Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 21, 2017

“destined”

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 15:1-4.

“Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people;  send them away from My presence and let them go! And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord:

“Those destined for death, to death;
And those destined for the sword, to the sword;
And those destined for famine, to famine;
And those destined for captivity, to captivity.”’

I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the Lord:  “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.  I will make them an object of horror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.”  Jeremiah 15:1-4.

——————–

The word “destined” is emphasized in today’s Scripture.  I am not sure who put the word in italic font;  I did not do it.  But, in any event, the word “destined” is repeated four times in verse 2.

And so, we meditate on the emphasis of the word “destined”.

The emphasis of the word “destined” leads us to think about the sovereignty of God.  

There are those who are destined for salvation, and there are those who are destined for wrath such as we read in today’s Scripture.

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,”  1 Thessalonians 5:9.

All who dwell on the earth will worship him (the beast from the sea), everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.  If anyone has an ear, let him hear.  If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes;  if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed.  Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.”  Revelation 13:8-10.

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.”  Ephesians 1:3-6.

“…  In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,”  Ephesians 1:10-11. 

Even if we neglect meditating on the word “destined”, there is the word “appoint” in verse 3 to lead us to think about the sovereignty of God.  “I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the Lord …”

You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”  John 15:16.

“… for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God;  you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  1 Peter 2:8-10.

Other doctrine rebels against the sovereignty of God, futilely clinging to the alleged free-will of man.

But, Reformed Doctrine embraces the sovereignty of God, seeing it throughout Scripture. 

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

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 14:13-22.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+14&version=NASB

I quote only the following Scripture.

17 “You will say this word to them,
‘Let my eyes flow down with tears night and day,
And let them not cease;
For the virgin daughter of my people has been crushed with a mighty blow,
With a sorely infected wound.
18 ‘If I go out to the country,
Behold, those slain with the sword!
Or if I enter the city,
Behold, diseases of famine!
For both prophet and priest
Have gone roving about in the land that they do not know.’”

19 Have You completely rejected Judah?
Or have You loathed Zion?
Why have You stricken us so that we are beyond healing?
We waited for peace, but nothing good came;
And for a time of healing, but behold, terror!
20 We know our wickedness, O Lord,
The iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against You.
21 Do not despise us, for Your own name’s sake;
Do not disgrace the throne of Your glory;
Remember and do not annul Your covenant with us.
22 Are there any among the idols of the nations who give rain?
Or can the heavens grant showers?
Is it not You, O Lord our God?
Therefore we hope in You,
For You are the one who has done all these things.”   Jeremiah 14:17-22. 

——————————–

Jeremiah recognized the punishment of the LORD on Judah and the justice of it.

“We know our wickedness, O Lord,
The iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against You.”  Verse 20.

But, Jeremiah also recognized the lovingkindness of the LORD.

“Are there any among the idols of the nations who give rain?
Or can the heavens grant showers?
Is it not You, O Lord our God?  …”  Verse 22.

Jeremiah concludes:

“…  Therefore we hope in You,
For You are the one who has done all these things.”  Verse 22.

“For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion
According to His abundant lovingkindness.”  Lamentations 3:32.

Like the false prophets in today’s Scripture who falsely prophesied “You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I will give you lasting peace in this place.” (verse 13), other doctrine presents their false image of a god of their imaginations and desires who only shows lovingkindness.

But, Reformed Doctrine understands and knows and presents the true God of Scripture Who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for He delights in these things.

Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;  for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.

Our hope is not based on only receiving things that immediately please us upon receipt.  We do experience grief.  We do experience droughts and sickness.  Our hope is based on the Sovereign God of Scripture Who will preserve us through grief and will show us lovingkindness and will work all things for our good and our salvation.

“Q. 26.  What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?
A.  That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them;  who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father;  on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt but He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body;  and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me, in this valley of tears, turn out to my advantage;  for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.  Heidelberg Catechism.

21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
22 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
26 It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man that he should bear
The yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone and be silent
Since He has laid it on him.
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust,
Perhaps there is hope.
30 Let him give his cheek to the smiter,
Let him be filled with reproach.
31 For the Lord will not reject forever,
32 For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion
According to His abundant lovingkindness.”  Lamentations 3:21-32.

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 14:1-12.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+14&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah in regard to the drought:

“Judah mourns
And her gates languish;
They sit on the ground in mourning,
And the cry of Jerusalem has ascended.
“Their nobles have sent their servants for water;
They have come to the cisterns and found no water.
They have returned with their vessels empty;
They have been put to shame and humiliated,
And they cover their heads.
“Because the ground is cracked,
For there has been no rain on the land;
The farmers have been put to shame,
They have covered their heads.
“For even the doe in the field has given birth only to abandon her young,
Because there is no grass.
“The wild donkeys stand on the bare heights;
They pant for air like jackals,
Their eyes fail
For there is no vegetation.
Although our iniquities testify against us,
O Lord, act for Your name’s sake!
Truly our apostasies have been many,
We have sinned against You.
“O Hope of Israel,
Its Savior in time of distress,
Why are You like a stranger in the land
Or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for the night?
“Why are You like a man dismayed,
Like a mighty man who cannot save?
Yet You are in our midst, O Lord,
And we are called by Your name;
Do not forsake us!”  Jeremiah 14:1-9.

————————-

We notice that this prayer for mercy was not based on any merit of Judah.  But, rather this prayer for mercy is based on the LORD’s sake, the LORD’s name.

“Although our iniquities testify against us,
O Lord, act for Your name’s sake!  …”  Verse 7.

“…  Yet You are in our midst, O Lord,
And we are called by Your name;
Do not forsake us!”  Verse 9. 

And, we later see in the Book of Ezekiel that the LORD did show mercy for His sake, for His name.

Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went.  I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst.  Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.”  Ezekiel 36:22-23.

Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness;  and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you.  I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations.  Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations.  I am not doing this for your sake,” declares the Lord God, “let it be known to you.  Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!”  Ezekiel 36:29-32.

And yet, other doctrine bases its prayer for mercy on man’s alleged goodness, man’s will, and man’s works. 

But, Reformed Doctrine bases its prayer for mercy on God’s goodness, God’s will, and God’s work.  Consider the following that is written in the Canons of Dordt in the section FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.

Article 7.  Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, he hath out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of his own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault, from their primitive state of rectitude, into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom he from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect, and the foundation of Salvation.  

This elect number, though by nature neither better nor more deserving than the others, but with them involved in one common misery, God hath decreed to give to Christ, to be saved by him, and effectually to call and draw them to his communion by his Word and Spirit, to bestow upon them true faith, justification and sanctification;  and having powerfully preserved them in the fellowship of his Son, finally, to glorify them for the demonstration of his mercy, and for the praise of his glorious grace;  as it is written:  “According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love;  having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved,”  Ephesians 1:4,5,6.  And elsewhere: “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called;  and whom he called, them he also justified;  and whom he justified, them he also glorified,” Romans 8:30.

Article 9.  This election was not founded upon foreseen faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality of disposition in man, as the pre-requisite, cause or condition on which it depended;  but men are chosen to faith and to the obedience of faith, holiness, etc., therefore election is the fountain of every saving good;  from which proceed faith, holiness, and the other gifts of salvation, and finally eternal life itself, as its fruits and effects, according to that of the apostle:  “He hath chosen us (not because we were) but that we should be holy, and without blame, before him in love,”  Ephesians 1:4.

Article 10.  The good pleasure of God is the sole cause of this gracious election;  which doth not consist herein, that out of all possible qualities and actions of men God has chosen some as a condition of salvation;  but that he was pleased out of the common mass of sinners to adopt some certain persons as a peculiar people to himself, as it is written, “For the children being not yet born neither having done any good or evil,” etc., it was said (namely to Rebecca):  “the elder shall serve the younger;  as it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated,”  Romans 9:11,12,13.  “And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed,”  Acts 13:48.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 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.”  Ephesians 2:4-7.

For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:15-16.

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 13:12-27.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+13&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

15 Listen and give heed, do not be haughty,
For the Lord has spoken.
16 Give glory to the Lord your God,
Before He brings darkness
And before your feet stumble
On the dusky mountains,
And while you are hoping for light
He makes it into deep darkness,
And turns it into gloom.
17 But if you will not listen to it,
My soul will sob in secret for such pride;
And my eyes will bitterly weep
And flow down with tears,
Because the flock of the Lord has been taken captive.
18 Say to the king and the queen mother,
“Take a lowly seat,
For your beautiful crown
Has come down from your head.”
19 The cities of the Negev have been locked up,
And there is no one to open them;
All Judah has been carried into exile,
Wholly carried into exile.

20 “Lift up your eyes and see
Those coming from the north.
Where is the flock that was given you,
Your beautiful sheep?
21 “What will you say when He appoints over you—
And you yourself had taught them—
Former companions to be head over you?
Will not pangs take hold of you
Like a woman in childbirth?
22 “If you say in your heart,
‘Why have these things happened to me?’
Because of the magnitude of your iniquity
Your skirts have been removed
And your heels have been exposed.
23 “Can the Ethiopian change his skin
Or the leopard his spots?
Then you also can do good
Who are accustomed to doing evil.
24 “Therefore I will scatter them like drifting straw
To the desert wind.
25 “This is your lot, the portion measured to you
From Me,” declares the Lord,
“Because you have forgotten Me
And trusted in falsehood.”  Jeremiah 13:15-25.

———————–

In today’s Scripture, we read the prophecy of the terrible things that would happen to Judah, because they forgot the LORD and trusted in falsehood.

“This is your lot, the portion measured to you
From Me,” declares the Lord,
“Because you have forgotten Me
And trusted in falsehood.”  Verse 25.

This could happen to us too if we forget the LORD and trust in falsehood.

“Listen and give heed, do not be haughty,
For the Lord has spoken.”  Verse 15.

We never, ever, ever want to forget the LORD.  We never, ever, ever want to trust in falsehood.  We need to recognize the temptations that lead us to wander in that direction.

We may put our work before the LORD.  We are too busy with our work to daily read and meditate on God’s Word.  We are too busy to attend church.

We put our recreation before the LORD.  We want to stay up so late on Saturday that we don’t feel like going to church on Sunday, or we rather play golf than attend church.

We put our children before the LORD.  We go to our children’s soccer games or other sports instead of church. 

We cave into family pressure to attend certain family events instead of church. 

We may stay at a church that has drifted away from truth just because family members or friends attend there.  

We may allow society’s messages (that all religions are equally valid and that adherence to the Christian faith is intolerant and aggressive to others) to turn us away from the LORD and truth.  

Joshua led the people of Israel from the wilderness into the Promised Land.  Despite all that the LORD had shown to the people of Israel, they needed to be warned, and so in His farewell address, here is part of what Joshua said.

But you are to cling to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.  For the Lord has driven out great and strong nations from before you; and as for you, no man has stood before you to this day.  One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.  So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God.  For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, know with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you;  but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.

“Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed;  all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.  It shall come about that just as all the good words which the Lord your God spoke to you have come upon you, so the Lord will bring upon you all the threats, until He has destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.  When you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the Lord will burn against you, and you will perish quickly from off the good land which He has given you.”  Joshua 23:8-16.

There is no hope in other doctrine which depends on man, man’s will to stay faithful, and man’s work.

But, there is hope in Reformed Doctrine which depends on God, God’s will, and God’s preservation of His saints.

Article 3.  By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength.  But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.  FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints of Canons of Dordt.

This is “Preservation of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;  and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 13:1-11.

“Thus the Lord said to me, “Go and buy yourself a linen waistband and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water.”  So I bought the waistband in accordance with the word of the Lord and put it around my waist.  Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “Take the waistband that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a crevice of the rock.”  So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord had commanded me.  After many days the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates and take from there the waistband which I commanded you to hide there.”  Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the waistband from the place where I had hidden it;  and lo, the waistband was ruined, it was totally worthless.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Just so will I destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.  This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just like this waistband which is totally worthless.  For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory;  but they did not listen.’”  Jeremiah 13:1-11.

—————————

From today’s Scripture, we read the LORD’s prophecy of what He will do to Judah and Jerusalem who refused to listen to His words.  

Thus says the Lord, ‘Just so will I destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.  This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just like this waistband which is totally worthless.”  Verses 9-10.

And, from the following Scripture, in addition to the negative consequences of refusing to listening to the LORD, we read positive consequences of listening to the LORD. 

“Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you;
O Israel, if you would listen to Me!
“Let there be no strange god among you;
Nor shall you worship any foreign god.
10 “I, the Lord, am your God,
Who brought you up from the land of Egypt;
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

11 “But My people did not listen to My voice,
And Israel did not obey Me.
12 “So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart,
To walk in their own devices.
13 “Oh that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!
14 “I would quickly subdue their enemies
And turn My hand against their adversaries.
15 “Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to Him,
And their time of punishment would be forever.
16 “But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”  Psalm 81:8-16.

But, as much sense as it is to listen to the LORD, we will still not listen to the LORD unless it has been granted to us from the LORD to listen to Him.

60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement;  who can listen to it?”  61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble?  62 What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?  63 It is the Spirit who gives life;  the flesh profits nothing;  the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.  64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.  65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”  John 6:60-65.

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 12:7-17.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+12&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“I have forsaken My house,
I have abandoned My inheritance;
I have given the beloved of My soul
Into the hand of her enemies.
“My inheritance has become to Me
Like a lion in the forest;
She has roared against Me;
Therefore I have come to hate her.
“Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me?
Are the birds of prey against her on every side?
Go, gather all the beasts of the field,
Bring them to devour!
10 “Many shepherds have ruined My vineyard,
They have trampled down My field;
They have made My pleasant field
A desolate wilderness.
11 “It has been made a desolation,
Desolate, it mourns before Me;
The whole land has been made desolate,
Because no man lays it to heart.
12 “On all the bare heights in the wilderness
Destroyers have come,
For a sword of the Lord is devouring
From one end of the land even to the other;
There is no peace for anyone.
13 “They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns,
They have strained themselves to no profit.
But be ashamed of your harvest
Because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”  Jeremiah 12:7-13.

———————-

Other doctrine presents its god based on its desires and imaginations, some kind of Santa Claus subject to “the beck and call” of man.

But, Reformed Doctrine presents the God of Scripture, the true God Who does have “fierce anger”.  Verse 13.

“But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth quakes,
And the nations cannot endure His indignation.”  Jeremiah 10:10.

There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.”  Jeremiah 10:6-7.

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 12:1-6.

“Righteous are You, O Lord, that I would plead my case with You;
Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You:
Why has the way of the wicked prospered?
Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?
You have planted them, they have also taken root;
They grow, they have even produced fruit.
You are near to their lips
But far from their mind.
But You know me, O Lord;
You see me;
And You examine my heart’s attitude toward You.
Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter
And set them apart for a day of carnage!
How long is the land to mourn
And the vegetation of the countryside to wither?
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it,
Animals and birds have been snatched away,
Because men have said, “He will not see our latter ending.”

“If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
Then how can you compete with horses?
If you fall down in a land of peace,
How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?
“For even your brothers and the household of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you,
Even they have cried aloud after you.
Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you.”  Jeremiah 12:1-6.

—————————

“… Why has the way of the wicked prospered?  …”  Verse 1.

This question has been asked by the righteous from time to time throughout the ages as was done by the Psalmist in the following Scripture.

But, God protects and guides the righteous to understanding, comfort, peace, and even glory. 

12 Behold, these are the wicked;
And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
And washed my hands in innocence;
14 For I have been stricken all day long
And chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
16 When I pondered to understand this,
It was troublesome in my sight
17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.
18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form.”  Psalm 73:12-20.

“For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.”  Psalm 73:27.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
24 With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.”  Psalm 73:23-24.

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah chapter 11.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+11&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;  and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Cursed is the man who does not heed the words of this covenant which I commanded your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Listen to My voice, and do according to all which I command you;  so you shall be My people, and I will be your God,’ in order to confirm the oath which I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.”’” Then I said, “Amen, O Lord.”

And the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them.  For I solemnly warned your fathers in the day that I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, warning persistently, saying, “Listen to My voice.”  Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked, each one, in the stubbornness of his evil heart;  therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.’”

Then the Lord said to me, “A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them;  the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.”  Therefore thus says the Lord, “Behold I am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape;  though they will cry to Me, yet I will not listen to them.  Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they surely will not save them in the time of their disaster.  For your gods are as many as your cities, O Judah;  and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to the shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal.”  Jeremiah 11:1-13.

—————————-

The LORD commanded:  “Listen to My voice, and do according to all which I command you” and “Hear the words of this covenant and do them”.  Verses 4 and 6.

But, the people of Judah and Jerusalem “… did not obey or incline their ear, but walked, each one, in the stubbornness of his evil heart …”.  Verse 8.

Therefore thus says the Lord, “Behold I am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape …”.  Verse 11.

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.  Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.”  1 Corinthians 10:11-12. 

Jesus said:  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house;  and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.  Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house;  and it fell—and great was its fall.”  Matthew 7:24-27. 

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 10:14-25.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+10&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

23 I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself,
Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.

24 Correct me, O Lord, but with justice;
Not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing.
25 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You
And on the families that do not call Your name;
For they have devoured Jacob;
They have devoured him and consumed him
And have laid waste his habitation.”  Jeremiah 10:23-25. 

———————

Other doctrine preaches and teaches man’s alleged free-will.

But, Reformed Doctrine preaches and teaches God’s sovereignty.

“I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself,
Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.”  Verse 23.

The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9.

“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it wherever He wishes.”  Proverbs 21:1.

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

For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.”  So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault?  For who resists His will?”  On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?  The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?  Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?  What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?  And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.”  Romans 9:15-24.

“9 “Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of My purpose from a far country.
Truly I have spoken;  truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it.”  Isaiah 46:9-11. 

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 10:1-13.

“Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.  Thus says the Lord,

“Do not learn the way of the nations,
And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens
Although the nations are terrified by them;
For the customs of the peoples are delusion;
Because it is wood cut from the forest,
The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
“They decorate it with silver and with gold;
They fasten it with nails and with hammers
So that it will not totter.
“Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot walk!
Do not fear them,
For they can do no harm,
Nor can they do any good.”

There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
But they are altogether stupid and foolish
In their discipline of delusion—their idol is wood!
Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
And gold from Uphaz,
The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith;
Violet and purple are their clothing;
They are all the work of skilled men.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth quakes,
And the nations cannot endure His indignation.

11 Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”

12 It is He who made the earth by His power,
Who established the world by His wisdom;
And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.
13 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain,
And brings out the wind from His storehouses.”  Jeremiah 10:1-13.

—————————-

There are idols.

“Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot walk!
Do not fear them,
For they can do no harm,
Nor can they do any good.”  Verse 5.

“But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth quakes,
And the nations cannot endure His indignation.”  Verse 10.

There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.”  Verses 6-7.

But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;
They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;
They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.
Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them.”  Psalm 115:3-8.

Although they may not worship an idol made of wood, silver, and gold, we see too many worship idols of their own imaginations and desires.

They form a god whom they can control, a god who serves man and ignores sin and only shows lovingkindness to man, a type of Santa Claus.

But, we see the God of Scripture Who is not controlled by man, but rather is the One true living Almighty God, a just everlasting King Who has wrath against the wickedness of man, “the nations cannot endure His indignation”.

And yet, they futilely cling to their illusions of man’s alleged free-will to which their god must bow.

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!”  Psalm 2:2-3.

But, what is the LORD’s response?

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 2:4-12.

Older Posts »

Categories