2 Kings 17:24-41
Matthew 18:15-35 – Forgiveness. In the online article, the writer asserts that forgiveness is a transaction, not a process (forgiveness). For this to be true, means that we let go of the right to redress, and we accept the blood of Jesus Christ in place of payment. So if a brother sins, and it does happen, we let go of the pain and except the blood of Jesus. Someone else stated that forgiveness does not release that person from paying for their actions and releases us from being hurt any further. When we do not forgive others we harbor anger, fear, and the desire to hurt sort of like what’s going on now in our world. The parable of the steward who is forgiven brought out two points, first, the steward was released from a very very large debt, and second, he went after someone who owed him money and unmercifully through this man in prison. In doing so, the debt that he was forgiven was reinstated. The master clearly overlooked the matter but then the servant would never have learned. Him
Psalms 127 – Unless the Lord Builds the House. It seems we can do everything in our power to build a home and family. The problem is, we overlook one key element of life and that is, we need the Lord. If the Lord is not Lord of our home when the troubles come who do we turn to? The Lord desires that we have rest, but the world says, “you need to work a little harder.”. So, we struggle for more hours and do everything for promotion while our family languishes. The world will take everything you’ve got and ask for a little more. “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! You shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate” (verses 4-5).
Lamentations 1:1-11 – How Lonely Sits the City. Lamentations were written by Jeremiah the prophet. The nation had been warned multiple times but refused to change its ways. So now, the once wealthy nation was reduced to servitude. The temple of the Lord or the “one place” was ransacked leaving nothing but a shell. While the viewpoint was that the temple is holy, the reality was that the nation itself had stolen money from the temple to fend off aggressors until there was no one to come to their aid. When you have a lot of money, people flocked to you and flatter you to get what they want and then leave when the money runs out. In the city of Jerusalem, there were princes and princesses, whom the people bowed down to until the day when the nation went into slavery. Then those people were treated like everybody else and all the royal treatment was reduced to nothing.
Jeremiah 20 – Jeremiah Persecuted by Pashur. Pashur was a priest, just like Jeremiah. The difference between the two men was “the Lord they served”. When the Lord speaks, it is received based on the condition of the heart. Pashur was of the mindset that believed serving the Lord G-d was foolishness. So, Jeremiah’s discouraging words were shaking the kingdom so Pashur had Jeremiah locked up. For what Passur did, he would pay for it with his life at the hands of the Babylonians. Consider this, everything that made Jerusalem attractive would be taken away by the men of Babylon. After the Babylonians were defeated by the Medes and Persians, the things that were taken from Jerusalem would be given back to the men returning to Jerusalem. This was not a joyful time for Jeremiah because he knew full well what the exile would look like and how it would impact him.
2 Kings 17:24-41 – Assyria Resettles Samaria. The Israelites had been exiled to Babylon and the poor Lands. Once the Israelites were removed from Samaria, the land was resettled by Assyrians. The problem the Assyrians had was that the land belonged to the Lord but the people did not fear Him. So, the Lord sent lions in to kill the men. Once the Assyrians had struggled long enough with the deaths, they invited a Jewish Priest to come in to teach the people about how to serve the Lord which the Jews had abandoned years earlier. Even after being taught and warned to “serve the Lord”, each city devised an idol to bow down to and was put in the high places that the Jews built. So the duplicity of the Jews was extended to the Assyrians. “So these nations feared the LORD and also served their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children’s children—as their fathers did, so they do to this day” (verse 41).