Day 174: A Scientific Fact

Jeremiah 44:1-10

The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews who lived in the land of Egypt, who lived at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes, and at Memphis, and in the country of Pathros, saying, “Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have seen all the evil that I have brought on Jerusalem, and on all the cities of Judah. Behold, today they are a desolation, and no man dwells in them, because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, to serve other gods that they didn’t know, neither they, nor you, nor your fathers. However I sent to you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, “Oh, don’t do this abominable thing that I hate.” But they didn’t listen and didn’t incline their ear. They didn’t turn from their wickedness, to stop burning incense to other gods. Therefore my wrath and my anger was poured out, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as it is today.’

“Therefore now Yahweh, the God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Why do you commit great evil against your own souls, to cut off from yourselves man and woman, infant and nursing child out of the middle of Judah, to leave yourselves no one remaining, in that you provoke me to anger with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have gone to live, that you may be cut off, and that you may be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? Have you forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, the wickedness of the kings of Judah, the wickedness of their wives, your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives which they committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? They are not humbled even to this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in my law, nor in my statutes, that I set before you and before your fathers.’

This sure was a depressing time in the history of Israel. When we were reading through the history books, the story goes by pretty fast, but when we hear the emotions of God as recorded by Jeremiah, and feel the events as they unfold, from God’s perspective, it really shows us how bad things had become.

We are in the 43rd chapter of Jeremiah and we also read through all 66 chapters of Isaiah and God spent page after page warning Israel and Judah that they would be destroyed. First, God took down Israel. Judah saw it but they still sinned by disobeying God and purposefully choosing to follow strange gods. Then, God finally took down Judah and Jerusalem, but left a remnant of Judah behind. Now, even they, after moving to Egypt, started to worship other gods! I hope it is obvious that this doesn’t make any sense.

In our world there are many people who refuse Jesus and the Bible because it isn’t logical and reasonable and contains miracles and things that can’t be real. These claims are false as I am constantly exposing, but the thing that is really absurd is that these same people believe in evolutionism which isn’t logical or reasonable and contains things that have never been seen to happen before. When a belief contains things that have never happened before, we call those things miracles. They are being hypocritical and are refusing God, just like this remnant of Judah was doing. When you won’t listen to reason and, instead, accept a false set of gods in place of the real God, it is a scientific fact that you are going to be destroyed as demonstrated by several experiments recorded here in the Bible. God clearly holds us accountable for our behavior under these conditions. Just because our world’s miracles are different and our gods are even stranger, doesn’t mean that we are any better than the remnant of Judah or that we will escape God’s punishment.

Day 128: The Curer of the Incurable

Jeremiah 30:12-17

For Yahweh says,
“Your hurt is incurable.
Your wound is grievous.
There is no one to plead your cause,
that you may be bound up.
You have no healing medicines.
All your lovers have forgotten you.
They don’t seek you.
For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy,
with the chastisement of a cruel one,
for the greatness of your iniquity,
because your sins were increased.
Why do you cry over your injury?
Your pain is incurable.
For the greatness of your iniquity,
because your sins have increased,
I have done these things to you.
Therefore all those who devour you will be devoured.
All your adversaries, everyone of them, will go into captivity.
Those who plunder you will be plunder.
I will make all who prey on you become prey.
For I will restore health to you,
and I will heal you of your wounds,” says Yahweh;
“because they have called you an outcast,
saying, ‘It is Zion, whom no man seeks after.’ ”

This is one of those passages that would be confusing to a person who feels the need to prove the Bible without considering it as a worldview. Here God says that Israel’s “pain is incurable” and then He immediately tells them that He “will restore health” to them. Isn’t God being inconsistent? How can He say that something is incurable and then say that He will cure it? I think that doubts like this can only arise when we fail to assume God’s word to be true. When you doubt God’s word and then attempt to judge it, it leads to confusion like this.

When we assume God’s word to be true, we first assume that God isn’t being inconsistent and that we are making a mistake in our understanding of what He’s saying. How can something be incurable and still be cured by God? I think that the most natural and consistent interpretation is that God intended to cure what they could not cure on their own. From this perspective, it’s pretty clear that God was going to make sure that they fully understood that they were unable to do anything good for themselves. They were going suffer and have no ability to fix it without His involvement.

I can’t think of any more incurable thing than to die, can you? God is even able to cure that according to the Bible. It’s important for us to treat the Bible as it claims to be. It claims to be the words of God which define truth. That’s the nature of a worldview. It’s the set of beliefs we assume without evidence and we all have those. If you think you don’t, that very thought is an example one.

So here we read that things were to get so bad for Israel that it would take a miracle for God to bring them back together as a nation and that’s what God intended to do. He also intended to punish the great nations that brought them down which would also would have probably have seemed impossible. God is supernatural and cannot be stopped by the natural world that He created. No matter what seems possible to us, God’s word will always come true.

Day 42: Testimony of Miracles

John 5:31-38 : “If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid. It is another who testifies about me. I know that the testimony which he testifies about me is true. You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. But the testimony which I receive is not from man. However, I say these things that you may be saved. He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John, for the works which the Father gave me to accomplish, the very works that I do, testify about me, that the Father has sent me. The Father himself, who sent me, has testified about me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form. You don’t have his word living in you; because you don’t believe him whom he sent.

Jesus continues His discourse to the Jewish leadership when He found out they wanted to kill Him. Once again, He brings up the subject of testimony. He says that He can’t testify for Himself, but that there is one who’s testimony they can rely on. He mentions two witnesses:

  • John the Baptist
  • God the Father by way of miracles

Jesus, moving past the horror of the fact that they planned to kill Him, carefully details the case as to why His claims were legally worthy of consideration. He explained to them that yes, John testified, but I have a greater testimony than that of John; and my miracles testify that God Himself agrees with me.

This is not an unusual concept for a Jew. Moses came to Egypt to free them and display God’s glory using signs that God used to testify that Moses was who he said he was. Perhaps the greatest sign that God gave Moses was a sign of death to the firstborn the night before the God freed them. Jesus was about to give the biggest sign of all as well, and it was not to be death this time.

Then, Jesus turns the tables and levels an accusation against them. He claimed that they knew nothing of God because they didn’t accept Him. Here He says that they have never seen or heard God and they don’t have his word living in them. I would think that this is a very heavy accusation to a Jewish religious leader because they took pride in their knowledge of the Bible. To say that they didn’t have God’s word living in them must have hurt their pride. This was a thing that Jesus not only didn’t attempt to avoid, but determined to do. He purposefully hurt their pride. Once again, the Bible doesn’t describe a passive Jesus. He continues on with this tone in the next verses.

Day 25: None to Trust

John 2:23-25 : Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name, observing his signs which he did. But Jesus didn’t trust himself to them, because he knew everyone, and because he didn’t need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.

It must have been very difficult for Jesus to live on earth with men. Jesus couldn’t trust people because He already knew that they weren’t trustworthy. Jesus could see into the minds of people and knew them already, and we know from other parts of the Bible (and we know from ourselves) that it wasn’t very pretty.

Many were believing in Him because of the miracles that He was performing. Even though the Jewish leaders accused Him of not having “signs”, He clearly had signs because if He hadn’t people wouldn’t have been following Him around.

As human beings, we are reluctant to accept the obvious fact that we are corrupt. We don’t even do the things that we claim are good to do. We can’t be trusted because we have a problem with sin:

Romans 3:10-18 :
as it is written:
There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands,
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
together they have become useless;
there is no one who does good,
there is not even one.
Their throat is an open grave;
they deceive with their tongues.
Vipers’ venom is under their lips.
Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
and the path of peace they have not known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.

It’s easy to look at the problems of others and start comparing ourselves with others, but that is really a distraction. The problem is inside of all of us individually. That is why we needed to be “Saved.” We were saved when we realized that the problem was in us and that it was killing us and that it would ultimately put us in Hell unless something was done. Jesus is the One we turned to.

As believers, the problem has already been taken care of and we can now be trusted because the power of God is in us now and we have the ability to “live in” that power. This passage is talking about a time before that power was given. The disciples had many more things to realize after the Holy Spirit was given as we have already read in other places. As believers we become a new creation:

2 Corinthians 5:15-17 : He died for all, that those who live should no longer live to themselves, but to him who for their sakes died and rose again. Therefore we know no one after the flesh from now on. Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.