Bible Pathways - Aug. 30, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
A tear-stained portrait of the once proud and powerful Jerusalem, now reduced to rubble by the Babylonian army. Today's reading describes "the funeral" of the city. Everything personal was destroyed. Jeremiah witnessed the destruction and is a type of Christ as he wept over the same city that Jesus did six centuries later. Both tragedies are the result of ignoring the Word of God (Matthew 23:36-38). Heartbroken, Jeremiah speaks of the city in first person (Lamentations 1:12-22). Her enemies mock her (1:7).
False prophets are self-deceived. Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee (2:14). Thy prophets were not misinformed prophets of God. Their authority was similar to fortune-tellers today. Probably both get their "messages" from demons under the influence of Satan: False apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:13-14). Jeremiah, the true prophet, said: The prophets prophesy falsely . . . and My people love to have it so (Jeremiah 5:31).
False prophets were politically motivated and could not see that disobedience to God was the root of the nation's troubles for they were blind leaders of the blind (Matthew 15:14). They were recognized as official prophets and maintained recognition among the prominent in the nation. But they ignored God's Word. There are "deceitful workers" who cleverly represent themselves as biblically sound (4:5-6). There are many "false prophets" today — men and women who may have training in theology and are licensed or ordained by their denomination, but who never encourage their followers to read all the Bible since they have their own agenda. Many do not believe the Bible to be the only inspired Word of God (II Timothy 3:16). Consequently, they have no spiritual insight. They may be popular, but their prayers and preaching are powerless. We are warned: There be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:7-8)
We are also warned: Try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (I John 4:1). Three of the numerous good testimonies concerning the diety of Jesus as the Messiah, the only son of God, are revealed in John 6:38-40, 14:6-11, and Colossians 1:10-20.
Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in . . . the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (II Timothy 3:13-15).
Thought for Today:
Many will do anything for the praise of men but, Jesus taught us that if we want to be great we should become servants.
By Jeremiah's sorrow over the destruction of Jerusalem (Lamentations 1:12-22). Jesus expressed His sorrow for Jerusalem's failure to come to Him before it fell again (Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34).
1:3 between the straits =b> where there was no way out; 1:4 solemn feasts =b> appointed assemblies; 1:9 came down wonderfully =b> had a horrifying fall; 1:14 wreathed =b> joined together; 2:12 their soul was poured out into =b> they died in.
Pray for Country: Cote d'Ivoire (16 million) in western Africa • Major languages: French and over 60 native dialects • Religious freedom • 40% animist; 25% Muslim; 10% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Humbly kneel before the Lord with a contrite heart as you pray (Ezra 9:5-6).
Optional Reading: Revelation 4
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:18