Bible reading for Aug 9 -- 10
Aug 9 -- Jeremiah 37 and Psalm 10
Aug 10 -- Jeremiah 38 and Psalms 11-12
"But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the LORD that he spoke through Jeremiah the prophet." (Jeremiah 37:2)
THE PROPHET TREATED BADLY (ch 37-38). In these two chapters we see Jeremiah suffering at the hands of his fellow Jews. Most of the people did not believe his words. He's beaten and thrown into in the dungeon at the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary (ch 37). He's then confined in the court of the guard, later thrown into a cistern, and finally, returned to the court of the guard (ch 38). Centuries later, Stephen would make his defense before the Jewish council (Acts 7) and say, "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute?" (Acts 7:51-52) The author of Hebrews writes about the heroes of the faith, that they "...suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated- of whom the world was not worthy- wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth" (Heb 11:36-38). This world is not worthy of the prophets and apostles, who were faithful witnesses to the truth of God's word.
"The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." (Psalm 12:6)
THE SILENCE OF GOD (Ps 10). David asks, "Why, O LORD, do you stand afar off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" (v 1) He describes the violence and brutality of people who terrorize others, thinking God will never hold them accountable (vv 2-13). Psalm 10 is one of the OT passages Paul cites in describing fallen human nature (10:7; Rom 3:14). Even today -- and perhaps more than any other time in history -- God's children are being persecuted around the world. However, the Lord is not standing off, or hiding, or blind to the suffering (v 14). He will certainly take action on behalf of his suffering people (vv 14-18). But we must await God's timing for that vindication. A time is coming when "...man who is of the earth may strike terror no more" (v 18).
RIGHTEOUS FOUNDATIONS (Ps 11). Again and again in the Psalms we are told how much the Lord loves righteousness. God created us to do right before him and to treat others rightly, but the powers of darkness delight to take aim at these foundations, to attack the upright in heart (vv 1-3). We need not flee in panic, for God is King and Judge over all of creation, and he oversees human history, which is an arena of testing (vv 4-5). The wickedness of the unrighteous will one day come to an end (v 6). And to make sure we get the picture of how much the Lord loves righteousness, verse 7 emphasizes this: a) the Lord himself is righteous; b) he loves righteous deeds; and c) the righteous shall behold his face.
PEOPLE OF THE LIE (Ps 12). Deception runs deep within the human heart, according to the Bible. In Psalm 12 David calls attention to two ways in which we routinely lie: we flatter, and we boast. We tell people what we think they want to hear in order that they would feel good about themselves and us, often so we might get something out of them. And we boast in saying things that aren't really true about ourselves, such as exaggerating our own ability, power, knowledge, or achievement. I learned early in life that stories with exaggeration -- playing loose with the truth -- were the stories that people liked to listen to. This has been a hard habit to undo! The great news in this psalm is that the Lord doesn't do that. He doesn't boast, exaggerate, twist, spin, revise, edit, or do anything else to the truth. His words are 100% pure truth, like silver refined seven times. We can take God at his word.
Image credit: A silver bar sits on top of a pallet of raw silver, from Scottsdale Mint on Unsplash. About this newsletter: I post three times a week on my Bible reading, following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Subscribe for email at Buttondown.email/Sandy. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. A very helpful resource is the NET Bible with its excellent notes at netbible.org.
Bible reading for Aug 9 -- 10