JEREMIAH 33:1-34:22 | 1 TIMOTHY 4:1-16 | PSALM 89:1-13 | PROVERBS 25:23-24
Click on the arrow below to listen to a recording of this post:
Jeremiah has already prophesied at length about the fortunes—or the lack of it—of Jerusalem, and he receives yet again another vision in which the Lord reveals to him a promise of restoration.
The Lord says: 6 “‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 7 I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. 8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. 9 Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’
There is much to look forward to. Jeremiah tells them: 10 “This is what the LORD says: ‘You say about this place, “It is a desolate waste, without people or animals.” Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more 11 the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying,
“Give thanks to the LORD Almighty,
for the LORD is good;
his love endures forever.”
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before.
If it can be said any better or any differently, God is prepared to do it, and this is what we read next.
Jeremiah says: 20 “This is what the LORD says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21 then my covenant with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. 22 I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.’”
Let there be no mistake, is what the Lord is saying.
And here again, one more time, we find this. Jeremiah says: 25 This is what the LORD says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night and established the laws of heaven and earth, 26 then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.’”
Turning now to our reading of Paul’s letter to Timothy, we find Paul offering some advice on common practices of the day. Paul says: 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
Next, Paul offers encouragement to Timothy who most likely was not being taken seriously because of his youth. Paul says to him: 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
And the next few lines bear such simple yet lovely pearls of wisdom, that it would behoove each of us to take these words to heart. Paul says: 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
We now turn to our Psalm for the day, and find one authored by Ethan the Ezrahite. Ethan evidently knows how to offer praise, and does so in these lovely lines:
1 I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
through all generations.
2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant,
4 ‘I will establish your line forever
and make your throne firm through all generations.’”
Finally, two verses from the book of Proverbs, each one focused on a different topic. The first concerns the effects of a sly and deceitful person’s style; the other about the misfortunes of a man with a quarrelsome wife. The imagery employed with this latter verse is nothing short of hilarious, I think!
Solomon, the wise king of Israel, says this:
23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.
24 Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.