“Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama the secretary. And Jehudi read it to the king and all the officials who stood beside the king. It was the ninth month, and the king was sitting in the winter house, and there was a fire burning in the fire pot before him. As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot. Yet neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid, nor did they tear their garments. Even when Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son and Seraiah the son of Azriel and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the secretary and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord hid them.” Jer 36:21 — 26
For wicked men are found among my people;
they lurk like fowlers lying in wait.
They set a trap; they catch men.
Like a cage full of birds,
their houses are full of deceit;
therefore they have become great and rich;
they have grown fat and sleek.
They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
Shall I not punish them for these things?
declares the Lord,
and shall I not avenge myself
on a nation such as this?” Jeremiah 5:26 – 29
[W]hile reading through Ruth I was struck by several things about Ruth’s story and a parallel between her and her best-known great grandson, King David.
Firstly, Ruth was not noted for her beauty. That’s not to say she was homely but when Ruth asked Boaz why she’d found favor with him he answered that it was “All that you have done for your mother-in-law ….”
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:26 – 27 ESV
Our church is studying what it means to be members of the church. Recent lessons are on unity within the church and building one another up. As I read the passage above I was struck by Paul’s command five verses later:
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Ephesians 4:31 ESV
Written to Jewish Christians, the book of Hebrews contains some deep theology and passages that are personally challenging. One passage that is a beautiful highlighting of history from the Jewish testament that leads into Christian responsibility is chapter 3, verses 7-13.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,
and virtue with knowledge,
and knowledge with self-control,
and self-control with steadfastness,
and steadfastness with godliness,
and godliness with brotherly affection,
and brotherly affection with love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV
If you wonder “For what very reason?” join the club.
In verse 3 Peter tells us
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness …. 2 Peter 1:3 ESV
I’ve made the mistake of thinking my salvation is primarily about me. To be sure, God’s love is for me but a deeper reason He saves is for His purposes and to bring glory to Himself.
In my myopic existence I don’t focus my attention on Jesus. I often consider my benefits and blessings, which are truly benefits and blessings and I should recognize them as such and thank God for them but His purpose goes beyond just saving me; He saves me as a testimony to His faithfulness, His grace, His love, His patience and His sovereignty. His desire is to see all people choose Him and enter into an eternal relationship with Him but in Paul’s case, specifically:
It appears that when God ordained Obadiah to pronounce His judgement against Edom He had endured all of Edom’s choices and His judgement against Edom would be complete with no mercy given them.
God starts the prophecy of Obadiah by telling us that a human coalition was formed to destroy Edom. From there, the rest of the prophecy is focused on God and His promises to actively destroy Edom until there is nothing left of the nation. He promises to destroy them five times, He tells them why and He finishes by promising that He will restore His people.