Suggested Reading: Jeremiah 48
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Key Verses: Jeremiah 48:10a, 29
“Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully.”
“We have heard the pride of Moab (He is exceedingly proud),
Of his loftiness and arrogance and pride,
And of the haughtiness of his heart.”
Like Philistia, Moab was caught in the middle between the warring super powers of the day, Egypt and Babylon (Iraq) and was suffering the horrors of genocidal destruction. God was seen as in charge overall, but let us remember that God has given humans a free will. He refuses to turn us into robots and puppets. We bring judgment on ourselves! “Moab” is mentioned 25 times in this chapter. This is evidence of God’s deep concern, not just for Israel, but for the people of Moab also. This was like a hell on earth for them. Jesus taught of an eternal Hell (10 times in the 4 Gospels) in order to warn us. He provided through His cross, suffering hell’s worst agony, the way of escape and eternal salvation for all who are willing to accept by free will His saving grace.
What can we learn from Moab? They were materialistic, worshippers of a false god, deceitful, deliberate liars, filled with pride, self glory, haughtiness and carelessness. Do any of these descriptions sound familiar in our day? Jeremiah reveals the heart of God for these people by ending the chapter on a note of hope in the final sentence. There are dozens of Bible verses about “hope”! The word “hope” is used twice in one sentence in Romans 15:13. Read Romans 15:10-13 for our reason to have “hope”.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear God, You desire to save the whole world from death and Hell. Forgive me for going my own way again and again instead of Your way. I’m made in Your image, as is every person, and I have a free will so I can, if I’m not surrendering to You daily, fall into the traps into which the Moabites fell. I repent, asking You to give me power to overcome sin today and every day. Keep me true to You. I pray this in the Name of the only Person who lived 100% of the time in a way which pleased You, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Alexander Pope wrote these familiar words in the early eighteenth century, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” In reading his words further, it’s certain that Pope wanted his readers to be “hopeful” by believing in the gift of eternal life. Meaning or purpose for life, beyond the daily grind of waking, eating, drinking, etc., is so important for human wellbeing. Secularists and atheists face an empty and often horrible future without “hope” for a better world to come where truth, love, comfort, no more pain, no more separation, and no more death is the human experience.
I was 11 years old the first time I heard Billy Graham preach. We went to an Ottawa, Canada, “Youth for Christ” rally. I remember vividly that Billy pictured fame, pleasure, wealth, etc. as soap bubbles…all shiny and bright looking, but then he reached out his hand to grasp the imaginary bubbles he was describing and they were as nothing. They burst the moment he touched them. There is nothing satisfying out there apart from “hope” in God! Paul ends what I consider to be perhaps the most beautiful use of language, perhaps of all time. “And now abides faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). “Hope” is the middle word. Faith is a gift from God. “Hope” is our word of confidence. The result is that “HOPE” surprises me when it springs out of my heart, Pope’s “Human Breast.” What a joy to be alive, facing another day with complete confidence in God.
Yours for eternal “hope”…that’s forever, and ever, and ever, Amen!!!
P.S. I’m singing as I close off the blog these words, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Here is a YouTube rendition (click here).