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August 12 - Evening

"This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord during the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:

‘Go to the Recabite family and invite them to come to one of the side rooms of the house of the Lord and give them wine to drink

’…But they replied, ‘We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jehonadab son of Recab gave us this command:

“Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine.  Also you must never build houses, sow seed or plant vineyards; you must never have any of these things, but must always live in tents. Then you will live a long time in the land where you are nomads.”

We have obeyed everything our forefather Jehonadab son of Recab commanded us. Neither we nor our wives nor our sons and daughters have ever drunk wine…'

...Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying:  'This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord.  ‘Jehonadab son of Recab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command.  But I have spoken to you again and again,  yet you have not obeyed me.' "

- Jeremiah 35:1-2, 6-8, 12-14

The Example of the Recabite's Obedience


The example of the Recabite family condemned the people of Israel and the nation of Judah.

The people of the family of Recab had been commanded many years before by their forefather Jehonadab to follow a certain set of guidelines for life. One of these commands was to avoid the drinking of wine.

According to the biblical account in 2 Kings 10:15-17 this same Jehonadab son of Recab met Jehu when Jehu was traveling from Jezreel to Samaria to slaughter the house of Ahab. Jehu invited Jehonadab to ride with him in his chariot that day in 814 BC. (Jehu meets Johadab son of Recab in 814 BC, see map)

Now, 210 years later in 604 BC, Jeremiah invites the descendants of Jehonadab into one of the side rooms on the Temple Mount. Jeremiah sets a bowl of wine in front of them and invites them to drink. But, these Recabites refuse to partake of the wine for one simple reason:

“We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jehonadab son of Recab gave us this command: ‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine.’ ” - Jeremiah 35:6

The Lord then rebukes his people for not obeying the Lord’s commands (Jeremiah 35:12-17). The Recabites have more respect for their ancestor after 200 years than Judah does for their God!

The Recabites would have temporarily moved into the city of Jerusalem in 604 BC to avoid the raiders that were ravaging the land because of the famine as mentioned in Jeremiah 14 and Second Kings 24:2-3.

The Lord promises to bless the Recabites because of their faithfulness to their forefather. The Lord says:

“You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jonadab…therefore, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jonadab son of Recab will never fail to have a man to serve me.’ ” Jeremiah 35:19

When the walls of Jerusalem are rebuilt in 445 BC by Nehemiah the Recabites are still there with men in positions of rulership and helping rebuild the city according the Nehemiah 3:14:

“Malchijah the son of Rechab, ruler of the district of Beth-haccherem, repaired the Dung Gate. He rebuilt it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars.” Nehemiah 3:14

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Phthano (Gr) – precede (Eng) – the Greek word phthano means “to anticipate” and “to come sooner.” Phthano is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 to in the Greek sentence to say “will not gain any advantage.” This is not a matter of succession as in after the first then comes the second, but is focused on who has the advantage.
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I will honor the Lord today and be faithful to him so that he can bless my family and their future generations.
Just like my sin does not happen in a vacuum, but effects others, so my obedience to the Lord will have an effect in the lives of others.


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Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Zechariah 1 (520-519 BC)


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Personal

Enough income to meet your needs

Church

The Private prayer time and study habits of members

World

Lesotho

Nation

Jobs


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On the Gaza border.
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Details of Judges 6, 7, 8 and Gideon's battle with the Midianites.
Zechariah 1 New International Version (NIV)
A Call to Return to the Lord
In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo:
“The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty. Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?
“Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’”
The Man Among the Myrtle Trees
On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.
During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.
I asked, “What are these, my lord?”
The angel who was talking with me answered, “I will show you what they are.”
10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth.”
11 And they reported to the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.”
12 Then the angel of the Lord said, “Lord Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?” 13 So the Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.
14 Then the angel who was speaking to me said, “Proclaim this word: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, 15 and I am very angry with the nations that feel secure. I was only a little angry, but they went too far with the punishment.’
16 “Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the Lord Almighty.
17 “Proclaim further: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.’”
Four Horns and Four Craftsmen
18 Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns. 19 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?”
He answered me, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.”
20 Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21 I asked, “What are these coming to do?”
He answered, “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Jeremiah 21-22New International Version (NIV)
God Rejects Zedekiah’s Request
21 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. They said: “Inquire now of the Lord for us because Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us.”
But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians who are outside the wall besieging you. And I will gather them inside this city. I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath. I will strike down those who live in this city—both man and beast—and they will die of a terrible plague. After that, declares the Lord, I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague, sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will put them to the sword; he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.’
“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives. 10 I have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’
11 “Moreover, say to the royal house of Judah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord. 12 This is what the Lord says to you, house of David:
“‘Administer justice every morning;     rescue from the hand of the oppressor     the one who has been robbed, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire     because of the evil you have done—     burn with no one to quench it.
13 
I am against you, Jerusalem,     you who live above this valley     on the rocky plateau, declares the Lord— you who say, “Who can come against us?     Who can enter our refuge?”
14 
I will punish you as your deeds deserve,     declares the Lord. I will kindle a fire in your forests     that will consume everything around you.’”
Judgment Against Wicked Kings
22 This is what the Lord says: “Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and proclaim this message there: ‘Hear the word of the Lord to you, king of Judah, you who sit on David’s throne—you, your officials and your people who come through these gates. This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people. But if you do not obey these commands, declares the Lord, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin.’”
For this is what the Lord says about the palace of the king of Judah:
“Though you are like Gilead to me,     like the summit of Lebanon, I will surely make you like a wasteland,     like towns not inhabited.

I will send destroyers against you,     each man with his weapons, and they will cut up your fine cedar beams     and throw them into the fire.
“People from many nations will pass by this city and will ask one another, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this great city?’ And the answer will be: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and have worshiped and served other gods.’”
10 
Do not weep for the dead king or mourn his loss;     rather, weep bitterly for him who is exiled, because he will never return     nor see his native land again.
11 For this is what the Lord says about Shallum son of Josiah, who succeeded his father as king of Judah but has gone from this place: “He will never return. 12 He will die in the place where they have led him captive; he will not see this land again.”
13 
“Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness,     his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing,     not paying them for their labor.
14 
He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace     with spacious upper rooms.’ So he makes large windows in it,     panels it with cedar     and decorates it in red.
15 
“Does it make you a king     to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink?     He did what was right and just,     so all went well with him.
16 
He defended the cause of the poor and needy,     and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?”     declares the Lord.
17 
“But your eyes and your heart     are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood     and on oppression and extortion.”
18 Therefore this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:
“They will not mourn for him:     ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’ They will not mourn for him:     ‘Alas, my master! Alas, his splendor!’
19 
He will have the burial of a donkey—     dragged away and thrown     outside the gates of Jerusalem.”
20 
“Go up to Lebanon and cry out,     let your voice be heard in Bashan, cry out from Abarim,     for all your allies are crushed.
21 
I warned you when you felt secure,     but you said, ‘I will not listen!’ This has been your way from your youth;     you have not obeyed me.
22 
The wind will drive all your shepherds away,     and your allies will go into exile. Then you will be ashamed and disgraced     because of all your wickedness.
23 
You who live in ‘Lebanon,’     who are nestled in cedar buildings, how you will groan when pangs come upon you,     pain like that of a woman in labor!
24 “As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “even if you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off. 25 I will deliver you into the hands of those who want to kill you, those you fear—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Babylonians. 26 I will hurl you and the mother who gave you birth into another country, where neither of you was born, and there you both will die. 27 You will never come back to the land you long to return to.”
28 
Is this man Jehoiachin a despised, broken pot,     an object no one wants? Why will he and his children be hurled out,     cast into a land they do not know?
29 
O land, land, land,     hear the word of the Lord!
30 
This is what the Lord says: “Record this man as if childless,     a man who will not prosper in his lifetime, for none of his offspring will prosper,     none will sit on the throne of David     or rule anymore in Judah.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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"True conversion means turning not only from sin but also from depending on self-made righteousness."
- George Whitefield


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The church is made up of believers in Jesus Christ, but in Scripture the concept of the "church" extends to three levels:

1. The local church body that a believer is active in – e.g., the church that met in Aquila and Priscilla's house (one in Rome [Romans 16:5] and one in Ephesus [1 Corinthians 16:19]), the church that met in the house of Nympha (Colossians 4:15), or the church that met in the house of Archippus (Philemon 2)

2. The regional church in a city or a province – e.g., the church of Galatia, the church in Corinth, the church of Thessalonica, etc.

3. The universal Church which includes everyone, living and dead, on earth and in heaven, who has accepted Jesus Christ during the church age (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22; Hebrews 12:23)


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Calah, one of Nimrod’s cities, is mentioned in Genesis 10:11 and was excavated in 1845. (Details 1, 2. Photos 1, 2)


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"A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult."
- Proverbs 12:16


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