Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

God's Flexibility

Daily Readings
Psalm 7 Genesis 9 Isaiah 10:5-32 Acts 8

Daily Text: Isaiah 10:5-32

God’s Flexibility
In this passage are some five prophecies. The most powerful being that of vss.5-15, when God is using Assyria to discipline Samaria and Jerusalem, but he reserves the right for his anger to wane against his chosen, vss. 24-27a, and to come back to haunt Assyria!. The turning of his anger is demonstrated in vss. 16-19; historical references are given in Isaiah 37:36-38 and a twin passage in II Kings 19:35-37. There the 185, 000 soldiers struck by the angel of the Lord may well be the result of the wasting sickness of 10.16! Some historians have suggested bubonic plague [107:173]!
Another example of God’s flexibility is in the use of the name-sign given as Shear-jashub in chapter 7, meaning ‘a remnant shall return.’ In chapter 7 it is used as encouragement for Ahaz for it promises that only a remnant of Samaria’s (and Syria’s) armies shall be left in a very short period of time. In chapter 10:20-23, that a remnant shall be left to the Northern Kingdom is a promise to Israel. It is used consistently for Israel, but interpreted differently.
Such is the LORD’s sovereignty that he may punish and reward who he wills, when he wills. Has anything changed?

Hour to Remember
Lord Byron

The Assyrian came down
like a wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming
in purple and gold….

Like the leaves of the forest
when Summer is green,
That host with their banners
at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest
when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow
lay withered and strown….

And the might of the Gentile,
unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow
in the glance of the Lord!

Collect for the Day
O loving God,
to turn away from you is to fall,
to turn toward you is to rise,
and to stand before you is to abide forever.
Grant us, dear God,
in all our duties your help;
in all our uncertainties your guidance;
in all our dangers your protection;
and in all our sorrows your peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[Book of Common Worship, p. 23, #25, Augustine of Hippo, 354-430]


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