Devotional Guide, Today’s Reading – Thursday, December 17, 2020

Theme: CHRISTIANITY AND CULTURE

Text: “Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? that ye have turned justice into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood; ye that rejoice in a thing of nought, that say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength?” – Amos 6:12-13, American Standard Version.

Comment: The citation for today highlights the fact that it is a useless, wasteful and hurtful exercise for horses to be running upon rocks or for one to try to use oxen to plough on rocky terrain. When instead of justice and righteousness, one gets the opposite, then the result would be as dangerous as poison. When things are upside down, the society will suffer. This is the situation the cultures of several societies have put them. Practices such as female circumcision, drinking of human blood, subjection of widows to strange practices and so on are unchristian. It is strange also that some cultures still reject twins by abandoning them to die, while in other places they are put up for adoption. In several societies, people depend on sorcerers to tell them the future or solve problems they may have. All these are contrary to the Bible. (Leviticus 17:10; Genesis 17:10-14; Exodus 22:22-24) No true Christian will have anything to do with such aspects of the people’s culture. Now that the light of Christ is shining people should “turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.” – Acts 14:15, 16.

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