Holy, Holy, Holy
“Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, and extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him–his name is the Lord” (Psa. 68:4).
Read Jeremiah 51:1-32
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1 Cor. 6:19).
The citizens of Babylon must have felt tremendously secure within the massive walls and elaborate system of defenses. No one could enter Babylon without permission! But if Babylon was a place of security for its citizens, it was also the most terrifying nightmare for the people in the surrounding nations. Babylon’s wealth was plundered from others. Her security was at the expense of other nations whose fortifications were mercilessly destroyed. Many people from other cities, including Jerusalem, must have envied great Babylon with its powerful armies and great resources.
Jeremiah makes it clear that Babylon is not to be envied. Her security was an illusion. Her greatness was temporary and her selfishness and pride were based on a false sense of security. Her false gods made her doomed to failure. We are reminded to beware of idolizing economic and military power today.
True security, according to Jeremiah, was found in Israel’s God. He alone is worthy of worship. Jeremiah pours scorn on the idea that heathen deities can help their worshipers in time of trouble. Such images are “worthless, a work of delusion” (18, ESV). Israel’s God, in contrast, is “the Maker of all things, including the tribe of his inheritance–the Lord Almighty is his name” (19). Although Israel failed God, God did not fail them and, in spite of all their failures and unworthiness, he is still referred to as the “Holy One of Israel” (5). This striking title seems to bring together two contrasting realities: the Holy God and unholy Israel. It shows that, although Israel had failed, her God had not forsaken her and still claimed her as his own. Failure is not final in God’s eyes.
Failure is not final in God’ eyes. Can you recall a time when personal failure did not have the last word? What lessons did you learn? Thank God for them.
Dear God, may I never abandon the struggle to follow You, but endure to the end. I praise You that You have never abandoned me.
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