Suggested Reading: Jeremiah 24-25
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Key Verse: Jeremiah 25:5
They said, “Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord has given to you and your fathers forever and ever…”
Our key verse summarizes the essential message of all the Prophets from Moses to Jeremiah. “Repent” is also a word proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus, and Peter at the very beginning of their public ministries.
Jeremiah 24 contains the story of two groups taken to Babylon from Jerusalem, the first symbolized by the good figs and the second by the bad figs. The story of the first exiles is found in 2 Kings 24:11-16. These people were taken away for their own good. The Lord, in this way, protected them from the evil influence of King Zedekiah and from the slaughter and total destruction of Jerusalem, which would come eleven years later. Included in these first exiles were Ezekiel and Daniel. In a few weeks we’ll be reading their books.
Jeremiah 25 is another of Jeremiah’s messages to Judah and Jerusalem. For 23 years he has been faithfully preaching the message of repentance (sorrow and regret for sin sufficient to stop doing wrong). Here he predicts accurately that in the future there will be a 70-year captivity in Babylon. Now, that 70-year period is history (read Daniel 9:1-4). Throughout human history, because of His love, God continues to offer forgiveness and restoration to all who “repent!” At the same time, because He is holy, justice is absolutely essential. Jeremiah speaks of God’s “fury” and His “fierce anger.” The most horrible crimes against humanity were committed under Judah’s evil kings. Imagine the emotions of the judges, who sat on the bench at the Nuremburg trials of the Nazis following WWII, watching the pictures from the death camps where children were systematically put to death along with their parents. The people of Jerusalem had put their children to death (Jeremiah 19:4-5; 2 Chronicles 28:2-3; 2 Chronicles 33:5-6).
When Jesus prayed just before His crucifixion these words, “Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42), perhaps He had in mind the words of Jeremiah, who six times in our reading uses the word “drink.” Evil had filled the cup of God’s anger against all that destroys people whom He loves. After being warned over and over again to “repent,” the religious and political leaders refused to do so. Judgment was the only alternative. Jesus drank that cup. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:20b-21, “We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I pray for grace to live in an attitude of repentance constantly. John, Your Apostle, wrote, “If we say that we have (present tense, and he included himself) no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1John 1:7-10). I confess my sin, and I believe that according to Your Word (You cannot lie), I am forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness. I know this to be true because, “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin,” and in His Name I pray. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
One of my grandsons lives almost next door to our mobile home senior’s park here in Lakeland, Florida, as a student at Southeastern University. This is a Christian university and Norma-Jean and I, along with his parents, David Reynold (our blog photographer) and Kathy Mainse, are grateful for this institution of learning. Our grandson’s name is David-Peter (after his two grandfathers), but he likes to use the name “David Mainse the 3rd.” It’s on the cover of his Bible. I’ll try to get a picture of his Bible to add below. Also the back window of his friend’s Hummer vehicle has on it “Galatians 2:20.” This verse has been my daily confession each morning when I first awaken for many years. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Both my grandson and his friend, Caleb Harris, are here to study (yes!!!) and also to play football. I can recommend this university to potential students as a place where I believe the majority of the students desire to serve the Lord with all their hearts and minds (click here for information about Southeastern University).
Yours to help raise up a generation, unlike the one in today’s reading, where God’s Word is honoured, studied and obeyed!