(click on the link above for today's readings)
Jeremiah 39:1-41:18 ~ 2 Timothy 1:1-18
Psalm 90:1-91:16 ~ Proverbs 26:1-2
Okay, so I'll confess that sometimes I do these blog entries by going online, reading the daily readings online, and then just posting up what comes to mind. This works... but I don't think it's super beneficial for me personally. Tonight I had the good fortune of taking my time reading out of an actual Bible, reflecting on the readings, reading the One Year Bible Study guide, and reading the NIV Study Bible. Great stuff... I had about a good 30 minutes or so in the Word tonight...
Now, the ironic thing is that my post on today's readings will probably not be as good as my "quick read" posts.. :)
Jeremiah 39 brings the fall of Jerusalem. It was sad to read about king Zedekiah's fate. But, he was forewarned many times by Jeremiah of the coming destruction. Interesting that King Nebuchadnezzar sought out Jeremiah and told his soldiers to free Jeremiah - and give him the option of staying in Judah or coming to Babylon, where he would be taken care of. Almost seemed like Nebuchadnezzar feared God more than Zedekiah?
Actually, in Jeremiah 40:2, we do see that the Babylonians did have a good understanding of God's prophecies and they believe them - "The captain of the guard called for Jeremiah and said, "The Lord your God has brought this disaster on this land, just as he said he would. For these people have sinned against the Lord and disobeyed him. That is why it happened." Is it possible in our lives that sometimes others can see more clearly than we can how God is moving in our lives?
Jeremiah 40 continues on a pretty good note with Gedaliah being appointed governor of Judah by Babylon. Gedaliah seems to be a good sort, as he invites the people living in the country side to - "Settle in any town you wish, and live off the land. Harvest the grapes and summer fruits and olives, and store them away." (v. 10). However, things don't go well too long for Gedaliah, which is sad...
Ishmael enters the scene in 40 and into chapter 41, and ultimately murders Gedaliah. This definitely made me sad! I was happy about things finally seeming a bit peaceful in Judah, and prosperous to a degree. And then evil enters the scene once again... Have we seen this scenario play out over history?
Today we start Paul's 2nd letter to Timothy, which I believe is the last or one of the last letter's of Paul's in the Bible - in terms of chronology of Paul's life. This is a bit of a sad letter to read in some ways. Paul is literally in chains / in prison when he writes this letter in about 66 A.D.. Emperor Nero started a campaign against Christians a couple of years before and jails Paul during this time. You can clearly see Paul's admiration for Timothy in this letter. A good overview of the 2 Timothy is online at this link.
One sentence at the link above says, "In many respects, this epistle is his last will and testament." If 2 Timothy is Paul's last will & testament, think we should pay close attention to the words in this letter?
Today in Psalm 91:11-12 we read the words quoted by Satan to Jesus during the temptation in the desert: “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone” As you read this Psalm, do these words apply to Jesus only? Or to those who trust in the Lord as well? Do you believe that the Lord is guarding you in all your ways? Do you believe this is possible? (I hope your answer is yes… :) ) Do you recall Jesus’ response to Satan in Matthew 4:7: “It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” What do Jesus’ words to Satan tell you about these words in the Psalm? Can we believe these words, and also not put God to the test at the same time? As an example, maybe to just myself :), is driving over the speed limit putting God to the test?
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!