Jeremiah 30:1-31:26; 1 Timothy 2:1-15; Psalm 87:1-7; Proverbs 25:18-19
Two things really stuck out to me about today's readings:
First, Jeremiah gets a break. He finally gets to prophesy some happy news. "He who scattered Israel will gather them...for the Lord will ransom Jacob....they will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord" (Jer. 31: 10-12). He must have been so glad that though Israel will fall, the Lord will still redeem them. He must have been so glad to carry that message.
That is still true for us today. Though we may turn away from the Lord and fall, he is waiting and longing to redeem us. The Lord loves us with an everlasting love and he will build us up again (see Jer. 31:3). So much so that we will “go out to dance with the joyful" (Jer. 31:4). I know that seems almost impossible to imagine when we are in the midst of our crisis. But if it could be true of Israel at that time, it could be true for us as well.
Second, I was again reminded "that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Everywhere I look, I see God calling us to pray and trust in Him, not in the government, not in ruling bodies, not in powers or authorities of this world, but in Him. One of the ways we trust and partner with Him is in praying for these ruling bodies. And we don't just haphazardly pray, but we do it in earnest, with requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving. That's a tall order.
Why do we do this? One, so that we may live peaceful lives and also because "this is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:3-4). So, we don't just do it for our own comforts, but for the sake of their salvation! The order gets taller.
Lord, we thank you that you always show mercy and you always bring restoration to those who have wandered from you. May we turn our hearts towards you and joyfully anticipate the abundance you bring. We also pray for those in positions of authority over us and our lands. We pray that they will be just and good rulers. We thank you for them. We ask that they may know you, the one true God, and bend their knees to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- Mary Matthias
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