AUGUST 6, 2021 ~ JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE CHRONOLOGICALLY
AUGUST 6 READINGS...Jeremiah 19:1-20:18 & Daniel 1:1-21
In today’s readings the Lord calls Jeremiah to give the leaders of Israel a visible illustration of what the Lord is about to bring upon them in judgment. He is told to take a clay jar and call the leaders to the valley of Ben-Hinnom, the garbage dump. Break the jar into pieces in that valley wher they allowed their children to be burned in sacrifice to the false gods Baal and Molech, and tell them this is what will happen to them. Tell them that their bodies will rot there in the garbage dump. Pashhur the priest in charge of the Temple detested what Jeremiah had said and had him whipped and thrown in jail over night. The next morning Jeremiah told him of the terror to come…and that Pashhur and his descendants would be carried off to Babylon, and die there. As you can imagine all these terrible prophecies and the mockery of the leaders of Judah weighed heavy on Jeremiah. He lamented that everyday he was mocked, that everyone laugh at him…he had become a household joke. But then he says he must speak the words of the Lord for they burn like fire in his heart…they are like fire in his bones. He knows the Lord stands by him as a mighty warrior…but he still laments the day he was born. We certainly would not want to have been Jeremiah…for his entire life was filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame. Don’t expect the world, or the religious “dead heads” (the elite) to accept when we speak the words of God in our day. Jesus told us that as we followed Him, and spoke His word in this world we would be hated and rejected, just as He was…just as it’s always been.
We now come chronologically to the time of Daniel (my favorite book). Chapter one of Daniel speaks of the fulfillment of the word of Isaiah given to Hezekiah about Babylon capturing Jerusalem, and the “sons” of Hezekiah being taken captive (Isaiah 39). These royal descendants that are taken captive include Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. If you are reading in the New Living Translation it does not clarify that these young men were made eunuchs in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. That is what Isaiah prophesied would happen and most translations of Daniel chapter one refer to Ashpenaz as the chief of the eunuchs. These four young men were to be assimilated, and become as Babylonians. They were forced to learn the culture, and even eat the food, which was clearly unclean to them. Daniel did not want to defile himself so he asked the chief of the eunuchs if he and the others could only eat clean food. The Lord gave him favor in their eyes and they were allowed to eat only the clean food. The Lord blessed these younger g men’s faithfulness…and made them healthier and stronger than all the other captives. God then gave them great wisdom and knowledge, so that they outshone all the others. So much so that whenever the king consulted them, he found them ten times more capable than all others. These four young men are an example to us…it’s not your environment, or your circumstances, that ought to determine who we are, or what we do…it should always be out faith in the one, true, and living God!
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading. Speak the things of God, even if they laugh and mock you. Live the way of God, even if it sets you contrary to the spirit of the age. Our God is faithful to those who are faithful.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Daniel 2:1-3:30 & Jeremiah 7:1-8:3