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

Monday, June 05, 2006

Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Foot: Bible Comment on Ezekiel 6 with poem by John Newton, In Evil Long I Took Delight

Daily Readings
Psalm 77, Judges 1:1-2:5, Ezekiel 6, James 5

Daily Text: Ezekiel 6

Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Foot
Ezekiel 6 calls for the prophet to ‘Clap your hands and stamp your foot.’ No! This is not an ancient clogging exhibition. It is a sort of advertising, however, a way to draw public attention to Israel’s vile behavior and the terrible reality that God would expend his fury on them.

In the middle section of the chapter there is recognition that some of those fleeing the high places would live to see exile and live to recognize their wrong doing and the righteousness of the Lord’s position. This is a new element in Ezekiel’s prophecy, but one that will be seen again later.

In Evil Long I Took Delight
John Newton


In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopp’d my wild career:
I saw One hanging on a Tree
In agonies and blood,
Who fix’d His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath
Can I forget that look:
It seem’d to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke:
My conscience felt and own’d the guilt,
And plunged me in despair:
I saw my sins His Blood had spilt,
And help’d to nail Him there.

Alas! I knew not what I did!
But now my tears are vain:
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain!
--A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou may’st live.”

Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.
With pleasing grief, and mournful joy,
My spirit now is fill’d,
That I should such a life destroy,--
Yet live by Him I kill’d!

Collect for the Day
God of saving power, remember us in times of sorrow and despair. Redeem us with your strength and guide us through the wilderness. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. [476:805:77 Psalm prayer]


Blogger Norm said...

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12:13 PM  
Blogger Norm said...

Mountains are important because Israel had built improper religious sites on them. The term high place could refer to anything from a small ritual platform to a temple complex. High places are frequently related to Canaanite religious practices. For OT polemic agains high places, see 2 King23:8; Jer19:5 (high places could also be located in valleys; so Jer7:31). Even Yawistic high places were to have been destroyed after the reforms of Josiah. Instead of the sacrifices normally expected at the high places, God will provide corpses.

12:15 PM  

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