JEREMIAH 48:1-49:22 | 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-22 | PSALM 95:1-96:13 | PROVERBS 26:9-12
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Jeremiah is on a roll.
After castigating the poor choices of the children of Israel in fleeing from Judah down to Egypt in hopes of getting aid and succor from them, Jeremiah begins another round of lambasting—and this time around it is Moab, Ammon, and Edom that have their misfortunes spelled out for them.
These aren’t happy times by any stretch of the imagination. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, has spoken the word of the Lord, and so it shall come to pass.
We turn now to our reading of Paul’s second letter to Timothy, and find Paul carefully instructing Timothy in the right and proper way to carry out his ministry of preaching the gospel of Christ.
Paul says: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
Paul speaks of the short time left to him in his ministry and in his life, and says: 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Unlike Paul’s many other letters to the churches, in these letters to Timothy, Paul is careful to remember many a person by name, and he does this in some detail as he ends this letter. He is desirous of Timothy’s company, and we see the affectionate manner in which he asks Timothy to come and visit him, and to bring his cloak and other effects. In these verses, we get a glimpse of the very practical side to Paul.
We turn now to our Psalm of the day, and find the very first verse to be an excellent example of thanksgiving and praise. David says:
1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
Also, the very last verse of the next Psalm is worthy of record for the grandiose way in which David offers up praises to the Almighty:
11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
Finally, a few choice verses from the book of Proverbs in which Solomon, wise king of Israel, continues with the theme of correctly identifying and categorizing each kind of fool—be it in another, or in one’s own self:
9 Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
10 Like an archer who wounds at random
is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so fools repeat their folly.
12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for them.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.