This week in our reading we see Jerusalem fall to King Nebuchadnezzar. God’s judgement falls on Judah for the wickedness and idolatry that has been rampant for years. King Nebuchadnezzar takes captive all the officials, the mighty men of valor and the craftsmen and brings them to Babylon. But in the midst of the destruction and captivity, we see people who are still faithful and obedient to God. God is still speaking through prophets like Jeremiah and Ezekiel and we see men like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego remain faithful to the Lord even when it could cost them their lives. In the midst of all the chaos, God is still working.
s – I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. (Jeremiah 24:7)
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah…I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people… For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31: 31, 33, 34)
o – In the time we are living in it can be easy to lose sight of what God is doing, to think that the world has become so wicked that the evil will overcome the good. But God is building His kingdom and a people just as He had a remnant of people who were faithful to Him in captivity. We are part of the new covenant that is mentioned in Jeremiah 31! Jesus has paid the price for our sin and we are forgiven. God has written his word on our hearts. He has given us His Spirit so that we have the power to live for Him. We are now sons and daughters of God!
a – In our generation, we can be like Daniel and his friends, like Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and choose to be obedient in the midst of a culture that continually turns away from God. We can shine like lights in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation (Philippians 2:15). In Jeremiah 31, it says that God loved Israel with an everlasting love and even in all their disobedience God remembered them and yearned for them. Now as the sons and daughters of God, we can show that love and grace to the world around us.
p – Father, thank you that in the midst of our sin you never gave up on us. You continually call us to follow you. Thank you for the new covenant through Jesus. Thank you for your Holy Spirit who now lives within us giving us the power to live for you. Help us to not to lose hope when we see the way our culture has turned its back to you. Help us to love those around us with your love and to speak boldly of your salvation.