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Day 257 – Choose to Love


Thoughts and Reflections

Today we read that Zedekiah runs away when he has a chance regardless of all the posturing he has done. If he would have listened to Jeremiah, to begin with, it would have saved a lot of pain and suffering from his people. It all could have been avoided and many lives saved. A good leader should know when there is the right time to fight and when to surrender.

Nebazaradan will tear down the Temple, the great houses of Jerusalem, and the city walls. All the gold and bronze that Solomon used to build the temple by is taken by the Babylonians and all that is left is a pile of rubble.

We also read the shortest book of the bible, Obadiah. In it, he preaches to the Edomites. They are the descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob. Obadiah tells the Edomites that they will be destroyed because they did not help Israel in their time of need.

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 52

1 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamital daughter of Jeremiah, of Libnah.

2 He did what is displeasing to Yahweh, just as Jehoiakim had done.

3 That this should happen to Jerusalem and Judah was due to Yahweh’s anger, resulting in his casting them away from his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

4 In the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon advanced on Jerusalem with his entire army; he pitched camp in front of the city and threw up earthworks round it.

5 The city lay under siege till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.

6 In the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, when famine was raging in the city and there was no food for the populace,

7 a breach was made in the city wall. The king and all the fighting men then fled, leaving the city under cover of dark, by way of the gate between the two walls, which is near the king’s garden — the Chaldaeans had surrounded the city — and made his way towards the Arabah. 

8 The Chaldaean troops pursued the king and caught up with Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, where all his troops deserted.

9 But the Chaldaeans captured the king and took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the territory of Hamath, where he passed sentence on him.

10 He had Zedekiah’s sons slaughtered before his eyes; he also had all the chief men of Judah put to death at Riblah.

11 He then put out Zedekiah’s eyes and, loading him with chains, the king of Babylon carried him off to Babylon where he kept him prisoner until his dying day.

12 In the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month — it was in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon — Nebuzaradan commander of the guard, a member of the king of Babylon’s staff, entered Jerusalem.

13 He burnt down the Temple of Yahweh, the royal palace and all the houses in Jerusalem.

14 The Chaldaean troops who accompanied the commander of the guard demolished all the walls surrounding Jerusalem.

15 Nebuzaradan commander of the guard deported (some of the poor people and) the remainder of the population left in the city, the deserters who had gone over to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the artisans.

16 But Nebuzaradan commander of the guard left some of the poor country-people behind as vineyard workers and ploughmen.

17 The Chaldaeans broke up the bronze pillars from the Temple of Yahweh, the wheeled stands and the bronze Sea, which were in the Temple of Yahweh, and took all the bronze away to Babylon.

18 They also took the ash containers, the scoops, the knives, the sprinkling bowls, the incense bowls, and all the bronze furnishings used in worship.

19 The commander of the guard also took the bowls, the censers, the sprinkling bowls, the ash containers, the lamp-stands, the goblets and the saucers: everything that was made of gold and everything made of silver.

20 As regards the two pillars, the one Sea, the twelve bronze oxen supporting the Sea, and the wheeled stands, which King Solomonhad made for the Temple of Yahweh, there was no reckoning the weight of bronze in all these objects.

21 As regards the pillars, the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits, its circumference was twelve cubits, it was four fingers thick, and hollow inside;

22 on it stood a capital of bronze, the height of the capital being five cubits; round the capital were filigree and pomegranates, all in bronze. So also for the second pillar.

23 There were ninety-six pomegranates round the sides, making a hundred pomegranates round the filigree in all.

24 The commander of the guard took prisoner Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank, and the three guardians of the threshold.

25 In the city he took prisoner an official who was in command of the fighting men, seven of the king’s personal friends who were discovered in the city, the secretary to the army commander responsible for military conscription, and sixty men of distinction discovered in the city. 

26 Nebuzaradan commander of the guard took these men and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah,

27 and at Riblah, in the territory of Hamath, the king of Babylon had them put to death. Thus Judah was deported from its country.

28 The number of people deported by Nebuchadnezzar was as follows. In the seventh year: three thousand and twenty-three Judaeans;

29 in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, eight hundred and thirty-two persons were deported from Jerusalem;

30 in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan commander of the guard deported seven hundred and forty-five Judaeans. In all: four thousand six hundred persons.

31 But in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in the year he came to the throne, pardoned Jehoiachin king of Judah and released him from prison.

32 He treated him kindly and allotted him a seat above those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon.

33 So Jehoiachin laid aside his prisoner’s garb and for the rest of his life always ate at the king’s table.

34 And his upkeep was permanently ensured by the king, day after day, for the rest of his life until the day he died.

Obadiah

1 Vision of Obadiah: about Edom. I have received a message from Yahweh, a herald has been sent throughout the nations: ‘Up! Let us march against this people. Into battle!’ The Lord Yahweh says this:

2 Look, I have reduced you to the smallest of nations, you are now beneath contempt.

3 Your proud heart has misled you, you whose home is in the crannies of the Rock, who make the heights your dwelling, who think to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to earth?’

4 Though you soar like an eagle, though you set your nest among the stars, I shall bring you down from there!-declares Yahweh.

5 If thieves were to come to you (or robbers during the night) surely they would steal only as much as they wanted? If grape-pickers were to come to you, surely they would leave a few gleanings? But how you have been pillaged!

6 How Esau has been looted, his hidden treasures routed out!

7 Your allies all pursued you right to the frontier, your confederates kept you in suspense, then got the better of you, your own guests laid a trap for you, ‘He has quite lost his wits.’

8 When that day comes- declares Yahweh- shall I not eliminate sages from Edom and intelligence from Mount Esau?

9 Your warriors, Teman, will be so demoralised that the people of Mount Esau will be massacred to the last one. For the slaughter,

10 for the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame will cover you and you will be annihilated for ever.

11 On the day, when you stood aloof while strangers carried off his riches, while foreigners passed through his gate and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were as bad as the rest of them.

12 Do not feast your eyes on your brother on the day of his misfortune. Do not gloat over the children of Judah on the day of their ruin. Do not play the braggart on the day of distress.

13 Do not enter my people’s gate on their day of calamity. Do not, you especially, feast your eyes on their suffering on their day of calamity. Do not touch their possessions on their day of calamity.

14 Do not wait at the crossroads to annihilate their fugitives. Do not hand over their survivors on the day of distress.

15 For the Day of Yahweh is near for all the nations. As you have done, so will it be done to you: your deeds will recoil on your own head.

16 Just as you have drunk on my holy mountain, so will all the nations drink continually, they will drink, will drink greedily, but they will be as though they had never been!

17 But on Mount Zion will be those who have escaped -it will be a sanctuary- and the House of Jacob will recover what is rightfully theirs.

18 Then the House of Jacob will be a fire, the House of Joseph a flame, and the House of Esau like stubble. They will set it alight and burn it up, and no one of the House of Esau will survive. Yahweh has spoken.

19 People from the Negeb will occupy the Mount of Esau, people from the lowlands the country of the Philistines; they will occupy Ephraim and Samaria, and Benjamin will occupy Gilead.

20 The exiles of this army, the sons of Israel, will have the Canaanites’ land as far as Zarephthah, while the exiles from Jerusalem now in Sepharad will have the cities of the Negeb.

21 Victorious, they will climb Mount Zion to rule over Mount Esau, and sovereignty will be Yahweh’s!

Proverbs 18:13-16

13 To retort without first listening is both foolish and embarrassing.

14 Sickness the human spirit can endure, but when the spirit is broken, who can bear this?

15 The heart of the intelligent acquires learning, the ears of the wise search for knowledge.

16 A present will open all doors and win access to the great.


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