When I first began to consider the Encouragement Vitamins project 20 years ago, my intent was to write a devotional book with 365 devotions – one for each day of the year. When I retired and had time for the project, the Internet was readily accessible, and creating a blog seemed a better option. So, my webmaster helped me to create Encouragement Vitamins.com. In the last five years, God has blessed with insight and truth to post 471 Encouragement Vitamin entries. It has been a great season of sharing with all of you the blessings, the truth, the encouragement of the Word of God. That season is now coming to a close. At this point, I will not be posting any further entries, but we will be leaving Encouragement Vitamins on-line for you to access daily, or at any time, you feel you need that encouragement from God’s Word.
It has been my blessing to serve you,
He made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
These verses make us sit up and take notice. There is no question Who is Master Creator and Who is in charge of all things. Because I am a visual person, a fun image in this verse involves the Lord sending the lightning. I can just see all the lightning bolts lined up in a row, crying, “Send me next, send me next! ” This God Who loves us, Who calls us His children, He is Creator, Master, Redeemer, Lord – even the wind and rain obey his command.
vs. 13 Because of the LORD’s anger she will not be inhabited but will be completely desolate. All who pass Babylon will be horrified and scoff because of all her wounds. vs. 20 In those days, at that time,”, declares the LORD, “search will be made for Israel’s guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found for I will forgive the remnant I spare.
Babylon will cease to exist as a world power. There will be no more beauty, joy, or gladness. They will be destroyed not only because they oppressed Israel, but also because they shook their fists in the face of the One, True God. It looks bad for Israel. She is scattered, broken and captive but look at vs. 33 and 34 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go. Yet their Redeemer is strong; the LORD Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.
This is a great lesson for us. No matter the battle, the oppression, or the struggle in our lives, our Redeemer is strong. The Lord Almighty is His Name,
“The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD
There are those who believe that God is neutral. He exists, but He has no involvement in the lives of men. This verse not only shows us He is involved, it shows us He is passionately involved. Men can say what they want about God; they can try to be indifferent, but the truth is unchangeable: all men and nations are under His control and watchful eye. The fact is, judgment day is coming. Thanks be to God that for the Christian, judgment was paid in full on the cross of Christ.
“We have heard of Moab’s pride – her overweening pride and conceit, her pride and arrogance and the haughtiness of her heart. I know her insolence but it is futile,” declares the LORD, “and her boasts accomplish nothing. vs. 33 Joy and gladness are gone from the orchards and fields of Moab. I have stopped the flow of wine from the presses; no one treads them with shouts of joy. Although there are shouts, they are not shouts of joy.
It sounds as though Moab was a prosperous country, and her inhabitants were proud of their wealth and independence. They were also enemies and oppressors of God’s people. God has promised to come against them. He will not only destroy their fields and vineyards, He will remove their joy and gladness. This is even more of a calamity than just the loss of their crops. To be poor AND joyless is double the suffering. Even if we suffer financial loss, if we have joy in the Lord, we are blessed and rich.
For the day has come to destroy all the Philistines and to cut off all survivors who could help Tyre and Sidon. The LORD is about to destroy the Philistines, the remnant from the coasts of Caphtor.
Long the arch enemies of the Israelites, the Philistines are about to be annihilated from the earth. According to the Bible Dictionary, the Philistines had dominated Israel until the time of David because they had a knowledge of metal working. That domination is over. The God of the Universe has pronounced judgment, and it will be carried out. This is the just end for all of the enemies of God, of His Son, Jesus, and of His children. Pray for those who are His enemies now, that they may become His children.
Announce in Egypt, and proclaim it in Migdol; proclaim it also in Memphis and Tahpanhes; Take your positions and get ready, for the sword devours those around you. Why will your warriors be laid low? They cannot stand for the LORD will push the down.
Egypt, Babylon, foreign nations, foreign cities, ruled by the will of God: the LORD has knocked them down. then vs. 27 Do not fear, O Jacob my servant, for I am with you, declares the LORD. Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you.
Do not be afraid. Let the nations of our time shake their fists at Him – God laughs. Let them say “There is no God” That does not change the truth of the Lord or His sovereignty. Let them say that Biblical principles are outdated, puritanical and do not apply in a modern world. The truth doesn’t change: God’s presence, God’s perfect plan, God’s wisdom. These are eternal.
This is a very short chapter, only 5 verses, but the promise to the scribe, Baruch is a very BIG one. The Lord tells him not to worry about his things, but to know this: whatever happens in this time of terrible judgment, your life will be spared. Because of Jesus, God’s promise is the same to those who are His children. Our lives are safe in Him for eternity no matter what we might be suffering here on earth. We are in His ark of safety, sailing steadily toward heaven.
Israel has strayed so far off course, they can’t even remember why it was important to belong only to the God of Israel, and to do His will. In the time of Nehemiah, when the Law was read, there was repentance. In Jeremiah’s time repentance is absent. How many times in the Old Testament have we read of the word of the Lord coming to Israel, and they were struck with their sinfulness and repented before Him? Not this time. Please, Lord, don’t let us get so far from You, that we cannot remember why it was important to walk close to You.
So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the LORD and went as far as Tahpanhes.
I find it intriguing that the LORD had rescued the Israelites from the Land of Egypt, from poverty and slavery and now they are returning to Egypt, against God’s command. This can only lead to destruction. Its like this: if God rescues you from a certain sin and you choose to return to that sin, the consequences could cost you your life, depending on the nature of the sin. The message here is clear: don’t choose to go back to that from which God has rescued you.