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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB October 15

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Oct 15
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

Jeremiah

26:6, 8 ...then I will destroy this Temple as I destroyed Shiloh, the place where the Tabernacle was located. And I will make Jerusalem an object of cursing in every nation on earth.'" ...The priests and prophets and all the people at the Temple mobbed him. "Kill him!" they shouted. This is almost a reenactment of the scene with Jesus when He was accused of saying He was going to destroy the Temple (building). The reaction was the same, "Kill Him!" However, Jesus did NOT say He was going to destroy the Temple...He said, "Destroy this temple (Himself) and in three days I will raise it up (John 2:19)." But I wonder if this passage in Jeremiah is where they got the idea He said He was going to destroy it. However, as we saw from the curse on the fig tree, Jesus did prophesy doom and gloom for Jerusalem for their unbelief and disobedience. In fact, He said:

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! "Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, `BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!' " Luke 13:34-35

26:11 The priests and prophets presented their accusations to the officials and the people. "This man should die!" they said. "You have heard with your own ears what a traitor he is, for he has prophesied against this city." Jeremiah endured exactly the same treatment as Jesus from the religious mainstream of the day. Declaring holy consequences for sin and unbelief among the pious religious people and leaders is not unlike trying to steal cubs from a grizzly mama-even today.

27:5 With my great strength and powerful arm I made the earth and all its people and every animal. I can give these things of mine to anyone I choose. While this is a verse about God giving people over to captivity, it does not escape me that implied is the truth that all of my beloved pets, and especially my beautiful children, were thoughtfully and intentionally placed in my personal care by God!

27:8 So you must submit to Babylon's king and serve him; put your neck under Babylon's yoke! I will punish any nation that refuses to be his slave, says the Lord. I will send war, famine, and disease upon that nation until Babylon has conquered it. Yesterday we discussed how those who submitted to God's appointed exile into captivity were pleasing to Him and promised blessings, while those who stubbornly refused His appointed punishment would incur even more punishment. There are many verses in today's reading to that effect...

27:12-14 Then I repeated this same message to King Zedekiah of Judah. "If you want to live, submit to the yoke of the king of Babylon and his people. Why do you insist on dying—you and your people? Why should you choose war, famine, and disease, which the Lord will bring against every nation that refuses to submit to Babylon's king? Do not listen to the false prophets who keep telling you, ‘The king of Babylon will not conquer you.' They are liars.

2 Thessalonians

3:5 (NASB) May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ. This reads a bit differently than NLT, but it is beautiful! I like the first part of the NLT: May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God... But then NLT changes the "steadfastness of Christ" to "the patient endurance that comes from Christ" which is different than what I believe the original text is implying. It is the fullness of the love of God and the steadfastness of Christ in revealing that love toward us that the text is teaching (I believe).

3:14-15 Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. Don't think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister. I do find it interesting that we are warned about being in the company of believers who are willfully disobedient. I guess the hope is not to punish them but to bring them to repentance. There is a fine line though of becoming judgmental and unloving! We must not lose the love in whatever we do. All our motives must be to restore the relationship and not to punish or to think of ourselves more highly.

Psalm

85:10 Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. This verse brings together seeming opposites or paradoxes. Love and truth are two sides of a coin, yet through our "salvation" and mediator ("Yeshua!" in verses 4, 7, 9) these seeming opposites are brought together to save us. Jesus came to bring peace between men and God, thus bringing righteousness (God) and peace together in a holy kiss!

85:11 Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. I believe this is a cool picture of Jesus (the Truth, John 14:6) coming up from the earth as a human, and His Father of righteousness looking down on Him in approval from Heaven! "This is my Son in whom I am well pleased!"

85:12 Indeed, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce. I am so thankful for learning the Jewish oracles that have been vital for us in understanding the harvest. These verses about produce, harvest, grain, etc., are so rich when you understand what they mean!