Tag Archives: Israel

Major Themes LXVI – Obedience


Jeremiah 35:1-19 NKJV

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The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, “Go to the house of the Rechabites, speak to them, and bring them into the house of the Lord , into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.” Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, his brothers and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites, and I brought them into the house of the Lord , into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door. Then I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, “Drink wine.” But they said, “We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, ‘You shall drink no wine, you nor your sons, forever. You shall not build a house, sow seed, plant a vineyard, nor have any  of  these; but all your days you shall dwell in tents, that you may live many days in the land where you are sojourners.’ Thus we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; nor do we have vineyard, field, or seed. But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, ‘Come, let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and for fear of the army of the Syrians.’ So we dwell at Jerusalem.” Then came the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Will you not receive instruction to obey My words?” says the Lord . “The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; for to this day they drink none, and obey their father’s commandment. But although I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, you did not obey Me. I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will dwell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.’ But you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me. Surely the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them, but this people has not obeyed Me.” ’ “Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will bring on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the doom that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them but they have not heard, and I have called to them but they have not answered.’ ” And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever.” ’ ”

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Victory Versus Defeat


English: Moses Sees the Promised Land from Afa...
English: Moses Sees the Promised Land from Afar, as in Numbers 27:12, by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

October 14th

“The Lord will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you. They will march out against you from one direction but flee from you in seven directions. . . .

The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will march out against them from one direction but flee from them in seven directions. You will be an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.”Deuteronomy 28:7, 25

As the Israelites were preparing to enter the Promised Land, God set before them a choice: Heed His voice, obey His commandments, and experience continued victory. Or turn from God, disobey His word, and experience repeated and resounding defeat. It was a simple choice. The choice they made would be evident by the results on the battlefield.

The assurance of victory did not mean that the Israelites would not have to strap on their armor and go to battle. It did not assure them of effortless victory. At times their enemies fought fiercely, and the battles raged back and forth. Nevertheless, as the Israelites walked closely with God, they knew that their efforts would always result in victory.

God gives us the same choice He gave the Israelites. If we walk with Him, obedient to His word, He will stand with us and ensure victory over our challenges. We must face the battle, but God promises us victory if we remain in His will. However, if we choose to disassociate from God, we surely will be overtaken by difficulties. As with the Israelites, our decision will be evident by the outcome. If you are continually being defeated by everything you face, your heart has departed from God.

If you have been experiencing defeat in the challenges you face, examine your heart. When you are buffeted by the crises of life, your heart may have shifted away from God. Choose to listen to God. Then obey what He tells you, no matter what you face, and you will experience victory.

Experiencing God Day by Day: A Devotional and Journal.

Our Source of Power


June 26th Selection from the devotional “Embracing Eternity”

Today’s Reading: Micah 3:1-8


Micah 3:8

DO YOU EVER FEEL as if you’re living in the middle of Sodom? Do you look outside your window and wonder what God thinks of your city? Are your churches stale and your friends lukewarm?

There are godless places on earth, and many frustrated believers have found themselves deep in the middle of them, longing for strength and courage from on high. It’s not an easy place to be, but if it’s yours, then take comfort in this lesson from Micah. As a prophet of God, he proclaims God’s judgment on the people of Israel: “Listen, you leaders of Israel! You are supposed to know right from wrong, but you are the very ones who hate good and love evil. You skin my people alive and tear the flesh off their bones. You eat my people’s flesh, cut away their skin, and break their bones…. Then you beg the Lord for help in times of trouble! Do you really expect him to listen?” (Micah 3:1-4).

Micah found himself in the midst of a terrible generation that had no love for God and his commands. They were a people who had completely turned their backs on the Lord and who lived selfish and ungodly lives. Their hearts were as dark as their minds were corrupt.

And in the middle of this hotbed of sin, Micah stands before God and his neighbors and declares, “As for me, I am filled with power and the Spirit of the Lord. I am filled with justice and might, fearlessly pointing out Israel’s sin and rebellion” (Micah 3:8).

Are you living in a place that produces no fruit? a world that shuns the light and loves the darkness? a place of corruption and evil and ungodly behavior? Then let God fill you with his power and courage and goodness. Let him be the source of your strength. Let his Spirit invigorate yours. There is no place on earth so evil that God can’t reach through to fill and sustain his people. When others bring you down, he will lift you up. Jesus is all you need to live a godly life and have an unshakable faith. Even in the midst of horrible sin and corruption.

Reflection

When you pray for your city, what do you pray for? Do you look to the Lord for the faith and strength you need?


Embracing Eternity: Living Each Day with a Heart Toward Heaven.