Okay, now to important matters. God, as the sovereign King of the Universe, has every right to say, “I told you so!” In this passage, He reminds both Israel and Judah He warned their forefathers when He brought them out of Egypt what would happen if they did not obey His commandments. They didn’t, and as a consequence they will go into captivity. As a loving Father, He also lets them know they will be released one day and return to their land, but that will be for a future generation.
- What is the main point of this passage? In verses 1 through 11, God exposes the deep heart attitude of the people. They pretend to serve God, but they really serve their idols. He challenges did their idols warn them of the judgment to come, did they explain to the people why they are being judged – their disobedience? Did their idols proclaim that they will suffer in captivity, He would bring them through their affliction, and when their time has been served, a future generation would return to the land? In verses 12 through 16, God promises to judge Babylon (or any other people – Nazis, & Replacement Theology Christians) for the mistreatment of His people. In verses 17 through 19, God tells His people they missed His blessings because they did not obey His commandments. And, in verses 20 through 22, God promises Israel’s release from Babylon just as He did for them before from Egypt.
- What does God reveal about Himself? God declares His love for His people, even as He tells them He must discipline them for their disobedience. He warns because He loves. He repeats His warnings because of His love. He disciplines because of His great love. It is hard to understand because I live in a culture of ease. I believe He will allow Americans to suffer calamity (I hope after Super Bowl 50), because He loves His people, both Christians and Jews that live in this land. But His people have neglected His word, rejected His Son’s authority and principles of life and liberty, and scoffed at His repeated warnings. Because of His love, He will bring His discipline.
- What insights can I apply to my life? Father, in the name of Jesus, please, show me where I’ve been foolish and stubborn regarding Your direction for my life.
- How can I use this passage to honor God? Should the LORD answer this prayer and show me attitudes that displease Him (and I reasonably believe He will), I must repent quickly and thoroughly.
- Where is God working in my life today? The LORD has made it clear to me to continue to pray for every household in our neighborhood. Last year, He directed me to begin this task, and He has confirmed these past few weeks in January He is serious for me to keep going. Many of the specific prayers for neighbors have been answered and we’ve seen Him bring blessings to several neighbors. For example, one family let their house exterior deteriorate. Today, you could eat off of their driveway.
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