Daily Encouragement

October 20 – The Indestructible Book survives Jehoiakim

October 20
Jeremiah 35:1-36:32
1 Timothy 5:1-25
Psalm 89:14-37
Proverbs 25:25-27

Jeremiah 35:6 – Jonadab the teetotaler! But not the first who took a pledge of total abstinence. The Bible doesn’t speak in positive terms of strong drink

Interestingly we have met Jonadab the Rechabite before! 2 Kings 10:15, we meet Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet Jehu, where they fulfilled God’s command to destroy the line of Ahab (2 Kings 10:17), and the worshippers of Baal (2 Kings 10:23). Jehonadab was radically faithful to God, and 250 years later his descendants were faithful to their forefather. They refused to assimilate into the apostate culture of the Northern Kingdom. Jonadab’s descendants were blessed for their commitment to separation (Jeremiah 35:19).

Jeremiah 36:4 – Gehazi (2 Kings 5:20) was an assistant to another famous prophet (Elijah), but Gehazi’s closeness to power gave rise to covetousness. Baruch’s prophet was kept in prison. We’ll see God’s Word for Baruch in a few chapters, but Baruch is a model of a faithful servant in the church today – whether it is in the nursery or manning the photocopier – helping to spread God’s Word.

Jeremiah 36:19 – Interesting look at the palace intrigue. The princes were

  • intrigued by the Word of God (Jeremiah 36:14)
  • wanted to hear it again (Jeremiah 36:15)
  • convicted by it (Jeremiah 36:16)
  • protected the prophet (Jeremiah 36:19)
  • became unconvicted (Jeremiah 36:24)
  • split opinion on burning the roll (Jeremiah 36:25)
Jeremiah 36:23

Jeremiah 36:23 – Jehoiakim was far from the last to try to destroy God’s Word. Watch The Indestructible Book to learn more!

Jeremiah 36:30 – In contrast to the line of Jonadab the Rechabite, we have the line of Jehoiakim. One was a bedouin living in tents. One lived on the throne of David. But one was blessed forever, and one was cursed forever.

1 Timothy 5:1 – Relationships within the family of God! Paul is talking to the young pastor Timothy about how to relate to his brethren and sisters. 

1 Timothy 5:4 – Subsidiarity is the idea that actions should be taken at the lowest level possible. God doesn’t need master planners (such as those that caused the Soviet famine) but local responsibility, starting at the home.

1 Timothy 5:13 – “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” isn’t found in the Bible but the principle is clear – those that can be productive, but aren’t – are tempted to idleness, and God takes seriously our use of idleness (Matthew 12:36).

1 Timothy 5:17-18 – It’s ok (especially during Pastor Appreciation Month – October!) to give your pastor a gift card to his favorite restaurant.

1 Timothy 5:23 – Having read about Jonadab – is this the 21st Amendment of the Bible that says it’s ok to crack open the keg? More like “take some Robitussin” which can be abused as well. Many a pastor has fallen by going from “a little wine” to alcoholic due to misunderstanding and misapplying this passage. A little wine in Paul’s day meant 2.5% alcohol content: “modern wine has more than five times as much alcohol as the diluted wine of the ancient world.”

An interesting modern parallel is CBD vs THC in marijuana. THC is the “active ingredient” that creates the “high” (hallucinogenic and claimed to be therapeutic). But normal marijuana is only 1% THC, which is offset by the CBD (the non-hallucinogenic part, but also therapeutic). However today marijuana is bred to upwards of 30% THC, and distilled up to 95% THC. In contrast, the legitimate medicinal uses of marijuana are available in “pharmaceutical-produced, quality controlled and dose-specific medication containing synthetic THC. Curiously, they have not sold well.” This is a good example of people hijacking a legitimate concern for health and using it to further their passions.

Psalm 89:30 – As we read today, Jehoiakim forsake his law (Jeremiah 36:29-31), and God visited his transgression (Psalm 89:32)

Psalm 89:36 – There is no king of David’s line sitting on a throne in the Knesset. But there is the Son of David sitting on the throne (Acts 2:30).

Proverbs 25:25 – It’s always exciting to hear of missionary reports from a far land!

Share how reading thru 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 19 – Biblical Prisoners?

October 19
Jeremiah 33:1-34:22
1 Timothy 4:1-16
Psalm 89:1-13
Proverbs 25:23-24

Jeremiah 33:1 – In prison? Jeremiah? He joins a good group of Biblical prisoners:

  • Joseph (Genesis 39:20)
  • Samson (Judges 16:21)
  • Hoshaiah (2 Chronicles 16:10)
  • Micaiah (1 Kings 22:27, 2 Chronicles 18:26)
  • Jehoiachin (2 Kings 25:27)
  • Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:2)
  • John the Baptist (Matthew 4:12)
  • The Apostles (Acts 5:18)
  • Peter (Acts 12:5)
  • Paul & Silas (Acts 16:23-27)

Paul recounts that he was “in prisons more frequent” (2 Corinthians 11:23). As Psalm 69:33 tells us – “the LORD … despiseth not his prisoners,” and in Psalm 146:7 we hear “The LORD looseth the prisoners!”

Jeremiah 33:3 – Growing up it was fun to show off what you could make with Legos. But how much more amazing would it be to see the great and mighty things that the Creator of the Universe can make! Let’s call unto Him today!

Jeremiah 33:8 – Cleansed and pardoned! How can someone be cleansed? Leviticus 14:14 says that the blood of the trespass offering is needed to cleanse. Jeremiah accused them of bloodguiltiness (Jeremiah 2:34, Jeremiah 7:6, Jeremiah 19:4, Jeremiah 22:3, Jeremiah 22:17, Jeremiah 26:15), and Numbers 35:33 says that land cannot be cleansed of blood, but by the blood of him that shed it. Whose blood will be shed to pay for the penalty? Numbers 35:33 would imply that it would be Israel’s blood – but if their blood is shed, who would take the land? Someone who could take the iniquity of all – Isaiah 53:6. The Branch of Righteousness, the heir of David (Jeremiah 33:15), will save Judah. In the very first verse of the New Testament Jesus is identified as the Son of David (Matthew 1:1). Even the blind men could see that Jesus was the Son of David (Matthew 9:27, 20:30-32), and the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:22). 

Jeremiah 34:7 – Lachish. Sennacherib had already attacked Lachish about 140 years earlier. Now it is under attack again.

In 1935, the archaeologist J.L. Starkey discovered in Lachish some broken pieces of pottery with writing on them, that have become known as the Lachish Letters. We’ll discuss them more as we continue, but if you ever get to the British Museum or the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem, be sure to look for them.

Replica – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lachish_letters#/media/File:Lachish_III_obv.JPG

Jeremiah 34:14 – Jeremiah notes that the commands of Exodus 21:2 and Deuteronomy 15:12 have been neglected, now the people that were released (belatedly) are being re-enslaved!

1 Timothy 4:1 – Let’s see – are we in the latter times?

  • Departing from the faith

Nearly one-third of white Americans raised in evangelical Christian households leave their childhood faith.2 About 60 percent of those who leave end up joining another faith tradition, while 40 percent give up on religion altogether. The rates of disaffiliation are even higher among young adults: 39 percent of those raised evangelical Christian no longer identify as such in adulthood.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/are-white-evangelicals-sacrificing-the-future-in-search-of-the-past/ – note we’re focusing on white evangelicals merely because they are the largest subgroup of senior citizens in American religion.

1 Timothy 4:4-5 – Why do we say grace before a meal? We are commanded to!

https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2015/10/norman-rockwell-and-faith/

2 Timothy 4:13 – Notice the emphasis on doctrine. Avoid doctrines of devils (2 Timothy 4:1), remember doctrine (2 Timothy 4:6), good doctrine (2 Timothy 4:6), Teach good doctrine (2 Timothy 4:11), give attendance to doctrine (2 Timothy 4:13), Meditate on it (2 Timothy 4:15), and take heed to the doctrine (2 Timothy 4:16).

Psalm 89:1 – Let’s sing forever!

Psalm 89:34 – We just read in Jeremiah about the Branch of David (Jeremiah 33:15, 17, 21-22, 26) and again we are reminded of the everlasting covenant with the seed of David!

Psalm 89:9 –  This seed of David is identified as stilling the waves of the raging seas! In Matthew 8:27 we see who this is!

Proverbs 25:24 – A great book I’ve started reading is “Discovering the Mind of a Woman.” I’ve already bought copies for a couple of my friends (currently $1.99 on Kindle).

Share how reading thru 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 18 – The New Covenant

October 18
Jeremiah 31:27-32:44
1 Timothy 3:1-16
Psalm 88:1-18
Proverbs 25:20-22

Jeremiah 31:31-34 – This is the longest quoted passage from the Old Testament in the New Testament (Hebrews 8:8-11), per Olufemi Adeyemi. Jesus used the phrase “new covenant” when he instituted the Lord’s Supper (Luke 2:20). From John MacArthur:

I want you to notice two things in the New Covenant. The first is at the end of verse 34, and it has to do with the forgiveness of sin. The New Covenant carries with it the forgiveness of sin. The second is in verse 33, putting God’s Law in the heart. The New Covenant also carries an internal power to cause obedience to the Law of God. So what Jeremiah is saying is, “There will come a New Covenant. It will provide forgiveness of sin and a new divine enabling to keep the Law of God.”

Jeremiah 31:37 – The furthest mankind has dug is 7.6 miles. Only 3,951.4 more miles to go. We’ve estimated the universe is 880,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles across. Voyager 1 is 13,397,767,400 miles away from earth, travelling at 38,000 mph but is still 40,000 years away from hitting one of our closest neighbors. It will take a while before we can measure the heavens.

Jeremiah 31:38-40 – From Jimmy DeYoung:

Jeremiah 31:38-40 talks about the return of Jerusalem to the Jewish people, which was partially fulfilled on the date, June 7, 1967. I say partially because the city of Jerusalem will be a center of controversy until the Messiah, Jesus Christ, sets up His kingdom. Jesus Christ will reign over His kingdom from Jerusalem for 1,000 years.
Jeremiah 32:8 – A prophet prophesying destruction (Jeremiah 32:2) doesn’t usually buy land in the land being destroyed. But Jeremiah did, because God had declared that it would be possessed again! (Jeremiah 32:15).
Jeremiah 32:17 – The song, Ah, Lord God is based on this verse.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rwf97UgAma4
Jeremiah 32:27 – Great memory verse.
1 Timothy 3:2 – Even if you’re not a bishop/pastor, or a deacon, this is a good list of character traits to pursue. Especially in our alcohol-focused culture (15 million have an “Alcohol Use Disorder”, and 88,000 die from alcohol-related causes annually), Paul says that should not be a characteristic of a Christian leader.
1 Timothy 3:15 – No, this verse isn’t talking about not running in church. Nor is it saying certain Church is the God-ordained perfect teacher of truth. From GotQuestions:
Judging by the context of 1 Timothy, as well as the rest of Scripture, certainly not that “the church” has an infallible grasp of truth. In this case, Paul seems to be saying that the ekklesia—the body of believers, “the church”—is the structure that holds up and holds forth the gospel to the world. For that reason, the conduct of the body and its selection of leaders are critically important.

This interpretation is strongly supported by Paul’s use of two Greek words, stulos and hedraioma, translated as “pillar” and “foundation.” Stulos means “pillar, column, prop, or support” and is found in the New Testament only here, in Revelation 3:12, and in Revelation 10:1Hedraioma means “prop or support” and is found only in this verse. Both words come from Greek root words that imply something that stiffens, stabilizes, steadies, or holds. These are completely different words than what are used for other occurrences of “foundation” in English Bibles. For instance, Paul’s reference to Christ as our “foundation” in 1 Corinthians 3:11 uses the word themelios, which means “foundation of a building” or “initial and founding principles of an idea.”

Psalm 88:1 – Ever sit back and notice the intensity of the Psalmist’s prayers? Sometimes we just say a “Now I lay me down to sleep” or a “Bless this food” – without truly needing the LORD.
Proverbs 25:22 – Paul quotes this in Romans 12:20. From Wuest:

In Bible times an oriental needed to keep his hearth fire going all the time in order to insure fire for cooking and warmth. If it went out, he had to go to a neighbour for some live coals of fire. These he would carry on his head in a container, oriental fashion, back to his home. The person who would give him some live coals would be meeting his desperate need and showing him an outstanding kindness. If he would heap the container with coals, the man would be sure of getting some home still burning. The one injured would be returning kindness for injury.

Share how reading thru 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 17 – Captivity, Exile, and Diaspora – what is Jeremiah talking about?

October 17
Jeremiah 30:1-31:26
1 Timothy 2:1-15
Psalm 87:1-7
Proverbs 25:18-19

Jeremiah 30:9 – Why does God bring the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7)? So that they may serve the LORD! But David their King? God is planning on bringing him back? That was not fulfilled after the exile – Jeremiah 30:3 must refer to another event. We see three major separations of the Jewish people from the land between Abraham (2166 BC) to today (2018 AD):

  • Captivity –  1876 BC (Entrance into Egypt under Joseph) to 1446 BC (Exodus under Moses). This was under the Dispensation of Promise/Covenant.
  • Exile – fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC to Sargon & Southern Kingdom of Judah in 586 BC to Nebuchadnezzar until the returns led by Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, but intensifying under the Hasmonean dynasty starting in 140 BC. This was the under the Dispensation of Law.
  • Diaspora – starting with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, and intensified with the Bar Kohba revolt of 135 AD until the modern Aliyah starting in 1882 and intensifying in 1948 with the formation of the modern state of Israel.

Did any ruler after the Exile time count as “King David”? The Hasmonean dynasty was an independent kingdom for only 50 years (110-63 BC). until it succumbed to the Roman oversight. Herod the Great wasn’t “King David” – he was an Edomite! This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled – but in our day we are seeing Israel and Judah returning to the land (Jeremiah 30:3), making Aliyah even today! Unfortunately they have not returned to serve the LORD yet – 67% of Israeli Jews identify as secular atheist. Pray with Paul that Israel will be saved! (Romans 10:1).

Jeremiah 30:22 – We talked yesterday that it is good (and even commanded!) to be involved in political campaigns – to seek the good of the land. But how much better is it to know that our leader is not a mere politician, but God. Note that most of the time He uses LORD to describe Himself, his relation to us. But here, he uses God – the Hebrew Elohim, the same word that describes Himself as the Creator of the World (Genesis 1:1). Our ultimate Leader, My father is omnipotent!

Jeremiah 31:3 – God is not done with Israel – He loves them with an everlasting love!

Jeremiah 31:15 – We’re familiar with this verse from Matthew 2:17. But that’s not the only application. From Jamieson-Faussett-Brown:

In Benjamin, east of the great northern road, two hours’ journey from Jerusalem. Rachel, who all her life had pined for children (Ge 30:1), and who died with “sorrow” in giving birth to Benjamin (Ge 35:18, 19, Margin; 1Sa 10:2), and was buried at Ramah, near Beth-lehem, is represented as raising her head from the tomb, and as breaking forth into “weeping” at seeing the whole land depopulated of her sons, the Ephraimites. Ramah was the place where Nebuzara-dan collected all the Jews in chains, previous to their removal to Babylon (Jer 40:1). God therefore consoles her with the promise of their restoration. Mt 2:17, 18 quotes this as fulfilled in the massacre of the innocents under Herod. “A lesser and a greater event, of different times, may answer to the single sense of one passage of Scripture, until the prophecy is exhausted” [Bengel]. Besides the temporary reference to the exiles in Babylon, the Holy Spirit foreshadowed ultimately Messiah’s exile in Egypt, and the desolation caused in the neighborhood of Rachel’s tomb by Herod’s massacre of the children, whose mothers had “sons of sorrow” (Ben-oni), just as Rachel had.

1 Timothy 2:2 – Do you pray for those in authority? PublicServantPrayer.org has done a great job in identifying the state elected officials so you can daily pray for them.

1 Timothy 2:4 – If God wants all men to be saved – how will he get His message to all men? Romans 10:14-15 reminds us that God is sending preachers – they just need to say Here I am, LORD, Send me! (Isaiah 6).

1 Timothy 2:14 – Eve received bad information from Adam and the serpent. God told Adam not to eat of it (Genesis 2:17), but Eve who heard it second hand from Adam said God said not to touch it (Genesis 3:3). Interestingly all the while the Serpent and Eve are having their discussion, Adam is standing right next to her! (Genesis 3:6).

So why should Eve’s mistake keep women from being preachers today? For that matter why should woman “have power on her head because of the angels”? (1 Corinthians 11:10). Like Job, we don’t have to understand why, we just have to obey!

1 Timothy 2:15 – Does childbearing sanctify? No – Paul is going back to the garden – the man was cursed in sorrow of work, the woman was cursed in the pain of childbirth. Henry Alford discusses:

The curse on the woman for her “transgression” was, “in pains you will bear children” (Genesis 3:16). Her “childbearing” is that in which the curse finds its operation. What then is here promised her? Not only exemption from that curse in its worst and heaviest effects: not merely that she shall safely bear children: but the Apostle uses the word “will be saved” purposely for its higher meaning [eternal salvation], and the construction of the sentence is precisely as [in] 1 Corinthians 3:15 — “he will be saved, yet though as through fire.”

Just as that man should be saved through, as passing through, fire which is his trial, his hindrance in his way, in spite of which he escapes — so she shall be saved, through, as passing through, her child-bearing, which is her trial, her curse, her (not means of salvation, but) hindrance in the way of it. (Alford, H. [2010]. Alford’s Greek Testament: an exegetical and critical commentary [Vol. 3, 320]. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software)

Psalm 87:2 – As Jeremiah stated, God is not done with Israel! John Newton took this verse and composed the hymn “Glorious Things of thee Are Spoken

Proverbs 25:19 – Are you trusting the right people? Solomon said earlier it’s hard to find such a one (Proverbs 20:6).

Share how reading thru 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 16 – What are we to do while we’re stuck on earth?

October 16
Jeremiah 28:1-29:32
1 Timothy 1:1-20
Psalm 86:1-17
Proverbs 25:17

Jeremiah 28:3 – Hananiah the son of Azur was a morale booster. Today we call his work PsyOps. And while it was lauded by the king, it would be worthy of death by God (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). But Hananiah’s prophecy was two years out. The prophecy of Jeremiah was time sensitive – how would the people know who was the right prophet?

World War II Morale Boosting Posters

Jeremiah 28:16 – Jeremiah prophesied that Hananiah would be dead within the year – while Hananiah’s prophecy was peace within two years. 

Interestingly in recent times John Alexander Dowie, founder of Zion, IL entered into a prayer duel with the founder of Ahmadiyya.

A bizarre sidelight on Dowie’s later years is that he became embroiled in an acrimonious public dispute with a controversial Indian Muslim religious figure, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Ahmadiyya movement. In 1903 they engaged in a widely publicized prayer duel, each calling upon God to punish the other to expose him as a false prophet. Ahmad and his followers proclaimed Dowie’s rapidly ensuing illness, disgrace, and death as a vindication of their religious beliefs. Ahmad died in 1908, a year later than Dowie.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_Community_Church

Jeremiah 29:2 – It is strange that we see the eunuchs mentioned here – this is another pagan practice that had been adopted by Israel. Deuteronomy 23:1 declared castration forbade a man from the assembly of the LORD. Why would a political leader in an attempt to be like the surrounding nations, cut off his advisers from the LORD? Then again the people offered their children to Baal as burnt offerings (Jeremiah 19:5), and castrated their advisers. 

Jeremiah 29:5-7 – This is good advice for us today. We are away from our true home. Jeremiah 29:10 says they will be in captivity for 70 years. Interestingly Psalm 90:10 talks about our threescore and ten (70 years) on earth before we go to our New Jerusalem (Revelation 21)! The “United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing,” better known as Shakers, believed that Jesus was coming back so soon that they did not need to “bear sons and daughters” (Jeremiah 29:6). Even today many talk about how they can’t imagine bringing children into the world.

What are we to do ? Prepare to stay awhile thru:

  • personal comforts (build houses)
  • profits (plant gardens)
  • procreation (take wives, bear sons and daughters), 
  • politics (seek the peace of the city)

Yes God is OK with you living in a nice house, having a 401k, bringing children into this world, and with you voting, volunteering on a campaign, donating to a candidate, or even running for office yourself! BUT – 

Jeremiah 29:10 – There is something better coming (taking you to the New Jerusalem). That is the expected end. We can enjoy this present life, but remember to call upon the LORD (Jeremiah 29:12), and that someday we will be gathered in (Jeremiah 29:14).

Jeremiah 29:22 – That is a vivid image of the end of a false prophet.

1 Timothy 1:3 – Jeremiah battled false teachers in Hananiah (Jeremiah 28:15) in Jerusalem, and Ahab and Zedekiah (Jeremiah 29:21) in Babylon. Timothy is now battling false teachers in Ephesus. 

1 Timothy 1:15 – The anointed Messiah, “Jehovah is Salvation” entered the world on purpose, to save people who admit they are horrible people. The good people (those still in Jerusalem (Jeremiah 29:16-19), won’t be saved. But the bad people – those who went into captivity (Jeremiah 27:12-13) can live if they surrender! 

1 Timothy 1:17 – The hymn “Immortal Invisible, God Only Wise” is based on this verse.

1 Timothy 1:18 – In 1 Timothy 6:12 Paul will get back to this expression – as he urges Timothy to fight the good fight!

Psalm 86:1 – The Psalmist recognizes the same truth that Paul and Jeremiah do – God hears those who admit they are needy!

Proverbs 25:17 – As we say today – “Don’t wear out your welcome.”

Share how reading thru 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 15 – Not afraid for even his own life.

October 15
Jeremiah 26:1-27:22
2 Thessalonians 3:1-18
Psalm 85:1-13
Proverbs 25:16

Jeremiah 26:1 – Have you noticed that Jeremiah’s writings are not in chronological orders? Earlier we read that God would not turn even if Samuel prayed, but now he offers to hearken (Jeremiah 26:3). From J. Carl Laney:

According to Murphy, the individual units of Jeremiah were originally addressed to the people to whom Jeremiah ministered at different stages throughout his ministry. The final form of the work, compiled after Jehoiachin’s release in 561 B.C., was a message to the exiles in Babylon providing encouragement and hope through promises of restoration. Since the judgments which Jeremiah announced had been fulfilled, the exiles in Babylon could be confident that the restoration would also come about.

Murphy believes that Jeremiah has been carefully constructed to a recurring theological message of judgment and hope for God’s exiled people (p. 315). Because they have broken the Mosaic Covenant, they experienced judgment (Lev. 26, Deut. 28). But because of God’s unconditional promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:2-3), God would deliver His people from exile and rebuild them as a nation. So Jeremiah repeatedly presents Yahweh’s judgment and promised hope, destruction and restoration, and cursing and blessing.

The entry and exit points of the anthology, according to Murphy, are chapters 1 and 52. These chapters serve as “bookends” to hold the work together as an anthology. Chapter one verse 10 sets forth the agenda of the book. Here we see “in seed form” the themes of judgment and restoration which make up the rest of the book. The final chapter (52) highlights these same themes by recounting two incidents. Chapter 52 tells of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, emphasizing the theme of judgment. But the book concludes with a message of hope. Jehoiachin is released from prison, anticipating the future restoration and return of the people of Judah.

Jeremiah 26:14 – How could Jeremiah be so cavalier about his own life? Because he had accomplished what the LORD sent him to do (Jeremiah 26:12).

Jeremiah 26:18 – Who is this Micah the Morasthite? When we turn to Micah 1:1 – we realize that this was the same prophet!

  • Jeremiah 26:18 recognizes the prophecy of Micah
  • Daniel 9:2 recognizes the prophecy of Jeremiah
  • Ezekiel 14:14, 20, and Ezekiel 28:3 recognize Daniel
  • 2 Peter 3:15-16 identify Paul’s writings as Scripture

We find several times in Scripture references to other people in Scripture. It’s not just an anthology of religious sayings, but the Word of God pointing towards His Son, Jesus Christ.

Jeremiah 26:23 – Religious persecution was evident in the “theocracy” of Judah with the death of Urijah. It also was evident in the Puritan colonial Massachusetts with Obadiah Holmes:

Obadiah Holmes (1610 – 15 October 1682) was an early Rhode Island settler, and a Baptist minister who was whipped in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious beliefs and activism.

Holmes.Obadiah.whipping.jpg

In 1650 he and others were taken to court for their religious views and practices, and compelled to leave the colony. He settled in Newport in the Rhode Island colony and soon befriended John Clarke and John Crandall. In July 1651 these three men, while visiting an elderly friend in Lynn, Massachusetts, were apprehended, tried, and given exorbitant fines for their religious practices. Friends paid the fines for Clarke and Crandall, but when Holmes learned of this he refused to allow them to pay his fine. Six weeks after trial he was taken to the whipping post in Boston and given 30 strokes, which were laid on so harshly that for weeks afterward Holmes could only sleep while on his knees and elbows.

Jeremiah 27:3 – A very unpatriotic message to send to Israel’s would-be allies. But this message is a message of hope as we read in Jeremiah 27:13.

2 Thessalonians 3:1 – Pray for missionaries and evangelists that the word of the LORD would have free course!

2 Thessalonians 3:6 – We are commanded to separate from disorderly brethren. What are their characteristics? False doctrine (2 Thessalonians 3:6), “Too busy to work” (2 Thessalonians 3:11), Disobedient to Scripture (2 Thessalonians 3:14).

Psalm 85:6 – Revive us again!

Proverbs 25:16 – Yes, you can have too much of a good thing!

Share how reading thru 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 14 – A promise of punishment for presumption!

October 14
Jeremiah 23:21-25:38
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
Psalm 84:1-12
Proverbs 25:15

Jeremiah 23:21-22 – Now this is an odd scenario. There are prophets prophesying, but they weren’t sent nor spoken to by the LORD. An avalanche of alleged ambassadors from the Monarch of the World. And yet with the plethora of people purporting to proclaim the King’s Word – none have turned from their evil way.

Jeremiah 23:34 – A promise of punishment for presumption! If you are a preacher, and do not preach God’s Word but your ideas, God will judge. Unfortunately since Jonathan Edward’s day “eminent saints” have been misled by what they thought was God speaking to them:

I . . . know by experience that impressions being made with great power, and upon the minds of true saints, yea, eminent saints; and presently after, yea, in the midst of, extraordinary exercises of grace and sweet communion with God, and attended with texts of Scripture strongly impressed on the mind, are no sure signs of their being revelations from heaven: for I have known such impressions [to] fail, and prove vain.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-do-we-say-god-told-me/

Jeremiah 24:7 – Let’s pray for a heart to know the LORD, so we can appreciate that He is our God and follow Him with our whole heart.

Jeremiah 25:12 – There is so much evil to judge – God will punish Israel for 70 years, then punish Babylon for their sins. Yes it was made desolate and still is today!

Before Hussein’s reconstruction, there had already been destruction from the shifts in rivers and deserts, and still more from colonial powers. Germans took the Ishtar Gate, which is now in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, while the French took ceramics, and the Turks used Babylonian bricks to build dams on the Euphrates.

The occupation of US forces also damaged the site. Following the 2003 invasion, the US camp Alpha was set up on the ruins. Areas were leveled to create landing pads for helicopters and parking lots for vehicles. Tanks rumbled over the ancient bricks, and Polish troops dug trenches through a temple. Soil holding artifacts and bones was scooped into sandbags. And even the military presence couldn’t keep out looters, who ransacked Iraq’s more than 10,000 historic sites after the invasion.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/babylon

2 Thessalonians 2:3 – What is the falling away / apostasia? From Jimmy DeYoung:

A close and careful word study of the Greek word apostasia will conclude that the true meaning of the word is found in the phrase, “departing from one place and going to another”, not a falling away from the doctrines of the church.
If the word “apostasia” was communicating that “apostasy” was what it was talking about then the Rapture and the coming of the Antichrist would have happened during the writing of II Thessalonians. Apostasy had infiltrated the early church by the time Paul wrote this passage.
What Paul is saying here is that the Antichrist, the “Son of Perdition”, would not come until the Church departs from one place and goes to another. That is what happens at the Rapture. The scenario for the future according to all prophetic passages is that the Rapture takes all Christians into Heaven and then the Antichrist appears on earth.

http://devotional.prophecytoday.com/search/label/II%20Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians 2:4 – Image of the Beast, the 3rd in the Thief in the Night series, depicts this defiling of the temple.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxmtzBkQo9o&feature=youtu.be&t=4186

2 Thessalonians 2:11 – God sends a strong delusion so people believe a lie. As we read in Jeremiah today, there are times He is angry (Jeremiah 25:38), and will not have a message for the people other than forsaking them (Jeremiah 23:33).

Psalm 84:10 – I heard a great message at the Christian School conference I was at the past few days. Discouragement comes in when we start calculating our hourly wage rather than our eternal reward.

Psalm 84:11 – The verse is a setting of a song from the WILDS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LX8rt8z2Jo

Proverbs 25:15 – Pastor Andrew Brunson was finally released after two years of negotiations. The FBI lead hostage negotiator shares that the best way to negotiate is with “the late night DJ voice.” Slow, deep, and calm.

Share how reading thru 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 13 – The prophetic voice of the church

October 13

  • Jeremiah 22:1-23:20
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
  • Psalm 83:1-18
  • Proverbs 25:11-14

Jeremiah 22:1 – As I write this we are less than a month from the next election. We’ll be electing leaders, who will be passing laws. How will they decide which laws are worth passing? That comes from their personal morality. Is it more important to do X or to do Y. The job of the church in relation to the government is to teach the values to inform the policies made. As we’ve all heard, all legislation is morality, it’s just a question of whose morality we’re going to legislate.

Jeremiah 22:13 – Morality begins in the home. It is not until we repair our relationships that we can be blessed by God.

Jeremiah 22:30 – From Ellicott’s:

(30) Write ye this man childless.–The meaning of the prediction, as explained by the latter clause of the verse, was fulfilled in Jeconiah’s being the last kingly representative of the house of David, his uncle Zedekiah, who succeeded him, perishing before him (Jeremiah 52:31). In him the sceptre departed, and not even Zerubbabel sat upon the throne of Judah. Whether he died actually childless is less certain. In 1Chronicles 3:17 Assir (possibly, however, the name should be translated “Jeconiah the prisoner”) appears as his son, and as the father of Salathiel, or Shealtiel; and in Matthew 1:12 we find “Jechonias begat Salathiel.” In these genealogies, however, adoption or succession, or a Levirate marriage so constantly takes the place of parentage, that nothing certain can be inferred from these data, and St. Luke (Luke 3:27) places Salathiel among the descendants of Nathan, as though the line of Solomon became extinct in Jeconiah, and was replaced by the collateral branch of the house of David (see Note on Luke 3:23). The command, “write ye this man childless,” is apparently addressed to the “scribes who kept the register of the royal genealogies (Ezekiel 13:9Psalm 69:28-29). They were told how, without waiting for his death, they were to enter Coniah’s name in that register.

Jeremiah 23:4  This month is Pastor Appreciation Month – thank God for good pastors!

Jeremiah 23:16 – 1 John 4:1 commands us to “try the spirits” and not secretly adopt them. There are many people today who are similar to the false prophets, walking after the imaginations of their hearts.

2 Thessalonians 1:5 – Worthiness for the kingdom comes from suffering in this life? No wonder Paul had to write to clarify his instructions from previously!

Psalm 83:6 – The tabernacles of Edom? Jimmy DeYoung explores Edom in his documentary: “Rome Rising.”

Psalm 83:18 – Praise the LORD – there is no other, there is no other by His name!

Proverbs 25:11 – Discernment and application are great life-long skills to have.

Share how reading thru 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 12 – From the Serpent in the Garden to Baal in Tophet: Satan’s plan for your death

October 12
Jeremiah 19:1-21:14
1 Thessalonians 5:4-28
Psalm 82:1-8
Proverbs 25:9-10

Jeremiah 19:3 – This wasn’t to pagan Assyria, or wayward Israel, but the Kings of Judah! They have built altars to Baal and offered their sons to Baal.

Baal idol, University of Chicago. Author’s photograph.

Jeremiah 19:9 – Baal was a fertility god – the people offered their firstborn to Baal so that Baal would grant them many more children. The LORD didn’t ask for human sacrifice, but redemption (Exodus 13:15 – The LORD drew a distinct difference between mankind and the animals). This act was a memorial of the Passover, which itself foreshadowed our Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 5:7)! But – because the firstborn has been sacrificed to Baal, they cannot be redeemed to the LORD.

Note the similarity between this and the Garden of Eden. The Tree of Life is more powerful than the Tree of Death/Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3:22). If Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Life first, they would live forever (Genesis 3:22). If they ate of the Tree of Life after, it would reverse the Tree of Death. But because they ate of the Tree of Death first, God put a guard at the east entrance to the way of the Tree of Life to keep them from eating it (Genesis 3:24) – because the life that comes ‘free’ must now be paid for with blood (Hebrews 9:22). Satan had a plan to keep Adam & Eve from the Tree of Life by getting them to the Tree of Death first, just like he planned to keep the kids from being redeemed by the LORD by being sacrificed to Baal (Jeremiah 19:9).

But if they will offer their firstborn to Baal, the LORD challenges Baal try to deliver the other kids from the LORD’s promised judgment that will cause not just filicide but cannibalism! Jeremiah further says (because they apparently do not value children as much as prosperity) if you go to worship by burning your children alive at Tophet (Jeremiah 19:2/Jeremiah 19:6), I’ll make your houses like Tophet as well (Jeremiah 19:13).

Jeremiah 20:2 – Well, the street preacher Jeremiah has been arrested (no 1st Amendment rights in Jerusalem!), beaten, and put in stocks.

Jeremiah 20:9 – A reluctant witness for the LORD cannot stay silent. His word is as a burning fire shut up in my bones – release it!

Jeremiah 21:9 – The only way to survive is to surrender. All to Jesus do you surrender?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2BnL_zI7uw

1 Thessalonians 5:8 – Americans consumed 7 billion gallons of beer last year. But Paul urges us to be sober!

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Whether we live or die – our comfort is that we are with our LORD!

1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray on occasion? No! Pray without ceasing! (And pray for us! 1 Thessalonians 5:25).

Psalm 82:3-4 – Looking at what we read in Jeremiah – who is poorer or needier than the young firstborn babies that were sacrificed to Baal? Who needs protection more than the widow, on the verge of being fleeced by the unscrupulous dealmaker?

Proverbs 25:9 – Debate thy cause with thy neighbor on Facebook… or privately? Yes discretion is a valuable tool in the Christian’s arsenal!

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Daily Encouragement

October 11 – Who is your trust in?

October 11
Jeremiah 16:16-18:23
1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3
Psalm 81:1-16
Proverbs 25:6-8

Jeremiah 16:17 – God is watching! God is watching our ways, and He sees our actions. My wife is very observant, but I can hide stuff from her. The CIA may be tracing my laptop – but there’s ways with torrents and proxies to hide my internet traffic. But nothing is hid from our God. “Neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.”

Jeremiah 17:5-8– I just talked to the desk clerk at the hotel I’m staying tonight. He enjoys learning and philosophy – yet due to tragedy in his family, He seems to think that if there was a loving God He would have prevented it, and so instead of trusting in God, he trusts in the potential of mankind. (Pray for him that God would reach him and heal his hurting heart – Jeremiah 17:14).

Sadly God warns us against trusting in man. He gives a vivid contrast between trusting in man (like a heath in the desert) and trusting in God (a tree planted by the waters).

Jeremiah 17:19-20 – Jeremiah the street preacher! Yes today we can speak on the sidewalks of America and warn the nation about the sin in our country.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVl9-Pxzkrk

Jeremiah 17:25 – God had offered to protect the city from invasion for ever if they would obey. Yet 700 years later, the people would crucify the king who entered into the city by the Eastern Gate in Luke 19:37.

Jeremiah 18:9-10 – During the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin said:

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?” 

https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/benfranklin.htm

Jeremiah 18:19-23 – Notice the abrupt change from the beginning of this chapter where we hear the word of the LORD, to v.18 where the people are plotting revenge against Jeremiah, and then this personal, impassioned, private imprecatory prayer to the LORD.

I Thessalonians 4:3 – God tells us what His will is for our lives – as we’ve seen in the Old Testament – obedience!

I Thessalonians 4:16-17 – This is a great promise that God has given us -we will not miss the rapture of the church!

Psalm 81:13 – What blessings in your life has God withheld because of your disobedience? 

Proverbs 25:7 – Humility is a valuable virtue to follow.

Share how reading thru 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.