to two groups of people, one in which God provides the food for them, while the other would have undesirable food. It describes God's mercy in saving the people who were bitten by snakes, when these people turned towards God. God also sends flood and fire as judgment to the unrighteous, how similar is that to today. In the desert, God provided the manna at the right quantity, so that the people would have to do physical work of collecting it every morning (except Sabbath), and give thanks and recognize the provision from God.

Wisdom 16 (RSVCE)
16 Therefore those men were deservedly punished through such creatures,
and were tormented by a multitude of animals.
2 Instead of this punishment thou didst show kindness to thy people,
and thou didst prepare quails to eat,
a delicacy to satisfy the desire of appetite;
3 in order that those men, when they desired food,
might lose the least remnant of appetite[a]
because of the odious creatures sent to them,
while thy people,[b] after suffering want a short time,
might partake of delicacies.
4 For it was necessary that upon those oppressors inexorable want should come,
while to these it was merely shown how their enemies were being tormented.

5 For when the terrible rage of wild beasts came upon thy people[c]
and they were being destroyed by the bites of writhing serpents,
thy wrath did not continue to the end;
6 they were troubled for a little while as a warning,
and received a token of deliverance to remind them of thy law’s command.
7 For he who turned toward it was saved, not by what he saw,
but by thee, the Savior of all.
8 And by this also thou didst convince our enemies
that it is thou who deliverest from every evil.
9 For they were killed by the bites of locusts and flies,
and no healing was found for them,
because they deserved to be punished by such things;
10 but thy sons were not conquered even by the teeth of venomous serpents,
for thy mercy came to their help and healed them.
11 To remind them of thy oracles they were bitten,
and then were quickly delivered,
lest they should fall into deep forgetfulness
and become unresponsive[d] to thy kindness.
12 For neither herb nor poultice cured them,
but it was thy word, O Lord, which heals all men.
13 For thou hast power over life and death;
thou dost lead men down to the gates of Hades and back again.
14 A man in his wickedness kills another,
but he cannot bring back the departed spirit,
nor set free the imprisoned soul.

Disastrous Storms Strike Egypt
15 To escape from thy hand is impossible;
16 for the ungodly, refusing to know thee,
were scourged by the strength of thy arm,
pursued by unusual rains and hail and relentless storms,
and utterly consumed by fire.
17 For—most incredible of all—in the water, which quenches all things,
the fire had still greater effect,
for the universe defends the righteous.
18 At one time the flame was restrained,
so that it might not consume the creatures sent against the ungodly,
but that seeing this they might know
that they were being pursued by the judgment of God;
19 and at another time even in the midst of water it burned more intensely than fire,
to destroy the crops of the unrighteous land.

The Israelites Receive Manna
20 Instead of these things thou didst give thy people food of angels,
and without their toil thou didst supply them from heaven with bread ready to eat,
providing every pleasure and suited to every taste.
21 For thy sustenance manifested thy sweetness toward thy children;
and the bread, ministering[e] to the desire of the one who took it,
was changed to suit every one’s liking.
22 Snow and ice withstood fire without melting,
so that they might know that the crops of their enemies
were being destroyed by the fire that blazed in the hail
and flashed in the showers of rain;
23 whereas the fire,[f] in order that the righteous might be fed,
even forgot its native power.

24 For creation, serving thee who hast made it,
exerts itself to punish the unrighteous,
and in kindness relaxes on behalf of those who trust in thee.
25 Therefore at that time also, changed into all forms,
it served thy all-nourishing bounty,
according to the desire of those who had need,[g]
26 so that thy sons, whom thou didst love, O Lord, might learn
that it is not the production of crops that feeds man,
but that thy word preserves those who trust in thee.
27 For what was not destroyed by fire
was melted when simply warmed by a fleeting ray of the sun,
28 to make it known that one must rise before the sun to give thee thanks,
and must pray to thee at the dawning of the light;
29 for the hope of an ungrateful man will melt like wintry frost,
and flow away like waste water.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Benefits of Worshiping the True God

We are reminded that to worship the One True Lord is to our benefit. In contrast, it is pointless to worship idols made from our hands. It is futile to worship the idols and they only take our attention away from the True God. Besides idols, it is also pointless to worship animals and beast which are also creation of God.

Wisdom 15  (RSVCE)
Benefits of Worshiping the True God
15 But thou, our God, art kind and true,
patient, and ruling all things[a] in mercy.
2 For even if we sin we are thine, knowing thy power;
but we will not sin, because we know that we are accounted thine.
3 For to know thee is complete righteousness,
and to know thy power is the root of immortality.
4 For neither has the evil intent of human art misled us,
nor the fruitless toil of painters,
a figure stained with varied colors,
5 whose appearance arouses yearning in fools,
so that they desire[b] the lifeless form of a dead image.
6 Lovers of evil things and fit for such objects of hope[c]
are those who either make or desire or worship them.

The Foolishness of Worshiping Clay Idols
7 For when a potter kneads the soft earth
and laboriously molds each vessel for our service,
he fashions out of the same clay
both the vessels that serve clean uses
and those for contrary uses, making all in like manner;
but which shall be the use of each of these
the worker in clay decides.
8 With misspent toil, he forms a futile god from the same clay—
this man who was made of earth a short time before
and after a little while goes to the earth from which he was taken,
when he is required to return the soul that was lent him.
9 But he is not concerned that he is destined to die
or that his life is brief,
but he competes with workers in gold and silver,
and imitates workers in copper;
and he counts it his glory that he molds counterfeit gods.
10 His heart is ashes, his hope is cheaper than dirt,
and his life is of less worth than clay,
11 because he failed to know the one who formed him
and inspired him with an active soul
and breathed into him a living spirit.
12 But he[d] considered our existence an idle game,
and life a festival held for profit,
for he says one must get money however one can, even by base means.
13 For this man, more than all others, knows that he sins
when he makes from earthy matter fragile vessels and graven images.

14 But most foolish, and more miserable than an infant,
are all the enemies who oppressed thy people.
15 For they thought that all their heathen idols were gods,
though these have neither the use of their eyes to see with,
nor nostrils with which to draw breath,
nor ears with which to hear,
nor fingers to feel with,
and their feet are of no use for walking.
16 For a man made them,
and one whose spirit is borrowed formed them;
for no man can form a god which is like himself.
17 He is mortal, and what he makes with lawless hands is dead,
for he is better than the objects he worships,
since[e] he has life, but they never have.

Serpents in the Desert
18 The enemies of thy people[f] worship even the most hateful animals,
which are worse than all others, when judged by their lack of intelligence;
19 and even as animals they are not so beautiful in appearance that one would desire them,
but they have escaped both the praise of God and his blessing.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Origin and Evils of Idolatry

This chapter makes clear God's hatred for idolatry because of its ability to trap 'the souls of men' and a snare to the foolish. It brings an interesting illustration that sailors would turn towards an idol for help during a storm, rather than the One True God who created everything and commands the seas.

On a side note, verse 6 "For even in the beginning, when arrogant giants were perishing, the hope of the world took refuge on a raft, and guided by thy hand left to the world the seed of a new generation." was a clear reference to Noah's Ark. What is interesting to point out is the fact that in the evil generation in Noah's time, it is not only because of the evil acts of men that prompted God to eliminate the whole earth. The evil is the existence of the giants themselves which is an abominable hybrid between fallen angels and humans. These giants also existed after the Great Flood. To eliminate these giants may be a reason that God seemed to acted so harshly and cruelly, not only regarding the Flood but also ordering Israel to eliminate the Canaanites women and children.

Genesis 6:4
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.

This chapter then gives seemingly quite a good account of the origins of all kinds of evil being traced back to idolatry. It describes the origin of worshipping and idolizing the dead and the rulers or kings. Once in idolatry, they lose their knowledge and relationship with God. From there the wickedness increase and eventually leads to all kinds of perversion.

Wisdom 14 (RSVCE)
Folly of a Navigator Praying to an Idol
14 Again, one preparing to sail and about to voyage over raging waves
calls upon a piece of wood more fragile than the ship which carries him.
2 For it was desire for gain that planned that vessel,
and wisdom was the craftsman who built it;
3 but it is thy providence, O Father, that steers its course,
because thou hast given it a path in the sea,
and a safe way through the waves,
4 showing that thou canst save from every danger,
so that even if a man lacks skill, he may put to sea.
5 It is thy will that works of thy wisdom should not be without effect;
therefore men trust their lives even to the smallest piece of wood,
and passing through the billows on a raft they come safely to land.
6 For even in the beginning, when arrogant giants were perishing,
the hope of the world took refuge on a raft,
and guided by thy hand left to the world the seed of a new generation.
7 For blessed is the wood by which righteousness comes.

8 But the idol made with hands is accursed, and so is he who made it;
because he did the work, and the perishable thing was named a god.
9 For equally hateful to God are the ungodly man and his ungodliness,
10 for what was done will be punished together with him who did it.
11 Therefore there will be a visitation also upon the heathen idols,
because, though part of what God created, they became an abomination,
and became traps for the souls of men
and a snare to the feet of the foolish.

The Origin and Evils of Idolatry
12 For the idea of making idols was the beginning of fornication,
and the invention of them was the corruption of life,
13 for neither have they existed from the beginning
nor will they exist for ever.
14 For through the vanity of men they entered the world,
and therefore their speedy end has been planned.
15 For a father, consumed with grief at an untimely bereavement,
made an image of his child, who had been suddenly taken from him;
and he now honored as a god what was once a dead human being,
and handed on to his dependents secret rites and initiations.
16 Then the ungodly custom, grown strong with time, was kept as a law,
and at the command of monarchs graven images were worshiped.
17 When men could not honor monarchs[a] in their presence, since they lived at a distance,
they imagined their appearance far away,
and made a visible image of the king whom they honored,
so that by their zeal they might flatter the absent one as though present.
18 Then the ambition of the craftsman impelled
even those who did not know the king to intensify their worship.
19 For he, perhaps wishing to please his ruler,
skilfully forced the likeness to take more beautiful form,
20 and the multitude, attracted by the charm of his work,
now regarded as an object of worship the one whom shortly before they had honored as a man.
21 And this became a hidden trap for mankind,
because men, in bondage to misfortune or to royal authority,
bestowed on objects of stone or wood the name that ought not to be shared.

22 Afterward it was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of God,
but they live in great strife due to ignorance,
and they call such great evils peace.
23 For whether they kill children in their initiations, or celebrate secret mysteries,
or hold frenzied revels with strange customs,
24 they no longer keep either their lives or their marriages pure,
but they either treacherously kill one another, or grieve one another by adultery,
25 and all is a raging riot of blood and murder, theft and deceit, corruption, faithlessness, tumult, perjury,
26 confusion over what is good, forgetfulness of favors,
pollution of souls, sex perversion,
disorder in marriage, adultery, and debauchery.
27 For the worship of idols not to be named
is the beginning and cause and end of every evil.
28 For their worshipers[b] either rave in exultation, or prophesy lies,
or live unrighteously, or readily commit perjury;
29 for because they trust in lifeless idols
they swear wicked oaths and expect to suffer no harm.
30 But just penalties will overtake them on two counts:
because they thought wickedly of God in devoting themselves to idols,
and because in deceit they swore unrighteously through contempt for holiness.
31 For it is not the power of the things by which men swear,[c]
but the just penalty for those who sin,
that always pursues the transgression of the unrighteous.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Foolishness of Nature Worship and Idolatry

In debates about the existence of God, one of the Christian arguments is to look at the beauty of nature on earth and in space. The beauty of creation surely points to the existence of a Creator. This reasoning is also taught to many Christians. It is in this chapter that we also find this argument so plainly stated. In addition it also points to the foolishness of those who worship these objects of creatioin rather than the Creator. A sound mind is given to humans and there is no reason for failing to deduce the existence of the Lord the Creator from the evidence of found in nature. Furthermore, humans started crafted idols with images of man or beast to represent their gods. They pray to these idols in all matters of their life including their work, their family, their fortune, their health and so on. In fact these idols have no life, no experience, no strength.

Wisdom 13 (RSVCE)
The Foolishness of Nature Worship
13 For all men who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature;
and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know him who exists,
nor did they recognize the craftsman while paying heed to his works;
2 but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air,
or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water,
or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.
3 If through delight in the beauty of these things men[a] assumed them to be gods,
let them know how much better than these is their Lord,
for the author of beauty created them.
4 And if men[b] were amazed at their power and working,
let them perceive from them
how much more powerful is he who formed them.
5 For from the greatness and beauty of created things
comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.
6 Yet these men are little to be blamed,
for perhaps they go astray
while seeking God and desiring to find him.
7 For as they live among his works they keep searching,
and they trust in what they see, because the things that are seen are beautiful.
8 Yet again, not even they are to be excused;
9 for if they had the power to know so much
that they could investigate the world,
how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?

The Foolishness of Idolatry
10 But miserable, with their hopes set on dead things, are the men
who give the name “gods” to the works of men’s hands,
gold and silver fashioned with skill,
and likenesses of animals,
or a useless stone, the work of an ancient hand.
11 A skilled woodcutter may saw down a tree easy to handle
and skilfully strip off all its bark,
and then with pleasing workmanship
make a useful vessel that serves life’s needs,
12 and burn the castoff pieces of his work
to prepare his food, and eat his fill.
13 But a castoff piece from among them, useful for nothing,
a stick crooked and full of knots,
he takes and carves with care in his leisure,
and shapes it with skill gained in idleness;[c]
he forms it like the image of a man,
14 or makes it like some worthless animal,
giving it a coat of red paint and coloring its surface red
and covering every blemish in it with paint;
15 then he makes for it a niche that befits it,
and sets it in the wall, and fastens it there with iron.
16 So he takes thought for it, that it may not fall,
because he knows that it cannot help itself,
for it is only an image and has need of help.
17 When he prays about possessions and his marriage and children,
he is not ashamed to address a lifeless thing.
18 For health he appeals to a thing that is weak;
for life he prays to a thing that is dead;
for aid he entreats a thing that is utterly inexperienced;
for a prosperous journey, a thing that cannot take a step;
19 for money-making and work and success with his hands
he asks strength of a thing whose hands have no strength.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Reason God wanted to wipe out the Canaanties completely

This chapter in the second section gives the answer to the Christian paradox that if God is Love and God is Good, then how can God use the Israel to try and destroy the inhabitants of the Holy Land, not sparing women and children. This book may not be considered by the Protestants to be the Word of God - however, it is nonetheless a non-fictional historical account of the situation in the Holy Land that was inhabited by the Canaanites. They detestable practices of "sorcery and unholy rites,
their merciless slaughter of children, ..." are again being practised today.
It argues that God is completely sovereign and righteous and thus His judgment is right. However God also delivers the judgment and punishment very slowly and in small portions because of His Love and His desire for sinners to repent, even those who sinned in the above practices. An explanation was also given about God's punishment of the Egyptians. Since the Eqyptians worshipped animals as their gods, the True Lord God brought punishments through the animals whom they idolized as gods, thus making a mockery of their idols.

Wisdom 12 (RSVCE)
12 For thy immortal spirit is in all things.
2 Therefore thou dost correct little by little those who trespass,
and dost remind and warn them of the things wherein they sin,
that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in thee, O Lord.

The Sins of the Canaanites
3 Those who dwelt of old in thy holy land
4 thou didst hate for their detestable practices,
their works of sorcery and unholy rites,
5 their merciless slaughter[a] of children,
and their sacrificial feasting on human flesh and blood.
These initiates from the midst of a heathen cult,[b]
6 these parents who murder helpless lives,
thou didst will to destroy by the hands of our fathers,
7 that the land most precious of all to thee
might receive a worthy colony of the servants[c] of God.
8 But even these thou didst spare, since they were but men,
and didst send wasps[d] as forerunners of thy army,
to destroy them little by little,
9 though thou wast not unable to give the ungodly into the hands of the righteous in battle,
or to destroy them at one blow by dread wild beasts or thy stern word.
10 But judging them little by little thou gavest them a chance to repent,
though thou wast not unaware that their origin[e] was evil
and their wickedness inborn,
and that their way of thinking would never change.
11 For they were an accursed race from the beginning,
and it was not through fear of any one that thou didst leave them unpunished for their sins.

God Is Sovereign
12 For who will say, “What hast thou done?”
Or will resist thy judgment?
Who will accuse thee for the destruction of nations which thou didst make?
Or who will come before thee to plead as an advocate for unrighteous men?
13 For neither is there any god besides thee, whose care is for all men,[f]
to whom thou shouldst prove that thou hast not judged unjustly;
14 nor can any king or monarch confront thee about those whom thou hast punished.
15 Thou art righteous and rulest all things righteously,
deeming it alien to thy power
to condemn him who does not deserve to be punished.
16 For thy strength is the source of righteousness,
and thy sovereignty over all causes thee to spare all.
17 For thou dost show thy strength when men doubt the completeness of thy power,
and dost rebuke any insolence among those who know it.[g]
18 Thou who art sovereign in strength dost judge with mildness,
and with great forbearance thou dost govern us;
for thou hast power to act whenever thou dost choose.

God’s Lessons for Israel
19 Through such works thou has taught thy people
that the righteous man must be kind,
and thou hast filled thy sons with good hope,
because thou givest repentance for sins.
20 For if thou didst punish with such great care and indulgence[h]
the enemies of thy servants[i] and those deserving of death,
granting them time and opportunity to give up their wickedness,
21 with what strictness thou hast judged thy sons,
to whose fathers thou gavest oaths and covenants full of good promises!
22 So while chastening us thou scourgest our enemies ten thousand times more,
so that we may meditate upon thy goodness when we judge,
and when we are judged we may expect mercy.

The Punishment of the Egyptians
23 Therefore those who in folly of life lived unrighteously
thou didst torment through their own abominations.
24 For they went far astray on the paths of error,
accepting as gods those animals which even their enemies[j] despised;
they were deceived like foolish babes.
25 Therefore, as to thoughtless children,
thou didst send thy judgment to mock them.
26 But those who have not heeded the warning of light rebukes
will experience the deserved judgment of God.
27 For when in their suffering they became incensed
at those creatures which they had thought to be gods, being punished by means of them,
they saw and recognized as the true God him whom they had before refused to know.
Therefore the utmost condemnation came upon them.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Wisdom Led the Israelites through the Desert

Wisdom is portrayed here as being with the Israelites during the Exodus saga. The equivalence of Wisdom with God is therefore implied here. As the wicked constructed idols and worshipped them, the Lord punished them, including creating beasts which seemed like the description of dragons. The last section acknowledges God's limitless power alongside His character to see men repent and to show mercy. As the chapter progresses, the reference to the person of Wisdom became the reference to the person of the Lord

Wisdom 11 (RSVCE)
Wisdom Led the Israelites through the Desert
11 Wisdom[a] prospered their works by the hand of a holy prophet.
2 They journeyed through an uninhabited wilderness,
and pitched their tents in untrodden places.
3 They withstood their enemies and fought off their foes.
4 When they thirsted they called upon thee,
and water was given them out of flinty rock,
and slaking of thirst from hard stone.
5 For through the very things by which their enemies were punished,
they themselves received benefit in their need.
6 Instead of the fountain of an ever-flowing river,
stirred up and defiled with blood
7 in rebuke for the decree to slay the infants,
thou gavest them abundant water unexpectedly,
8 showing by their thirst at that time
how thou didst punish their enemies.
9 For when they were tried, though they were being disciplined in mercy,
they learned how the ungodly were tormented when judged in wrath.
10 For thou didst test them as a father does in warning,
but thou didst examine the ungodly[b] as a stern king does in condemnation.
11 Whether absent or present, they were equally distressed,
12 for a twofold grief possessed them,
and a groaning at the memory of what had occurred.
13 For when they heard that through their own punishments
the righteous[c] had received benefit, they perceived it was the Lord’s doing.
14 For though they had mockingly rejected him who long before had been cast out and exposed,
at the end of the events they marveled at him,
for their thirst was not like that of the righteous.

Punishment of the Wicked
15 In return for their foolish and wicked thoughts,
which led them astray to worship irrational serpents and worthless animals,
thou didst send upon them a multitude of irrational creatures to punish them,
16 that they might learn that one is punished by the very things by which he sins.
17 For thy all-powerful hand,
which created the world out of formless matter,
did not lack the means to send upon them a multitude of bears, or bold lions,
18 or newly created unknown beasts full of rage,
or such as breathe out fiery breath,
or belch forth a thick pall of smoke,
or flash terrible sparks from their eyes;
19 not only could their damage exterminate men,[d]
but the mere sight of them could kill by fright.
20 Even apart from these, men[e] could fall at a single breath
when pursued by justice
and scattered by the breath of thy power.
But thou hast arranged all things by measure and number and weight.

God Is Powerful and Merciful
21 For it is always in thy power to show great strength,
and who can withstand the might of thy arm?
22 Because the whole world before thee is like a speck that tips the scales,
and like a drop of morning dew that falls upon the ground.
23 But thou art merciful to all, for thou canst do all things,
and thou dost overlook men’s sins, that they may repent.
24 For thou lovest all things that exist,
and hast loathing for none of the things which thou hast made,
for thou wouldst not have made anything if thou hadst hated it.
25 How would anything have endured if thou hadst not willed it?
Or how would anything not called forth by thee have been preserved?
26 Thou sparest all things, for they are thine, O Lord who lovest the living.[f]

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