Devotional Thoughts for Today
Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are you not he, O LORD our God? We set our hope on you, for you do all these things.
One of the easiest ways to test the authenticity of gold jewelry is to burn it. Using a lighter, you can gently hold a small flame under your piece of jewelry. If your jewelry burns black, it is fake or at least partially so; but if your jewelry does not turn black but burns brightly, congratulations—it’s real, pure gold.
In our passage today, the Israelites are currently in drought and famine as a result of their idolatry and disobedience to God. They are hungry, thirsty, and tired. And now, they are optionless. At this point, Jeremiah cries out on behalf of the people, “Are there any… false gods of the nations that can bring rain?” In the greatest time of need for the Israelites, their false gods did not show up.
Since most of us don’t experience physical drought and famine today, we are probably unfamiliar with truly feeling hungry, thirsty, and tired. We’ve gone after other idols—such as ministry achievements, career, relationships, etc. and being successful with such endeavors. Yet we’ve been left feeling empty. It’s during these times where we begin to ask, What can help me? What can make me whole? At the end of our passage, Jeremiah proclaims, “Are you not he, O Lord our God? We set our hope on you, for you do all these things.” We see here that in a time of drought and dire need, when all other options are exhausted, God is the only one who can provide. Many things in our lives can seem to give us life. It could be as “good” and harmless as our ministry activities, or as “bad” and frowned upon as a publicly toxic relationship. However, let’s ask ourselves, If I were to be stripped bare and have nothing else in life, would _________ give me life? Jesus tells us that only He is the way to life (John 14:6; 11:25).
In personal seasons of drought, we may feel like only our faith is being shaken and tested. However, what if God is not only testing our faith, but also putting our idols under a flame to prove that only He is true and like pure gold?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us not to run away from seasons of drought but to see what You are doing through them. Thank You that You are the one who will provide for us through the best and worst seasons of life. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 29
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Peter 1:3-9: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Questions to Consider
- What does Peter say that we (as believers) have been born again to?
- How does this impact how we face persecution, and similarly, suffering?
- 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?
- We have been born again to an inheritance, a destiny, a future that is imperishable and waiting for us in heaven.
- First, we can be grieved or grieve over persecution and suffering, not ignore it. However, we can recognize that persecution and suffering is being used to refine our faith, which is more precious than gold or anything we can earn in this world. We can also be greatly encouraged knowing that our perseverance is resulting in praise and glory and honor with Christ when He returns. Our perseverance and steps of faith are eternally meaningful.
- Personal reflection.
Is there anything in your life that you feel like it can make you more whole than God can? Let’s not delay but bring that to the Lord and ask Him to realign our perspective.