Devotional Guide, Today’s Reading –Sunday, January 17, 2021

Theme: BECOMING A WISE AND UNDERSTANDING NATION

Text: “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”. – Genesis 2:15-17.

Comment: God put man in the Garden of Eden, a well-watered land that abounded with treasures, pleasantness and fruitfulness. And He made it clear that man would only continue to enjoy these benefits on the condition of obedience to His law, that is, by remaining steadfast in the doing of righteousness. However, man broke the law, following the vile influence of Satan the devil as a result of which man fell from his exalted position and started to toil, suffer and die. – Genesis 3:1-19.

The fact is that though man cannot for now reach his full potentials because of sin, but those who keep to the laws of God would enjoy His favour. It is the fear of God, that exalts a nation, not the natural resources or knowledge of science and technology. It was Jan Carew who wrote, “Learning had not increased our knowledge of good and evil but intensified and made more rationale and deadly our greed for gain“.

Obedience to the words of God is a virtue every sincere worshipper of God should cultivate. Apostle Paul, writing about Christ, said he learnt obedience by the things he suffered. (Hebrews 5:8)  God speaking through Isaiah the prophet states: “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it”. – Isaiah 1:19,20.

Theme: COMMENTARY ON HEBREWS 11:32 - 40

Text:“For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it.” – Jeremiah 32:3.

Comment: Because the king and people of Judah had given themselves to the worship of the devil, God Almighty used Jeremiah the prophet to warn them, telling them that if they would not repent, He would make Jerusalem and the temple they took pride in to suffer the fate of Shiloh, where the name of God was in earlier times before it was destroyed and abandoned. (Joshua 18:1; 19:51; 1Kings 14:2.) For warning the people against sin the leaders determined that Jeremiah must die. (Jeremiah 26:1-10) However, some of the elders, together with Ahikam, an officer of the king, intervened to prevent them from their wicked plot.

 

Again, when the Chaldeans besieged Jerusalem, Jeremiah was instructed by God to tell them to submit to their rule to avoid death and destruction. This was  seen as treason for which the leaders of the people convinced King Zedekiah to cast Jeremiah into.a well. But God also delivered him. When we stand up for the truth, even in the face of danger, God will give us victory in the end. St. Paul in his writings recalled God delivered them “from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (2 Corinthians 1:10).. He added that God Almighty shall deliver him “from every evil work, and will preserve him unto his heavenly kingdom. –  2 Timothy 4:18

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