Day 292 – October 19, 2021
Scriptures: Lamentations 3, Psalm 140
“Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence.” (Psalm 140:13)
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:22–26)
In the midst of the lament, there is a recognition of the faithfulness of God. It jars you on first reading. How can one have this much grief in several breaths, and in one calm, understanding breath, announce the unfailing love of God. His compassions never fail. He is faithful!
The same occurs in Psalm 140. The lament of the evil done to the, gives way to recognizing that the righteous will live to praise his name.
There is a dual lens throughout scripture. Particularly in the Old Testament. Can I trust the Lord in the midst of difficulty? I have learned to trust in the Lord because of difficulty. There is a cause and effect.
Because there is good reason for lament, and the sharing of grief, there is also good reason to note that despite this, God is faithful.
Trust in the Lord, for he is faithful.
Day 291 – October 18, 2021
Scriptures: Lamentations 2, Psalms77
“Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.” (Psalm 77:19, NIV)
““As you summon to a feast day, so you summoned against me terrors on every side. In the day of the Lord’s anger no one escaped or survived; those I cared for and reared my enemy has destroyed.”” (Lamentations 2:22, NIV)
Lamentations is a difficult read for us. We are conditioned to “Think positively.” Lament is not a language we give much credence to, or are we permitted to do so, lest we suffer the wrath of God.
But here is great lament, words of absolute devastation.
In Psalm 77:19, we are reminded, “Your path led through the sea… though your footprints were not seen.” God works both mysteriously and powerfully. We don’t always know how he is at work, or that he is even at work at all. In times of great grief, it is most difficult to know that God is delivering us. But he makes the way through the mighty waters.
God will see the Israelites through the Babylonian captivity. He will see us through our difficulty as well. We may not always see it, but he is leading the way.
Day 290 – October 17, 2021
Scriptures: Jeremiah 52, Psalm 74, Lamentations 1
“How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave.” (Lamentations 1:1)
“Remember the nation you purchased long ago, the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed— Mount Zion, where you dwelt.” (Psalm 74:2)
Jeremiah closes with a historical record of Jerusalem’s fall and deportation to Babylon. Lamentations laments the destruction of the city. Jerusalem, once brimming with life, now lies desolate, temple ransacked and destroyed.
We ask of God, what the Psalmist does, “Remember the nation you purchased long ago, the people of your inheritance.”
Lament is God’s people asking, “God will you remember us?”
Will God remember his promises, his covenant with the people? Can we trust God to make this right?
Lamentations will give language to the grief and sorrow experienced in the moments of life where trusting in God seems almost impossible.
As we walk through the text, perhaps it will give you words of lament as well to take to God. He can handle our grief, and deliver us through it.
Remember us God!
Day 289 – October 16, 2021
Scriptures: Jeremiah 50-51, Psalm 137
““Come out of her, my people! Run for your lives! Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.” (Jeremiah 51:45)
“By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.” (Psalm 137:1)
Captivity in Babylon will lead to the Israelites deep longing for home.
The Psalmist cries! “Take us home, Lord! We wept when we remembered Zion.”
The longing for home, is not unlike our own longing for Christ to return. When John sets out to write Revelation, he calls people out of Babylon, out of the Roman empire, “Come out of her, my people!”
The call is still there for us today. To come out of Babylon, and into life in Christ. Come out of the darkness and into the light.
Day 288 0 October 15, 2021
Scriptures: Psalm 123, Jeremiah 48-49
Chapters 48-49 contain oracles against the traditional enemies of God. Edom, Damascus, Ammon, Moab and more. God will put an end to their idolatry, expose the falsehood of their idols and ransack them all of their wealth. All the things in which the Moabites and Ammonites, etc. have looked to for control, power and comfort will be destroyed.
The song of ascents, Psalm 123 begins the way we begin each day, “I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven.”
Lift your eyes to the one who truly can provide and care for you. Have mercy on us Lord, sinners, in the hands of our loving God.
Day 287 – October 14, 2021
Scriptures: Jeremiah 44-45, Psalm 13, Jeremiah 46-47
“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” (Psalm 13:5–6, NIV)
We read a lot today, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. Despite the difficulties the people of God are facing, they can still trust in the Lord. He will deliver them!
Day 286 – October 13, 2021
Scriptures: Jeremiah 41-43, Hebrews 13
“‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.’” (Jeremiah 42:10–12)
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20–21)
There’s a great shift that occurs in the New Testament. The New covenant offers us a way forward through Christ. We have been given a Shepherd, who equips us for doing the will of God. The people of Judah struggle to obey God. They wander away. They go to Egypt and to many nations. They scatter from the land and disobey God.
But we have this gift in Christ to do the will of God. We will glorify him with our lives, through Christ. We are not alone, God is with us!
The closing promises and exhortation in Hebrews is a call to commitment and perseverance in Christ.
Let’s walk with him today, and obey his will.
Day 285 – October 12, 2021
Scriptures: Jeremiah 38-40, Hebrews 12
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1–3, NIV)
Jeremiah would endure great hardship for God. He continued to proclaim the message from God, calling the people to repentance. Unfortunately, there was arrest and scorn that came along with it.
In Hebrews, we are encouraged to look to Christ during our difficulties. The Hebrews preacher is aware of a struggle that the church is facing and challenges them to throw off sin and focus on Christ.
What a challenge and encouragement for us today – throw off sin and focus on Christ.
God be with you
Day 284 – October 11, 2021
Scriptures: Jeremiah 36-37, Hebrews 11
In the heroes of our faith, people are commended for their trust in God.
We are encouraged still to do the same. Trust in God and walk with him. We have a better hope because of the powerful work of Christ. His covenant, his promises, his blood, his work, is all better than those in the faithful hall of fame. Great as they were, Jesus is greater.
The siege is on in the book of Jeremiah. Babylon is coming. Will there be anyone faithful? Anyone who will trust in God and walk with him?
The faithful heroes of the past never received the promise. But we will, because of Christ.
May we be found faithful.
Day 283 – October 10, 2021
Scriptures: Jeremiah 34-35, Hebrews 10
“But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:39, NIV)
Jeremiah is dealing with those whose faith has certainly slipped. The need for perpetual forgiveness because of sin is forever and ever. People continually fall short in their faith. We are far enough along in Jeremiah to know that all have sinned and all fall short of God’s glory.
The Hebrews author begins piecing his argument together. They need encouragement. Many are falling away from the faith or are discouraged by the persecution that they were facing. Some were neglecting meeting together and enduring all sorts of trials.
Yet the preacher reminds them, “We do not belong to those who shrink back.”
We are the redeemed and saved.
Whatever discouragement you might be facing, whether the result of your sin or the sin of others. Let us come to Christ for encouragement and strength. Do not shrink back, grow in your faith and love.
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.