Today’s Bible Reading: Jeremiah 48-49:22; 2 Timothy 4:1-22; Psalm 95-96:13; Proverbs 26:9-12
Jeremiah continues his prophecies against the nations in Jeremiah 48 & 49. In chapter 48 he predicts the destruction of Moab. Archaeological discoveries confirm the existence of the specific cities mentioned in this chapter. One of these discoveries is the Moabite Stone, now on display in the British Museum in London.
Notice the reasons God gives for destroying Moab: they trusted in their false god instead of trusting in Him (Jeremiah 48:7, 13) and they were full of pride – they trust in themselves and their own abilities (Jeremiah 48:29). Notice, too, how he brought about the destruction of Moab. He didn’t use natural disasters or miraculous events. He sent their enemies to conquer them. We’ve seen this pattern before. God allowed Assyria to conquer Israel. God allowed Babylon to conquer Assyria and Judah. He allowed Persia to conquer Babylon. God is the master of using the evil of human beings to bring judgement upon the earth.
By reading the Bible we can learn how and why God did what He did in the past. Since God does not change, we know that He will do the same things today for the same reasons. Therefore, if we want to receive His blessings we can do the same things people did to receive them. If we want to avoid His judgements we can not to the things that brought His judgement. God’s goal in all of this is to get us to follow Him into eternity because He knows what awaits if we don’t. Everything that He allows to happen – everything we would consider “good” or “bad” – He allows out of love for us in order to get our attention. Sadly, we are too wrapped up in ourselves, as Moab was, to pay attention.
In Jeremiah 49 the prophet issues a similar warning against the nation of Edom. Both Moab and Edom were invaded by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon about 2,500 years ago thereby fulfilling these prophecies.
Paul wrote 2 Timothy to Timothy, who was a young pastor, giving him instructions on how to do his job well. Even though most of us who read this letter are not pastors, there is certainly much we can take away from Paul’s words.
While we don’t formally “preach” as pastors do, all Christians should still be ready, willing, and able to speak about the Bible to others (2 Timothy 4:2). No time is the wrong time to discuss spiritual matters. There is nothing more important than our eternity.
Yesterday we read a verse that perfectly described the times we are living in. Today we read another one. Clearly our present times are characterized by people who follow their own desires and who only accept what they want to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3). People reject the notion of absolute truth in exchange for believing whatever makes them feel good. If it makes someone feel better to believe there is no god, or they are good enough to enter heaven, or something else they will believe it. They don’t let the facts get in the way.
Instead they believe in myths that have no evidence, such as evolution (2 Timothy 4:4). It has been over 150 years since Darwin proposed the theory of evolution and, to date, there is not one archaeological find that backs it up. That is why it is still officially called the “theory” of evolution. Yet people cling to this myth because it makes them feel good. If there is not God, then there is no one to answer to and we can feel free to pursue a selfish life.
I used to be one of these people. I believed there was no God and the Bible was simply a book of mythology that might contain some pithy sayings in it but was otherwise useless. But I had no facts to back up what I thought and said. I had never looked into it. I was too busy chasing after “life” to care whether I was right or wrong. In my mind I was right and that was all that mattered.
But truthful conclusions are never attained without evidence. And I had none. All I had was my pride which led me to seek out only that which I wanted to believe.
2 Timothy is the last recorded words we have of Paul. He was executed by Nero shortly after writing this letter. Since Paul was a Roman citizen he could not be crucified so he was most likely beheaded.
Paul began his life as a fervent Old Testament Jew who executed Christians. But he finished up as a man totally repentant and devoted to Jesus Christ. That is why he could say that he had “fought the good fight” (2 Timothy 4:6).
God doesn’t care about how we start. He cares about how we finish. Anyone can turn their life around from one without God to one with God. He is always willing to forgive and will always take anyone back. He will never reject anyone who sincerely seeks Him.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.