Devotional Thoughts for This Morning
“Better Days Coming”
Jeremiah 33:14-15 (NIV)
“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah. 15 “‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.
Survey: If an expectant mother listens to Mozart, will her child actually be smarter when he/she is born? (If you are curious, feel free to search for “Mozart Effect” later for all kinds of responses.)
All parents long for a better and brighter future for their children. Parents hope that their children will not make the same mistakes they’ve made along the way. Parents hope that their children will have richer relationships than they’ve built. Parents hope that their children will discover a deeper satisfaction in their vocation. And so forth. With those aspirations in mind, parents today will go over and beyond (convinced by every book on raising kids) attempting to provide their children with a perfect combination of educational classes, physical activities, music lessons, healthy foods, virtuous friendships, etc. to ensure the success of their children. But what if a better future of our children can only be guaranteed by the Lord?
The people of Judah were heading into impending doom and punishment. For 70 years, they would be captives under Babylonian Empire (Jer 29:10). This was the discipline for the people of God as a result of their disobedience and idolatry. However, at the end of 70 years, Jeremiah prophesied that Jerusalem once again will be inhabited and restored. The Lord would not abandon His people; rather, he will “fulfill the good promise.”
For all of the Jewish parents, this was good news. Not only will their children (and grandchildren) have a better future, but they would have a reestablished spiritual future. God would raise a “righteous Branch” from the line of King David who would restore God’s justice and righteousness. (We now understand that that was a prophetic reference to Jesus Christ.) This was a guarantee from the Lord. Parent who were held in Babylonian captivity were given the good news to remind their children that a better future was soon coming, that a better spiritual future is just around the corner. The parents pointed the children towards a line of David because only He would guarantee a better future.
Perhaps a child may be smarter for having listened to Mozart while in the mother’s womb. But I guarantee that any child will stand in justice and righteousness if he/she encounters Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord, You promised that You would one day return and bring back the fulness of God’s Kingdom. Thank you for this promise and the good news. I pray that Your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as is in Heaven. In Jesus Name, Amen!
Bible Reading for Today: Job 9
Lunch Break Study
Read Proverbs 3:1-2 (CEB): My son, don’t forget my instruction. Let your heart guard my commands, 2 because they will help you live a long time and provide you with well-being.
Prov 26:10 (NIV): Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Questions to Consider
- What helps young children to eventually live a long and well-being life (another translation suggest “successful” life)?
- What are the potential outcomes for a young child’s life when raised in the Lord’s instructions?
- Are there exceptions to the rule (good parentingàgood kids; bad parentingàbad kids)? Think of King Saul, an unrighteous king, and his son Jonathan who stood for God’s righteousness throughout his short life (1 Sam. 23:16-18). What does that mean?
- To not forget God’s instructions. To guard God’s commands in their hearts. Starting with God’s commands as children.
- Although wisdom literature does not make absolute guarantees, one can expect to live a long life of well-being and remain on the path of wisdom.
- Having good kids is also God’s grace, a merited favor.
In what ways have you invested into the next generation with God’s word? (Parents, spend a few moments reading God’s word.)