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Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s readings, we learn that Ahab’s successor Ahaziah turns to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to know the future. Elijah tells him that he will die in his unfaithfulness. Azariah dies without a son, so his brother becomes king. There are now two kings named Jehoram – one in Israel and one in Judah.

Joash became king at age seven as an excellent mentor to the priest Jehoiada. He helps him to be good and strong. Joash reinstates Temple worship and the tax to ensure this worship. When Jehoiada dies, Joash stops being faithful to the Lord. When Jehoiada’s son Zechariah tries to call Joash back to righteousness, he has him killed by stoning. This act causes Joash to be murdered by his own subjects. Joash could have died as a hero, as a king who was faithful and led the people to righteousness and blessing. Instead, he dies a villain.

Like Joash, we too can fail in our fidelity to the Lord. We need to discover mentors who will tell us when we are going the wrong way and draw us back to faithfulness. We need to pray to God for the grace to have our hearts and minds fully converted to him.

Is there a person in your life that keeps you faithful to 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

2 Kings 1

1 After Ahab’s death Moab rebelled against Israel.

2 Ahaziah had fallen from the balcony of his upper room in Samaria, and was lying ill; so he sent messengers, saying to them, ‘Go and consult Baal-Zebub god of Ekron and ask whether I shall recover from my illness.’

3 But the angel of Yahweh said to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Up! Go and intercept the king of Samaria’s messengers. Say to them, “Is there no God in Israel, for you to go and consult Baal-Zebub god of Ekron?

4 Yahweh says this: You will never leave the bed you have got into; you are certainly going to die.” ‘ And Elijah set out.

5 The messengers returned to the king, who said, ‘Why have you come back?’

6 ‘A man came to meet us,’ they answered. ‘He said, “Go back to the king who sent you and tell him: Yahweh says this: Is there no Godin Israel, for you to go and consult Baal-Zebub god of Ekron? For this, you will never leave the bed you have got into; you are certainly going to die.”‘

7 He said, ‘This man who met you and said all this, what was he like?’

8 ‘A man wearing a hair cloak’, they answered, ‘and a leather loincloth.’ ‘It was Elijah the Tishbite,’ he said.

9 He then sent a captain of fifty soldiers with his fifty men to Elijah, whom they found sitting on top of a hill; the captain went up to him and said, ‘Man of God, the king says, “Come down.” ‘

10 Elijah answered the captain, ‘If I am a man of God, may fire fall from heaven and destroy both you and your fifty men.’ And fire fell from heaven and destroyed him and his fifty men.

11 The king sent a second captain of fifty to him, again with fifty men, and he too went up and said, ‘Man of God, this is the king’s order, “Come down at once.” ‘

12 Elijah answered them, ‘If I am a man of God, may fire fall from heaven and destroy both you and your fifty men.’ And lightning fell from heaven and destroyed him and his fifty men.

13 The king then sent a third captain of fifty to him, with another fifty men. The third captain of fifty came up to Elijah, fell on his knees before him and pleaded with him. ‘Man of God,’ he said, ‘may my life and the lives of these fifty servants of yours count for something in your eyes.

14 Fire has fallen from heaven and destroyed two captains of fifties and their companies, but this time may my life count for something in your eyes!’

15 The angel of Yahweh said to Elijah, ‘Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.’ He rose and accompanied him down to the king,

16 and said to him, ‘Yahweh says this, “Since you sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub god of Ekron, you will never leave the bed you have got into; you are certainly going to die.” ‘

17 And, in accordance with the word of Yahweh which Elijah had uttered, he died. Since he had no son, his brother Jehoram succeeded him, in the second year of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.

18 The rest of the history of Ahaziah, and his career, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?

2 Chronicles 24

1 Joash was seven years old when he came to the throne and he reigned for forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.

2 Joash did what Yahweh regards as right throughout the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest.

3 Jehoiada found him two wives and he fathered several sons and daughters.

4 Later, Joash made up his mind to repair the Temple of Yahweh.

5 Calling the priests and the Levites together, he said, ‘Go out to the towns of Judah and collect money from all Israel for annual repairs to the Temple of Yahweh. Do this quickly.’ But the Levites were in no hurry,

6 so the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said, ‘Why have you not insisted on the Levites’ bringing in the tax from Judah and Jerusalem for the Tent of Witness, as imposed by Moses servant of Yahweh and the community of Israel?’ —

7 Athaliah and her sons, whom she corrupted, despoiled the Temple of God and even assigned all the sacred revenues of the Temple of Yahweh to Baal.

8 So, at the king’s order, a chest was made and put outside the gate of the Temple of Yahweh,

9 and a proclamation was issued throughout Judah and Jerusalem that the tax, which Moses servant of God had imposed on Israel in the desert, was to be brought to Yahweh.

10 Then all the officials and all the people gladly brought in their contributions, depositing them in the chest until the payment was complete.

11 Whenever the chest was brought by the Levites for royal inspection and found to contain a large sum of money, the king’s secretary and the chief priest’s representative would come and empty the chest and then have it returned to its place. This was done day after day and a great deal of money was collected.

12 The king and Jehoiada handed it over to the foreman attached to the Temple of Yahweh, and the hired masons and carpenters set about repairing the Temple of Yahweh; and iron-workers and bronze-workers laboured to repair the Temple of Yahweh.

13 The workmen got on with the task — the repair work made good progress at their hands — until they had restored the Temple of Godto its former state and reconditioned it.

14 When they had finished, they brought the balance of the money to the king and Jehoiada, and with this vessels were made for the Temple of Yahweh, vessels for the liturgy and for the burnt offerings, bowls and other gold and silver vessels. And the perpetual burnt offering was offered in the Temple of Yahweh throughout Jehoiada’s lifetime.

15 But Jehoiada, growing old, had his fill of days and died. He died at the age of a hundred and thirty years,

16 and was buried with the kings in the City of David because he had served Israel and God and his Temple well.

17 After Jehoiada’s death the officials of Judah came to pay court to the king, and the king listened to their advice,

18 and they abandoned the Temple of Yahweh, God of their ancestors, for the worship of sacred poles and idols. Judah and Jerusalemincurred wrath because of this guilt of theirs.

19 He sent their prophets to lead them back to Yahweh; these put the case against them, but they would not listen.

20 The spirit of God then invested Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood up before the people and said, ‘God says this, “Why transgress Yahweh’s commands to your certain ruin? For if you abandon Yahweh, he will abandon you.”

21 They then plotted against him and, at the king’s order, stoned him in the court of the Temple of Yahweh.

22 Thus King Joash, forgetful of the devotion which Jehoiada father of Zechariah had displayed on his behalf, murdered his son, who cried out as he died, ‘Yahweh will see this and avenge it!’

23 At the turn of the year, the Aramaean army made war on Joash. When they reached Judah and Jerusalem, they massacred all the nation’s government officials and sent all their booty to the king of Damascus.

24 Although the invading Aramaean army was only a small body of men, Yahweh allowed them to defeat a very large army because they had abandoned Yahweh, God of their ancestors; thus they executed judgement on Joash. After they had retired — for they left him seriously wounded–

25 his own retainers plotted against him to avenge the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest and murdered him in his bed. When he died he was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

26 These were the conspirators: Zabad son of Shimeath the Ammonite and Jehozabad son of Shimrith the Moabite.

27 As regards his sons, the heavy tribute imposed on him, and the restoration of the Temple of God, this is recorded in the Commentary on the Book of the Kings. His son Amaziah succeeded him.

Psalm 69

1 [For the choirmaster Tune: ‘Lilies . . .’ Of David] Save me, God, for the waters have closed in on my very being.

2 I am sinking in the deepest swamp and there is no firm ground. I have stepped into deep water and the waves are washing over me.

3 I am exhausted with calling out, my throat is hoarse, my eyes are worn out with searching for my God.

4 More numerous than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without reason. Those who seek to get rid of me are powerful, my treacherous enemies. (Must I give back what I have never stolen?)

5 God, you know how foolish I am, my offences are not hidden from you.

6 Those who hope in you must not be made fools of, Yahweh Sabaoth, because of me! Those who seek you must not be disgraced, Godof Israel, because of me!

7 It is for you I bear insults, my face is covered with shame,

8 I am estranged from my brothers, alienated from my own mother’s sons;

9 for I am eaten up with zeal for your house, and insults directed against you fall on me.

10 I mortify myself with fasting, and find myself insulted for it,

11 I dress myself in sackcloth and become their laughing-stock,

12 the gossip of people sitting at the gate, and the theme of drunkards’ songs.

13 And so, I pray to you, Yahweh, at the time of your favour; in your faithful love answer me, in the constancy of your saving power.

14 Rescue me from the mire before I sink in; so I shall be saved from those who hate me, from the watery depths.

15 Let not the waves wash over me, nor the deep swallow me up, nor the pit close its mouth on me.

16 Answer me, Yahweh, for your faithful love is generous; in your tenderness turn towards me;

17 do not turn away from your servant, be quick to answer me, for I am in trouble.

18 Come to my side, redeem me, ransom me because of my enemies.

19 You know well the insults, the shame and disgrace I endure. Every one of my oppressors is known to you.

20 Insult has broken my heart past cure. I hoped for sympathy, but in vain, for consolers — not one to be found.

21 To eat they gave me poison, to drink, vinegar when I was thirsty.

22 May their own table prove a trap for them, and their abundance a snare;

23 may their eyes grow so dim that they cannot see, all their muscles lose their strength.

24 Vent your fury on them, let your burning anger overtake them.

25 Reduce their encampment to ruin, and leave their tents untenanted,

26 for hounding someone you had already stricken, for redoubling the pain of one you had wounded.

27 Charge them with crime after crime, exclude them from your saving justice,

28 erase them from the book of life, do not enrol them among the upright.

29 For myself, wounded wretch that I am, by your saving power raise me up!

30 I will praise God’s name in song, I will extol him by thanksgiving,

31 for this will please Yahweh more than an ox, than a bullock horned and hoofed.

32 The humble have seen and are glad. Let your courage revive, you who seek God.

33 For God listens to the poor, he has never scorned his captive people.

34 Let heaven and earth and seas, and all that stirs in them, acclaim him!

35 For God will save Zion, and rebuild the cities of Judah, and people will live there on their own land;

36 the descendants of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.

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