Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 50:17-20.

Israel is a scattered flock, the lions have driven them away.  The first one who devoured him was the king of Assyria, and this last one who has broken his bones is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.  Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:  ‘Behold, I am going to punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I punished the king of Assyria.  And I will bring Israel back to his pasture and he will graze on Carmel and Bashan, and his desire will be satisfied in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead.  In those days and at that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none;  and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found;  for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.’”    Jeremiah 50:17-20.

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For today’s devotion, we will focus on our attitude to the remnant of Jews.  We will first meditate on several Scriptures.

“… I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.’”  Verse 20.

Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved;  for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly.”  And just as Isaiah foretold,

Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left to us a posterity,
We would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah.”  Romans 9:27-29.

20 Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.

21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
22 For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea,
Only a remnant within them will return;
A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness.”  Isaiah 10:20-22.

At first, our attitude may be an improper attitude of pity for them and arrogance for us.  The Apostle Paul specifically examined and corrected that possible improper attitude in Romans chapter 11.     

We notice in today’s Scripture all that the LORD did for the remnant.  The LORD preserved their lives through exile and captivity.  The LORD brought them back to their land.  The LORD caused them to prosper in their land.  The LORD pardoned their sins.  Such lavish care of the LORD for the remnant of Jews should not evoke pity or arrogance from us.    

And, even more, we realize what we Gentile Christians have in common with the remnant of Jews.  We both are blessed to be part of God’s gracious choice, saved by grace.  “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”  Romans 11:5-6.

And, in Christ, there is no distinction between Jews and Christians.  “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;  for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;”  Romans 10:12.  “… there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”  Colossians 3:11.

Yes, the remnant of Jews was a small group.  But, in a sense, we Gentile Christians are a small group too.  “Enter through the narrow gate;  for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14.    For many are called, but few are chosen.”  Matthew 22:14.

Other doctrine may sound good at first when we hear its teaching that God loves everybody and everyone can be saved.  But, Scripture shows that is not true.

Reformed Doctrine teaches that only the elect (both Jews and Christians) according to God’s gracious choice will be saved and that God will do everything needed for their salvation.

In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”  Romans 11:5-6.

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Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 50:1-16.

“The word which the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, through Jeremiah the prophet:

“Declare and proclaim among the nations.
Proclaim it and lift up a standard.
Do not conceal it but say,
‘Babylon has been captured,
Bel has been put to shame, Marduk has been shattered;
Her images have been put to shame, her idols have been shattered.’

For a nation has come up against her out of the north; it will make her land an object of horror, and there will be no inhabitant in it. Both man and beast have wandered off, they have gone away!

“In those days and at that time,” declares the Lord, “the sons of Israel will come, both they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the Lord their God they will seek.  They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction;  they will come that they may join themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.

“My people have become lost sheep;
Their shepherds have led them astray.
They have made them turn aside on the mountains;
They have gone along from mountain to hill
And have forgotten their resting place.
“All who came upon them have devoured them;
And their adversaries have said, ‘We are not guilty,
Inasmuch as they have sinned against the Lord who is the habitation of righteousness,
Even the Lord, the hope of their fathers.’”  Jeremiah 50:1-7.

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As fathers, we have no greater joy than to know our children our walking in the truth.  “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”  3 John 1:4.

We try to lead by example.  We also try to verbally teach them.  We put them in Christian schools.  We bring them to church.  We may even bring them to Sunday School and catechism.  We pray with them and read Scripture with them.  We discipline them. 

And, those are all good things for us as fathers to do.  We should do all those things and other things as well.

But, today’s Scripture reminds us that the LORD Himself is the habitation of righteousness.  Verse 7.  If our LORD does not somehow draw our children into fellowship and habitation in Him, then all is lost.

We can never view our children nor ourselves as free, not subject to outside influences.  We don’t have free-will.  We are enslaved to sin and Satan.  Today’s Scripture calls us lost sheep led astray.

“My people have become lost sheep;
Their shepherds have led them astray.
They have made them turn aside on the mountains;
They have gone along from mountain to hill
And have forgotten their resting place. ”  Verse 6.

Reformed Doctrine puts it all together.

In sharpest contrast to the LORD Who is the habitation of righteousness, there is no righteousness that inhabits us.  Our natural condition is “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  We are dead in sin, hostile to God, enslaved to sin and Satan. 

10 as it is written,

There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”  Romans 3:10-12.

Other doctrine presents shepherds who point the way to salvation and then leave it to their disciples to use their alleged free-will and wisdom to go to the resting places of salvation.

But, Reformed Doctrine presents the Good Shepherd of the Scripture Who goes out to find His lost sheep and Who carries them to salvation. 

Reformed Doctrine presents “the habitation of righteousness” Who by His doing brings them within the habitation of righteousness.  “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

In summary, Reformed Doctrine presents the LORD of Scripture Who does all that is necessary for the salvation of His people from the beginning to the end:  from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.  …”  Ephesians 1:3-7.

even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:5-9.

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 49:23-39.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+49&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

34 That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying:

35 “Thus says the Lord of hosts,
‘Behold, I am going to break the bow of Elam,
The finest of their might.
36 ‘I will bring upon Elam the four winds
From the four ends of heaven,
And will scatter them to all these winds;
And there will be no nation
To which the outcasts of Elam will not go.
37 ‘So I will shatter Elam before their enemies
And before those who seek their lives;
And I will bring calamity upon them,
Even My fierce anger,’ declares the Lord,
‘And I will send out the sword after them
Until I have consumed them.
38 ‘Then I will set My throne in Elam
And destroy out of it king and princes,’
Declares the Lord.
39 ‘But it will come about in the last days
That I will restore the fortunes of Elam,’”
Declares the Lord.”  Jeremiah 49:34-39. 

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In today’s Scripture, we see the prophecy against Damascus, the prophecy against Kedar and Hazor, and finally in the Scripture quoted above, the prophecy against Elam, all of which describe the desolations that the LORD would cause upon those nations.

The LORD would destroy the strongest of the military might of those nations.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts,
‘Behold, I am going to break the bow of Elam,
The finest of their might.”  Verse 35.

This Scripture was written for our sake, so that we would properly fear the LORD and trust in Him.

Other doctrine exalts man and humbles their god.

But, Reformed Doctrine humbles man and exalts the God of Scripture. 

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
10 Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.  Selah.”  Psalm 46:8-11.

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 49:7-22.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+49&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

Edom will become an object of horror;  everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss at all its wounds.  Like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah with its neighbors,” says the Lord, “no one will live there, nor will a son of man reside in it.  Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan against a perennially watered pasture;  for in an instant I will make him run away from it, and whoever is chosen I shall appoint over it.  For who is like Me, and who will summon Me into court?  And who then is the shepherd who can stand against Me?”

Therefore hear the plan of the Lord which He has planned against Edom, and His purposes which He has purposed against the inhabitants of Teman:  surely they will drag them off, even the little ones of the flock;  surely He will make their pasture desolate because of them.  The earth has quaked at the noise of their downfall.  There is an outcry!  The noise of it has been heard at the Red Sea.  Behold, He will mount up and swoop like an eagle and spread out His wings against Bozrah;  and the hearts of the mighty men of Edom in that day will be like the heart of a woman in labor.”  Jeremiah 49:17-22.

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“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.”  Psalm 103:19.

The LORD refutes those who believe that He is subject to something or someone by proclaiming in verse 19:  “For who is like Me, and who will summon Me into court?  And who then is the shepherd who can stand against Me?”

The LORD is the One Who summons and judges and punishes.

“The Mighty One, God, the Lord, has spoken,
And summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God has shone forth.
May our God come and not keep silence;
Fire devours before Him,
And it is very tempestuous around Him.
He summons the heavens above,
And the earth, to judge His people:
“Gather My godly ones to Me,
Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens declare His righteousness,
For God Himself is judge.  Selah.”  Psalm 50:1-6.

Other doctrine present a god who is subject to something or someone and who reacts to man’s alleged free-will.

Reformed Doctrine presents the God of Scripture Who subjects all to His rule and Who initiates and accomplishes all of His will.

Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm and said,

“Now gird up your loins like a man;
I will ask you, and you instruct Me.
“Will you really annul My judgment?
Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?
“Or do you have an arm like God,
And can you thunder with a voice like His?

10 “Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity,
And clothe yourself with honor and majesty.
11 “Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
And look on everyone who is proud, and make him low.
12 “Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him,
And tread down the wicked where they stand.
13 “Hide them in the dust together;
Bind them in the hidden place.
14 “Then I will also confess to you,
That your own right hand can save you.”  Job 40:6-14.

“Then Job answered the Lord and said,

“I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”  Job 42:1-2.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 20, 2017

“he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.”

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 49:1-6.

“Concerning the sons of Ammon. Thus says the Lord:

“Does Israel have no sons?
Or has he no heirs?
Why then has Malcam taken possession of Gad
And his people settled in its cities?
“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“That I will cause a trumpet blast of war to be heard
Against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon;
And it will become a desolate heap,
And her towns will be set on fire.
Then Israel will take possession of his possessors,”
Says the Lord.
“Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai has been destroyed!
Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah,
Gird yourselves with sackcloth and lament,
And rush back and forth inside the walls;
For Malcam will go into exile
Together with his priests and his princes.
“How boastful you are about the valleys!
Your valley is flowing away,
O backsliding daughter
Who trusts in her treasures, saying,
‘Who will come against me?’
“Behold, I am going to bring terror upon you,”
Declares the Lord God of hosts,
“From all directions around you;
And each of you will be driven out headlong,
With no one to gather the fugitives together.
“But afterward I will restore
The fortunes of the sons of Ammon,”
Declares the Lord.”   Jeremiah 49:1-6.

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The LORD protects His people and destroys their enemies.

We see it in today’s Scripture which contains the prophecy against Ammon for taking away land from Israel.

“Concerning the sons of Ammon. Thus says the Lord:

“Does Israel have no sons?
Or has he no heirs?
Why then has Malcam taken possession of Gad
And his people settled in its cities?”  Verse 1.

We saw it in Deuteronomy 23:3-4.

No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the Lord;  none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the Lord, because they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.”  Deuteronomy 23:3-4.

As one protects his own eyes, so the LORD protects His people.

For thus says the Lord of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.”  Zechariah 2:8.

Keep me as the apple of the eye;
Hide me in the shadow of Your wings
From the wicked who despoil me,
My deadly enemies who surround me.”  Psalm 17:8-9.

Here is another figurative description of how the LORD protects His people.

“Like flying birds so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem.
He will protect and deliver it;
He will pass over and rescue it.”  Isaiah 31:5.

I can particularly appreciate this description, because I take my dog Rush for a walk around Azalea Park near my home almost every day.  In the spring, flying birds “buzz” us when we get close to a tree where their nest and their baby birds are.  The birds are very protective and don’t like it when we even come close to their trees even though we make no threatening move toward their tree and babies.  

But, there is hope for Ammon like there was hope for Moab. 

“But afterward I will restore
The fortunes of the sons of Ammon,”
Declares the Lord.”  Verse 6.

Right after the foregoing “apple of the eye” Scripture in Zechariah 2:8, we read:  “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.”  Zechariah 2:11. 

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah chapter 48.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+48&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Concerning Moab. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,

“Woe to Nebo, for it has been destroyed;
Kiriathaim has been put to shame, it has been captured;
The lofty stronghold has been put to shame and shattered.

“For because of your trust in your own achievements and treasures,
Even you yourself will be captured;
And Chemosh will go off into exile
Together with his priests and his princes.

14 “How can you say, ‘We are mighty warriors,
And men valiant for battle’?
15 “Moab has been destroyed and men have gone up to his cities;
His choicest young men have also gone down to the slaughter,”
Declares the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
16 “The disaster of Moab will soon come,
And his calamity has swiftly hastened.

17 “Mourn for him, all you who live around him,
Even all of you who know his name;
Say, ‘How has the mighty scepter been broken,
A staff of splendor!’
18 “Come down from your glory
And sit on the parched ground,
O daughter dwelling in Dibon,
For the destroyer of Moab has come up against you,
He has ruined your strongholds.

20 “Moab has been put to shame, for it has been shattered.
Wail and cry out;
Declare by the Arnon
That Moab has been destroyed.

29 “We have heard of the pride of Moab—he is very proud—
Of his haughtiness, his pride, his arrogance and his self-exaltation.
30 “I know his fury,” declares the Lord,
“But it is futile;
His idle boasts have accomplished nothing.

35 I will make an end of Moab,” declares the Lord, “the one who offers sacrifice on the high place and the one who burns incense to his gods.

38 On all the housetops of Moab and in its streets there is lamentation everywhere;  for I have broken Moab like an undesirable vessel,” declares the Lord.  39 “How shattered it is!  How they have wailed! How Moab has turned his back—he is ashamed!  So Moab will become a laughingstock and an object of terror to all around him.”

42 “Moab will be destroyed from being a people
Because he has become arrogant toward the Lord.

46 “Woe to you, Moab!
The people of Chemosh have perished;
For your sons have been taken away captive
And your daughters into captivity.
47 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab
In the latter days,” declares the Lord.

Thus far the judgment on Moab.”  Jeremiah 48: Verses 1, 7, 14-18, 20, 29-30, 35, 38-39, 42, and 46-47.

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We sit up straight and pay close attention to the reasons disclosed by the LORD as to why He will bring such destruction and devastation to Moab.

We see Moab’s trust in their own achievements and treasures.  Verse 7.

“We have heard of the pride of Moab—he is very proud—
Of his haughtiness, his pride, his arrogance and his self-exaltation.”  Verse 29.

We smell the incense that Moab burned to worship other gods.  Verse 35.

But, despite this prophecy of destruction, and justification for it, there is hope.

“Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab
In the latter days,” declares the Lord.

Thus far the judgment on Moab.”  Verse 47.

Thus says the Lord concerning all My wicked neighbors who strike at the inheritance with which I have endowed My people Israel, “Behold I am about to uproot them from their land and will uproot the house of Judah from among them.  And it will come about that after I have uprooted them, I will again have compassion on them;  and I will bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land.  Then if they will really learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ even as they taught My people to swear by Baal, they will be built up in the midst of My people.  But if they will not listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.”  Verses 14-17.

In other words, there is hope for Moab and other nations if they trust in the LORD.

10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”  Psalm 2:10-12.

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah chapter 47.

“That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh conquered Gaza.  Thus says the Lord:

“Behold, waters are going to rise from the north
And become an overflowing torrent,
And overflow the land and all its fullness,
The city and those who live in it;
And the men will cry out,
And every inhabitant of the land will wail.
“Because of the noise of the galloping hoofs of his stallions,
The tumult of his chariots, and the rumbling of his wheels,
The fathers have not turned back for their children,
Because of the limpness of their hands,
On account of the day that is coming
To destroy all the Philistines,
To cut off from Tyre and Sidon
Every ally that is left;
For the Lord is going to destroy the Philistines,
The remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.
“Baldness has come upon Gaza;
Ashkelon has been ruined.
O remnant of their valley,
How long will you gash yourself?
“Ah, sword of the Lord,
How long will you not be quiet?
Withdraw into your sheath;
Be at rest and stay still.
How can it be quiet,
When the Lord has given it an order?
Against Ashkelon and against the seacoast—
There He has assigned it.”   Jeremiah chapter 47.

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The LORD gave an order to destroy the Philistines, and it will be fulfilled. 

“How can it be quiet,
When the Lord has given it an order?  …”  Verse 7.

Other doctrine portrays the god of their desires, a weak god who halts, falters, and reacts to please man and give way to the alleged free-will of man.

But, Reformed Doctrine shows the Sovereign God of Scripture Who hates all wickedness, Who always causes His order to be fulfilled, and Who destroys the wicked.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity.
You destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.”  Psalm 5:4-6.

You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked;
You have blotted out their name forever and ever.
The enemy has come to an end in perpetual ruins,
And You have uprooted the cities;
The very memory of them has perished.

But the Lord abides forever;
He has established His throne for judgment,
And He will judge the world in righteousness;
He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.
The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed,
A stronghold in times of trouble;
10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”  Psalm 9:5-10.

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah chapter 46.  Here is a link to this chapter –  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+46&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

25 The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, says, “Behold, I am going to punish Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt along with her gods and her kings, even Pharaoh and those who trust in him.  26 I shall give them over to the power of those who are seeking their lives, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of his officers.  Afterwards, however, it will be inhabited as in the days of old,” declares the Lord.

27 “But as for you, O Jacob My servant, do not fear,
Nor be dismayed, O Israel!
For, see, I am going to save you from afar,
And your descendants from the land of their captivity;
And Jacob will return and be undisturbed
And secure, with no one making him tremble.
28 “O Jacob My servant, do not fear,” declares the Lord,
“For I am with you.
For I will make a full end of all the nations
Where I have driven you,
Yet I will not make a full end of you;
But I will correct you properly
And by no means leave you unpunished.”  Jeremiah 46:25-28.

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Cursed are those who trust in man.

“The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, says, “Behold, I am going to punish Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt along with her gods and her kings, even Pharaoh and those who trust in him.”  Verse 25.

Blessed are those who trust in God.

“But as for you, O Jacob My servant, do not fear,
Nor be dismayed, O Israel!
For, see, I am going to save you from afar,
And your descendants from the land of their captivity;
And Jacob will return and be undisturbed
And secure, with no one making him tremble.”  Verse 27.

We are reminded of the following Scripture from this same book of Jeremiah that puts it all together.

Thus says the Lord,
Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
“For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:5-8.

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah chapter 45.

This is the message which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written down these words in a book at Jeremiah’s dictation, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying:  “Thus says the Lord the God of Israel to you, O Baruch:  ‘You said, “Ah, woe is me!  For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain;  I am weary with my groaning and have found no rest.”’  Thus you are to say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, what I have built I am about to tear down, and what I have planted I am about to uproot, that is, the whole land.”  But you, are you seeking great things for yourself?  Do not seek them;  for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh,’ declares the Lord, ‘but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go.’”  Jeremiah chapter 45.

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20 Come, my people, enter into your rooms
And close your doors behind you;
Hide for a little while
Until indignation runs its course.
21 For behold, the Lord is about to come out from His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
And the earth will reveal her bloodshed
And will no longer cover her slain.”  Isaiah 26:20-21.

You are my hiding place;  You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.  Selah.”  Psalm 32:7.

Lord, You will establish peace for us,
Since You have also performed for us all our works.”  Isaiah 26:12.

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
“Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.”  Isaiah 26:3-4.

Other doctrine scrambles frantically left and right, trying to figure out what to do. 

But, Reformed Doctrine seeks the LORD continually and hides in Him. 

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
10 No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
12 They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 “With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”  Psalm chapter 91.

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah chapter 44.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+44&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

Then Jeremiah said to all the people, including all the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, as follows:  ‘As for you and your wives, you have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled it with your hands, saying, “We will certainly perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.”  Go ahead and confirm your vows, and certainly perform your vows!’  Nevertheless hear the word of the Lord, all Judah who are living in the land of Egypt, ‘Behold, I have sworn by My great name,’ says the Lord, ‘never shall My name be invoked again by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, “As the Lord God lives.”  Behold, I am watching over them for harm and not for good, and all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will meet their end by the sword and by famine until they are completely gone.  Those who escape the sword will return out of the land of Egypt to the land of Judah few in number.  Then all the remnant of Judah who have gone to the land of Egypt to reside there will know whose word will stand, Mine or theirs.  This will be the sign to you,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am going to punish you in this place, so that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for harm.’  Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am going to give over Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt to the hand of his enemies, to the hand of those who seek his life, just as I gave over Zedekiah king of Judah to the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who was his enemy and was seeking his life.’”  Jeremiah 44:24-30.

———————

Despite the word of the LORD regarding punishment, the remnant of Judah who had gone to Egypt to reside there thought they could do what they wanted without punishment from the LORD.  They thought they could reside in Egypt.  They thought they could burn sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.  

And, there are many today, despite the word of the LORD regarding punishment, who think that they can do what they want without punishment from the LORD. 

The LORD declared to the remnant of Judah who had gone to Egypt to reside there that they “… will know whose word will stand, Mine or theirs.”  Verse 28. 

“Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the Lord will stand.”  Proverbs 19:21.

10 The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.”  Psalm 33:10-11.

“Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”

He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
“But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

“I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”

10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”  Psalm chapter 2.

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