Highlights In Today's Reading:
Again the potter's vessel is used as an example, this time it is smashed, foretelling destruction. In Chapter 20 we see Jeremiah severely punished for faithfully declaring the prophecies of the Lord (20:2). He determines he will no longer prophesy, but God's Word is as a burning fire within him and he can not fail to speak (20:9). Zedekiah was frightened at the approach of the Babylonian army and asks Jeremiah to intercede with God for him and the nation. Instead, the prophet pronounced the judgment of God on Jerusalem and the last four kings.
When Nebuchadnezzar surrounded Jerusalem with his army, Zedekiah urged Jeremiah to inquire of God as to what would be the outcome. The Lord replied: Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abideth in this city shall die . . . but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans (Nebuchadnezzar) that besiege you, he shall live. . . . saith the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire (21:8-10).
How different the circumstances when God spoke by Moses before entering the promised land and the prophet Jeremiah who must prophesy the results of their own choice: I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live . . . that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)! With Moses it was a gracious contrast of life or death, a merciful choice between a life blessed with the Lord's favor or a horrible death because of their idols and disobedience. They had neglected the way of life which would have preserved them from slavery. The only way of life was slavery in the hands of the Chaldeans; or death by famine and the sword within the city's walls. Like many today, they chose death. Before one is saved, the choices may appear equally difficult; but surrender to Christ in obedience to His Word is the way of true life. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (II Corinthians 5:17).
Heaven or hell are before you, and you are advancing closer every day to one of these eternal destinations. What reception can you look forward to? Well done, good and faithful servant or: Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire (Matthew 25:23,41). Is the way you are living worth dying for?
Ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin (Romans 6:17-18).
Thought for Today:
When setting our priorities, make sure the eternal ones are first on our list.
As the One who pronounces judgment upon those who refuse to obey His Word (Jeremiah 19:15). The Father . . . committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).
19:3 his ears shall tingle =b> will be utterly stunned by the news; 19:9 straitness =b> anguish, distress; 20:3 Magor-missabib =b> terror on every side; 20:11 mighty terrible one =b> awe-inspiring one, heroic champion.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Country: Cameroon (15 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: English and French • Pressure on Christians from authorities and Muslims • 28% Roman Catholic; 23% Muslim; 18% animism, divination, and animal sacrifices; 14% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for spiritual prosperity (I Chron. 4:9-10).
Optional Reading: 1 John 1
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:18