Daily Scripture readings for March, set #19:
“Behold, I am against you, O proud one, declares the Lord God of hosts, for your day has come, the time when I will punish you” (Jer 50:31). Earlier in Jeremiah we see that the Lord used Babylon as a tool of punishment for Israel. But now we see the Lord punishing Babylon. Why? Will God really punish Babylon for doing what he wanted them to do? Yes… because they attacked Israel in their PRIDE, not out of obedience to Yahweh. And yet, the Lord declares that Babylon’s actions against Israel are ultimately his doing. Secondary layer of reality = prideful Babylon attacks Judah and incurs punishment for themselves. Primary layer of reality = the Lord raises up prideful Babylon to do his will in punishing Israel. Whew.
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you” (Songs 4:7). This makes me think of Ephesians 5:25-27.
“But he said to them,’It is I; do not be afraid'” (Jn 6:20). I’ve commented on this before, but here it again: I’m amazed at how often the Lord says in his word to “not be afraid.” It’s constant. This is for good reason, because it’s my knee-jerk reaction in almost every situation to be fearful. Let these words from Jesus be a confidence for today, whatever it is that happens: “Do not be afraid.”
“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1Pet 3:7). This is a challenge to husbands, that they might behave rightly toward their wives (showing honor and understanding). BUT, the word “weaker” is offensive to many people. I mean, it’s there. The terms “weaker vessel” are used to describe the woman’s role in a marriage relationship. Raise your hand if you’re offended. Think about it a little and decide if you have a right to be offended. Perhaps also think about what “having a RIGHT to be offended” even means when you’re talking about the inerrant word of the sovereign creator of all things.
Daily Scripture readings for March, set #20:
“For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the Lord of hosts, but the land of the Chaldeans is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel” (Jer 51:5). Though the Lord punished Israel, he did not forsake them. Though the Lord used Babylon as the vehicle for Israel’s punishment, Babylon was never “the tribe of his inheritance” (vs 19).
“How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!” (Songs 4:10). When taken as a correspondence between man and woman, this text is a reminder that the love is, among the pleasures in life, at the top of the food chain. How tragic it is that love is often sacrificed for other less pleasurable desires.
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (Jn 6:37). Requirement for never being cast out: Coming to Jesus. Requirement for coming to Jesus: Having been GIVEN to Jesus by the Father.
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (1Pet 3:9). These traits, which James is advocating for believers to adopt, are almost entirely incompatible with debate/argument… be it political or doctrinal or whatever. Just an observation.