Thoughts and Reflection
Today we hear about the mission of a servant. Isaiah is referring to both the people of God and the coming Messiah. Israel will not be forgotten by the Lord. Even if a mother could forsake her child, God will not forget them. God has carved the names of his people on the palms of his hands. Jesus shows his apostles the winds on his hands and feet and allowed himself to be pierced for our sins. In Isaiah 50, he speaks of the Suffering Servant and Jesus gave his back to those who struck him and did not cover his face out of shame.
There may be times the presence of God may seem hidden in our lives, but he is always there next to us.
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 Coasts and islands, listen to me, pay attention, distant peoples. Yahweh called me when I was in the womb, before my birth he had pronounced my name.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, he hid me in the shadow of his hand. He made me into a sharpened arrow and concealed me in his quiver.
3 He said to me, ‘Israel, you are my servant, through whom I shall manifest my glory.’
4 But I said, ‘My toil has been futile, I have exhausted myself for nothing, to no purpose.’ Yet all the while my cause was with Yahwehand my reward with my God.
5 And now Yahweh has spoken, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him and to re-unite Israel to him;-I shall be honoured in Yahweh’s eyes, and my God has been my strength.-
6 He said, ‘It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I shall make you a light to the nations so that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of earth.’
7 Thus says Yahweh, the redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, to the one who is despised, detested by the nation, to the slave of despots: Kings will stand up when they see, princes will see and bow low, because of Yahweh who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who had chosen you.
8 Thus says Yahweh: At the time of my favour I have answered you, on the day of salvation I have helped you. I have formed you and have appointed you to be the covenant for a people, to restore the land, to return ravaged properties,
9 to say to prisoners, ‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ Along the roadway they will graze, and any bare height will be their pasture.
10 They will never hunger or thirst, scorching wind and sun will never plague them; for he who pities them will lead them, will guide them to springs of water.
11 I shall turn all my mountains into a road and my highways will be raised aloft.
12 Look! Here they come from far away, look, these from the north and the west, those from the land of Sinim.
13 Shout for joy, you heavens; earth, exult! Mountains, break into joyful cries! For Yahweh has consoled his people, is taking pity on his afflicted ones.
14 Zion was saying, ‘Yahweh has abandoned me, the Lord has forgotten me.’
15 Can a woman forget her baby at the breast, feel no pity for the child she has borne? Even if these were to forget, I shall not forget you.
16 Look, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands, your ramparts are ever before me.
17 Your rebuilders are hurrying, your destroyers and despoilers will soon go away.
18 Raise your eyes and look around you: all are assembling, coming to you. By my life, declares Yahweh, you will put them all on like jewels, like a bride, you will fasten them on.
19 For your desolate places and your ruins and your devastated country from now on will be too cramped for your inhabitants, and your devourers will be far away.
20 Once more they will say in your hearing, the children of whom you were bereft, ‘The place is too cramped for me, make room for me to live.’
21 Then you will think to yourself, ‘Who has borne me these? I was bereft and barren, exiled, turned out of my home; who has reared these? I was left all alone, so where have these come from?’
22 Thus says Lord Yahweh: Look, I am beckoning to the nations and hoisting a signal to the peoples: they will bring your sons in their arms and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
23 Kings will be your foster-fathers and their princesses, your foster-mothers. They will fall prostrate before you, faces to the ground, and lick the dust at your feet. And you will know that I am Yahweh; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.
24 Can the body be snatched from the warrior, can the tyrant’s captive be set free?
25 But thus says Yahweh: The warrior’s captive will indeed be snatched away and the tyrant’s booty will indeed be set free; I myself shall fight those who fight you and I myself shall save your children.
26 I shall make your oppressors eat their own flesh, they will be as drunk on their own blood as on new wine. And all humanity will know that I am Yahweh, your Saviour, your redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
1 Thus says Yahweh: Where is your mother’s writ of divorce by which I repudiated her? Or to which of my creditors have I sold you? Look, you have been sold for your own misdeeds, your mother was repudiated for your acts of rebellion.
2 Why was there no one there when I came? Why did no one answer when I called? Is my hand too short to redeem? Have I not strengthto save? Look, with a threat I can dry the sea, and turn rivers to desert; the fish in them go rotten for want of water and die of thirst.
3 I dress the heavens in black, I cover them in sackcloth.
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple’s tongue, for me to know how to give a word of comfort to the weary. Morning by morning he makes my ear alert to listen like a disciple.
5 Lord Yahweh has opened my ear and I have not resisted, I have not turned away.
6 I have offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; I have not turned my face away from insult and spitting.
7 Lord Yahweh comes to my help, this is why insult has not touched me, this is why I have set my face like flint and know that I shall not be put to shame.
8 He who grants me saving justice is near! Who will bring a case against me? Let us appear in court together! Who has a case against me? Let him approach me!
9 Look, Lord Yahweh is coming to my help! Who dares condemn me? Look at them, all falling apart like moth-eaten clothes!
10 Which of you fears Yahweh and listens to his servant’s voice? Which of you walks in darkness and sees no light? Let him trust in the name of Yahweh and lean on his God!
11 Look, all you who light a fire and arm yourselves with firebrands, walk by the light of your fire and the firebrands you have kindled! This is what you will get from me: you will lie down in torment!
1 Then, in vision I saw that above the solid surface over the heads of the winged creatures there was above them something like sapphire, which seemed to be like a throne.
2 He then said to the man dressed in linen, ‘Go in between the wheels below the winged creatures; take a handful of burning coal from between the winged creatures and scatter it over the city.’ He went in as I watched.
3 The winged creatures were on the right of the Temple as the man went in, and the cloud filled the inner court.
4 The glory of Yahweh rose from above the winged creatures, towards the threshold of the Temple; the Temple was filled by the cloud and the court was full of the brightness of the glory of Yahweh.
5 The noise of the winged creatures’ wings could be heard even in the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks.
6 When he had given the order to the man dressed in linen, ‘Take the fire from between the wheels, between the winged creatures,’ the man went in and stood by one of the wheels.
7 One of the winged creatures then reached his hand out towards the fire between the winged creatures, took some of it and put it into the hands of the man dressed in linen, who took it and came out again.
8 There appeared to be what looked like a human hand under the winged creatures’ wings.
9 And I looked, and there were four wheels beside the winged creatures, one wheel beside each winged creature, and the appearance of the wheels was like the sparkle of chrysolite.
10 In appearance, all four looked alike, as though each wheel had another wheel inside it.
11 In whichever of the four directions they moved, they did not need to turn as they moved, but whichever way the head was facing there they followed; they did not turn as they moved,
12 and their entire bodies, their backs, their hands, their wings, as well as the wheels, had eyes all the way round (the wheels of all four).
13 In my hearing, these wheels were called ‘galgal’.
14 Each had four faces; the first was a winged creature’s face, the second a human face, the third a lion’s face and the fourth an eagle’s face.
15 The winged creatures rose; this was the being I had seen by the River Chebar.
16 When the winged creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them; and when the winged creatures raised their wings to leave the ground, the wheels did not turn beside them.
17 When the former halted the latter halted; when the former rose, the latter rose with them, since they shared the same living spirit.
18 The glory of Yahweh then came out over the Temple threshold and paused over the winged creatures.
19 These raised their wings and rose from the ground as I watched, and the wheels were beside them. They paused at the entrance to the east gate of the Temple of Yahweh, with the glory of the God of Israel over them, above.
20 This was the winged creature I had seen beneath the God of Israel by the River Chebar; I knew that they were winged creatures.
21 Each had four faces and four wings and what seemed to be human hands under their wings.
22 Their faces were like those I had seen by the River Chebar. Each one moved straight forward.
1 The spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the Temple of Yahweh, the gate that looks eastwards. There at the entrance to the gate stood twenty-five men, among whom I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people.
2 He said to me, ‘Son of man, these are the wicked schemers who are spreading their bad advice through this city.
3 They say, “There will be no house-building yet awhile. The city is the cooking pot and we are the meat.”
4 So prophesy against them, prophesy, son of man!’
5 The spirit of Yahweh fell on me, and he said to me, ‘Say, “Yahweh says this: I know what you are saying, House of Israel, I know how insolent you are.
6 You have filled this city with more and more of your victims; you have strewn its streets with victims.
7 And so the Lord Yahweh says this: Your victims, whom you have put in it, are the meat, and the city is the cooking pot; but I shall take you out of it.
8 You are afraid of the sword and I shall bring the sword down on you — declares the Lord Yahweh-
9 and I shall take you out of it and hand you over to foreigners and bring you to justice;
10 you will fall by the sword on the soil of Israel; I shall execute justice on you, and you will know that I am Yahweh.
11 This city will be no cooking pot for you, nor will you be the meat inside; I shall execute justice on you on the soil of Israel;
12 and you will know that I am Yahweh, whose laws you have not obeyed and whose judgements you have not kept; instead, you have adopted the customs of the nations round you.” ‘
13 Now as I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah dropped dead. I fell to the ground and cried out, ‘Ah, Lord Yahweh, are you going to annihilate the remnant of Israel?’
14 The word of Yahweh was then addressed to me as follows,
15 ‘Son of man, to your brothers one and all, to your kinsfolk and to the whole House of Israel, the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, “Keep well away from Yahweh. This country has now been made over to us!”
16 So say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Yes, I have sent them far away among the nations and I have dispersed them to foreign countries; and for a while I have been a sanctuary for them in the country to which they have gone.”
17 So say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: I shall gather you back from the peoples, I shall collect you in from the countries where you have been scattered and give you the land of Israel.
18 When they come back, they will purge it of all its horrors and loathsome practices.
19 I shall give them a single heart and I shall put a new spirit in them; I shall remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh,
20 so that they can keep my laws and respect my judgements and put them into practice. Then they will be my people and I shall be their God.
21 But those whose hearts are set on their horrors and loathsome practices I shall repay for their conduct — declares the Lord Yahweh.” ‘
22 The winged creatures then raised their wings and the wheels moved with them, with the glory of the God of Israel over them, above.
23 And the glory of Yahweh rose from the centre of the city and halted on the mountain to the east of the city.
24 Then the spirit lifted me up and took me, in vision, in the spirit of God, to the exiles in Chaldaea, and the vision which I had seen faded.
25 I then told the exiles everything that Yahweh had shown me.
17 To tell the truth is to further justice, a false witness is nothing but deceit.
18 Thoughtless words can wound like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Sincere lips endure for ever, the lying tongue lasts only a moment.
20 Deceit is in the heart of the schemer, joy with those who give counsels of peace.