Bible reading for November 29 -- 30
Nov 29 -- Micah 4 and Luke 13
Nov 30 -- Micah 5 and Luke 14
"...many nations shall come, and say: 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." (Micah 4:2)
A NEW WORLD COMING (ch 4). Judah would suffer humiliation during the Assyrian invasion (5:5-6) and then be exiled later to Babylon (4:10), but these prophecies of Micah shine a light of hope from a future world where the nations would gather to Mount Zion to learn the ways of the Lord (vv 1-2). It will be a time of universal peace, with swords being made into plowshares (vv 3-4). Israel will be consecrated to the service of the Lord: "For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever" (v 5). The Lord will reign visibly from Zion (v 7), the weakness of Judah shall be turned to strength, and their violent enemies overthrown.
THE SHEPHERD-KING OF BETHLEHEM (ch 5). When it looks like things are hopeless, then from a teeny-tiny village in Judah will come God's appointed world-ruler. This passage is why the Magi were directed to Bethlehem (Matt 2:3-6). The Messiah's "goings forth" (NAS; better than ESV "origin") have been from eternity (cf John 8:56-58). He will be the One who will shepherd his people and purge sin from their midst. He "shall be their peace", that is, he reconciles people to himself and gives them protection from their enemies (cf Isa 9:6). But before peace comes upheaval. Author Os Guinness writes, "As we see in the Bible, the Lord creates order, but humans create disorder. So, as the Lord works to repair and restore his creation, he turns the world upside down. Which, of course, is turning it the right way up."
"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 14:11)
THE NARROW DOOR (ch 13). Read about Luke 13 here.
THE HUMBLE EXALTED (ch 14). Read about Luke 14 here.
GIVING THANKS. Our hearts are full after a five-day holiday visit with family over Thanksgiving. We spent time with our newest grandson (oh, and his loving parents, too). We had several meals with extended family and friends. And today, the Lord's Day, we were refreshed to be back with our church family in Blacksburg. While in Washington we visited the Smithsonian American Art Museum where I enjoyed the works of John Singer Sargent during his stay in Venice. The painting above is "Leaving Church". It's a simple reminder that church creates community. Even now, we "go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths" (Micah 4:2). I thank God for family, friends, brothers and sisters in the Lord, and for eternal salvation and his kind providence in all things. We have much for which to give thanks, even when trials and difficulties come. Take a moment and read "A Thursday in November" by David French. And just now, I'm also enjoying this a cappella version of "How Can It Be" by the Doxology Vocal Ensemble of Southern Seminary. Give thanks to the Lord!
Image credit: painting above is "Leaving Church" by John Singer Sargent ca. 1882, public domain, now on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. About this newsletter: I'm Sandy Young, and 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.