Friday, April 28, 2017

Wisdom Principles—God Far Surpasses Any Human Power

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up -- and there were the Egyptians in pursuit of them! The Israelites were terrified and cried out to Yahweh for help.
13Moses said to the people, 'Do not be afraid! Stand firm, and you will see what Yahweh will do to rescue you today: the Egyptians you see today you will never see again.14Yahweh will do the fighting for you; all you need to do is to keep calm.'

Yah is my strength and my song, to him I owe my deliverance. He is my God and I shall praise him, my father's God and I shall extol him.
3Yahweh is a warrior; Yahweh is his name.
4Pharaoh's chariots and army he has hurled into the sea the pick of his officers have been drowned in the Sea of Reeds.
5The ocean has closed over them; they have sunk to the bottom like a stone.
6Your right hand, Yahweh, wins glory by its strength, your right hand, Yahweh, shatters your foes,7and by your great majesty you fell your assailants; you unleash your fury, it consumes them like chaff.
8A blast from your nostrils and the waters piled high; the waves stood firm as a dyke; the bed of the sea became firm ground.
9The enemy said, 'I shall give chase and overtake, 'I shall share out the spoil and glut myself on them, 'I shall draw my sword, my hand will destroy them.'
10You blew with your breath, the sea closed over them; they sank like lead in the terrible waters.
11Yahweh, who is like you, majestic in sanctity, who like you among the holy ones, fearsome of deed, worker of wonders?
12You stretched your right hand out, the earth swallowed them!

If you live according to my laws, if you keep my commandments and put them into practice,
7You will pursue your enemies and they will fall before your sword; 8five of you pursuing a hundred of them, one hundred pursuing ten thousand; and your enemies will fall before your sword.

Our brothers have discouraged us by saying that the people are stronger and taller than we are, the cities immense, with walls reaching to the sky. And we have seen Anakim there too. 29 'And I said to you, "Do not take fright, do not be afraid of them. 30 Yahweh your God goes ahead of you and will be fighting on your side, just as you saw him act in Egypt. 31You have seen him in the desert too: Yahweh your God continued to support you, as a man supports his son, all along the road you followed until you arrived here."

I then gave Joshua this order, "You can see for yourself everything that Yahweh our God has done to these two kings; Yahweh will do the same to all the kingdoms through which you pass. 22Do not be afraid of them: Yahweh your God himself is fighting for you."

He will put their kings at your mercy and you will blot out their names under heaven

Beware of thinking to yourself, "My own strength and the might of my own hand have given me the power to act like this." 18Remember Yahweh your God; he was the one who gave you the strength to act effectively like this, thus keeping then, as today, the covenant which he swore to your ancestors.

A people great and tall, these Anakim, as you know; you have heard the saying: Who can stand up to the sons of Anak? 3Know then today that Yahweh your God himself will go ahead of you, destroying them like a devouring fire, and that he himself will subdue them before you so that you can dispossess and quickly make an end of them, as Yahweh has already said.

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, you must not be afraid of them; Yahweh your God is with you, he who brought you out of Egypt. 2When you are about to join battle, the priest must come forward and address the people. 3He must say to them, "Listen, Israel: today you are about to join battle with your enemies. Do not be faint hearted. Let there be no fear or trembling or alarm as you face them. 4Yahweh your God is marching with you, to fight your enemies for you and make you victorious.

Be strong, stand firm, have no fear, do not be afraid of them, for Yahweh your God is going with you; he will not fail you or desert you.'

Yahweh is the shield that protects you and the sword that leads you to triumph. Your enemies will try to corrupt you, but you yourself will trample on their backs.

Joshua then said, 'Clear the mouth of the cave and bring the five kings out to me.'23They did so, and brought the five kings out of the cave to take them to him: the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish and the king of Eglon. 24When these kings had been brought out, Joshua assembled all the men of Israel and said to the chiefs of the warriors who had fought with him, 'Come forward and put your feet on the necks of these kings!' They came forward and put their feet on their necks. 25'Be fearless and undaunted,' Joshua went on, 'be strong and stand firm, for this is how Yahweh will deal with all the enemies you fight.'

You for your part have witnessed all that Yahweh your God has done to all these nations for your sake; Yahweh your God himself has fought for you.
Yahweh has dispossessed great and powerful nations before you, and no one so far has been able to resist you. 10One man of you was able to rout a thousand of them, since Yahweh your God was himself fighting for you, as he had promised you. 11Be very careful, as you value your life, to love Yahweh your God.

Yahweh then said to Gideon, 'There are too many people with you for me to put Midian into their power; Israel might claim the credit for themselves at my expense: they might say, "My own hand has rescued me.”

Yahweh makes poor and rich, he humbles and also exalts. 8He raises the poor from the dust, he lifts the needy from the dunghill to give them a place with princes, to assign them a seat of honor; for to Yahweh belong the pillars of the earth, on these he has poised the world. 9He safeguards the steps of his faithful but the wicked vanish in darkness (for human strength can win no victories).

Yahweh is free to grant deliverance through a few men, just as much as through many.

Yahweh does not give victory by means of sword and spear -- for Yahweh is lord of the battle and he will deliver you into our power.

Next day, Elisha got up early and went out; and there surrounding the town was an armed force with horses and chariots. 'Oh, my lord,' his servant said, 'what are we to do?'16'Do not be afraid,' he replied, 'for there are more on our side than on theirs.' 17And Elisha prayed. 'Yahweh,' he said, 'open his eyes and make him see.' Yahweh opened the servant's eyes, and he saw the mountain covered in fiery horses and chariots surrounding Elisha.

Israelites, do not make war on Yahweh, God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed.

Yahweh, numbers and strength make no difference to you when you give your help. Help us, Yahweh our God, for, relying on you, we are confronting this horde in your name. Yahweh, you are our God. Human strength cannot prevail against you!

Yahweh, God of our ancestors, are you not God in heaven, and do you not rule all the kingdoms of the nations? Your power and might are such that no one can resist you.

Yahweh says this to you, “Do not be afraid, do not be daunted by this vast horde, for the war is not your affair but God's.”

For however valiantly you act in war, God will bring you down before the enemy, for God has the power to uphold or to throw down.'

Be strong and brave; do not be afraid or tremble when you face the king of Assyria and the whole horde he brings with him, for there are more on our side than on his. 8He has only human strength, but we have Yahweh our God to help us and fight our battles.

If his will is to raise up the downcast, or exalt the afflicted to the heights of prosperity, 12he frustrates the plans of the artful so that they cannot succeed in their intrigues. 13He traps the crafty in the snare of their own trickery, throws the plans of the cunning into disarray.

How could anyone claim to be upright before God? 3Anyone trying to argue matters with him, could not give him one answer in a thousand. 4Among the wisest and the hardiest, who then can successfully defy him?

Shall I try force? Look how strong he is! Or go to court? But who will summon him?

For he is not human like me: impossible for me to answer him or appear alongside him in court.

What he destroys, no one can rebuild; whom he imprisons, no one can release.

He robs a country's counsellors of their wits, turns judges into fools. 18He undoes the belts of kings and knots a rope round their waists. 19He makes priests walk barefoot, and overthrows the powers that are established. 20He strikes the most assured of speakers dumb and robs old people of their discretion. 21He pours contempt on the nobly born, and unbuckles the belt of the strong.

He builds nations up, then ruins them, he makes peoples expand, then suppresses them.24He strips a country's leaders of their judgment, and leaves them to wander in a trackless waste, 25to grope about in unlit darkness, lurching to and fro as though drunk.

He who lays mighty hold on tyrants rises up to take away a life that seemed secure.

[He]says to a king, 'You are a scoundrel!' and to nobles, 'You are wicked!',19[He] is unimpressed by princes and makes no distinction between rich and poor, since all alike have been made by him? 20They die suddenly, at dead of night, they perish -- these great ones -- and disappear: it costs him no effort to remove a tyrant.

He breaks the powerful without enquiry and sets up others in their places. 25He knows the sort of things they do! He overthrows them at night, to be trampled on. 26He beats them like criminals chained up for all to see, 27since they have turned their backs on him, having understood so little of his ways

Yahweh, how countless are my enemies, how countless those who rise up against me, 2how countless those who say of me, 'No salvation for him from his God!
3But you, Yahweh, the shield at my side, my glory, you hold my head high.
4I cry out to Yahweh; he answers from his holy mountain.
5As for me, if I lie down and sleep, I shall awake, for Yahweh sustains me.
6I have no fear of people in their thousands upon thousands, who range themselves against me wherever I turn.

You have rebuked the nations

Now I know the Lord gives victory to his anointed. He will answer him from the holy heavens with a strong arm that brings victory. Some rely on chariots, others on horses, but we on the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we stand strong and firm.

Yahweh is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? Yahweh is the fortress of my life, whom should I dread?
2When the wicked advance against me to eat me up, they, my opponents, my enemies, are the ones who stumble and fall.
3Though an army pitch camp against me, my heart will not fear, though war break out against me, my trust will never be shaken.

Yahweh thwarts the plans of nations, frustrates the counsels of peoples;11but Yahweh's own plan stands firm for ever, his heart's counsel from age to age.

A large army will not keep a king safe, nor his strength save a warrior's life;17it is delusion to rely on a horse for safety, for all its power it cannot save.
18But see how Yahweh watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his faithful love, 19to rescue them from death and keep them alive in famine.
20We are waiting for Yahweh; he is our help and our shield, 21for in him our heart rejoices, in his holy name we trust.
22Yahweh, let your faithful love rest on us, as our hope has rested in you.

The weapons of the wicked shall be shattered, while Yahweh supports the upright.

It was not their own sword that won the land, nor their own arms which made them victorious, but your hand it was and your arm, and the light of your presence, for you loved them.
6For my trust was not in my bow, my victory was not won by my sword; 7it was you who saved us from our opponents, you who put to shame those who hate us.

In God, whose word I praise, in God I put my trust and have no fear, what power has human strength over me?
10In God whose word I praise, in Yahweh whose word I praise,11in God I put my trust and have no fear; what can mortal man do to me?

He cuts short the breath of princes, strikes terror in earthly kings.

He rebuked kings

[H]e covered princes in contempt, left them to wander in trackless wastes.

Bring us help in our time of crisis, any human assistance is worthless.
13With God we shall do deeds of valor, he will trample down our enemies.

At your right hand, Lord, he shatters kings when his anger breaks out.

With Yahweh on my side I fear nothing; what can human beings do to me?
7With Yahweh on my side as my help, I gloat over my enemies.
8It is better to take refuge in Yahweh than to rely on human beings;
9better to take refuge in Yahweh than to rely on princes.
10Nations were swarming around me, in the name of Yahweh I cut them down; 11they swarmed around me, pressing upon me, in the name of Yahweh I cut them down.
12They swarmed around me like bees, they flared up like a brushwood fire, in the name of Yahweh I cut them down.
13I was pushed hard, to make me fall, but Yahweh came to my help.
14Yahweh is my strength and my song, he has been my Savior.

If Yahweh does not build a house in vain do its builders toil. If Yahweh does not guard a city in vain does its guard keep watch. 2In vain you get up earlier, and put off going to bed, sweating to make a living

Sublime as he is, Yahweh looks on the humble, the proud he picks out from afar.7Though I live surrounded by trouble you give me life -- to my enemies' fury! You stretch out your right hand and save me

Do not put your trust in princes, in any child of Adam, who has no power to save. 4When his spirit goes forth he returns to the earth, on that very day all his plans come to nothing.

He takes no delight in the power of horses, no pleasure in human sturdiness; 11his pleasure is in those who fear him, in those who hope in his faithful love.12Praise Yahweh, Jerusalem, Zion, praise your God.

A human heart makes the plans, Yahweh gives the answer.

Many are the plans in the human heart, but the purpose of Yahweh -- that stands firm.

No wisdom, no understanding, no advice is worth anything before Yahweh.

Fit out the cavalry for the day of battle, but the victory is Yahweh's.

To be afraid of human beings is a snare, whoever trusts in Yahweh is secure.

Another thing I have observed under the sun: that the race is not won by the speediest, nor the battle by the champions; it is not the wise who get food, nor the intelligent wealth, nor the learned favor: chance and mischance befall them all.

The Lord has turned mighty princes off their thrones and seated the humble there instead.
15The Lord has plucked up the proud by the roots, and planted the lowly in their place.
16The Lord has overthrown the lands of the nations and destroyed them to the very foundations of the earth.
17Sometimes he has taken them away and destroyed them, and blotted out their memory from the earth.

Human pride will lower its eyes, human arrogance will be humbled, and Yahweh alone will be exalted, on that day. 12That will be a day for Yahweh Sabaoth, for all who are majestic and haughty, for all who are proud, to be brought low,
17Human pride will be humbled, human arrogance brought low, and Yahweh alone will be exalted, on that day.

Devise plans as you may: they will come to nothing! Make what pronouncements you like; it will not come about! For God is with us!'

The ones standing highest are cut down, the proudest are laid low!

I am going to … humble the haughtiness of despots.

How did you come to fall from the heavens, Daystar, son of Dawn? How did you come to be thrown to the ground, conqueror of nations?13You who used to think to yourself: I shall scale the heavens; higher than the stars of God I shall set my throne. I shall sit on the Mount of Assembly far away to the north.
14I shall climb high above the clouds, I shall rival the Most High." 15Now you have been flung down to Sheol, into the depths of the abyss!

Once Yahweh Sabaoth has decided, who will stop him? Once he stretches out his hand, who can withdraw it?

Where are these sages of yours? Let them tell you, so that all may know, the plans Yahweh Sabaoth has made

I shall hound you from your office, I shall snatch you from your post

Yahweh, you are my God, I shall praise you to the heights, I shall praise your name; for you have accomplished marvels, plans long-conceived, faithfully, firmly. 2For you have made the town a heap of stones, the fortified city a ruin. The foreigners' citadel is a city no longer, it will never be rebuilt. 3Hence mighty peoples will honor you, the city of pitiless nations hold you in awe; 4For you have been a refuge for the weak, a refuge for the needy in distress, a shelter from the storm, shade from the heat

But he will humble his pride despite what his hands may attempt. 12And the impregnable fortress of your walls, he has overthrown, laid low, flung to the ground, in the dust.

Trust in Yahweh for ever, for Yahweh is a rock for ever. 5He has brought low the dwellers on the heights, the lofty citadel; he lays it low, brings it to the ground, flings it down in the dust.6It will be trodden under foot, by the feet of the needy, the steps of the weak.'

The wisdom of its wise men is doomed, the understanding of any who understand will vanish. 15Woe to those who burrow down to conceal their plans from Yahweh, who scheme in the dark and say, 'Who can see us? Who knows who we are?'

His breath is like a river in spate coming up to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction, to harness the peoples in a bridle, that will lead them astray.

Woe to those going down to Egypt for help, who put their trust in horses, who rely on the quantity of chariots, and on great strength of cavalrymen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult Yahweh.

Through your minions you have insulted the Lord, thinking: With my many chariots I have climbed the mountain-tops, the utmost peaks of Lebanon. I have felled its mighty cedars, its finest cypresses, have reached its furthest peak, its forest garden.25Yes, I have dug and drunk of foreign waters; under the soles of my feet I have dried up all Egypt's rivers.
26Do you hear? Long ago I prepared this, from days of old I actually planned it, now I carry it out. You were to lay walled cities in heaps of ruins; 27that was why their inhabitants, feeble of hand, were dismayed and discomfited, were weak as grass, were frail as plants, were like grass of housetop and meadow under the east wind.
28But whether you stand up or sit down, whether you go out or come in, I know it (and how you rave against me). 29Because you have raved against me and your arrogance has reached my ears, I shall put a hook through your nostrils and a muzzle on your lips, and make you return by the road by which you came.

All the nations are as nothing before him, for him they count as nothingness and emptiness.

He reduces princes to nothing, the rulers of the world to mere emptiness.

I, who foil the omens of soothsayers and make fools of diviners, who confound sages turning their knowledge into folly

Woe to anyone who argues with his Maker

The wise are put to shame, alarmed, caught out because they have rejected Yahweh's word. What price their wisdom now?

Yahweh says this, 'Accursed be anyone who trusts in human beings, who relies on human strength and whose heart turns from Yahweh. 6Such a person is like scrub in the wastelands: when good comes, it does not affect him since he lives in the parched places of the desert, uninhabited, salt land.

In a flash, I shall make them run away, and there appoint someone I shall choose. For who is there like me? Who can hale me into court? Name me the shepherd who can stand up to me.

Were Babylon to scale the heavens or reinforce her towering citadel, destroyers would still come to her on my orders, Yahweh declares.

Yahweh Sabaoth says this: The walls of Babylon the Great will be razed to the ground, and her lofty gates will be burnt down. Thus peoples toil for nothing and nations wear themselves out, for the flames.

And all the trees of the countryside will know that I, Yahweh, am the one who lays the tall tree low and raises the low tree high, who makes the green tree wither and makes the withered bear fruit. I, Yahweh, have spoken, and I will do it.

It is he who controls the procession of times and seasons, who makes and unmakes kings, who confers wisdom on the wise, and knowledge on those with discernment

The Most High rules over human sovereignty and confers it on whom he pleases.

All who dwell on earth count for nothing; as he thinks fit, he disposes the army of heaven and those who dwell on earth. No one can arrest his hand or ask him, "What have you done?"

The Most High rules over human sovereignty and appoints whom he pleases to rule it.

I shall take pity on the House of Judah and shall save them, not by bow or sword or force of arms, not by horses or horsemen, but by Yahweh their God.

Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, he who was as tall as the cedars, as strong as the oaks; I who destroyed his fruit above ground and his roots below.

Flight will be cut off for the swift, the strong will have no chance to exert his strength nor the warrior be able to save his life;15the archer will not stand his ground, the swift of foot will not escape, nor will the horseman save his life; 16even the bravest of warriors will jettison his arms and run away, that day! -declares Yahweh!

Should they burrow into Sheol, my hand will haul them out; should they climb to heaven, I shall bring them down.

Though you soar like an eagle, though you set your nest among the stars, I shall bring you down from there!-declares Yahweh.

When that day comes- declares Yahweh- I shall tear your horses away from you, I shall destroy your chariots; 10I shall tear the cities from your country, I shall overthrow all your fortresses

He will raise his hand against the north and bring Assyria down in ruins; he will make Nineveh a waste, as dry as a desert.14Flocks will rest inside there, so will wild animals; pelican and porcupine will nest round her cornices at night; the owl will hoot at the window and the raven croak on the doorstep -- for the cedar has been torn down. 15This is what the city will be like, once living happy and carefree and thinking to itself, 'I have no rival -- not I!' And what will it be now? A ruin, a lair for wild beasts to rest in, and everyone who passes by will whistle and throw up his hands.

I shall overturn the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kings of the nations. I shall overthrow the chariots and their crews; horses and their riders will fall, every one to the sword of his comrade.

When they fight, because Yahweh is with them, they will put mounted men to rout.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. See also Luke 12:4-5

The Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name, 50and his faithful love extends age after age to those who fear him. 51He has used the power of his arm, he has routed the arrogant of heart. 52He has pulled down princes from their thrones and raised high the lowly.

If it does in fact come from God you will be unable to destroy them. Take care not to find yourselves fighting against God.'

If God is for us, who can be against us?

But you -- who do you think you, a human being, are, to answer back to God? Something that was made, can it say to its maker: why did you make me this shape?

God has shown up human wisdom as folly

God's folly is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.

God chose those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise; he chose those who by human standards are weak to shame the strong, 28those who by human standards are common and contemptible -- indeed those who count for nothing -- to reduce to nothing all those that do count for something

For the wisdom of the world is folly to God. As scripture says: He traps the crafty in the snare of their own cunning 20and again: The Lord knows the plans of the wise and how insipid they are.