"Israel’s watchmen are blind,
they all lack knowledge;
they are all mute dogs,
they cannot bark;
they lie around and dream,
they love to sleep.
They are dogs with mighty appetites;
they never have enough.
They are shepherds who lack understanding;
they all turn to their own way,
they seek their own gain.
'Come,' each one cries,
'let me get wine!
Let us drink our fill of beer!
And tomorrow will be like today,
or even far better.' "
- Isaiah 56:10-12
- Psalms 42:1-5
Longing to Once Again Join the Worship Band
Psalm 42 begins “Book Two” of the collection of Hebrew psalms (Psalms 42-72). It is an accepted interpretation that Psalm 42 and 43 were originally one psalm. The reason for their division is unknown, but it could have been for liturgical purposes. The several reasons for understanding them to be two parts of the same psalm is:
1. Psalm 42 is titled, but Psalm 43 is not titled. You will notice that all of the psalms in “Book Two” of the psalms (Psalms 42-72) have titles with the only other exception being the next to last psalm in “Book Two,” which is Psalm 71. But, even Psalm 71 seems to be connected to Psalm 70 since it serves as an introduction to Psalm 71.
2. Hebrew manuscripts themselves exist that present Psalm 42 and 43 as a single psalm.
3. The same chorus is repeated three times after each of the three sets of verses which are presented like this:
- Stanza #1 (Psalm 42:1-4)
- Chorus (Psalm 42:5)
- Stanza #2 (Psalm 42:6-10)
- Chorus repeated (Psalm 42:11)
- Stanza #3 (Psalm 43:1-4)
- Chorus repeated (Psalm 43:5)
Psalm 42 is about someone being separated from the worship of God for some reason. It appears the separated writer was one of the Levites from the family of Korah who may have been physically removed from worshipping the presence of the Lord at the temple in Jerusalem because of exile, expulsion, uncleanness, sickness, travel or some other unknown reason.
The second best thing to being there for the Levitical worship service was the memory of having once been part of the “procession to the house of God….among the festive throng.” (Psalm 42:4) At least this person could recall better times of being in the midst of the crowd worshipping God as he sang and performed skillfully on his musical instrument.
This Levite compares his desire to worship God to the desire of a deer for water. This water is called “streams of water” which is known as moving water or living water in contrast to stagnant pools of stale water. So, of course, the psalmist compares the deer searching for streams of living water to his soul’s desire “for God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2) It is interesting to note that in this second book of Psalms the writers typically refer to “God”, or Elohim, instead of “Lord”, YHWH.
The chorus that is repeated three times voices the hope of the psalmist as he speaks to his own self that he will again “yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5, 11 and Psalm 43:5)
Someone to Quote
"All these things shall I keep faithfully and undiminished, as a man, as a Christian, as a soldier, and as a king, crowned and anointed."
- Henry III (1207-1272),
King of England
Something to Ponder
Flash Cards and Test HERE
Here’s a Fact
but it is the ruin of those who do evil."
- Proverbs 10:29
"Israel’s watchmen are blind,
How Leadership Fails the People
56:10 The leadership is described as:
- Watchmen (the prophets)
- Guard dogs (possibly the priests)
- Shepherds (possibly the kings)
56:11 Not only are they:
- unconscious or unknowing
- useless to perform their duty. . .they also:
- have unsatisfied desires
- know their purpose or their situation (56:10)
- fulfill their responsibility (56:10)
- know how to satisfy their desires (56:11)
- understand the problem (56:11)
56:12 All of their efforts are on satisfying these desires with less and less results. They end up in slavery:
- first, self-induced slavery to addictions and desires
- second, national slavery because their culture becomes too weak because they are too distracted by the first slavery, self-induced.
57:1 Righteous are perishing and no one notices
57:2 The righteous are taken to peace and away from the evil and its results.
I will fulfill my duty and do what the Lord has assigned to me.
I will serve others in the position God has entrusted to me.
43 When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them— 2 Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ 3 But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon.”
4 So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the people disobeyed the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah. 5 Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led away all the remnant of Judah who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered. 6 They also led away all those whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan—the men, the women, the children and the king’s daughters. And they took Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah along with them. 7 So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lord and went as far as Tahpanhes.
8 In Tahpanhes the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 9 “While the Jews are watching, take some large stones with you and bury them in clay in the brick pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes. 10 Then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopy above them. 11 He will come and attack Egypt, bringing death to those destined for death, captivity to those destined for captivity, and the sword to those destined for the sword. 12 He will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; he will burn their temples and take their gods captive. As a shepherd picks his garment clean of lice, so he will pick Egypt clean and depart. 13 There in the temple of the sun in Egypt he will demolish the sacred pillars and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.’”
Manasseh King of Judah
33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. 4 He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “My Name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5 In both courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. 6 He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.
7 He took the image he had made and put it in God’s temple, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. 8 I will not again make the feet of the Israelites leave the land I assigned to your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them concerning all the laws, decrees and regulations given through Moses.” 9 But Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.
10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. 12 In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. 13 And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.
14 Afterward he rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, west of the Gihon spring in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate and encircling the hill of Ophel; he also made it much higher. He stationed military commanders in all the fortified cities in Judah.
15 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. 16 Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. 17 The people, however, continued to sacrifice at the high places, but only to the Lord their God.
18 The other events of Manasseh’s reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer and how God was moved by his entreaty, as well as all his sins and unfaithfulness, and the sites where he built high places and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself—all these are written in the records of the seers. 20 Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his palace. And Amon his son succeeded him as king.
Amon King of Judah
21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. 22 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. Amon worshiped and offered sacrifices to all the idols Manasseh had made. 23 But unlike his father Manasseh, he did not humble himself before the Lord; Amon increased his guilt.
24 Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. 25 Then the people of the land killed all who had plotted against King Amon, and they made Josiah his son king in his place.
- Wernher von Braun,
pioneer rocket engineer
“Faith comes from hearing the message.”
This two-towered gate had an 82 foot high arch. The Ishtar Gate led onto the Processional Way which was the main street that ran past Nebucahnezzar's palace into the inner city. The inscription found on the gate reads:
"(Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, son of) Nabopolassar (King of Babylon am I). The gate of Nana (Ishtar . . . I built) with (blue) enameled bricks ... for Marduk my lord. Lusty bulls of bronze and mighty figures of serpents I placed at their thresholds, with slabs (?) of limestone (and . . . ) of stone I . . . the enclosure of the bulls (...?) Marduk, exalted lord . . . eternal life . . . give as a gift"
- Proverbs 3:27