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Bible Pathways - Aug. 20, 2008


August 20

Jeremiah 23

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Chapter 23 begins with condemnation of the pastors (shepherds) of Israel (23:1-4). The Righteous Branch is foretold (23:5-8). False prophets are the biggest hindrance to Jeremiah's preaching (23:31). Then we have good figs and bad figs. Which category did you choose to be in (Chapter 24)? Only through a direct revelation from God would Jeremiah have known the exact number of years of the Babylonian captivity (25:11).

The "dark clouds" of a terrible storm gather over Jerusalem. But rays of hope foretold of a brighter day. The judgments which the prophet announced of the ruin awaiting Judah were terrifying. This marvelous ray of hope shone beyond the days of calamities bringing comfort just as it does today: I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. . . . and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking. . . . Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a Righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper . . . In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely (23:3-6).

There is a vital difference between this promised King and all who ever sat on David's throne. He is to be called by the magnificent and wonderful Name: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (23:6). How different He is from all the kings of history. Judah was assured that He will reign in wisdom and, by His power, secure peace and justice in the earth (23:5).

This King of Righteousness shall come forth as a tender branch as from a tree cut down: There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of His roots (Isaiah 11:1). His beginnings will be small, His rise seemingly out of dry ground (53:2), but He will grow to be great throughout all the world. He will set up a kingdom which shall be victorious over all opposition. He is spoken of as THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, for all our righteousness has its source in Him; we are made the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21). When we accept Him as our Savior and Lord, His life — His righteousness — flows into us. Therefore, we stand justified before God — not upon our own merits, but upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

His power is unlimited. As the King of kings and the Lord of lords (I Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16), all things are dependent on His power and subject to His control, who is over all, God blessed for ever (Romans 9:5).

I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16).

Thought for Today:

Don't be discouraged by your circumstances because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world (I John 4:4).

Christ Revealed:

As THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:5-6). 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; also II Corinthians 5:21).

Word Studies:

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

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Officials: Rep. Katherine Castor (FL), Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX) and Rep. Ron Paul (TX) • Country: Canada (31 million) in North America • Major languages: English and French • Religious freedom • 47% Roman Catholic; 37% Protestant; 3% Eastern Orthodox; 2% cults; 1% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and then obediently do what God says (I Chron. 14:14-16).

Optional Reading: 1 John 2

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:18

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