Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, 2012 … The Promise of Protection

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 229  

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Jeremiah 35-37 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 35: 1-2; 12-19 :[NLT] … 1 This is the message the LORD gave Jeremiah when Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah: 2 “Go to the settlement where the families of the Recabites live, and invite them to the LORD’s Temple. Take them into one of the inner rooms, and offer them some wine.” [Note: Recabites were a Jewish sect who showed their commitment to God by abstaining from wine. God is not trying to tempt these faithful Israelites here. He’s demonstrating to others their faith and commitment to God.] … 
12 Then the LORD gave this message to Jeremiah: 13 “The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and say to the people in Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Come and learn a lesson about how to obey me. 14 The Recabites do not drink wine because their ancestor Jehonadab told them not to. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you refuse to listen or obey. 15 I have sent you prophet after prophet to tell you to turn from your wicked ways and to stop worshiping other gods, so that you might live in peace here in the land I gave to you and your ancestors. But you would not listen to me or obey. 16 The families of Recab have obeyed their ancestor completely, but you have refused to listen to me.’ 17 “Therefore, the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Because you refuse to listen or answer when I call, I will send upon Judah and Jerusalem all the disasters I have threatened.” 18 Then Jeremiah turned to the Recabites and said, “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You have obeyed your ancestor Jehonadab in every respect, following all his instructions. 19 Because of this, Jehonadab son of Recab will always have descendants who serve me. I, the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, have spoken!” 
Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 36: 1-3; 21-24 :[NLT] … 1 During the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king in Judah, the LORD gave this message to Jeremiah: 2 “Get a scroll, and write down all my messages against Israel, Judah, and the other nations. Begin with the first message back in the days of Josiah, and write down every message you have given, right up to the present time. 3 Perhaps the people of Judah will repent if they see in writing all the terrible things I have planned for them. Then I will be able to forgive their sins and wrongdoings.” … 
 21The king [Jehoiakim] sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought it from Elishama’s room and read it to the king as all his officials stood by. 22 It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm. 23 Whenever Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took his knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. 24 Neither the king nor his officials showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard. … 32Then Jeremiah took another scroll and dictated again to his secretary Baruch. He wrote everything that had been on the scroll King Jehoiakim had burned in the fire. Only this time, he added much more!  
Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 37: 1-3; 17; 21 :[NLT] … 1 Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim as the king of Judah. He was appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar£ of Babylon. 2 But neither King Zedekiah nor his officials nor the people who were left in the land listened to what the LORD said through Jeremiah. 3 Nevertheless, King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah the priest, son of Maaseiah, to ask Jeremiah, “Please pray to the LORD our God for us.” … 17 Later King Zedekiah secretly requested that Jeremiah come to the palace, where the king asked him, “Do you have any messages from the LORD?” “Yes, I do!” said Jeremiah. “You will be defeated by the king of Babylon.” … 
 21 So King Zedekiah commanded that Jeremiah not be returned to the dungeon. Instead, he was imprisoned in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace. The king also commanded that Jeremiah be given a loaf of fresh bread every day as long as there was any left in the city. So Jeremiah was put in the palace prison. 

My Journal for Today: Three more chapters from Jeremiah in this morning’s chronological reading segment and three very clear lessons we can glean from God’s eternal truths.

Lesson # 1 – From Chapter 35: In this chapter we have a short introduction to one segment of faithful followers of God, the Recabites. They were a small segment of Judah in Jeremiah’s day, who had a signature commitment of faithfulness to God’s will and His word by avoiding the drinking of any alcohol. It was their sign of commitment to God’s ways rather than to the ways of the world in that day; and this commitment carried over into other areas of Godly living into the lives of the Recabites, making them a prime candidate for God’s redemption and protection when Judah was captured by the Babylonians. The Recabites were spared and lived … where as many of the forlorn and wayward idolaters in Judah were captured or killed by the Babylonians. … PRINCIPLE: God will always watch over and protect the truly faithful remnant of believers and followers of His will and His ways, found in His word.  

Lesson # 2 – From Chapter 36: In the times when Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, was king in Judah, Jeremiah was led by God to write down all his prophesies for the people to become part of God’s written word. Well, Jeremiah, even though he was a prisoner at the time, but as God’s faithful servant, did exactly as God commanded. He had Baruch, a respected scribe amongst the Judeans, to write down all he dictated. However, when the journals of Jeremiah were read to the king, he ordered that Jeremiah’s writings be burned. But Jeremiah, in his faithful persistence, had his journals re-written with even more detail than in the first draft. Many thru history – as even it is happening today – have tried to eradicate God’s word from the culture; but God’s word will always prevail over those who try to obliterate, burn, or erase it. … PRINCIPLE: As one can read in Psalm 119: 89 - Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. 

Lesson # 3 – From Chapter 37: In this chapter we read of King Zedekiah, one of the kings of Judah during the Babylonian captivity. And Zedekiah is a prime character example of the so-called nominal believer who proclaims belief in and followership of God but is unwilling – or more likely, unable - to make a complete commitment of surrender to God’s will and His ways. Zedekiah wanted God’s blessings without being willing to truly and faithfully follow The LORD. … PRINCIPLE: God is not pleased with those who come to Him seeking only what they want rather than seeking a faith-based relationship with Him.

I’ll leave you to muse over those lessons and principles as I have this morning. Perhaps you’ll come out passing this pop-quiz in faithfulness today. Personally, I’ve got a way to go in my pursuit of God’s will from His word. And the deeper I go in this chronological study of God’s word, the more I realize I need to keep on keeping on in my trek to know God through His word.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, thank you for leading me – in conviction – from Your truth. Amen

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