Day 188: Taken Down by God

Jeremiah 48:29-38

“We have heard of the pride of Moab.
He is very proud in his loftiness, his pride,
his arrogance, and the arrogance of his heart.
I know his wrath,” says Yahweh, “that it is nothing;
his boastings have done nothing.
Therefore I will wail for Moab.
Yes, I will cry out for all Moab.
They will mourn for the men of Kir Heres.
With more than the weeping of Jazer
I will weep for you, vine of Sibmah.
Your branches passed over the sea.
They reached even to the sea of Jazer.
The destroyer has fallen on your summer fruits
and on your vintage.
Gladness and joy is taken away from the fruitful field
and from the land of Moab.
I have caused wine to cease from the wine presses.
No one will tread with shouting.
The shouting will be no shouting.
From the cry of Heshbon even to Elealeh,
even to Jahaz they have uttered their voice,
from Zoar even to Horonaim, to Eglath Shelishiyah;
for the waters of Nimrim will also become desolate.
Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab,” says Yahweh,
“him who offers in the high place,
and him who burns incense to his gods.
Therefore my heart sounds for Moab like flutes,
and my heart sounds like flutes for the men of Kir Heres.
Therefore the abundance that he has gotten has perished.
For every head is bald,
and every beard clipped.
There are cuttings on all the hands,
and sackcloth on the waist.
On all the housetops of Moab,
and in its streets, there is lamentation everywhere;
for I have broken Moab like a vessel in which no one delights,” says Yahweh.

We read in this prophesy that not only was Moab successful and rich, they were also proud and arrogant. God took them down from the hights of beauty, wealth and arrogance, to the depths of ugliness, poverty and shame. There was a time when they had everything and they thought that it was because of their own excellence. God chose to punish this group of people by completely removing all beauty, wealth and respect. Moab becomes an illustration of the teaching of the Bible about pride. Let’s look at that again.

Proverbs 16:18

Pride goes before destruction,
and an arrogant spirit before a fall.

This also reminds me of what Paul wrote to the Corinthians about being careful not to fall into sin and believe that everything is fine. Here’s what he said:

1 Corinthians 10:12

Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn’t fall.

Just because you have it good, doesn’t mean that you are right. It could mean that you are about to be completely destroyed by God Himself. That’s what the nation of Moab discovered and it actually scares me when I think about the United States. It is true that we have had some excellence here, but now it is very obvious that sin has taken over the lives of a huge number of people. I believe that there is arrogance here and clearly we have a problem with the worship of money. God is the same God that brought Moab down to the dirt. May God help us before it is too late and we are completely ruined like Moab was.

Day 22: Good Timing

John 2:6-11 : Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews’ way of purifying, containing two or three meters apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” They filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast.” So they took it. When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn’t know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!” This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Notice how Jesus only worked with the servants. The person in charge of the party didn’t know that any miracle had taken place. Jesus did what His mother wanted but was also able to keep a very low profile. Jesus high-profile moment was yet to come. I am eager to talk about it but instead you can read ahead to Palm Sunday (and the miracle that preceded it) if you want. It is found in John 11:1 – 12:13. Jesus doesn’t attempt to stop the crowds but instead purposefully does a huge miracle in front of them and later accepts their praise as the King of Israel.

It is not uncommon that wrong timing is the sinful error that we make. There is an appropriate time for almost everything:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 :
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
a time to be born,
and a time to die;
a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill,
and a time to heal;
a time to break down,
and a time to build up;
a time to weep,
and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn,
and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace,
and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek,
and a time to lose;
a time to keep,
and a time to cast away;
a time to tear,
and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence,
and a time to speak;
a time to love,
and a time to hate;
a time for war,
and a time for peace.

Jesus masterfully managed this situation. He both honored his Father in Heaven and honored his mother on earth within the limits of His Father’s timing. Many of the great things that are ours as Christians will be realized in the future. For now, we look forward with a hope and faith in the One who has promised them, for there is a time coming in which our bodies will no longer die!

Day 21: Honor Your Mother

John 2:1-5 : And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

This is a very interesting exchange. Jesus and His disciples have been invited to a wedding, and for some reason, there wasn’t any wine. I’m pretty sure that Mary knew that Jesus didn’t have any jugs of wine available when she asked Him to do something about it. It appears that she was asking Him to do something miraculous at the wedding.

Jesus knew that now was not the time for Him to do what she was asking. I don’t really know what it was that she was asking, but Jesus knew. I believe that Mary may have been acting out of line with what God wanted at that time. In a sense, she was not believing in God’s timing. Jesus did, however, honor His earthly mother even though her actions may have been unbelieving ones. This gives us an example of how to give honor and respect to those who we owe honor and respect to, even when they are not believing. We should honor them, but we are to always do what God wants us to do. In this case, Jesus figures out a way to quietly obey His earthly mother. It isn’t clear to me what Mary was asking. Perhaps Mary was expecting her son to get popular starting at that time. Maybe she thought it would be good advertising for the new Rabbi, whatever it was, Jesus knew that He couldn’t actually do it now.

I have found this to be a problem for me in many of my relationships with those who are not being faithful yet have some kind of authority over me. Sometimes, I am not able to reconcile the two and am forced to go with God alone. These times are difficult, but they prove whose side we are on; God’s or man’s.

It is important for us to remember that it is our spiritual family that is the most important:

Matthew 12:46-50 : While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Now Jesus may have still gone out after saying this to talk with his birth mother and brothers. The story isn’t clear at that point, but the message here is clear. The family of God is more important than our earthly families. It isn’t that we have permission to not care for our earthly families, it is just that we must do what God has told us to do first and one of those things is to take care of our earthly family’s needs and not merely their desires that conflict with the will of God. We also should respect those that God has put in authority as much as we are able under God.