Day 243 – The Lord’s Plans

Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read about Hananiah, a false prophet who says that in two years Nebuchadnezzar is going to fall and the people of Israel will return. Hananiah takes the yoke off Jeremiah’s neck and breaks it. Jeremiah says that it will be replaced with a yoke of Iron. The people will not repent or accept that they are going to be destroyed, the wooden yoke of mercy will be replaced with an iron yoke of punishment.

We can look at the commandments of God as a yoke or burden like a wooden yoke. If we do not follow them, then God allows us to experience the consequences, an iron yoke of punishment. Hananiah dies within two months after being rebuked for his false prophesies. Jeremiah writes that the people in Babylon told them how to live in exile. He tells them that they will be there for seventy years. They should go ahead and build their lives in exile but always remember they will be returning home.

Daniel has a vision of an angel who appears after he has done penance. The angel tells Daniel that God heard his prayers from the moment he began to pray but there is more going on in the divine plan. Daniel’s prophecy in chapter 11 is also fulfilled. Alexander the Great, dies without an heir and is succeeded by four of his generals.

God is always fighting for his people.

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

Jeremiah 28

1 That same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, a Gibeonite, spoke as follows to Jeremiah in the Temple of Yahweh in the presence of the priests and of all the people,

2 ‘Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this, “I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.

3 In exactly two years’ time I shall bring back all the vessels of the Temple of Yahweh which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from here and carried off to Babylon.

4 And I shall also bring back Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah and all the exiles of Judah who have gone to Babylon, Yahwehdeclares, for I shall break the yoke of the king of Babylon.” ‘

5 The prophet Jeremiah then replied to the prophet Hananiah in front of the priests and all the people present in the Temple of Yahweh.

6 ‘So be it!’ the prophet Jeremiah said, ‘May Yahweh do so! May he fulfil the words that you have prophesied and bring all the vessels of the Temple of Yahweh and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon.

7 Listen carefully, however, to this word that I am now going to say for you and all the people to hear:

8 From remote times, the prophets who preceded you and me prophesied war, disaster and plague for many countries and for great kingdoms;

9 the prophet who prophesies peace can be recognised as one truly sent by Yahweh only when his word comes true.’

10 The prophet Hananiah then snatched the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it.

11 In front of all the people Hananiah then said, ‘Yahweh says this, “This is how, in exactly two years’ time, I shall break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and take it off the necks of all the nations.” ‘ At this, the prophet Jeremiah went away.

12 After the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke he had snatched off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah,

13 ‘Go to Hananiah and tell him this, “Yahweh says this: You have broken the wooden yokes only to make iron yokes to replace them!

14 For Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: An iron yoke is what I now lay on the necks of all these nations to enslave them to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. (They will be enslaved to him; I have even given him the wild animals.)” ‘

15 The prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah, ‘Listen carefully, Hananiah: Yahweh has not sent you; and thanks to you this people is now relying on what is false.

16 And so, Yahweh says this, “I am going to send you off the face of the earth: you will die this year (since you have preached rebellion against Yahweh).” ‘

17 The prophet Hananiah died the same year, in the seventh month.

Jeremiah 29

1 This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to those who were left of the elders in exile, to the priests, the prophets and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had deported from Jerusalem to Babylon.

2 This was after King Jeconiah had left Jerusalem with the queen mother, the eunuchs, the chief men of Judah and Jerusalem, and the blacksmiths and metalworkers.

3 The letter was entrusted to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah had sent to Babylon, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. The letter said:

4 ‘Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this to all the exiles deported from Jerusalem to Babylon:

5 Build houses, settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce;

6 marry and have sons and daughters; choose wives for your sons, find husbands for your daughters so that these can bear sons and daughters in their turn; you must increase there and not decrease.

7 Work for the good of the city to which I have exiled you; pray to Yahweh on its behalf, since on its welfare yours depends.

8 For Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Do not be deceived by the prophets who are with you or by your diviners; do not listen to the dreams you have,

9 since they prophesy lies to you in my name. I have not sent them, Yahweh declares.

10 For Yahweh says this: When the seventy years granted to Babylon are over, I shall intervene on your behalf and fulfil my favourable promise to you by bringing you back to this place.

11 Yes, I know what plans I have in mind for you, Yahweh declares, plans for peace, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

12 When you call to me and come and pray to me, I shall listen to you.

13 When you search for me, you will find me; when you search wholeheartedly for me,

14 I shall let you find me (Yahweh declares. I shall restore your fortunes and gather you in from all the nations and wherever I have driven you, Yahweh declares. I shall bring you back to the place from which I exiled you).

15 ‘Since you say: Yahweh has raised up prophets for us in Babylon-

16 this is what Yahweh says about the king now occupying the throne of David and all the people living in this city, your brothers who did not go with you into exile:

17 Yahweh Sabaoth says this: I am now going to send them sword, famine and plague; I shall make them like rotten figs, so bad as to be uneatable.

18 I shall pursue them with sword, famine and plague. I shall make them an object of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse, a thing of horror, scorn and derision to all the nations where I have driven them,

19 because they have refused to listen to my words, Yahweh declares, although I have persistently sent them all my servants the prophets; but they would not listen, Yahweh declares.

20 But all you exiles, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon, listen to Yahweh’s word!

21 ‘This is what Yahweh Sabaoth, God of Israel, says about Ahab son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who prophesy lies to you in my name: I shall hand them over now to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon who will put them to death before your very eyes.

22 This curse, based on their fate, will be used by all the exiles of Judah in Babylon: May Yahweh treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab, roasted alive by the king of Babylon,

23 because they have done a scandalous thing in Israel, committing adultery with their neighbour’s wives and speaking lying words in my name without orders from me. I know all the same and am witness to it, Yahweh declares.’

24 ‘And to Shemaiah of Nehelam you will speak as follows:

25 Yahweh Sabaoth, God of Israel, says this: Since you, on your own initiative, have sent a letter to all the people in Jerusalem, to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah (and to all the priests), saying:

26 Yahweh has appointed you priest in place of the priest Jehoiada to keep order in the Temple of Yahweh, to put any crazy fellow posing as a prophet in the stocks and collar,

27 why then have you not disciplined Jeremiah of Anathoth, now posing as a prophet to you?

28 Why, he has even sent us a message in Babylon, saying: It will be a long time. Build houses, settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.’. . .

29 (Now, after the priest Zephaniah had read this letter to the prophet Jeremiah),

30 the word of Yahweh came then to Jeremiah as follows,

31 ‘Send this message to all the exiles, “This is what Yahweh says about Shemaiah of Nehelam: Since Shemaiah has prophesied to you without my sending him, and since he has caused you to rely on what is false

32 for that reason, Yahweh declares, I shall punish Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants; no male member of his family will survive among this people to see the happiness that I will bestow on my people (Yahweh declares, since he has preached rebellion against Yahweh).”‘

Daniel 10

 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was made to Daniel known as Belteshazzar, a true revelation of a great conflict. He grasped the meaning of the revelation; what it meant was disclosed to him in a vision.

2 At that time, I, Daniel, was doing a three-week penance;

3 I ate no agreeable food, touched no meat or wine, and did not anoint myself, until these three weeks were over.

4 On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I stood on the bank of that great river, the Tigris,

5 I raised my eyes to look about me, and this is what I saw: A man dressed in linen, with a belt of pure gold round his waist:

6 his body was like beryl, his face looked like lightning, his eyes were like fiery torches, his arms and his face had the gleam of burnished bronze, the sound of his voice was like the roar of a multitude.

7 I, Daniel, alone saw the apparition; the men who were with me did not see the vision, but so great a trembling overtook them that they fled to hide.

8 I was left alone, gazing on this great vision; I was powerless, my appearance was changed and contorted; my strength deserted me.

9 I heard a voice speaking, and at the sound of the voice I fell fainting, face downwards on the ground.

10 I felt a hand touching me, setting my knees and my hands trembling.

11 He said, ‘Daniel, you are a man specially chosen; understand the words that I am about to say; stand up; I have been sent to you now.’ He said this, and I stood up trembling.

12 He then said, ‘Daniel, do not be afraid: from that first day when, the better to understand, you resolved to mortify yourself before God, your words have been heard; and your words are the reason why I have come.

13 The Prince of the kingdom of Persia has been resisting me for twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the Chief Princes, came to my assistance. I have left him confronting the kings of Persia

14 and have come to tell you what will happen to your people in the final days. For here is a new vision about those days.’

15 When he had said these things to me, I prostrated myself on the ground, without saying a word;

16 then someone looking like a man touched my lips. I opened my mouth to speak, and I said to the person standing in front of me, ‘My lord, anguish overcomes me at this vision, and my strength deserts me.

17 How can your servant speak to my lord now that I have no strength left and my breath fails me?’

18 Once again, the person like a man touched me; he gave me strength.

19 ‘Do not be afraid,’ he said, ‘you are a man specially chosen; peace be with you; play the man, be strong!’ And as he spoke to me I felt strong again and said, ‘Let my lord speak, you have given me strength.’

20 He then said, ‘Do you know why I have come to you?

21 It is to tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. I must go back to fight the Prince of Persia; when I have overcome him, the Prince of Javan will come next.In all this, there is no one to lend me support except Michael your Prince,

Daniel 11

1 on whom I rely to give me support and to reinforce me.

2 And now I shall tell you the truth about these things. ‘Three more kings are going to rise in Persia; a fourth will come and be richer than all the others, and when, thanks to his wealth, he has grown powerful, he will make war on all the kingdoms of Greece.

3 A mighty king will rise and govern a vast empire and do whatever he pleases.

4 But once he has come to power, his empire will be broken up and parcelled out to the four winds of heaven, though not to his descendants: it will not be ruled as he ruled it, for his sovereignty will be uprooted and will pass to others than his own descendants.

5 ‘The king of the south will grow powerful, but one of his princes will grow more powerful still, with an empire greater than his own.

6 Some years later, these will conclude a treaty and, to ratify the agreement, the daughter of the king of the south will go to the king of the north. Her arm will not, however, retain its strength, nor his posterity endure: she will be handed over, she, her escorts and her child, and he who has had authority over her. In due time

7 a sprig from her roots will rise in his place, will march on the defences, force the stronghold of the king of the north, and succeed in overcoming them.

8 He will even carry off all their gods, their statues, their precious gold and silver vessels as booty to Egypt. For some years he will leave the king of the north in peace,

9 but the latter will invade the kingdom of the king of the south, then retire to his own country.

10 His sons will next be on the march, mustering a host of powerful forces; and he will advance, deploy, break through and march on the southern stronghold once again.

11 The king of the south will fly into a rage and set out to give battle to the king of the north, who will have an immense army on his side, but this army will be defeated by him.

12 The army will be annihilated; he will be triumphant; he will overthrow tens of thousands; yet he will have no enduring strength.

13 The king of the north will come back, having recruited an even larger army than before, and finally, after some years, he will advance a second time with a great army and plentiful supplies.

14 At that time, many will take up arms against the king of the south, and the more violent of your own people will rebel in the hope of realising the vision; but they will fail.

15 The king of the north will then come and throw up siege-works to capture a strongly fortified city. The forces of the south will not stand their ground; the pick of the people will not be strong enough to resist.

16 The invader will do as he pleases, no one will be able to resist him: he will take his stand in the Land of Splendour, destruction in his hands.

17 He will set about conquering his entire kingdom, but will then make a treaty with him and, to overthrow the kingdom, give him a woman’s hand; but this will not last or be to his advantage.

18 He will next turn to the coasts and islands and conquer many of them, but a magistrate will put a stop to his outrages in such a way that he will be unable to repay outrage for outrage.

19 ‘He will then turn on the strongholds of his own country, but will stumble, fall, and never be seen again.

20 In his place there will rise a man who will send an extortioner to despoil the royal splendour; in a few days he will be shattered, though neither publicly nor in battle.

21 ‘In his place will rise a wretch: royal honours will not be given to him, but rather he will insinuate himself into them at his pleasure and will gain possession of the kingdom by intrigue.

22 Armies will be utterly routed and crushed by him, the Prince of the covenant too.

23 Through his alliances he will act treacherously and, despite the smallness of his following, grow ever stronger.

24 At his pleasure, he will invade rich provinces, acting as his fathers or his fathers’ fathers never acted, distributing among them plunder, spoil and wealth, plotting his stratagems against the fortresses — for a time.

25 ‘He will summon up his might and courage against the king of the south with a great army. The king of the south will march to warwith a huge and powerful army but will not succeed, since he will be outwitted by trickery.

26 Those who shared his food will ruin him; his army will be swept away, many will fall in the slaughter.

27 ‘The two kings, seated at one table, hearts bent on evil, will tell their lies; but they will not have their way, for the appointed time is still to come.

28 Then the wretch will return greatly enriched to his own country, his heart set against the holy covenant; he will take action and then return to his own country.

29 In due time, he will make his way southwards again, but this time the outcome will not be as before.

30 The ships of the Kittim will oppose him, and he will be worsted. He will retire and take furious action against the holy covenant and, as before, will favour those who forsake that holy covenant.

31 ‘Forces of his will come and profane the Citadel-Sanctuary; they will abolish the perpetual sacrifice and install the appalling abomination there.

32 Those who break the covenant he will seduce by his blandishments, but the people who know their God will stand firm and take action.

33 Those of the people who are wise leaders will instruct many; for some days, however, they will stumble from sword and flame, captivity and pillage.

34 And thus stumbling, little help will they receive, though many will be scheming in their support.

35 Of the wise leaders some will stumble, and so a number of them will be purged, purified and made clean — until the time of the End, for the appointed time is still to come.

36 ‘The king will do as he pleases, growing more and more arrogant, considering himself greater than all the gods; he will utter incredible blasphemies against the God of gods, and he will thrive until the wrath reaches bursting point; for what has been decreed will certainly be fulfilled.

37 Heedless of his fathers’ gods, heedless of the god whom women love, heedless of any god whatever, he will consider himself greatest of all.

38 Instead of them, he will honour the god of fortresses, will honour a god unknown to his ancestors with gold and silver, precious stones and valuable presents.

39 He will use the people of an alien god to defend the fortresses; he will confer great honours on those whom he acknowledges, by giving them wide authority and by parcelling the country out for rent.

40 ‘When the time comes for the End, the king of the south will try conclusions with him; but the king of the north will come storming down on him with chariots, cavalry, and a large fleet. He will invade countries, overrun them and drive on.

41 He will invade the Land of Splendour, and many will fall; but Edom, Moab, and what remains of the sons of Ammon will escape him.

42 ‘He will reach out to attack countries: Egypt will not escape him.

43 The gold and silver treasures and all the valuables of Egypt will lie in his power. Libyans and Cushites will be at his feet:

44 but reports coming from the East and the north will worry him, and in great fury he will set out to bring ruin and complete destruction to many.

45 He will pitch the tents of his royal headquarters between the sea and the mountains of the Holy Splendour. Yet he will come to his end — there will be no help for him.’

Proverbs 16:13-16

13 We shall find treasures of every sort, we shall fill our houses with plunder;

14 throw in your lot with us: one purse between us all.’

15 My child, do not follow them in their way, keep your steps out of their path

16 for their feet hasten to evil, they are quick to shed blood;

Leave a Reply

Like what you are reading? Subscribe and get notified of new posts.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: