fbpx

Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read that Elisha performs more miracles and receive insight and knowledge from the Lord. The King of Syria sends an army against the city in which Elisha and his servant are dwelling. Elisha says to fear not. The Lord opens the eyes of Elisha’s servant who sees the horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha. God has been protecting them the whole time. No matter what is happening, God is present and protecting us.

We need to know the Lord. Our goal is to have an increasingly deeper knowledge of who created us, redeemed us and loves us. How is your relationship with 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 6

1 The brotherhood of prophets said to Elisha, ‘Look, the place where we are living with you is too small for us.

2 Let us go to the Jordan, then, and each of us cut a beam there, and we will make our living quarters there.’ He replied, ‘Go.’

3 ‘Be good enough to go with your servants,’ one of them said. ‘I will go,’ he replied,

4 and went with them. On reaching the Jordan they began cutting down timber.

5 But, as one of them was felling his beam, the iron axehead fell into the water. ‘Alas, my lord,’ he exclaimed, ‘and it was a borrowed one too!’

6 ‘Where did it fall?’ the man of God asked; and he showed him the spot. Then, cutting a stick, Elisha threw it in at that point and made the iron axehead float.

7 ‘Lift it out,’ he said; and the man stretched out his hand and took it.

8 The king of Aram was at war with Israel. He conferred with his officers and said, ‘You must attack at such and such a place.’

9 Elisha, however, sent word to the king of Israel, ‘Be on your guard about such and such a place, because the Aramaeans are going to attack it.’

10 The king of Israel accordingly sent men to the place which Elisha had named. And he kept warning the king, and the king stayed on the alert; and this happened more than once or twice.

11 The king of Aram grew very much disturbed over this. He summoned his officers, and said, ‘Tell me which of you is betraying us to the king of Israel.’

12 ‘No one, my lord king,’ one of his officers replied. ‘It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel. The words you utter in your bedchamber, he reveals to the king of Israel.’

13 ‘Go and find out where he is,’ the king said, ‘so that I can send people to capture him.’ Word was brought to him, ‘He is now in Dothan.’

14 So he sent horses and chariots there, and a large force; and these, arriving during the night, surrounded the town.

15 Next day, Elisha got up early and went out; and there surrounding the town was an armed force with horses and chariots. ‘Oh, my lord,’ his servant said, ‘what are we to do?’

16 ‘Do not be afraid,’ he replied, ‘for there are more on our side than on theirs.’

17 And Elisha prayed. ‘Yahweh,’ he said, ‘open his eyes and make him see.’ Yahweh opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw the mountain covered in fiery horses and chariots surrounding Elisha.

18 As the Aramaeans came down towards him, Elisha prayed to Yahweh, ‘I beg you to strike these people sun-blind.’ And, at Elisha’s word, he struck them sun-blind.

19 Then Elisha said to them, ‘This is not the road, nor is this the town. Follow me; I shall lead you to the man you are looking for.’ But he led them to Samaria.

20 As they entered Samaria, Elisha said, ‘Yahweh, open these people’s eyes, and let them see.’ Yahweh opened their eyes and they saw; they were inside Samaria.

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, ‘Shall I kill them, father?’

22 ‘Do not kill them,’ he replied. ‘Do you kill your own prisoners with sword and bow? Offer them food and water, so that they can eat and drink, and then let them go back to their master.’

23 So the king provided a great feast for them; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them off and they went back to their master. Aramaean raiding parties never invaded the territory of Israel again.

24 It happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of Aram, mustering his whole army, marched on and laid siege to Samaria.

25 In Samaria there was great famine, and so strict was the siege that the head of a donkey sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one quarter-kab of wild onions for five shekels of silver.

26 Now as the king was passing along the city wall, a woman shouted, ‘Help, my lord king!’

27 ‘If Yahweh does not help you,’ he retorted, ‘where can I find help for you? From the threshing-floor? From the winepress?’

28 Then the king asked, ‘What is the matter?’ ‘This woman here’, she answered, ‘said to me, “Give up your son; we will eat him today, and eat my son tomorrow.”

29 So we cooked my son and ate him. Next day, I said to her, “Give up your son for us to eat.” But she has hidden her son.’

30 On hearing the woman’s words, the king tore his clothes; the king was walking on the wall, and the people saw that underneath he was wearing sackcloth next his body.

31 ‘May God bring unnameable ills on me, and worse ills, too,’ he said, ‘if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!’

32 Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king sent a messenger ahead but, before the man arrived, Elisha had said to the elders, ‘Do you see how this son of a murderer has given orders to cut off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door; hold the door against him. Isn’t that the sound of his master’s step behind him?’

33 He was still actually speaking, when the king arrived and said, ‘This misery plainly comes from Yahweh. Why should I still trust in Yahweh?’

2 Kings 7

1 ‘Listen to the word of Yahweh,’ Elisha said. ‘Yahweh says this, “By this time tomorrow a measure of finest flour will sell for one shekel, and two measures of barley for one shekel, at the gate of Samaria.” ‘

2 The equerry on whose arm the king was leaning retorted to Elisha, ‘Even if Yahweh made windows in the sky, could this word come true?’ ‘You will see it with your own eyes,’ Elisha replied, ‘though you will eat none of it.’

3 Now at the entrance to the gate — for they were afflicted with virulent skin-disease — there were four men and they debated among themselves, ‘Why sit here waiting for death?

4 If we decide to go into the city, what with the famine in it, we shall die there; if we stay where we are, we shall die just the same. Come on, let us go over to the Aramaean camp; if they spare our lives, we live; if they kill us, well, then we die.’

5 So at dusk they set out and made for the Aramaean camp, but when they reached the confines of the camp there was not a soul there.

6 For Yahweh had caused the Aramaeans in their camp to hear a noise of chariots and horses, the noise of a great army; and they had said to one another, ‘Listen! The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings against us, to attack us.’

7 So in the dusk they had made off and fled, abandoning their tents, their horses and their donkeys; leaving the camp just as it was, they had fled for their lives.

8 The men with skin-disease, then, reached the confines of the camp. They went into one of the tents and ate and drank, and from it carried off silver and gold and clothing; these they took and hid. Then they came back and, entering another tent, looted it too, and took and hid their booty. 

9 Then they said to one another, ‘We are doing wrong. This is a day of good news, yet we are holding our tongues! If we wait till morning, we shall certainly be punished. Come on, let us go and take the news to the palace.’

10 Off they went and shouted out to the guards on the city gate, ‘We have been to the Aramaean camp. There was not a soul there, no sound of anyone, only tethered horses and tethered donkeys, and their tents just as they were.’

11 The gatekeepers shouted the news, which was reported inside the palace.

12 The king got up while it was still dark and said to his officers, ‘I can tell you what the Aramaeans have done to us. They know we are starving, so they have left the camp to hide in the open country. “They will come out of the city,” they think, “we shall catch them alive and get into the city.”‘

13 One of his officers replied, ‘Five of the surviving horses still left us had better be taken — they would die in any case like all the rest. Let us send them and see.’

14 So they took two chariot teams and the king sent them after the Aramaean army, saying, ‘Go and see.’

15 They followed them as far as the Jordan, finding the whole way strewn with clothes and gear which the Aramaeans had thrown away in their panic. The scouts returned and informed the king.

16 Then the people went out and plundered the Aramaean camp: a measure of finest flour sold for one shekel, and two measures of barley for one shekel, as Yahweh had promised they would.

17 The king had detailed the equerry, on whose arm he leaned, as commander of the guard on the gate, but the people trampled on him in the gateway and he died, as the man of God had foretold when the king had come down to him.

18 (What Elisha had said to the king came true, ‘Two measures of barley will sell for one shekel, and a measure of finest flour for one shekel, by this time tomorrow at the gate of Samaria.’

19 And the equerry in question had replied to the man of God, ‘Even if Yahweh made windows in the sky, could this word come true?’ ‘You will see it with your own eyes,’ Elisha had answered, ‘though you will eat none of it.’

20 And that was what happened to him: for the people trampled on him in the gateway and he died.)

Hosea 4

1 Israelites, hear what Yahweh says, for Yahweh indicts the citizens of the country: there is no loyalty, no faithful love, no knowledge of God in the country,

2 only perjury and lying, murder, theft, adultery and violence, bloodshed after bloodshed.

3 This is why the country is in mourning and all its citizens pining away, the wild animals also and birds of the sky, even the fish in the sea will disappear.

4 But let no one denounce, no one rebuke; it is you, priest, that I denounce.

5 Priest, you will stumble in broad daylight, and the prophet will stumble with you in the dark, and I will make your mother perish.

6 My people perish for want of knowledge. Since you yourself have rejected knowledge, so I shall reject you from my priesthood; since you have forgotten the teaching of your God, I in my turn shall forget your children.

7 The more of them there have been, the more they have sinned against me; they have bartered their Glory for Shame.

8 They feed on the sin of my people, they are greedy for their iniquity.

9 But as with the people, so with the priest, I shall punish them for their conduct, I shall pay them back for their deeds.

10 They will eat but never be satisfied, they will play the whore but not grow more prolific, since they have deserted Yahweh to give themselves up

11 to whoring. Old wine and new wine addle my people’s wits,

12 they consult their block of wood, and their stick explains what they should do. For an urge to go whoring has led them astray and whoring they go and desert their God;

13 they offer sacrifice on the mountain tops, they burn incense on the hills, under oak and poplar and terebinth, for pleasant is their shade. So, although your daughters play the whore and your daughters-in-law commit adultery,

14 I shall not punish your daughters for playing the whore nor your daughters-in-law for committing adultery, when the men themselves are wandering off with whores and offering sacrifice with sacred prostitutes, for a people with no understanding is doomed.

15 Though you, Israel, play the whore, there is no need for Judah to sin too. Do not go to Gilgal, do not go up to Beth-Aven, do not swear oaths ‘by Yahweh’s life’,

16 for Israel is as stubborn as a stubborn heifer; so is Yahweh likely to pasture him like a lamb in a broad meadow?

17 Ephraim has made a pact with idols- let him alone!

18 Their drunken orgy over, they do nothing but play the whore, preferring Shame to their Pride;

19 the wind with its wings will carry them off and their sacrifices will bring them nothing but disgrace.

Hosea 5

1 Hear this, you priests, listen, House of Israel, pay attention, royal House, for it is you who have justice in your care, but you have been a snare at Mizpah and a net outspread on Tabor.

2 They have dug the ditch deep at Shittim and so I am going to punish them all.

3 Ephraim have I known, Israel is not hidden from me; and yet, Ephraim, you have played the whore, Israel is befouled.

4 Their deeds do not allow them to return to their God, since an urge to play the whore possesses them and they no longer know Yahweh.

5 Israel’s arrogance is his accuser, the guilt of Israel and Ephraim is their undoing, Judah too will be undone with them.

6 Though they go in search of Yahweh with their sheep and cattle, they will not find him; he has withdrawn from them.

7 They have betrayed Yahweh because they have fathered bastards; now the new moon will devour them and their fields.

8 Sound the horn in Gibeah, the trumpet in Ramah, raise the war cry in Beth-Aven, ‘We are behind you, Benjamin!’

9 When the day of punishment comes, Ephraim will be a wasteland; on the tribes of Israel I have pronounced certain doom.

10 The rulers of Judah act like men who move the boundary stone; I shall pour my wrath out on them like a flood.

11 Ephraim is oppressed, crushed by the sentence, for having deliberately followed a Lie.

12 Because of this, I shall be like ringworm for Ephraim and like gangrene for the House of Judah.

13 Once Ephraim realised that he was sick and Judah that he had an ulcer, Ephraim then went to Assyria, he sent messengers to the Great King; but he has no power to cure you or to heal you of your sore;

14 for I shall be like a lion to Ephraim, like a young lion to the House of Judah; I myself shall rend them, then go my way, shall carry them off, beyond hope of rescue.

15 I shall go back to my place until they confess their guilt and seek me, seek me eagerly in their distress.

Hosea 6

1 Come, let us return to Yahweh. He has rent us and he will heal us; he has struck us and he will bind up our wounds;

2 after two days he will revive us, on the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his presence.

3 Let us know, let us strive to know Yahweh; that he will come is as certain as the dawn. He will come to us like a shower, like the rain of springtime to the earth.

4 What am I to do with you, Ephraim? What am I to do with you, Judah? For your love is like morning mist, like the dew that quickly disappears.

5 This is why I have hacked them to pieces by means of the prophets, why I have killed them with words from my mouth, why my sentence will blaze forth like the dawn-

6 for faithful love is what pleases me, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not burnt offerings.

7 But they have broken the covenant at Adam, there they have betrayed me.

8 Gilead is a city of evil-doers, full of bloody footprints.

9 Like so many robbers in ambush, a gang of priests commits murder on the road to Shechem- what infamous behaviour!

10 At Bethel I have seen a horrible thing; there Ephraim plays the whore, Israel is befouled.

11 For you too, Judah, a harvest is in store, when I restore my people’s fortunes.

Hosea 7

1 Whenever I would heal Israel, I am confronted by the guilt of Ephraim and the evil-doings of Samaria; for deceit is their principle of behaviour; the thief breaks into the house, marauders raid in the open;

2 and they never pause to consider that I remember all their wicked deeds; and now their own deeds hem them in and stare me in the face.

3 They amuse the king with their wickedness and the chief men with their lies.

4 They are all adulterers, hot as an oven which the baker need not stoke from the time he has kneaded the dough until it rises.

5 At the holiday for our king, the ministers become inflamed with wine, while he accepts the homage of people

6 who laugh at him. Their hearts are like an oven as they plot, all night their passion slumbers, then in the morning it bursts into flame;

7 yes, all of them as hot as ovens, they consume their rulers. All their kings have fallen thus, not one of them has ever called on me.

8 Ephraim mixes with the nations. Ephraim is a half-baked cake.

9 Foreigners have eaten his strength away but he is unconscious of it; even his hair is turning grey but he is unconscious of it.

10 (Israel’s arrogance is his own accuser; but they do not come back to Yahweh their God or seek him, despite all this.)

11 Ephraim is like a silly, witless pigeon calling on Egypt, turning to Assyria.

12 Wherever they turn, I shall spread my net over them, I shall bring them down like the birds of the sky, I shall punish them for their perversity.

13 Woe to them for having fled from me! Ruin seize them for having wronged me! I have rescued them again and again and they have only told lies about me.

14 Theirs is no heartfelt cry to me when they lament on their beds; when they gash themselves over the grain and new wine, they are still rebelling against me.

15 Though I supported and gave strength to their arms, they plan how to hurt me.

16 They turn to what does not exist, they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of their arrogant talk; how they will be laughed at in Egypt!

Psalm 103

1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;

2 bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.

3 He forgives all your offences, cures all your diseases,

4 he redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;

5 he contents you with good things all your life, renews your youth like an eagle’s.

6 Yahweh acts with uprightness, with justice to all who are oppressed;

7 he revealed to Moses his ways, his great deeds to the children of Israel.

8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;

9 his indignation does not last for ever, nor his resentment remain for all time;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us as befits our offences.

11 As the height of heaven above earth, so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him.

12 As the distance of east from west, so far from us does he put our faults.

13 As tenderly as a father treats his children, so Yahweh treats those who fear him;

14 he knows of what we are made, he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for a human person — his days are like grass, he blooms like the wild flowers;

16 as soon as the wind blows he is gone, never to be seen there again.

17 But Yahweh’s faithful love for those who fear him is from eternity and for ever; and his saving justice to their children’s children;

18 as long as they keep his covenant, and carefully obey his precepts.

19 Yahweh has fixed his throne in heaven, his sovereign power rules over all.

20 Bless Yahweh, all his angels, mighty warriors who fulfil his commands, attentive to the sound of his words.

21 Bless Yahweh, all his armies, servants who fulfil his wishes.

22 Bless Yahweh, all his works, in every place where he rules. Bless Yahweh, my soul.

Like what you are reading? Subscribe and get notified of new posts.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: