Daily Readings & Thought for July 17th. “DO NOT PRAY FOR THIS …”
The situation which surrounded Jeremiah was one of near total godlessness. He served as a prophet through the reign of 4 kings, only the first (Josiah) was a god-fearing king. In the 9th year of the reign of the 4th king (Zedekiah), Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. It is evident, we should note, from what we read in ch. 5 that the writings of Jeremiah were not collated by the scribes in chronological order.
Today’s ch. 7 describes conditions during the reign of the last or second last king; Jeremiah is told to tell them, “because you have done all these things, declares the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen … therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust … as I did to Shiloh.(destroy it) And I will cast you out of my sight, …” [v.13-15]
The LORD tells Jeremiah, “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you.” [v.16] God sees what the people “are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem” they even “make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods” [v.17,18]
Today, nearly all have convinced themselves, especially in this country, that there is no God, no Creator to fear – so how soon now before God makes his existence evident!
To conclude we saw in our reading in Matthew 18 v.1 how Jesus responded to his disciples question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” This means the heavenly kingdom to come on earth.
Jesus used the example of a little child “he put him in the midst of them” and tells them, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom” [v.3]
Our contemplation on the endless greatness of God, with his Son now “at his right hand” (Acts 5 v.31; Ephes. 1 v.20), if undertaken with all our heart, will surely cause us to experience the promise of Jesus expressed in v.4. “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Let us pray for the kingdom – every day.