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Showing posts from July, 2021

bible reading july 30-aug 1

  Bible reading for weekend July 30 -- Aug 1 July 30 -- Jeremiah 26 and Mark 12 July 31 -- Jeremiah 27 and Mark 13 Aug 1 -- Jeremiah 28 and Mark 14 ================    "And Jeremiah the prophet said to the prophet Hananiah, 'Listen, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie.'" (Jeremiah 28:15) PUBLIC OPINION (ch 26) . Here we see the fickleness of the crowd hearing Jeremiah's message. At first they want him to be killed, but then they don't. Jeremiah is spared, finding support from Ahikam (v 24), the son of Shaphan (who had served as royal secretary under King Josiah). Jeremiah is seen as negative, gloom-and-doom, and unpatriotic. This fickleness of public opinion (btw, there will be no need for public opinion polls in heaven!) is characteristic of fallen humanity. Public approval and disapproval -- "likes" and "dislikes" -- sway one way at one moment, and then soon another way. This was true in Jerem

bible reading july 28-29

Bible reading for July 28 -- 29 July 28 -- Jeremiah 24 and Mark 10 July 29 -- Jeremiah 25 and Mark 11 ================    "I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart." (Jeremiah 24:7) GOOD FIGS, BAD FIGS (ch 24). There were at least two deportations to Babylon before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Daniel (along with others) is deported in 606, and Ezekiel about 593. Two of the major prophets would write while living in exile in a foreign land. There apparently was the temptation to think that those carried off into exile were the Jews being judged and those being left behind were blessed, being the good guys. Not so, says the Lord, it's the other way around. Some lessons : 1) Be careful what you read into God's judgments. Things are not always what they seem (cf Lu 13:1-5). 2) Geographical distance makes no difference to the Lord. The Lord -- th

bible reading july 26-27

  Bible reading for July 26 -- 27 July 26 -- Jeremiah 22 and Mark 8 July 27 -- Jeremiah 23 and Mark 9 ================    "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land." (Jeremiah 23:5)    ABUSE OF POWER (ch 22) . King Josiah, himself a good and godly ruler, had two sons and a grandson mentioned in this chapter. Shallum (renamed Jehoahaz) ruled briefly after Josiah's death and was subsequently deposed by Pharaoh Necho and taken to Egypt, where he died. (At that time, before Babylon defeated Egypt, Jerusalem was subject to Egyptian power.) Eliakim (renamed Jehoiakim) replaced Jehoahaz and ruled oppressively. He used forced labor to build himself a lavish new palace. Jeremiah says, however, he would have a donkey's burial (vv 18-19). We also read of Jehoiakim's response to Jeremiah's prophecies later in chapter

bible reading july 23-25

  Bible reading for weekend July 23 -- 25 July 23 -- Jeremiah 19 and Mark 5 July 24 -- Jeremiah 20 and Mark 6 July 25 -- Jeremiah 21 and Mark 7 ================    "If I say, 'I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,' there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot." (Jeremiah 20:9) THE BROKEN FLASK (ch 19). In yesterday's readings we saw that the Lord was likened to a fountain, a potter, and a sower of seeds. Here, a clay vessel, broken, becomes an illustration to the city's leaders of what's coming to Jerusalem. This takes place at Topheth, the Hinnom valley (from which we get the word, Gehenna), where child sacrifice had been taking place. The consequences of destroying their children would be the siege of the city, famine, plague, and finally, cannibalism, that is, in desperation eating the flesh of those who had died during the siege.  DIVINE SHADOWS AND IMAGES. As you

bible reading july 21-22

  Bible reading for July 21 -- 22 July 21 -- Jeremiah 17 and Mark 3 July 22 -- Jeremiah 18 and Mark 4 ================    "O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water. Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise." (Jeremiah 17:13-14) THE FOUNTAIN (ch 17). Twice in this chapter the Lord is compared to a stream of water (vv 8, 13). In one image, recalling Psalm 1, he is the stream that continually supplies life-giving refreshment to nearby plants. In the other, he is called the fountain (or spring) of living water (cf 2:13). Living water was moving, fresh water, like a clear mountain stream. The metaphor points us to the Lord as the ever-flowing source of life. To seek life and welfare apart from him is to be under a curse, having turned back to the dry wilderness of death. Those wh

bible reading 19-20

  Bible reading for July 19 -- 20 July 19 -- Jeremiah 15 and Mark 1 July 20 -- Jeremiah 16 and Mark 2 ================    "Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. I did not sit in the company of revelers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because your hand was upon me, for you had filled me with indignation." (Jeremiah 15:16-17) SITTING ALONE (ch 15). The coming judgment (Babylonian invasion) will involve famine, disease, violence, slavery, and exile (vv 1-7). That the Lord is "weary of relenting" (v 6) is a human (figurative) way of saying that God's patience for that generation is coming to an end. Particularly painful will be the breakup of families, and the children's loss of their parents, as well as the loss of all their wealth (vv 8-14). On a side note, reading 2 Kings 21-25, we see that things got worse every time the city revolted against

bible reading july 16-18

Bible reading for weekend July 16 -- 18 July 16 -- Jeremiah 12 and Matthew 26 July 17 -- Jeremiah 13 and Matthew 27 July 18 -- Jeremiah 14 and Matthew 28 ================    "I have forsaken my house; I have abandoned my heritage; I have given the beloved of my soul into the hands of her enemies." (Jeremiah 12:7) THE LORD'S HERITAGE (ch 12-14). These messages from God through Jeremiah are delivered over a period of forty years, and Jeremiah here wants the Lord to execute his judgment, already! (12:1-4) Not only was Jeremiah the target of political opponents, he also suffered the loss of family support (12:5-6). He's ready to see the judgment program move forward. But God is patient and longsuffering, and several times he refers to his people as "my heritage" (or, "inheritance")(12:7-9, 14-15). The Lord loved the people of Israel and Judah -- the "beloved of his soul" -- and he brought them close to himself "that they might be for me

bible reading july 14-15

Bible reading for July 14 -- 15 July 14 -- Jeremiah 10 and Matthew 24 July 15 -- Jeremiah 11 and Matthew 25 ================    "But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation." (Jeremiah 10:10) THE TRUE GOD VS DUMB IDOLS (ch 10). This is a good chapter in which to practice your observation skills... 1) How are the idols (false gods) characterized (vv 1-5, 8-9, 11, 14-15)? 2) How is the true God described (vv 6-7, 10, 12-13, 16)? 3) Why is it "stupid" to worship false gods? (vv 8, 14, 21)? 4) How does Jeremiah respond to the wickedness around him (vv 19-25)? 5) What application do you make for believers today? THE BROKEN COVENANT (ch 11). We cannot properly understand the Bible without reference to the historical covenants. God's dealings with Israel take place within the framework of the Mosaic Covenant (Ex 19; Deut 5), and blessings and judgments would

bible reading july 12-13

  Bible reading for July 12 -- 13 July 12 -- Jeremiah 8 and Matthew 22 July 13 -- Jeremiah 9 and Matthew 23 ================    "...let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD." (Jeremiah 9:24) A BAND-AID ON CANCER (ch 8). The Babylonian invasion would be terrifying -- many would die, families would be divided, people carried off into captivity, and even ancestral tombs would be ransacked and exposed. The Babylonians would seek to eradicate Jewish history and culture. It was a severe judgment. One of the things that the people were saying was, "We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us" (v 8). But they did not really love God nor practice his commandments . They lived in "perpetual backsliding" (v 5) and treated sin lightly. The prophets and priests were putting band-aids on their society&

bible reading july 9-11

Bible reading for weekend July 9 -- 11 July 9 -- Jeremiah 5 and Matthew 19 July 10 -- Jeremiah 6 and Matthew 20 July 11 -- Jeremiah 7 and Matthew 21 ================    "Thus says the LORD: 'Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, "We will not walk in it."'" (Jeremiah 6:16) FAILURE OF THE ELITES (ch 5). The leaders of Jerusalem and Judah also have fallen away from the Lord. The prophets (so-called), priests, scribes, judges, and royal officials alike are all on the moral skids. Education in and of itself will never save a society (v 5). These elites are more interested in sex and extra-marital affairs than in leading with righteousness. Popular opinion holds sway, and there is no remorse or shame, for "they love to have it so" (v 31). SOCIETY-WIDE FAILURE (ch 6). Note how widespread is this apostasy: "For from the least to the greatest of

bible reading july 7-8

Bible reading for July 7 -- 8 July 7 -- Jeremiah 3 and Matthew 17 July 8 -- Jeremiah 4 and Matthew 18 ================    "For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: 'Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD; remove the foreskin of your hearts...'" (Jeremiah 4:3-4a) RETURN TO THE LORD (ch 3). Judah's unfaithfulness to God was like the breaking of a marriage vow. They needed to repent with a whole heart and to forsake the idols they worshiped (made of stones and carved trees, vv 9-10). Like children we can be superficial with our repentance, saying a quick "I'm sorry" and then going back to our routines. Like Judah we should be honest and thorough in dealing with our sin. We see these admonitions reflected in the NT, for example, in James 4:1-10. He writes, "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded"

bible reading july 5-6

Bible reading for July 5 -- 6 July 5 -- Jeremiah 1 and Matthew 15 July 6 -- Jeremiah 2 and Matthew 16 ================    HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, July 4! Throughout the years I have felt varying degrees of loyalty to this nation. The more I have studied history, however, and have observed God's working in it, the more deeply I have come to appreciate the founding principles of this country. In practice this nation has allowed a greater freedom for the gospel to go forth and for the church to flourish than any other nation. Along with the UK the US has been the sending base for thousands of missionaries around the world. The freedoms we have are not to be treated lightly. "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." ( The Declaration of Independence ) ================    " people have committed t