2239.) Jeremiah 45

November 30, 2017

J45 follow

Jeremiah 45   (NLT)

A Message for Baruch

The prophet Jeremiah gave a message to Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, after Baruch had written down everything Jeremiah had dictated to him.

“Baruch happens to be the only man from the Old Testament who has been fingerprinted. In 1975 a group of archaeologists purchase some clay document markers from an Arab antiquities dealer. The archaeologists did not decipher the markers – which were the bookmarks of the ancient world – until 1986. When they did, they discovered that one of them bears the seal of Baruch son of Neriah. Since then, another document marker has been discovered that bears not only Baruch’s seal, but also a thumbprint, very probably the thumbprint of the scribe himself.”

–Philip Graham Ryken

He said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You have said, ‘I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven’t I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.’

“Baruch, this is what the Lord says: ‘I will destroy this nation that I built. I will uproot what I planted. Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people; but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”

God used this word to Baruch to speak to many throughout the centuries. Dr. J. Oswald Sanders coveted a certain job in a Christian organization, and he almost lobbied some influential friends for it. But walking through downtown Auckland, New Zealand, these words came to him with authority: “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not!” Consequently, he didn’t seek the position, but it later opened to him on its own in God’s timing.

When Charles Spurgeon was eighteen, he applied to Regent’s Park College. An interview was set and Spurgeon rose early and set out. But through a misunderstanding he missed his appointment and was not admitted. Bitterly disappointed, Charles walked through the countryside trying to calm down. Suddenly Jeremiah 45:5 came to mind: “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not!” Spurgeon never made it to college, but he went on to become the most effective preacher in England.

–David Guzik

This is a promise given to you for the difficult places in which you may find yourself—a promise of safety and life even in the midst of tremendous pressure. And it is a promise that adjusts itself to fit the times as they continue to grow more difficult, as we approach the end of this age. 

What does it mean when it says that you will “escape with your life”? It means your life will be snatched from the jaws of the Enemy, as David snatched the lamb from the lion. It does not mean you will be spared the heat of the battle and confrontation with your foes, but it means “a table before [you] in the presence of [your] enemies” (Psalm 23:5), a shelter from the storm, a fortress amid the foe, and a life preserved in the face of continual pressure. It means comfort and hope from God, such as Paul received when he and his friends “were under great pressure, far beyond [their] ability to endure, so that [they] despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). And it means the Lord’s divine help, such as when Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7) remained, but the power of Christ came to rest upon him, and he learned that God’s “grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

May the Lord “wherever you go . . . let you escape with your life” and help you today to be victorious in your difficulties.

from Streams in the Desert, November 30



HERE is a real treat —  Mahalia Jackson and “God Will Take of You.”  She is singing it directly to YOU!  You can believe it!


New Living Translation (NLT)  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Be great.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/c3a03-be_great_in_all_things_christian_message_follow_his_will_tiffany_staples_motivation_matthew_jeremiah.jpg
verse 5.    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/d8/aa/78/d8aa78f921d75f980cb3aaf9a02ade81–april–do-you.jpg

2238.) Jeremiah 36

November 29, 2017

J36 burning the scroll

Jeremiah 36   (NLT)

Baruch Reads the Lord’s Messages

During the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king in Judah, the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: “Get a scroll, and write down all my messages against Israel, Judah, and the other nations. Begin with the first message back in the days of Josiah, and write down every message, right up to the present time. Perhaps the people of Judah will repent when they hear again all the terrible things I have planned for them. Then I will be able to forgive their sins and wrongdoings.”

 “If Jeremiah’s life were in danger, if he had no sons to carry on his word (Jeremiah 6:2), if the nation and the whole fabric of society were about to collapse, then a scroll would preserve the message.”

–Frank C. Thompson

So Jeremiah sent for Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated all the prophecies that the Lord had given him, Baruch wrote them on a scroll.

This account is of great interest in that it gives the only detailed Old Testament description of the writing of a prophetic book. That Jeremiah dictated to a secretary was normal for the times. Writing was a specialized skill, often restricted to the professional class. Learned men might have been able to read but scorned to write. The document was probably written on a blank papyrus scroll imported from Egypt.  (The Archaeology Bible)

Then Jeremiah said to Baruch, “I am a prisoner here and unable to go to the Temple. So you go to the Temple on the next day of fasting, and read the messages from the Lord that I have had you write on this scroll. Read them so the people who are there from all over Judah will hear them. Perhaps even yet they will turn from their evil ways and ask the Lord’s forgiveness before it is too late. For the Lord has threatened them with his terrible anger.”

Baruch did as Jeremiah told him and read these messages from the Lord to the people at the Temple. He did this on a day of sacred fasting held in late autumn, during the fifth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah. People from all over Judah had come to Jerusalem to attend the services at the Temple on that day. 10 Baruch read Jeremiah’s words on the scroll to all the people. He stood in front of the Temple room of Gemariah, son of Shaphan the secretary. This room was just off the upper courtyard of the Temple, near the New Gate entrance.

So, in 605 B.C., the year Nebuchadnezzar made his first move against Jerusalem, the Lord commanded Jeremiah to write down all the prophecies he had delivered. These were dictated to Baruch and read by him publicly at the temple a year later.

11 When Micaiah son of Gemariah and grandson of Shaphan heard the messages from the Lord, 12 he went down to the secretary’s room in the palace where the administrative officials were meeting.

This Michaiah was a godly man, having been connected with the reforms and revival under King Josiah (2 Kings 22:12-13). He heard all the words of the Lord from the book, and brought the message of the book to the leaders of Judah—sons of nobility and royalty, leaders in the kingdom.

–David Guzik

Elishama the secretary was there, along with Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Acbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials. 13 When Micaiah told them about the messages Baruch was reading to the people, 14 the officials sent Jehudi son of Nethaniah, grandson of Shelemiah and great-grandson of Cushi, to ask Baruch to come and read the messages to them, too. So Baruch took the scroll and went to them. 15 “Sit down and read the scroll to us,” the officials said, and Baruch did as they requested.

16 When they heard all the messages, they looked at one another in alarm. “We must tell the king what we have heard,” they said to Baruch. 17 “But first, tell us how you got these messages. Did they come directly from Jeremiah?”

18 So Baruch explained, “Jeremiah dictated them, and I wrote them down in ink, word for word, on this scroll.”

J36 scroll and ink

The only mention of ink in the Old Testament (but see also 2 Corinthians 3:3, 2 John 12, and 3 John 13). In ancient times ink was made from soot or lampblack mixed with gum arabic or oil.  (The Archaeology Bible)

19 “You and Jeremiah should both hide,” the officials told Baruch. “Don’t tell anyone where you are!” 20 Then the officials left the scroll for safekeeping in the room of Elishama the secretary and went to tell the king what had happened.

Once the princes had heard the prophecies, and after authenticating the document, they told Baruch and Jeremiah to hide. They knew the king would be displeased.

King Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll

21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought it from Elishama’s room and read it to the king as all his officials stood by. 22 It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm. 23 Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up.

This was a deliberate, dramatic way to insult and reject the prophet and the God whom the prophet represented. Jehoiakim hoped to burn and destroy the word of the prophet and his God.

24 Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard. 25 Even when Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, he wouldn’t listen.

26 Then the king commanded his son Jerahmeel, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah. But the Lord had hidden them.

The king was not bothered in the least. As his scribe read the scroll (God’s word), the king cut it into pieces and burned it. The others were appalled. 

Jeremiah Rewrites the Scroll

27 After the king had burned the scroll on which Baruch had written Jeremiah’s words, the Lord gave Jeremiah another message. He said, 28 “Get another scroll, and write everything again just as you did on the scroll King Jehoiakim burned. 29 Then say to the king, ‘This is what the Lord says: You burned the scroll because it said the king of Babylon would destroy this land and empty it of people and animals.

This was the aspect of Jeremiah’s message that so upset Jehoiakim. He didn’t want to hear that Nebuchadnezzar was going to come again to Jerusalem and eventually destroy the city.

30 Now this is what the Lord says about King Jehoiakim of Judah: He will have no heirs to sit on the throne of David. His dead body will be thrown out to lie unburied—exposed to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. 31 I will punish him and his family and his attendants for their sins. I will pour out on them and on all the people of Jerusalem and Judah all the disasters I promised, for they would not listen to my warnings.’”

32 So Jeremiah took another scroll and dictated again to his secretary, Baruch. He wrote everything that had been on the scroll King Jehoiakim had burned in the fire. Only this time he added much more!

Jeremiah rewrote the prophecies, adding an appropriate section concerning the fearful doom of the king!

–William MacDonald



God has spoken to his people, alleluia, and his words are words of wisdom, alleluia.  HERE  is Desert Harmony, a children’s choir from the United Arab Emirates.


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
the king burns the scroll (Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett).      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/ff/Book_of_Jeremiah_Chapter_36-3_%28Bible_Illustrations_by_Sweet_Media%29.jpg
2000 year old Hebrew writing on papyrus.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/c2628-1.jpg
scroll and ink.   https://image.shutterstock.com/z/stock-photo-roll-of-parchment-ink-pot-and-writing-quill-medieval-still-life-isolated-white-background-1461624.jpg
the king, seated, burns the scroll.  https://witzend.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/jehoiakim-burns-scroll.jpg

2237.) Jeremiah 35

November 28, 2017

J35 Recabites

Jeremiah 35   (NLT)

The Faithful Recabites

This is the message the Lord gave Jeremiah when Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah: “Go to the settlement where the families of the Recabites live, and invite them to the Lord’s Temple. Take them into one of the inner rooms, and offer them some wine.”

The Recabites were related to Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro the Kenite (1 Chronicles 2:55).  Though not ethnic Jews, this nomadic tribes lived among or near the Israelites and zealously attempted to be faithful to the Lord.  (In modern terms they were something of a combination of back-to-nature hippies and zealously pure in their traditions Amish.) They got their name from their forefather Recab, whose son Jonadab had helped to remove Baal worship temporarily from Israel 250 years earlier (2 Kings 10:15-28).  The Recabiltes from one generation to the next took a permanent vow not to drink wine and obeyed Jonadab’s other instructions, including living in tents rather than in houses and towns—until the Babylonian invasion forced them to take refuge in Jerusalem.  Their faithfulness to their community’s values contrasted starkly with the lack of integrity in Judah as a whole, and particularly in Jerusalem, regarding the people’s covenant with God.  (The Archaeology Study Bible)

So I went to see Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah and grandson of Habazziniah and all his brothers and sons—representing all the Recabite families. I took them to the Temple, and we went into the room assigned to the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, a man of God. This room was located next to the one used by the Temple officials, directly above the room of Maaseiah son of Shallum, the Temple gatekeeper.

I set cups and jugs of wine before them and invited them to have a drink, but they refused.

J35 painting-of-a-glass-of-wine

“No,” they said, “we don’t drink wine, because our ancestor Jehonadab son of Recab gave us this command: ‘You and your descendants must never drink wine. And do not build houses or plant crops or vineyards, but always live in tents. If you follow these commands, you will live long, good lives in the land.’ So we have obeyed him in all these things. We have never had a drink of wine to this day, nor have our wives, our sons, or our daughters. We haven’t built houses or owned vineyards or farms or planted crops. 10 We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed all the commands of Jehonadab, our ancestor. 11 But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked this country, we were afraid of the Babylonian and Syrian armies. So we decided to move to Jerusalem. That is why we are here.”

12 Then the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: 13 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Go and say to the people in Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Come and learn a lesson about how to obey me. 14 The Recabites do not drink wine to this day because their ancestor Jehonadab told them not to. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you refuse to obey me. 15 Time after time I sent you prophets, who told you, “Turn from your wicked ways, and start doing things right. Stop worshiping other gods so that you might live in peace here in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.” But you would not listen to me or obey me. 16 The descendants of Jehonadab son of Recab have obeyed their ancestor completely, but you have refused to listen to me.’

The point was not strictly the drinking or not drinking of wine; it was obedience to the teaching of their spiritual father Jonadab. Jeremiah didn’t use this to make a point about drinking wine, but about obedience. Nevertheless, God honored the Rechabites for their steadfast refusal to drink alcohol, and they were not mocked or criticized for this obedience.

17 “Therefore, this is what the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Because you refuse to listen or answer when I call, I will send upon Judah and Jerusalem all the disasters I have threatened.’”

18 Then Jeremiah turned to the Recabites and said, “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed your ancestor Jehonadab in every respect, following all his instructions.’ 19 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jehonadab son of Recab will always have descendants who serve me.’”

We do not know them, but God knows their names and remembers their faithfulness!

· The Rechabites obeyed a fallible leader; the people of Judah disobeyed the eternal God

· The Rechabites received their command only once from their leader and obeyed; the people of Judah received their command from God again and again and still disobeyed

· The Rechabites obeyed regarding earthly things; the people of Judah disobeyed in regard to eternal things

· The Rechabites obeyed their leader’s commands over about 300 years; the people of Judah continually disobeyed their God

· The Rechabites would be rewarded; the people of Judah would be judged

–David Guzik



What a privilege to receive and to leave a godly heritage!  HERE  is Steve Green and “Find Us Faithful.”


New Living Translation (NLT)  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Jeremiah tests the Recabites.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/j35-recabites.jpg
“Painting-of-a-glass-of-wine”    https://urbanambles.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/painting-of-a-glass-of-wine.jpg
George MacDonald.   http://www.georgemacdonaldquotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/ObedienceToChrist.jpg

2236.) Jeremiah 25

November 27, 2017

Jer25 seventy

Jeremiah 25   (NLT)

Seventy Years of Captivity

Jeremiah predicts seventy years of Babylonian captivity for Judah as judgment for persistent sin, and warns the neighboring nations as well of judgment at the hands of Babylon. In chapters 26-29, his message meets opposition from false prophets, priests, and the people.  (The Reformation Bible)

Some scholars think the round number of “seventy years” represents the period from 605 to 538 B.C. These are the years between the time Judah became a Babylonian vassal state and the beginning of Judah’s return from exile as allowed by Cyrus of Persia.

This message for all the people of Judah came to Jeremiah from the Lord during the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign over Judah. This was the year when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon began his reign.

This was 605 b.c., an important year in world history and Biblical history. In world history the Egyptians were overwhelmed at Carchemish in modern Turkey, near the Syrian border. The Babylonian armies chased the fleeing Egyptians south. In Biblical history Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem but had to leave quickly because his father died and it was the first year of his reign in Babylon. It’s possible that this prophecy came between the two events.

–David Guzik

Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people in Judah and Jerusalem, “For the past twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah, until now—the Lord has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened.

But you would not listen.

But you have not listened.

“Again and again the Lord has sent you his servants, the prophets, but you have not listened or even paid attention. Each time the message was this: ‘Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the Lord gave to you and your ancestors forever. Do not provoke my anger by worshiping idols you made with your own hands. Then I will not harm you.’

“But you would not listen to me,” says the Lord. “You made me furious by worshiping idols you made with your own hands, bringing on yourselves all the disasters you now suffer. And now the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Because you have not listened to me, I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy.

“Nebuchadnezzar, my deputy,” or in other translations, “my servant”:  “It was not so much that God’s pleasure was on King Nebuchadnezzar but that as the Lord’s instrument he was to execute the divine plan for Judah and the nations. He was unconsciously doing God’s will by devoting whole populations to destruction.”

–Charles L. Feinberg

I will bring them all against this land and its people and against the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy you and make you an object of horror and contempt and a ruin forever. 10 I will take away your happy singing and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard. Your millstones will fall silent, and the lights in your homes will go out. 11 This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years.

As the daughter of a farmer, I find this explanation for “seventy years” interesting:

2 Chronicles 36:20-21   (NIV)

He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.

Leviticus 25:3-5 teaches that the land was to lie fallow every seventh year. The people had disobeyed this law. God makes it up to the land, so to speak.

12 “Then, after the seventy years of captivity are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his people for their sins,” says the Lord.

Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians were God’s servant in carrying out His judgment against Judah, and they would be judged by their evil deeds and works of their own hands. They served God’s purpose, but it did not excuse or justify their destructive actions.

–David Guzik

“I will make the country of the Babylonians a wasteland forever. 13 I will bring upon them all the terrors I have promised in this book—all the penalties announced by Jeremiah against the nations. 14 Many nations and great kings will enslave the Babylonians, just as they enslaved my people. I will punish them in proportion to the suffering they cause my people.”

The Cup of the Lord’s Anger

Jer25 cup-of-wrath

15 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled to the brim with my anger, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink from it. 16 When they drink from it, they will stagger, crazed by the warfare I will send against them.”

17 So I took the cup of anger from the Lord and made all the nations drink from it—every nation to which the Lord sent me. 18 I went to Jerusalem and the other towns of Judah, and their kings and officials drank from the cup. From that day until this, they have been a desolate ruin, an object of horror, contempt, and cursing.

God’s judgment is first visited upon his chosen people, and then upon Judah’s enemies.

19 I gave the cup to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials, and all his people, 20 along with all the foreigners living in that land. I also gave it to all the kings of the land of Uz and the kings of the Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what remains of Ashdod. 21 Then I gave the cup to the nations of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, 22 and the kings of Tyre and Sidon, and the kings of the regions across the sea. 23 I gave it to Dedan, Tema, and Buz, and to the people who live in distant places. 24 I gave it to the kings of Arabia, the kings of the nomadic tribes of the desert, 25 and to the kings of Zimri, Elam, and Media. 26 And I gave it to the kings of the northern countries, far and near, one after the other—all the kingdoms of the world. And finally, the king of Babylon himself drank from the cup of the Lord’s anger.

27 Then the Lord said to me, “Now tell them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Drink from this cup of my anger. Get drunk and vomit; fall to rise no more, for I am sending terrible wars against you.’ 28 And if they refuse to accept the cup, tell them, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: You have no choice but to drink from it. 29 I have begun to punish Jerusalem, the city that bears my name. Now should I let you go unpunished?

While judgment would begin among God’s people (see verse 18 above), it would in no way finish there. The judgment of God’s people was a certain prophecy of coming judgment upon the nations.

No, you will not escape disaster. I will call for war against all the nations of the earth. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!’

30 “Now prophesy all these things, and say to them,

“‘The Lord will roar against his own land
    from his holy dwelling in heaven.
He will shout like those who tread grapes;
    he will shout against everyone on earth.
31 His cry of judgment will reach the ends of the earth,
    for the Lord will bring his case against all the nations.
He will judge all the people of the earth,
    slaughtering the wicked with the sword.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!’”

32 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
    “Look! Disaster will fall upon nation after nation!
A great whirlwind of fury is rising
    from the most distant corners of the earth!”

33 In that day those the Lord has slaughtered will fill the earth from one end to the other. No one will mourn for them or gather up their bodies to bury them. They will be scattered on the ground like manure.

The destruction is almost beyond comprehension. But this is a prophecy, spoken in advance, and as such it gives nations time to repent.

34 Weep and moan, you evil shepherds!
    Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock!
The time of your slaughter has arrived;
    you will fall and shatter like a fragile vase.
35 You will find no place to hide;
    there will be no way to escape.
36 Listen to the frantic cries of the shepherds.
    The leaders of the flock are wailing in despair,
    for the Lord is ruining their pastures.
37 Peaceful meadows will be turned into a wasteland
    by the Lord’s fierce anger.
38 He has left his den like a strong lion seeking its prey,

Jer25 Aslan

The Lord is pictured as a lion. Four years ago on a family vacation I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to two of our granddaughters, then ages 4 and 7.  They learned to love Aslan!

    and their land will be made desolate
by the sword of the enemy
    and the Lord’s fierce anger.



HERE  is Kendall Payne and “Aslan.”  She says, “After re-reading The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis as an adult, I fell in love with Aslan all over again.”


New Living Translation (NLT)  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
seventy.     http://www.giuaabbigliamento.it/img/seventy.gif
but you have not listened.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/jer7-not-listen.jpg
cup of wrath.   http://borivaliassembly.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/cup2.jpg
Aslan.    http://www3.telus.net/st_simons/Aslan1.jpg

2235.) Psalm 119:65-80

November 24, 2017

Psalm 119:65-80

(Good News Translation)

The Value of the Law of the Lord

65 You have kept your promise, Lord,
and you are good to me, your servant.

We don’t think about it enough, but it is wonderfully true that “You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD.” Think of all the ways God has dealt well with us. He loves us, He called us, He drew us to Himself. He rescued us, He declared us righteous, He forgave us, He put His Spirit with us, He adopted us into His family. He makes us kings and priests and co-workers with Him, and He rewards all our work for Him.

–David Guzik

66 Give me wisdom and knowledge,
because I trust in your commands.
67 Before you punished me, I used to go wrong,
but now I obey your word.

68 How good you are—how kind!
Teach me your commands.

Another translation of this verse goes, “You are good and you do good.” This is praise for who God is, and for what God does. Even afflictions work out to show God’s kindness. With that in mind, where is room for complaining?

“We talk of goodness, but yield to discontent. We do not profess to dislike trials in general — only the trial pressing upon us — any other cross than this; that is, my will and wisdom rather than God’s.”

–Charles Bridges

“I never,” said Martin Luther, “knew the meaning of God’s word, until I came into affliction. I have always found it one of my best schoolmasters.”

69 The proud have told lies about me,
but with all my heart I obey your instructions.
70 They have no understanding,
but I find pleasure in your law.
71 My punishment was good for me,
because it made me learn your commands.

P119 coins
72 The law that you gave means more to me
than all the money in the world.

The largest Bible in the world is in the Vatican. It is a manuscript Bible and written in Hebrew. The book weighs 320 pounds and there is a history connected with it. Some Italian Jews obtained a view of the precious volume, and told their co-religionists of Venice of it. The consequence was that a syndicate of Venetian Jews endeavored to purchase it, offering the Pope the weight of the book in gold as the price. Pope Julius II, however, refused the offer, even though the value of such a large amount of gold was enormous. The saving truth which the Bible contains, accessible to the poorest, is more valuable than all material wealth combined.

–Christian Science Journal

The Justice of the Law of the Lord

The reference to God forming him is a deliberate echo of Genesis 2, which says God ‘formed man from the dust of the ground’ (Genesis 2:7)

73 You created me, and you keep me safe;
give me understanding, so that I may learn your laws.

74 Those who honor you will be glad when they see me,
because I trust in your promise.
75 I know that your judgments are righteous, Lord,
and that you punished me because you are faithful.
76 Let your constant love comfort me,
as you have promised me, your servant.

P119 Hebrews
77 Have mercy on me, and I will live
because I take pleasure in your law.

78 May the proud be ashamed for falsely accusing me;
as for me, I will meditate on your instructions.
79 May those who honor you come to me—
all those who know your commands.

80 May I perfectly obey your commandments
and be spared the shame of defeat.



“Beneath the Cross of Jesus” is a hymn that has long spoken to me. And particularly the line shown above: “My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.”  So many things I have done which I am ashamed of or embarrassed by, so many foolish or unkind things — yet at the cross, all is forgiven.  HERE  is the hymn sung by The Hastings College Choir from Hastings, Nebraska.


Good News Translation (GNT)   Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society
Images courtesy of:
You have done many good things.   https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4085/5064866654_738a306de9_b.jpg
coins.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/psalm119-72.jpg
breath of life.   http://learn-biblical-hebrew.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/breath-of-life.jpg
Hebrews 4:16.    http://ih2.redbubble.net/image.11592695.2391/flat,550×550,075,f.jpg
my sinful self.   http://images.slideplayer.com/25/7969489/slides/slide_40.jpg

2234.) Psalm 145

November 23, 2017

Psalm 145   The Message

David’s Praise

A magnificent hymn reminding us of all that God has provided for us!  We sing praises to Him for his greatness, his goodness, his grace, and his glory!

Psalm 145 is an acrostic psalm that uses each of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order, almost like an ABC book. Today we alphabetize lots of things, but not usually our poetry. The Hebrews didn’t have books readily available, so much of their theology was memorized. Psalm 145 may have been written the way it was to make it easier to remember, since each verse starts with the next letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

–Robert J. and Laura Keeley

Psalm 145 is the last psalm attributed to David in the collection of Psalms.

(1-3) Learning from David’s example of a heart fully given to praise.

I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King!
    and I’ll bless your name into eternity.

· He did it with the direct address (You)

· He did it with the personal reference (my God)

· He did it with a surrendered heart (my King)

· He did it unending (forever and ever…every day)

–David Guzik

I’ll bless you every day,
    and keep it up from now to eternity.

God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough.
    There are no boundaries to his greatness.

(4-7) Passing the praise of God from one generation to another.

Ps145 future generations

Generation after generation stands in awe of your work;
    each one tells stories of your mighty acts.

Your beauty and splendor have everyone talking;
    I compose songs on your wonders.

Your marvelous doings are headline news;
    I could write a book full of the details of your greatness.

The fame of your goodness spreads across the country;
    your righteousness is on everyone’s lips.

(8-9) The memory and present experience of God’s goodness.

God is all mercy and grace—
    not quick to anger, is rich in love.

Ps145 steadfast love

God is good to one and all;
    everything he does is suffused with grace.

(10-13) All creation declares God’s praise.

10-11 Creation and creatures applaud you, God;
    your holy people bless you.

They talk about the glories of your rule,
    they exclaim over your splendor,

12 Letting the world know of your power for good,
    the lavish splendor of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal;
    you never get voted out of office.

Psalm145_13 flowers

God always does what he says,
    and is gracious in everything he does.

(14-16) The kindness of God to those in need.

14 God gives a hand to those down on their luck,
    gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.

15 All eyes are on you, expectant;
    you give them their meals on time.

16 Generous to a fault,
    you lavish your favor on all creatures.

My family has often used the verses above as a grace at table.

(17-21) The love and righteousness of the Lord.

17 Everything God does is right—
    the trademark on all his works is love.

Ps145 pray

18 God’s there, listening for all who pray,
    for all who pray and mean it.

19 He does what’s best for those who fear him—
    hears them call out, and saves them.

20 God sticks by all who love him,
    but it’s all over for those who don’t.

21 My mouth is filled with God’s praise.
    Let everything living bless him,
    bless his holy name from now to eternity!

 “Whatever others may do, I will not be silent in the praise of the Lord, whatever others may speak upon, my topic is fixed once for all: I will speak the praise of Jehovah. I am doing it, and I will do it as long as I breathe.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“The last verse of Psalm 145 is the last word we have from David in the Bible. It is his last will and testament. If he had said nothing else in his long life, these words would be a fine legacy for future generations. In it he praises God and invites others to praise God also.”

–James Montgomery Boice

“So ends David’s contribution to the Psalter, on a note of praise which is wholly his own (v 21a), yet as wide as mankind and as unfading as eternity.”

–Derek Kidner



Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers! And to my readers outside of the USA, may I say how thankful I am for your support of DWELLING!

HERE is “For the Beauty of the Earth,” sung by BarlowGirl (3 sisters from Elgin, IL).

HERE  is another version of the hymn, but a different tune, sung by Libera (English boys choir).


The Message (MSG)   Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Images courtesy of:
verse 1.   https://i.pinimg.com/originals/cd/47/f8/cd47f8c872facc0422bed0649a1b3f12.jpg
Imagine God’s future.    http://www.whitehousefumc.org/clientimages/57113/children/psalm22_30.jpg
steadfast love.    http://patriciawonders.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/hearts.jpg
Psalm 145:13.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/63c1d-psalm145_13.jpg
verses 15-16.   https://cccooperagency.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/encouragement_psalm_145_15_16.jpg?w=394
The Lord is near to all.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/c299c-psalms145_18.jpg
King David.   https://www.dcriggott.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/0f396e8a55728e79b48334e699243c07/i/m/img_5832.jpg

2233.) 2 Kings 24

November 22, 2017

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, were built by King Nebuchadnezzar in about 600 BC to please his foreign wife, who longed for the plants of her homeland. The gardens were destroyed by earthquakes after the 2nd century BC.

2 Kings 24   (NIV)

1 During Jehoiakim’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years.

Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonian Empire, was concerned with Judah because of its strategic position in relation to the empires of Egypt and Assyria. Therefore it was important to him to conquer Judah and make it a subject kingdom, “his vassal,” securely loyal to Babylon.

  • Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem because the Pharaoh of Egypt invaded Babylon. In response the young prince Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptians at Charchemish, and then he pursued their fleeing army all the way down to the Sinai. Along the way (or on the way back), he subdued Jerusalem, who had been loyal to the Pharaoh of Egypt.
  • This happened in 605 B.C. and it was the first (but not the last) encounter between Nebuchadnezzar and Jehoiakim. There would be two later invasions (597 and 587 B.C.).
  • This specific attack is documented by the Babylonian Chronicles (a piece of it pictured above), a collection of tablets discovered as early as 1887, held in the British Museum. In them, Nebuchadnezzar’s 605 B.C. presence in Judah is documented and clarified. When the Babylonian chronicles were finally published in 1956, they gave us first-rate, detailed political and military information about the first 10 years of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. L.W. King had prepared these tablets in 1919; he then died, and they were neglected for four decades.
  • Excavations also document the victory of Nebuchadnezzar over the Egyptians at Carchemish in May or June of 605 B.C. Archaeologists found evidences of battle, vast quantities of arrowheads, layers of ash, and a shield of a Greek mercenary fighting for the Egyptians.
  • This campaign of Nebuchadnezzar was interrupted suddenly when he heard of his father’s death and raced back to Babylon to secure his succession to the throne. He traveled about 500 miles in two weeks – remarkable speed for travel in that day. Nebuchadnezzar only had the time to take a few choice captives (such as Daniel), a few treasures and a promise of submission from Jehoiakim.

–David Guzik

But then he turned against Nebuchadnezzar and rebelled. 2 The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by his servants the prophets. 3 Surely these things happened to Judah according to the LORD’s command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, 4 including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to forgive.



The shedding of innocent blood.  HERE  is the old hymn, “Jesus, your blood and righteousness,” written by Count Nicolaus von Zinzendorf in the 1700’s, with a new tune by the vocalist, Lori Sealy.

Jesus, Your blood and righteousness
my beauty are, my glorious dress;
‘midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
with joy I lift up my head!
Bold shall I stand in Your great day;
for who a charge to me shall lay?
Fully absolved through these I am
from sin, fear and guilt and shame.

Through Your blood and righteousness
I am so richly blessed.
By grace I’m justified,
redeemed by the LORD Jesus Christ.

Jesus, be endless praise to You,
whose boundless mercy did pursue –
and for me full atonement made,
Your blood my ransom paid!

Through Your blood and righteousness
I am so richly blessed.
By grace I’m justified,
redeemed by the LORD Jesus Christ!

When from the dust of death I rise
to claim my mansion in the skies,
then this shall still be all my plea,
He lived and died for me!

O let the dead now hear Your voice,
now bid the banished ones rejoice,
their beauty this their glorious dress,
Your blood and righteousness.

Through Your blood and righteousness
I am so richly blessed.
By grace I’m justified,
redeemed by the LORD Jesus Christ.


5 As for the other events of Jehoiakim’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 6 Jehoiakim rested with his ancestors. And Jehoiachin his son succeeded him as king.

7 The king of Egypt did not march out from his own country again, because the king of Babylon had taken all his territory, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River.

Egypt had been soundly defeated by Nebuchadnezzar.  Now Babylonia is the “super power” of the Fertile Crescent.

Jehoiachin King of Judah

The teenage king. Nothing in his three-month reign would give Jerusalem confidence.

8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan; she was from Jerusalem. 9 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father had done.

10 At that time the officers of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon advanced on Jerusalem and laid siege to it, 11 and Nebuchadnezzar himself came up to the city while his officers were besieging it. 12 Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his attendants, his nobles and his officials all surrendered to him.

In the eighth year of the reign of the king of Babylon, he took Jehoiachin prisoner. 13 As the LORD had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the LORD and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the LORD. 14 He carried all Jerusalem into exile: all the officers and fighting men, and all the skilled workers and artisans—a total of ten thousand. Only the poorest people of the land were left.

And certainly they — the poorest of the land — would not cause Nebachadnezzar any problems.

15 Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon.

He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the king’s mother, his wives, his officials and the prominent people of the land. 16 The king of Babylon also deported to Babylon the entire force of seven thousand fighting men, strong and fit for war, and a thousand skilled workers and artisans. 17 He made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Remarkably, Jehoiachin spent 37 years in prison, a humiliated and forgotten man. He had lots of time to consider his life, and perhaps brought to mind stories he had heard about his grandfather, Josiah, and memories of the dishonorable death of his father. Perhaps he even prayed, and humbly sought mercy from the Lord.

With a change of Babylon’s kings came a change in Jehoiachin’s fate. Evil Merodach became the king of Babylon, and in the year he began to reign, he released Jehoiachin from prison. The new king was kind to him, and gave him a prominent position in his administration, better than all the other exiled kings who were with him in Babylon. Jehoiachin dined at the king’s table regularly, and his needs were met by the king of Babylon for the remainder of his life. His children included Shealtiel, in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:12. (2 Kings 24:8-16; 2 Chronicles 36:9, 10)

–Pete Miller of ShareFaith.com

Zedekiah King of Judah

Puppet king of Nebuchadnezzar. Last king of Judah.

18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. 19 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as Jehoiakim had done. 20 It was because of the LORD’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence.

The Fall of Jerusalem

Many Jews of the time believed that God would never allow the city of Jerusalem to fall. They did not realize that God was more concerned with their hearts (in terms of justice, truth, worship, forgiveness, kindness, etc.) than he was with their nation as such. Their sins had to be dealt with before their flag could fly with honor.

Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.


New International Version, ©2010 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica
Images courtesy of:
hanging gardens of Babylon.    https://www.realmofhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/animation-hanging-gardens-of-babylon_2.jpg
Babylonian Chronicle.   http://cojs.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/Babylonian_Chronicle-2.jpg
captive Jehoiachin.   http://www.temkit.com/08-Bible-Prophecy/Knowing-Prophecy/images/captivek.jpg

2232.) Jeremiah 47

November 21, 2017

When I think of Philistia, I think of the giant Philistine Goliath, who fell to the boy David and a stone from a slingshot.

Jeremiah 47   (NLT)

A Message about Philistia

Jeremiah 46, the previous chapter, began the section of Jeremiah’s prophecies against the nations surrounding Judah. Jeremiah 47, this chapter, is the record of his prophecy against the Philistines, the ancient enemies and rivals of Israel.

This is the Lord’s message to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the Philistines of Gaza, before it was captured by the Egyptian army. This is what the Lord says:

“A flood is coming from the north
    to overflow the land.

The Babylonians would come from the north to overwhelm the Philistines as flood waters overwhelm a land.

It will destroy the land and everything in it—
    cities and people alike.
People will scream in terror,
    and everyone in the land will wail.

Jeremiah describes the vivid sounds of conquest. The people are wailing, the horses with stamping hooves, the sound of rushing chariots with rumbling wheels. These were the sounds of judgment upon the Philistines.

Hear the clatter of stallions’ hooves
    and the rumble of wheels as the chariots rush by.
Terrified fathers run madly,
    without a backward glance at their helpless children.

“The time has come for the Philistines to be destroyed,
    along with their allies from Tyre and Sidon.
Yes, the Lord is destroying the remnant of the Philistines,
    those colonists from the island of Crete.
Gaza will be humiliated, its head shaved bald;
    Ashkelon will lie silent.
You remnant from the Mediterranean coast,
    how long will you lament and mourn?

J47 Gaza ruins

The Anthedon, Gaza’s ancient port, dates back to the eighth century B.C., when Gaza was a major Philistine city. For thousands of years, trade and travel between Canaan and Egypt passed through this port and Gaza thrived. Today the Anthedon’s ruins stretch for several miles under the northern part of what is now Gaza’s beach refugee camp.

“Now, O sword of the Lord,
    when will you be at rest again?

“This is a most grand prosopopoeia [a figure of speech in which an abstract thing is represented as speaking] – a dialogue between the sword of the Lord and the prophet. Nothing can be imagined more sublime.”

–Adam Clarke

Go back into your sheath;
    rest and be still.

“But how can it be still
    when the Lord has sent it on a mission?
For the city of Ashkelon
    and the people living along the sea
    must be destroyed.”

The immediate fulfillment of this prophecy took place under Nebuchadnezzar in 604 B.C.  (The Archaeological Study Bible)



Oh, for courage in the hard times! Like Peter, climbing out of the boat onto the waves of the sea. Like David, going forward towards the giant. Is there something facing you now that is just too daunting? Relationship issues? Children or grandchildren wandering away from the Lord? Financial woes? Jesus is with you to help you and Scripture is close at hand to encourage you.  HERE  is Casting Crowns and “The Voice of Truth.”


New Living Translation (NLT)  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Goliath.    http://kinooze.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/David-and-Goliath.jpg
Gaza ruins.   http://eipa.eu.com/wp-content/uploads-peipa001/2013/04/Anthedon-Gaza%E2%80%99s-ancient-port-dates-back-to-eighth-century-B.C.jpg
sword of the Lord.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/20d55-sword-of-the-lord-logo2blarger.jpg

2231.) Jeremiah 46

November 20, 2017
Prophecies against Egypt.

Prophecies against Egypt.

Jeremiah 46   (NLT)

Messages for the Nations

The following messages were given to Jeremiah the prophet from the Lord concerning foreign nations.

In chapters 46-51, Jeremiah delivers warnings of destruction and judgment—poetically and beautifully. He prophesies against nine nations:  Egypt, Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Arabia (Kedar and Hazor), Elam, and Babylonia. The nations are listed geographically, i.e., from west to east. These prophecies were fulfilled after the fall of Jerusalem. Babylon will be destroyed and desolate, while Israel will be redeemed.

–William MacDonald (and other notes in red)

Jeremiah the prophet against the nations: It is an important reminder that though the Book of Jeremiah deals mostly with the judgment God would bring against Judah, God did not neglect or ignore the Gentile nations. He would also righteously judge them.

“God knows who he is. He is not a regional supervisor. He is not a tribal deity. He is the God of all nations. His sovereignty is not limited to a single culture, nation, or ethnic group.” (Ryken)

–David Guzik

Messages about Egypt

This message concerning Egypt was given in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, the king of Judah, on the occasion of the battle of Carchemish when Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, and his army were defeated beside the Euphrates River by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

In the summer of 605 BC, the Battle of Carchemish was fought by the Babylonian army of Nebuchadnezzar II and that of Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt and the remnants of the Assyrian army. The aim of Necho’s campaign was to contain the westward advance of the Babylonian Empire and cut off its trade route across the Euphrates. However, the Egyptians were defeated by the unexpected attack of the Babylonians and were eventually expelled from Syria.

“It was on his way there [Carchemish] that Pharaoh Neco had slain King Josiah of Judah in 609 when Josiah tried to turn him back.” (Kidner) Pharaoh kept his army in Carchemish four years, dominating the area and waiting for the inevitable confrontation with rising Babylon. When it came, the Egyptians were routed.

–David Guzik

Noted biblical scholar J. A. Thompson said of this following section, Jeremiah 46:3-12, “The poetry is among the most vivid in all the OT and is certainly unsurpassed in the book of Jeremiah.” 

“Prepare your shields,
    and advance into battle!

Harness the horses,
    and mount the stallions.
Take your positions.
    Put on your helmets.
Sharpen your spears,
    and prepare your armor.

J46 horses at war

On the Western Front during the First World War: Battle of Ypres, 1917 (The First World War Poetry Digital Archive)

Around 6 million horses served in World War One and a huge number of them died as a result.

In 1914 the RSPCA set up a fund for sick and wounded war horses to help alleviate suffering on the front line. Some 725,000 horses were treated in France alone. 

Horses were used to perform essential tasks such as pulling ambulances and field guns, as well as carrying supplies and ammunition. The use of horses at the front was vital as they could cope with the deep mud far more effectively than vehicles.

But what do I see?
    The Egyptian army flees in terror.
The bravest of its fighting men run
    without a backward glance.
They are terrorized at every turn,”
    says the Lord.

Jeremiah describes the Egyptian army in full flight. Although they were numerous and formidable, the battle seems to be over as soon as it begins. In his prophetic vision Jeremiah now sees (verses 6-8) the captains of the Babylonian army calling out orders, commanding all their soldiers to pursue and utterly defeat the retreating Egyptians.

“The swiftest runners cannot flee;
    the mightiest warriors cannot escape.
By the Euphrates River to the north,
    they stumble and fall.

“Who is this, rising like the Nile at floodtime,
    overflowing all the land?
It is the Egyptian army,
    overflowing all the land,
boasting that it will cover the earth like a flood,
    destroying cities and their people.

9  “Charge, you horses and chariots;
    attack, you mighty warriors of Egypt!
Come, all you allies from Ethiopia, Libya, and Lydia
    who are skilled with the shield and bow!
10 For this is the day of the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    a day of vengeance on his enemies.
The sword will devour until it is satisfied,
    yes, until it is drunk with your blood!
The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will receive a sacrifice today
    in the north country beside the Euphrates River.

11 “Go up to Gilead to get medicine,
    O virgin daughter of Egypt!
But your many treatments
    will bring you no healing.
12 The nations have heard of your shame.
    The earth is filled with your cries of despair.
Your mightiest warriors will run into each other
    and fall down together.”

An army is seen preparing for battle, then making a hasty retreat. The army is Egypt’s, but it is composed mainly of mercenaries—Ethiopians, Libyans, and Lydians. 

Nebuchadnezzar defeated Pharaoh Neco at the battle of Carchemish on the upper Euphrates River in 605 B.C. and brought to a close Egypt’s political and military influence over Palestine and Syria. Egypt is no longer a great power; Babylon is ascending.

13 Then the Lord gave the prophet Jeremiah this message about King Nebuchadnezzar’s plans to attack Egypt.

Next Egypt is warned to prepare for invasion and exile. When Nebuchadnezzar invades the land, the valiant mercenary soldiers will fall against one another, then decide to go back home. Pharaoh will be renamed “Empty Sound,’ for he is just so much noise. Babylon’s commanding presence will spell captivity for the Egyptians.

14 “Shout it out in Egypt!
    Publish it in the cities of Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes!
Mobilize for battle,
    for the sword will devour everyone around you.
15 Why have your warriors fallen?
    They cannot stand, for the Lord has knocked them down.
16 They stumble and fall over each other
    and say among themselves,
‘Come, let’s go back to our people,
    to the land of our birth.
    Let’s get away from the sword of the enemy!’
17 There they will say,
    ‘Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is a loudmouth
    who missed his opportunity!’

18 “As surely as I live,” says the King,
    whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
“one is coming against Egypt
    who is as tall as Mount Tabor,
    or as Mount Carmel by the sea!

Tabor and Carmel are two prominent mountains in Israel. From J. A. Thompson again:  “Both seemed to Jeremiah to depict Nebuchadnezzar, who towered over Egypt in his might like lofty mountains towering over a plain.” 

19 Pack up! Get ready to leave for exile,
    you citizens of Egypt!
The city of Memphis will be destroyed,
    without a single inhabitant.
20 Egypt is as sleek as a beautiful young cow,
    but a horsefly from the north is on its way!
21 Egypt’s mercenaries have become like fattened calves.
    They, too, will turn and run,
for it is a day of great disaster for Egypt,
    a time of great punishment.
22 Egypt flees, silent as a serpent gliding away.
    The invading army marches in;
    they come against her with axes like woodsmen.
23 They will cut down her people like trees,” says the Lord,
    “for they are more numerous than locusts.
24 Egypt will be humiliated;
    she will be handed over to people from the north.”

25 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes, and all the other gods of Egypt.

J46 Amon

The Lord will punish Amon (the sun god of ancient Thebes and the chief god of Egypt during much of its history), Pharaoh, and Egypt with their gods and their kings. But afterward there will be restoration for Egypt and for Israel, too.

I will punish its rulers and Pharaoh, too, and all who trust in him.

J48 trust in Jesus' name

26 I will hand them over to those who want them killed—to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his army. But afterward the land will recover from the ravages of war. I, the Lord, have spoken!

Now, a word of comfort to the people of God. “In the midst of wrath God remembers mercy. Though Judah shall be destroyed, Jerusalem taken, the temple burnt to the ground, and the people carried into captivity, yet the nation shall not be destroyed. A seed shall be preserved, out of which the nation shall revive.”

–Adam Clarke

27 “But do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant;
    do not be dismayed, Israel.
For I will bring you home again from distant lands,
    and your children will return from their exile.
Israel will return to a life of peace and quiet,
    and no one will terrorize them.
28 Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
    for I am with you,” says the Lord.
“I will completely destroy the nations to which I have exiled you,
    but I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you, but with justice;
    I cannot let you go unpunished.”



HERE  is Hillsong Chapel and “Cornerstone.” The lyrics are partly words from the old hymn “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less.”


New Living Translation (NLT)  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
pyramids.    http://cdn2.list25.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/www.digital.bg-2c3affdc20eabf13db93ea162ef0bcf1.jpg
map of the battle of Carchemish.   http://slideplayer.com/slide/4880664/16/images/14/Battle+of+Carchemish+(609+BC).jpg
horses at war.    http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/11_01/horsedrawnDM0811_468x461.jpg
Amon.    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2760/4369621962_53a48208e1.jpg

2230.) Habakkuk 3

November 17, 2017

Habakkuk 3   (NIV)

Habakkuk’s Prayer

Habakkuk now prays to the Lord. He had heard of the Lord’s dealings in the past with the enemies of His people; now he asks Him to revive His work by punishing His foes and saving his people.

–William MacDonald

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet.

Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.

God came from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran.
His glory covered the heavens
and his praise filled the earth.

The prophet pictures God marching forth against His foes, crushing them by His power and triumphing gloriously.

His splendor was like the sunrise;
rays flashed from his hand,
where his power was hidden.
Plague went before him;
pestilence followed his steps.
He stood, and shook the earth;
he looked, and made the nations tremble.
The ancient mountains crumbled
and the age-old hills collapsed—
but he marches on forever.
I saw the tents of Cushan in distress,
the dwellings of Midian in anguish.

Were you angry with the rivers, Lord?
Was your wrath against the streams?
Did you rage against the sea
when you rode your horses
and your chariots to victory?
You uncovered your bow,
you called for many arrows.
You split the earth with rivers;
10  the mountains saw you and writhed.
Torrents of water swept by;
the deep roared
and lifted its waves on high.

11 Sun and moon stood still in the heavens
at the glint of your flying arrows,
at the lightning of your flashing spear.

Click  HERE  to read in Joshua 10 of the mighty miracle God worked in the sky to help Joshua win a battle.

12 In wrath you strode through the earth
and in anger you threshed the nations.
13 You came out to deliver your people,
to save your anointed one.
You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness,
you stripped him from head to foot.
14 With his own spear you pierced his head
when his warriors stormed out to scatter us,
gloating as though about to devour
the wretched who were in hiding.
15 You trampled the sea with your horses,
churning the great waters.

Click  HERE  to read the story of God marching the people through the Red Sea in Exodus 14.

16 I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The literal is “I will jump for joy in the Lord; I will spin around for delight in God.” Here is the hilarity of faith!–joy at its best with circumstances at their worst! What a victory! May it be ours!

–J. Sidlow Baxter

I CHOOSE to praise God for being God, no matter what my situation may be! 

I CHOOSE to bless him not just for his gifts to me every day, but for what he wisely withholds as well! 

I CHOOSE to take a moment today and thank him particularly for rescuing me from darkness and bringing me into the light through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.



HERE  is “Yet Will I Praise Thee”  by Kent Henry.


New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images courtesy of:
faith in a sovereign God.   http://www.damascusroadchurch.org/sermon-series-habakkuk
walls of water at the Red Sea.   http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/ascroll/moses_parting_the_red_sea.jpg
jump for joy.   http://images.psxextreme.com/wallpapers/ps3/jump_for_joy_910.