Day 216 – The Suffering Servant

Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read that Isaiah brings us back to the Suffering Servant. “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Jesus will embody these words six hundred years later. Mercy and comfort are offered. We should acknowledge our sins and always seek the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness.

God tolerates no rivals to him in our hearts. Just as we can have many different friends, we only have one spouse. Family is important and things like work are as well. We must make time for God and keep him in our lives. God chose Israel not because they were more powerful than other nations. He chose them because they were small and needed him to make them magnificent and bring his salvation to the world.

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 53

1 Who has given credence to what we have heard? And who has seen in it a revelation of Yahweh’s arm?

2 Like a sapling he grew up before him, like a root in arid ground. He had no form or charm to attract us, no beauty to win our hearts;

3 he was despised, the lowest of men, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering, one from whom, as it were, we averted our gaze, despised, for whom we had no regard.

4 Yet ours were the sufferings he was bearing, ours the sorrows he was carrying, while we thought of him as someone being punished and struck with affliction by God;

5 whereas he was being wounded for our rebellions, crushed because of our guilt; the punishment reconciling us fell on him, and we have been healed by his bruises.

6 We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way, and Yahweh brought the acts of rebellion of all of us to bear on him.

7 Ill-treated and afflicted, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb led to the slaughter-house, like a sheep dumb before its shearers he never opened his mouth.

8 Forcibly, after sentence, he was taken. Which of his contemporaries was concerned at his having been cut off from the land of the living, at his having been struck dead for his people’s rebellion?

9 He was given a grave with the wicked, and his tomb is with the rich, although he had done no violence, had spoken no deceit.

10 It was Yahweh’s good pleasure to crush him with pain; if he gives his life as a sin offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his life, and through him Yahweh’s good pleasure will be done.

11 After the ordeal he has endured, he will see the light and be content. By his knowledge, the upright one, my servant will justify many by taking their guilt on himself.

12 Hence I shall give him a portion with the many, and he will share the booty with the mighty, for having exposed himself to death and for being counted as one of the rebellious, whereas he was bearing the sin of many and interceding for the rebellious.

Isaiah 54

1 Shout for joy, barren one who has borne no children! Break into cries and shouts of joy, you who were never in labour! For the childrenof the forsaken one are more in number than the children of the wedded wife, says Yahweh.

2 Widen the space of your tent, extend the curtains of your home, do not hold back! Lengthen your ropes, make your tent-pegs firm,

3 for you will burst out to right and to left, your race will dispossess the nations and repopulate deserted towns.

4 Do not fear, you will not be put to shame again, do not worry, you will not be disgraced again; for you will forget the shame of your youth and no longer remember the dishonour of your widowhood.

5 For your Creator is your husband, Yahweh Sabaoth is his name, the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer, he is called God of the whole world.

6 Yes, Yahweh has called you back like a forsaken, grief-stricken wife, like the repudiated wife of his youth, says your God.

7 I did forsake you for a brief moment, but in great compassion I shall take you back.

8 In a flood of anger, for a moment I hid my face from you. But in everlasting love I have taken pity on you, says Yahweh, your redeemer.

9 For me it will be as in the days of Noah when I swore that Noah’s waters should never flood the world again. So now I swear never to be angry with you and never to rebuke you again.

10 For the mountains may go away and the hills may totter, but my faithful love will never leave you, my covenant of peace will never totter, says Yahweh who takes pity on you.

11 Unhappy creature, storm-tossed, unpitied, look, I shall lay your stones on agates and your foundations on sapphires.

12 I shall make your battlements rubies, your gateways firestone and your entire wall precious stones.

13 All your children will be taught by Yahweh and great will be your children’s prosperity.

14 In saving justice you will be made firm, free from oppression: you will have nothing to fear; free from terror: it will not approach you.

15 Should anyone attack you, that will not be my doing, and whoever does attack you, for your sake will fall.

16 I created the smith who blows on the charcoal-fire to produce a weapon for his use; I also created the destroyer to ruin it.

17 No weapon forged against you will succeed. Any voice raised against you in court you will refute. Such is the lot of the servants of Yahweh, the saving justice I assure them, declares Yahweh.

Ezekiel 14

1 Next, some elders of Israel visited me and while they were sitting with me,

2 the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

3 ‘Son of man, these men have enshrined their foul idols in their hearts and placed the cause of their sinning right before their eyes. Why should I let myself be consulted by them?

4 So speak to them; tell them this, “Lord Yahweh says this: Every member of the House of Israel who enshrines his foul idols in his heart and places the cause of his sinning right before his eyes, and who then approaches the prophet, will get this answer from me, Yahweh, as the multiplicity of his idols deserves,

5 and in this way I hope to win back the hearts of the House of Israel who have all been estranged from me by their foul idols.”

6 ‘So say to the House of Israel, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Come back, turn away from your foul idols, turn your backs on all your loathsome practices;

7 for if any member of the House of Israel — or any foreigner living in Israel — deserts me to enshrine his foul idols in his heart and places the cause of his sinning right before his eyes and then approaches a prophet to consult me through him, he will get his answer from me, Yahweh. 

8 I shall set my face against that person; I shall make him an example and a byword; I shall rid my people of him, and you will know that I am Yahweh.

9 And if the prophet is seduced into saying something, I, Yahweh, shall have seduced that prophet; I shall point my finger at him and rid my people Israel of him.

10 Both will be punished for their guilt; the prophet’s punishment will be the same as that of the person who consults him,

11 so that the House of Israel will never stray from me again or defile themselves again with these crimes, but be my people and I their God — declares the Lord Yahweh.” ‘

12 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me:

13 ‘Son of man, when a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I point my finger at it and destroy its supply of food, inflicting famine on it and denuding it of human and animal,

14 even if the three men, Noah, Danel and Job, were living in it, they would save no one but themselves by their uprightness — declares the Lord Yahweh.

15 Were I to unleash wild beasts on that country to rob it of its children and reduce it to a desert which no one would dare to cross because of the animals,

16 even if these three men were living there, as I live — declares the Lord Yahweh — they would not be able to save either son or daughter; they alone would be saved, and the country would become a desert.

17 Were I to bring the sword down on that country and say, “Sword, cross the country!” so as to denude it of human and animal,

18 even if these three men were living there, as I live — declares the Lord Yahweh — they would not be able to save either son or daughter; they alone would be saved.

19 If I were to send the plague on that country and vent my fury on it by bloodshed, so as to denude it of human and animal,

20 even if Noah and Danel and Job were living there, as I live — declares the Lord Yahweh — they would be able to save neither son nor daughter, only themselves by their uprightness.

21 ‘The Lord Yahweh says this, “Even if I send my four dreadful scourges on Jerusalem-sword, famine, wild beasts and plague — to denude it of human and animal,

22 even so, there will be a remnant left, a few men and women who come through; when they come to you and you see their conduct and actions, you will take comfort in spite of the disaster which I have brought on Jerusalem, in spite of all I have brought on her.

23 They will comfort you, when you see their conduct and actions, and so you will know that I have not done in vain all I have done to her — declares the Lord Yahweh.” ‘

Ezekiel 15

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

2 Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than wood from the branch of a forest tree?

3 Is its wood used for making anything? Are pegs on which to hang things made from it?

4 There it is, thrown on the fire for fuel. The fire burns off both ends; the middle is charred; can it be kept for anything now?

5 While it was intact, you could make nothing with it; burned and charred, is it any more useful now?

6 So, the Lord Yahweh says this: As the wood of the vine among the forest trees, which I have thrown on the fire for fuel, so shall I treat the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

7 I shall set my face against them. They have escaped one fire, but fire will devour them yet. And you will know that I am Yahweh, when I set my face against them.

8 I shall reduce the country to a desert, because of their infidelity- declares the Lord Yahweh.

Proverbs 12:25-28

25 Worry makes a heart heavy, a kindly word makes it glad.

26 The upright shows the way to a friend; the way of the wicked leads them astray.

27 The idle has no game to roast; diligence is anyone’s most precious possession.

28 In the way of uprightness is life, the ways of the vengeful lead to death.

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