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which seems a curious doctrine to impute to either this literature or these people. 61

Nevertheless, the world is consistent. Yahweh is purposeful. Certainly, his actions and their meaning are often mysterious, but he is still trustworthy. The pattern or consistency of the world, though not immutable, is ulti- mately dependable. Again, Kovacs remarks,

The overall pattern cm sense of the world, the purposes of Yahweh, do not produce a rigid structure to the world that closes or confines courses of action to the extent that inexorable processes are at work. The world is not governed by fate or necessity. . . . The pattern does not produce an immutable sequence of events in which the individual or even Yahweh is impotent or must function mechanically. The options we face are real. The pattern exists at the second-order. We might say that it is the pattern of the pattern of events that is fixed. 62

Yahweh secures life. The final motive for wise responses to the enemy is the fact that Yahweh secures life. Rejection of enemy patterns of life and acceptance of wise and righteous conduct offer people the best chance available for security.

61 B. Kovacs, Sociological-Structural Constraints upon Wisdom: The Spatial and Temporal Matrix of Proverbs 15:76- 22:16 (Ph.D. Dissertation, Vanderbilt University, 1978), p. 490; his table of "adversity sayings" (15:33[?]; 16:8, 19;'17:1, 17; 18:1[?]; 19:1; 21:9, 19) p. 559, demonstrates that the wise know that wisdom and righteousness do not always bring forth good, nor does folly and wickedness inevitably lead to disaster. They were not doctrinnaire.

62

Kovacs, p. 493.

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