It was so sad to read about the defeat of the Israelites, the killing and capturing of slaves, and the destruction of the temple and city of Jerusalem. What was sad was that it was unnecessary and preventable, if only the people had continued to follow God or repented of their rebellion at any point after warning after warning by prophet after prophet. Perhaps the people mistook God's patience for leniency, perhaps they just wanted to continue in their sin no matter the consequence, but the day of reckoning finally came.
The ultimate day of reckoning will come sometime. We don't know when. And we would be foolish to mistake God's patience for leniency.
God is always ready to provide grace when we repent. We see this in our Titus passage....
3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Psalm 100 is a very familiar psalm and one of my favourites.
Our Proverbs passage is also striking....
18 Like a maniac shooting
flaming arrows of death
19 is one who deceives their neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”
It reminds me of the cruel things people say to each other, followed by "just joking". Joking and teasing can be fun, but it needs to be good natured and it has to be fun for everyone, not just the person making the joke at someone else's expense. We can't expose our poor behaviour or mean or thoughtless words by claiming we were just joking.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Lamentations 1:1-2:22, Philemon 1:1-25, Psalm 101:1-8, Proverbs 26:20
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