Latest Thoughts of the Day
Matthew 1:3
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram...

No special mention is made of the questionable circumstances of the incident with Tamar. Certainly there is a blot upon her character in the Bible. But, apart from original sin, we do not inherit the blots of our parents, and Perez may yet figure in the line of the Christ. The three women in the genealogies of Jesus all were liable to alienation from the People of God, but each figured importantly in the coming of Jesus into the world. Thank You, Jesus, that You do not despise the unworthy and the otherwise disqualified. You loved us while we were yet sinners, and You have used us for Your glory. Thank you for living for us, dying for us, and rising for us. We worship You today!
Malachi 1:3
..."but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals."

Whom the Lord loves He chastens and causes to walk in His ways. His hatred is shown to man primarily in His allowing them to go their own ways and destroy themselves. Barrenness and waste are ever the result of departure from God. God lets the devourer devour. Eventually his active judgment finishes the job of self-destruction. So it must be with Esau, and with all the nations that forget God. Lord, we would have been destroyed by our own folly, had You not undertaken for us. You sent your chastisement, and also Your Spirit, that we may learn from your rod and experience your blessing. Thank You for loving us in such a way. And thank You for Jesus, who took away our sin.
Zechariah 1:3
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.

Zechariah earnestly entreats the people to return to Him. He will remind them of the folly of their forefathers, who heard the word of warning and refused to turn from their evil ways. One can find references to the Messiah over a dozen times in this book, and prophecies of future blessing on Israel at least seven more. There will be reassurance and hope, as strange visions picture the glory of Godís working in their midst. Other prophets have chastened the people, but Zechariah lifts their hopes. Lord, may the glorious future You have planned for us stir us to serve You with alacrity. Mysterious are Your ways, but glorious Your outcome. May Jesus Christ ever be praised!
Haggai 1:3
The the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: "is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?"

The people had returned to Palestine to rebuild and refurbish the Temple. They had to live somewhere, so they built houses for themselves. As work on the Temple had been fraught with obstacles, they had kept up work on their own houses, so that they were living quite well, and the Temple they had come to rebuild was still in ruins. Could this be right? Is it right for the Church in our day to be rich and satisfied with itself while the society continues ignorant of the Gospel? We are not pleasing to God unless we are doing what He has sent us to do. Lord, help us gather souls to Christ, building up your Temple.
Zephaniah 1:3
" I will sweep away both men and animals; I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. The wicked will have only heaps of rubble when I cut off man from te face of the earth", declares the Lord.

Theoretically, we all know that we are vulnerable, but we forget the degree to which this is so. God is able to sweep an area clean of all life, human, fish, animal, bird. Fish can swim somewhere else, birds fly to distant regions, animals escape to better ground and people all die. Judahís idolatry has provoked Godís utmost wrath. We take it lightly. We imagine Godís love will overcome, and we will be all right after all. God warns His people to take Him seriously; and we know that He will bring an astonishing judgment upon them. Lord Jesus, You are our Refuge.
Habakkuk 1:3
Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.

If you know the whole book, Habakkukís questions sound puerile. Habakkuk does not understand how bad what he is seeing really is. He does not see it from Godís perspective at all. It seems so simple to him. These are Godís people and they shouldnít be so bad, so why doesnít God do something. Well, of course, what he sees is true as far as it goes. But what it will take to deal with it is far beyond Habakkukís imagination. Habakkuk will be astonished when he sees what God will do. He will question it. He will wait petulantly for Godís answer, and eventually he will submit. Giving up can be a grown-up way to respond. Give us Your grace, Lord Jesus.
Nahum 1:3
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.

Godís slowness to anger is evidenced by the fact that it is 150 years since Jonah brought this city of Nineveh to repentance. They had returned to their wickedness, and had heaped up judgment before God. Now that judgment would fall, and there was no provision made for repentance. The greatness of God is imagined as Nahum looks at the clouds and imagines the dust of Jehovahís feet as He moves in judgment. Lord, we rejoice that Your judgment of wickedness is certain. We thank You for the deliverance you have brought about for those who trust in Jesus Your Son. We await with hope the casting of the Devil into eternal judgment.
Micah 1:3
Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling place; he comes down and treads the high places of the earth.

The coming judgment of the Lord against the wickedness of Israel and Judah was so real to Micah that he saw it coming as if with his own eyes. Can we imagine America laid waste and all the skyscrapers in ruins, pasture growing up in the midst of the rubble, and the world going on in quiet majesty? The ruins of Rome should help us. The vacancy of Egyptís monuments could be of assistance. Greeceís magnificent rubble could quicken our thoughts. The wicked will be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Lord, give us a clearer sense of the doom that awaits our land if we do not turn from our sins. Bring multitudes to repentance and faith in Jesus. Lord Jesus, draw near.

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