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Rule Breaker…

This is the post excerpt.

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Rule Breaker…

There is always that one in the crowd who doesn’t follow the rules. It is like obedience is poison to his soul.  He may be a decent guy on the outside, but he has rebellion in his heart.  He may even be attending church regularly, going to school and making A’s, or working hard at his job, but his heart is unsettled and looking for a way to break loose. He is the quiet, passive one who on the outside is a people pleaser, but his heart is full of lies and hate. He is stubborn and wants to do things his way regardless of who it hurts. He was told to wear his seatbelt because of safety and it’s the law, but when he is alone, he selfishly refuses to wear it. It was a cold, icy morning in Florida.  He was driving to his college class when he lost control and hit a telephone pole going 60 mph. His head hit the windshield so hard, it shattered it. He died instantly from the impact. His rebellious heart took his life.

King David took 30, 000 men of Israel to go with him to bring the Ark of God and place it in the tabernacle.  The ark had been at the house of Abinadab, his two sons were Uzzah and Ahio.  The ark was set on a new cart and accompanied by these two brothers.

 There were rules from God for the ark to be carried on poles by men.  This would protect it from falling.  Unfortunately for Uzzah, they did not do this.  When the ox carrying the new cart stumbled and made the ark shake and possibly fall, Uzzah reached forth his hand and steadied the ark.  The ark is holy and no one was to touch it.  For touching it, Uzzah was killed by God.

 This really bothered King David.  Moments before, there had been joy, shouting, and playing of instruments; now there was death, guilt, and sadness.  David left the ark at the home of Obededom for three months.  God blessed Obededom and all of his household because of the ark of God.  King David was told this, so he and all the house of Israel went and brought the ark to the city of David with gladness, shouting of joy, and playing of instruments.

 David was dancing before the Lord.  Michal, David’s wife, Saul’s daughter, looked out of the window and saw David dancing and hated him in her heart.  David gave the men and women bread, meat, and wine and then they went home.  David went home also.  Michal met David outside and mockingly said,

 “How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!”

 David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.  And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.”  Michal never had children.

 Challenge – David did not inquire of God about the ark of God, how to carry it, or the rules regarding it.  If he had, and obeyed the rules, Uzzah would not have lost his life this way.  David perhaps felt responsible for his death and it also made him scared of God in an unhealthy way.  God wants us to fear Him in a healthy way, meaning to respect and honor Him.  He doesn’t want us scared of Him.

 It is important to get into the habit of asking God about everything in our lives.  To David, retrieving the ark of God did not seem dangerous like going to war against the Philistine where the Lord went before them to fight for them.

 We do not know what lies around a corner or what a day will bring, but our sovereign God does.  Learn to be totally dependent on God and ask Him what to do.  Allow Him to guide your decisions daily.  Stop depending on yourself and start depending on God; after all, He knows everything and wants His best for us.  Sometimes His best is awful to us, but going through His best is what brings us closer to Him and makes us more like Jesus if we allow it to.

2 Samuel 6:1 Again, David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.
6:2 And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.
6:3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.
6:4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark.
6:5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.
6:6 And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
6:7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.
6:8 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day.
6:9 And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?
6:10 So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.
6:11 And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.
6:12 And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.
6:13 And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.
6:14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
6:15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
6:16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
6:17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
6:18 And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.
6:19 And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.
6:20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
6:21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.
6:22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
6:23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.

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Resting…

pooh and JacobResting…

 

Winnie the Pooh is a bear of much wisdom.  He reminds us of what is important in life.  He encourages us to slow down, take in the view, and enjoy our friends.  One of my favorite Pooh Bear quotes is:

 

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”  – Pooh Bear

 

We are so much braver than we believe.  Love for others makes us braver:

 

  • A mother is willing to die to protect her child
  • A soldier is willing to die to protect his countrymen and country
  • A husband is willing to fight to the death to protect his wife and family

 

Determination, grit, and stubbornness makes us strong:

 

  • A loving mom takes care of the whole family which has the flu and endures her own flu without anyone taking care of her.
  • A woman determines in her mind and spirit to love her unloving husband
  • When she is the only one willing to stand and fight for her belief, God gives her the grit and uncompromising stubbornness to see her through her stand.

 

It has been said by some that it takes 87,600 hours or ten years of practicing something to become an expert at it.  Others say it takes constant improvements while practicing and studying for ten years to be an expert.

 

My suggestion is to find what you are passionate about, enjoy doing, and cannot do without.  Then, practice daily, set goals, improve, read, study, and learn about it continually.  I am not an expert; but I love writing, am passionate about it, and it is an artform of expression for me through words.  Writing has creativity, vision, purpose, emotion, and inspiration.

 

Even if no one ever read my writing, I would continue to write.  God gives me inspiration, vision, ability, and expressive artistry in writing; for without Him, I am nothing.  Writing is a stress release, a way of encouraging others, and my way of doing art.

 

Writing is an adventure; I never know where it will take me.  Today, I went to 100-acre woods and had lunch with Pooh and his friends.  After eating, we sat on a log, rested, and looked out over the expanse of the woodlands.  We took a walk and ended up on a small bridge which goes over the stream.  We took turns throwing sticks into the stream.  As we walked back through the forest, we talked and laughed along the way as we just enjoyed being with each other.  Today, Pooh Bear reminded me that I am brave, strong, and smart.

 

Jeremiah was told by God to write all the words He had told him to warn the people of Judah of their coming captivity on a roll.  Jeremiah had Baruch physically write what he spoke.  When they were done, God told Jeremiah to have the roll read in the House of the Lord.  Jeremiah sent Baruch to read it.

 

Michaiah heard Baruch read it and went to the scribe’s chamber to tell him.  The prices happened to be there and heard also.  The princes went to the king and gave the king the warning on the roll.  Before they went, they told Baruch and Jeremiah to hide and tell no one where they were.

 

“Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; and let no man know where ye be.”  Jeremiah 36:19

 

The king scoffed at it as he heard the warning, tore it, and burned it in the fire.  The princes begged the king not to burn the roll, but he didn’t listen.  Then, the king commanded for Baruch and Jeremiah to be taken, but The Lord hid them.

 

“Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.

 

And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.

 

Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.

 

Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll: but he would not hear them.

 

But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the LORD hid them.”  Jeremiah 36:22-26

 

The words, “The Lord hid them” waved at me like a red flag.  Jeremiah had suffered by being obedient.  He had been put into stocks, imprisoned, made fun of, scoffed at, disgraced, and humbled.  His consistent obedience brought hard times of suffering and more would come later.  But at this time, The Lord hid them.  He and Baruch were not found because the Lord hid them.

 

Challenge – Under God’s protection, sometimes we suffer, but when He hides us, no one can find us to hurt us.  God knows “we are braver than we believe, stronger than we seem, and smarter than we think.”  He also knows when we need to be hid and rested.  Sometimes God allows us to become sick because it is the only time we will slow down, be still, and rest.  When God hides us, Let’s rest in Him.

 

“And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”  Mark 6:31

 

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

 

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

 

“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.”  Psalms 4:8

 

“And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.”  Exodus 33:14

 

“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”  Psalms 37:7

 

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

 

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

 

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

 

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:28-31

 

Jeremiah 36:1  And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

36:2  Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.

36:3  It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.

36:4  Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.

36:5  And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, I am shut up; I cannot go into the house of the LORD:

36:6  Therefore go thou, and read in the roll, which thou hast written from my mouth, the words of the LORD in the ears of the people in the LORD’s house upon the fasting day: and also thou shalt read them in the ears of all Judah that come out of their cities.

36:7  It may be they will present their supplication before the LORD, and will return every one from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that the LORD hath pronounced against this people.

36:8  And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of the LORD in the LORD’s house.

36:9  And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the LORD to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people that came from the cities of Judah unto Jerusalem.

36:10  Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the LORD’s house, in the ears of all the people.

36:11  When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, had heard out of the book all the words of the LORD,

36:12  Then he went down into the king’s house, into the scribe’s chamber: and, lo, all the princes sat there, even Elishama the scribe, and Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, and Elnathan the son of Achbor, and Gemariah the son of Shaphan, and Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes.

36:13  Then Michaiah declared unto them all the words that he had heard, when Baruch read the book in the ears of the people.

36:14  Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them.

36:15  And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears.

36:16  Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words.

36:17  And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth?

36:18  Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book.

36:19  Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; and let no man know where ye be.

36:20  And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king.

36:21  So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king.

36:22  Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.

36:23  And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.

36:24  Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.

36:25  Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll: but he would not hear them.

36:26  But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the LORD hid them.

36:27  Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying,

36:28  Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.

36:29  And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast?

36:30  Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.

36:31  And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not.

36:32  Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.

Actions Speak Louder than Words…

actions speak louder than wordsActions Speak Louder than Words…

 

Just because “everyone is doing it”, doesn’t mean we have to do it too.  There are too many followers and not enough leaders.  A true leader weighs the consequences and refuses to be the one held accountable for sin, because he refuses to follow the group into sin.

 

Many refuse to stand up for right and truth because it is too costly.  Standing up takes strength, endurance, and stamina.  If one doesn’t truly believe in what he is standing up for, he will fall because the cost now outweighs the future outcome.

 

  • If everyone in the class cheats on a test while the teacher is out of the classroom, would you?
  • If everyone smokes and drinks, do you join in?
  • If everyone in a group is for abortion and you are against it, do you stand up for right, knowing you will be bashed?
  • If someone steals, hates, lies, gossips, hurts, hits, unfriends, etc., do you follow and do so also or do you stand up for right?

 

God sent Jeremiah to a group of men, the Rechabites to test them.  Their forefather from long ago had given them guidance as a people to not drink wine, sow seeds. build houses, nor plant vineyards.  Neither should their wives or future generations.  They were to live sober and modestly in tents.  God told Jeremiah to take them into the House of the Lord and give them wine to drink.  Jeremiah did:

 

“And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.”

 

They answered Jeremiah with zeal and passion:

 

“We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever:

 

Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers.

 

Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters;

 

Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor 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 Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and 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.”

 

The Rechabites had obeyed a man, their forefather, Jonadab, who wisely recommended these guidelines.  God told Jeremiah to do this as an example to the people of Judah who didn’t obey God as the Rechabites obeyed a man.  God blessed the Rechabites.

 

“And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:

 

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.”

 

Challenge – Wise people listen to godly guidance.  Jonadab’s wisdom kept them from possible harm of drunkenness, materialism, and covetousness of enemies.  Parents who warn their children of possible harm due to drinking alcohol, materialism, love of money, drugs, selfishness, gluttony, covetousness, ungratefulness, envy, hatred, anger, bitterness, jealousy, etc., can save them from a lifetime of misery.

 

Parents’ examples of walking the walk to match how they talk means more than the words.  Words without action mean nothing.  Actions to back words mean everything.

 

The Rechabites were being tested by the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet to be an example.  When action was needed to match their convictions, action was taken as they stood strong.  It doesn’t matter who the person is, if he is asking you to stop doing what God has led you to do, stand firm for right.

 

When we obey God, and teach our children by our godly examples of action to back our words, we are not guaranteed our Christian children will lead godly lives.  They are individuals who make individual choices and sometimes they choose unwisely.

 

Throughout the years, many Christian children have turned their backs on God, even though their parents taught them right and led them well with godly examples.  Choice is part of the equation.  The Rechabites chose wisely and their future generations continued to choose wisely.  Some choose unwisely as the people of Judah did.

 

What choice is God asking you to make?  Choose wisely.

 

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13

 

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  Hebrews 13:5

 

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  Jeremiah 29:11

 

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7

 

Jeremiah 35:1  The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,

35:2  Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.

35:3  Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites;

35:4  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, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door:

35:5  And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.

35:6  But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever:

35:7  Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers.

35:8  Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters;

35:9  Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed:

35:10  But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

35:11  But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and 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.

35:12  Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,

35:13  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.

35:14  The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.

35:15  I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.

35:16  Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me:

35:17  Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.

35:18  And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:

35:19  Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.

Do We Listen?

hurricane Irma shutter

Do We Listen?

 

The young man walked his island home warning his people of the coming hurricane.  Day after day, he would go from house to house telling them.  Soon, the day came when it would hit, so he weathered his own home by putting up boards over the windows.  He prepared his boat with gas, food, water, and necessary supplies.

 

Jack and his dog, Blue, were honkered down and ready.  He had a radio and batteries, so he listened to updates on the hurricane.  The heavy rains began which wasn’t so unusual; the islanders laughed and joked about Jack’s warnings.  Over the last month, he had tried to get the island police to help him prepare and warn the people of the hurricane, but no one believed him.

 

After a few hours, everyone went to sleep, except for Jack.  He was wide awake and ready for action when the time came.  The winds made it sound like trains were headed right for his house.  Finally, the strong wind just all of a sudden stopped.  Jack knew this meant he was in the eye of the hurricane.

 

Jack and Blue jumped inside of the porcelain-enameled cast iron tub in the bathroom.  Within minutes of grabbing his mattress and pulling it over them, the full-force hurricane winds hit as the eye had passed by.  The house took a lot of damage and loss, but the bathroom and cast-iron tub stood strong; they weathered and survived the storm.  As the water was rising in their home, they went outside and got into his boat to wait out the rain and the darkness.

 

When the storm passed, Jack drove the boat around the swallowed island looking for survivors.  There was no visible land, only rooftops of houses.  His heart broke as he found no one alive.  He and Blue left their island home that day and went to live on the main island.  Jack kept thinking, “If only they would have listened”.

 

Jeremiah the prophet was given the difficult task of telling King Zedekiah to submit and surrender to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.  Jeremiah knew his words were not what the king wanted to hear; but he knew what he had to say.  He probably knew it would be a possibility that he would be imprisoned by the king.  He obeyed God and delivered the message of the Lord to King Zedekiah regardless of what would be done to him.

 

“The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities thereof, saying,

 

Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire:

 

And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon.

 

Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah; Thus saith the LORD of thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword:

 

But thou shalt die in peace: and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings which were before thee, so shall they burn odours for thee; and they will lament thee, saying, Ah lord! for I have pronounced the word, saith the LORD.”  Jeremiah 34:1-5

 

Challenge – There will be times in your life when God will lead you to tell others warnings.  Hearing warnings of truth hurts peoples’ pride and many times they do not want to hear it.  They may even get mad at the messenger.  If the message is from God, God will make it known from Him when people refuse to listen.  The ease of God’s mercy turns into grief when people refuse to listen.  King Zedekiah refused to listen to Jeremiah’s warning.

 

Do we listen to those whom God sends to warn us?  Or, do we forego God’s mercy due to pride, arrogance, and rebellion?  How many times have we said, “If only they would have listened?”

 

But, on the other hand, how many times have we watched God’s mercy when one is penitent, humble, and listens to His warnings?  What blessedness and mighty works are done by God in our lives when we humbly listen to God’s warnings!

 

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”  Colossians 3:16

 

“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.”  Proverbs 19:20

 

“When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.”  Proverbs 11:2

 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”  Isaiah 55:8

 

Jeremiah 34:1  The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities thereof, saying,

34:2  Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire:

34:3  And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon.

34:4  Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah; Thus saith the LORD of thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword:

34:5  But thou shalt die in peace: and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings which were before thee, so shall they burn odours for thee; and they will lament thee, saying, Ah lord! for I have pronounced the word, saith the LORD.

34:6  Then Jeremiah the prophet spake all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem,

34:7  When the king of Babylon’s army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah.

34:8  This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;

34:9  That every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother.

34:10  Now when all the princes, and all the people, which had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should let his manservant, and every one his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more, then they obeyed, and let them go.

34:11  But afterward they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids.

34:12  Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

34:13  Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying,

34:14  At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear.

34:15  And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name:

34:16  But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.

34:17  Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

34:18  And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof,

34:19  The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf;

34:20  I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.

34:21  And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which are gone up from you.

34:22  Behold, I will command, saith the LORD, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant.

Great and Mighty Works…

DSC_6566Great and Mighty Works…

 

There are times when our small human brains cannot strategize solutions to our problems.  We don’t see the big picture, so we do not see a  way out.  As we look around through our binoculars, the picture is distorted.  We see the far away doom and focus on it.  We do not take our eyes off of the problem and behold God going before us, fighting for us.

 

However, when we do put down the binoculars, sit back, relax, and watch God, He shows us great and mighty works.  He thinks and acts so far out of the box with solutions which we haven’t even thought of.  As we trust Him and relax, a peace overwhelms us like no other.

 

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:7

 

Yes, we may still be in the jail cell, have cancer, not have a job, or have no idea how we will ever get through this time.  God, however, already has it all taken care of.  We can trust Him to work mightily for us.

 

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”  Jeremiah 33:3

 

God would work great and mightily for His people of Judah and Israel as He would bring them back home in the future from their captivity in Babylon.

 

“Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.

 

And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.

 

And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.

 

And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.

 

The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.

 

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.”  Jeremiah 33:6-9, 11, 14

 

Challenge – There are times we are stuck in life and see no way out.  No worries; God knows all of the ways.  He is The Lord Our Righteousness (Yahweh Tsidkenu).

 

“In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.”  Jeremiah 33:16

 

It is ironic, foolish, arrogant, and prideful when we think we can take care of our own problems.  What we do is take a mess and turn it into chaos.  God is of order, peace, and wisdom.  Let’s go to Him with all of our problems and allow Him to work great and mighty things which we cannot even imagine.  Let’s allow God to work mightily on our behalf.

 

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

 

For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7-8

 

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”  Psalms 56:3

 

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”  Isaiah 43:2

 

“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”  Psalms 143:8

 

Jeremiah 33:1  Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,

33:2  Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name;

33:3  Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

33:4  For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword;

33:5  They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city.

33:6  Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.

33:7  And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.

33:8  And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.

33:9  And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.

33:10  Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,

33:11  The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.

33:12  Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.

33:13  In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the LORD.

33:14  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

33:15  In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

33:16  In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

33:17  For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;

33:18  Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.

33:19  And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying,

33:20  Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;

33:21  Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.

33:22  As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.

33:23  Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,

33:24  Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.

33:25  Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;

33:26  Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.

Nothing is too Hard…

jacob fisher of menNothing is too Hard…

 

Ever had one of those days when everything seems overwhelming and too hard to accomplish?

 

Elementary Student – “Mom, I don’t think I will ever learn to spell and define all of these words on my vocabulary list.”

 

High School Student – “Will I ever graduate?!”

 

College of Engineering Student at UCF – “Oh, to go back to the days of learning Calculus 3!  If I only knew then how easy it really was!”

 

Young Adult – “I can’t wait to get my own place, get married, and have children.”

 

Married Couple – “Budgeting for two for our apartment, gas, food, etc. sure is hard.”

 

Married Couple with Children – “Having three young boys is exhausting!”

 

Married Couple with Young Adult Children in College – “When we had three sons so close together, we didn’t realize they would all three be in college at the same time!”

 

Retired Couple – “Budgeting for two on a retirement pension sure is hard.”

 

Widow at the grave site of her husband – “I guess I will be traveling alone to all the places we planned to travel to after you retired; time for me to go to the shelter to rescue a dog.”

 

No matter the stage of our lives, we are all going through hard circumstances.  As we live through the overwhelming times, we must remind ourselves:

 

  • Things will change
  • God is always with us
  • This will pass; we are not stuck here in this hard time forever

 

Looking back over my own life at overwhelming times, I have come to realize some truths and gained wisdom from them:

 

  • I am most overwhelmed when I am tired or sick
  • I do not make decisions until I have slept on it, am rested, and have prayed about it
  • Seeking God for wisdom leads to wise decisions and paths
  • God doesn’t leave us in the fire of the trying times too long; He wants to grow us spiritually, not break us.
  • We are stronger, tougher, and more resilient than we can ever imagine.
  • Having a strong will to overcome is winning 95% of the battle
  • Talk with God about your burdens constantly; He listens, cares, understands, and doesn’t spread rumors. He also knows our hearts and the truth.
  • Do not expect others to understand, support, or encourage you; It is God’s job and He does it consistently and lovingly.
  • Hardships grow us closer to God if we seek Him.
  • Pain and suffering give us much empathy for others.
  • Whenever we go through hardships, we can turn it into ministry of helping others going through the same experience.

 

God told Jeremiah to buy his uncle’s land, when he came to him to sell it.  This would show the people of Judah in a visual way that Jeremiah knew they would be returning home from captivity in Babylon.

 

“And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

 

“Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it.”

 

So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me,

 

“Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself.”

 

Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.

 

And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.

 

And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.

 

So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open.”

 

Jeremiah took the proof of the purchase and stored it in an earthen vessel to be kept:

 

“And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison.

 

And I charged Baruch before them, saying,

 

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.

 

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.”

 

Then, Jeremiah praised God knowing and believing the people of Judah would return home one day.

 

“Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.”  – Jeremiah

 

Challenge – Do we really believe God will take care of us during our hard times?

 

Do we see Him as Almighty God, Sovereign, and Creator of all?

 

Then, let’s trust Him with our hard times.  As we look back over our lives and see all God has brought us through, we realize and know He will also get us through our current hard time.

 

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”  Jeremiah 32:27

 

God is asking us, “Is there anything too hard for Me?”

 

Our answer should always be, “No, Lord, Nothing is Too Hard for Thee!”

 

Allow your past memories of overcoming to encourage your present hard times knowing you will once again overcome with God’s help.

 

“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”  Psalms 55:22

 

“Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”  Genesis 18:14

 

“And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”  Luke 18:27

 

Jeremiah 32:1  The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar.

32:2  For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house.

32:3  For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;

32:4  And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes;

32:5  And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the LORD: though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not prosper.

32:6  And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

32:7  Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it.

32:8  So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.

32:9  And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.

32:10  And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.

32:11  So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open:

32:12  And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison.

32:13  And I charged Baruch before them, saying,

32:14  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.

32:15  For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.

32:16  Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying,

32:17  Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

32:18  Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name,

32:19  Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:

32:20  Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made thee a name, as at this day;

32:21  And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror;

32:22  And hast given them this land, which thou didst swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey;

32:23  And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: therefore thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them:

32:24  Behold the mounts, they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: and what thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, thou seest it.

32:25  And thou hast said unto me, O Lord GOD, Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.

32:26  Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,

32:27  Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

32:28  Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it:

32:29  And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger.

32:30  For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD.

32:31  For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face,

32:32  Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

32:33  And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.

32:34  But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.

32:35  And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

32:36  And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;

32:37  Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:

32:38  And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:

32:39  And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:

32:40  And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

32:41  Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.

32:42  For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.

32:43  And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.

32:44  Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD.

Extraordinary Evidence…

moon 2
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Extraordinary Evidence…

 

This morning, I was watching a video where Ray Comfort was interviewing several atheists.  Some had become atheists in their teen years as they began questioning life.  The reason they gave most for not believing in God, was lack of evidence.  They agreed to listen to evidence he had to tell them.

 

He began by handing them a book and asked them to look through it.  It was a large, hard-covered book with bright, colorful pictures.  Letters of black ink covered the pages.  He asked, “Did this book happen by accident?  Did its colorful picture, black ink letters, punctuation, and page numbers in order just appear?”  They all agreed that an intelligent designer made the book.

 

Then, he asked them about DNA or Deoxyribonucleic Acid.  They answered with their definitions.  Ray then explained in detail how DNA is the Intellectually designed Instruction Book of Life containing 3.2 billion letters.  The genes give instructions to the cells to tell it what it is and how to grow.  It has all the genetic information of the living organism such as:

 

  • Tall or short
  • Color of eyes
  • Male or female
  • Hair color
  • Blood type
  • Color of skin
  • Genetic diseases
  • Race
  • Everything else…

 

Ray Comfort’s words had left the now “unsure atheists” with logical evidence.  Nothing comes from something.  If a book doesn’t just appear by accident which is less complicated than a person, animal, or plant, then it is logical to say that creation came from the Intellectual Designer, God.

 

God had Jeremiah encourage the people of Judah in captivity at Babylon about their future return home in 70 years.  They could have confidence in Yahweh, the One true God of Israel to deliver them.  He made the sun, moon, stars, and seas controlling them and all they do.  The Children of Judah could rely on Him with their futures.

 

“Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name.”  Jeremiah 31:35

 

Challenge – Do you question that God is the Creator?  Give some open-minded thinking to the words in this devotion by Ray Comfort.  If you seek God, you will find Him.

 

Those who believe in God, are we trusting Him as our Creator?  We believe He created the universe and everything in it, yet we don’t trust Him with our problems?  How petty and ridiculous we are!  Let’s open our eyes and see our Creator for the majestic King of kings He is.

 

“Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.”  Jeremiah 32:17

 

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”  Jeremiah 32:27

 

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”  Luke 1:37

 

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”  Revelation 1:8

 

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.”  Psalms 145:3

 

Jeremiah 31:1  At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.

31:2  Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.

31:3  The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

31:4  Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.

31:5  Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things.

31:6  For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.

31:7  For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.

31:8  Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.

31:9  They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

31:10  Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.

31:11  For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.

31:12  Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.

31:13  Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.

31:14  And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.

31:15  Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

31:16  Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.

31:17  And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.

31:18  I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.

31:19  Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.

31:20  Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.

31:21  Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.

31:22  How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.

31:23  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness.

31:24  And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks.

31:25  For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.

31:26  Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.

31:27  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.

31:28  And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.

31:29  In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.

31:30  But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

31:31  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

31:32  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

31:33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

31:34  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

31:35  Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:

31:36  If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

31:37  Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

31:38  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.

31:39  And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.

31:40  And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.

In Times of Trouble…

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In Times of Trouble…

 

Wise parents hold their children accountable for their wrongdoing.  They give them consequences.  If children do wrong and have no consequences, they are being taught that when they grow up, they will get away with their sins.  Two of the best lessons a child can learn is responsibility for his actions and to keep his word.

 

Adults who say they will do something and then do not follow through are seen as undependable and not a keeper of his word, a liar.  There are extreme circumstances and illness which come up unexpectantly and this is understandable.  It is not understandable to not follow through on your word because one is lazy and doesn’t see it as a priority.

 

If a child breaks something because he was being disobedient and playing ball in the house, he should work to replace the broken item.  If a child procrastinates and doesn’t get his project done on time, there should be a consequence, such as a dropped letter grade.

 

Too many adults are crutches and parachutes to their children and then wonder why they can’t adult.  We need to teach responsibility because when they are adults in college, on a job, etc., no one will care about why they didn’t complete their task.  They could fail a project, get fired, etc.  Let’s stop being a crutch to our children and allow them get in trouble when they do wrong.  Better now than later.

 

God gives consequences for our disobedient actions.  There comes a time when warnings have passed and God’s consequences come.

 

“For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.

 

Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?”  Jeremiah 30:5-6

 

God gives us consequences, but even so, He is merciful and saves us out of it when we turn to Him.  This doesn’t make the consequence go away; it is when He carries us through the consequence, He gives us.

 

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

 

For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

 

Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.

 

For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”  Jeremiah 30:7-8, 10-11

 

God gives us consequences, but He will also be there with us to carry us through them.  As parents, we wisely give consequences for wrongdoing, but we are there with our children as they go through them.

 

Challenge – Be wise parents and prepare your children for the real world by holding them accountable for their actions.  Teach them responsibility and to be men and women of their word.  Stay by their side as they live through the consequences showing unconditional love and mercy.

 

One of the worst actions a parent can do is to allow his son or daughter to get away with everything and never have them suffer consequences for his or her actions.  This makes them unprepared for college, jobs, relationships, and responsibilities in life.

 

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”  Luke 16:10

 

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”  Proverbs 28:13

 

“For every man shall bear his own burden.

 

Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

 

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

 

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

 

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”  Galatians 6:5-9

 

Jeremiah 30:1  The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

30:2  Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

30:3  For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

30:4  And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.

30:5  For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.

30:6  Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?

30:7  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

30:8  For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

30:9  But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

30:10  Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.

30:11  For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

30:12  For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.

30:13  There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.

30:14  All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.

30:15  Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.

30:16  Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.

30:17  For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

30:18  Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.

30:19  And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.

30:20  Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.

30:21  And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the LORD.

30:22  And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

30:23  Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.

30:24  The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he hath done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.