Old Testament: Lamentations 4:1-5:22
Lamentations 4:1-5:22 A Patriotic Pray-er
Chap. 4 Jeremiah further describes the devastation of Judah and Jerusalem. He says the false prophets were treated like lepers when they were finally identified for leading everyone astray (v. 13, 15). Would that Christians would more readily discover the false prophets today. Jeremiah told us that “you will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). Believers can recognize false prophets and unsound doctrine the same way.
Chap. 5 Though Jeremiah has not personally sinned, he takes on the sins of the nation in his prayer (cf. Dan. 9:1-19). He asks God to restore Judah.
New Testament: Hebrews 2:1-18
Hebrews 2:1-18 Shock And Awesome
The writer is saying that if the law given to Moses was mediated by angels (v. 2, later Judaism held that angels were involved in the giving of the law) and Christ is greater than angels, we should pay attention all the more to the message of the gospel. Remember the writer is dealing with devout Jews who had come to Christ but are in danger of drifting back to the law and customs of Judaism. In the not distant future, the entire sacrificial system would cease when the Temple was destroyed by the invading Romans. The book of Hebrews is normally dated in the late 60’s A.D. and the Temple was demolished in 70 A.D.
The author asked the Hebrews how they could possibly ignore such a great salvation that was given to them through Christ and then confirmed by miracles (vv. 3-4). Note that the signs and wonders confirmed the message, they were not simply for the believers’ enjoyment. They were also performed by the apostles not by the average church attender (v. 4, cf. Acts 2:43; Acts 5:12; 2 Cor. 12:12). Their purpose was to confirm that the message of the gospel was from God and superseded the Old Testament message. God can certainly do signs and wonders today if He wants to but they were mainly to confirm the message of the Resurrection. Beware of false prophets today claiming to perform signs and wonders. They were done in New Testament times according the will of the Holy Spirit (v. 4b).
Angels will not rule supreme in the future but Christ will (v. 8). In fact, believers will rank higher than angels in the next world (vv. 7-8). Psalm 8:4-6 is quoted in vv. 6-8 to show that for a short while (v. 7a) Christ was ranked lower than angels when he became a man. He will later have all subjugated to Him (v. 7b-9; cf. Ps. 2:7-9; Ps. 110:1; Phil. 2:9-11).
Yahweh, in His wisdom, deemed it necessary that Christ mature through sufferings (v. 10). NIV translates the NASB “author” as “pioneer” which makes a little more sense (ESV renders it, “founder”). We all have the same Father as Christ, therefore we are brothers with Christ. What an amazing truth! In verse 12 and 13, Ps. 22:22 is quoted along with Isa. 8:17-18. Jesus Himself calls his Jewish apostles His brethren (John 20:17).
Jesus taking on our form of flesh and blood enabled Him to conquer Satan and death (v. 14). Jesus did not rescue the angels who had fallen but He did rescue the Jews (v. 16). It was necessary for Christ to become a man to be a perfect sacrifice for men (v. 17c) but also so He could be our eternal high priest (v. 17b, cf. Heb. 7:24-25, 28). He is the living sacrifice for our sins (v. 17d). The offering of bulls, goats and other animals was only temporary looking forward to the perfect sacrifice.
Christ suffered and was tempted (RSV) or suffered through his temptations so that He can be compassionate since He experienced the difficulties of being a man (cf. Heb. 4:15; 5:2).
Psalm 103:1-22 #blessed A By David
Proverbs 26:23 Another Shoe Dropping
The topic of the next few verses through the end of the chapter are about hypocrisy. Verse 23 sets up the whole section.
If you were to buy a cup, for example, that you thought was pure silver because the outside was silver, you would feel cheated. If it was actually a piece of pottery but was glazed with silver, you would be justifiably torqued. They might be shiny on the outside but hard and cheap on the inside.
When someone who hates you but they talk sweetly about you, you’d be vexed in the same way.
It would be irritating, wouldn’t it?
Because you know the second shoe would drop quickly. Or you should know that. Listen for it. It’s coming.
Don’t be distracted by the glitter.
Choose Life: Scripture: Hebrews 2:18 NASB “Trials And Temptations”
“For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. ” Hebrews 2:18
The first verse I ever memorized I learned the first night I was saved. The fella who led me to the Lord gave me a packet of five Scriptures to memorize. I thought it was too lengthy to commit to memory but I gave it a shot. It was 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (RSV).
The point was that believers do not have to commit sin. With the help of the Holy Spirit anyone can overcome any temptation.
The writer of Hebrews is saying that Christ in His humanity was tempted and suffered in the midst of temptation. Because He knows the difficulty of life on earth, Christ can sympathize with us (cf. Heb. 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin”). Now, I think He already knew the difficulty that we have trying to stay pure but He modeled perfection for us and identifies with us in our trials.
The next time temptation comes your way, you can remember to rely on Christ who knows what you are going through. Seize the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13 that we can always overcome any temptation and remember the example of Christ.
And when you do, you will find that you are victorious and that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Remember that your growth in the Lord is “progressive.” In other word, you improve by moving about five steps forward and three steps backward. It would be nice if we could just keep our forward motion going but most of us can’t. I remember a professor that I had in seminary explained it to us one day. He was the chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys. He said one of the players came to him and told him that he was making progress. He had had like three or four hundred affairs the year before but he had brought that down to a couple hundred.
Now don’t you feel better about your progress?
The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: Shock And Awesome