Devotional Thoughts for Today
“God’s Love for the Marginalized”
“Flee for safety, people of Benjamin! Flee from Jerusalem! Sound the trumpet in Tekoa! Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem! For disaster looms out of the north, even terrible destruction. 2 I will destroy Daughter Zion, so beautiful and delicate. 3 Shepherds with their flocks will come against her; they will pitch their tents around her, each tending his own portion.” 4 “Prepare for battle against her! Arise, let us attack at noon! But, alas, the daylight is fading, and the shadows of evening grow long. 5 So arise, let us attack at night and destroy her fortresses!” 6 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Cut down the trees and build siege ramps against Jerusalem. This city must be punished; it is filled with oppression. 7 As a well pours out its water, so she pours out her wickedness. Violence and destruction resound in her; her sickness and wounds are ever before me. 8 Take warning, Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you and make your land desolate so no one can live in it.” 9 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Let them glean the remnant of Israel as thoroughly as a vine; pass your hand over the branches again, like one gathering grapes.” 10 To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it. 11 But I am full of the wrath of the Lord, and I cannot hold it in.
In 2014, after living apart from my family for five years, the Lord convicted me to move back in with my parents. It was an extremely difficult decision because of my long family history, but upon hearing from the Lord that this was my next mission field, I went in faith. It wasn’t long into my move when I started experiencing the same tensions that had originally made me believe I would never live at home again. I began to react to my old ways and I felt I was being everything but the beacon of light to my family that God had called me to. It was during this time when I had one of the most vivid dreams — my mother was nearing the end of her life, and during her last moments all I could say and feel was the remorse and regret for not treating her right and spending more time with her. Upon waking up, I knew the Lord was warning me of the regret I would feel if I did not mend my relationship with my mother.
In today’s passage, Jeremiah sends warnings to various tribes in Judah to flee from Jerusalem before the destruction of the city. However, Jeremiah finds none whose ears are open and consequently, the prophet who had pleaded to God for mercy over Jerusalem, is filled with the wrath of the Lord and calls upon destruction to the city. For Jerusalem’s inability to recognize and heed the warnings from God, the entire city is turned over to judgment.
It has been about three years since I received the prophetic dream from God, and I have stayed by my family’s side, mending different aspects of our relationship. But about the time I was able to testify of the radical change I was experiencing in my family, my parents sold their home and are moving away as they figure out plans for their next stage in life. As I have been helping my parents pack up our home, I have seen the various pieces of my decision to return home, to the dream I received, to this season of parting from my family, all come together. Yet the question that irks me is, “What if I didn’t move back?” or “What if I ignored that dream?” Most likely, I would be parting from my family in regret of the time I didn’t spend with them. God is continuously sending us messages, people, Scripture, and even dreams to bring our lives to full alignment with His will. It is our job to recognize His call, heed His Word, and act upon the truth. Let us be men and women of God who recognize God’s voice and take action.
Prayer: God, I thank You that You are continuously speaking. I thank You for Your grace and patience even when I fall astray. Help me to recognize Your warnings and live a life in alignment with Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Bible Reading for Today: James 5
Lunch Break Study
Read Ezekiel 33:1-7: The word of the LORD came to me: 2″Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ 7″Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.
Questions to Consider
- What was the job of the watchman? What would happen if he did not fulfill his job?
- What would happen to the people if they did not heed the warning of the trumpet?
- In light of the importance of heeding the warnings of God, what warnings have you heard from the Lord that you must heed?
- The watchman was to blow the trumpet to warn the people that the sword was coming down. If the watchman failed to blow the trumpet he would be responsible for the ones who died.
- If the people did not heed the warning, then their life would not be spared for their sins.
- Personal response.
As we read in today’s morning and afternoon devotional, heeding the word of the Lord is a matter of life and death. God requires His children to be aware of His Father’s voice that we may walk in alignment with Him and it may be well with us. How did God speak to you today regarding obeying His Word? Did you obey? Or is God asking you to warn a brother or sister to walk in the ways of Truth? What ways can you be the watchman for those around you?