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Day 199 – Times for War


Thoughts and Reflection

Today we wrap up the book of Joel. He speaks about what will happen after the day of the Lord when justice will once again reign. Joel is contrary to Isaiah 2 where people should beat their swords into plowshares but Joel says to prepare for war. We are meant to live peacefully with God, one another, and ourselves. We are not necessarily to take up arms against others in physical violence but rather with principalities and powers with the demons and dark forces that fight against us.

C.S. Lewis says we can pay no attention to pleasure, “pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures…but shouts in our pain.” Pain is God’s “megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

What does this mean to you? If you are experiencing pain in your life, how do you think God is speaking to you in the midst of it?

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

Isaiah 16

1 Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela by the desert, to the mountain of the daughter of Zion,

2 for soon, like a fluttered bird, like nestlings cast out, will be the women of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.

3 Hold a council, make a decision. At noon spread your shadow as if it were night. Hide those who have been driven out, do not betray the fugitive,

4 let those who have been driven out of Moab come and live with you; be their refuge in the face of the devastator. Once the oppression is past, and the devastation has stopped and those now trampling on the country have gone away,

5 the throne will be made secure in faithful love and on it will sit in constancy within the tent of David, a judge seeking fair judgement and pursuing uprightness.

6 We have heard about Moab’s pride, about how very proud it is, about its arrogance, its pride, its rage, its bravado, which will come to nothing!

7 And so Moab is wailing for Moab, wailing, every one of them. For the raisin cakes of Kir-Hareseth you mourn, stricken with grief.

8 For Heshbon’s vineyards are withering, the vine of Sibmah whose red grapes used to overcome the overlords of the nations. It used to reach to Jazer, had wound its way into the desert, its shoots grew so numerous they spread across the sea.

9 And so I weep, as Jazer weeps, for the vine of Sibmah. I water you with my tears, Heshbon and Elealeh. For over your harvest and vintage the cheering has died away;

10 joy and gladness have vanished from the orchards. No more revelry in the vineyards, no more happy shouting; no more the treader treads wine in the presses, the cheering has ceased.

11 That is why my whole being quivers like harp strings for Moab, my very heart, for Kir-Heres.

12 Moab will be seen, wearing itself out on the high places and going to its temple to pray, but it will accomplish nothing.

13 Such was the word which Yahweh spoke about Moab in the past.

14 And now Yahweh has spoken in these terms, ‘Within three years, as a hired worker reckons them, the glory of Moab will be humbled, despite its teeming population. It will be reduced to nothing, an insignificant remnant.’

Isaiah 17

1 Proclamation about Damascus: Damascus will soon cease to be a city, it will become a heap of ruins.

2 Its towns, abandoned for ever, will be pastures for flocks; there they will rest with no one to disturb them.

3 Ephraim will be stripped of its defences and Damascus of its sovereignty; and the remnant of Aram will be treated like the glory of the Israelites — declares Yahweh Sabaoth.

4 When that day comes, Jacob’s glory will diminish, from being fat he will grow lean;

5 as when a reaper gathers in the standing corn, harvesting the ears of corn with his arm, or when they glean the ears in the Valley of Rephaim,

6 nothing will remain but pickings, as when an olive tree is beaten; two or three berries left on the topmost bough, four or five berries on the branches of the tree — declares Yahweh, God of Israel.

7 That day, a man will look to his Creator and his eyes will turn to the Holy One of Israel.

8 He will no longer look to altars, his own handiwork, or to what his own fingers have made: the sacred poles and incense-altars.

9 That day, its cities of refuge will be abandoned as were the woods and heaths at the Israelites’ advance: there will be desolation.

10 Since you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and failed to keep the Rock, your refuge, in mind, you plant pleasure-gardens, you sow exotic seeds;

11 the day you plant them, you get them to sprout, and, next morning, your seedlings are in flower; but the harvest will vanish on the day of disease and incurable pain.

12 Disaster! The thunder of vast hordes, a thunder like the thunder of the seas, the roar of nations roaring like the roar of mighty floods,

13 of nations roaring like the roar of ocean! He rebukes them and far away they flee, driven like chaff on the mountains before the wind, like an eddy of dust before the storm.

14 At evening all is terror, by morning all have disappeared. Such will be the lot of those who plunder us, such, the fate of our despoilers.

Joel 3

1 ‘After this I shall pour out my spirit on all humanity. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old people shall dream dreams, and your young people see visions.

2 Even on the slaves, men and women, shall I pour out my spirit in those days.

3 I shall show portents in the sky and on earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke.’

4 The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the Day comes, that great and terrible Day.

5 All who call on the name of Yahweh will be saved, for on Mount Zion will be those who have escaped, as Yahweh has said, and in Jerusalem a remnant whom Yahweh is calling.

Proverbs 10:21-24

21 The lips of the upright nourish many peoples, but fools die for want of sense.

22 The blessing of Yahweh is what brings riches, to this, hard toil has nothing to add.

23 A fool takes pleasure in doing wrong, the intelligent in cultivating wisdom.

24 What the wicked fears overtakes him, what the upright desires comes to him as a present.


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