October 25, 2011
Jeremiah 48:1-49:22; 2 Timothy 4:1-22;
Psalm 95:1-96:13; Proverbs 26:9-12
First, God warns through Jeremiah that the people of Moab will be destroyed. They are described as a bottle that will be smashed. The people of the god of Chemosh will be no more. You may remember that the Moabites come from Lot and his daughter. Do you remember that when Lot fled from Sodom and Gomorrah, his wife was turned into a pillar of salt after she looked back at the cities being destroyed? Lot and his daughters escaped to a cave where Lot slept with both of his daughters. Moab was his son from his oldest daughter.
The Moabites are the people who hired Balaam to curse Israel. David's grandmother, Ruth, was also a Moabite. God is proclaiming that their time is up. He has endured the false religion of the Moabites long enough. Their sons and daughters will be carted away to captivity. Interestingly, God promises to restore the Moabites one day.
The Ammonites also descended from Lot. Ammon was the son of Lot and his younger daughter. The Ammonites refused to let the Israelites pass through their land in the Exodus. They also worked with Eglon in the book of Judges against the Israelites.
They worshipped a demon god called Molech. Very similar to Chemosh, Molech also required child sacrifice. The Israelites fell into worshipping Molech, too. God describes the Ammonites being pursued and overtaken in the future, but once again, He promises to restore their fortunes.
The Edomites come from Esau, who was Jacob's twin brother. You probably remember that Jacob deceived Esua out of both his birthright and his blessing. The brothers eventually reconciled, but Esua's descendants were a thorn in the side of the Israelites, who were Jacob's descendants. Edom also did not allow the Israelites to pass through their territory on the way to the Promised Land. God promises destruction for Edom and punishment for their past sins against Israel.
2 Timothy 4:1-22:
Paul reminds Timothy that Jesus will one day judge the living and the dead. With this in mind, Paul admonishes Timothy to preach the Word of God. Be persistent in this, even if the timing does not seem right. A teacher is to patiently rebuke, correct, and encourage people. Paul warns that in a future day, people will be very hard to teach.
He encourages Timothy to be prepared for suffering. Don't be afraid of it. Work at bringing people to Christ.
We see Paul's swan song. His life has been poured out as a drink offering to God. What a beautiful picture of humility and surrender. Paul knows he has fought the good fight. He has finished the race and has remained faithful. Paul is looking forward to a reward for a life lived by faith. Paul is showing up til the last minute of his life. This is how one should look to Christ for hope.
Paul says that Luke is with him. He asks Timothy to bring his coat, books, and his papers. Here is a true and honest relationship. We learn that Paul has felt alone in some of his trials in Rome. He says that only the Lord stood with him. Paul confirms that it is the Lord who is going to successfully bring Paul into His Kingdom.
This is the hope of all Christians. Have you ever felt alone in a trial? Have you ever felt abandoned by people who should have supported you? Paul shows us that Christ is always near. He is faithful and true. Ultimately, it is only Christ who will bring you into eternity and His Kingdom. We all face death alone. Nobody walks through that door with us, except Christ. This gives us proper perspective in life. Once we understand what will happen in death, we are better prepared to face life.
Here is a song of praise for God and His salvation. Here is verse 13, "For the Lord is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness and all the nations with His truth."
Our reading today confirms this.
More poetic comments about fools. This helps as we deal with fools in our lives.
What did you learn today?