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Free Daily Bible notes by Rev Stephen Thompson


May 2015

Daily Bible thoughts 870: Tuesday 5th May 2015: Jeremiah 5:10, 11

 Jeremiah 5:10-11

‘’Don’t show me up!’’

How many times did I hear the above exhortation from my mother during my childhood days?! She was acutely aware that her reputation with other people was tied up with my behaviour. I had the ability to redden her cheeks with shamed embarrassment. Maybe I sometimes used that ability (even if not necessarily with intent!)

These people thought they belonged to God, but for a long time they had not behaved like they did (10). They had acted unfaithfully. As we have seen, they were spiritually adulterous. We might say they had shown the Lord up before men. They were like besmirched mirrors that could not properly reflect the Lord’s glory.

Once again, though, in the face of judgment there is hope (10); there is evidence of mercy shown. God had promised to give Abraham an everlasting nation (Genesis 17:7, 8) and therefore He intended to leave a remnant out of which a renewed and purified nation could arise. The branches would be ripped off, but the root and stock spared.

Prayer: Thank you dear Lord that you remain faithful regardless of how we are. Nevertheless, may that fruit of the Spirit which is faithfulness grow in us more and more.

Daily Bible thoughts 869: Monday 4th May 2015: Jeremiah 5:1-9

Jeremiah 5:1-9

I have found, at times, that people can use pious language but live far from God. This was so in Jeremiah’s day (2). Some hypocritical people freely use religious language, but they can’t hide from God. He sees through the cloak of their verbal ‘fig leaves’. These opening verses depict a desperate scenario. God’s city was full of injustice. Here was behaviour to befit pagans. That’s what the people had become at heart (8, 9). Virtually the entire population was corrupt.

God is longsuffering. He sends preliminary warnings, prior to the main event of judgment (2 Peter 3:8, 9). The people to whom Jeremiah was preaching had not responded to God’s chastisements, other than by hardening their hearts. We should not be surprised if some set themselves against the gospel, the good news of Jesus. It will sadden us, but it ought not to surprise us. Although God is patient and merciful and gives repeated calls for repentance, not everyone will turn from sin and trust in His dear Son.

The leaders had greater knowledge and therefore greater responsibility (4-6). But there was not a flicker of an appropriate response from them either. ‘’Then I said to myself, ‘’Well, these are just poor people. They don’t know any better. They were never taught anything about GOD. They never went to prayer meetings. I’ll find some people from the best families. I’ll talk to them. They’ll know what’s going on, the way GOD works. They’ll know the score.’’ But they were no better! Rebels all! Off doing their own thing.’’ The Message. So Babylon would become the agent of God’s judgment (6). The Babylonians are pictured here as wild animals.

Idolatry lay at the centre of all that was wrong in the land (7-9). The sexual imagery speaks of the fact that the people had abandoned the Lord, their true ‘Husband’ and deserted Him for other ‘lovers’ (gods). They were spiritual adulterers. It also underlines the point that promiscuous sex was part of the religion itself. Their corrupt worship erupted in this terrible lava of immoral behaviour, flowing down to cover and destroy society. Their sin against God was a sin against Love. ‘’I satisfied their deepest needs, and then they went off with the ‘sacred’ whores, left me for orgies in sex shrines! A bunch of well-groomed, lusty stallions, each one pawing and snorting for his neighbour’s wife.’’ The Message.

Throughout this passage you get a feeling of the heart-broken, yearning love of God. The Lord is longing for His people to turn to Him and live right. He doesn’t want them to experience the punishment that is now available. But there does come a point where it is too late to change. ‘’…the people’s sins are piled sky-high; their betrayals are past counting.’’ The Message. If you keep pushing away the good news about Jesus who has come to save us; if you keep rejecting Him rather than receiving Him, there will come a point of no return.

‘’Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?’’ (9b). Probably the people of every nation should examine themselves in the light of this question.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for your patient love. Enable me to not take you for granted.

Daily Bible thoughts 868: Friday 1st May 2015: Proverbs 24:5-14

Proverbs 24:5-14

‘’It’s better to be wise than strong; intelligence outranks muscle any day. Strategic planning is the key to warfare; to win you need a lot of good counsel.’’ The Message.

Before taking on an appointment with a Christian organisation, a well-known Bible teacher asked permission to consult with some trusted friends. He quoted (6): ‘’In the multitude of counsellors there is wisdom.’’ Furthermore, wisdom is sweet (13, 14). But not everyone tastes it (7): ‘’Wise conversation is way over the head of fools; in a serious discussion they haven’t a clue.’’ The Message.

It certainly is unwise to be a ‘’schemer’’ (8).

Trouble is a revealer of character (10): ‘’If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place.’’ We usually don’t know what strength we have until trouble comes knocking on the door. Then we discover that we are stronger than we thought – or weaker.

The next verses (11, 12) remind me of the evangelistic responsibility of the church:

‘’Rescue the perishing: don’t hesitate to step in and help. If you say, ‘’Hey, that’s none of my business,’’ will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know – Someone not impressed with weak excuses.’’ The Message.

‘’If we know someone is in mortal danger and do not try to save him, God will judge us. This applies to those who are in spiritual danger as well; this is why Christians are called to share the Gospel with unbelievers (1 Corinthians 9:16). We may invent excuses for not doing so, but God weighs our heart (Proverbs 21:2); He will repay us according to what we have done (Psalm 62:12; Romans 2:6) – and also according to what we should have done but didn’t (James 4:17).’’ Tom Hale: ‘The applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.957.

In our church small groups this week we learned about ‘the good Samaritan’ and how we are to be a ‘neighbour’ to anyone in need. We must not ‘pass by on the other side’ but, like the Samaritan, go to where the need is. There are no excuses.

Prayer: Lord give us growing hearts of compassion.

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