Stand Firm and Hold Fast to the Teachings We Passed on to You

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JEREMIAH 23:21-25:38 | 2 THESSALONIANS 2:1-17 | PSALM 84:1-12 | PROVERBS 25:15

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Jeremiah is the prophet with the calling to deliver the message from the Lord, yet it seems that of late, there have been many others who have claimed the same calling.  But God is not impressed. 

To these false prophets, this is what the Lord says:  30 “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. 31 Yes,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The LORD declares.’ 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD.

Jeremiah is the chosen one to be the prophet of the people, and soon Jeremiah has a vision of two baskets of figs—one gone bad, and the other still good. 

This is the interpretation to that vision, as Jeremiah conveys it from the word of the Lord:  ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. 6 My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. 7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. 

Jeremiah goes on to predict the fall of Judah and the seventy years of captivity at the hands of the kings of Babylon.  It is to be seen what else Jeremiah might have to prophesy about before he is finished with the children of Israel.

Turning now to our reading of Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, we find Paul also making similar warnings regarding being wary of false prophets and prophecies.  He speaks of a “man of lawlessness” which is more than likely a reference to the end times. 

Paul says this to his readers8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Paul writes to this group of believers in Thessalonica to encourage them in their newly-found faith in Christ. 

He says to them:  15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

Turning now to our Psalm for the day, we find the Psalmist waxing eloquent about the joys of being in the house of the Lord.  Would that we might also always share in this sentiment!  The Psalmist writes:

10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

 12 LORD Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you.

Finally, a brilliant verse from the book of Proverbs, worthy of record and rumination:

15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.  Amen.

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