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Even with my delays in writing we are STILL on day 220 of our reading!! If you have been reading for the entire time…… that’s an awesome commitment!!
CHAPTER 7 — The first verses JUMPED off the page for me. I am so deeply humbled that God is STILL giving HIS people a chance to TURN BACK TO HIM and the destruction has already begun for Judah. HOW LOVING and PERSISTENT and CONSISTENT and MERCIFUL and full of GRACE is HE????
Verses 3-8: “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: REFORM your WAYS and your ACTIONS, and I will let you live in this place. 4 Do NOT TRUST in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!” 5 If you REALLY CHANGE your ways and your actions and DEAL WITH each other justly, 6 if you DO NOT OPPRESS the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and DO NOT SHED INNOCENT blood in this place, and if you DO NOT FOLLOW other gods to your own harm, 7 THEN I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. 8 But LOOK, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.”
Verse 19 says: “Are they not harming themselves to their own shame?…” Each time I read words like this from Scripture I am reminded that we bring a lot/most (not all) of our own suffering upon ourselves. God is NOT doing it. Yes HE allows the consequences in hopes that we will learn from our mistakes/sins/rebellion/etc….but WE bring a LOT of it on ourselves. HE is not GOD who just sits around and waits for us to mess up so HE can punish us. LOOK at how long HE has been warning HIS people!! HE actually WANTS us/them to make the right choice… the right choice is HIM. Does that mean when we do CHOOSE HIM and desire to follow HIM with all our hearts, minds, emotions, strength, ALL of us that we will not face challenges, go through sorrows, have to let go of things that are precious to us, deal with sickness, or have perfect lives? NO, it does not mean that. However, it does mean that WHATEVER we go through, GOD will be with us all the way. And as Romans 8:28 says: “28 And we KNOW that God causes EVERYTHING to work together for the GOOD OF THOSE WHO LOVE GOD AND are called according to his purpose for them.”
Verse 25 states: “25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.”
If you think over our past readings from previous books, since the days of Moses GOD has saved us from our ourselves. LOOK at all HIS people did to rebel or be stiff necked or refuse to follow HIM — do you remember — the golden calf, the Judges, the Prophets, David and Goliath, Joshua, Josiah…He raised up all these great men and woman (remember Deborah…it does bless me to see a woman of God <<smile>>>) and we always returned to our ways, or became worse! YET God is always soooo patient. When we listen we seem to have a clock that goes off in us that causes spiritual amnesia…..we stop listening to HIM. How long do you recall your Pastor’s sermon? If you apply the message…how long does it take before you forget the application? If you are like me there are somedays that by the end of lunch after church…..my mind has moved off the message and onto other things!!! Like I said…..repentance seems hard. YET God says we can do all things through HIM who strengthens us!!
Verse 28 says: “Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.”
“Truth has perished.” Such a sad statement and yet one I feel our country…our world is dealing with. The people who know the truth and desire to live by it for the ONE TRUE God are shrinking in numbers…rapidly. It is frightening for our future.
CHAPTER 8 — deals with sin and punishment in a lot of detail. Yes….we read this yesterday and probably on a few other days. So God doesn’t just repeat things because HE has nothing else to say…..HE repeats things because HE knows we tend to FORGET so when He repeats things….they must be important. Know what I mean???
CHAPTER 9 — verses 13-15: “The Lord said, “It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law. 14 Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.” 15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water.
Do you remember when The Lord lead the Israelites out of Egypt and they came to bitter waters and complained and He made the water pure for HIS people because HE heard them. Now HE is telling them HE will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water. OUCH!! BUT why is God allowing this??? Look at verse 13—“because they have forsaken my law…..and not obeyed me or followed me.”
God is begging us to REPENT. He has warned HIS people over and over and over again. Yet, repentance seems so hard at times…because the enemy wants us to believe it is hard or even impossible. Bless Jeremiah’s heart….he was weeping day and night for his people who no longer had a heart for God (either for the first time…or they had strayed.) Do you feel the same intensity and sorrow and PRAY for the family and friends in your life like this? iT IS IMPORTANT… THE final judgement is coming and will we each have done ALL we can to share what God has done in our lives in hopes that others will see something they will want?
What stood out to you today? Did anything touch your heart?
Sharing HIS love,