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.

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Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Saturday, September 16, 2006

God's Purposes: Bible Comment on II Chronicles 18 with poem by Arthur Campbell Ainger, Purpose

Daily Readings
Sirach 7, I Kings 22, II Chronicles 18, Jeremiah 20

Daily Text: II Chronicles 18

God’s Purposes
Jehoshaphat, one of the Lord’s own has built his defenses against Israel in chapter 17, but in II Chronicles 18, he as formed a marriage alliance with Ahab of Israel, perhaps the most rebellious and evil of all the kings of the northern kingdom. Why he would do such a thing is unanswered, but it brings later disaster upon Judah. In this recital the spotlight is really on Micaiah son of Imlah. He is prophet of the Lord requested by Jehoshaphat and assented to by Ahab, though unwillingly. Micaiah, once he gives his true prophecy in opposition to 400 court prophets of Ahab, is slapped by Zedekiah, one of those court prophets and in a nasty undertone is challenged to decide which way the Lord’s spirit passes from Zedekiah to Micaiah. In like manner Micaiah makes a response that he, Zedekiah will find his answer in the inner chamber when he goes to hide. This is either another prophecy predicting that Zedekiah will learn of his own false words or a rude riposte that when he farts in the bathroom he will discover the value of the spirit within him!

The LORD’S care for Jehoshaphat is borne out in an intriguing recital from the midst of the battle with Syria. At same time Ahab is ignominously and anonymously slain.

Purpose
Arthur Campbell Ainger
1841-1919

God is working his purpose out
as year succeeds to year:
God is working his purpose out,
and the time is drawing near;
nearer and nearer draws the the time,
the time that shall surely be,
when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.

From utmost east to utmost west,
Wherever foot hath trod,
By the mouth of many messengers
Goes forth the voice of God;
Geve ear to me, ye continents, ye isles,
Give ear to me,
That the earth may be filled with the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.

All we can do is nothing worth
Unless God blesses the deed;
Vainly we hope for the harvest tide
Till God gives life to the seed;
Yet nearer and nearer draws the time,
The time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.
The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church, 534

Collect for the Day
Like an ant on a stick both ends of which are burning, I go to and fro without knowing what to do and in great despair. Like the inescapable shadow which follows me, the dead weight of sin haunts me. Graciously look upon me. Thy love is my refuge.

[286:124:420 Prayer from India]

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