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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we learn that chaos is what remains in Israel after murders and a series of new kings. The Assyrians invade Israel and take the people into exile and this begins the destruction of the Northern Kingdom. We are later introduced to the prophet Jonah who meets Jeroboam II, who is an evil king of Israel. God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh in Assyria and call the people to repentance. Judah refuses and turns away running to Tarshish. The Assyrians are the enemies of the Israelites and Jonah does not want the people of Nineveh to repent and experience God’s mercy. Instead, he wants them to suffer for their sins.

The Lord demonstrates his kindness and mercy by calling the enemies of his people to repentance. Jonah is upset when the Lord spares Nineveh from destruction and is all when the plant that he used for shade dies. The Lord inquiries why Jonah has more pity for a plant than for the people of Nineveh.

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 15

1 In the seventeenth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Uzziah son of Amaziah became king of Judah.

2 He was sixteen years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.

3 He did what Yahweh regards as right, just as his father Amaziah had done.

4 The high places, however, were not abolished, and the people still offered sacrifices and incense on the high places.

5 But Yahweh struck the king, and he was afflicted with a virulent skin-disease till his dying day. He lived confined to his room, while Jotham the king’s son, who was master of the palace, governed the country.

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

7 Then Uzziah fell asleep with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David; his son Jotham then succeeded him.

8 In the thirty-eighth year of Uzziah king of Judah, Zechariah son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in Samaria for six months.

9 He did what is displeasing to Yahweh, as his fathers had done; he did not give up the sins into which Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel. Shallum son of Jabesh plotted against him, murdered him at Ibleam,

10 and succeeded him.

11 The rest of the history of Zechariah is recorded in the Book of Annals of the Kings of Israel.

12 This was the word which Yahweh had spoken to Jehu, ‘Your sons will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.’ And so it turned out.

13 Shallum son of Jabesh became king in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah and reigned for one month in Samaria.

14 Then Menahem son of Gadi marched from Tirzah, entered Samaria, murdered Shallum son of Jabesh there and succeeded him.

15 The rest of the history of Shallum, and the plot he hatched, is recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel.

16 Menahem then sacked Tappuah — killing all who were in it — and its territory from Tirzah onwards, because it had not opened its gates to him; he sacked the town and disembowelled all the pregnant women.

17 In the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah, Menahem son of Gadi became king of Israel. He reigned for ten years in Samaria.

18 He did what is displeasing to Yahweh, he did not give up the sins into which Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel. In his days

19 Pul king of Assyria invaded the country. Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver in return for his support in strengthening his hold on the royal power.

20 Menahem levied this sum from Israel, from all the men of rank, at the rate of fifty shekels a head, to be given to the king of Assyria, who then withdrew and did not stay in the country.

21 The rest of the history of Menahem, his entire career, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?

22 Then Menahem fell asleep with his ancestors; his son Pekahiah succeeded him.

23 In the fiftieth year of Uzziah king of Judah, Pekahiah son of Menahem became king of Israel in Samaria. He reigned for two years.

24 He did what is displeasing to Yahweh; he did not give up the sins into which Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel.

25 Pekah son of Remaliah, his equerry, plotted against him and assassinated him in the palace keep . . . He had fifty Gileadites with him. He killed the king and succeeded him.

26 The rest of the history of Pekahiah, his entire career, is recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel.

27 In the fifty-second year of Uzziah king of Judah, Pekah son of Remaliah became king of Israel in Samaria. He reigned for twenty years.

28 He did what is displeasing to Yahweh; he did not give up the sins into which Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel.

29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-Beth-Maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead and Galilee — the whole territory of Naphtali and deported the population to Assyria.

30 Hoshea son of Elah hatched a plot against Pekah son of Remaliah; he murdered the king and succeeded him.

31 The rest of the history of Pekah, his entire career, is recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel.

32 In the second year of Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, Jotham son of Uzziah became king of Judah.

33 He was twenty-five years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok.

34 He did what Yahweh regards as right, just as his father Uzziah had done.

35 The high places, however, were not abolished, and the people still offered sacrifices and incense on the high places. It was he who built the Upper Gate of the Temple of Yahweh.

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

37 At that time Yahweh began sending Razon king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah against Judah.

38 Then Jotham fell asleep with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David, his ancestor; his son Ahaz succeeded him.

Jonah 1

1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah son of Amittai:

2 ‘Up!’ he said, ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and proclaim to them that their wickedness has forced itself upon me.’

3 Jonah set about running away from Yahweh, and going to Tarshish. He went down to Jaffa and found a ship bound for Tarshish; he paid his fare and boarded it, to go with them to Tarshish, to get away from Yahweh.

4 But Yahweh threw a hurricane at the sea, and there was such a great storm at sea that the ship threatened to break up.

5 The sailors took fright, and each of them called on his own god, and to lighten the ship they threw the cargo overboard. Jonah, however, had gone below, had lain down in the hold and was fast asleep,

6 when the boatswain went up to him and said, ‘What do you mean by sleeping? Get up! Call on your god! Perhaps he will spare us a thought and not leave us to die.’

7 Then they said to each other, ‘Come on, let us draw lots to find out who is to blame for bringing us this bad luck.’ So they cast lots, and the lot pointed to Jonah.

8 Then they said to him, ‘Tell us, what is your business? Where do you come from? What is your country? What is your nationality?’

9 He replied, ‘I am a Hebrew, and I worship Yahweh, God of Heaven, who made both sea and dry land.’

10 The sailors were seized with terror at this and said, ‘Why ever did you do this?’ since they knew that he was trying to escape from Yahweh, because he had told them so.

11 They then said, ‘What are we to do with you, to make the sea calm down for us?’ For the sea was growing rougher and rougher.

12 He replied, ‘Take me and throw me into the sea, and then it will calm down for you. I know it is my fault that this great storm has struck you.’

13 The sailors rowed hard in an effort to reach the shore, but in vain, since the sea was growing rougher and rougher.

14 So at last they called on Yahweh and said, ‘O, Yahweh, do not let us perish for the sake of this man’s life, and do not hold us responsible for causing an innocent man’s death; for you, Yahweh, have acted as you saw fit.’

15 And taking hold of Jonah they threw him into the sea; and the sea stopped raging.

16 At this, the men were seized with dread of Yahweh; they offered a sacrifice to Yahweh and made vows to him.

Jonah 2

1 Now Yahweh ordained that a great fish should swallow Jonah; and Jonah remained in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.

2 From the belly of the fish, Jonah prayed to Yahweh, his God; he said:

3 Out of my distress I cried to Yahweh and he answered me, from the belly of Sheol I cried out; you heard my voice!

4 For you threw me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods closed round me. All your waves and billows passed over me;

5 then I thought, ‘I am banished from your sight; how shall I ever see your holy Temple again?’

6 The waters round me rose to my neck, the deep was closing round me, seaweed twining round my head.

7 To the roots of the mountains, I sank into the underworld, and its bars closed round me for ever. But you raised my life from the Pit, Yahweh my God!

8 When my soul was growing ever weaker, Yahweh, I remembered you, and my prayer reached you in your holy Temple.

9 Some abandon their faithful love by worshipping false gods,

10 but I shall sacrifice to you with songs of praise. The vow I have made I shall fulfil! Salvation comes from Yahweh!

11 Yahweh spoke to the fish, which then vomited Jonah onto the dry land.

Jonah 3

1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second time.

2 ‘Up!’ he said, ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to it as I shall tell you.’

3 Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of Yahweh. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare; to cross it took three days.

4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city and then proclaimed, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh will be overthrown.’

5 And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least.

6 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes.

7 He then had it proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles, as follows: ‘No person or animal, herd or flock, may eat anything; they may not graze, they may not drink any water.

8 All must put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might; and let everyone renounce his evil ways and violent behaviour.

9 Who knows? Perhaps God will change his mind and relent and renounce his burning wrath, so that we shall not perish.’

10 God saw their efforts to renounce their evil ways. And God relented about the disaster which he had threatened to bring on them, and did not bring it.

Jonah 4

1 This made Jonah very indignant; he fell into a rage.

2 He prayed to Yahweh and said, ‘Please, Yahweh, isn’t this what I said would happen when I was still in my own country? That was why I first tried to flee to Tarshish, since I knew you were a tender, compassionate God, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, who relents about inflicting disaster.

3 So now, Yahweh, please take my life, for I might as well be dead as go on living.’

4 Yahweh replied, ‘Are you right to be angry?’

5 Jonah then left the city and sat down to the east of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, to see what would happen to the city.

6 Yahweh God then ordained that a castor-oil plant should grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head and soothe his ill-humour; Jonah was delighted with the castor-oil plant.

7 But at dawn the next day, God ordained that a worm should attack the castor-oil plant — and it withered.

8 Next, when the sun rose, God ordained that there should be a scorching east wind; the sun beat down so hard on Jonah’s head that he was overcome and begged for death, saying, ‘I might as well be dead as go on living.’

9 God said to Jonah, ‘Are you right to be angry about the castor-oil plant?’ He replied, ‘I have every right to be angry, mortally angry!’

10 Yahweh replied, ‘You are concerned for the castor-oil plant which has not cost you any effort and which you did not grow, which came up in a night and has perished in a night.

11 So why should I not be concerned for Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, to say nothing of all the animals?’

Psalm 138

1 [Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, for you have listened to the cry I uttered. In the presence of angels I sing to you,

2 I bow down before your holy Temple. I praise your name for your faithful love and your constancy; your promises surpass even your fame.

3 You heard me on the day when I called, and you gave new strength to my heart.

4 All the kings of the earth give thanks to you, Yahweh, when they hear the promises you make;

5 they sing of Yahweh’s ways, ‘Great is the glory of Yahweh!’

6 Sublime as he is, Yahweh looks on the humble, the proud he picks out from afar.

7 Though I live surrounded by trouble you give me life — to my enemies’ fury! You stretch out your right hand and save me,

8 Yahweh will do all things for me. Yahweh, your faithful love endures for ever, do not abandon what you have made.

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