JEREMIAH 10:1-11:23 | COLOSSIANS 3:18-4:18 | PSALM 78:56-72 | PROVERBS 24:28-29
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Jeremiah is continuing with his prophecies to the children of Israel. Today he is speaking of the omnipotence and majesty of the Almighty, and says this about the Lord:
12 But God made the earth by his power;
he founded the world by his wisdom
and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar;
he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
Jeremiah knows of the impending disaster of destruction, shame, and captivity that is to come to Israel in the near future, and this is his own prayer for his people. He says:
23 LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own;
it is not for them to direct their steps.
24 Discipline me, LORD, but only in due measure—
not in your anger, or you will reduce me to nothing.
Turning now to Paul’s letter to the Colossians, we find Paul giving out practical advice on relationships like he is known to do. He has specific words of advice for everyone, including the household servants of the day. He says:
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
And then Paul has something even more special—a recommendation for how to speak to one another; this is a piece of advice that is timeless: 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Would that we might be mindful of this at all times!
Paul ends this letter with affectionate greetings to all and with special commendations to some of his colleagues that he mentions by name. And he ends in his inimitable style: 18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
We now turn to our Psalm of the day, and find David offering a kind of autobiographical account of his life in these lines:
70 He chose David his servant
and took him from the sheep pens;
71 from tending the sheep he brought him
to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
of Israel his inheritance.
72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
with skillful hands he led them.
Finally, a couple of verses from the book of Proverbs that speak to one of the fundamental tenets of the Judeo-Christian faith: forgiveness. Solomon, the wise king of Israel, says this:
28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause—
would you use your lips to mislead?
29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me;
I’ll pay them back for what they did.”
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.