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

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Covenant of Salt: Bible Comment on II Chronicles 13 with poem by Arthur Hugh Clough, With Whom is No Variableness, Neither Shadow of Turning

Daily Readings
Sirach 2, I Kings 16, II Chronicles 13, Jeremiah 15

Daily Text: II Chronicles 13

Covenant of Salt
The fascination of II Chronicles 13 lies in the speech given by Abijah of Judah on the occasion of his battle with twice as many forces of Israel arrayed, as we find out subsequently, both before, and unknown to him, behind his troops. In the oration he cites God’s covenant of salt with David and his successors. Such a covenant was a metaphor for permanence [524:380] and was used to nullify Jeroboam’s legitimacy as a monarch over Israel. Like dropping leaflets on Iraq inviting the people not to fight, this oracular piece warns the soldiers of Israel not to fight against ‘the God of their ancestors’, the God they have abandoned. Judah has not abandoned their God, and therefore, Israel cannot succeed against Judah. In fact, she does not, even though she outnumbers and out marshalls the troops of Abijah. The Chronicler says that God defeated Jereboam and all Israel. Again the Chronicler emphasizes God’s faithfulness, even when the players are less than admirable.

With Whom is No Variableness, Neither Shadow of Turning
Arthur Hugh Clough

It fortifies my soul to know
That though I perish, truth is so;
That, howsoe’er I stray and range,
Whate’er I do, Thou dost not change.
I steadier step when I recall
That, if I slip, Thou dost not fall.

Collect for the Day
Look upon us and hear us, O Lord our God; and assist those endeavours to please thee which thou thyself hast granted to us; as thou hast given the first act of will, so give the completion of the work; grant that we may be able to finish what thou hast granted us to wish to begin; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



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