Wednesday, August 08, 2012

August 8, 2012 … Not One Is Worthy of Saving

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 221 

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Jeremiah 7-9 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 7: 1-3; 16; 19; 30; 32 :[NIV] … 1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 "Stand at the gate of the Lord's house and there proclaim this message: "'Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord.3 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. … 9 "'Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known,10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, "We are safe"—safe to do all these detestable things? 11 Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord. … 16 [God to Jeremiah] "So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with Me, for I will not listen to you. … 19 But am I the one they are provoking? declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?” … 30 "'The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it. … 32 So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call it Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, for they will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room. 
Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 8: 4-6; 20-22 :[NIV] … 4 "Say to them, 'This is what the Lord says: "'When people fall down, do they not get up? When someone turns away, do they not return? 5 Why then have these people turned away? Why does Jerusalem always turn away? They cling to deceit; they refuse to return. 6 I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, "What have I done?" Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle. … 20 "The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved." 21 Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people.” 
Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 9: 1-2 :[NIV] … 1 Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people. 2 Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people. … 23 This is what the Lord says: "Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24 but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the Lord. 25 "The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh—26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart." 

My Journal for Today: We have another three chapter bite out of the journaling of Jeremiah, “the weeping prophet;” and if you read through the highlight passages which I believe God’s Spirit led me to copy/paste above for study/meditation, you can feel Jeremiah’s angst, his anger at what God’s people had become, and his grief over what God had revealed to him was to be the fate of Judah, God’s Temple, and the holy city, Jerusalem. And these emotions must’ve been much the same as Jesus felt when He came into the Temple in His day and saw His Father’s house being desecrated by robbers and thieves (compare Jer. 7: 9-11 above with what we read about Jesus in Matt. 7: 11 or Luke 19: 46 ). There must’ve been a chord of deepest anguish running through the heart of Jeremiah in this time of history and in Jesus in His time on earth; and both men truly sought after God’s balm of healing while they openly declared their righteous anger.

 In fact, … there’s a great old Negro Spiritual, There Is A Balm In Gilead, which reflects a lot of that emotion; and I love the version sung by the African-American bass, Paul Robeson, early in the 20th century, which I’d like to link you to hear so that you can hear some of the emotions which were likely felt by Jeremiah. The song points us to the only real balm to soothe the pain of disbelief and rebellion against God as well as the anguish produced by the circumstances of life at times. God’s Spirit is the “balm of Gilead;” and only the Lord can heal the sin-sick soul. Go to this YouTube link  and listen to this plaintive song; and it will help to heal your soul if you’re experiencing pain, grief, or anguish much like Jeremiah and Jesus experienced some 700 years apart in history.

My friends, there is much to grieve over as we see how dark the world has become and how apathetic is God’s Bride, the Church. But there is truly a balm in Gilead; and for those of us who anchor our faith to that soothing hope, we will be saved from the agony comparable to what Judah was prophesied to experience in Jeremiah’s day (and actually did experience at the hands of Babylon).

All of this calls me to do all I can to fulfill the promising charge of Jesus from Matthew 6: 33 … i.e., to … “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things [i.e., God’s provision and protection] will be add unto you.” My friends, Jesus is the “Balm of Gilead;” and we can only find healing in Him.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, You are my balm, … my protection, … my healer. I surrender to Your healing touch. Amen

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