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Tag Archives: Israel

TODAY’S BIBLE READING (JEREMIAH 31:31-34)

I WILL MAKE A NEW COVENANT AND WILL NEVER CALL THEIR SIN TO MIND.

Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda:

Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt: the covenant which they made void, and I had dominion over them, saith the Lord.

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying: Know the Lord: for all shall know me from the least of them even to the greatest, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (2 KINGS 17:5-8, 13-15, 18)

THE LORD THRUST ISRAEL AWAY FROM HIM. THERE WAS NONE LEFT BUT THE TRIBE OF JUDAH.

The king of Assyria invaded the whole country and, coming to Samaria, laid siege to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah on the Habor, a river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

This happened because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the grip of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. They worshipped other gods, they followed the practices of the nations that the Lord had dispossessed for them.

And yet through all the prophets and all the seers the Lord had given Israel and Judah this warning, ‘Turn away from your wicked ways and keep my commandments and my laws in accordance with the entire Law I laid down for your fathers and delivered to them through my servants the prophets.’ But they would not listen, they were more stubborn than their ancestors had been who had no faith in the Lord their God. They despised his laws and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the warnings he had given them. For this, the Lord was enraged with Israel and thrust them away from him. There was none left but the tribe of Judah only.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (1 KINGS 18:41-46)

(Previous reading of Week 10 – 1 Kings 18:20-39)

MAY THIS PEOPLE KNOW THAT YOU, LORD, ARE GOD AND ARE WINNING BACK THEIR HEARTS.

Ahab called all Israel together and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah stepped out in front of all the people. “How long” he said “do you mean to hobble first on one leg then on the other? If the Lord is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.” But the people never said a word. Elijah then said to them, “I, I alone, am left as a prophet of the Lord, while the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty. Let two bulls be given us; let them choose one for themselves, dismember it and lay it on the wood, but not set fire to it. I in my turn will prepare the other bull, but not set fire to it. You must call on the name of your god, and I shall call on the name of mine; the god who answers with fire, is God indeed.” The people all answered, “Agreed!” Elijah then said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull and begin, for there are more of you. Call on the name of your god but light no fire.” They took the bull and prepared it, and from morning to midday they called on the name of Baal. “O Baal, answer us!” they cried, but there was no voice, no answer, as they performed their hobbling dance round the altar they had made. Midday came, and Elijah mocked them. “Call louder,” he said “for he is a god: he is preoccupied or he is busy, or he has gone on a journey; perhaps he is asleep and will wake up.” So they shouted louder and gashed themselves, as their custom was, with swords and spears until the blood flowed down them. Midday passed, and they ranted on until the time the offering is presented; but there was no voice, no answer, no attention given to them.

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come closer to me,” and all the people came closer to him. He repaired the altar of the Lord which had been broken down. Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, “Israel shall be your name,” and built an altar in the name of the Lord. Round the altar he dug a trench of a size to hold two measures of seed. He then arranged the wood, dismembered the bull, and laid it on the wood. Then he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the holocaust and on the wood”; this they did. He said, “Do it a second time”; they did it a second time. He said, “Do it a third time”; they did it a third time. The water flowed round the altar and the trench itself was full of water. At the time when the offering was presented, Elijah the prophet stepped forward. “Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel,” he said “let them know today that you are Lord in Israel, and that I am your servant, that I have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that you, Lord, are God and are winning back their hearts.”

Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the holocaust and wood and licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this they fell on their faces. “The Lord is God,” they cried, “the Lord is God.”

1 Kings 18:41-46

ELIJAH PRAYED AND THE SKY GAVE RAIN.

Elijah said to Ahab, “Go back, eat and drink; for I hear the sound of rain.” While Ahab went back to eat and drink, Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel and bowed down to the earth, putting his face between his knees. “Now go up,” he told his servant “and look out to the sea.” He went up and looked. “There is nothing at all” he said. “Go back seven times” Elijah said. The seventh time, the servant said, “Now there is a cloud, small as a man’s hand, rising from the sea.” Elijah said, “Go and say to Ahab, ‘Harness the chariot and go down before the rain stops you.'” And with that the sky grew dark with cloud and storm, and rain fell in torrents. Ahab mounted his chariot and made for Jezreel. The hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and tucking up his cloak he ran in front of Ahab as far as the outskirts of Jezreel.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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15th FEBRUARY, BIBLE READING (1 KINGS 12:26-32; 13:33-34)

JEROBOAM MADE TWO GOLDEN CALVES.

Jeroboam thought to himself, “As things are, the kingdom will revert to the House of David. If this people continues to go up to the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem to offer sacrifices, the people’s heart will turn back again to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will put me to death.”

So the king thought this over and then made two golden calves; he said to the people, “You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough. Here are your gods, Israel; these brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” He set up one in Bethel and the people went in possession all the way to Dan in front of the other. He set up the temple of the high places and appointed priests from ordinary families, who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam also instituted a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth of the month, like the feast that was kept in Judah, and he went up to the altar.

That was how he behaved in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made; and at Bethel he put the priests of the high places he had established.

Jeroboam did not give up his wicked ways after this incident, but went on appointing priests for the high places from the common people. He consecrated as priests of the high places any who wished to be. Such conduct made the House of Jeroboam a sinful House, and caused its ruin and extinction from the face of the earth.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 
 

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29th JANUARY, BIBLE READING (2 SAMUEL 7:4-17)

YOUR HOUSE AND YOUR SOVEREIGNTY WILL ALWAYS STAND SECURE BEFORE ME.

The word of the Lord came to Nathan:
“Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I have never stayed in a house from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until today, but have always led a wanderer’s life in a tent. In all my journeying with the whole people of Israel, did I say to any one of the judges of Israel, whom I had appointed as shepherds of Israel my people: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’ This is what you must say to my servant David, ‘The Lord of hosts says this: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. (It is he who shall build a house for my name, and I will make his royal throne secure for ever.) I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Yet I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.'”
Nathan related all these words to David and this whole revelation.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 
 

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27th JANUARY, BIBLE READING (2 SAMUEL 5:1-7, 10)

YOU SHALL BE SHEPHERD OF MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.

All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron. “Look,” they said, “we are your own flesh and blood. In days past when Saul was our king, it was you who led Israel in all their exploits; and the Lord said to you, ‘You are the man who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you shall be the leader of Israel.'” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them at Hebron in the presence of the Lord, and they anointed David king of Israel.

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years. He reigned in Hebron over Judah for seven years and six months; then he reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.

David and his men marched on Jerusalem against the Jebusites living there. These said to David, “You will not get in here. The blind and the lame will hold you off.” (That is to say: David will never get in here.) But David captured the fortress of Zion, that is, the Citadel of David.

He grew greater and greater, and the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 
 

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24th JANUARY, BIBLE READING (1 SAMUEL 24:3-21)

I WILL NOT RAISE MY HAND AGAINST HIM, FOR HE IS THE ANOINTED OF THE LORD.

Saul took three thousand men chosen from the whole of Israel and went in search of David and his men east of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. He came to the sheep-folds along the route where there was a cave, and went in to cover his feet. Now David and his men were sitting in the recess of the cave; David’s men said to him, “Today is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘I will deliver your enemy into your power, do what you like with him.’ David stood up and, unobserved, cut off the border of Saul’s cloak. Afterwards David reproached himself for having cut off the border of Saul’s cloak. He said to his men, “The Lord preserve me from doing such a thing to my lord and raising my hand against him, for he is the anointed of the Lord.” David gave his men strict instructions, forbidding them to attack Saul.

Saul then left the cave and went on his way. After this, David too left the cave and called after Saul, “My lord king!” Saul looked behind him and David bowed to the ground and did homage. Then David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the men who say to you, ‘David means to harm you’? Why, your own eyes have seen today how the Lord put you in my power in the cave and how I refused to kill you, but spared you. ‘I will not raise my hand against my lord,’ I said, ‘for he is the anointed of the Lord.’ O my father, see, look at the border of your cloak in my hand. Since I cut off the border of your cloak, yet did not kill you, you must acknowledge frankly that there is neither malice nor treason in my mind. I have not offended against you, yet you hunt me down to take my life. May the Lord judge between me and you, and may the Lord avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be laid on you. (As the old proverb says: Wickedness goes out from the wicked, and my hand will not be laid on you.) On whose trail has the king of Israel set out? On whose trail are you in hot pursuit? On the trail of a dead dog! On the trail of a single flea! May the Lord be the judge and decide between me and you; may he take up my cause and defend it and give judgement for me, freeing me from your power.”

When David had finished saying these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is that your voice, my son David?” And Saul wept aloud. “You are more upright than I,” he said to David, “for you have repaid me with good while I have repaid you with evil. Today you have crowned your goodness towards me since the Lord had put me in your power yet you did not kill me. When a man comes on his enemy, does he let him go unmolested? May the Lord reward you for the goodness you have shown me today. Now I know you will indeed reign and that the sovereignty in Israel will be secure in your hands.”

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 
 

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