August 20

Read Jeremiah 23 -- 25

In Today's Reading:

Future restoration; Christ's rule promised; lying prophets; good and bad figs; judgment on Babylon foretold

Only a few months remained before the Babylonians' destruction of the kingdom of Judah. It was now too late to pray for Jerusalem or for the Temple to be saved from destruction. Judah's last king, Zedekiah, would have his eyes gouged out and be taken to Babylon in chains (see II Kings 25:7). These prophecies are all horrifying reminders that sin and suffering are inseparable and that judgment is inevitable whenever the Word of God is disregarded.

Jeremiah's message now turned from the pronouncement of the coming judgment to comfort the Israelites. To illustrate, the Lord showed him one basket (that) had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe; and the other basket had very naughty (rotten) figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad (Jeremiah 24:2).Then the Lord said: Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land (24:5-6). There were three fig harvests — June, August, and November. The first figs, in June, were considered a great delicacy (Isaiah 28:4; Hosea 9:10; Micah 7:1). Thus the Lord was lovingly sending the chosen "good figs" into captivity to correct them "for their own good."

Even while the armies of Babylon were besieging Jerusalem, Jeremiah assured those who were faithful to God's Word: Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper; and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His Name whereby He shall be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:5-6;33:15-16). Despite what man considers "progress," human nature has not changed since Adam and neither has our Creator.

Because of the sin passed down from Adam, by our natural birth, there is none righteous, no, not one. . . . For all have sinned, and come (fall) short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10,23). When we receive Christ as our Savior He becomes for us THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. We too are comforted as we continue to look forward to the coming return of the Messiah Jesus, Who is that Righteous Branch. The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to write: He (God) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made of the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21).

Christ Revealed:

As THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:5-6). But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30).

Word Studies:

23:10 adulterers = forsakers of God; because of swearing = because of the curse of God upon it; 23:32 lightness = vain boasting; 25:34 shall fall like a pleasant vessel = will be broken like a valuable vessel; 25:38 covert = hiding place.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Brett Landry and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KKAY-AM, Donaldsonville LA · the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Linda Kennon · Government Officials: Rep. John Cooksey (LA), Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX), and Rep. Ron Paul (TX) · Country: North Korea (22 million) in northeastern Asia · Major language: Korean · Violent oppression against all religions · 68% atheist; 31% Buddhism, Confucianism, and other Korean religions; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks to the Lord and praise Him openly, for He has redeemed you through His blood and forgiven all your sins (Colossians 1:12-14).

Optional Reading: I John 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:24