Who will hear these lessons from the past?
Who will acknowledge the ruin that awaits?
I asked, “What must I do to be saved?”
I have always been faithful.
I have served Jehovah single-mindedly
Always doing what pleases him.
“Set your affairs in order,” replied my Lord,
“For this sickness is your undoing.”
I cried, “It is but the summer of my life
And I may as well be dead!”
The sum of my work was blown away
Like a shepherd’s tent in a storm.
Devastated, I chattered like a swallow
And moaned like a mourning dove.
For what could I say in response?
Jehovah himself has afflicted me with wealth.
My illness is but blessing and prosperity:
The last shall be first, and the first… lost.
I could only walk humbly away
To bear the burden I have been given.
But the Lord heard my cries and called,
“You have not expired yet; come, follow me.”
This message from the Master is good;
My sickness has not destroyed me.
I may finish my barns and empty them later;
They may even be sacked by strangers.
My son may be enslaved and sold as a enunch,
Even, perhaps, become one by choice.
But the dead cannot praise Jehovah.
They cannot raise their voices in hope.
As I still live, for years—even fifteen—
Surely peace and security shall follow me.
Think on it! The Lord is always eager to save.
He will be waiting when I am ready.
The rich are aflame and refuse understanding.
They are consumed and do not heed the lesson.
In this piece, Peter notes similarities between Jesus’ encounter with “the rich young ruler” and Isaiah’s account of King Hezekiah. He models a rich man’s lament after the Prayer of Hezekiah, recorded only by Isaiah… and frames it with his own self-righteous commentary (also cribbed from Isaiah).