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Thoughts and Reflection

Today Isaiah proclaims that Cyrus, the king of Persia, is God’s shepherd. Cyrus worships false gods and does not know the Lord. He will later be God’s instrument in fulfilling his purpose. He will defeat the nations and return the people of Judah to Jerusalem and Jerusalem will be rebuilt. Even though the people suffer and turn away from the Lord, God loves them and wants them to return to him.

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 45

1 Thus says Yahweh to his anointed one, to Cyrus whom, he says, I have grasped by his right hand, to make the nations bow before him and to disarm kings, to open gateways before him so that their gates be closed no more:

2 I myself shall go before you, I shall level the heights, I shall shatter the bronze gateways, I shall smash the iron bars.

3 I shall give you secret treasures and hidden hoards of wealth, so that you will know that I am Yahweh, who call you by your name, the God of Israel.

4 It is for the sake of my servant Jacob and of Israel my chosen one, that I have called you by your name, have given you a title though you do not know me.

5 I am Yahweh, and there is no other, there is no other God except me. Though you do not know me, I have armed you

6 so that it may be known from east to west that there is no one except me. I am Yahweh, and there is no other,

7 I form the light and I create the darkness, I make well-being, and I create disaster, I, Yahweh, do all these things.

8 Rain down, you heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down saving justice, let the earth open up and blossom with salvation, and let justice sprout with it; I, Yahweh, have created it!

9 Woe to anyone who argues with his Maker, one earthenware pot among many! Does the clay say to its potter, ‘What are you doing? Your work has no hands!’

10 Woe to anyone who asks a father, ‘Why are you begetting?’ and a woman, ‘Why are you giving birth?’

11 Thus says Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel and his Maker: I am asked for signs regarding my sons, I am given orders about the work I do.

12 It was I who made the earth and I created human beings on it, mine were the hands that spread out the heavens and I have given the orders to all their array.

13 I myself have raised him in saving justice and I shall make all paths level for him. He will rebuild my city and bring my exiles home without ransom or indemnity, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

14 Thus says Yahweh: The produce of Egypt, the commerce of Cush and the men of Seba, tall of stature, will come over to you and belong to you. They will follow you, walking in chains, they will bow before you, they will pray to you, ‘With you alone is God, ad there is no other! The gods do not exist.’

15 Truly, you are a God who conceals himself, God of Israel, Saviour!

16 They are shamed and humbled, every one of them, humiliated they go, the makers of idols.

17 Israel will be saved by Yahweh, saved everlastingly. You will never be ashamed or humiliated for ever and ever.

18 For thus says Yahweh, the Creator of the heavens — he is God, who shaped the earth and made it, who set it firm; he did not create it to be chaos, he formed it to be lived in: I am Yahweh, and there is no other.

19 I have not spoken in secret, in some dark corner of the underworld. I did not say, ‘Offspring of Jacob, search for me in chaos!’ I am Yahweh: I proclaim saving justice, I say what is true.

20 Assemble, come, all of you gather round, survivors of the nations. They have no knowledge, those who parade their wooden idols and pray to a god that cannot save.

21 Speak up, present your case, let them put their heads together! Who foretold this in the past, who revealed it long ago? Was it not I, Yahweh? There is no other god except me, no saving God, no Saviour except me!

22 Turn to me and you will be saved, all you ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is no other.

23 By my own self I swear it; what comes from my mouth is saving justice, it is an irrevocable word: All shall bend the knee to me, by me every tongue shall swear,

24 saying, ‘In Yahweh alone are saving justice and strength,’ until all those who used to rage at him come to him in shame.

25 In Yahweh the whole race of Israel finds justice and glory.

Isaiah 46

1 Bel is crouching, Nebo cowering, their idols are being put on animals, on beasts of burden, the loads you have been carrying are a burden to a weary beast.

2 They are cowering and crouching together, no one can save this burden, they themselves have gone into captivity.

3 Listen to me, House of Jacob, all who remain of the House of Israel, whom I have carried since the womb, whom I have supported since you were conceived.

4 Until your old age I shall be the same, until your hair is grey I shall carry you. As I have done, so I shall support you, I myself shall carry and shall save you.

5 With whom can you compare me, equate me, to whom can you liken me, making equals of us?

6 They lavish gold from their purses and weigh out silver on the scales. They engage a goldsmith to make a god, then bow low and actually adore!

7 They lift it on their shoulders and carry it, and put it down where it is meant to stand, so that it never moves from the spot. You may cry out to it in distress, it never replies, it never saves anyone in trouble.

8 Remember this and stand firm; rebels, look into your hearts.

9 Remember the things that happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.

10 From the beginning I revealed the future, in advance, what has not yet occurred. I say: My purpose will come about, I shall do whatever I please;

11 I call a bird of prey from the east, my man predestined, from a distant land. What I have said, I shall do, what I have planned, I shall perform.

12 Listen to me, you hard-hearted people far removed from saving justice:

13 I am bringing my justice nearer, it is not far away, my salvation will not delay. I shall place my salvation in Zion and my glory in Israel.

Ezekiel 6

1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

2 ‘Son of man, turn towards the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them.

3 Say, “Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Yahweh. The Lord Yahweh says this to mountains and hills and ravines and valleys: Look, I am going to summon the sword against you and destroy your high places.

4 Your altars will be wrecked, and your incense burners smashed; I shall fling your butchered inhabitants down in front of your foul idols;

5 I shall lay the corpses of the Israelites in front of their foul idols and scatter their bones all round your altars.

6 Wherever you live, the towns will be destroyed and the high places wrecked, to the ruin and wrecking of your altars, the shattering and abolition of your foul idols, the smashing of your incense burners and the utter destruction of all your works.

7 As the butchered fall about you, you will know that I am Yahweh.

8 “But I shall spare some of you to escape the sword among the nations, when you have been dispersed in their lands;

9 and your survivors will remember me among the nations where they are held captive, since I shall have broken their adulterous hearts for having deserted me, and destroyed their eyes for having turned adulterously towards their foul idols. They will loathe themselves for all the wrong they have caused by their loathsome practices.

10 Then they will know that I am Yahweh and that I was not talking lightly when I said that I would inflict these disasters on them.”

11 ‘The Lord Yahweh says this, “Clap your hands, stamp your feet, and say: Alas for all the loathsome sins of the House of Israel, which is about to fall by sword, famine and plague!

12 Far off, they will die by plague; near at hand they will fall by the sword; and any who survive or are spared will die of famine. This is how I shall sate my fury on them.

13 Then you will know that I am Yahweh, when their butchered corpses lie among their foul idols, all round their altars, on every high hill, on every mountain top, under every green tree, under every leafy oak, wherever they offer a smell pleasing to all their idols.

14 I shall point my finger at them and reduce the country to an empty wasteland from the desert to Riblah, everywhere they live, and they will know that I am Yahweh.” ‘

Ezekiel 7

1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

2 ‘Son of man, say, “Lord Yahweh says this to the land of Israel: Finished! The end is coming for the four corners of the country.

3 This is the end for you; I shall unleash my anger on you, and judge you as your conduct deserves and call you to account for all your loathsome practices.

4 I shall show you no pity, I shall not spare you; I shall repay you for your conduct and for the loathsome practices in which you persist. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.

5 “The Lord Yahweh says this: Disaster, a unique disaster, is coming.

6 The end is coming, the end is coming, it is on the move towards you, it is coming now.

7 Now it is your turn, you who dwell in this country. Doom is coming, the day is near; no joy now, only tumult, on the mountains.

8 Now I shall soon vent my fury on you and sate my anger on you: I shall judge you as your conduct deserves and repay you for all your loathsome practices.

9 I shall show neither pity nor mercy, but shall repay you for your conduct and the loathsome practices in which you persist. Then you will know that I am Yahweh and that I strike.

10 “Now is the day, your turn has come, it has come, it appears, the sceptre has blossomed, pride is at its peak.

11 Violence has risen to become the scourge of wickedness . . .

12 Doom is coming, the day is near. Neither should buyer rejoice, nor seller regret, for the fury rests on everyone alike.

13 The seller will not be able to go back on his bargain; each persists in his sins; they take no defensive measures.

14 The trumpet sounds, all is ready, but no one goes into battle, since my fury rests on all alike.

15 “Outside, the sword; inside, plague and famine. Whoever is living in the countryside will die by the sword; whoever is living in the city will be devoured by famine and plague.

16 And those who escape will escape to the mountains and there, like doves of the valleys, I shall slaughter them all, each one for his sin.

17 Every hand will grow limp, every knee turn to water.

18 They will put on sackcloth, each one trembling. Every face will be ashamed and every head be shaved.

19 They will throw their silver away in the streets and their gold they will regard as a pollution; neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of Yahweh’s fury. Never again will they have enough to eat, never again will they fill their bellies, since that was the occasion for their guilt.

20 They used to pride themselves on the beauty of their jewellery, out of which they made their loathsome images, their horrors; so now I have made it pollute them.

21 I shall hand it over as plunder to foreigners, as loot to the most evil people on earth. They will profane it.

22 I shall turn my face away from them, while my treasure-house is profaned and robbers will force their way in and profane it.

23 “Forge yourself a chain; for the country is full of bloody executions and the city full of deeds of violence,

24 so I shall bring the cruellest of the nations to seize their houses. I shall put an end to the pride of their e’lite, and their sanctuary will be profaned.

25 Terror is on the way: they will look for peace and there will be none.

26 Disaster will follow on disaster, rumour on rumour; they will pester the prophet for a vision; the priest will be at a loss over the law and the elders on how to advise.

27 The king will go into mourning, the prince be plunged in grief, the hands of the country people tremble. I shall treat them as their conduct deserves, and judge them as their own verdicts merit. Then they will know that I am Yahweh!” ‘

Proverbs 12:9-12

9 Better a common fellow who has a slave than someone who gives himself airs and has nothing to eat.

10 The upright has compassion on his animals, but the heart of the wicked is ruthless.

11 Whoever works his land shall have bread and to spare, but no one who chases fantasies has any sense.

12 The godless delights in the snare of the wicked, but the root of the upright bears fruit.

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