(click on the date above for today's readings)
Lamentations 3:1-66 ~ Hebrews 1:1-14
Psalm 102:1-28 ~ Proverbs 26:21-22
Lamentations Chapter 3 today starts out quite sad & empty in verses 1-20. As I read through some of these verses, I thought to myself - "this reminds me of some days I have on occasion." :) Of course, the reason for this sadness and emptiness in these opening verses is God's discipline toward the people of Jerusalem at this time. They had sinned greatly and this discipline had come upon them. I think the thing to remember in seasons like this is that it is indeed a season. This too shall pass. If we repent & learn & grow and return to the Lord. Indeed, we see the transition in chapter 21:
"Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this.." I love this - "I still dare to hope" even in the midst of so much sadness & emptiness. In the midst of our tough seasons in life, can we still dare to hope? Should we still dare to hope? Will you still dare to hope?
Chapter 22 to 66 in today's readings are just phenomenal. I could write on and on about probably each of these verses. There is so much here for us. I'd encourage you to read these verses at least twice and meditate on them in your life. I'll jump through a few verses here that jump out.
Verse 23 - "Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day." Do you experience God's mercies afresh each day? Do you believe that you can?
Verse 25 - "The LORD is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him." If you are not experiencing God now, will you wait for him? Will you seek him? (this reminds me of Jeremy Camp's tune on his worship album - "I'll wait for the Lord. My soul waits". Great tune and great reminder that we sometimes need to wait on the Lord).
Today we start the book of Hebrews! What a wonderful book.... I read somewhere that this book is a "letter of encouragement." I do pray this book will encourage you. There is so much in this one..
The author of the book of Hebrews is unknown for sure. For many centuries, it was thought to be Paul. However, around the time of the Reformation it was thought that this letter was not from Paul, because the writing style is so different from his other letters - and because in all of his other letters, he identifies himself as the writer of the letter. Some now think that either Barnabas or Apollos were two of the potential writers of this letter. It was likely written before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70, because the temple is referred to as if it still exists in this letter. A good overview of the book of Hebrews is online here.
What I love about Hebrews is the multitudes of references back to Old Testament scriptures. As you read through Hebrews, I would encourage you to take now of how many OT scriptures this book is referring back to.
In today's chapter 1, the first 3 chapters set the stage incredibly well for this book - "Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. But now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he made the universe and everything in it. The Son reflects God's own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. He sustains the universe by the mighty power of his command. After he died to cleanse us from the stain of sin, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God of heaven." Wow... great stuff. We have indeed been reading recently about God speaking through Jeremiah in our One Year Bible readings. And here we are reminded that God is now speakig to us through Jesus. How do these 3 verses above speak to your heart?
The remaining verses in today's reading refer to a bunch of OT scriptures that tell us Jesus is God. He is not an angel, but is God's only Son who formed the earth and everything in it. One very cool thing about our One Year Bible readings today is that we get some verses here in Hebrews 1:10-12 that correlate with our readings in Psalm 102:25-27:
"Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
Even they will perish, but you remain forever.
They will wear out like old clothing.
You will roll them up like an old coat.
They will fade away like old clothing.
But you are always the same;
you will never grow old."
Psalm 102 is a great reminder to us on the importance to pray. To bring our troubles to the Lord.
Proverbs 26:22 is another great reminder that rumors can invade our hearts. We must remember - "guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Don't let rumors in there...
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!