Devotional Thoughts for Today
Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the LORD has spoken. 16 Give glory to the LORD your God before he brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light he turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness. 17 But if you will not listen, my soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock has been taken captive.
In my Introductory Greek class, we learned the Greek alphabet during the first week of school. I remember quickly memorizing all 24 letters and then moving on to homework that was actually due. When exam time came along, our T.A. told us to make sure we knew the Greek alphabet, and I happily checked it off the list of things I didn’t need to study because I already knew them. We got our exams and, lo and behold, the last question wrote, “Spell out the entire Greek alphabet.” To no one’s surprise, I could not answer the question and lost out on ten very much needed extra credit points. I left the exam recalling my T.A.’s words and wondering why I just didn’t spend five extra minutes brushing up on the alphabet…
In our passage today, Jeremiah is preaching the same message he had been preaching all along to the people of Israel. He says, “Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the Lord has spoken…” and reinforces God’s commandments to worship Him alone. Jeremiah preaches this message for approximately 20 years until the Babylonians invade Israel as a result of Israel’s disobedience.
The reason my T.A. re-told our class to know the Greek alphabet wasn’t because he thought we didn’t learn it the first time; it was because he knew we had forgotten it by midterm season. Only our exam results would show who had heard the heart behind my T.A.’s words. Likewise, Jeremiah prophesies repeatedly because he knows it’s what the people need to hear, and that they haven’t turned from their rebellious ways yet. He asks them to “give ear” and “not be proud” to God’s call to obedience, which seemed harsh at first, but would ultimately be life-giving. Here, the ability to hear is not based on how many times we hear something, how many services we attend, or how many devotionals we read, but it’s based on the attitude of our hearts. Today, let’s humble ourselves and give our ears and hearts to what God has been speaking in our own lives.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You always speak to us, even when we can’t or refuse to hear You. Forgive us for when we turn a deaf ear to You and speak to us again today because we are listening. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 25
Lunch Break Study
Read Exodus 3:14-17: Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, v“I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, land flowing with milk and honey.”’
Questions to Consider
- God could have introduced Himself to Moses (and effectively Israel) in different ways and from different perspectives, but He chose to introduce Himself this way. Describe what He is highlighting.
- Why do you think God says, “I have observed you and what has been done to in Egypt…”?
- This is an important passage in the OT where God reveals Himself in a direct way. Is there anything new that you have learned about who God is, biblically?
- God highlights the relationship with Israel He has already built as the God and faithful Deliverer of their forefathers. He is not a foreign God, but One who has been with them and cared for them since the beginning.
- God seems to be affirming the pain and suffering Israel has endured thus far. This is powerful in our own lives because God does not ignore but affirms our own pain and suffering, whether it was caused by our own sin or not.
- Personal reflection.
Was there anything you felt like you’ve been ignoring or forgotten about that God re-highlighted today? Many times, we forget how to hear His voice because it feels like we have to face this life alone. Let’s remember this is not the case and that God has been working in our lives from the beginning and align our hearts to His voice and leadership, again.