Daily Encouragement

October 31 – Jesus Calls Us Brethren!

Lamentations 4:1-5:22
Hebrews 2:1-18
Psalm 103:1-22
Proverbs 26:23

Lamentations 4:13 — God judges a nation’s religious leaders first. Look how they are described in Lamentations 4:14-15.

Lamentations 5:21 — Jeremiah ends his lament with a plea for God to return, yet he realizes that for Israel it is too late.

Hebrews 2:2 — Almost every time a human encounters an angel, the first angelic words are “Fear not!” If we fear an angel, shall we not fear the maker of the angel? We have not the word of an angelic encounter but the Word of God!

Hebrews 2:4 — What was the purpose of the signs and wonders? To confirm His revelation to man.

Hebrews 2:7 — The back and forth between humans and angels is emphasized here: created lower than the angels but crowned with glory and honor!

Hebrews 2:16-17 — Jesus took not the nature of angels but was “made like unto his brethren.” He chose to be like us!

Psalm 103:11 — How great is God’s mercy! In just a few verses (Psalm 103:17) we’ll see how long is His mercy!

Proverbs 26:23 — We talked about this a while back. A potsherd is a broken piece of pottery. Jesus had a similar thought in Matthew 23:27 when He called the scribes and Pharisees “whited sepulchers.”

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Daily Encouragement

October 30 – The Hebrew Acrostic of Lamentations

Lamentations 3:1-66
Hebrews 1:1-14
Psalm 102:1-28
Proverbs 26:21-22

Hebrew Alphabet

Lamentations 3:1 — A little bit of “technical analysis” is in order. Lamentations 1, 2, and 4 are a Hebrew Acrostic – each verse starts with a different Hebrew letter (Aleph/A, Beit/B, Gimel, Daleth, He, etc.), so each chapter is 22 verses long since there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.

Lamentations 3 is 66 verses – the first 3 verses all start with Aleph, the next three verses start with Beit, the next three verses start with Gimel. Remember that Hebrew is written from right to left. In other words, this is clearly poetic writing and not narrative (I did this, then he did that). Narratives can explain battles, but poetry can explain pain.


Lamentations 3:21-23 — Three chapters in and it seems there is no hope. Ah, but there is – there’s always hope in the Lord’s mercy, compassion, and faithfulness! Great is Thy Faithfulness!

Lamentations 3:24 — I saw a statistic on the internet the other day. One in three people who touch alcohol end up becoming drunk. One in 300,000,000 win the lottery, and we think that the next time it could be me! Hope is not “wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin'” as a pop singer sang. Biblical hope is “confidence in a future event.”

Hope is the theme of the mid-section of Lamentations 3:

  • “my hope is perished” (vs. 18)
  • “have I hope” (vs. 21)
  • “will I hope in him” (vs. 24)
  • “man should … hope” (vs. 26)
  • “there may be hope” (vs. 29)

Our confidence is that grief is followed by compassion (Lamentations 3:32). Anger is followed by favor (Psalm 30:5). We must, however, acknowledge our sins, accept the punishment (Lamentations 3:39), and radically adjust our ways (Lamentations 3:40).

Lamentations 3:53 — Jeremiah isn’t speaking in hyperbole. He actually knew what a dungeon was like (Jeremiah 38:6).

Lamentations 3:54 — Near drowning is a horrifying experience. Vic Eliason shared how his brother saved him from drowning as a young boy, and Vic never forgot the experience. Let’s look at biblical references to near drowning:

  • Jeremiah – “waters flowed over mine head (Lamentations 3:54)
  • Jonah – “waters compassed me about, even to the soul” (Jonah 2:5)
  • Psalmist – “the waters are come in unto my soul” (Psalm 69:1)

Lamentations 3:66 — Jeremiah gave to God his right to vengeance.  Like David, Jeremiah knew he was a sinful man, but God has mercy and will forgive. Even though we grievously offend our God, He still answers prayers such as David’s prayer that God would turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness (2 Samuel 15:31).

Hebrews 1:1 — From E. Schuyler English:

Hebrews 1:3 — Who is this Son? The Agent of Creation (Hebrews 1:2), the Brightness of His glory, the Image of His person, the One Who upholds all things. “Upholding” is the same idea as “by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17). He holds the universe together! Oh, and He’s so much better than the angels (Hebrews 1:4). This is not the mere brother of Lucifer. This is not the mere spirit creature named Michael. This is not a mere good teacher. Enjoy reading about the greatness of our Savior – the only Son of God!

Hebrews 1:14 — Angels are ministers to the heirs of salvation. Who are the heirs? We are (Galatians 3:29, Romans 8:17, Titus 3:7, 1 Peter 3:7)! Yes, angels are serving us!

Psalm 102:2 — When life is easy we don’t need to call upon God. And if we do accidentally say grace over a meal, we don’t need a speedy answer. We don’t need to bother the Almighty with our insignificant needs. But He wants to hear from His children! He has made us heirs of salvation. Fanny Crosby developed this theme – reminding us of our “Blessed Assurance!”

Proverbs 26:22 — Sometimes it’s better not to know.

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Daily Encouragement

October 29 – Habits of Holiness in Psalm 101

Lamentations 1:1-2:22
Philemon 1:1-25
Psalm 101:1-8
Proverbs 26:20

Lamentations 1:1 — From Through the Bible (TTB):

Dr. Alexander Whyte, one of the great expositors of the Word of God of days gone by, has said: “There is nothing like the Lamentations of Jeremiah in the whole world. There has been plenty of sorrow in every age, and in every land, but such another preacher and author, with such a heart for sorrow, has never again been born. Dante comes next to Jeremiah, and we know that Jeremiah was the great exile’s favorite prophet.

Lamentations 1:12 — From Spurgeon:

I, too, share the sympathetic avarice of Jeremiah’s pity. Do you ask what grief I have and for whose woes I am a mourner? I point you to the cross and to the Man of Sorrows there.

Lamentations 2:7 — The LORD who so detailed the instructions for the altar in Exodus 30 now has cast it off. “He hath fulfilled his word” (Lamentations 2:17).

Philemon 8-9 — Paul begs for love’s sake rather than declaring by his authority as an apostle.

Philemon 12 — Paul continues to put relationships above rights. Requesting not ordering (Philemon 8-9). Relinquishing his friend (Philemon 13). Demonstrating by presumably begging Onesimus to give up his freedom to build a relationship with a brother. This is what Paul had taught previously in 1 Timothy 6:2, specifically about believing masters.

Philemon 21 — According to tradition, Onesimus later became bishop of Ephesus and was martyred by stoning.

Psalm 101:3 — God wants purity in behavior (Psalm 101:2), in heart (Psalm 101:2), in sight (Psalm 101:3), in friends (Psalm 101:4), in speech (Psalm 101:5), and in attitude (Psalm 101:5).

Proverbs 26:20 — Let’s cut the fire out!

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Daily Encouragement

October 28 – Meet Baruch’s Brother!

Jeremiah 51:54-52:34
Titus 3:1-15
Psalm 100:1-5
Proverbs 26:18-19

Jeremiah 51:58 — From Ancient History Encyclopedia:

Nebuchadnezzar II (634-562 BCE) built three walls around Babylon at heights of forty feet and so broad at the top that chariots could race around them. The Ishtar Gate in the wall of Nebuchadnezzar II’s Babylon was claimed by some to be greater than any of the listed Wonders of the Ancient World.

Jeremiah 51:59 — Seraiah is the son of Neriah, son of Maaseiah. Who else is a son of Neriah, son of Maaseiah? Baruch! Yes, Baruch’s brother is the “quiet prince” (KJV). Commentaries suggest alternatives but the best guess is that he was an “advance man” for the king. Jeremiah was not without connections, and this helps understand Baruch’s concern (Jeremiah 45:5). Baruch was a man of influence, and he had been identified with the apparently treasonous Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 52:30 — So 4,600 people were taken away in three different captivities. The number is not excessively large, but this was the ruling class, the political elite, the “1-percenters” of Judaea.

Jeremiah 52:34 — This chapter provides a recap of the historical events, and this particular recap is also documented in II Kings 25:27-30. It is also recorded in the “Jehoiachin Ration Tablet.”

Titus 3:1-2 — Paul continues with his exhortations on relationships; he now addresses our relationship with authority.

Titus 3:4 — Paul identifies Jesus, our Savior, as God.

Titus 3:7 — Paul never got over what the kindness, love, mercy, and grace of Jesus did to him. The chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), less than the least of all saints (Ephesians 3:8), is made an heir of God!

Titus 3:14 — Paul wanted Titus to be fruitful. How can we be fruitful? Through good works. Be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8).

Psalm 100:1 — Sing with Patch the Pirate this psalm!

Proverbs 26:19 — The one who attacks others and claims “just joking” is not to be trusted.

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Daily Encouragement

October 27 – Proverbs Reminds You to Mind Your Own Business

Jeremiah 51:1-53
Titus 2:1-15
Psalm 99:1-9
Proverbs 26:17

Jeremiah 51:5 — Why is God judging Babylon? Because God isn’t done with Israel!

Jeremiah 51:8 — The declaration that Babylon is fallen is repeated in Revelation 18:2.

Jeremiah 51:15 — Note the greatness of God’s power, wisdom, and understanding!

Jeremiah 51:28 — God is using the Medes to defeat the Babylonians, as He used the Babylonians to defeat the Judeans. Interestingly, Jeremiah is prophesying about who will destroy Babylon roughly seventy years before it happens!

Jeremiah 51:45 — God told His people to surrender to Babylon (Jeremiah 27:11), and now He is telling His people to flee Babylon. This is not an example of God changing His mind but of having different purposes at different times for His people! God is not done with Jerusalem (Jeremiah 51:50).

Titus 2:1 — Did you notice Paul’s theme of the importance of doctrine?

Titus 2:2 — Paul has behavioral expectations for elders (Titus 1:5-6) and bishops (Titus 1:7-9). Now he covers seniors (Titus 2:2-3), younger people (Titus 2:4-8), and servants (Titus 2:9).

Titus 2:10 — Does your behavior adorn the doctrine of God?

Titus 2:12 — How can we live up to the behavioral expectations? We have power from the grace of God that lets us deny ungodliness and allows us to live soberly.

Titus 2:13 — Are you looking for the Blessed Hope and the Second Coming of Jesus? In the mean time, are you walking in freedom from iniquity, and are you zealous for good works (Titus 2:14)? Remember “peculiar” doesn’t mean weird!

Titus 2:15 — Speak, exhort, and rebuke are not synonyms.

  • Speak – proclamation of the boundary line
  • Exhort – encouraging people to defend the boundary line
  • Rebuke – confronting people who have not defended the boundary line

Psalm 99:5 — He is holy. Holiness implies separation. Separated from us because of our iniquities, yet He is a God Who forgives (Psalm 99:8).

Proverbs 26:17 — Mind your own business!


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Daily Encouragement

October 26 – See Three Things God Cannot Do!

Jeremiah 49:23-50:46
Titus 1:1-16
Psalm 97:1-98:9
Proverbs 26:13-16

Jeremiah 49:23 — Hamath is an interesting city that nobody has heard of. It’s mentioned 39 times in the Old Testament and is the 4th largest city in modern Syria. It was a city-state that sent gifts to David (2 Samuel 8:9). Sennacherib had conquered them as he went towards Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:34). By Jeremiah’s time it was considered part of the Syrian lands.

Jeremiah 49:28 — Nebuchadnezzar was used by God, but Solomon knew that already (Proverbs 21:1). All we have is under the providence of God. I was just at Plymouth Plantation and a guide pointed out that the Pilgrims saw the providence of God in every action of life. God has a plan for His people.

Jeremiah 50:2 — Psalm 75:7 exemplifies this and the previous chapter. God exalts and brings down nations.

The Ishtar Gate of Babylon By Rictor Norton – https://www.flickr.com/photos/24065742@N00/151247206/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1409322

Jeremiah 50:19 — God is not done with Israel! He will return Israel to the land!

Jeremiah 50:34 — This is my Redeemer too!

Titus 1:2 — This isn’t a modern “hope I win the lottery” but a sure confidence because God cannot lie!

Many outreach ministries like this from 180Outreach invite people
to see the 3 things God Cannot Do!

Titus 1:12 — Paul is quoting a pagan prophet. Paul was a Pharisee, skilled in the Jewish law, but also in pagan customs. He read greatly (2 Timothy 4:13).

Titus 1:13 — Rebuke them sharply! Paul is encouraging Titus in spite of the challenges in Crete:

  • “things that are wanting” (Titus 1:5)
  • “self-willed … angry … given to wine … striker … given to filthy lucre” (Titus 1:7)
  • “gainsayers” (Titus 1:9)
  • “unruly and vain talkers and deceivers” (Titus 1:10)
  • “teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Titus 1:11)
  • “always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies” (Titus 1:12)
  • “Jewish fables and commandments of men that turn from the truth” (Titus 1:14)
  • “their mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15)
  • “abominable and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16)

Psalm 97:9 — This is a key verse in understanding the nature of God in regards to His transcendence – “existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level.”

Psalm 98:3 — In Joshua 2:10-11, the Jerichoites heard about how God parted the Red Sea. We have a responsibility today to take His message to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:19-20).

Proverbs 26:14 — Not just fools, but sloths. Those who prefer their bed will not be used to their fullness by the LORD.

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Daily Encouragement

October 25 – The Last Words of Paul

October 25

Jeremiah 48:1-49:22
2 Timothy 4:1-22
Psalm 95:1-96:13
Proverbs 26:9-12

Jeremiah 48:1 — This chapter may seem to be irrelevant to 21st century Americans, but what if we swapped out Moab for America and the names of the cities for cities we knew. What if we read “Against America thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto New York! for it is spoiled: Chicago is confounded and taken: Dallas is confounded and dismayed.” We’d sit up and take notice! That’s what it felt like for the people this was written to because they trusted in their works and treasures. Good thing we don’t trust in our accomplishments and our money! Oh wait …

2 Timothy 4:1-2 — These are the last words of Paul. His urgent charge to his favorite son, Timothy. His message was simple, “Preach the Word!” From West Coast Baptist College, a song based on this text:

2 Timothy 4:7 — This verse is carved on the tombstone of Billy Sunday:

Author’s Photograph

2 Timothy 4:9 — Here we read some of the most touching words in the Bible. Paul, who sent Christians to their death, is being sent to his death for being a Christian. He’s lonely and begging Timothy to come to him. Demas, his friend and co-laborer, (Colossians 4:14, Philemon 1:24) has abandoned him and left the faith (2 Timothy 4:10). Titus is in the faith, but on assignment.

2 Timothy 4:11 — Mark, who disappointed Paul by abandoning him (Acts 15:38), who caused the split between Paul and his mentor Barnabas (Acts 15:39), is now reunited with Paul in spirit.

2 Timothy 4:13 — Paul is in physical distress, or he wouldn’t ask for a coat (2 Timothy 4:21). But more importantly, he wants his books and parchments. He was nigh unto death but was still reading and learning.

2 Timothy 4:7 — From Earl Martin:

2 Timothy 4:16-17 — Paul has given up all grudges and has his faith and hope fully in the LORD.

Psalm 95:1 — Enjoy this song from Northland Baptist Bible College based on this psalm:

Psalm 96:5 — Why is the LORD of the Bible greater than the god of any other religion. Because He is the Creator of all. That’s why the battle for Genesis is so important!

Proverbs 26:11 — Solomon is disgusted by the fool. Pray that your children don’t grow up to be fools.

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

October 24 – The Political Campaign of Jeremiah/Baruch in 602 BC!

Jeremiah 44:24-47:7
2 Timothy 2:22-3:17
Psalm 94:1-23
Proverbs 26:6-8

Statue of a goddess from University of Haifa

Jeremiah 44:27 — As we read in Isaiah 42:8, the LORD (not just a generic god, but Yahweh [“I AM THAT I AM”]) will not share His glory with another. There is no other Savior (Isaiah 43:11). There are no other gods allowed (Exodus 20:3) and no other worship allowed (Exodus 34:14). If His people will forsake Him for the “queen of heaven,” He will punish them with the sword and famine.

Jeremiah 45:3 — This chapter was written before the final conquest. Baruch had been a faithful assistant to the unpopular prophet. Note that Baruch is given the same blessing as Ebedmelech – protection of his life. No, Baruch would not be able to time the Judaean stock market and profit off of his connection with the prophet. Baruch’s noble family and friends would lose their position and power and they would be carried away in chains to Babylon. No, the political message of Jeremiah/Baruch in 602 BC was not “Make Israel Great Again.” Their political message was “Too Late.” May we repent in our nation and seek God before it is too late!

Does this seal of “Baruch” contain the actual thumbprint of Jeremiah’s friend? Or is it a fake?

Jeremiah 46:27 — In spite of all this judgment, God is still not done with Israel!

Jeremiah 47:2 — We are in the “judgment” section of Jeremiah. Instead of skimming through these passages because “God isn’t talking to me” or “this doesn’t seem relevant,” let’s look at how God speaks.

As we discussed in the Psalms, the language is more poetical (notice the “thought rhyme” or parallelism – the author uses two different ways of saying the same thing to create a 3D view of the issue.

  • “waters rise up” / “overflowing flood”
  • “the land and all that is therein” / “the city and them that dwell therein”
  • “men shall cry” / “inhabitants shall howl”

Sometimes God gives just an 8-word message of judgment (Jonah 3:4), and at other times He uses 196 words to describe His judgment on the Philistines.

2 Timothy 2:25 — Meekness is one of the most underutilized characteristics of a godly pastor. How many pastors have seen their counseling unsuccessful because they came not in a spirit of meekness but appeared self-righteous? How many churches have been split in two because of a pastor that could no longer be described as meek? How many pastors have ended up in jail after they departed far from meekness? Pray for your pastor that he can continue in meekness. Pray that you can minister in meekness and not hinder the Gospel.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 — Are we in the last days? Looks like a pretty good description of today’s society.

2 Timothy 3:10 — Paul keeps emphasizing doctrine, sound words (2 Timothy 1:13), “the things” (2 Timothy 2:2, 2 Timothy 3:14), “profitable for doctrine” (2 Timothy 3:16); in contrast to “foolish and unlearned questions” (2 Timothy 2:23), “words to no profit” (2 Timothy 2:14), and “profane and vain babblings” (2 Timothy 2:16).

2 Timothy 3:12 — When’s the last time you suffered persecution?

2 Timothy 3:17 — The Anglican spelling of this verse is “throughly furnished,” emphasizing the idea that you are built inside and outside by God.

Proverbs 26:6 — More contrasts of the failings of a fool.

On September 13th, 1862, Union soldiers found a copy of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s orders detailing the Confederates’ plan for the Antietam campaign near Frederick, Maryland. But Union General George B. McClellan was slow to act, and the advantage the intelligence provided was lost.” McClellan was fired less than two months later, and replaced with Ambrose Burnside.

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Daily Encouragement

October 23 – “I Will Obey the Voice of the LORD” … If It Matches My Desires

Jeremiah 42:1-44:23
2 Timothy 2:1-21
Psalm 92:1-93:5
Proverbs 26:3-5

Jeremiah 42:2-3 — It’s about time! Jerusalem has fallen, the military governor was assassinated, the assassin’s coup was scattered, and those who are left want to listen to God finally … or do they?

Jeremiah 43:2 — God gave them a simple command, “Stay put (Jeremiah 42:10-12)!” They claimed they would obey (Jeremiah 42:2-3), not just once but twice (Jeremiah 42:5-6), and they even called Jeremiah a liar.

Jeremiah 43:3 — Baruch is again named. According to Josephus (Ant. x. 9, § 1), Baruch was a member of a very distinguished family.

Jeremiah 43:8 — Where is Tanpanhes? Roughly along the Suez Canal in Egypt. The children of Israel are regressing. They lost their kingdom, they did what was right in their own eyes, they recrossed the Sinai, and now they’ve returned to Egypt!

Jeremiah 43:12 — So one invasion and defeat isn’t enough! There’s another one coming!

Jeremiah 44:8 — They disobeyed with a king, they disobeyed without a king, and now they’re offering incense to the gods of Egypt!

Jeremiah 44:17 — Who is the “queen of heaven?” The “queen of heaven” is a false idol similar to Baal. We know this because vs. 16 says they will not listen to the voice of the LORD but to this other one. They ascribe their blessings not to the LORD but to the “queen.” We then see that the LORD regarded it as an evil abomination (Jeremiah 44:22).

2 Timothy 2:1 — Paul wants his son Timothy to be strong. As strong as a soldier (2 Timothy 2:3), as strong as an athlete (2 Timothy 2:5), and as strong as a farmer (2 Timothy 2:6).

2 Timothy 2:11-13 — Many people believe Paul is quoting an ancient hymn. This hymn emphasized the cost of discipleship – death, suffering, refusal to deny Jesus. And yet even if we don’t believe, it doesn’t matter. God’s Word still stands!

2 Timothy 2:15 — The AWANA theme verse! AWANA stands for “Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed.” Four million kids every week are studying God’s Word because Lance Latham and Art Rorheim started a ministry to kids in Chicago.

2 Timothy 2:19 — We are told that we are under grace, and that the Old Testament Law doesn’t govern us. Yes, the 613 laws of the Old Testament are given to Israel for a previous dispensation. One-third dealt with the Temple and 1/3 were conditional, so the average Israelite didn’t have as much of a burden as we think. In contrast, we have over 1,000 imperatives given to us in the New Testament. We are commanded to depart from iniquity. We are held to a higher standard than Israel was. We are called to be a “vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use (2 Timothy 2:21).”

Psalm 92:2 — Morning by morning and evening by evening, let’s praise the LORD!

Psalm 93:4 — The oceans cover 71% of the world’s surface. A hurricane produces “200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity.” Yet the LORD is mightier!

Proverbs 26:4-5 — How do we handle contradictory statements? In our society we have dueling maxims:

  • “Haste makes waste” & “Strike while the iron is hot”
  • “A penny saved is a penny earned” & “Penny wise, pound foolish”

The challenge is to deal with the fool without being like him. Let’s avoid being a fool (Proverbs 26:12, 29:20).

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October 22 – Ebedmelech, Onesiphorus, and You!

Jeremiah 39:1-41:18
2 Timothy 1:1-18
Psalm 90:1-91:16
Proverbs 26:1-2

Jeremiah 39:2 — Now the real action begins! Prophecies and imprisonment lead up to this pivotal point, the ninth day of the fourth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah.

Jeremiah 39:3 — Every letter of Scripture is inspired but not the commas. Those were added by stylists to help us understand Scripture better. What is fascinating with this verse is that we have a list of names of Babylonian officials preserved for 2,500 years; for most of that 2,500 years the “official Babylonian records” were unavailable. Meaning, the ancient Jewish scribes had no records to check the spelling of the names of these officials. The translators of the King James in 1611 had no idea who these people were. Skeptics weren’t impressed with the a 2,500 year “hand-me-down” account of a battle, even though the account included dates (Jeremiah 29:2), names (Jeremiah 29:3), and other interesting details.

In 595 BC, a receipt for the transfer of 27 ounces of gold was made by Nebo-Sarsechim, chief eunuch of Nebuchadnezzar. This individual – same name and title – was with Nebuchadnezzar at the fall of Jerusalem according to Jeremiah 39:3. In 1870 AD (2,465 years later), a mile outside Babylon, this receipt was dug up, sold to the British Museum, and in 2007 was finally translated!

From the invasion of Jerusalem in 587 BC to the translation of the King James Version in 1611 AD – an astounding 2,198 years – Jeremiah’s record was accurately preserved letter for letter. And the amazing thing is, we didn’t know it for another 396 years! Read more about it at the Top 10 (secular) Archaeological Discoveries of 2007!


Jeremiah 39:4 — Zedekiah refused to go out the front door to the Babylonians (Jeremiah 38:17), so now he is fleeing out the back door. And the king who refused to believe the God he could not see, now has his sight taken from him (Jeremiah 39:7). The king who would not go out is dragged out in chains (Jeremiah 39:7). The king who would not leave his house had his house burned (Jeremiah 39:8). The king who oppressed the poor (Jeremiah 7:5-7) had his land left to the poor (Jeremiah 39:10).

Jeremiah 39:18 — The King of Judah who sat on the Throne of David (Jeremiah 13:13) saw his sons slain before he lost his sight and was dragged away in chains. The foreign Ethiopian (Jeremiah 38:7) who interceded for the prophet was delivered because he trusted in the LORD.

Jeremiah 40:3 — God spoke to several Babylonians:

  • Messengers of Berodach-baladan (by Hezekiah) – 2 Kings 20:12
  • Nebuzaradan (by the prophet?) – Jeremiah 40:2-3
  • Nebuchadnezzar (by dreams) – Daniel 2:1
  • Nebuchadnezzar (from heaven) – Daniel 4:31-32
  • Belshazzar (by a finger) – Daniel 5:5

Jeremiah 40:16 — Famous last words. Gedaliah trusted a false friend (Proverbs 27:6).

Jeremiah 41:16 — So this whole chapter seems to be irrelevant, but I want you to notice the characteristics of the people of Israel outside of the kingdom. They’ve reverted back to the times of the Judges (Judges 21:25). “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Gedaliah is assassinated by Ishmael, Ishmael slaughters people bringing offerings to the LORD, and Johanan takes the remainder to Egypt.

2 Timothy 1:1 — This is Paul’s last letter, written shortly before he would be beheaded by Nero. From J. Vernon McGee:

You can, I think, emphasize one word in this epistle above other words. That word is loyalty: (1) loyalty in suffering (ch. 1); (2) loyalty in service (ch. 2); (3) loyalty in apostasy (ch. 3–4:5); and (4) Lord loyal to His servants in desertion (ch. 4:6–22).

The deathbed statement of any individual has an importance which is not attached to other remarks. This is what lends significance to 2 Timothy. It is the final communication of Paul. It has a note of sadness which is not detected in his other epistles. Nevertheless, there is the overtone of triumph: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,” written by Paul as his own epitaph (2 Tim. 4:7). Also, because this was his last letter, Paul was very personal. In these four short chapters, there are approximately twenty–five references to individuals.


2 Timothy 1:5 — Thank God for praying mothers and grandmothers!

2 Timothy 1:8 — Timothy is reading this from an inmate who is asking Timothy to join him in suffering because it’s worth it. Why? Death doesn’t scare Paul primarily because Jesus abolished death (2 Timothy 1:10).

2 Timothy 1:12 — Paul had confidence because he knew Jesus and could trust Him! Paul knew Whom he believed!

2 Timothy 1:17 — Compare Onesiphorus who sought out Paul to Ebedmelech (Jeremiah 38:7) who sought out Jeremiah! As Jesus said, “If you give a cup of cold water to my disciple, you have done it to me” (Matthew 10:41-42). May we be practicing hospitality. Paul refused to be chargeable to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 2:9), but he was grateful for those who insisted on helping him (2 Timothy 1:17). The Christian car mechanic who fixes the missionary’s car has earned a prophet’s reward (Matthew 10:41), just like Ebedmelech (Jeremiah 38:7) and Onesiphorus (2 Timothy 1:17).

When I read this passage, I think of my grandfather, John McLario. He travelled to Havana, Cuba, which at that time was under the leadership of Fidel Castro. He was mentioned in God’s Missiles over Cuba for almost getting arrested there for his work in helping free imprisoned missionaries.

Psalm 90:4 — Six thousand years of human history isn’t even a week in God’s eyes!

Psalm 90:8 — God knows even our secret sins!

Psalm 91:1-2 — ”On Eagle’s Wings” is a song based on these verses:

Proverbs 26:1 — Yes, snow in summer is not seemly, and we definitely appreciate it when the snow holds off as long as possible! If we are a fool, how can we get honor? Stop being a fool!

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