Jeremiah 44:24-47:7 ~ 2 Timothy 2:22-3:17 ~ Psalm 94:1-23 ~ Proverbs 26:6-8
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Old Testament - Jeremiah 44:28 stood out to me in today's readings: ""Only a small number will escape death and return to Judah from Egypt." This verse reminds me that God is continuing to preserve the line - the house of David. God will destroy most of the Israelites in Egypt for their unfaithfulness & idol worship, but he will preserve a remnant! We see this over and over in the Bible - even Noah & the flood comes to mind, pre-David of course. Verses 29 and 30 in this chapter continues: "And this is the proof I give you, says the LORD, that all I have threatened will happen to you and that I will punish you here: I will turn Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, over to his enemies who want to kill him, just as I turned King Zedekiah of Judah over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I, the LORD, have spoken!" Based on these verses, below is an image of Pharaoh-Hophra taken prisoner in the war with Amasis:
Jeremiah 45 is a short chapter. Baruch is the person who has basically written this book of Jeremiah. He was Jeremiah's secretary and wrote down everything. However, apparently being secretary for a prophet is a high stress job too. Baruch is sounding a bit burdened in this chapter... To which God gives him words of comfort, along with a brief warning in verse 5 - "Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don't do it!" Are we seeking great things for ourselves? Should we do it.... ? Whom should we be seeking great things for? Why do we seek great things for our own selves? Why do we sometimes even walk over others to try to prove our "greatness".... ? Think God likes to see this type of behavior from us?
Jeremiah chapter 46 starts about 6 chapters of prophecies against various nations. Starting with Egypt in 46 and Philistine in 47 today. In chapter 46 verses 3 through 5 today we read: ""Buckle on your armor and advance into battle! Harness the horses, and prepare to mount them. Put on your helmets, sharpen your spears, and prepare your armor. But look! The Egyptian army flees in terror. The bravest of its fighting men run without a backward glance. They are terrorized at every turn, says the LORD."
New Testament - Second Timothy chapter 2 verse 22 is so very true: "Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. " Notice that first word - Run. Flee. Go the other way. U-turn. Don't hang around. Run. Do you run from things that stimulate lust in your life? Do you really Run? How fast?
Verse 22 continues on with some encouraging words - "Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts." I like that - pursue faith. Pursue love. Pursue peace. And - "enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts." I do pray you have some relationships like this in your life? They can provide you such great rest and rejuvenation. A small group in your church may be a great way to find these types of relationships if you don't have them currently. Community can be messy & tough & scary at times - but it's so worth it! Please pursue community with other believers. And please do continue to have relationships with others who may not be believers in your life too. Be cautious in that sometimes those old relationships can bring us down or pull us back to old habits if we are not careful. That is why we most definitely need to have a community of those who call on the Lord in our lives as well. In community, let us pursue faith! Pursue love! Pursue peace! With pure hearts!
2 Timothy 3:1-5 are 5 powerful verses that deserve to be meditated upon by each of us: "You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that." How do these teachings of Paul resonate with you? Do you see parallels in today's modern world with these teachings? Are there some people in your life today that you should literally stay away from?
Okay, and then verses 16 and 17 just make One Year Bible bloggers like myself smile.... :) "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do." Do you believe these verses to be true? Do you believe that Scripture is inspired by God? And useful to teach us what is true? And make us realize what is wrong in our lives? Is God's Word fully equipping you for every good thing God wants you to do?
Psalms - Psalm 94 verse 14 is fantastic today - "The LORD will not reject his people; he will not abandon his own special possession." I love this thought - that God will not reject us. He will not abandon us. We are his own special possession. Do you believe that you are God's own special possession?
Bible.org has a wonderful commentary on Psalm 94 titled "The Psalmist Speaks When Society Sins" at this link.
Proverbs - Proverbs 26 verse 7 is powerful for us to consider: "In the mouth of a fool, a proverb becomes as limp as a paralyzed leg." This makes me realize that sometimes the messenger can be as important as the message... If we are messengers in some sort of way for God - by how we live our lives, love others, serve others, etc. - how are we doing? Are we worthy messengers? Or are we diluting the message in some ways? Ultimately God's Word and message will proceed forward with or without us. But it's obviously such a blessing for us to be part of God's message - participating in God's process of redeeming the world. Let us pray we are good messengers for God in our lives today!
Worship God: Today's readings, and really many of our recent days readings, are reminding me of Chris Tomlin's amazing song "Made to Worship." Related to this song, I heard a recent sermon by Dr. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City about how the first 2 of the Ten Commandments are so critical for us to fully understand and live out. God is God. Worship God. No false idols. If we really get this and really live it out, well then the rest of the 8 Commandments are a lot easier to actually keep. It's when we mess up on the first two commandments, and when we start worshiping created things rather than our Creator - well, that's when we very easily mess up on the other 8 commandments. If you're worshiping money more than God, then it's a lot easier to lie, cheat and steal! Put God back in his proper place - as your God. And worship God only. And, then, well, why lie, cheat or steal? You wouldn't want to do that while worshiping God. I hope this makes sense? It was stunning to me to really think about it while listening to Dr. Keller's sermon. And Chris in this video talks a bit before the song about how "you and I are made to worship. We're great worshipers!" And I agree with him on this. The question is that who or what are we worshiping? I do think all humans on the planet are great worshipers. However, we're not all worshiping God above all else... And that's where the problems come in! Apologies on this long set up to this video. :) You and I are made to worship God the Father, God the Son, Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit!
Who or what are you worshiping these days? Click here to worship God!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture this week: "Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." First Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV)
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you from today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
Grace, love, peace, and joy!