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Jeremiah 19:1-21:14

The foolishness of man subverts his way [ruins his affairs]; then his heart is resentful and frets against the Lord. (Pro 19:3 AMP)

The above Proverb came to mind when I read in the 21st chapter that King Zedekiah sent the priest, Pashhur, to Jeremiah to inquire of God. Scripture tells us that Zedekiah cared nothing about the things of neither God nor God’s people. More than likely, based on the assignments and the messages God has given to Jeremiah, most of the priesthood, Levites and priests, had abandoned the commands of Moses and God, and the offices became strictly political.

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began his eleven-year reign in Jerusalem. His mother was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, in keeping with all Jehoiakim had done.
(2Ki 24:18-19 AMP)
It is said that there are no atheist in “foxholes,” having never been in war I cannot attest to that truth, but having been in NYC on 9/11/01, I can tell you that people who were atheist were calling on “Something” in the aftermath of the planes being flown into the Twin Towers. Yet after they realized that they were not going to die that day, they went back to “raging” against the Lord. Faced with an advancing army, Zedekiah tried to reach out to Jeremiah’s God through a non-priestly priest. He had no interest in having a relationship with Jeremiah’s God so that God would become his God.

May we not be like those who seek God only during crises. May we not, after the crises has past and we find ourselves alive, rage against God and ask, “Where was God?”

I Thessalonians 5:4-28

14Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

We (the entire church body and society seem to have flipped the above admonishment. We try to encourage the lazy, instead of warning them about their laziness, and we oppress the timid instead of encouraging them. The bookshelves of bookstores are filled with books on motivating unmotivated people who are in truth, lazy. We oppress, intimidate and walk over the timid so that we can use them to get ahead. We put aside and step on those who are weak and we are impatient with everyone who is not like us because we are, after all, the epitome of righteousness, peach and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 82:1-8

The following verse has really caught my attention and I believe the writer used “irony” to make a point, a very big point,

"Give fair judgment to the poor and the orphan;
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
Rescue the poor and helpless;
deliver them from the grasp of evil people.
But these oppressors know nothing;
they are so ignorant!
And because they are in darkness,
the whole world is shaken to the core.

Verse five is speaking to the same group that is being told to judge fairly so it must be addressing the judicial system. This seems to be a plea to those over the Israel’s legal system. This is saying that a corrupt judicial system shacks the very foundation of the world.

Grace and peace,

We should work towards being with Christ and helping others do the same because that is our job, rather than to be ignorant of it. I notice how Paul always adds "just as in fact you are doing" when talking about the Thessalonians, which shows how much they love and obey God. Paul also talks about living in peace and always rejoicing because it is God's will.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 teaches us that we should acknowledge and be thankful for the people who work hard among us, who care for and reprove us in the name of the Lord. The verse also says that we should also love them and live in peace with them. These verses reminded me of how much our church leaders/other authorities have done for us, and how rarely I even think of them. So we should treat them with great appreciation and love, just like God would want.

Jeremiah verses 1 through 14 really show the evil that presides in humans and how despite Gods mercy many still don't listen. It also shows the wrath and power God is capable of and teaches the lesson of how evil sinners will be punished while the righteous will benefit.

“Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.”‭‭(1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:12-13) Tomorrow is National Pastor Appreciation Day. What a perfect reminder.

I'm again reminded to "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Thank you God thru Paul for such powerful words spoken two thousand years ago. Truth never changed. And this is the exact prescription for my current situation.

I tried to put myself in Jeremiah’s shoes and I can’t he.p but admire his forbearance all the more. He heard God’s word and he was probably afraid because who would like to be the messenger for bad news. But he feared the Lord more than his own fear of being rejected by men; though as human, he did bring his grievance to God. The lesson learned for me is be faithful no matter what.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil. I realize these few verses were accented by their imperative language. Short and sweet kinda commands. All of them are precious reminders for cultivating a vibrant relationship with God.

"Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord's work. They work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong. Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because of their work." This stands out to me because priests and other church leaders do not get enough credit for what they do in today's society.

Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

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