Day 226: Unfaithful Israel

Jeremiah 3:1-3 Just as we can understand God’s covenant with Israel by comparing it to the bonds of marriage, so too can we understand Christian marriage by an analogy to God’s covenant with his people. In both instances it is a commitment to a faithful communion of love. St. Paul described marriage in terms of Christ’s love for his Church to express the mutual and total self-giving required of both husband and wife (cf. Eph 5:21-33). (CCC 370)

Ch 3:10 Josiah, one of the more virtuous of the Kings of Judah, promoted reforms effectively that reflected the covenant. He banished idolatry from the land, repaired the Temple, and reinstituted the Passover celebration and other feasts. These efforts, however, did not take permanent root among the people and therefore did not result in the widespread conversion required by God’s mandate (cf. 2 Kgs 22-23).

Ch 3:14-24 In spite of such foreboding, this prophecy expresses also a strong measure of hope. Though severe punishment awaited the people, repentance, and conversion would stay the punishing hand of God. Through these prophetic words, God promised to restore Jerusalem to its former glory, drawing the admiration of all people and becoming the center of unity. (CCC 1440)

Ch 3:19 Among my sons: The term does not mean sons by nature as in the case of the divine Person, Jesus Christ. Rather, the ancient Jews applied the term “son of God” to indicate that a person had an especially intimate relationship with God. These included kings, priests, and sometimes prophets. (CCC 440-441)

Ezekiel 29:1-16 The events that led to the Exodus of the Chosen People from Egypt are reflected remotely in the new alliance sought with the Egyptians. Egypt had welcomed the Israelites to its land when famine struck the region of Canaan, but Egypt also later oppressed the Israelites, leading up to God’s intervention through Moses. In the present circumstances, Egypt was also the first choice of Israel’s kings who sought an alliance for the sake of protection and survival. This recourse to the help of Egypt, rather than relying on God, would lead again to severe hardship and oppression. 

Ch 29:17-21 As a reward for Nebuchadnezzar’s execution of God’s judgment to destroy the city of Tyre, God delivered Egypt, a longtime enemy, into the hands of the Babylonians. 

Ch 30:1-26 Egypt would eventually be the subject of God’s judgment for its mistreatment of Israel. Like Israel, Egypt would experience the turmoil of exile, thus establishing a kind of solidarity between these two disparate peoples.

Broken the arm of Pharaoh: Egypt’s demise would be gradual rather than dramatic; “breaking the arm” of Pharaoh indicates the first phase in the nation’s conquest by Babylon.

Make the sword fall from his hand: Breaking the arm of Pharaoh in effect “disarms” him.

Proverbs 14:15 Prudence is the Cardinal Virtue that enables a person to choose the most virtuous action in a given set of circumstances. It guides the judgments made by the conscience and helps us to form a decision on the right course of action. It also guides our use of all the other virtues. (CCC 1806)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise. We thank you once again for this day. We thank you for speaking to us. We thank you for calling us to be yours. We thank you for giving us the grace to turn to you every day once again. Please receive our thanks. Receive our praise this day. And help us to walk in your ways. Help us to be wise. Help us to not be foolish, but to be prudent and to use the gifts you have given us well. Especially the gift of this day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”