Today’s readings.. (1 Kings 3), (Jeremiah 30), (Mark 4)

Our chapter (30) in Jeremiah is intriguing. The last verse challenges our thinking, “The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intentions of his mind.  In the latter days you will understand this.”
In the chapter’s opening verses Jeremiah is told, “Thus says the LORD … write in a book … behold the days are coming … when I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel … I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers …” [v.2,3].  The verses in between challenge our understanding.  We wish some of them were at least a little clearer, but many are quite plain.  Israel is told, “Because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant, I have done these things to you.” [v.15]. Their ungodly ways were flagrant in the days of Jeremiah as they were also in the days of Jesus. Then the prophet’s vision changes “… all who prey on you I will make a prey.  For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the LORD, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares’ “ [v.16,17], and ultimately; “and you shall be my people and I will be your God.” [v.22] However, notice the indications that the climax will be traumatic!  “Alas!  That day is so great there is none like it! It is a time of distress for Jacob (Israel) yet he shall be saved out of it.” [v.7].  Are we about to see this happen now?  Only then does “the fierce anger of the LORD … turn back.” [v.31] All this – and more – is remarkable in revealing “the intentions of his mind” that will be understood “in the latter days” by those who diligently read God’s Word.
But we must never miss the personal nature of the teaching of the Lord Jesus; yes, it is personal to each of us,  far more than these prophecies are, imploring us to enter into and maintain a personal relationship with him – and as a result, when “the storm of the LORD … will burst upon the head of the wicked” [v.23] those who “do his just commands, seek righteousness … may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD.” [Zeph.2 v.3] It is of no value to “understand” events in these “latter days” unless it has changed us personally so that we are responding to the call “Who is on the LORD’s side? Come to me” [Exod. 32 v.26]. This is a cry that has been made to every generation since Moses originally uttered these words.

 

 

* Click verse text to see cross references.
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