Prayer Focus: Malaysia

Bible Reading: Jeremiah 49-50

Scripture:

12 For thus says the Lord, “Behold, those who were not sentenced to drink the cup will certainly drink it, and are you the one who will be completely acquitted? You will not be acquitted, but you will certainly drink it.  (Jer. 49:12)
20 In those days and at that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.’  (Jer. 50:20)

Observation:

In my mind’s eye, as I read this verse (49:12), I see the image of Jesus in the garden, praying to the Father. I hear the echo of His prayers “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.” (Mt 26:42) Abba, Father, everything is possible for You. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what You will. (Mark 14:6).

If Jesus, who was without sin, drank from the cup of God’s wrath and took our punishment, how much more will His wrath be poured out on the nations. How can anyone think that they are not deserving of punishment, that sin does not demand justice. And yet, God does not issue a ‘beat down’ for the sake of wielding power. There is a purpose to His actions. Sin demands sacrifice. Hebrews 9:22 tells us, without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. In Jeremiah 50:20, we see the promise of that forgiveness. God states, you will look for iniquity, but you will not find it, for through the shed blood of Christ, the remnant of God’s people have been wiped clean. His goal was not suffering, but redemption. How deep is the love of God, how resolute and determined that we would be restored to fellowship. . . how great the cost.

Application:

Are there ways in which I chafe under God’s discipline? Do I shrug off the hand of God? Do I cry out like the world at large in defiance? Do I question God’s right to punish or instruct? Do I resist His Spirit? Am I willing to suffer or endure so that God’s will is accomplished?

It is by His grace that I live and breathe, and by His grace, that I walk in His ways. May our daily walk bring us closer to the Father, closer to our brothers and sisters in Christ, and closer to those around us who are crying out for hope in a world that is desperate for something real.

Prayer:

Father, so often we are overwhelmed by the world and its sinfulness, governed by its desire to remove Your presence and deny Your authority. Sometimes we are even tempted to throw in the towel and forsake doing good. Help us to, ’as obedient children, not conform to the evil desires we had in ignorance, but be holy in all we do.’ Help us to ‘obey the truth so that we have sincere love for our brothers and love one another deeply, from the heart’ For we know that you, Father, ‘judge each man’s work impartially.’ Thank you that Your Word – all of it, stands forever. ‘Thank you for our inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. Father, refine our faith that we may be proven as genuine, which will result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. ‘ For Your glory. Amen. (Scripture references from 1 Peter chapter 1)

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