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Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s reading, we learn about the kinds of Israel and the Northern Kingdom that are unfaithful to the Lord and actually lead the people into evil. Asa, the good king, is victorious against the Ethiopians because he relied on the Lord. But he makes an agreement with the king of Syria and shows that he has placed his trust elsewhere instead of in the Lord. While Asa has spent his life being faithful to the Lord, he abandons him in the final phase of his life.

Have you turned away from the Lord?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

1 Kings 15

1 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijam became king of Judah

2 and reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah descendant of Absalom.

3 In everything he followed the sinful example of his father before him; his heart was not wholly with Yahweh his God, as the heart of David his ancestor had been.

4 However, for David’s sake, Yahweh his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, with a son to succeed him, so keeping Jerusalem secure;

5 for David had done what Yahweh regarded as right and had never in all his life disobeyed whatever he commanded him (except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite).

6 The rest of the history of Abijam, his entire career,

7 is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? Abijam and Jeroboam made war on each other.

8 When Abijam fell asleep with his ancestors, he was buried in the City of David; his son Asa succeeded him.

9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah

10 and reigned for forty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah descendant of Absalom.

11 Asa did what Yahweh regards as right, as his ancestor David had done.

12 He drove the male prostitutes out of the country and got rid of all the idols which his ancestors had made.

13 He even deprived his grandmother Maacah of the dignity of Great Lady for having made an obscenity for Asherah; Asa cut down her obscenity and burnt it in the ravine of the Kidron.

14 Though the high places were not abolished, Asa’s heart was loyal to Yahweh throughout his life.

15 He deposited his father’s and his own dedicated gifts of silver, gold and sacred vessels in the Temple of Yahweh.

16 Asa and Baasha king of Israel were at war with each other throughout their reigns.

17 Baasha king of Israel marched on Judah and fortified Ramah to blockade Asa king of Judah.

18 Asa then took all the remaining silver and gold left in the treasuries of the Temple of Yahweh and the royal palace. Entrusting this to his servants, King Asa sent them with the following message to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, son of Hezion, the king of Aram who lived in Damascus,

19 ‘Let us make an alliance between myself and yourself, between my father and your father! Look, I have sent you a gift of silver and gold. Come, break off your alliance with Baasha king of Israel, which will make him withdraw from me.’

20 Ben-Hadad listened favourably to King Asa, and sent the generals of his armies to attack the towns of Israel; he ravaged Ijon, Dan, Abel-Beth-Maacah, all Chinneroth, and the whole territory of Naphtali.

21 When Baasha heard this he gave up fortifying Ramah and retired to Tirzah.

22 King Asa then summoned all Judah, no one was exempt; they took away the stones and timber with which Baasha had been fortifying Ramah, and King Asa used them to fortify Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.

23 The rest of the history of Asa, all his valour, his entire career, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? In his old age, however, he contracted a disease of his feet.

24 When Asa fell asleep with his ancestors, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of his ancestor David; his son Jehoshaphatsucceeded him.

25 Nadab son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel for two years.

26 He did what is displeasing to Yahweh; he copied his father’s example and the sin into which he had led Israel.

27 Baasha son of Ahijah, of the House of Issachar, plotted against him and murdered him at Gibbethon, a Philistine town which Nadab and all Israel were besieging.

28 Baasha killed Nadab and succeeded him in the third year of Asa king of Judah.

29 No sooner was he king than he butchered the entire House of Jeroboam, not sparing a soul, and put an end to it, just as Yahweh had foretold through his servant Ahijah of Shiloh,

30 because of the sins which he had committed and into which he had led Israel, and because he had provoked the anger of Yahweh, God of Israel.

31 The rest of the history of Nadab, his entire career, is this not recorded in

32 the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?

33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of Israel at Tirzah for twenty-four years.

34 He did what is displeasing to Yahweh; he copied the example of Jeroboam and the sin into which he had led Israel.

1 Kings 16

1 The word of Yahweh came to Jehu son of Hanani against Baasha:

2 ‘I raised you from the dust and made you leader of my people Israel, but you have followed Jeroboam’s example and led my people Israel into sins which provoke my anger.

3 Now I shall sweep away Baasha and his House; I shall make your House like the House of Jeroboam son of Nebat.

4 Those of Baasha’s family who die in the city, the dogs will eat; and those who die in the open country, the birds of the air will eat.’

5 The rest of the history of Baasha, his career, his valour, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?

6 When Baasha fell asleep with his ancestors, he was buried in Tirzah; his son Elah succeeded him.

7 Furthermore, the word of Yahweh was delivered through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani against Baasha and his House, first because of the many ways in which he had displeased Yahweh, provoking him to anger by his actions and becoming like the House of Jeroboam; secondly because he had destroyed that House.

8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel at Tirzah, for two years.

9 Zimri, one of his officers, captain of half his chariotry, plotted against him. While he was at Tirzah, drinking himself senseless in the house of Arza who was master of the palace in Tirzah,

10 Zimri came in, struck him down and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and succeeded him.

11 On his accession, as soon as he was seated on the throne, he butchered Baasha’s entire family, not leaving him one manjack of them alive, neither relative nor friend.

12 Zimri destroyed the whole House of Baasha, in accordance with the word which Yahweh had spoken against Baasha through the prophet Jehu,

13 because of all the sins of Baasha and his son Elah into which they had led Israel, provoking the anger of Yahweh, God of Israel, with their worthless idols.

14 The history of Elah, his entire career, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?

15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri became king for seven days, at Tirzah. The people were then encamped in front of Gibbethon, a Philistine town.

16 When news reached the camp of how Zimri had not only plotted against but actually killed the king, all Israel proclaimed the army commander Omri as king of Israel in the camp that very day.

17 Omri, and all Israel with him, raised the siege of Gibbethon and laid siege to Tirzah.

18 When Zimri saw that the town had been captured, he went into the keep of the royal palace, burned the palace over his own head, and died.

19 This was because of the sin which he had committed in doing what is displeasing to Yahweh, by copying the example of Jeroboamand the sin into which he had led Israel.

20 The rest of the history of Zimri and of his conspiracy, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?

21 The people of Israel then split into two factions: one half following Tibni son of Ginath to make him king, the other half following Omri.

22 But the faction of Omri proved stronger than that of Tibni son of Ginath; thus Tibni lost his life and Omri became king.

23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel and reigned for twelve years. He reigned for six years at Tirzah.

24 Then for two talents of silver he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer and on it built a town which he named Samaria after Shemer who had owned the hill.

25 Omri did what is displeasing to Yahweh, and was worse than all his predecessors.

26 In every way he copied the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat and the sins into which he had led Israel, provoking the anger of Yahweh, God of Israel, with their worthless idols.

27 The rest of the history of Omri, his career, his valour, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?

28 When Omri fell asleep with his ancestors, he was buried in Samaria; his son Ahab succeeded him.

29 Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel for twenty-two years in Samaria.

30 Ahab son of Omri did what is displeasing to Yahweh, and was worse than all his predecessors.

31 The least that he did was to follow the sinful example of Jeroboam son of Nebat: he married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians, and then proceeded to serve Baal and worship him.

32 He erected an altar to him in the temple of Baal which he built in Samaria.

33 Ahab also put up a sacred pole and committed other crimes as well, provoking the anger of Yahweh, God of Israel, more than all the kings of Israel his predecessors.

34 It was in his time that Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. Laying its foundations cost him his eldest son Abiram and erecting its gates cost him his youngest son Segub, just as Yahweh had foretold through Joshua son of Nun.

2 Chronicles 16

1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, Baasha king of Israel marched on Judah and fortified Ramah to block the communications of Asa king of Judah.

2 Asa then took silver and gold from the treasuries of the Temple of Yahweh and the royal palace and sent this with the following message to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who lived in Damascus,

3 ‘Let us make an alliance between me and you, between my father and your father! Look, I have sent you silver and gold. Come, break off your alliance with Baasha king of Israel, which will make him withdraw from me.’

4 Ben-Hadad listened favourably to King Asa and sent the generals of his armies to attack the towns of Israel; he ravaged Ijon, Dan, Abel-Maim and all the storage towns of Naphtali.

5 When Baasha heard this he gave up fortifying Ramah, abandoning this work.

6 King Asa then had all Judah carry away the stones and timber with which Baasha had been fortifying Ramah, and used them to fortify Geba and Mizpah.

7 Then it was that Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said, ‘Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on Yahweh your God, the king of Aram’s army will slip through your fingers.

8 Did not the Cushites and Libyans form a vast army with great numbers of chariots and cavalry? Even so, because you relied on Yahweh, he gave you the upper hand;

9 for Yahweh’s eyes rove to and fro across the whole world to support those whose hearts are loyal to him. You have acted like a fool in this respect; hence, from now on you will have wars.’

10 Enraged with the seer, Asa had him put in the stocks in prison, being angry with him over this; at the same time Asa ill-treated some of the people too.

11 The history of Asa, from first to last, is recorded in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.

12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa contracted a disease in his feet, which became very severe; in his illness, however, he consulted not Yahweh but the doctors.

13 Asa then fell asleep with his ancestors, dying in the forty-first year of his reign.

14 He was buried in the tomb which he had ordered to be cut for him in the City of David. He was laid in the burial chamber which was filled with perfume blended from all sorts of oils, and a very great funeral fire was made for him.

2 Chronicles 17

1 When his son Jehoshaphat succeeded him, he made himself stronger against Israel

2 by stationing troops in all the fortified towns in Judah and by garrisoning Judah and the towns of Ephraim which his father Asa had captured.

3 Yahweh was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father’s earlier days and did not have recourse to Baal,

4 but sought Yahweh, the God of his father, following his commandments and not behaving as Israel did.

5 Because of this, Yahweh put him in secure control of the kingdom, while all Judah gave Jehoshaphat presents until ample riches and honour were his.

6 He was so enthusiastic about obeying Yahweh that once again he abolished the high places and sacred poles in Judah.

7 In the third year of his reign he sent his leading men-Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah, to give instruction in the towns of Judah.

8 With them went the Levites: Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah and Tobijah, the Levites; Elishama and Jehoram the priests went with them.

9 They gave instruction in Judah, having with them the book of the Law of Yahweh, and went round all the towns of Judah instructing the people.

10 A panic from Yahweh seized all the kings of the countries surrounding Judah, as a result of which they did not make war on Jehoshaphat.

11 Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents and a load of silver and the Arabs brought him seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred he-goats.

12 Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful. He built fortresses and storage towns in Judah.

13 He accumulated ample supplies in the towns of Judah. He also had warriors, outstanding men, in Jerusalem.

14 According to family, this is how they were classified: Over the commanders of the thousands of Judah was General Adnah, who had three hundred thousand outstanding men;

15 Under him was General Jehohanan, who had two hundred and eighty thousand;

16 Under him was Amasiah son of Zichri, who had volunteered for Yahweh and who had two hundred thousand outstanding men;

17 That outstanding soldier, Eliada, represented Benjamin, and he had two hundred thousand men armed with bow and shield;

18 And under him Jehozabad, who had one hundred and eighty thousand equipped for war.

19 These were in attendance on the king, apart from those whom the king had stationed in the fortified towns all over Judah.

Song of Solomon 4

1 LOVER: How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful you are! Your eyes are doves, behind your veil; your hair is like a flock of goats surging down Mount Gilead.

2 Your teeth, a flock of sheep to be shorn when they come up from the washing. Each one has its twin, not one unpaired with another.

3 Your lips are a scarlet thread and your words enchanting. Your cheeks, behind your veil, are halves of pomegranate.

4 Your neck is the Tower of David built on layers, hung round with a thousand bucklers, and each the shield of a hero.

5 Your two breasts are two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that feed among the lilies.

6 Before the day-breeze rises, before the shadows flee, I shall go to the mountain of myrrh, to the hill of frankincense.

7 You are wholly beautiful, my beloved, and without a blemish.

8 Come from Lebanon, my promised bride, come from Lebanon, come on your way. Look down from the heights of Amanus, from the crests of Senir and Hermon, the haunt of lions, the mountains of leopards.

9 You ravish my heart, my sister, my promised bride, you ravish my heart with a single one of your glances, with a single link of your necklace.

10 What spells lie in your love, my sister, my promised bride! How delicious is your love, more delicious than wine! How fragrant your perfumes, more fragrant than all spices!

11 Your lips, my promised bride, distil wild honey. Honey and milk are under your tongue; and the scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon.

12 She is a garden enclosed, my sister, my promised bride; a garden enclosed, a sealed fountain.

13 Your shoots form an orchard of pomegranate trees, bearing most exquisite fruit:

14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all the incense-bearing trees; myrrh and aloes, with the subtlest odours.

15 Fountain of the garden, well of living water, streams flowing down from Lebanon!

16 BELOVED: Awake, north wind, come, wind of the south! Breathe over my garden, to spread its sweet smell around. Let my love come into his garden, let him taste its most exquisite fruits.

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