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Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s reading, we should realize there are different time periods and contexts between Isaiah and Ezekiel. There are two time periods of exile happening here. Isaiah writes before the Babylonian Exile and is based in the land of Judah. Ezekiel is writing during the Exile in Babylon. Israel was exiled in three different waves by the Babylonians. Ezekiel is taken in the second wave. During this time, the destruction of Jerusalem has not happened in Isaiah’s book. He does foretell it and he says the Lord will restore his people and bring them back.

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 41

1 Coasts and islands, fall silent before me, and let the peoples renew their strength, let them come forward and speak; let us assemble for judgement.

2 ‘Who has raised from the east him whom saving justice summons in its train, him to whom Yahweh delivers up the nations and subjects kings, him who reduces them to dust with his sword, and to driven stubble with his bow,

3 him who pursues them and advances unhindered, his feet scarcely touching the road?

4 Who has acted thus, who has done this? He who calls each generation from the beginning: I, Yahweh, who am the first and till the last I shall still be there.’

5 The coasts and islands have seen and taken fright, the remotest parts of earth are trembling: they are approaching, they are here!

6 People help one another, they say to each other, ‘Take heart!’

7 The woodworker encourages the smelter, the polisher encourages the hammerer, saying of the soldering, ‘It is sound’; and he fastens it with nails to keep it steady.

8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham my friend,

9 whom I have taken to myself, from the remotest parts of the earth and summoned from countries far away, to whom I have said, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you, I have not rejected you,’

10 do not be afraid, for I am with you; do not be alarmed, for I am your God. I give you strength, truly I help you, truly I hold you firm with my saving right hand.

11 Look, all those who rage against you will be put to shame and humiliated; those who picked quarrels with you will be reduced to nothing and will perish.

12 You will look for them but will not find them, those who used to fight you; they will be destroyed and brought to nothing, those who made war on you.

13 For I, Yahweh, your God, I grasp you by your right hand; I tell you, ‘Do not be afraid, I shall help you.’

14 Do not be afraid, Jacob, you worm! You little handful of Israel! I shall help you, declares Yahweh; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

15 Look, I am making you into a threshing-sledge, new, with double teeth; you will thresh and beat the mountains to dust and reduce the hills to straw.

16 You will winnow them and the wind will carry them off, the gale will scatter them; whereas you will rejoice in Yahweh, will glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17 The oppressed and needy search for water, and there is none, their tongue is parched with thirst. I, Yahweh, shall answer them, I, the God of Israel, shall not abandon them.

18 I shall open up rivers on barren heights and water-holes down in the ravines; I shall turn the desert into a lake and dry ground into springs of water.

19 I shall plant the desert with cedar trees, acacias, myrtles and olives; in the wastelands I shall put cypress trees, plane trees and box trees side by side;

20 so that people may see and know, so that they may all observe and understand that the hand of Yahweh has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 ‘Present your case,’ says Yahweh, ‘Produce your arguments,’ says Jacob’s king.

22 ‘Let them produce and reveal to us what is going to happen. What happened in the past? Reveal it so that we can consider it and know what the outcome will be. Or tell us about the future,

23 reveal what is to happen next, and then we shall know that you are gods. At least, do something, be it good or bad, so that we may feel alarm and fear.

24 Look, you are less than nothingness, and what you do is less than nothing; to choose you is an outrage.’

25 I have raised him from the north and he has come, from the east he has been summoned by name. He tramples on rulers like mud, like a potter treading clay.

26 Who revealed this from the beginning for us to know, and in the past for us to say, ‘That is right’? No one in fact revealed it, no one proclaimed it, no one has heard you speak.

27 First-fruits of Zion, look, here they come! I send a messenger to Jerusalem,

28 and I look — no one, not a single counsellor among them who, if I asked, could give an answer.

29 Taken altogether they are nothingness, what they do is nothing, their statues, wind and emptiness.

Isaiah 42

1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom my soul delights. I have sent my spirit upon him, he will bring fair judgement to the nations.

2 He does not cry out or raise his voice, his voice is not heard in the street;

3 he does not break the crushed reed or snuff the faltering wick. Faithfully he presents fair judgement;

4 he will not grow faint, he will not be crushed until he has established fair judgement on earth, and the coasts and islands are waiting for his instruction.

5 Thus says God, Yahweh, who created the heavens and spread them out, who hammered into shape the earth and what comes from it, who gave breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it:

6 I, Yahweh, have called you in saving justice, I have grasped you by the hand and shaped you; I have made you a covenant of the people and light to the nations,

7 to open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.

8 I am Yahweh, that is my name! I shall not yield my glory to another, nor my honour to idols.

9 See how the former predictions have come true. Fresh things I now reveal; before they appear I tell you of them.

10 Sing a new song to Yahweh! Let his praise be sung from remotest parts of the earth by those who sail the sea and by everything in it, by the coasts and islands and those who inhabit them.

11 Let the desert and its cities raise their voices, the encampments where Kedar lives. Let the inhabitants of the Rock cry aloud for joy and shout from the mountain tops.

12 Let them give glory to Yahweh and, in the coasts and islands, let them voice his praise.

13 Yahweh advances like a hero, like a warrior he rouses his fire. He shouts, he raises the war cry, he shows his might against his foes.

14 ‘From long ago I have been silent, I have kept quiet, held myself in check, groaning like a woman in labour, panting and gasping for air.

15 I shall ravage mountain and hill, shall wither all their vegetation; I shall turn the torrents into firm ground and dry up the marshes.

16 I shall lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they do not know I shall conduct them. I shall turn the darkness into light before them and the quagmires into solid ground. This I shall do — without fail.’

17 Those who trust in idols will recoil, they will blush for shame, who say to metal images, ‘You are our gods.’

18 Listen, you deaf! Look and see, you blind!

19 Who so blind as my servant, so deaf as the messenger I send? (Who so blind as the friend I have taken to myself, so deaf as Yahweh’s servant?)

20 You have seen many things but not observed them; your ears are open but you do not hear.

21 Yahweh wished, because of his saving justice, to make the Law great and glorious.

22 Yet here is a people pillaged and plundered, all of them shut up in caves, imprisoned in dungeons. They have been pillaged, with no one to rescue them, plundered, with no one to say, ‘Give it back!’

23 Which of you will listen to this, who pay attention and listen in future?

24 Who surrendered Jacob to the plunderer and Israel to the pillagers? Was it not Yahweh, against whom we had sinned, in whose ways they would not walk and whose Law they would not obey?

25 On him he poured out his blazing anger and the fury of war; it enveloped him in flames and yet he did not understand; it burned him up, but he did not learn a lesson.

Ezekiel 2

1 He said, ‘Son of man, get to your feet; I will speak to you.’

2 As he said these words the spirit came into me and put me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.

3 He said, ‘Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to the rebels who have rebelled against me. They and their ancestors have been in revolt against me up to the present day.

4 Because they are stubborn and obstinate children, I am sending you to them, to say, “Lord Yahweh says this.”

5 Whether they listen or not, this tribe of rebels will know there is a prophet among them.

6 And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or of what they say, though you find yourself surrounded with brambles and sitting on scorpions. Do not be afraid of their words or alarmed by their looks, for they are a tribe of rebels.

7 You are to deliver my words to them whether they listen or not, for they are a tribe of rebels.

8 But you, son of man, are to listen to what I say to you; do not be a rebel like that rebellious tribe. Open your mouth and eat what I am about to give you.’

9 When I looked, there was a hand stretch- ing out to me, holding a scroll.

10 He un- rolled it in front of me; it was written on, front and back; on it was written ‘Lamentations, dirges and cries of grief ‘.

Ezekiel 3

1 He then said, ‘Son of man, eat what you see; eat this scroll, then go and speak to the House of Israel.’

2 I opened my mouth; he gave me the scroll to eat

3 and then said, ‘Son of man, feed on this scroll which I am giving you and eat your fill.’ So I ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey.

4 He then said, ‘Son of man, go to the House of Israel and tell them what I have said.

5 You are not being sent to a nation that speaks a difficult foreign language; you are being sent to the House of Israel.

6 Not to big nations that speak difficult foreign languages, and whose words you would not understand — if I sent you to them, they would listen to you;

7 but the House of Israel will not listen to you because it will not listen to me. The whole House of Israel is defiant and obstinate.

8 But now, I am making you as defiant as they are, and as obstinate as they are;

9 I am making your resolution as hard as a diamond, harder than flint. So do not be afraid of them, do not be overawed by them, for they are a tribe of rebels.’

10 Then he said, ‘Son of man, take to heart everything I say to you, listen carefully,

11 then go to your exiled countrymen and talk to them. Say to them, “Lord Yahweh says this,” whether they listen or not.’

12 The spirit lifted me up, and behind me I heard a great vibrating sound, ‘Blessed be the glory of Yahweh in his dwelling-place!’

13 This was the sound of the living creatures’ wings beating against each other, and the sound of the wheels beside them: a great vibrating sound.

14 The spirit lifted me up and took me, and I went, bitter and angry, and the hand of Yahweh lay heavy on me.

15 I came to Tel Abib, to the exiles beside the River Chebar where they were living, and there I stayed with them in a stupor for seven days.

16 After seven days the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

17 ‘Son of man, I have appointed you as watchman for the House of Israel. When you hear a word from my mouth, warn them from me.

18 If I say to someone wicked, “You will die,” and you do not warn this person; if you do not speak to warn someone wicked to renounce evil and so save his life, it is the wicked person who will die for the guilt, but I shall hold you responsible for that death.

19 If, however, you do warn someone wicked who then fails to renounce wickedness and evil ways, the wicked person will die for the guilt, but you yourself will have saved your life.

20 When someone upright renounces uprightness to do evil and I set a trap for him, it is he who will die; since you failed to warn him, he will die for his guilt, and the uprightness he practised will no longer be remembered; but I shall hold you responsible for his death.

21 If, however, you warn someone upright not to sin and this person does not sin, such a one will live, thanks to your warning, and you too will have saved your life.’

22 While I was there the hand of Yahweh came on me; he said, ‘Get up, go out into the valley, and there I shall speak to you.’

23 I got up and went out into the valley; the glory of Yahweh was resting there, like the glory I had seen by the River Chebar, and I fell to the ground.

24 The spirit of Yahweh then entered me and put me on my feet and spoke to me. He said, ‘Go and shut yourself in your house.

25 Son of man, you are about to be tied and bound, and unable to mix with other people.

26 I am going to make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth; you will be dumb, and no longer able to reprove them, for they are a tribe of rebels.

27 When I speak to you, however, I shall open your mouth and then you will say to them, “Lord Yahweh says this: Let anyone prepared to listen, listen; let anyone who refuses, refuse!”-for they are a tribe of rebels.’

Proverbs 12:1-4

1 Whoever loves discipline, loves knowledge, stupid are those who hate correction.

2 The honest obtains Yahweh’s favour, the schemer incurs his condemnation.

3 No one is made secure by wickedness, but nothing shakes the roots of the upright.

4 A capable wife, her husband’s crown, a shameless wife, a cancer in his bones.

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