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

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Sufficiency of YHWH

Daily Readings
Psalm 22 Genesis 20 Isaiah 20 Acts 18

Daily Text: Isaiah 20

The Sufficiency of YHWH
Another of Isaiah’s signs occurs in this passage. It is not the name of one of his three children, but his own nakedness, including bare-footedness. Like a captive he wanders for three years as a sign to Philistia, perhaps, and Judah, surely, that joining others against Assyria will lead to disaster and captivity. In 715 B.C. Shabako of Ethiopia became Pharaoh of all Egypt. Because of his prowess and great strength he offered hope to the oppressed peoples of the Fertile Crescent. Philistia rebelled first and in verse 1 we see the loss of the city of Ashdod. Verse 3 shows the significance of Isaiah’s act for Ethiopia and Egypt, and that came in 701 B.C. Verse 2 is a parenthesis, giving details of Isaiah’s instructions. Philistia’s rebellion occurred from 713 to 711, ostensibly the same years Isaiah paraded nude. The upshot of the prophecy is that Egypt was defeated in 701 and their captives were taken in like fashion to Assyria.
Verse 5 probably refers to Judah’s disappointment in both 711 and 701. Notice how the one prophecy is used at two different times, and yet the times are combined in an undesignated fashion within a few sentences. Verse 6 is again reflecting the Philistines, the people of the coastland and their renewed despair at seeing Egypt also broken. “How shall we escape”, they cry. Implied is the LORD’s answer for Judah, ‘no one can escape without my assistance.’ Any other reliance is foolish and hopeless.

Alone God Sufficeth
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;
All things are passing;
God never changeth;
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things;
Who God possesseth
In nothing is wanting;
Alone God sufficeth.

Collect for the Day
Father ,
imprint upon our hearts
that because we belong to you
no one can pluck us from your hand,
and because we fear you
we need fear no other.
[A New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 628,
Collect #1, The Church of the Province
of New Zealand, Collins, Auckland, 950 pp.]


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