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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read about the story of Elisha and the Shunammite women. God has given his people everything they could possibly want, yet they have taken his blessings and offered them to others — idols. Hosea begs the people to turn away from their evil ways. God has unlimited faithfulness but limited time for repentance. Hosea reminds Israel that God loves them, but if they don’t choose him, he will let them go.

This is a good reminder that anyone who loves God wants to spend eternity with him, but we aren’t forced to choose him. If we choose something else, we will get what we deserve.

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 8

1 Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had raised to life, ‘Move away with your family, and live where you can in some foreign country, for Yahweh has called up a famine — it is already coming on the country — for seven years.’

2 The woman hurried to do what the man of God had told her: she set out, she and her family, and for seven years she lived in Philistine territory.

3 When the seven years were over, the woman returned from Philistine territory and went to lodge a claim with the king for her house and land.

4 Now the king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God. ‘Tell me’, he was saying, ‘all about the marvels which Elisha did.’

5 Gehazi was just telling the king how Elisha had raised the dead child to life, when the woman whose son Elisha had raised lodged her claim with the king for her house and land. ‘My lord king,’ Gehazi said, ‘this is the very woman, and that is her son whom Elisha raised to life.’

6 The king questioned the woman, who told him the story. The king then delegated one of the officials to her with this order, ‘See that all her property is restored to her, and all the revenue from her land from the day she left the country until now.’

7 Elisha went to Damascus. Ben-Hadad king of Aram was ill, and was told, ‘The man of God has come all the way to us.’

8 Then the king said to Hazael, ‘Take a present with you and go and meet the man of God; consult Yahweh through him, and find out if I shall recover from my illness.’

9 So Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him as a present the best that Damascus could offer, a load for forty camels. He arrived and, presenting himself, said, ‘Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to ask you, “Shall I recover from my illness?” 

10 Elisha replied, ‘Go and tell him, “You might recover,” though Yahweh has shown me that he will certainly die.’

11 Then the face of the man of God went rigid, and his look grew strangely fixed, and he wept.

12 ‘Why’, Hazael asked, ‘does my lord weep?’ ‘Because I know’, Elisha replied, ‘what harm you will do to the Israelites: you will burn down their fortresses, put their picked warriors to the sword, dash their little children to pieces, disembowel their pregnant women.’

13 ‘But what is your servant?’ Hazael said. ‘How could this dog achieve anything so great?’ ‘In a vision from Yahweh,’ Elisha replied, ‘I have seen you king of Aram.’

14 Leaving Elisha, Hazael went back to his master who asked, ‘What did Elisha say to you?’ He replied, ‘He told me that you might recover.’

15 Next day he took a blanket, soaked it in water, and spread it over his face. So died Ben-Hadad, and Hazael succeeded him.

16 In the fifth year of Jehoram son of Ahab, king of Israel, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat became king of Judah.

17 He was thirty-two years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem.

18 He followed the example of the kings of Israel as the House of Ahab were doing; he had married one of Ahab’s daughters; and he did what is displeasing to Yahweh.

19 But Yahweh was unwilling to destroy Judah, because of his servant David, and was faithful to the promise which he had made him to leave him a lamp for ever in his presence.

20 In his time Edom threw off the domination of Judah and set up a king for itself.

21 Jehoram crossed to Zair, and with him all the chariots . . . Under cover of dark, he and his chariot commanders broke through the Edomites surrounding him; the people fled to their tents.

22 Even so, Edom threw off the domination of Judah, remaining free to the present day. Libnah also revolted at that time.

23 The rest of the history of Jehoram, his entire career, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah?

24 Then Jehoram fell asleep with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David; his son Ahaziah succeeded him.

25 In the twelfth year of Jehoram son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah son of Jehoram, king of Judah, became king.

26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah granddaughter of Omri king of Israel.

27 He followed the example of the House of Ahab and did what is displeasing to Yahweh, as the House of Ahab were doing, to whom he was related by marriage.

28 He went with Jehoram son of Ahab to make war on Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth in Gilead, but the Aramaeans wounded Jehoram.

29 King Jehoram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which he had received at Ramah, fighting against Hazael king of Aram. Ahaziah son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to Jezreel to visit Jehoram son of Ahab because he was ailing.

Hosea 8

1 Put the trumpet to your lips! Like an eagle, disaster is swooping on Yahweh’s home! Because they have violated my covenant and been unfaithful to my Law,

2 in vain will they cry, ‘My God!’ In vain, ‘We, Israel, know you!’

3 Israel has rejected the good, the enemy will pursue them.

4 They have set up kings, but without my consent, and appointed princes, but without my knowledge. With their silver and gold, they have made themselves idols, but only to be destroyed.

5 I spurn your calf, Samaria! My anger blazes against them! How long will it be before they recover their innocence?

6 For it is the product of Israel- a craftsman made the thing, it is no god at all! The calf of Samaria will be broken to pieces!

7 Since they sow the wind, they will reap the whirlwind; stalk without ear, it will never yield flour- or if it does, foreigners will swallow it.

8 Israel has himself been swallowed; now they are lost among the nations like something no one wants,

9 for having made approaches to Assyria- like a wild donkey, all alone. Ephraim has rented lovers

10 and because he has rented them from the nations I am now going to round them up; soon they will feel the weight of the king of princes!

11 Ephraim keeps building altars for his sins, these very altars are themselves a sin.

12 However much of my Law I write for him, Ephraim regards it as alien to him.

13 They offer sacrifices to me and eat the meat, they do not win Yahweh’s favour. On the contrary, he will remember their guilt and punish their sins; they will have to go back to Egypt.

14 Israel has forgotten his Maker and has built palaces, while Judah keeps on building fortified towns; but I shall send fire down on his cities to devour their citadels.

Hosea 9

1 No merrymaking, Israel, for you, no rejoicing like other peoples, for you have deserted your God to play the whore, you have loved the fee of prostitution on every threshing-floor.

2 The threshing-floor and wine-press will not feed them; they will be disappointed of new wine.

3 No more will they live in Yahweh’s country; Ephraim will have to go back to Egypt, and eat polluted food in Assyria.

4 No more will they pour libations of wine to Yahweh, and their sacrifices will not win his favour but will be like funeral fare for them: whoever eats them will be polluted; for their food will be for themselves alone, not being offered in Yahweh’s home.

5 What will you do on the solemn feast-day, on the day of Yahweh’s festival?

6 What a scene of devastastion they have left! Egypt will round them up, Memphis will bury them, nettles will inherit their fields and thorn-bushes invade their homesteads.

7 The days of punishment have come, the days of retribution are here; Israel knows it! ‘The prophet is mad and the inspired man a fool!’ Great has been your guilt- all the greater then the hostility!

8 The watchman of Ephraim is with my God: it is the prophet- and a fowler’s trap is placed on all his paths; and in the shrine of his Godthere is enmity towards him.

9 They have become deeply corrupt as in the days of Gibeah; he will remember their guilt, he will punish their sins.

10 It was like finding grapes in the desert when I found Israel, like seeing early fruit on a fig tree when I saw your ancestors; but when they reached Baal-Peor they devoted themselves to Shame and became as loathsome as the thing they loved.

11 The glory of Ephraim will fly away like a bird: no giving birth, no pregnancy, no conceiving.

12 If they rear their children, I shall take them away before they grow up! Woe to them indeed when I leave them!

13 Ephraim looked to me like Tyre, planted in a meadow, so Ephraim will present his children to the slaughterer.

14 Give them, Yahweh- what are you to give? – give them wombs that miscarry and dried-up breasts.

15 Their wickedness appeared in full at Gilgal, there I came to hate them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I shall drive them from my home, I shall love them no longer; all their princes are rebels.

16 Ephraim is blasted, their root has dried out, they will bear no more fruit. And even if they do bear children I shall slaughter the darlings of their womb.

17 Because they have not listened to him, my God will cast them off and they will become wanderers among the nations.

Hosea 10

1 Israel was a luxuriant vine yielding plenty of fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; the richer his land became, the richer he made the sacred pillars.

2 Theirs is a divided heart; now they will have to pay for it. He himself will hack down their altars and wreck their sacred pillars.

3 Then they will say, ‘We have no king because we have not feared Yahweh, but what could the king do for us?’

4 Speeches are made, oaths sworn to no purpose, agreements concluded, and so-called justice spreads like a poisonous weed along the furrows of the fields!

5 Samaria’s citizens will tremble for the calf of Beth-Aven; the people there will mourn for it, so will its idol-priests, as they exult in its glory once it has been carried away!

6 It will be carried off to Assyria as tribute to the Great King. Ephraim will reap the shame, and Israel blush for his intentions.

7 Samaria has had her day. Her king is like a straw drifting on the water.

8 The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed; thorns and thistles will grow over their altars. Then they will say to the mountains, ‘Cover us!’ and to the hills, ‘Fall on us!’

9 Since the days of Gibeah, Israel, you have sinned. There they have taken their stand, and will not war overtake the guilty at Gibeah?

10 I am coming to punish them; nations will muster against them to punish them for their two crimes.

11 Ephraim is a well-trained heifer that loves to tread the grain. But I have laid a yoke on her fine neck, I shall put Ephraim into harness, Judah will have to plough, Jacob must draw the harrow.

12 Sow saving justice for yourselves, reap a harvest of faithful love; break up your fallow ground: it is time to seek out Yahweh until he comes to rain saving justice down on you.

13 You have ploughed wickedness, you have reaped iniquity, you have eaten the fruit of falsehood. Because you have trusted in your chariots, in your great numbers of warriors,

14 turmoil is going to break out among your people, and all your fortresses will be laid waste. As Shalman laid Beth-Arbel waste on the day of battle, dashing mothers to pieces on their children,

15 so it shall be done to you, Bethel, because of your great wickedness; at dawn, the king of Israel will be no more.

Psalm 108

1 [Song Psalm Of David] My heart is ready, God, I will sing and make music; come, my glory!

2 Awake, lyre and harp, I will awake the Dawn!

3 I will praise you among the peoples, Yahweh, I will play to you among nations,

4 for your faithful love towers to heaven, and your constancy to the clouds.

5 Be exalted above the heavens, God. Your glory over the whole earth!

6 To rescue those you love, save with your right hand and answer us.

7 God has spoken from his sanctuary, ‘In triumph I will divide up Shechem, and share out the Valley of Succoth.

8 ‘Mine is Gilead, mine Manasseh, Ephraim the helmet on my head, Judah my commander’s baton,

9 ‘Moab a bowl for me to wash in, on Edom I plant my sandal, over Philistia I cry victory.’

10 Who will lead me against a fortified city, who will guide me into Edom,

11 if not you, the God who has rejected us? God, you no longer march with our armies.

12 Bring us help in our time of crisis, any human assistance is worthless.

13 With God we shall do deeds of valour, he will trample down our enemies.

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