“When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us??What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?’ then say to them, ‘It is because your fathers forsook me, declares the Lord, and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law. But you have behaved more wickedly than your fathers. See how each of you is following the stubbornness of his evil heart instead of obeying me. So I will throw you out of this land into a land neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’ ‘However, the days are coming, ‘declared the Lord, when men will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt, but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their forefathers. ‘But now I will send for many fishermen , declares the Lord, ‘and they will send for many hunters, and they will hunt hem down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks. My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols.” (Jeremiah 16:10-18- History Points to Hope)
The basic prophetic message dealt with the national history of God’s rebellious people. The prophets described the sin which deserved judgment, announced the judgment God would bring, and then pointed beyond judgment to hope for renewal and righteousness. In so doing the prophets revealed how seriously God takes human history and demonstrated the concrete foundation of the biblical definition of salvation. Salvation always has an historical beginning point and effects a change in historical existence. Salvation leads to fuller life and meaning in the world, not escape from the world.
God’s salvation is His cleansing, or purging us. When H saves us, He purges away our dross and impurities. Salvation involves discipline at times to leas us to obedience. Go’s hope for all His people includes His restoration to her former glory. God’s restored people will reflect His righteousness and faithfulness.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, what we learn from these verses, is that God sees all that we do, the good and the bad; the things that honor our relationship with Him and those that separate us from our relationship with Him. We must love and obey Him at all times, not just when it is convenient for us. It takes obedience to Your will and strength of will to walk the good walk with You every day. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Not to accept Jesus on His terms, is to reject Him. What’s your choice?”
“Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about,, what I have planned, that will I do. Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, your who are from from righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.” (Isaiah 46:8-13 – History Points to Hope)
Present historical conditions do not reveal the ultimate reality of history. Historical memories of what God has done must line on to kindle hopes of what He is going to do. God can and will do what He pleases to bring about His purposes.
“So Judah went into captivity, away from her land. This is the number of the people Nebuchadnezzar carried into exile: In the seventh year, 3,023 Jews; in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year, 832 people from Jerusalem; in his twenty-third year, 745 Jews taken into exile by Nebuzararadan the commander of the imperial guard. There were 4,600 people in all. In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Evil Merodach became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah an freed him from prison on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month. He spoke kindly to hi and gave him a seat of honor higher than most of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. Day by day the king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long s he lived, till the day of his death.” (Jeremiah 52:27-34 – History Points to Hope)
The unthinkable happened. God’s holy city suffered destruction. Why? The sovereign God can bring judgment upon His people when necessary. He has the power and authority to work in His world as He sees fit. No one can indefinitely escape His judgment. Jeremiah’s inspired book does not end with a ringing proclamation of victory and hope. Instead it concludes with a modest historical report of kindness to an old,, exiled kin in his last days. From the small historical glimmer, God’s people were expected to read and note of hope signaling the beginning point of fulfillment for Jeremiah’s prophecies. The king was dead. The promise of hope of God’s Word lives on forever!
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month. Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I will shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each y the sword of his brother. ‘On that day, declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen ou,’ declares the Lord Almighty.’” (Haggai 2:20-23–History Points to Hope)
Language describing God’s past historical actions gives assurance of future deliverance. God does not lose the power to control all nations, and He repeatedly affirms His intentions to deliver His people in time to the remnant community. The leader would have authority, being God’s signet ring to sign approval on activities among His people. God consistently elects and empowers leaders for His believing people.
God declared His blessing upon Zerubbabel, bestowing upon him power to lead, initiating His work of renewal and care though the king. The king bore God’s signature power to reveal God’s will in the world. In affirming the descendant of David, God renewed His commitment to His messianic promises through David’s line. Zerubbabel served as governor of the returning exiles in Jerusalem. All accounts of Zerubbabel picture him as a righteous man who sought to please God. God uses faithful servant leaders to bless and guide His people. Such leaders do not assume leadership positions on their own. God chooses and calls His leaders.