Day 255 – God is Good

Thoughts and Reflection

Jeremiah is sometimes called the “weeping prophet” because of his complaints. He sees destruction everywhere and is documenting it. In our ,own lives we experience suffering and pain. It can be difficult to remember what happiness and peace feel like. We may feel alone in our own sorrows. We should take time today to pray for those who are hopeless so that they may experience the gift of hope in their lives again.

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!

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 49

1 To the Ammonites. Yahweh says this: Has Israel no sons? Has he no heir? Why should Milcom have inherited Gad and his people have settled in its towns?

2 And so the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall make the war cry ring out for Rabbah-of-the-Ammonites. She will become a desolate mound and her daughter towns will be burnt down. Then Israel will inherit from his heirs, Yahweh says.

3 Wail, Heshbon, for Ar has been laid waste! Shriek, daughters of Rabbah! Wrap yourself in sackcloth, raise the dirge, run to and fro among the sheep-pens! For Milcom is going into exile, with all his priests and princes.

4 How you used to glory in your Valley, rebellious daughter, confident in your resources, ‘Who will dare to attack me?’

5 Look, I shall bring terror on you, Lord Yahweh Sabaoth declares, from all directions; you shall be driven away, everyone for himself, with no one to rally the fugitives.

6 (But later I shall bring back the captive Ammonites, Yahweh declares.)

7 To Edom. Yahweh says this: Is there no wisdom left in Teman? Have the shrewd run out of commonsense, has their wisdom vanished?

8 Away! Take to your heels! Go into hiding, inhabitants of Dedan, for I shall bring ruin on Esau when the time comes for me to punish him.

9 If grape-pickers were to come to you, would they not leave a few gleanings? If robbers came during the night, would they not steal only as much as they wanted?

10 But I for my part have stripped Esau, have laid his hiding places bare: he can hide no longer. His race is destroyed, so are his brothers and neighbours; he is no more!

11 Leave your orphans, I shall support them, and let your widows rely on me!

12 For Yahweh says this, ‘Look, those who would not have had to drink the cup will have to drink it all the same; so why should you go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but will certainly have to drink.

13 For by my own self I have sworn, Yahweh declares, that Bozrah will become an object of horror, a laughing-stock, a desert, a curse, and all its towns ruins for ever.’

14 I have received a message from Yahweh, a herald has been sent throughout the nations, ‘Muster! March against this people! Prepare for battle!’

15 For look, I shall reduce you to the smallest of nations, to the most despised of people.

16 Your reputation for ferocity, your proud heart has misled you. You whose home is in the crannies of the Rock, who cling to the top of the peak! Though you make your nest as high as the eagle’s, I shall bring you down from there, Yahweh declares.

17 Edom will become an object of horror; everyone going near will be appalled, and whistle at the sight of all her wounds.

18 As at the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbouring towns, no one will live there any more, Yahweh says, no human being settle there again.

19 Look, like a lion he climbs from the thickets of the Jordan to the perennial pasture! In a flash, I shall make them run away, and there appoint someone I shall choose. For who is there like me? Who can hale me into court? Name me the shepherd who can stand up to me.

20 So now hear the plan that Yahweh has laid against Edom, the schemes he has in mind against the inhabitants of Teman: they willcertainly be dragged away like the smallest of the flock! Their pastures will certainly be sacked before their eyes!

21 The earth quakes at the sound of their downfall, the sound of it echoes to the Sea of Reeds.

22 Look, like an eagle, he will soar and hover, spreading his wings over Bozrah. And the heart of Edom’s warriors, that day, will be like that of a woman in labour pains.

23 To Damascus. Hamath and Arpad are shamed, for they have heard bad news. They are convulsed with anxiety like the sea that cannot be calmed.

24 Damascus is aghast, she prepares for flight, she is seized with trembling (anguish and sorrow have laid hold on her as on a woman in labour).

25 What now! That famous town deserted, that city of gaiety?

26 And so in her squares her young men will fall, and all her fighting men will perish, that day, Yahweh Sabaoth declares.

27 I shall light a fire inside the walls of Damascus, to devour the palaces of Ben-Hadad.

28 To Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which were conquered by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. Yahweh says this: Up! March on Kedar, destroy the sons of the east!

29 Let their tents and their flocks be captured, their tent-cloths and all their gear; let their camels be seized and the shout go up, ‘Terror on every side!’

30 Away! Get into hiding as fast as you can, inhabitants of Hazor, Yahweh declares, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has made a plan against you, he has a scheme in mind against you,

31 Up! March on a nation at its ease, living secure, Yahweh declares, that has no gates, no bars, that lives in a remote place!

32 Their camels will be the plunder, their countless sheep the spoil. I shall scatter them to the winds, those Crop-Heads, and bring ruin on them from every side, Yahweh declares.

33 Hazor will become the lair of jackals, desolate for ever. No one will live there any more, no human being settle there again.

34 The word of Yahweh that came to the prophet Jeremiah about Elam, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah.

35 ‘Yahweh Sabaoth says this: Look, I shall break Elam’s bow, the source of his might.

36 I shall bring four winds on Elam from the four corners of the sky, and I shall scatter them to all these winds: there will not be a single nation to which people expelled from Elam do not go.

37 I shall make the Elamites tremble before their enemies, before those determined to kill them. I shall bring disaster on them, my burning anger, Yahweh declares. I shall pursue them with the sword until I have destroyed them all.

38 I shall set up my throne in Elam, uprooting its king and princes, Yahweh declares.

39 In the final days, I shall bring Elam’s captives back, Yahweh declares.’

Jeremiah 50

1 The word that Yahweh spoke against Babylon, against the country of the Chaldaeans, through the prophet Jeremiah.

2 Announce it to the nations, proclaim it, hoist a signal and proclaim it, making no secret of it, say, ‘Babylon is captured, Bel disgraced, Marduk shattered. (Her idols are disgraced, her Obscenities shattered.)’

3 For a nation is marching on her from the north, to turn her country into a desert: no one will live there any more; human and animal have fled and gone.

4 In those days and at that time the people of Israel will return (they and the people of Judah); they will come weeping in search of Yahweh their God.

5 They will ask the way to Zion and turn their faces towards her, ‘Come, let us bind ourselves to Yahweh by an everlasting covenant never to be forgotten!’

6 Lost sheep, such were my people; their shepherds led them astray, the mountains misled them; from mountain to hill they went, forgetful of their fold.

7 Whoever came across them devoured them, their enemies said, ‘We are not to blame, since they have sinned against Yahweh, the Home of Justice, against Yahweh, the Hope of their ancestors.’

8 Escape from Babylon, leave the country of the Chaldaeans. Be like he-goats, leading the sheep!

9 For look, I shall raise a league of mighty nations to attack Babylon, from the land of the north. They will take up position against her; by them she will be taken. Their arrows, like an experienced soldier’s, never return in vain.

10 Chaldaea will be plundered, all her plunderers will be satisfied, Yahweh declares.

11 Rejoice! Have your triumph, you plunderers of my heritage! Be playful like a heifer let out to grass! Neigh like stallions!

12 But your mother is covered with shame, disgraced is the woman who bore you; she is the least of nations now; a desert, a parched land, a wasteland.

13 Because of Yahweh’s anger, no one will live there any more, she will become a total solitude. All who pass by Babylon will be appalled and whistle at the sight of all her wounds.

14 Take position against Babylon, surround her, all you who bend the bow. Shoot at her! Do not spare your arrows, for she has sinned against Yahweh!

15 Raise the war cry against her from all sides. She surrenders! Her bastions fall! Her walls collapse! This is Yahweh’s vengeance! Take revenge on her. Treat her as she has treated others.

16 Deprive Babylon of the man who sows, of the man who wields the sickle at harvest. Away from the devastating sword, let everyone return to his own people, let everyone flee to his own country!

17 Israel was a straying sheep pursued by lions. First, the king of Assyria devoured him, and latterly Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon crunched his bones.

18 So Yahweh Sabaoth, God of Israel, says this: Look, I shall punish the king of Babylon and his country as I punished the king of Assyria.

19 I will bring Israel back to his pastures to browse on Carmel and in Bashan, on the highlands of Ephraim and in Gilead, and he will be satisfied.

20 In those days and at that time, Yahweh declares, you may look for Israel’s guilt, it will not be there, for Judah’s sins, you will not find them, for I shall pardon the remnant that I leave.

21 March on the country of Merathaim, march on it and on the inhabitants of Pekod; slaughter and curse with destruction every last one of them, Yahweh declares, carry out my orders to the letter!

22 The din of battle fills the country, immense destruction.

23 How utterly shattered that hammer of the whole world! What a thing of horror Babylon has become throughout the nations!

24 I set a snare for you, Babylon; you were caught before you knew it. You have been found and overpowered for having defied Yahweh.

25 Yahweh has opened his armoury and taken out the weapons of his fury. For Lord Yahweh Sabaoth has work to do in the country of the Chaldaeans.

26 Fall on her from every side, open her granaries, pile her in heaps, curse her with destruction, until nothing is left of her.

27 Slaughter all her bulls, down to the slaughterhouse with them! Disaster on them, their day has come, their time for being punished.

28 Listen! Fugitives and runaways from the country of Babylon arrive in Zion and proclaim the revenge of Yahweh our God, revenge for his Temple!

29 Call up the archers against Babylon! All you who bend the bow, invest her on all sides, leave her no way of escape. Repay her as her deeds deserve; treat her as she has treated others, for she was arrogant to Yahweh, to the Holy One of Israel.

30 And so in her squares her young men will fall, and all her fighting men will perish, that day, Yahweh declares.

31 My quarrel is with you, ‘Arrogance!’ Lord Yahweh Sabaoth declares, your day has come, the time for me to punish you.

32 ‘Arrogance’ will stumble, she will fall, no one will lift her up: I shall set fire to her towns and it will devour all around it.

33 Yahweh Sabaoth says this: The people of Israel are oppressed (and the people of Judah too), all their captors hold them fast, they willnot let them go.

34 But their redeemer is strong: Yahweh Sabaoth is his name. He will take up their cause, to give our country rest but make the inhabitants of Babylon tremble.

35 A sword against the Chaldaeans, Yahweh declares, against the inhabitants of Babylon, against her princes and her sages!

36 A sword against her diviners: may they lose their wits! A sword against her warriors: may they panic!

37 A sword against her horses, her chariots and the conglomeration of people inside her: may they be like women! A sword against her treasures: may they be plundered!

38 Drought on her waters: may they dry up! For it is a country of idols, and they are mad about those bogeys of theirs!

39 Hence wild cats and jackals will live there, and ostriches make their home there. She will never again be inhabited, for ever, but remain uninhabited age after age.

40 As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and their neighbouring towns, Yahweh declares, no one will live there any more, no human being settle there again.

41 Look, a people is coming from the north, a mighty nation; from the far ends of the earth many kings are stirring.

42 They are armed with bow and spear, they are cruel and pitiless; their noise is like the roaring of the sea; they ride horses, ready as one man to fight you, daughter of Babylon!

43 The king of Babylon has heard the news, his hands fall limp, anguish has seized him, pain like that of a woman in labour.

44 Look, like a lion he climbs the thickets of the Jordan to the perennial pasture! In a flash I shall make them run away and there appoint someone I shall choose. For who is there like me? Who can hale me into court? Name me the shepherd who can stand up to me.

45 So now hear the plan that Yahweh has laid against Babylon, the schemes he has in mind against the country of the Chaldaeans: they will certainly be dragged away like the smallest in the flock! Their pastures will certainly be sacked before their eyes!

46 The earth quakes at the sound of Babylon’s capture, and the shouting echoes through the nations.

Lamentations 3

1 I am the man familiar with misery under the rod of his fury.

2 He has led and guided me into darkness, not light.

3 Against none but me does he turn his hand, again and again, all day.

4 He has wasted my flesh and skin away, has broken my bones.

5 He has besieged me and made hardship a circlet round my head.

6 He has forced me to dwell where all is dark, like those long-dead in their everlasting home.

7 He has walled me in so that I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains;

8 even when I shout for help, he shuts out my prayer.

9 He has closed my way with blocks of stone, he has obstructed my paths.

10 For me he is a lurking bear, a lion in hiding.

11 Heading me off, he has torn me apart, leaving me shattered.

12 He has bent his bow and used me as a target for his arrows.

13 He has shot deep into me with shafts from his quiver.

14 I have become a joke to all my own people, their refrain all day long.

15 He has given me my fill of bitterness, he has made me drunk with wormwood.

16 He has broken my teeth with gravel, he has fed me on ashes.

17 I have been deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is

18 and thought, ‘My lasting hope in Yahweh is lost.’

19 Bring to mind my misery and anguish; it is wormwood and gall!

20 My heart dwells on this continually and sinks within me.

21 This is what I shall keep in mind and so regain some hope:

22 Surely Yahweh’s mercies are not over, his deeds of faithful love not exhausted;

23 every morning they are renewed; great is his faithfulness!

24 ‘Yahweh is all I have,’ I say to myself, ‘and so I shall put my hope in him.’

25 Yahweh is good to those who trust him, to all who search for him.

26 It is good to wait in silence for Yahweh to save.

27 It is good for someone to bear the yoke from a young age,

28 to sit in solitude and silence when it weighs heavy,

29 to lay one’s head in the dust — maybe there is hope-

30 to offer one’s cheek to the striker, to have one’s fill of disgrace!

31 For the Lord will not reject anyone for ever.

32 If he brings grief, he will have pity out of the fullness of his faithful love,

33 for it is not for his own pleasure that he torments and grieves the human race.

34 When all the prisoners in a country are crushed underfoot,

35 when human rights are overridden in defiance of the Most High,

36 when someone is cheated of justice, does not the Lord see it?

37 Who has only to speak and it is so done? Who commands, if not the Lord?

38 From where, if not from the mouth of the Most High, do evil and good come?

39 Why then should anyone complain? Better to be bold against one’s sins.

40 Let us examine our path, let us ponder it and return to Yahweh.

41 Let us raise our hearts and hands to God in heaven.

42 We are the ones who have sinned, who have rebelled, and you have not forgiven.

43 You have enveloped us in anger, pursuing us, slaughtering without pity.

44 You have wrapped yourself in a cloud too thick for prayer to pierce.

45 You have reduced us to rubbish and refuse among the nations.

46 Our enemies open their mouths in chorus against us.

47 Terror and pitfall have been our lot, ravage and ruin.

48 My eyes dissolve in torrents of tears at the ruin of my beloved people.

49 My eyes will weep ceaselessly, without relief,

50 until Yahweh looks down and sees from heaven.

51 My eyes have grown sore over all the daughters of my city.

52 Unprovoked, my enemies hunted me down like a bird.

53 They shut me finally in a pit, they closed me in with a stone.

54 The waters rose over my head; I thought, ‘I am lost!’

55 Yahweh, I called on your name from the deep pit.

56 You heard my voice, do not close your ear to my prayer, to my cry.

57 You are near when I call to you. You said, ‘Do not be afraid!’

58 Lord, you defended my cause, you have redeemed my life.

59 Yahweh, you have seen the wrong done to me, grant me redress.

60 You have seen their vindictiveness, all their plots against me.

61 You have heard their insults, Yahweh, all their plots against me,

62 the whispering and murmuring of my enemies against me all day long.

63 Look, whether they sit or stand, I am their refrain.

64 Yahweh, repay them as their deeds deserve.

65 Lay hardness of heart as your curse on them.

66 Angrily pursue them, root them out from under your heavens!

Proverbs 18:5-8

5 It is not good to show partiality for the wicked and so to deprive the upright when giving judgement.

6 The lips of a fool go to the law-courts with a mouth that pleads for a beating.

7 The mouth of the fool works its owner’s ruin, the lips of a fool are a snare for their owner’s life.

8 The words of a slanderer are tasty morsels that go right down into the belly.

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