“Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him.declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah31:20)
By creation, God is Father of all peoples, but He has a special deep, fatherly interest in His people. They are His “first born” whom he created in the Exodus and whom He promised to deliver even from the punishment He imposed.
God’s salvation is remembrance. Israel is like a beloved child to God. He can never forget them. It is His remembrance of them, and their remembrance of Him, which brings restoration. Memory, both God’s and ours, plays a large role in salvation.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, it is only fair that those You brought along the Exodus have a special place in Your heart. You had to teach them throughout the long wandering trail from Egypt to what became the Promised Land. You have done no less with the generations throughout time and even today, developing our relationship with You and for You. For us, we must rededicate ourselves to You daily, for there are many distractions in each of our lives to take our focus off of You. In spite of this, You continue to love us and offer us the gift of salvation, and for this we have come to love You even more. Not everyone understands this and it is part of our job to share the message of salvation with all we come into contact with, to help them understand. In Jesus’ holy name we pray for all to come to You through Christ now. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Worry is the darkroom in which negatives are developed.”
“Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me—-how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices.” (Ezekiel6:9)
God’s judgment of His people has a purpose He intends to present to Himself a purified remnant. The remnant, recognizing God’s grace, repent and call upon the Lord. They know God carries out His threats against a rebellious people. God’s character and His saving actions make us hate our sins and turn to Him. It is a lesson in how we are to act with each other and with Him. Some learn it earlier than others. It is not, however, a forced lesson, but rejecting Him is not a good move, ever, still He allows us room to come to an intelligent decision on our own.
“Because you did not remember the days of your youth but enraged me with all these things, I will surely bring down on your head what you have done, declares the Sovereign Lord. Did you not add lewdness to all your other detestable practices?” (Ezekiel16:43)
Ingratitude is sin. God provided all Israel needed and provides all we need for life with Him. We sin against Him when we take His gifts and prostitute them to serve purpose other than His. Our beauty, fame, fortune, and skills are His gifts to us. We can use them in gratitude to worship Him. When we use them selfishly to attract other people whose favors we desire, we sin. When we use them to buy protection for other powers, we sin. When we use them to pay homage to anyone or thing besides God, we sin. When such sin leads us to violent treatment of others, we multiply our sin. We think our brazen actions against God who our strength and independence. God says they show our weak our mental, moral, and spiritual capacities are. Beloved, God judges His people who fail to remember His goodness and who backslide on His love.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return.” (Zechariah 10:9)
The prophet declared the end of Israel’s dispersion among the nations. God’s care and presence would reunite and strengthen them. As in the Exodus. God will reveal His salvation in and through historical events.
Even far from home and from the center of religious activities, memories and traditions taught by family lead us to remember and worship God. One of the key lessons learned in the captivity and exile, was that people could still worship God. The common thought was they had to go to the Temple, but they found this not to be true, that they could and did worship God where they were at. This, led them to the end of the exile and a return to their lands, to rebuild their lives and their relationship with God.