Thoughts and Reflection
We read that Cyrus will be the king of Persia in the distant future. The Lord warned his people that they will experience terrible things because they have turned away from him, but they should not fear because they are his. God tells them this before the exile so they should know they aren’t abandoned when it happens. He knows all of our stories and no matter what happens in our lives, we should not fear.
In Ezekiel, the prophet acts out a vision given to him. He cuts off his hair and beard and divides them into thirds. The first third is burned up, the second is destroyed by the sword and the third is scattered into the winds and lost into history. Ezekiel is enacting what will happen to God’s people because they rebelled against him. He uses the pain of the exile to bring them back to his heart.
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!
1 And now, thus says Yahweh, he who created you, Jacob, who formed you, Israel: Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine.
9 Let all the nations assemble, let the peoples gather here! Which of them has proclaimed this and revealed things to us in the past? Let them bring their witnesses to justify themselves, let others hear and say, ‘It is true.’
10 You yourselves are my witnesses, declares Yahweh, and the servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that it is I. No god was formed before me, nor will be after me.
13 yes, from eternity I am. No one can deliver from my hand; when I act, who can thwart me?
14 Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I have sent to Babylon, I shall knock down all the prison bars, and the Chaldaeans’ shouts of joy will change to lamentations.
19 Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges; can you not see it? Yes, I am making a road in the desert and rivers in wastelands.
21 The people I have shaped for myself will broadcast my praises.
23 You have not brought me lambs as your burnt offerings and have not honoured me with your sacrifices. I have not subjected you to cereal offering, I have not wearied you by demanding incense.
25 I, I it is who blot out your acts of revolt for my own sake and shall not call your sins to mind.
26 Remind me, and we will judge this together; state your own case and justify yourself.
28 That is why I deposed the chief men of my sanctuary, why I put Jacob under the curse of destruction and subjected Israel to insult.
1 And now listen, Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen.
4 and they will spring up among the grass, like willows on the banks of a stream.
7 Who is like me? Let him call out, let him affirm it and convince me it is so; let him say what has been happening since I instituted an eternal people, and predict to them what will happen next!
8 Have no fear, do not be afraid: have I not told you and revealed it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God except me? There is no Rock; I know of none.
11 Watch how all its devotees will be put to shame, and the men who made it too, who are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forward and feel both fear and shame!
12 The blacksmith makes an axe over the charcoal, beats it into shape with a hammer, works on it with his strong arm. Then he feels hungry and his strength deserts him; having drunk no water, he is exhausted.
13 The wood carver takes his measurements, outlines the image with chalk, executes it with the chisel, following the outline with a compass. He makes it look like a human being, with human standards of beauty, so that it can reside in a house.
15 Once it is suitable to burn, he takes some of it to warm himself; having kindled it, he bakes bread. But he also makes a god and worships it; he makes an idol from it and bows down before it.
16 Half of it he burns on the fire, over this half he roasts meat, eats it and is replete; at the same time he warms himself and says, ‘Ah, how warm I am, watching the flames!’
19 Not one of them looks into his heart, not one of them has the knowledge and wit to think, ‘I burned half of it on the fire and cooked food over the embers. Am I right to make something disgusting out of what is left? Am I right to bow down before a block of wood?’
22 I have dispelled your acts of revolt like a cloud and your sins like a mist. Come back to me, for I have redeemed you.
25 I, who foil the omens of soothsayers and make fools of diviners, who confound sages turning their knowledge into folly,
26 who confirm the word of my servant and make the plans of my envoys succeed; who say to Jerusalem, ‘You will be inhabited,’ and to the towns of Judah, ‘You will be rebuilt and I shall restore the ruins of Jerusalem’;
1 ‘For your part, son of man, take a brick and lay it in front of you; on it scratch a city, Jerusalem.
3 Then take an iron pan and place it as though it were an iron wall between you and the city. Then fix your gaze on it; it is being besieged and you are besieging it. This is a sign for the House of Israel.
4 ‘Lie down on your left side and take the guilt of the House of Israel on yourself. You will bear their guilt for as many days as you lie on that side.
5 Allowing one day for every year of their guilt, I ordain that you bear it for three hundred and ninety days; this is how you will bear the House of Israel’s guilt.
6 And when you have finished doing this, you are to lie down again, on your right side, and bear the guilt of the House of Judah for forty days. I have set the length for you as one day for one year.
8 Look, I am going to tie you up and you will not be able to turn over from one side to the other until the period of your seclusion is over.
9 ‘Now take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt; put them all in the same pot and make them into bread for yourself. You are to eat it for as many days as you are lying on your side — three hundred and ninety days.
12 You are to eat this in the form of a barley cake baked where they can see you, on human dung.’
14 I then said, ‘Lord Yahweh, my soul is not defiled. From my childhood until now, I have never eaten an animal that has died a natural death or been savaged; no tainted meat has ever entered my mouth.’
1 ‘Son of man, take a sharp sword, use it like a barber’s razor and run it over your head and beard. Then take scales and divide the hair you have cut off.
2 Burn one-third inside the city, while the days of the siege are working themselves out. Then take another third and chop it up with the sword all round the city. The last third you are to scatter to the wind, while I unsheathe the sword behind them.
4 and of these again take a few, and throw them on the fire and burn them. From them fire will come on the whole House of Israel.
7 ‘Therefore, the Lord Yahweh says this, “Because your disorders are worse than those of the nations round you, since you do not keep my laws or respect my observances, and since you do not respect even the observances of the surrounding nations,
11 For, as I live — declares Lord Yahweh — as sure as you have defiled my sanctuary with all your horrors and all your loathsome practices, so I too shall reject you without a glance of pity, I shall not spare you.
15 You will be an object of derision and insults, an example, an object of amazement to the surrounding nations, when I execute judgement on you in furious anger and furious punishments. I, Yahweh, have spoken.
16 On them I shall send the deadly arrows of famine, which will destroy you — for I shall send them to destroy you; then I shall make the famine worse and cut off your food supply.
17 I shall send famine and wild animals on you to rob you of your children; plague and bloodshed will sweep through you, and I shall bring the sword down on you. I, Yahweh, have spoken.” ‘
5 The plans of the upright are honest, the intrigues of the wicked are full of deceit.