“Are we headed for Egypt?” October 30

 

Are we headed for Egypt? - Is our nation doing exactly what God told the Israelites not to do, heading for Egypt? Egypt represents the world and its systems. It refers to the world, the government, and man's wisdom. Are we looking to those things to care for us, feed us, protect us, and get us out of this mess. Sadly, that is a recipe for disaster. What will our nation do as a whole? And if our nation continues headlong toward Egypt, will we be like Jeremiah and Baruch who obeyed God or like the leaders of Israel who rejected God's warnings? Whose side will we be on … in our hearts, in our personal lives, in the public arena, and in the voting booth?

Is our nation doing exactly what God told the Israelites not to do, heading for Egypt?

Egypt represents the world and its systems. It refers to the world, the government, and man’s wisdom. Are we looking to those things to care for us, feed us, protect us, and get us out of this mess. Sadly, that is a recipe for disaster.

What will our nation do as a whole? And if our nation continues headlong toward Egypt, will we be like Jeremiah and Baruch who obeyed God or like the leaders of Israel who rejected God’s warnings? Whose side will we be on … in our hearts, in our personal lives, in the public arena, and in the voting booth?

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 45 & 46
Psalm 119.105-112
Proverbs 28.4
2 Timothy 3.1-17

 

Are we headed for Egypt?

 

Jeremiah 45 & 46:

Trusting God’s Sovereign Plan

In chapter 45 God speaks to Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe or secretary. Baruch was depressed and discouraged because of all the disaster God was about to bring on his nation.

Baruch hung out with Jeremiah. He knew what Jeremiah knew. He understood the what and why of God’s dealings with His people. And yet, he was struggling with his feelings.

And just because we understand truths like Romans 8.28-29, 1 Corinthians 10.13, and other similar passages, doesn’t mean we enjoy the trial when it affects us! Perhaps, Baruch was asking “Why me? Why did I have to be born at this time in history? Why couldn’t God have sent me somewhere else until all this was over?” Perhaps, he was reminding God that he had served Him faithfully and didn’t deserve this.

The Lord gently rebuked him for his self-pity, but then encouraged him with a promise.

Verse 5, “‘And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,’ says the LORD. ‘But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.’”

God was encouraging him to not be focused on himself, but to trust in His sovereign plan and His ability to use it for good, and to trust in His divine oversight and protection.

 

Egypt or Bust?

In chapter 46 God turns to the nation as a whole. The people have now fled to Egypt to escape the hardships at home. Remember they had gone there in defiance of a direct command from God. Not only had God commanded them not to go there, He had promised to take care of them if they stayed where they belonged!

While the book of Jeremiah is written to the nation of Israel, there are many principles that can be gleaned with application to other nations and situations, including America.

In spite of what you hear on the news and in the classroom today, America was founded by godly men on godly principles. For two centuries God used us to spread the Gospel, to protect the weak, and to be a beacon of hope and rescue. Because of that God blessed us with great resources, an abundance of ideas and creativity, and spiritual and physical protection.

But, as a whole, we have rejected the very God who has blessed and protected us. We have loved our sins and hated truth. We have rewritten history to suit our purposes and redefined right and wrong. In fact, we have called evil good and good evil. We have become tolerant of sin, murder, and idolatry; and intolerant of truth and righteousness. And when things turned badly, like the Israelites, we fled to Egypt.

Egypt represents the world and its systems. We are looking to the world, to the government, and to man’s wisdom to care for us, feed us, protect us, and get us out of this mess. Sadly, that is a recipe for disaster. Over and over again throughout the Bible, we have been told to “stand still and see the salvation of God” (Ex. 14.13) and warned not to turn to Egypt. Isaiah 31.1:  Continue reading

November 14 “Playing spiritual pat-a-cake”

girls children playingGod will not play spiritual pat-a-cake with us by allowing us to seek His help while we continue turning to our idols and self-efforts.

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 19 & 20
Psalm 125.1-5
Proverbs 28.22
Hebrews 10.1-18

Ezekiel 19 & 20:

Spiritual patty-cake

As you’re reading the book of Ezekiel, it might help to remember that the prophet does not follow Jeremiah chronologically. Ezekiel was a contemporary of Jeremiah, although Jeremiah was about 20 years older and began his prophetic ministry over 30 years earlier. Their prophecies about the fall of Jerusalem and the various deportations cover the same events, but while Jeremiah was prophesying to the people in Jerusalem and later in Egypt where he was forced to go late in his ministry, Ezekiel was prophesying in Babylon to those who had been taken captive.

In chapter 20, some of the elders of Israel living in captivity came to Ezekiel and asked him to seek the Lord on their behalf. But it’s obvious from God’s response that, despite coming to the prophet, they continued with their idolatry.

Sometimes we forget that the events of the Old Testament are historically true. These were real people and real events.

And if we’re honest, at the heart level, they were not that much different from us. How many times have we prayed and asked God for help and wisdom while we continue to try to work things out in our own strength and in our own way? How often have we turned to our idols for help (something sweet to comfort ourselves, a drink to help us relax because we’ve had a hard day, buying something to lift our spirits …) or manipulation (getting angry, pouting, crying, withholding affection …) in order to control someone or something? Continue reading

October 30 “In the last days”

time running out midnightThe stage is set … “… in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Tim. 3.1-5a).

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 45 & 46
Psalm 119.105-112
Proverbs 28.4
2 Timothy 3.1-17

 

Jeremiah 45 & 46:

Trusting God’s sovereign plan

In chapter 45 God speaks to Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe or secretary. Baruch was depressed and discouraged because of all the disaster God was about to bring on his nation.

Baruch hung out with Jeremiah. He knew what Jeremiah knew. He understand the what and why of God’s dealings with His people. And yet, he was struggling with his feelings.

And just because we understand truths like Romans 8.28-29, 1 Corinthians 10.13, and other similar passages, doesn’t mean we enjoy the trial when it affects us! Perhaps, Baruch was asking “Why me? Why did I have to be born at this time in history? Why couldn’t God have sent me somewhere else until all this was over?” Perhaps, he was reminding God that he had served Him faithfully and didn’t deserve this. Continue reading