Painting by Abraham Hunter –

click here to read his biography

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Weekly Recap #32 (Part 2) - Jeremiah 1-9

We started reading in the Book of Jeremiah this week....is it any wonder that considering the name of my blog....that I got all excited studying about this famous prophet?!?  I took lots of notes....so this might be a rather long post....but I hope it interests you as much as it did me!!!

Jeremiah was a major prophet during the decline and fall of the southern kingdom of Judah.  He was the author of the book of Jeremiah and also the book of Lamentations.  His ministry lasted about 40 years.  Jeremiah's name means "Jehovah lifts up".  There was a very negative nature to Jeremiah's ministry.  He was forbidden to marry so that he could devote himself fully to the task of preaching God's judgment.  He felt deep affection for his nation....his people.  That's why he was heartbroken when he realized the extent of his people's sin and was devastated as he foretold the judgment coming upon them.  Because of the fact that he wept openly about the sins of his nation, he was known as the "weeping prophet".  Jeremiah spoke words from the Lord repeatedly that if the people would turn from their evil ways and turn back to Him...that God would forgive them of their sins.  In Jeremiah 1:9, God reached out and touched Jeremiah's mouth...putting His words into Jeremiah's mouth and from that moment his words were to be the words of God.  Often Jeremiah would decide to just give up....because his message felt on deaf ears and it was very depressing to him to have to bring such bad news to his people....but one of my very favorite verses (besides 29:11)....can be found in chapter 20, verse 9....this was sorta how I felt last week when I thought I would take a little break....which lasted for a day....and God told me to get right back at it....
But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord
      or speak in his name,
   his word burns in my heart like a fire.
      It’s like a fire in my bones!
   I am worn out trying to hold it in!
      I can’t do it!

I probably won't do this recap next year, if Pappy and I decide to read the Bible thru again in 2011....but it would be interesting to see if the same verses stand out to me again next year.  Often the ones that speak to our hearts and souls are the ones that have a deep meaning for whatever we're going thru at the time...don't you agree?

Anyway....here are this weeks favorite verses....to me....in this week's reading of Jeremiah!!!

Jeremiah 1:5a
I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb.  

Here was Jeremiah's excuse not to do what the Lord was asking of him....
Jeremiah 1:6
"O Sovereign Lord," I said, "I can't speak for you!  I'm too young"! 

God's answer to Jeremiah's complaint....
Jeremiah 1:7-8
The Lord replied, "Don't say, 'I'm too young', for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you.  And don't be afraid of the people for I will be with you and will protect you.  I, the Lord, have spoken"! 
(God said it and that settles it!!!)

Don't we all sometimes worship "foreign gods"?
Television....too much computer time....our jobs....etc.!!!
Jeremiah 2:25b
I'm in love with these foreign gods, and I can't stop loving them now"!

Sound familiar?
Jeremiah 2:16 
"feels shame only when he gets caught" 

This verse reminds me of the world we live in today....
Jeremiah 5:15a
Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions?  Not at all - they don't even know how to blush"! 

I really like this verse - reminds me of the old hymn, The Old Cross Road - "or the the way called straight...there's just one way....to the pearly gate!
Jeremiah 5:16
This is what the Lord says, "Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way and walk in it.  Travel its path and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, "no, that's not the road we want"!

Chapter 7 was very interesting to read.  Even though the people were worshipping false gods, they thought that as long as they returned to the Lord's Temple, they would be spared from God's wrath.

God spoke to Jeremiah....
Jeremiah 7:16
Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah.  Do not weep, or pray for them, and don't beg me to help them, for I will not listen to you.

 God gives His people yet another chance....
Jeremiah 7:23
"Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people.  Do everything as I say and all will be well.

Read this verse, then I want to share something I found out about the "balm of Gilead"....
Jeremiah 8:22
Is there no medicine (balm) in Gilead? Is there no physician there?  Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people?

The medicine in Gilead consisted of a sticky sap that oozed from cuts made in the trunks, or branches of small evergreen trees in the highlands east of the Jordan River. Merchants sold the resin to the people claiming it had healing powers.  I was reminded of the sticky pine resin that used to get on my hands from all the tall pines trees that grew in our yard growing up....I can't imagine putting that on a sore!!
Jeremiah saw the people's need for God to heal their deep spiritual sickness.  
Jesus is the ultimate "balm" for our souls!!!

To sum up this week's reading, I want to leave you with these powerful verses....
Jeremiah 9:23-24
This is what the Lord says, "Don't let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful  boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches.  But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone;
that they truly know me and understand that I am Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things.
I, the Lord, have spoken!

AMEN...and AMEN!!!

Until next week....happy reading!!!

In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!

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Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24