Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ezekiel 3

Ezekiel received the word of God as the food for his soul, so that he can boldly proclaimed the message of the Lord.  To God's people like Ezekiel, the word of God tastes like honey, but to the non-believers, it tastes like a bitter herb. They will not regard the word of the prophet, for they will not regard the warning of God. Jesus promises that He will strengthen us, and we must continue in  preaching, even though some will reject our message. God appointed Ezekiel a watchman, to warn the wicked from their evil sins. If we warn the wicked and the hypocrites, we are not chargeable with their ruin, but if we close our mouth, their souls will be charged at our hands. When the Lord opened Ezekiel's mouth, he was to deliver His message boldly, to place life and death, the blessing and the cursing, and leave the people to their choice... Reading: Ezekiel 3, God bless.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ezekiel 2

God told Ezekiel to stand on his feet (v1), that he may be ready to do what God commands. The Spirit of the Lord had entered Ezekiel (v2) so that he can hear the voice of the Lord. God has to send His spirit of Ezekiel because a man without God's spirit is spiritually dead; unable to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, incapable to obey what God requires. Religious person without God's spirit will never be able to understand the words of God. Though the prophet received lots of revelation, God addressed him a son of man, a mortal being, to avoid pride and self-exaltation. God gave Ezekiel warning that many will not agree with his message, but he must still proclaim the message. Wicked men are briers and thorns, but their end is to be burned (v6). Then God shows him the scroll of the law, to tell us that God's words, the Bible, is supreme as our guide and standard in serving His holy name... Reading: Ezekiel 2, God bless.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ezekiel 1

Ezekiel was one of the priests that were carried captive to Babylon with King Jehoiachin. All his prophecies have been written in that country in order to comfort the fellow Israelites. His ministry started with angelic visitation, the likeness of four living creatures, man, lion, ox, and eagle, with the voice of the Lord that came with light and power. It is the mercy of God that brought to them the Divine visitation. This vision would impress the mind of Ezekiel with fear of God's displeasure, yet ignites expectations of blessings. The prophet saw these living creatures by their own light, for their appearance was like burning coals of fire; they are seraphim, or "burners;" denoting the passion of their love to God, and fervent zeal in His service. Though we cannot fully grasp the exact ministry of this four-faced living creature, but we can attend to the things which relate to our personal duty, and leave the secret things to the Lord, to Whom alone they belong... Reading: Ezekiel 1, God bless.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Lamentation 5

Jeremiah tells that if we are afflicted, lift up everything in prayer, and let us in prayer pour out our complaint to God. If we are sufferings for the sins of our forefathers (v7), we may expect that the Lord who punishes will also provide mercy when we begin to acknowledge our sins and ask His forgiveness. Though our sins cause our sufferings, we may hope in God's providence of salvation and sanctification. If God by His grace renew men's hearts, He will also give favor to renew men's days and daily living. Let us put our whole trust and confidence in his mercy, even in the midst of trials. Let Zion be remembered by us in prayers, and her welfare be sought above every earthly joy... Reading: Lamentation 5, God bless.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Lamentation 4

Because of the sins of the [false] prophets and the iniquities of the priests (v13), Jeremiah lamented that God had abandoned his people. The punishment of the Israelites is greater than the sin of Sodom which overthrown them in a moment (v6). Nothing ripens a people more for ruin than the sins of false prophets and erroneous teachers. The country is in chaos and confusion if the spiritual advisers of the kings and presidents are in errors. The kings and leaders themselves cannot escape Divine judgment if they will close their eyes from the truth and ignore warnings from the true prophets. Our anointed King, Jesus Christ, alone is the life for our souls, we are safe under His shadow, and we  can rejoice in Him even in the midst of our enemies and persecutors. Indeed He is the true God and Source of eternal life....Reading: Lamentation 4, God bless.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Lamentation 3

Jeremiah reveals more gloomy and discouraging parts of his experience when the enemies destroyed the land of Judah. The Lord became terrible to him, and the affliction makes more severe so that he struggles between faith and unbelief. However, in the midst of the storms, he shows how he was raised above it. Through God's love and mercy, and His never ending compassion, God's portions remain intact, and are not consumed. God is our portion! The steadfast love of God never ceases, they are new every morning (v22). Afflictions will come and go, and will work very much for the good of His people, only that we need to hope in God and quietly wait for the Lord's salvation. For the Lord will not cast off forever (v31). We will be happy and satisfied if we learn to receive affliction as laid upon by the hand of God for our own growth. At the Cross, Jesus asked God's forgiveness of men, of those who dot not understand God's perfect will... Reading: Lamentation 3, God bless.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lamentation 2

God is not an enemy to His people, in fact He is our Protector and Preserver. Nevertheless, Jeremiah declares that when His people refused to listen and obey His words, God is angry with them and corrects them. No gates, no walls, no weapons and no strategies can withstand when God withdraws His protection. It is only just with the Lord to cast down those who debase themselves by sinning willfully, and to deprive the benefits and comforts of being God's chosen people.  What should they do with the Scriptures and the Torah, if they make no improvement of their lives? Surely, those who misuse God's words will be in danger of loosing them (v9). As people of God, it is our duty to seek God's will, because prayer is the salve for every sore and sickness, and remedy for every disorder. Let us fear God and walk humbly before Him in the name of Christ... Reading: Lamentation 2, God bless.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Lamentation 1

Jeremiah states the miserable condition of Jerusalem as a captive woman, lamenting and seeking the mercy of her God. Jerusalem became a captive and a slave, by reason of the greatness of her sins.  "The princess among the provinces has become a slave (v1), and her collapse was awesome (9)!" Indeed, the people's outward sufferings were great, but their inward sufferings were harder to bear, through the sense of guilt. Their former friends became their enemies, so that no one comforts them. Here we see the evil of sins, that if we allow sins to have dominion in us; such as lying, self-righteousness, double-standard lifestyle, dishonesty, immorality, lawlessness, and the like, they will control us till they defeat us. Jerusalem suffered defeat because they allowed sins to reign over their nations, ignoring the warning of the prophet. This holy week, let our sorrows lead us to the cross of Christ, to mark His example of humility and follow His ways... Reading: Lamentation 1, God bless.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Jeremiah 52

This chapter is the conclusion of Jeremiah in the entire story of Jerusalem's fall, destruction of the temple, and the death of the last king of Judah, Zedekiah under the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. God allowed these things to happen because of sins and disobedience of the people, and if the next generation will not warn themselves, they too will be in trouble wherever they go, for none can escape God's judgment. Our prayer in this situation should be: "Cast me not away from your presence of Lord!" Being a believer, it is our responsibility to seek the perfect will of God for our growth and enrichment, through reading of the word on daily basis and worshipping Him in personal level. Our times are in the hand of God; past, present and future, therefore, let us put our rest to the God of all ages and to look forward with holy faith when the Lord will bring Zion and the whole earth back to His heart, and overthrow all the enemies of God's kingdom... Reading: Jeremiah 52, God bless.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Jeremiah 51

Babylon shall sink and not rise from the judgment the Lord will bring upon this nation. Babylon was very wealthy, abundant in treasures with horses and armies, yet none of her riches secure her when the enemies came to conquer and destroy her. Destruction comes in the moment when they did not think of it. That's why Jesus said that one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses, as life on earth is unsecured and uncertain. This prophecy was sent by Jeremiah to the captives in Babylon to be read to his countrymen to encourage and give them hope. He promised them that there is an end in all these sufferings. Then the scroll must be thrown into the river of Euphrates, to signify that Babylon shall never rise again to power. In Revelation 18, it has been prophesied that Babylon and all forms of anti-christ will soon sink and rise no more for ever. Let us hope in God's word, and quietly wait for our complete redemption in Christ our Lord... Reading: Jeremiah 51, God bless.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Jeremiah 50

Finally Babylon, God's instrument to punish the nations will also be punished for abusing its power. When we abuse the grace that God gave, our days are numbered. Babylon shall be wholly desolated; for this nation had sinned against the Lord. It's a word of comfort for the Israelites, but a horrible message for the Babylonians. The Israelites shall return to their God first, then to their own land; the promise of their conversion and reformation makes way for the other promises. In tears, they shall seek after the Lord as their God, and have no more to do with idols. In true conversion, there are sincere desires to attain the end, and constant cares to keep in the way. All who return to God and their duty, shall find satisfaction of soul in so doing... Reading: Jeremiah 50, God bless.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Jeremiah 49

The Ammonites and Edomites (modern Jordan),  Syrians, Kedarene (bedouins) and the Elamites (part of Persia) should be judged by God using the power of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. This shows that the God of Abraham was sovereign over all the nations of the earth. Today we can still declare that He is in control and He reigns over all the earth. God said that these nations should be judged because they have trusted in their treasures, thinking that they can make their "nest as high as the eagle" (v16). Thus Divine judgments go round from nation to nation, because the earth is full of commotion, and nothing can escape the ministers of Divine vengeance. The righteousness of God is to be observed amidst the violence of men. God will do it to correct the attitude of unthankful people, and warn the careless world to expect trouble when they seem most safe. In our time, we always hear peace talk and peace process, but let us pray that we are always prepared for the things that may happen... Reading: Jeremiah 49, God bless.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Jeremiah 48

The Moabites are also to be destroyed for their arrogance and pride, because the entire nation  had exalted itself against the Lord (v26, v42). Moab was a prosperous and mighty state, powerful enough to influence the surrounding nations. However, they were corrupt, immoral, and enemies of the people of God. Then, Jeremiah prophesied its destruction to awaken them by national repentance and reformation to prevent the trouble. As we read this long message of threat of destruction, let us keep in view the power of God's anger of His judgments, and to have our hearts humbled with a holy awe of God and of His wrath. We should be thankful to God always that before we receive such judgment, we are required to seek salvation, and repent for sins. However, we shall be more without excuse if we do this God's grace deceitfully (v10). Therefore, be sincere and honest to God, because the end of this chapter offers a promise of forgiveness and restoration... Reading: Jeremiah 48, God bless.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Jeremiah 47

The calamities shall also fall to Gaza of the Philistines, the enemies of Israel. The Babylonian armies shall overflow their land like a flood to destroy the entire land, homes and people. Those whom God will destroy shall be destroyed, and spare shall be spared.  When God begins to judge, no one can escape, and He will even cut off every helper. Both Israel and Philistine thought Egypt would be their helper against Babylon, but God destroyed Egypt, to show that only God is sovereign. The condition of war is so horrible, so that the blessings of peace are most desirable. In our time,we must submit to His appointed times when troubles and wars come Who ordains all in perfect wisdom. May the peace of God reign in our hearts always through Christ Jesus our Lord... Reading: Jeremiah 47, God bless.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Jeremiah 46

Those who were able to escape the swords of the Babylonian armies went down to Egypt, but only to find out that Egypt would also fall into the hands of the Babylonians. Egypt was a powerful nation in ancient time, and many Israelites believed that this country would be a sanctuary to them. However, no one can escape His judgment, and we cannot cover up ourselves against God, for we are all naked before His eyes. We know that the word of God is against those who disobey His will, but it's message is for everyone, Jews and Gentiles, who are willing to turn to Him. Our God is a loving and compassionate Father, so that comfort and peace are spoken to His people, to encourage them when the punishment are done. Though the Lord will  punish and correct His people, but this will not lead to everlasting destructions from His presence if they will repent from their sins... Reading: Jeremiah 46, God bless.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Jeremiah 45

Jeremiah encouraged Baruch, who was so overwhelmed on what he had experience in his religious life. When we were new believers, we have so much expectations after accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; thinking that everything will be bright and beautiful. But along the way, we encountered troubles and rejection from many people. Baruch had raised his expectations too high in this world, and that made this troubles and distress so hard to bear. Jeremiah told him to not seek material things and worldly ambition, but seek things that could bring him to eternity. The world shall not stop calling us, and if we will stop smiling and coveting them, we shall fall to our own foolishness. It is shameful in the eyes of our Lord to seek great things for ourselves in this world, where everything is little and nothing certain. It is better to depend on God's guidance and examine our hearts to repress every wrong desire in us... Reading: Jeremiah 45, God bless.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Jeremiah 44

Three things we can learn on today's reading, first, God knows our religious activities, and even our ancestors'. For "no one has chosen to follow My word and the decrees I gave to you and your ancestors before you" (v10). Second, there is no such goddess like queen of heaven. In ancient Egyptian religion, Isis was the name of the mother of God and known to be the queen of heaven, and the Jews had been enticed to follow this cult. All who worship idols, or honor images should recollect what came from the idolatrous practices of the Jews in ancient time. Third, God hates those who rejected His words. “We will not listen to your messages from the Lord!" (v16). When the Word became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, God has opened the door to both Jews and Gentiles to repent from their sins and idolatrous practices so that they may be forgiven... Reading: Jeremiah 44, God bless.

Jeremiah 43

The people of Judah consulted Jeremiah's advice only to be rejected when it doesn't fit with their plans. They preferred their own wisdom instead of the revealed will of God. Like many people in our time, they deny the Scriptures to be the word of God, because they are resolved not to conform themselves to the rules of God's words. Many pretend to be Christians but by their works, you can see their lies and evil actions. They persist in sin, because they charge their actions to bad motives. Thus, the people of Judah had forced Jeremiah and others to join and go to Egypt. But the Spirit of the Lord was not confined to the land of Israel alone but everywhere. And Jeremiah had foretold that Nebuchadnezzar shall destroy and carry into captivity many of the Egyptians too. To apply this, we need only to obey our Lord and understand that He had promised that He will go with us wherever we go, He will never leave us nor forsake us... Reading: Jeremiah 43, God bless.

Jeremiah 42

The remaining people of the land had asked Jeremiah to seek the counsel of God, a sign of a good start after the invasion of Judah. In every difficult hour and doubtful case, we must look to God for direction; and in faith, pray to be guided by the Spirit of wisdom in our hearts, and the leadings of Divine Providence. If we are sincere, we must listen diligently to the voice of God's servant and obey what had been spoken. After ten days, Jeremiah spoke and gave them assurance of safety if they will stay in Judah. God is ready to return in mercy to those He has afflicted, and He never rejects any who rely on His words. But if they will leave the land and go to Egypt, they will only find difficulties and destructions. In such a time as this, they should listen and obey Jeremiah's voice because they have already seen the fulfillment of his previous prophecies. Jesus said, by their fruits you shall know them... Reading: Jeremiah 42, God bless.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Jeremiah 41

Ishmael murdered Gedaliah because he hates the worshippers of God. The wicked men will always appear as religious and devout person so that they can easily hurt the true and pious people of God. As the death of a person came in a moment that we least expect it, we should continually search whether we are in such a state of readiness, knowing that "when a tree falls north or south, it stays where it falls" (Ecc. 11:3). It is our prayer that we are to be found in when called to appear before our Judge in heaven when the moment of truth comes. Here we see the success of an evil man, but think that earthly success is always short, and none can prosper who harden their hearts against God. The removal of a good leader always affects the welfare of many, especially in a church of Jesus Christ... Reading: Jeremiah 41, God bless.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Jeremiah 40

The captain of the guard seems to glorify the Lord as His instrument to fulfill what Jeremiah had foretold (v3). Some people cannot see God's plan in their lives, but if they will only understand what has been written in the Scriptures, they can also be His instruments to accomplish God's intent on His creation. Here, the Israelites had realized that their sin is the major cause of all their miseries. Like Jeremiah, if we desire for the salvation of sinners and the good of the whole church, we should prefer to be useful servant of God to the most. We need to understand that when God begins a judgment, He is able to complete it. Judgment is God's way to discipline His people in order to make them a better person... Reading: Jeremiah 40, God bless.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Jeremiah 39

Zedekiah had tried to flee the invading armies of Babylon, but no one can escape God's judgment. Sin provoked God to withdraw His protection from the city, and Nebuchadnezzar had Zedekiah's eyes put out. The king was condemned to darkness who had shut his eyes against the clear light of God's word. When God's judgment comes, only those who serve the Lord and know the message of God are prepared for all events. The believers are delivered and comforted by the Spirit of God while the wicked suffer. Those who trust God in the way of duty, as good men like Jeremiah and Ebed Melech did, will find that their hope shall not fail in times of the greatest danger. Let's do our duties and hope for the best in Christ our Savior.... Reading: Jeremiah 39, God bless.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Jeremiah 38

Jeremiah continued to proclaim God's word to encourage the people of Judah to surrender to the Babylonian. But similar on what is happening in our time, the wicked would not listen to the message of godly men to surrender their lives to Jesus. So, these evil men put Jeremiah into a dungeon. With the help of Ebed-Melech, the Ethiopian, who spoke to the king secretly, Jeremiah was released from the pit. Indeed, the Lord raised up good friends to help and encourage others in distress. When the king spoke to Jeremiah, he declared that he was afraid of the people if he will surrender to the Babylonian. The truth is, the less we fear God, the more we fear men. Most of the time, people made decision according to what others will say, not on what their conscience dictates. As Christians, we need the Holy Spirit to guide us in all our ways... Reading: Jeremiah 38, God bless.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Jeremiah 37

Despite several prophetic warnings and fulfillment of what had been declared by Jeremiah in the past months, the leaders and people of the land did not listen to the words of the Lord. Instead of heeding the voice of God, they sought the help from the Egyptians whom they thought could protect them from the hands of the Babylonians. The truth is, if God will not help them, no creature can help them.  But if God is for them, who can be against them. If we are in trouble, there is no one who could help us but God alone. No weapon formed shall prosper against the people of God because we are secure in His hands. Jeremiah was seized and put to prison, with false accusation that he was defecting to the enemies (v14). When falsely accused, commit our cause to Him who judges righteously, God will vindicate us as the true witness. As God gave Jeremiah favor in the eyes of the king, we shall also find favor in the eyes of Jesus, even now and in the fulness of time... Reading: Jeremiah 37, God bless.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Jeremiah 36

God had caused His message to be written not only for proclamation but also for preservation. And the ultimate goal was to bring the people to their knees, that they may fear God and repent from their sinful ways. Anyone who would agree that great is the anger of God shall be forgiven, otherwise they are without excuse. Jehoiakim, king of Judah had refused to admit his sin, but some people around him had feared the Lord's message. The king did not tear his garments, nor humbled himself before God, but took the scroll and cast it into the fire (v23). Jeremiah and Baruch hid themselves with the help of the Lord. The ministry of the prophets, missionaries, pastors and other God's servants are not easy business. They must be willing to be rejected, insulted, despised and persecuted. But the promise of God for protection is always there, He will never leave them nor forsake them. Just trust His words... Reading: Jeremiah 36, God bless.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Jeremiah 35

Some people in Judah were still faithful to the God of their forefathers like the Rechabites who did not drink wine, nor plant vineyard to acquire wealth, but live in the tents. They consider this world a temporal place for the sojourners, and living in a movable dwelling would teach them not to think of settling in this world, but to think their permanent home in heaven. The idea that we are strangers and pilgrims should oblige us to abstain from all fleshly lusts. Here shows that humility and contentment are always the best policy and sure protection from the call of this world. When Jeremiah invited them to drink wine, it was a test of integrity. It shows that God's people can obey God's law, and the people of Judah had refused to follow it. As a result, mercy was promised to the Rechabites. We are not told to dwell in the tents, but being commanded to follow the words of Christ if we want to find mercy from our Lord... Reading: Jeremiah 35, God bless.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Jeremiah 34

Slaves should not be held in servitude more than seven years, as stipulated in the law of God. They should be released, give freedom and allow to live just a normal life. God said that this law had been broken by their forefathers, and the new generations followed the same. Because of disobedience and unfaithfulness to the covenant (v18), God will punish them by proclaiming liberty of sword, pestilence, and famine against them. They shall perish and become slaves to the Babylonians, the people whose language was unknown to them. Similarly, we were once slaves to satanic forces in this world. We were children of disobedience that follow the dictates and desires of this world. But by the mercies of God, Christ has redeemed us from slavery and bondage. So, let us go back always to the covenant Christ had made for us at the Cross, where His body was offered to seal and complete our redemption... Reading: Jeremiah 34, God bless.