Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012 … When God Listens Not

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 223 

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Jeremiah 14-17 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 14: 1-2; 11-14; 19-21 :[NIV] … 1 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought: 2 "Judah mourns, her cities languish; they wail for the land, and a cry goes up from Jerusalem. ,,,” 
11 Then the Lord said to me, "Do not pray for the well-being of this people.12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague." 13 But I said, "Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, 'You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.'" 14 Then the Lord said to me, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. … 
19 Have you rejected Judah completely? Do you despise Zion? Why have you afflicted us so that we cannot be healed? We hoped for peace but no good has come, for a time of healing but there is only terror. 20 We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord, and the guilt of our ancestors; we have indeed sinned against you. 21 For the sake of your name do not despise us; do not dishonor your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us and do not break it.  
Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 15: 1-2; 15-21 :[NIV] … 1 Then the Lord said to me: "Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go! And if they ask you, 'Where shall we go?' tell them, 'This is what the Lord says: "'Those destined for death, to death; those for the sword, to the sword; those for starvation, to starvation; those for captivity, to captivity.' … 
15 Lord, you understand; remember me and care for me. Avenge me on my persecutors. You are long-suffering—do not take me away; think of how I suffer reproach for your sake. 16 When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty. 17 I never sat in the company of revelers, never made merry with them; I sat alone because your hand was on me and you had filled me with indignation. 18 Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? You are to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails. 19 Therefore this is what the Lord says: "If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them. 20 I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you," declares the Lord. 21 "I will save you from the hands of the wicked and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel."
Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 16: 10-15 :[NIV] … 10 "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?'11 then say to them, 'It is because your ancestors forsook me,' declares the Lord, 'and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law.12 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying me.13 So I will throw you out of this land into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.' 14 "However, the days are coming," declares the Lord, "when it will no longer be said, 'As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,'15 but it will be said, '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 ancestors. …  
Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 17: 1; 5-10 :[NIV] … 1 "Judah's sin is engraved with an iron tool, inscribed with a flint point, on the tablets of their hearts and on the horns of their altars. … 
5 This is what the Lord says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. 6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. 7 "But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." 9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 10 "I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve."  

Reference Study Passage : Psalm 1 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link
Reference Study Passage : Romans 1: 18-32 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link 

My Journal for Today: Well, … if you’re reading/studying along with me, we’re again drinking God’s truth from a fire hydrant. There is so much in the book God led Jeremiah to author, isn’t there? And today’s read can be very disturbing for us New Testament believers; because when God views the life and times of a social grouping of His children, there can be a time when God essentially says, “Enough is enough!!” And in today’s reading we see that God had reached His tipping point of anger, venting His wrath with the Israelites through poor Jeremiah. And even Jeremiah, God’s prophet as he was, was confused by God’s anger, especially knowing and believing in the Covenant God had made with Jeremiah’s ancestors, like the irrevocable protective covenant with David and Judah.

My friends, today, sometimes I feel like a Jeremiah, looking around and seeing all the idolatrous and covetous degradation in our world. And I wonder, as Jeremiah must have, what will happen to the remnant of believers, many of whom pray diligently, and I believe humbly, for revival and, in the Spirit of 2nd Chronicles 7: 14, for spiritual healing in our country and world. But then I read a passage like Romans 1: 18-32 [linked for you above], as well as what I read today from Jeremiah, and I have to say to myself, “Is it surprising that God seems to be letting those who are unwilling to repent to be buffeted by their own selfish living?”

And the answer in my heart is to pray exactly as Jeremiah did … for God’s mercy. And that is my prayer today as I think of all those who’re living as David wrote about in his beautiful tribute to the true believer in Psalm 1 [which I hope you use the link above to go back and meditate].

My Prayer Today: … Lord, You know my heart; and You know the hearts of true believers who seek to live by Your will from Your word. Oh, dear Jesus, have mercy on us in these dark days. Protect Your children and Your Bride for Your coming again. Amen

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