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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read in Isaiah that judgment and destruction are coming but so is grace. There will be exile and a return from exile. There will be a future redeemer. The whole world will witness the humiliation and redemption of the Messiah. This will become our story later.

In Ezekiel, he is in exile but the people’s exile has not been completed nor has the destruction of the temple occurred. Ezekiel says that what is coming will be coming will be even worse. The Lord’s judgement isn’t far away. There are many false prophets who will say what you want to hear. It is important to remember that false prophets speak their won words and not the words of the Lord.

Do we hear what we want to hear? Do we tell others what they want to hear? Do we hear and speak the words of God?

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 51

1 Listen to me, you who pursue saving justice, you who seek Yahweh. Consider the rock from which you were hewn, the quarry from which you were dug.

2 Consider Abraham your father and Sarah who gave you birth. When I called him he was the only one but I blessed him and made him numerous.

3 Yes, Yahweh has pity on Zion, has pity on all her ruins; he will turn her desert into an Eden and her wastelands into the garden of Yahweh. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of music.

4 Pay attention to me, my people, listen to me, my nation, for a law will come from me, and I shall make my saving justice the light of peoples.

5 My justice is suddenly approaching, my salvation appears, my arm is about to judge the peoples. The coasts and islands will put their hope in me and put their trust in my arm.

6 Raise your eyes to the heavens, look down at the earth; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth wear out like clothing and its inhabitants die like vermin, but my salvation will last for ever and my saving justice remain inviolable.

7 Listen to me, you who know what saving justice means, a people who take my laws to heart: do not fear people’s taunts, do not be alarmed by their insults,

8 for the moth will eat them like clothing, the grub will devour them like wool, but my saving justice will last for ever and my salvation for all generations.

9 Awake, awake! Clothe yourself in strength, arm of Yahweh. Awake, as in the olden days, generations long ago! Was it not you who split Rahab in half, who pierced the Dragon through?

10 Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great Abyss; who made the sea-bed into a road for the redeemed to go across?

11 This is why those whom Yahweh has ransomed will return, they will enter Zion shouting for joy, their heads crowned with a joy unending; joy and gladness will escort them and sorrow and sighing will take flight.

12 I, I am your consoler. Why then should you be afraid of mortal human beings, of a child of man, whose fate is that of the grass?

13 You forget about Yahweh your Creator who spread out the heavens and laid the earth’s foundations; you have never stopped trembling all day long before the fury of the oppressor when he was bent on destruction. Where is the oppressor’s fury now?

14 The despairing captive is soon to be set free; he will not die in the dungeon, nor will his food run out.

15 I am Yahweh your God who stirs up the sea, making its waves roar — Yahweh Sabaoth is my name.

16 I put my words into your mouth, I hid you in the shadow of my hand, to spread out the heavens and lay the earth’s foundations and say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’

17 Awake, awake! To your feet, Jerusalem! You who from Yahweh’s hand have drunk the cup of his wrath. The chalice, the stupefying cup, you have drained to the dregs.

18 There is no one to guide her of all the children she has borne, no one to grasp her hand of all the children she has reared.

19 Double disaster has befallen you — who is there to sympathise? Pillage and ruin, famine and sword — who is there to console you?

20 Your children are lying helpless at the end of every street like an antelope trapped in a net; they are filled to the brim with Yahweh’s wrath, with the rebuke of your God.

21 So listen to this, afflicted one, drunk, though not with wine.

22 Thus says your Lord Yahweh, your God, defender of your people: Look, I am taking the stupefying cup from your hand, the chalice, the cup of my wrath, you will not have to drink again.

23 I shall hand it to your tormentors who used to say to you, ‘On the ground! So that we can walk over you!’ And you would flatten your back like the ground, like a street for them to walk on.

Isaiah 52

1 Awake, awake! Clothe yourself in strength, Zion. Put on your finest clothes, Jerusalem, Holy City; for the uncircumcised and the unclean will enter you no more.

2 Shake off your dust; get up, captive Jerusalem! The chains have fallen from your neck, captive daughter of Jerusalem!

3 For Yahweh says this, ‘You were sold for nothing; you will be redeemed without money.’

4 For the Lord Yahweh says this, ‘Long ago my people went to Egypt and settled there as aliens; finally Assyria oppressed them for no reason.

5 So now what is to be done,’ declares Yahweh, ‘since my people have been carried off for nothing, their masters howl in triumph,’ declares Yahweh, ‘and my name is held in contempt all day, every day?

6 Because of this my people will know my name, because of this they will know when the day comes, that it is I saying, Here I am!’

7 How beautiful on the mountains, are the feet of the messenger announcing peace, of the messenger of good news, who proclaims salvation and says to Zion, ‘Your God is king!’

8 The voices of your watchmen! Now they raise their voices, shouting for joy together, for with their own eyes they have seen Yahwehreturning to Zion.

9 Break into shouts together, shouts of joy, you ruins of Jerusalem; for Yahweh has consoled his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.

10 Yahweh has bared his holy arm for all the nations to see, and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

11 Go away, go away, leave that place, do not touch anything unclean. Get out of her, purify yourselves, you who carry Yahweh’s vessels!

12 For you are not to hurry away, you are not to leave like fugitives. No, Yahweh marches at your head and the God of Israel is your rearguard.

13 Look, my servant will prosper, will grow great, will rise to great heights.

14 As many people were aghast at him — he was so inhumanly disfigured that he no longer looked like a man-

15 so many nations will be astonished and kings will stay tight-lipped before him, seeing what had never been told them, learning what they had not heard before.

Ezekiel 12

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

2 ‘Son of man, you are living among a tribe of rebels who have eyes and never see, they have ears and never hear, because they are a tribe of rebels.

3 So, son of man, pack an exile’s bundle and set off for exile by daylight while they watch. You will leave your home and go somewhere else while they watch. Then perhaps they will see that they are a tribe of rebels.

4 You will pack your baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight, while they watch, and leave like an exile in the evening, while they watch.

5 While they watch, make a hole in the wall, and go out through it.

6 While they watch, you will shoulder your pack and go out into the dark; you will cover your face so that you cannot see the ground, since I have made you an omen for the House of Israel.’

7 I did as I had been told. I packed my baggage like an exile’s bundle, by daylight; and in the evening I made a hole through the wall with my hands; then I went out into the dark and shouldered my pack while they watched.

8 Next morning the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

9 ‘Son of man, did not the House of Israel, did not that tribe of rebels, ask you, “What are you doing?”

10 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: This prophecy concerns Jerusalem and the whole House of Israel who live there.”

11 Say, “I am an omen for you; as I have done, so will be done to them; they will be deported into exile.

12 Their prince will shoulder his pack in the dark and go out through the wall; a hole will be made to let him out; he will cover his face, so that he cannot see the country.

13 I shall throw my net over him and catch him in my mesh; I shall take him to Babylon, to the land of the Chaldaeans, though he will not see it; and there he will die.

14 And all those in attendance on him, his army and all his troops, I shall scatter to all the winds and unsheathe the sword behind them.

15 Then they will know that I am Yahweh, when I scatter them throughout the nations and disperse them in foreign countries.

16 But I shall let a few of them escape the sword, famine and plague, to describe all their loathsome practices to the peoples among whom they will go, so that these too may know that I am Yahweh.” ‘

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

18 ‘Son of man, you are to tremble as you eat your food and shudder apprehensively as you drink your water,

19 and you are to say to the people of the country, “The Lord Yahweh says this to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They will shudder apprehensively as they eat their food, and drink their water in fear, so that the country and its population may be freed from the violence of its inhabitants.

20 When the populous cities have been destroyed and the country has been reduced to desert, then you will know that I am Yahweh.” ‘

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

22 ‘Son of man, what do you understand by the saying pronounced over the land of Israel, “Days go by and visions fade”?

23 ‘Very well, tell them, “The Lord Yahweh says this: I shall put an end to this saying; it will never be used in Israel again.” Instead, tell them: “The days are coming when every vision will come true,

24 for there will be no more futile visions or deceptive prophecy in the House of Israel,

25 since I, Yahweh, shall speak. And what I shall say will come true without delay; for what I shall say, I shall perform in your own lifetime, you tribe of rebels — declares the Lord Yahweh.” ‘

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

27 ‘Son of man, the House of Israel is now saying, “The vision that this man sees concerns the distant future; he is prophesying for times far ahead.”

28 Very well, tell them, “The Lord Yahweh says this: There will be no further delay in the fulfilling of any of my words. What I have said shall be done now — declares the Lord Yahweh.” ‘

Ezekiel 13

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

2 ‘Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel; prophesy, and say to those who make up prophecies out of their own heads, “Hear what Yahweh says:

3 The Lord Yahweh says this: Disaster is in store for the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!

4 Your prophets, Israel, are like ruin-haunting jackals!

5 “You have not ventured into the breach; you have not built up the wall round the House of Israel, to hold fast in battle on the Day of Yahweh.

6 Theirs are futile visions and false predictions, who say: A prophecy from Yahweh, when Yahweh has not sent them; yet they expect their words to come true.

7 Have not the visions you see been futile, have not the predictions you make been false, although you say: A prophecy of Yahweh, when I have not spoken?

8 “Very well, the Lord Yahweh says this: Because of your futile words and false predictions, I am now against you — declares LordYahweh.

9 My hand will be against the prophets who have futile visions and give false predictions; they will not be admitted to the council of my people, their names will not be entered in the roll of the House of Israel, they will not set foot on the soil of Israel; and they will know that I am the Lord Yahweh.

10 This is because they have misled my people by saying Peace! when there is no peace. When my people were repairing a wall, these men came and plastered it over!

11 Tell these plasterers: It will rain hard, it will hail, it will blow a gale,

12 and down will come the wall! Will not people ask you: What has become of the plaster you slapped on it?

13 Well then, the Lord Yahweh says this: I am going to unleash a stormy wind in my fury, torrential rain in my anger, hailstones in my destructive fury,

14 and I shall shatter the wall you plastered and knock it down and lay its foundations bare. It will fall and you will perish under it; then you will know that I am Yahweh.”

15 ‘When I have sated my anger on the wall and those who plastered it, I shall say to you, “The wall is gone, and so are those who plastered over it,

16 the prophets of Israel who prophesy about Jerusalem and have visions of peace for her when there is no peace — declares the LordYahweh.”

17 ‘Also, son of man, turn to the women of your people who make up prophecies out of their own heads; prophesy against them.

18 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Disaster is in store for women who sew ribbons round each wrist and make head-cloths for people of all sizes, in their hunt for souls! Are you to hunt the souls of my people and keep your own souls safe?

19 You dishonour me in front of my people for a few handfuls of barley, a few bits of bread, killing those who ought not to die and sparing those who ought not to live, lying to my people who love listening to lies.

20 “Very well, the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I am now against your ribbons, with which you hunt souls like birds, and I shall tear them off your arms and free those souls whom you hunt like birds.

21 I shall tear your head-cloths to pieces and rescue my people from your clutches; no longer will they be fair game for you to ensnare. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.

22 “For having intimidated with lies the heart of the upright whom I had done nothing to alarm, and for having encouraged the wicked not to give up wicked ways and so be saved,

23 very well, you will have no more futile visions and make no more predictions, for I shall rescue my people from your clutches, and you will know that I am Yahweh.” ‘

Proverbs 12:21-24

21 No harm can come to the upright, but the wicked are swamped by misfortunes.

22 Lying lips are abhorrent to Yahweh; dear to him those who make truth their way of life.

23 The discreet keeps knowledge hidden, the heart of fools proclaims their folly.

24 For the diligent hand, authority; for the slack hand, forced labour.

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