Read Jeremiah 29 -- 31
In Today's Reading:
Letter to captives in Babylon; Jews' deliverance foretold; full restoration of all things foretold
The prophets of God warned the Israelites that, because of idol worship and their disregard for the Word of God, they would be scattered throughout the world. Yet, God would not forsake them: I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither (where) I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished (Jeremiah 30:11).
A full end of the powerful kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon did take place. These two powerful world empires were destroyed just as the Lord foretold through Jeremiah. Jeremiah also prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the small kingdom of Judah. Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap (ruins) (30:18).
The Lord also revealed to Jeremiah that, at a future time, there would also be a new covenant: I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people (31:33).
During their Babylonian captivity, through His prophet Jeremiah, the Lord taught the people to seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace (29:7). This means they were to pray for, and be a blessing to, their captors; and the Israelites, in turn, would be blessed by God. The Lord reminds us also of the self-destructive results of hatred, of holding grudges, or of seeking revenge when we are mistreated or faced with opposition.
Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, Jesus said: Blessed (happy, fortunate) are ye, when men shall shall revile you, and persecute you . . . for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Matthew 5:11-12).
Pity the person who, even though physically free, remains shackled with dissatisfaction about his circumstances and is longing for a time when he can be free and enjoy living. Perhaps he is waiting until he has a promotion or a better home, or for retirement. But he is always waiting for release from his present situation. An even more serious example is the person who has been offended and has quit attending church. Often such people are engulfed in bitter resentment and have made themselves prisoners of their own miserable attitudes.
The Apostle Peter was led to write: As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He which hath called you holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (I Peter 1:14-16).
As the One Who forgives sin (Jeremiah 31:34). But (in order) that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins (remit from the penalty), (then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house (Matthew 9:6; compare John 8:10-11).
29:11 an expected end = a hopeful future; 29:23 have committed villany = have done disgraceful things; 30:21 engaged = pledged; 31:14 satiate = fully satisfy; 31:21 high heaps = road signs (pointing back to Israel).
BP Staff: George Kopchak · Pray for Campus Crusade for Christ and Bill Rogers, counsellor in Romania · Government Officials: Rep. Bud Cramer (AL), Rep. Ken Lucas (KY), and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (MI) · Country: Oman (2 million) on the southeastern coast of Arabia · Major languages: Arabic and English · Fewer restrictions on Christian activity than most of its neighbors · 97% Muslim; .5% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Continue to watch and pray with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2).
Optional Reading: I John 4
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:24