“I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of wild beasts so that they may live in the desert and sleep in the forests in safety. I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send own showers in season; there will be showers of blessings. The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. There will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of the nations. Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.” (Ezekiel 34:25-31)
To me, this sounds like heaven on earth. As I read these scriptures, I had a feeling of peace and comfort, not a worry in the world, yet we human beings tend to take something and feel like we need to help God out, don’t we? All God wanted was for us to accept His blessings, to be His people, and He would provide and protect us from animals, other nations.
God promised a lasting peace for His children. The land and the people would one day live in harmony. Creation’s renewed safety would reveal God at work and present among them as their protecting and leading Shepherd.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, God was offering His people good land, rich soil for crops, trees that would produce their fruits; that He would take away the animals that would cause them harm, and He would protect us from other nations. We had to claim Him as our God and we would enjoy the fruits of the lands and have everlasting protection from other people; yet, we as His people even messed that up. Beloved, God truly asks very little from us, and that which He seeks makes us a people upright and honorable and obedient to Him. Lord, O Lord, please come back to help us, for we have once again forgotten You; we have not been good stewards of our money, our time, and our skills; we have not taken care of the lands we were to care for, and we seek You forgiveness for our sins, and seek Your grace and mercy to both love and forgive us Your people. For it is in Your precious name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Those who put God first in their lives, will be happy in the end!”
“Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her. In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house and will water the valley of acacias.” (Joel 3:17-18)
The created order will reveal the say of God’s salvation. When God redeems the people and he land, all creation will return to His original purpose.
“Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of he prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.” (Acts 16:26)
God used an earthquake to shake the entire jail area and provide opportunity for witness. The power of God can be revealed to a non-believer on the basis of events in nature. Paul and Silas had been imprisoned in the dungeon because of their faithful witness to Christ. In the midst of being beaten and oppressed, but their spirit and faith was no less strong for their suffering. Instead they sang songs and continued to share their faith there, and God used the earthquake to free them. Instead, they remained. The jailer told the magistrate that both men were Romans and for fear of being found out, they immediately ordered their release. The jailer could have lost all who were jailed and been thrown into jail himself, but through Paul and Silas’ witness he and his whole family were baptized in Christ’s name.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” (Matthew 2:9, 12)
A star became a sign to follow for sever eastern star experts. God used their expertise and His creation to lead the foreigners to greet Jesus. He warned them in a dream to take another road home, thus avoiding king Herod and the capital. These men were called mystics, magicians, and even “students of the stars. They certainly understood the prophecy of the long awaited messiah, the new king of the Jews. As Herod held that title, he was certainly interested in the child, but not to go an worship. No, he had a more sinister plan for the child than the Magi did.