In Today's Scripture Reading:
Letter to captives in Babylon; Jews' deliverance after 70 years foretold; full restoration of all things foretold
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 had 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 dwelling-places; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap (ruin) (Jeremiah 30:18).
The Lord also revealed to Jeremiah that, at a future time, He would make 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 bitterness and holding grudges, or of seeking revenge when we are mistreated or faced with opposition.
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 (Hebrews 13:5-6).
The Apostle Peter was led to write: Gird up the loins of your mind . . . As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (behavior); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (I Peter 1:13-16).
As the One who forgives sin (Jeremiah 31:34). That ye may know that the Son of Man hath power (authority) on earth to forgive sins, (then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go (Matthew 9:6; compare John 8:10-11).
29:11 an expected end =b> a hopeful future; 29:23 have committed villany =b> have done disgraceful things; 30:21 engaged =b> pledged; 31:14 satiate =b> fully satisfy; 31:21 high heaps =b> road signs (pointing back to Israel).
Pray for The English & Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in memory of Carolynn Ruth Reece Staff: Beth Carlton Government Officials: Rep. Bud Cramer (AL) and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (MI) Country: Equatorial Guinea (466,000) in western Africa Major language: Spanish Freedom for churches at this time 71% Roman Catholic; 19% ancestral spirit worship and medicine men; 6% Protestant Prayer Suggestion: Intercede for others (Exodus 32:31-32).
Optional Reading: I John 4
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 4:13