Thoughts and Reflection
Today in our reading we learn the story of Elijah fleeing Jezebel. Even after the Lord’s victory over the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Elijah is discouraged and asks for death. We can be discouraged after victory because there are no more battles to fight. Elijah’s ministry becomes his battle and it is almost over. Discouragement sets in. The Lord tells him to “arise and eat” giving him bread for his journey.
This story reminds us that there will come a day when we are at the end of life and we will need to look forward to eternity with God. Thank goodness for that!
Let’s pray for those who are close to death today that God will give them strength and hope for life everlasting.
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!
1 Kings 19
1 When Ahab told Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, and how he had put all the prophets to the sword,
5 Then he lay down and went to sleep. Then all of a sudden an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’
9 There he went into a cave and spent the night there. Then the word of Yahweh came to him saying, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’
10 He replied, ‘I am full of jealous zeal for Yahweh Sabaoth, because the Israelites have abandoned your covenant, have torn down your altars and put your prophets to the sword. I am the only one left, and now they want to kill me.’
11 Then he was told, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before Yahweh.’ For at that moment Yahweh was going by. A mighty hurricane split the mountains and shattered the rocks before Yahweh. But Yahweh was not in the hurricane. And after the hurricane, an earthquake. But Yahweh was not in the earthquake.
12 And after the earthquake, fire. But Yahweh was not in the fire. And after the fire, a light murmuring sound.
13 And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then a voice came to him, which said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’
14 He replied, ‘I am full of jealous zeal for Yahweh, God Sabaoth, because the Israelites have abandoned your covenant, have torn down your altars and put your prophets to the sword. I am the only one left and now they want to kill me.’
21 Elisha turned away, took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He used the oxen’s tackle for cooking the meat, which he gave the people to eat. He then rose and, following Elijah, became his servant.
1 Kings 20
1 Ben-Hadad king of Aram mustered his whole army — thirty-two kings were with him, and horses and chariots — and marched on Samaria, to besiege it and take it by assault.
3 “Your silver and gold are mine. Your wives and children remain yours.” ‘
4 The king of Israel replied, ‘As you command, my lord king. Myself and all I have are yours.’
5 The messengers came again, this time they said, ‘Ben-Hadad says this, “I have already sent you an order to hand over your silver and your gold, your wives and your children;
6 but I swear, this time tomorrow, I shall send my servants to ransack your house and your servants’ houses and lay hands on everything that they value and take it away.” ‘
7 The king of Israel summoned all the elders of the country and said, ‘You can see clearly how this man intends to ruin us. He has already demanded my wives and my children, although I have not refused him my silver and gold.’
10 Ben-Hadad then sent him the following message, ‘May the gods bring unnameable ills on me and worse ills too, if there is enough dust in Samaria for each of my followers to have a handful!’
12 When Ben-Hadad heard this message — he was under the awnings drinking with the kings — he gave orders to his servants, ‘Take up position!’ And they took up their positions against the city.
13 A prophet then arrived, looking for Ahab king of Israel. ‘Yahweh says this,’ he said. ‘ “You have seen this huge army? This very day I shall deliver it into your hands, and you will know that I am Yahweh.” ‘
14 ‘By whose means?’ Ahab asked. The prophet replied, ‘Yahweh says this, “By means of the guards of the district governors.” ‘ ‘Who will co-ordinate the attack?’ Ahab asked. ‘You will,’ the prophet replied.
16 They made a sortie at midday, when Ben-Hadad was drinking himself senseless under the awnings, he and the thirty-two kings who were allies.
22 The prophet then went to the king of Israel and said, ‘Now is the time to be resolute and think carefully about what you should do, for at the turn of the year the king of Aram will march against you.’
23 The servants of the king of Aram said to him, ‘Their gods are gods of the mountains; that is why they have proved stronger than we are. But if we fight them on level ground, we shall certainly beat them.
24 This is what you must do: remove all these kings from their commands and appoint professional soldiers in their place.
25 You, for your part, must recruit an army as large as the one which deserted you, with as many horses and as many chariots; then if we fight them on level ground, we shall certainly beat them.’ He listened to their advice and acted accordingly.
27 The Israelites were already mobilised and provisioned, and marched out to meet them. Encamped opposite them, the Israeliteslooked like two herds of goats, whereas the Aramaeans filled the countryside.
28 The man of God then went to the king of Israel and said, ‘Yahweh says this, “Since Aram has said that Yahweh is a god of the mountains and not a god of the plains, I shall put the whole of this huge army into your power, and you will know that I am Yahweh.”‘
29 For seven days they were encamped opposite each other. On the seventh day battle was joined and the Israelites slaughtered the Aramaeans, a hundred thousand foot soldiers in one day.
31 ‘Look,’ his servants said to him, ‘we have heard that the kings of Israel are faithful and kind kings. Let us put sackcloth round our waists and cords round our heads and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he will spare your life.’
33 ‘So he is still alive?’ he replied. ‘He is my brother.’ The men took this for a good omen and quickly seized on his words. ‘Yes,’ they said, ‘Ben-Hadad is your brother.’ Ahab said, ‘Go and fetch him.’ Then Ben-Hadad came out to him and Ahab made him get up into his chariot.
34 Ben-Hadad said, ‘I shall restore the towns which my father took from your father and you may set up a trading quarter for yourself in Damascus as my father did in Samaria.’ ‘With a treaty,’ Ahab said, ‘I shall set you free.’ Granting him a treaty, Ahab let him go.
35 At Yahweh’s command a member of the brotherhood of prophets said to a companion of his, ‘Strike me,’ but the man refused to strike him.
36 So he said to him, ‘Since you have disobeyed Yahweh’s order, the very moment you leave me a lion will kill you.’ And no sooner had he left him than he met a lion, which killed him.
38 The prophet then went and stood waiting for the king on the road, disguising himself with a bandage over his eyes.
39 As the king passed, he called out to him, ‘Your servant was making his way to where the fight was thickest when someone left the fighting to bring a man to me, and said, “Guard this man; if he is found missing, your life will pay for his, or else you will have to pay one talent of silver.”
41 At this the man quickly pulled off the bandage over his eyes, and the king of Israel recognised him as one of the prophets.
2 Chronicles 20
3 Jehoshaphat was alarmed and resolved to have recourse to Yahweh; he proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4 So Judah assembled to seek help from Yahweh; to seek Yahweh they came from every town in Judah.
8 They have lived in it and built you a sanctuary there for your name,
9 saying, “If disaster, war, flood, pestilence or famine befall us, and we stand in front of this Temple, before you — for your name is in this Temple — and cry to you in our distress, then you will listen and rescue us.”
10 ‘Now see, the Ammonites and Moabites and the people of Mount Seir, whom you would not allow Israel to invade when they came out of Egypt — on the contrary, Israel avoided them, and did not destroy them-
15 who then cried, ‘Listen, all Judah and you citizens of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! 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.
17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Take up your position, stand firm, and see what salvation Yahweh has in store for you. Judah and Jerusalem, be fearless, be dauntless; march out against them tomorrow and Yahweh will be with you.” ‘
20 Early next morning they prepared to set out for the desert of Tekoa. As they were setting out, Jehoshaphat stood up and said, ‘Listen to me, Judah and you citizens of Jerusalem! Believe in Yahweh your God and you will be secure; believe in his prophets and you will be successful.’
21 Then, having conferred with the people, he appointed singers who were to praise Yahweh and go out ahead of the army in sacred vestments, singing Praise Yahweh, for his faithful love endures for ever!
22 The moment they began their shouts of praise, Yahweh sprang an ambush on the Ammonites, Moabites and the people of Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and that was the end of them,
23 for the Ammonites and Moabites turned on the people of Mount Seir, and put them under the curse of destruction and then, having finished off the people of Seir, set to work slaughtering one another.
25 When Jehoshaphat arrived to take the booty, they found quantities of cattle and innumerable possessions, clothes and valuables, which they seized for themselves; it was impossible to carry it, and it took them three days to collect it.
26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, where they blessed Yahweh — hence the place was given the name Valley of Beracah, which it still has today.
28 To the sound of lyre, harp and trumpet they came to Jerusalem, to the Temple of Yahweh,
30 And henceforth Jehoshaphat’s reign was undisturbed, for his God gave him peace all round.
32 He followed the example of his father Asa undeviatingly, doing what Yahweh regards as right.
33 The high places, however, were not abolished; the people had still not set their hearts on the God of their ancestors.
37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah then prophesied against Jehoshaphat as follows, ‘Because you have become Ahaziah’s partner, Yahweh has wrecked your efforts.’ The ships were wrecked and were never fit to sail for Tarshish.
Song of Solomon 6
1 CHORUS: Where did your lover go, O loveliest of women? Which way did your lover turn so that we can help you seek him?
9 My dove is my only one, perfect and mine. She is the darling of her mother, the favourite of the one who bore her. Girls have seen her and proclaimed her blessed, queens and concubines have sung her praises,