KG Sept. 18-24

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September 18, Sunday

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God Who Restores — Judah and Jerusalem were in big trouble.  The good King Josiah was followed by four short reigns of unwise and wicked kings prior to the Babylonian exile.  These last kings were said by God to be “the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” (v. 1).  The final king, Zedekiah, was the one whose sons were killed right in front of him, immediately after which his eyes were put out by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25:7).  Although God would punish His people for 70 years in Babylon, He would not only bring them back to their land (Jer. 23:3-4), but He promised a greater deliverance in the distant future, at which time He would “raise up … a righteous Branch” (v. 5), who would be called “The LORD is our righteousness” (v. 6).  That was a prophecy fulfilled finally by the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.  God is a great restorer.  He brought His people out of 400 years of bondage in Egypt and returned His punished people from Babylon, but His greatest rescue would be provided by the death of His own Son on the cross.  He saved us by bringing us into the family of God and He also restores us when we fall into sin and receive His discipline.  We are His sheep and He is committed to our care.

Redeemed, Restored, Forgiven – YouTube

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Meditation: Jeremiah was writing this text when Zedekiah was reigning as the last king of Judah.  Zedekiah turned out to be a failure, even though his name ironically meant “the LORD is my righteousness.”  The name of the final King of David, however, the Messiah, would be “The LORD is our righteousness” (v. 6).  Zedekiah represents the end of an era and Jesus represents the beginning of an everlasting era.  He is the King who gives us His righteousness.

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September 19, Monday

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The Welfare State — The well-known verse 11 in this passage declares God’s “plans for welfare … [for] a future and a hope.”  In fact, the whole passage says a lot about “welfare” here, using that word four times (vv. 7, 11).  It is the familiar Hebrew word, “shalom,” and has two basic meanings.  One is peace and the other is prosperity.  Peace can mean either external freedom from conflict with others or internal freedom from turmoil.  When Jesus was about to leave this earth, He promised, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).  That is part of the internal “welfare” God has promised to all His people, for all time; it is the “welfare state” of inner peace.  The prosperity-side of shalom is not limited to material things.  It includes helping others, even those who might oppress you.  God told the Jewish exiles in Babylon to “seek the welfare of the city … and pray … on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jer. 29:7).  Do you pray regularly for your city, your state or province, and your nation?  We benefit when they benefit.  God’s “welfare plan” for us now, as it was for the Jews in Babylon, is to provide His peace and prosperity.

Wonderful Peace – YouTube

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September 20, Tuesday

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Scattered and Gathered — Judah was being punished for rebelling against following God solely and wholeheartedly.  God executed judgment and it hurt, but it was done in love—His “everlasting love” (v. 3).  He did it to bring them back to Him.  He scattered them to gather them: “He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him…” (v. 10).  We read other expressions of God’s committed love for His people: “I have continued my faithfulness to you” (v. 3) and “I am a father to Israel … my firstborn” (v. 9).  God would bring them back from Babylon and re-establish them in the Promised Land.  He would also bring back many Jews who had been deported and dispersed by the Assyrians many years earlier.  In 1948, Israel was formally made a nation, and God has protected and prospered it tremendously since then.  God does not give up on His own.  He has committed His love for His chosen ones.  He won’t give up on us, either.  He may have to painfully discipline us, but He will gather us back to Himself again.

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go – YouTube

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September 21, Wednesday

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Field of Dreams — Jeremiah was a prisoner because of his prophecies about the destruction of Jerusalem.  God sent Jeremiah’s cousin to the jail to ask Jeremiah to purchase a piece of land in his home town of Anathoth.  God told him to buy it.  Why?  If Jerusalem and Judah would fall to Babylon, why should God want Jeremiah to spend his money for land he could seemingly never occupy?  This was to be a symbolic action of assurance that the exiled Jews would once again possess the Promised Land.  For Judah to be exiled and return 70 years later seemed like an impossibility, but it wasn’t.  The reason was because of God’s omnipotence (being all-powerful).  Jeremiah proclaimed in his prayer, “Nothing is too hard for you” (v. 17), and God confirmed it by asking the rhetorical question, “Is anything too hard for me?” (v. 27).  What enemy has surrounded your “city of refuge”?  Can God protect you?  Yes, He is omnipotent.  What promise or dream seems impossible to be fulfilled for you?  Can God bring it to you anyway?  Yes, God is omnipotent.  Buy your field of dreams in faith!

Nothing Is Impossible – YouTube

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September 22, Thursday

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What’s in a Name? — We read at the beginning of this week that the coming Branch (Messiah) would have the name, “The LORD is our righteousness” (Jer. 23:6).  In our passage for today, in a very similar paragraph, it is the restored city of Jerusalem that will be called, “The LORD is our righteousness” (v. 16).  How far away is the moral character of your city from being known for its righteousness?!  The present Jerusalem is not yet generally righteous either, but there is still a time in the future when the Messiah will return to reign in that city, and it can, then, legitimately be called by the name, “The LORD is our righteousness.”  Even today, the Church could be labeled, “The LORD is our righteousness.”  We are righteous because the righteous Christ dwells within our hearts.  There is an interesting later connection in Rev. 3:12, where we are told that for “The one who conquers … I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem … , and my own new name.”  We followers of Jesus have yet another name waiting for us in heaven, and it will likely also be tied to “the LORD,” our Yahweh.

A New Name in Glory – YouTube

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September 23, Friday

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Remember This — Twice in this passage, the psalmist challenged God to remember how Israel’s enemy scoffed at Yahweh (vv. 18, 22).  He also urged God to “not forget the life of your poor forever” (v. 19).  The psalmist remembered some important history of the mighty wisdom and power of God: He rescued His people from Egypt’s slavery, saying, “You divided the sea by your might” (v. 13); He provided water for them in the wilderness, declaring, “You split open springs and brooks” (v. 15); and He created the universe (vv. 16-17).  There is something that the psalmist seems to have forgotten, however.  Since this psalm seems to fit chronologically at the time of Jerusalem’s fall to Babylon, why does verse 9 claim that “there is no longer any prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long”?  What about Jeremiah’s messages from God that they would be defeated and that the exile would last for 70 years? (Jer. 29:10).  God had told them, but they must have forgotten it.  We also need to remember what God has already told us in His Word.  That is why it is so important to develop the habit of reading the Bible every day, and then remember what He has told us.  When we bring our requests to God, it is also good to remember His history of working with unlimited wisdom and power.  Remember that He can do anything, and remember what He has already done for you.

We Remember – YouTube

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September 24, Saturday

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Wait and Rejoice — Habakkuk lived at the same time as Jeremiah.  Babylon was in the process of conquering Judah, and Jerusalem was about to be destroyed.  He trembled and quivered in fear (v. 16), but he knew God was in control of the situation.  After God used Babylon to punish Judah for their rebellion against Yahweh, He would also punish Babylon.  So, Habakkuk, “Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us” (v. 16).  Can we “quietly wait” for God’s judgment to come upon sinful people who may oppress us?  It is hard to wait when we are in trouble, but we can do it if we are convinced that our all-wise, all-powerful, perfectly-just God is in control of directing history and applying justice.  Just wait!  There is another thing that Habakkuk determined to do while facing a lack of food: “…yet I will rejoice…” (v. 18).  Waiting is hard enough, but rejoicing in times of trouble is even more challenging.  To do that, Habakkuk had to lift his focus from his circumstances to his Savior: “…yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation” (v. 18).  In the midst of physical trouble, God can make me “tread on my high places” (v. 19).  As the sure-footed deer can climb to rocky heights, so we can experience spiritual highs with God, even in times of trouble.  Rejoice while you wait!

Rejoice In the Lord – YouTube

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

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