"God's Word is Living & Active!" ~ Hebrews 4:12
Jeremiah 51:54-52:34 ~ Titus 3:1-15 ~ Psalm 100:1-5 ~ Proverbs 26:18-19
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Old Testament – We reach the end of the book of Jeremiah today! This has been a fascinating book for me to read this year! I definitely learned a lot more about prophets, the fall of Jerusalem and Babylon. I hope this has been a good learning experience for you as well? Jeremiah chapter 51 closes out Jeremiah’s prophecies, ending with his prophecies against Babylon. Tomorrow we start the book of Lamentations! And actually, we’re getting a good set up for Lamentations in Chapter 52 of Jeremiah today. I think as you read the end of chapter 51, you might think – okay, this should be the end of this book, correct, as verse 64 in chapter 51 tells us – “This is the end of Jeremiah’s messages.” But… chapter 52 is in here to remind readers of the fall of Jerusalem, and to segue way into the book of Lamentations.
Below is the painting “Jeremiah Laments the Devastation of Jerusalem” by Rembrandt. (1630. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum.)
Chapter 52 is sad to read – particularly when you think back to all of the work of the Israelites in Solomon’s day in creating the temple. Also I think back to the work of others earlier in the Old Testament who built up the walls of Jerusalem. All of this destroyed and burned. I read somewhere that it’s speculated that the Ark of the Covenant was probably destroyed during this time period, in the fire at the Temple. It is so sad to think about this day in Jerusalem’s history…
At the very end of chapter 52 we see a few verses giving hope for Israel’s line to continue.
New Testament – Today we also finish up Paul’s letter to Titus! The very short letter to Philemon begins tomorrow. The first couple verses of Titus chapter 3 are interesting to me – “Remind your people to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not speak evil of anyone, and they must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.” Paul is reminding the church at that time to submit to governmental authority – to be obedient. And to do what is good. This reminds me of Jesus saying in the Gospels – “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. And to God what is God.” So, there does certainly seem to be a call to be good citizens of the communities we live in – as we strive to be good citizens of the kingdom of God simultaneously.
Psalms – Today we read Psalm 100! I will copy this short Psalm below.
It is amazing to realize that Joy is a gift from God we should be experiencing every day. I pray you are experiencing joy as a spiritual discipline! Think this Psalmist in Psalm 100 was?
A psalm. For giving thanks.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Proverbs – Proverbs 26 verses 18 & 19 are so true… “Just as damaging as a mad man shooting a lethal weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.” Please don’t lie to your friends ever as a joke… this is such a bad idea… Lying jokes aren’t funny at all!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:1-2 (NIV)
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