Archive for the ‘Prophecy’ Category

Jeremiah 50-52

Good Friday, April 15, 2022

Babylon Shall Be Delivered – Part VI

We have read the prophecies against the conquerors. We have witnessed the rebellion and grave misfortune of Zedekiah. We have seen walls tumble as cities are invaded. Families perish when famine sets in. We have gone into exile with Jehoiachin and his people. And we stumble into Babylon, weeping for our losses and pain. We grieve the loss of what was, and we hope for what might be.

As we observe the memorial of Good Friday when Jesus suffers death on the cross for his wayward sisters and brothers, we consider our own deliverance as we pray.

Good and gracious God, when we waiver in our belief that you are all we need, give us your strength.

Good and generous, God, when we tire of our travail and feel ourselves undone by life, bring us your courage.

Good and patient God, when we falter in our confidence in your work among us, send us the deepness of your hope.

Good and tender God, when we see no end to our suffering, deliver us with the joy of your love.


Tomorrow, salvation at last. 

Image from: https://biblestudymedia.com/blogs/daily-lectionary-devotional/god-is-in-the-business-of-deliverance

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Jeremiah 50-52

Holy Thursday, April 14, 2022

Babylon Shall Be Delivered – Part V

Finally, after an onslaught of horror and tragedy on the battlefield, deliverance arrives. At last, after families are forever destroyed and trauma sets in for generations, favor is shown. Finally, after buildings that once sheltered those who yearned to live in peace are now demolished, and places of refuge and worship are desecrated, yes finally, peace and grace settle upon a people exiled by conflict. It is a time for weeping. It is a time for healing. It is a time for restoration.

Today the church celebrates the loving bond between Jesus and his sisters and brothers in the rite of foot washing as a liturgical element that demonstrates Jesus’ love for humanity. Today we study The Favor Shown to Jehoiachin: In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, Evil-merodach, king of Babylon, in the inaugural year of his reign, took up the case of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, and released him from prison. He spoke kindly to him and gave him a throne higher than that of other kings who were with him in Babylon. Jehoiachin took off his prison garb and ate at the king’s table as long as he lived. The allowance given him by the king of Babylon was a personal allowance, in fixed daily amounts, all the days of his life until the day of is death. (Jeremiah 52:31-34)

These closing words of Jeremiah’s prophecy remind us that even when our lives are darkest, the possibility of redemption remains. Like Jehoiachin, we will throw off our prison garb. The Lord himself will wash our feet and we will eat at the high table. We will receive the daily dose of God’s providence and care for the rest of our lives. We will be delivered.

As we move toward Easter Day, we must continue to put our case forward. Continue to ask for God’s insight and grace. Continue to petition the heavens to ask that our mourning be turned into rejoicing.

Tomorrow, a prayer for those awaiting deliverance.

Image from: https://www.glcdenison.org/cleansed-by-a-servant

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Jeremiah 50-52

Holy Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Babylon Shall Be Delivered – Part IV

We have looked at how the conquerors become the conquered and we have considered that through the lens of Christ we see God’s wrath as God’s love. We have also considered what we believe we see through this accounting. Today we continue to explore Jeremiah’s prophecy as we discover and affirm what it is we believe. Do we lose heart as we focus only on the horrors and terrors of war, or are we open to loving our enemies into goodness as Jesus asks?

We believe that our consoling and loving God wants complete restoration for the faithful and calls to us to join God in the days when the virgins shall make merry and dance, and young men and old as well . . . [when] mourning will be turned into joy . . . [when the Lord will] console and gladden them after their sorrows.

We believe that despite what we see and hear in the news about our world, despite the tragedies that unfold daily in war zones around the planet, we are offered a life in which war wages no more, when never again shall the city be rooted up or thrown down. 

We believe that we are to act in our hope of the fulfillment of these prophecies of Jeremiah, the promises of our God, of Yahweh for a new covenant has replaced the Law . . . and it now written in our hearts. 

We believe that we are to act in the faith and knowledge that Yahweh is our God . . . and we are God’s people . . . and all, from the greatest to the least, now knows the Lord.

We believe that we are to act in love because we are forgiven . . . our sin remembered no more.

We believe that we are the New Jerusalem for we are delivered . . . from all the places to which we have been banished . . . we have been brought back from exile.

We believe that rather than look at the ruin around us we must focus on the promise of fulfillment and restoration for we are the light, we are the hope, we are The Way.

Let us give thanks to the Lord for this new opportunity to begin new life with softened hearts. Let us give thanks for the many Blessings and Graces God bestows on each of us in this time of renewal and resurrection.

Tomorrow, deliverance.

For Bible commentary, click on the image or visit: https://explainingthebook.com/2017/04/30/jeremiah-52-summary/

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James Tissot: The Ark Passes Over the Jordan

Jeremiah 50-52

Holy Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Babylon Shall Be Delivered – Part III

As we continue to explore the historical appendix in Chapter 52 describing the fall of Jerusalem to the Chaldeans (Babylonians), we find details of what happens to the Jewish leadership.  The description is simple but in places horrific, reading like a newspaper report submitted by a correspondent for the evening edition.

Serve Babylon or perish . . . Leave her, my people, let each one save himself from the burning wrath of the Lord. 

I once heard a wise woman say that each time she reads about the wrath of the Lord or the admonition to fear the Lord in the Old Testament that she substitutes the word love. . . because with the New Testament and the coming of Jesus, the complications of the Mosaic Law are transformed into the one word of the New Law. The wrathful God who reigns terror and demands obedience becomes the loving God who calls us to perfect union in him, with him, and for him in the person of Christ and the Mystical Body. This wise woman said that as mighty as the wrath of God is in the early days of history, so passionate is his love for us in the Messianic Days in which we live . . . the days between the First and the Second Coming.  This gives us something to ponder.

I believe that we are constantly in Babylon, rendering unto her as Jesus said that we must render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.  We must serve Babylon or perish. This is where we have been planted.

I believe that a new wave of Persians is always at the gate, amassing forces as numerous as locusts. These are the things of this world, and they are always with us.

I believe that our forgiving and compassionate God regrets the evil he has done us, just as loving parents regret the discipline which they must administer.

Tomorrow, the power of God’s consoling love.

Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:James_Jacques_Joseph_Tissot_-_The_Ark_Passes_Over_the_Jordan_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Visit a model of Solomon’s Temple at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, NY at: https://www.metmuseum.org/blogs/metkids/2020/solomons-temple-model-judaica 

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Jeremiah 50-52

Holy Monday, April 11, 2022

Babylon Shall Be Delivered – Part II

Today we continue our study of thoughts on empire and conquerors as we explore words from the prophet Jeremiah to the suffering people of a fallen kingdom. The conquering Babylonians now suffer in the way they had inflicted suffering on others.

51:30 – Babylon’s warriors have ceased to fight, they remain in their strongholds; dried up is their strength, they have become women. Burned are their homes and broken their bars. One runner meets another, herald meets herald, telling the King of Babylon that all his city is taken. 

These verses are followed by images of Daughter Babylon being trodden like a threshing floor, just as Israel had been trodden by the king, Nebuchadnezzar.  Now we read severe imagery of what a horror Babylon has become among nations. The prophecy continues, exhorting the people to flee: Leave her, my people, let each one save himself from the burning wrath of the Lord. 

Verses 59 to 64 complete the prophecy of Jeremiah.  These lines describe how Seraiah, the brother of Baruch, Jeremiah’s secretary, is to take these words to Babylon, proclaim them, and tie a stone around them and throw them into the Euphrates river as a demonstration of how Babylon will fall.

Tomorrow, a prayer for deliverance from empire.

Image from: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/map-of-the-babylonian-empire-under-king-nebukhadnetzar 

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The Golden Ark

Palm Sunday, April 10, 2022

Jeremiah 50 – 52

Babylon Shall Be Delivered – Part I

As we enter the holiest week of the liturgical calendar, and as we consider the state of war in Europe and other locations around the globe, let us reflect on the lessons of human history and what happens to imperialist thinkers and invading forces. 

Footnotes will tell us that the Greek translation of verse 1 of Chapter 50 of the Book of Jeremiah lacks the words “through the prophet Jeremiah” and it is believed that what we read here is a gathering of many prophecies against Babylon to be appended in this book.  Editors tell us that Chapter 50 and the first 58 verses of Chapter 51 were likely written by people other than Jeremiah after the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.E. Babylon herself was to fall to the Persians in 538. The golden vessels of the Jerusalem temple were carried away in 586 to be returned in 538. We have often reflected on the idea that from time to time we must serve Babylon or perish. Today we see the fall of that empire to another.

Spend time with Jeremiah 50-52 today to see what words of wisdom this ancient prophecy offers us in our modern world. 

Tomorrow, exploring ancient words. 

To learn more about the Ark of the Covenant, click on the image or visit: https://www.livescience.com/64932-the-ark-of-the-covenant.html

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Ezekiel 13:22-23: Against the Prophets of Peace – Part V

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Deception, lies, conspiracies, delusions, fantasies. Truth, fidelity, steadfastness,
openness, love. The forces of light and darkness are with us always. Ezekiel
warns those who yearn for peace that the journey will not be simple. Jesus
reminds us daily that The Way is strewn with obstacles and traps. Today, as we
prepare to enter the holiest of weeks in the liturgical year, we reflect on the
invitation that lies open to us, waiting for our willing hands to join in the passage
from fear to hope, from gloom to joy.  

“‘Because you’ve confounded and confused good people, unsuspecting and innocent people, with your lies, and because you’ve made it easy for others to persist in evil so that it wouldn’t even dawn on them to turn to me so I could save them, as of now you’re
finished. No more delusion-mongering from you, no more sermonic lies. I’m going
to rescue my people from your clutches. And you’ll realize that I am God.’”

And so, we ask . . .

Are we willing to begin a journey we know will be difficult? Can we discern
the hand of Christ that stretches out to greet us? If we have already begun
this journey, can we gather the energy and the will to again join the caravan
of faithful that go up to Jerusalem each year? Are we ready for rescue? Do we
realize that God is God, the creator and lover of each of us?

Tomorrow, Hosanna and Palm Sunday.

Image from: https://www.theologyofbusiness.com/cease-striving-reasons-to-rest-on-the-sabbath/path-to-the-light/

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Ezekiel 13:13-16: Against the Prophets of Peace – Part IV

Friday, April 8, 2022

Many times, in our Noontime journey, we have reflected on the harshness of the words of Ezekiel’s Old Testament God and we have seen how Jesus fulfills the prophecy of doom. Rather than take advantage of those who suffer, Jesus walks among the sick and wounded to heal and cure. Jesus dines with sinners not to take advantage of good food and wine but to listen endlessly and to question wisely. Jesus takes on the sins of all to offer each of us the incomparable gift of sister and brotherhood. Finding us amid the rubble of our deconstructed walls that we worked so hard to whitewash and purify, Jesus takes us to himself. Jesus restores, rectifies, and reconstitutes. And then Jesus invites us to join him and to do the same.


“And that’s exactly what will happen. I, God, the Master, say so: ‘I’ll let the hurricane of my wrath loose, a torrent of my hailstone-anger. I’ll make that wall you’ve slapped with whitewash collapse. I’ll level it to the ground so that only the foundation stones will be left. And in the ruin you’ll all die. You’ll realize then that I am God. ‘I’ll dump my wrath on that wall, all of it, and on those who plastered it with whitewash. I will say to them, There is no wall, and those who did such a good job of whitewashing it wasted their time, those prophets of Israel who preached to Jerusalem and announced all their visions telling us things were just fine when they weren’t at all fine. Decree of God, the Master.’

And so, we ask . . .

Am I willing to take hold of the hand Jesus offers? Will I walk away from the wreckage of my walls? Will I join others with whom I had differences and perhaps swore to never enjoin? Do I give to Christ all that I have gathered? All I have stored up? All I have relied upon? Do I put away my fears and anger to place all my trust in God?

Tomorrow, rescue.

Image from: https://www.smartshelterfoundation.org/smart-shelter-techniques/21-improving-building-quality/

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Ezekiel 13:10-12: Against the Prophets of Peace – Part III

Thursday, April 7, 2022

We have built walls and also torn down barriers. We have jumped on band wagons and also stood alone on firm principle. We have allowed ourselves to join group think and also waded through the facile misconceptions and alluring conspiracies. Today we hear Ezekiel call out to us, if might only listen and heed.

“The fact is that they’ve lied to my people. They’ve said, ‘No problem; everything’s just fine,’ when things are not at all fine. When people build a wall, they’re right behind them slapping on whitewash. Tell those who are slapping on the whitewash, ‘When a torrent of rain comes and the hailstones crash down and the hurricane sweeps in and the wall collapses, what’s the good of the whitewash that you slapped on so liberally, making it look so good?’

And so, we ask . . .

When have we gleefully slapped wide swipes of whitewash on the faces of truth? Why have we ignored truths are self-evident and preached lies that are outlandish? How have we joined those who rise up against prophets and when have we fought back against blatant ignorance and fear? These are all difficult questions. These are all beautiful opportunities to rise in the incense of our sacrifice for Christ.

Tomorrow, the hurricane. 

Image from: https://resin-expert.com/en/guide/how-to-whitewash-brick 

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