Saturday, October 7, 2017

October 7: Jeremiah 8:8 – 9; Psalm 78:32-55; Proverbs 24:27; Colossians 3:1-17



Overview

            Jeremiah: God says that the prophets and scribes are lying by saying there will be peace. He will punish them for that and because they commit abominations and are not ashamed. Their coming disaster is predicted by Jeremiah instead of peace. God says he can hear them coming to devour the land.
            Jeremiah expresses his grief for the people and the Lord answers by telling him he is right, he is seeing the same evil things Jeremiah is seeing. Still, Jeremiah wants to know if there is any cure to restore the people. He wants to weep for them all day long. He wants to fee from them because of their sins. No one can trust their neighbors because of their sinful behavior.
            The Lord says he will refine and test them. It is the only thing he can do because of all their sins. It will result in laying waste to the land and Jerusalem. Not everyone will understand this. Their sins of idolatry and rebellion is resulting in their bitter food and poisonous water. He will scatter them to the nations. He calls for people to mourn because of the disaster because death is coming and bodies will be piled up like dung.
            The wise man should not boast in his wisdom but that he understands and knows the Lord. The Lord practices and delights in love, justice, righteousness in the earth. Soon he will punish all nations that circumcise in the flesh but not in the heart.
            Psalm: Asaph continues his indictment of Israel. They continued in sin and disbelief. God made their lives miserable and they returned to him as their rock and redeemer. Then they only paid lip service to God but he was faithful and atoned for them instead of destroying them. He remembered they were but flesh. They continued to test him in the desert; they forgot about his power. They forgot all the plagues he brought upon Egypt, when he took them through the Red Sea, and drove out the nations before them.
            Proverbs: Make sure your work is done before you spend all your time building your house.
            Colossians: Because we belong to Christ we should concentrate on heavenly things instead of earthly things. We are in God through Jesus and we will appear with him in glory when he appears. In light of this, we should put off all our old sin habits because God’s wrath will come against these things. Rather, we must act like the new person God has made us to be, which is like our Creator. It doesn’t matter our race or social position because we are all in Christ.
            So, we must act like God’s chosen people. We must be kind, considerate, and many other things like that. We must forgive each other and put up with each other in love. We must let Christ peace and word rule over us. We should encourage and caution each other in wisdom and with spiritual music. We should always be thankful and do everything in the name of Jesus our Lord.

What Stood Out

            Jeremiah: “Let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord” (Jer 9:24).        
            Psalm: “Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not faithful to his covenant” (Ps 78:37).
            Proverbs: “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house” (Prov 24:27).
            Colossians: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:17).

Insight

            Jeremiah: Each day of our readings in Jeremiah, we are bombarded with repetitions of the evils that were happening in Judah. It’s like a broken record. You guys are sinning so badly that you will be punished and the punishment will be the destruction of the land and people. However, these words didn’t all come to Jeremiah in a few days but over several years. This means that they didn’t repent but completely ignored all of Jeremiah’s warnings.
            In today’s reading, we find a problem with Judah and that is that they are not wise. They don’t understand why the Lord is angry with them (Jer 9:12). They think that they will have peace because of past promises of the Lord. They have ignored the warnings in Scripture and from the mouths of the prophets. The Lord tells them who is wise, it is the person who understands and knows the Lord. They know that the Lord is loving, just, and righteous. Their problem is that they focus on his love and predict peace and ignore his justice and righteousness.
            And that brings us to people today. More often than not, people on the streets and even in some churches are doing the same thing. They think that God is all loving and ignore his righteousness so that our sins do not offend his holiness. They don’t believe that God’s justice will cause any punishment because he is all loving. What’s the results? A society that ends up doing what they want when they want and eventually, God’s judgment upon them.
            Psalm: There are many verses in the Bible that make it look like we can lose our salvation. When Jesus says we must endure to the end to be saved (Matt 10:22), we are concerned that keeping our salvation is completely up to us. When we see someone turn away from the Lord, we wonder if they are really saved or not. However, Asaph reveals that Israel often repented but their hearts weren’t really steadfast for the Lord. In other words, their repentance was only to get out of the punishment and not because they were really concerned with God’s holiness.
            Proverbs: This should be fairly simple advice; take care of the necessities of living before you work on your pleasures. However, in our-get-it-now-and-get-it-fast society, it is not the way millions of Americans are functioning. Credit card debt tells us that we can have a big house and all the furnishing along with other luxuries before we pay for them. That is just the opposite of what the Bible tells us.
            Colossians: Paul provides some of his advice to the Colossians that he also wrote to the Ephesians. The concept of putting off old sinful behavior and putting on godly behavior is a fundamental part of growing in holiness. Each of us should be doing that because we are God’s chosen children (Col 3:12). This is in view of the fact that we are actually seated with Jesus in the heavenly realms (Col 3:1). Just as Jesus is in our hearts when we become believers, in the spiritual realm, we are already with God. That is an interesting spiritual truth. Jesus is in us and we are in him. The God who created the universe is living in us and we are in him. With that in mind, we should be acting much better than we do. That should also encourage us to live godly lives.

Application

             I want to have a good view of God. I must know about his justice and righteousness as well as his love. That encourages me to continue in working toward holiness, putting off sinful behavior and doing what is right. I want to make sure I’m behaving the way I should because I am saved.

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