Day 213: The Redeemer
Isaiah 47:1-15 This prophecy depicts Babylon ironically, describing it as both a virgin and a mistress since it had never been conquered or made a vassal but would become a slave when defeated by Persia.
Ch 48:1-16 This passage summarized the key consolations already covered in Isaiah.
The Lord God...his Spirit: Church tradition sees this line as a shrouded hint about the Trinity, which had not yet been revealed fully and explicitly.
Ch 48:17-19 The peace that God gives-which the world cannot give-requires obedience to the divine plan expressed in the Law and Commandments. Fidelity to God’s will ultimately results in many blessings and fruitfulness in spreading good.
Ch 48:20-22 The return of the exiles to their homeland was reminiscent of the liberation of the Israelites from their enslavement in Egypt as they journeyed to the Promised Land.
Ezekiel 8:1-18 The description of the “form that had the appearance of a man,” though more succinct, is similar to Ezekiel’s vision in Chapter 1, indicating again that he was seeing the glory of God.
Image of Jealousy: A pagan idol had been erected near the Temple entrance during the reign of King Manasseh. God’s attitude toward pagan idols is described in the Ten Commandments as one of jealousy (cf. Ex 5:20). The Lord showed Ezekiel images of the terrible pagan abominations that had taken place in the Temple, expressed both in art and in worship. (CCC 399, 2737)
Ch 9:1-11 The punishment inflicted upon the people was brutal. Nevertheless, Nebucahdnezzar’s invading armies served the purpose of purifying his people and ultimately moving them to repentance. (CCC 310-311)
Ch 9:4-6 Mark upon the foreheads: This is one of many Old Testament references that prefigures the indelible marks, or permanent seals, conferred by the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, which are intimately linked to a sharing in the priesthood of Christ according to the Sacrament received. In this vision of Ezekiel, the mark similarly identifies those who truly fear the Lord and who are faithful, while those without the mark remain in an unrepentant state.
Begin at my sanctuary: In the prophetic writings, it is often the religious and civic leaders who receive the harshest condemnation, given the harm and scandal inflicted on others. (CCC 1296)
Proverbs 12:13-23 These verses give a practical lesson in prudence by stressing discretion in speech, which must be marked by sincerity and charity. (CCC 1788, 1806)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
Fr. Mike mentioned the Hallow App!
In Isaiah Chs 47 and 48 you might have caught this
Isaiah Ch 47 is all about the HUMILIATION OF BABYLON
Isaiah is talking about Babylon coming, taking them into EXILE, they are going to destroy, and they are going to be the MASSIVE SUPERPOWER OF THE WORLD
Isaiah 47:3, “Your nakedness will be uncovered, and your shame shall be seen. I will take vengeance, and I will spare no man.”
God already prophesied through Isaiah that King Cyrus of Persia would come
Now, here is God prophesying JUDGMENT UPON BABYLON
THIS IS SO POWERFUL!!
The Babylonians are making it clear
Isaiah 47:10, “You felt secure in your wickedness, you said, ‘No one sees me’; your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’”
They were PROUD
They believed that they DID NOT NEED HELP AND THEY DID NOT NEED GOD
So God is HUMILIATING AND HUMBLING THEM
Isaiah Ch 48 is a word of the Lord to Israel itself
The Gentile nation of Babylon thought they did not need God
Here is Israel who ALSO WERE UNFAITHFUL to their Creator and Redeemer
Because of that God says they will experience JUDGMENT
THIS IS IMPORTANT
Isaiah 48:17, “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. O that you had listened to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea; your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains…’”
Basically God is saying, “I am bringing my JUDGMENT upon you because you have been UNFAITHFUL. AND YET ALSO if you turn back to me, ONCE AGAIN I will RESTORE YOU.”
THIS IS REALLY INCREDIBLE!!
Isaiah Ch 47 is about JUDGMENT AGAINST BABYLON
Isaiah Ch 48 is about JUDGMENT AGAINST ISRAEL
God’s PROMISE to Israel
“I AM STILL YOUR REDEEMER!”
“I AM GOING TO BE YOUR SAVIOR!”
“I DO AND WILL SAVE YOU!”
So on to Ezekiel Ch 8
Ezekiel is by the river, far far away from Jerusalem
The Lord takes Ezekiel in a vision to see Jerusalem
In this vision, he sees the Temple
He sees not only the Temple, he also sees all the ABOMINATIONS going on in the Temple
FALSE WORSHIP OF FALSE GODS
Ezekiel also sees THE GLORY OF GOD PRESENT IN THE TEMPLE
THIS IS SO MASSIVELY IMPORTANT!!
Remember, Ezekiel had the incredible vision of the Lord God with that bronze image of himself on fire encapsulated in incredible power
He sees that PRESENCE OF GOD in the Temple of God
This is a vision that goes from Ezekiel Ch 8 to Ch 11
By the end of Ezekiel Chs 10 and 11, the Glory of God would have DEPARTED FROM THE TEMPLE
THIS IS TRAGIC!!
But in Ezekiel Chs 8 and 9 he sees that the GLORY OF GOD IS STILL THERE
We also see that God keeps calling Ezekiel “Son of man”
What does this mean?
We see this term A LOT in the Bible
Jesus refers to HIMSELF as SON OF MAN
In this case, all it means is that Ezekiel is a HUMAN BEING
It just simply means he is a SON OF ADAM, a SON OF HUMAN BEINGS, so Ezekiel is a HUMAN BEING
In Daniel Ch 7, SON OF MAN takes on an ENTIRELY NEW MEANING
The SON OF MAN is the one to whom God hands ALL AUTHORITY, POWER, DOMINION, AND KINGDOM
So when Jesus calls himself SON OF MAN, he is NOT really claiming to only be HUMAN
He is TAKING CLAIM ON THAT PROMISE IN DANIEL CH 7
So when Jesus claims SON OF MAN he is not just claiming, “I’M HUMAN YOU GUYS!!”
Jesus is ALSO claiming, “I’M HUMAN. BUT I HAVE RECEIVED THE POWER, THE DOMINION, AND THE GLORY FROM THE ETERNAL GOD!”
This next part is INCREDIBLE…
Ezekiel Ch 9, here is God who has this prophetic word to these six men to go out with the sword and put to death all those who do not have this MARK ON THEIR FOREHEADS
There is a man DRESSED IN LINEN
That linen IS A SIGN OF PRIESTHOOD
THIS IS A KEY THING
This man is told to PUT A MARK ON THE FOREHEADS of all those who MOURN THE ABOMINATIONS HAPPENING IN THE TEMPLE
The MARK is the Hebrew Word “TAW”
The Hebrew word “TAW” means lower case t, which is a CROSS
This is one of those FORESHADOWING MOMENTS THAT IS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE
We realize that those people MOURNING THE LOSS OF TRUE WORSHIP IN THE TEMPLE
Those people MOURNING THE ABOMINATIONS IN THE TEMPLE
WERE MARKED WITH A CROSS ON THEIR FOREHEADS!!
THIS SPARED THEIR LIVES!
It’s one of the reasons that at every Baptism, the priest, deacon, bishop, and even the parents and godparents make the SIGN OF THE CROSS on the forehead of the child or any person getting baptized
It’s one of the things we do on ASH WEDNESDAY DURING LENT!!
WE GET MARKED WITH THE SIGN OF THE CROSS ON OUR FOREHEAD!!
Ezekiel Ch 9 is a FORESHADOWING OF THE LORD’S GOODNESS!!
HE WILL LAY DOWN HIS LIFE BY HUMBLY SUBMITTING TO DEATH ON A CROSS!!
“WOW, GOD, YOU PLANNED THIS WAY FAR IN ADVANCE!!”
IT IS INCREDIBLE!!
IT IS INCREDIBLE!!
GOD IS GOOD!!
WHAT HE HAS DONE IS WONDERFUL IN OUR EYES!!
What a gift it is to be able to be with you today
To be able to pray with you
To be able to HEAR THE WORD OF GOD
Hopefully you did not hear the lawnmower and the weedwacker in the background
I didn’t hear it
We got to let God’s Word GET THROUGH TO US
WE NEED HIS WORD TO PERMEATE OUR LIVES
TO TRANSFORM THE WAY WE SEE
TO TRANSFORM THE WAY WE LOVE
TO TRANSFORM THE WAY WE WALK IN THIS WORLD
Fr. Mike is praying that this happens for YOU
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE THAT IT HAPPENS FOR HIM TOO
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and we give you glory and we thank you so much for your Word. We thank you for the gift of life and we thank you for the fact that things are alive, Lord God. Honestly, life is your gift. That we grow and we change is your gift. Both when we grow in strength and also when we grow in age and in weakness. Lord God, even in our infirmities you can make yourself known. Even in our weakness you can make your power known. And you do. You often choose to do that. So we give you permission to make yourself known to us and to the world in our weakness. We give you permission to make yourself known to us and to others around us in our brokenness and our woundedness. We make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”