Study from God’s Word… 2nd Kings 24: 1 – 4; Jeremiah, Chapters 48 – 49 and Jer. 22: 18-23 + 2Kgs 24: 5-6 [2Chron 36: 8] … Passage for Reflection: Jeremiah 48: 10 … NIV “A curse on him who is lax in doing the LORD’s work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!”
My Journal for Today: As my devotional author, Dr. LaGard Smith, points out, these are tough words in today’s highlight passage, a judgment from God, in this case against the Moabites, who were unwilling to take up their swords to defend the God of Israel; and instead, became victims of their worship of “Chemosh,” the national god of these mountain people.
So, how do we apply this historical curse in today’s text to our lives today?
Actually it says a lot to me, being leader of a ministry called “Battle Plan Ministries [BPM].” Because one of the battle strategies we teach our men, men who’ve become “lax in doing the LORD’s work,” is to become swordsman, doing battle for the Lord in their quest to be warriors for righteousness in their lives. We know from studying and teaching the truths of Isaiah 55: 11, Ephesians 6: 17 and Hebrews 4: 12 that God’s word is our strongest – and really, the only - offensive weapon when fighting against the temptations of Satan and his worldly forces. Jesus showed us this strategy when he fought off Satan in the wilderness (see Luke 4: 1-13 - linked). And so, in BPM we teach our men, who desire to be victorious in spiritual warfare, to use “the sword” of God, i.e., His word, to fight and fend off the enemy.
And in today’s passage we read that God was pronouncing a curse on Moab because they had been “lax in doing God’s word,” unwilling to take up “the sword” for the One, True God and His righteousness. Rather they yielded to allow themselves to worship gods who had no power, idols in their land, gods which they were not willing to crush with the “sword of God.” And today we find many, if not most, in the world being unwilling to take up the “Sword of the Spirit,” i.e., God’s word, against the idols of the flesh, such as pornography. And to such a people, as He did with the Moabites, God pronounces His curse of death.
I hope and pray that any who read this are not living as did the Moabites. I pray that we all are wielding a ready, sharpened, and practiced Sword of the Spirit when we fight the daily battles WE WILL HAVE TO FIGHT (and we will !!). Because not becoming an accomplished swordsman for God, in His army, will make us vulnerable to the gods of the flesh and the deceit of our own evil desires (see Jer. 17: 9 and Rom. 3: 23). But the hope and promise and power of such truths as I cited above in Isaiah 55: 11, Ephesians 6: 17 and Hebrews 4: 12 [PLEASE go search out and meditate on those truths!] can give us victory in battle as we go forth in the Name of the Lord. Ignoring taking up the Sword, for God’s righteousness, however, will bring on any people the same curse that we read above from God leveled against the Moabites.
May we not be lax in taking up God’s sword to defend His truth.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I pray victory for those who’re willing to take up Your Sword and do battle in Your Name. Amen