So many gems!
Nuggets! (mmmm McNuggets 😋😋😋)
It is almost unbelievable and almost not fair
So this is going to be a FULL DAY
What’s the story (Morning Glory)?
In Jeremiah Ch 28 we have Hananiah the FALSE PROPHET
Hananiah says, “Listen, in two years Nebuchadnezzar is going to be completely destroyed and the people of Israel will come back. Nebuchadnezzar will fall and everything is going to be fine in two years.”
Remember at this time, Jeremiah is wearing this yoke around his neck for almost a full month
Jeremiah 28:1, “In that same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the FIFTH MONTH of the FOURTH YEAR…”
Jeremiah put the yoke on in the FOURTH MONTH of the FOURTH YEAR
He is using this visual aid of the YOKE
Hananiah is saying that Nebuchadnezzar’s reign will end
Jeremiah says, “That would be great. Amen. That would be awesome if that happened. It’s not going to happen.”
Jeremiah 28:10, “Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke...and broke them.”
In response, Jeremiah has POWERFUL WORDS
Jeremiah 28:13, “Thus says the Lord: You have broken wooden bars, but I will make in their place bars of iron.”
So you’ve broken a WOODEN yoke
I will make an IRON yoke
IT IS SO POWERFUL
The context is that as long as you continue to NOT REPENT
As long as you continue to act as if PEACE WILL BE HANDED TO YOU
As long as you continue to act as if NEBUCHADNEZZAR IS NOT GOING TO COMPLETELY DESTROY AND EXILE EVERYBODY
Then the WOODEN YOKE, which was a MERCY for you, will become an IRON YOKE, which is a PUNISHMENT
Here is God using Nebuchadnezzar, not a good guy, to accomplish HIS WILL
That WILL is that God’s people COME BACK TO HIM
THAT IS THE WOODEN YOKE
Jeremiah says, “Ok, because you have not SUBMITTED to this wooden yoke, there is going to be an iron yoke.”
The wooden yoke is actually HARD
Two waves of exile already
All this destruction
BUT THERE IS GOING TO BE AN IRON YOKE
God gives us his WORD
God gives us his COMMANDMENTS
If we look at them as a YOKE, they are at times BURDENSOME
In so many ways, it is much easier TO DO WHAT WE WANT
God’s commandments are a WOODEN YOKE
Jesus even says, “Take my yoke upon you. Learn from me.”
We all experience CROSSES in our lives
We also experience God’s COMMANDMENTS
We also experience God CALLING US BACK TO HIMSELF
If we do not SUBMIT TO THAT YOKE…
God often ALLOWS us to experience the CONSEQUENCES
You can dismiss God’s commandments when it comes to how we look at money and then MONEY IS GOING TO OWN YOU
You can dismiss God’s commandments when it comes to how much concern you give to other people’s opinion of you and then OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS ARE GOING TO OWN YOU
You can dismiss God’s commandments when it comes to the right use of things...
(The right use of alcohol)
(The right use of food)
(The right use of sex)
...and what is going to happen is that those things are GOING TO OWN YOU
ASK ANY ADDICT!!
At some point, I dismissed what I knew was the RIGHT THING and I gave myself over to this thing and IT OWNED ME
This is the example Jeremiah gives about THE WOODEN YOKE VS. THE IRON YOKE
The wooden yoke is a MERCY OF GOD
It is called to LEAD US TO HIM
The iron yoke is the PUNISHMENT
Jeremiah is saying, “That is on its way because you are not going to surrender to the wooden yoke.”
Later on, Hananiah dies within two months
He said that Nebuchadnezzar would die within two years
God says, “Nope. Hananiah, you had a job and that job was to be a prophet. Not a bad prophet but a good prophet. Not telling the people what they wanted to hear but what they needed to hear. And what they needed to hear is that there is no peace. What Jeremiah was saying. So you’re going to die in two months.”
And Hananiah dies in two months
Jeremiah Ch 29 is Jeremiah’s Letters to the Exiles in Babylon
Remember there were at this point two waves of Exile
Daniel and his buddies in the FIRST WAVE
Ezekiel and his crew in the SECOND WAVE
Jeremiah tells the people HOW TO LIVE IN EXILE
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US
A lot of times, the options we look at and think if we are living in exile we are living in occupied territory
You can either BE A REBEL or you could CAPITULATE
You could either plot against the government or you could be one of the stooges of the government
Jeremiah says there is ANOTHER DIFFERENT WAY
“You can recognize that you are living here for 70 years. Therefore, live as exiles but live as exiles knowing you are GOING HOME.”
SO LIVE AS IF THIS IS YOUR HOME FOR 70 YEARS
Yes, it is a long time
BUT IT IS NOT FOREVER
SO BUILD HOMES
PLANT SOME CROPS
He even tells them to marry other jews in exile, but do not marry the Babylonians
CARRY ON THAT FAITH
Jeremiah says, “Here’s the deal. You are going to be here seventy years. It’s a long time but not forever. Here is how you live in Exile. You continue to pray for those who are in charge of you.”
THAT IS SO REMARKABLE!
Jeremiah hands this PROMISE to them
Jeremiah 29:11 God says through Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”
THIS IS SO GOOD!
GOSH SO MANY THINGS TO SAY!
Recognize that Jeremiah is writing these words of God
Two people who have experienced DEVASTATION
They are in the middle of DEVASTATION
This is not stitched on a pillow or a t-shirt
This is not a card in their Bible
THIS IS THEIR LIFE
THEIR LIFE IS EXILE
THEY HAVE BEEN UPROOTED FROM HOME
THEY ARE IN A PLACE OF GREAT DESOLATION
It would be REALLY EASY to be convinced that GOD ABANDONED THEM
It would be REALLY EASY to be convinced that GOD FORGOT ABOUT THEM
Jeremiah is saying, “GOD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU. HE HAS NOT ABANDONED YOU. HE HAS A FUTURE FOR YOU.”
That is the context
Here is the truth
There are some scripture scholars who say, “Listen people, I know you like this verse. But don’t start thinking you can start applying this to your life. God is saying these words to people in a very particular context, the context being Exile in Babylon. So don’t go applying it to your life.”
Fr. Mike would say, “I appreciate the fact that you are wanting to contextualize Scripture. We can’t take our TEXT out of the CONTEXT. But at the same time, while we acknowledge the context of being exile of the Jews in Babylon, we also know that our God is our Dad. God has become our Father when we are Baptized in Jesus. We become His sons and daughters. So the promise that God makes to the Jewish people in Exile, is that any greater than the promise he makes to us?”
THE ANSWER IS NO!!!
Now, we need to know the context
At the same time, WE CANNOT FORGET
We can’t just say, “Well, that’s only THEN. But God does not have that word for ME now.”
GOD HAS THAT WORD FOR YOU RIGHT NOW!!!
GOD HAS A PLAN!!
GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR WELFARE, NOT FOR YOUR WOE!!
Now, at the same time the rest of Jeremiah Ch 29 is about THREE MORE FALSE PROPHETS
Two get roasted to death
One gets killed
Yeah, we gotta be faithful to the Lord who knows our very hairs on our head
God loves us very much
WE HAVE TO BE FAITHFUL BECAUSE GOD IS NOT JUST A GOD OF MERCY, BUT HE IS A GOD OF JUSTICE!!
THAT IS A LOT!!
Fr. Mike is so sorry (WHY??!! I’M LOVING THIS!! 😉)
Now onwards to Daniel Ch 10
Daniel’s Vision “for Days Yet to Come”
An angel visits him
Remember, Daniel has heard about the devastation that is going to come upon the beloved people
So he has begun FASTING AND PENANCE
Daniel 10:2, “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks.”
Finally, there is this ANGEL
This MESSENGER appears and says, “Daniel, from the moment that you began to pray, God heard you. And I was sent.”
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT
There are MANY MANY TIMES when we are praying and it seems like NOTHING IS HAPPENING
WHAT IS HAPPENING, GOD?
Here is the angel who comes to Daniel and says, “No, from the moment that you began to pray, God heard your voice and He sent me.”
There is this mysterious thing happening
He sends the Prince of Persia (great video game by the way 🤓)
We think is maybe like the demon that belonged to Persia
Some kind of dark force
Some kind of dark persona
Some kind of fallen angel prevented the angel from coming to Daniel
St. Michael the Archangel fought against this Prince of Persia and allowed this messenger angel to come to Daniel and give him this message
There is more going on than what we can see
We need to be reminded of that POWERFUL THING
God hears us from the VERY MOMENT WE BEGIN TO PRAY
SO WE DO NOT GIVE UP!!
Daniel did not give up after fasting and doing penance and praying for three weeks
GOD HAD HEARD HIM!!
THIS IS SO SO IMPORTANT!!
Daniel Ch 11 is so important
We can’t go into ALL THE WAYS in which Daniel’s prophecy in Ch 11 HAVE BEEN FULFILLED
NOT ONLY FULFILLED
BUT FULFILLED IN DETAIL
The word “fulfilled'' sounds funny in Fr. Mike’s head (but why doesn’t the word “vague” sound funny in his head? 🤪 I’m kidding of course, brothers and sisters in Minnesota!! 🤪)
Does the word “fulfilled'' sound funny in your head?
Here is how DEEPLY AND PROFOUNDLY AND PRECISELY Daniel’s prophecy in Ch 11 has been FULFILLED
Those people who do not believe in Biblical prophecy are CONVINCED that Daniel Ch 11 was written AFTER THE FACT
That is how ACCURATE the words of prophecy of this chapter are
For those who don’t believe that GOD INTERACTS WITH US
For those who don’t believe that GOD EXISTS
For those who don’t believe in the POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD
This prophecy is SO EXACT and SO PRECISE that these people have to tell themselves, “Oh this must have been written after the fact.”
IT IS INCREDIBLE!!
It essentially talks about Alexander the Great coming on
He died around age 31 or 32
He didn’t have any children to take over his empire that he established
So four of his generals took it over
Ptolemy I in the south
Seleucids in the north
They fought against each other
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!
We also have Antiochus I Epiphanes who sets up the desolation and abomination in the Temple of God himself
We will get to that in The Book of Maccabees
But this is an AMAZING PROPHECY of Daniel
Daniel 11:32, “He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant; but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.”
THIS IS SO GOOD!!
There is going to be devastation
Alexander the Great and all the people fighting after him
Remember, this is the vision of Daniel who is able to see not just the political rising and falling, but HERE IS THE UNSEEN REALITY
HERE IS HOW GOD IS FIGHTING FOR HIS PEOPLE
THIS IS SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT FOR US TO REALIZE
THOSE WHO KNOW THEIR GOD SHALL STAND FIRM AND TAKE ACTION
Daniel 11:33, “And those among the people who are wise shall make many understand, though they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder, for some days.”
THERE IS TROUBLE AND TRIBULATION
THERE IS SO MUCH GRACE
THERE IS SO MUCH BLESSING
This is a long one today!
If you made it through, Fr. Mike is SO PROUD OF YOU!!
MAN OH MAN!! (we haven’t heard that in a while, eh? 😉)
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER