Day 254 – Judgement of Nations

Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read in Proverbs that “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only expressing his opinion.” This was relevant back then and is even more relevant today. As we read the prophets they are relevant to each of us. Do we still take God for granted? Are we indifferent to him? In the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah documents his grief over the destruction of Jerusalem and he is also praying. He is searching for a way to find the Lord in the midst of the destruction and suffering.

Have we learned from the Israelites?

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 47

1 The word of Yahweh that came to Jeremiah about the Philistines before Pharaoh attacked Gaza.

2 ‘Yahweh says this: Look, the waters are rising from the north to become an overwhelming flood, overwhelming the country and all in it, the town and its inhabitants! People cry for help, and there is wailing from all the country’s inhabitants

3 at the thunder of his chargers’ hoofs, the crash of his chariots, the grinding of his wheels. Fathers forget about their children, their hands fall limp

4 because the day has come for all the Philistines to be destroyed, for Tyre and Sidon to be stripped to the last of their allies. Yes, Yahweh is destroying the Philistines, the remnant from the Isle of Caphtor.

5 Baldness has befallen Gaza, Ashkelon has been reduced to silence. You who remain in the valley, how long will you gash yourselves?

6 Oh, sword of Yahweh, how long before you rest? Back into your scabbard, stop, keep still!

7 Yet how can it rest when Yahweh has given it an order, Ashkelon and the sea coast, the targets assigned to it?

Jeremiah 48

1 On Moab. Yahweh, God of Israel, says this: Wretched Nebo, for it has been ravaged, Kiriathaim has been shamed and taken, shame and distraction on the citadel,

2 the pride of Moab is no more! At Heshbon they plotted her downfall, ‘Come, let us put an end to her as a nation!’ And you too, inhabitants of Madmen, will be silenced, the sword will be after you.

3 A cry of agony goes up from Horonaim, ‘Devastation! Dire calamity.

4 Moab has been shattered,’ the agonised cries of her little ones ring out.

5 Up the slope of Luhith, weeping they go. On the road down to Horonaim is heard the shriek of disaster,

6 ‘Away! Flee for your lives like the wild donkey into the desert!’

7 Yes, since you relied on your deeds and your wealth, you will be captured too. Chemosh will go into exile, with all his priests and princes.

8 The despoiler will descend on every town, not one will escape; the Valley will be ravaged, the Plain be plundered as Yahweh has said.

9 Give Moab wings so that she can fly away, for her towns will be laid in ruins where no one will ever live again.

10 (Accursed be he who does Yahweh’s work negligently! Accursed be he who deprives his sword of blood!)

11 From his youth Moab lived at ease, he settled on his lees, never having been decanted, never having gone into exile: and so he kept his own flavour, his aroma was unchanged.

12 And so the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall send him decanters to decant him; they will empty his pitchers and break his wine jars to bits.

13 Moab will be shamed by Chemosh then, as the House of Israel was shamed by Bethel in which they put their trust.

14 How can you say, ‘We are heroes, sturdy fighting men’?

15 Moab has been ravaged, his cities scaled, the flower of his youth goes down to the slaughter, declares the King, whose name is Yahweh Sabaoth.

16 Moab’s ruin is coming soon, his downfall comes at top speed.

17 Grieve for him, all you living near him, all you who knew his name. Say, ‘How shattered it is, that mighty rod, that splendid sceptre!’

18 Come down from your glory, sit on the parched ground, daughter of Dibon, for the despoiler of Moab has advanced on you, he has destroyed your strongholds.

19 Stand by the roadside, keep watch, daughter of Aroer. Question fugitive and runaway, ask, ‘What has happened?’

20 ‘Moab has been shattered and shamed. Wail and shriek! Shout along the Arnon, Moab has been laid waste!’

21 Judgement has also come on the Plain, on Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath,

22 Dibon, Nebo, Beth-Diblathaim,

23 Kiriathaim, Beth-Gamul, Beth-Meon,

24 Kerioth, Bozrah, and all the towns of Moab, far and near.

25 Moab’s horn has been cut off, his arm is broken, Yahweh declares.

26 Make him drunk! He has set himself up against Yahweh; let Moab wallow in his vomit and become a laughing-stock in his turn.

27 Was Israel not a laughing-stock to you? Was he caught red-handed with the thieves, for you to shake your head whenever you mention him?

28 Leave the towns, make the rocks your home, inhabitants of Moab. Learn from the dove that makes its nest in the walls of the gaping gorge.

29 We have heard about Moab’s pride, so very proud! What arrogance! What pride! What conceit! What a haughty heart!

30 -I know all about his presumption, Yahweh declares, his empty boasting, those empty deeds of his!

31 -and so I lament for Moab, for all Moab I raise my cry and mourn for the people of Kir-Heres.

32 More than for Jazer I weep for you, vineyard of Sibmah: your shoots stretched beyond the sea, they reached all the way to Jazer. On your harvest and vintage the despoiler has descended.

33 Gladness and joy have vanished from the orchards of Moab. I have dried up the wine in the presses, the treader of grapes treads no more, the joyful shouting has ceased.

34 The cries of Heshbon and Elealeh can be heard as far as Jahaz. The shrieks resound from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-Shelishiyah, for even the Waters of Nimrim have become a wasteland.

35 And in Moab I shall make an end, Yahweh declares, of anyone offering sacrifice on the high places and anyone offering incense to his gods.

36 That is why my heart sobs like a flute for Moab, sobs like a flute for the people of Kir-Heres, since the wealth he had acquired is lost.

37 Yes, every head is shaved, every beard cut off, gashes are on every hand, sackcloth round every waist.

38 On all the housetops of Moab and in all its squares there is nothing but lamenting, for I have broken Moab like an unwanted pot, Yahweh declares.

39 How shattered he is! Wail! Moab so shamefully in retreat! Moab has become a laughing-stock, a thing of horror to all his neighbours.

40 For Yahweh says this: (Look, like an eagle, he will hover, spreading his wings over Moab.)

41 The towns have been captured, the strongholds seized. (And the heart of Moab’s warriors, that day, will be like that of a woman in labour pains.)

42 Moab will be destroyed, no longer a people, for setting itself up against Yahweh.

43 Terror, the pit and the snare for you, inhabitant of Moab, Yahweh declares.

44 And anyone who escapes from terror will fall into the pit, and anyone who climbs out of the pit will be caught in the snare. Yes, I shall bring all this on Moab when the year comes for punishing them, Yahweh declares.

45 In the shelter of Heshbon the fugitives have paused, exhausted. But fire will burst from Heshbon, a flame from the palace of Sihon, consuming the brows of Moab, the head of a turbulent brood.

46 Disaster for you, Moab! The people of Chemosh are lost! For your sons have been taken into exile and your daughters into captivity.

47 But I shall bring back Moab’s captives in the final days, Yahweh declares. Thus far the judgement on Moab.

Lamentations 2

1 In his anger, with what darkness has the Lord enveloped the daughter of Zion! He has flung the beauty of Israel from heaven to the ground, without regard for his footstool on the day of his anger.

2 The Lord pitilessly engulfed all the homes of Jacob; in his fury he tore down the fortresses of the daughter of Judah; he threw to the ground, he desecrated the kingdom and its princes.

3 In his burning anger he broke all the might of Israel, withdrew his protecting right hand at the coming of the enemy, and blazed against Jacob like a fire that burns up everything near it.

4 Like an enemy he bent his bow, and his right hand held firm; like a foe he slaughtered all those who were a delight to see; on the tent of the daughter of Zion he poured out his fury like fire.

5 The Lord behaved like an enemy; he engulfed Israel, he engulfed all its citadels, he destroyed its fortresses and for the daughter of Judah multiplied weeping on wailing.

6 He wrecked his domain like a garden, destroyed his assembly-points, Yahweh erased the memory of festivals and Sabbaths in Zion; in the heat of his anger he treated king and priest with contempt.

7 The Lord has rejected his altar, he has come to loathe his sanctuary and has given her palace walls into the clutches of the enemy; from the uproar they made in Yahweh’s temple it might have been a festival day!

8 Yahweh has resolved to destroy the walls of the daughter of Zion, stretching out the line, not staying his hand until he has engulfed everything, thus bringing mourning on wall and rampart; alike they crumbled.

9 Her gates have sunk into the ground; he has broken and shattered their bars. Her king and her princes are among the gentiles, there is no instruction, furthermore her prophets cannot find any vision from Yahweh.

10 Mute, they sit on the ground, the elders of the daughter of Zion; they have put dust on their heads and wrapped themselves in sackcloth. The young girls of Jerusalem bow their heads to the ground.

11 My eyes are worn out with weeping, my inmost being is in ferment, my heart plummets at the destruction of my young people, as the children and babies grow faint in the streets of the city.

12 They keep saying to their mothers, ‘Where is some food?’ as they faint like wounded men in the streets of the city, as they breathe their last on their mothers’ breasts.

13 To what can I compare or liken you, daughter of Jerusalem? Who can rescue and comfort you, young daughter of Zion? For huge as the sea is your ruin: who can heal you?

14 The visions your prophets had for you were deceptive whitewash; they did not lay bare your guilt so as to change your fortunes: the visions they told you were deceptive.

15 All who pass your way clap their hands at the sight; they whistle and shake their heads over the daughter of Jerusalem, ‘Is this the city they call Perfection of Beauty, the joy of the whole world?’

16 Your enemies open their mouths in chorus against you; they whistle and grind their teeth; they say, ‘We have swallowed her up. This is the day we were waiting for; at last we have seen it!’

17 Yahweh has done what he planned, has carried out his threat, as he ordained long ago: he has destroyed without pity, increasing the might of your foes — and letting your foes get the credit.

18 Cry then to the Lord, rampart of the daughter of Zion; let your tears flow like a torrent, day and night; allow yourself no respite, give your eyes no rest!

19 Up, cry out in the night-time as each watch begins! Pour your heart out like water in Yahweh’s presence! Raise your hands to him for the lives of your children (who faint with hunger at the end of every street)!

20 Look, Yahweh, and consider: whom have you ever treated like this? Should women eat their little ones, the children they have nursed? Should priest and prophet be slaughtered in the Lord’s sanctuary?

21 Children and old people are lying on the ground in the streets; my young men and young girls have fallen by the sword; you have killed them, on the day of your anger, you have slaughtered them pitilessly.

22 As though to a festival you called together terrors from all sides, so that, on the day of Yahweh’s anger, none escaped and nonesurvived. Those whom I had nursed and reared, my enemy has annihilated them all.

Proverbs 18:1-4

1 Whoever lives alone follows private whims, and is angered by advice of any kind.

2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding but only in airing an opinion.

3 When wickedness comes, indignity comes too, and, with contempt, dishonour.

4 Deep waters, such are human words: a gushing stream, the utterance of wisdom.

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