October 13

Jeremiah 22:1–23:20

Jeremiah is now instructed to go down to the palace of the king and present the options of blessing and cursing to the king, his sons, and the people in that place. IF they obeyed, a longevity of blessings would abound, but IF they refused to repent, Jeremiah warned that, “this house shall become a desolation.”

Gilead and Lebanon are mentioned in Jeremiah 22:6.

Bible Knowledge Commentary, “Both Gilead and Lebanon were known for their forests (Judges 9:15; 1 Kings 4:33; 2 Chronicles 2:8), and the royal palace in Jerusalem was known as the ‘Palace of the Forest of Lebanon’ (1 Kings 7:2–5; Isa. 22:8). But after God’s judgment the palace would be as desolate as a desert. The Babylonians would cut up the palace’s fine cedar beams and cast them into the fire (Jeremiah 52:13).”

Jerusalem would be thoroughly judged, the land would be leveled. When others passed by and asked “why?” Jeremiah provides the response:

Jeremiah 22:9 (NKJV) “Then they will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshiped other gods and served them.’”

It’s as simple as that. It’s passages like this that strike a healthy fear of God within my heart.

In Jeremiah 22:11 he begins to specifically address the sons of King Josiah. Shallum (another name for Jehoahaz) succeeded Josiah in 609 B.C. after his father was killed by Pharaoh Neco II (2 Kings 23:29-33). Jeremiah warned him, for he had built his house with unrighteousness, he cared not for his workers, or the poor, his eyes and heart were filled with only covetousness (Jeremiah 22:17). Jeremiah predicted his judgment, and death that no one would mourn.

In Jeremiah 24:24 he begins to specifically address Jeconiah (also known as Jehoiachin), the grandson of Jehoahaz. He only reigned three months in Jerusalem when he was carried away captive to Babylon (2 Kings 24:8-12). Another king severely judged. He did have children but none of his descendants would be allowed to prosper as king. For this reason Jeconiah is mentioned in the lineage of Matthew, but not Luke, Luke being Jesus’ blood line.

In Jeremiah 23 the Lord declares woes and warnings to the false prophets. It was because of their lies that the people of Israel and Judah were scattered throughout the world. They spoke words and visions from their own heart. They preached peace when God’s judgment was on its way, they had no concept of holiness whatsoever, they not only tolerated sin, but celebrated sin, saying to the disobedient, “No evil shall come upon you.” (Jeremiah 23:17)

Nowadays we have preachers who veer away from teachings on holiness, or sin, or hell, they give “positive” self-help messages on topics the people WANT to hear. Because they don’t preach God’s Word the people suffer and will be judged, but the messengers are MORE accountable (see Ezekiel 3 and 33).

And yet…mingled into these catastrophic words is the coming of Christ (Jeremiah 23:5-6). This descendant of David will reign during the Millennial Kingdom and not only will He rule, be He will be our righteousness before God. As a matter of fact, that’s His Name – THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS is a compound name in the Hebrew “Yahweh-Tsidkenu.” This speaks of Jesus who died on that cross of Calvary and provides His righteousness the moment we place our faith in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

See also Romans 1:17; 3:21-26; 5:19; Philippians 3:9

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12

The Thessalonians had some questions about the Second Coming of Christ that Paul would be dealing with in this little letter. Some of the saints needed to be corrected for their conduct, but for the most part, this church was an absolute blessing to Paul. Their faith was growing, along with their love so that they even became the objects of boasting by Paul amongst the churches. The Thessalonians were patient and blessed with endurance in the midst of the many persecutions and tribulations they were experiencing.

As you read through 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 you get the sense that Paul is comforting the Thessalonians with the truth that God would one day deal with all the evil doers for all the evil they’d done, and God would one day comfort the church for all their faithfulness through the fiery trials on planet earth.

They suffered for the Kingdom (2 Thessalonians 1:5) because they’re were hated by the world (John 15:18) the troublers would be “repaid” by God Himself (2 Thessalonians 1:6). The church gets her ultimate rest at the Revelation of Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:7) and as for those who reject the love of the Gospel, they only have the flaming fire of the vengeance of God to look forward to (2 Thessalonians 1:8) they’ll receive justice and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 1:9). You’ve probably heard that maxim, that for the believer, this is the closest thing to hell we’ll ever experience, but for the non-believer, this is the closest thing to heaven we’ll ever experience. What an encouragement to the Christian, and what a sobering thought for the non-Christian!

I love the way Paul prays for the Thessalonian Christians (always) for God to do a legit work in them, that their walk would be worthy (line up with their salvation), that they would fulfill God’s calling upon their lives – and have more faith and more power; that the name of Jesus would be glorified through their lives…all by God’s amazing grace!

Psalm 83:1-18

This is another one of those Psalms where it seems as if God is silent, and sometimes He is, but that’s okay, for we can rest assured, He is never absent.

Asaph prayed because he knew the enemies of Israel were plotting a plan against them:

Psalm 83:4 (NKJV) “They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

(Sounds like modern day Iran – click [here] for article).

Asaph prayed for God to defeat these evil alliances just as God had defeated many kings and nations in the time of the judges (Psalm 83:9-11).

Asaph prayed for God to blow them away as chaff, to frighten them away with His thunder and lighting…but maybe not all of them. Warren Wiersbe explains, “Asaph had a purpose in mind—not just the safety of Israel but the glory of the Lord (Psalm 83:16–18). Some of the enemy soldiers might even trust in the God of Israel! It was important that Israel’s name be preserved (Psalm 83:4), but it was more important that God’s name be glorified.”

Proverbs 25:11-14

Proverbs 25:11 (NKJV) “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

Other translations offer a variety of insight:

Proverbs 25:11 (NLT) “Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.”

Proverbs 25:11 (NIV) “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given.”

Proverbs 25:11 (NET) “Like apples of gold in settings of silver, so is a word skillfully spoken.”

And then there are parallel passages that shed even more light:

Proverbs 15:23b (NKJV) ”…a word spoken in due season, how good it is!”

Isaiah 50:4 (NKJV) “The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.”

The next verse goes hand-in-hand:

Proverbs 25:12 (NKJV) “Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.”

The NLT describes it as “valid criticism.”

This is a common principle in the Proverbs; one of the keys of wisdom in life.

Proverbs 15:31 (NKJV) “The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise.”

Just as David received Nathan’s rebuke. It’s tragic that the Pharisees would not hear the righteous rebukes of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Another verse in the same realm:

Proverbs 25:13 (NKJV) “Like the cold of snow in time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him, for he refreshes the soul of his masters.”

Imagine, it’s the summer harvest, the day is scorching hot; seven years of satellite temperature data show that the Lut Desert is the hottest spot on planet earth. A recent 7-year study revealed the temperature in this Desert reaching 159.3°F. Imagine being there, and then imagine it begins to snow – what a blessing that would be!

That’s what this Proverbs describe, it’s so refreshing when anyone – even God finds a faithful messenger.

Charles Bridges said, “And may we not with reverence mark even God himself condescending to receive refreshment through the agency of his faithful messengers?”

For some people it might be like this:

“Did you tell them what I told you to tell them?” “Yes Lord.”

For others it will be like this:

“Did you give them My Word?” “No Lord, they didn’t want to hear it, they were more interested in other things, so I wanted to keep their interest. The latest news, not the good news of the Gospel. A positive message not a Biblical message.”

Yep, that’s what’s going on today. Let’s remember the words of Paul:

1 Corinthians 4:2 (NKJV) “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

Acts 20:26–27 (NKJV) “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.”

(Contrast Proverbs 26:6)

Proverbs 25:14 (NKJV) “Whoever falsely boasts of giving is like clouds and wind without rain.”

The same thing said in different ways:

Proverbs 25:14 (NLT) “A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.”

Proverbs 25:14 (NIV) “Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given.”

“It applies above all to false teachers (Jude 12 alludes to it) who win followers by promises that never materialize (cf. 2 Peter 2:19).” – Derek Kidner

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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