Bible Pathways - Aug. 15, 2009
Read Jeremiah 4
Highlights In Today's Reading:
God warns Judah of impending destruction unless hearts and minds are cleansed (4:3-4). The prophet grieves (4:19-22) over visions of Judah's coming judgment (4:23-31). Not one man that seeketh the truth to save the city (5:1-9,19-25). A last warning (6:1-9). Judah's constant rebellion results in rejection (6:10-30).
The prophet Jeremiah began his public ministry in the 13th year of the reign of God-fearing King Josiah of Judah (1:2). Josiah's grandfather Manasseh had reigned 55 years (II Kin. 21:1), and his father Amon had been assassinated after just two years (21:19-23). Both were very evil kings who led the people into immoral perversions. They had popularized worship of the false deities of their neighboring pagan nations; Manasseh had even caused his children to pass through the fire (II Chr. 33:6). This opened the way for the offering of incense to the queen of heaven (Jer. 7:18; 44: 17-19,25), Babylon's fertility goddess.
Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the children of Israel (II Kin. 21:9). However, Amon's son Josiah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord (22:2). In the 18th year of his reign, Josiah initiated a restoration of worship of the True God and a Passover unequaled in Israel's history (23:22-23).
After the death of godly Josiah (23:30-32), all of his sons were evil kings and the nation reverted to their wicked ways. This made Jeremiah's ministry very difficult.
Jeremiah exposed the sinfulness of the foolish people (of Judah), and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not (Jer. 5:21). He then spoke of wickedness that existed in the Temple which was supposed to be the source of spiritual instruction. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means (5:31). The Word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it (6:10).
There are some today who make no effort to read through the Bible. It is apparent that they have no delight in the Lord's Word. Even as the people of Jeremiah's day, the Lord says also of them: They have not hearkened unto My words, nor to My Law, but rejected it (6:19).
Some see a parallel between the fall of Judah and today's rapid moral decline and rise of false religions. Neglecting the Word of God is a major step toward apostasy. A true Christian delights in reading the Bible. More to be desired are they (our Creator's Guide on gaining the best in life) than . . . much fine gold (Ps. 19:10)
Thought for Today:
The way of the Lord is strength to the upright (Prov. 10:29).
By Jeremiah, whom God commissioned to reveal His Truth (Jer. 4:2). Jesus shall one day judge all mankind with His Truth (Ps. 96:13; John 5:22). Jesus said: To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth. Every one that is of the Truth heareth My voice (John 18:37).
4:6 retire, stay not = go in haste to take refuge, don't delay; 4:22 sottish = devoid of spiritual understanding; 5:10 battlements = branches; 5:13 wind = full of words, but speaking nothing from God; 5:30 wonderful = monstrous, shocking; 6:30 reprobate silver = rejected, despised, trash.
Pray for Staff: Bernice Rathbone • Government Officials: Rep. Judy Biggert (IL), Justice Stephen Breyer, Del. Eni Faleomavaega (American Samoa), and Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) • Country: Angola (11 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Bantu dialects • Christianity is gradually being driven underground by communism • 60% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 5% belief in ancestor spirits, witches, and medicine men • Prayer Suggestion: The Word of God, confession, and prayer bring the believer into close communion with God (Neh. 9:2-5).
Optional Reading: 1 Peter 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 10:28