TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; See now and know; And seek in her open places If you can find a man, If there is anyone who executes judgment, Who seeks the truth, And I will pardon her.” (Jeremiah 5:1 NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer, and last night, a couple of my Bible study ladies and I joined together on Zoom to talk and pray.
The National Day of Prayer verse of the year was 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” And as I told the ladies in my group, it seems that given the condition of our country, that verse was clearly and strategically chosen. After all, these days, America hardly resembles a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values…. Our money may state, “In God We Trust,” but faith in God is certainly not respected by many of our leaders…. Nor is it valued by our media or the big tech conglomerates who have their own agenda and narrative to push.
It’s a discouraging time, and we talked about our concerns for our government, our world, our leaders, our communities, our families, and friends. As freedoms continue to be threatened and compromised and as people seem to grow more and more antagonistic towards people they disagree with — even resorting to derogatory accusations and name-calling over the smallest thing — indeed, the question must be asked of America: Where IS the Spirit of the Lord?
The good news — He has not left. He is still present. And I hope you are praying for Him to stir a revival in our land and our world. It’s going to get worse — that’s Biblical prophecy for the end times. But that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to pray for a revival within our world. The only hope we have is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
So all that was on my mind when I woke up this morning. And apparently, God wanted to keep it on my mind since my Bible study this morning was Jeremiah 5:1-9. Verse 1 says, “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; See now and know; And seek in her open places If you can find a man, If there is anyone who executes judgment,
Who seeks the truth, And I will pardon her.”
It reminded me of the conversation God had with Abraham in Genesis 18:16-33. When Abraham intervened and asked God to reconsider His plans to destroy Sodom if one righteous man could be found. And I couldn’t help but wonder what God would find in our world. In Jeremiah, God challenged Jeremiah to find one righteous person in the city of Jerusalem. In Genesis, none were to be found in Sodom. What would He find in our cities? What would He find in our capital — Washington, D.C?
As we continue to hear of crimes in our cities and read about our leaders’ actions, inactions, and decisions — the corruption is appalling. Not going to lie — from where I sit, I’m glad there’s a 5+ hour gap between my home and D.C. in the event God decided to dispense with a little Sodom and Gomorrah kind of punishment on the capital. It’s hard to believe that someday — all that we’re going through now is going to look like a cakewalk. Friends, it’s only going to get worse, especially after the Rapture of the church and when the Tribulation begins. As my Bible study ladies and I continue to study Revelation, that’s a weekly topic — and all of us agree we are so grateful that none of us will be here for it.
But I digress. Let’s go back to Jeremiah 5:1-9. I’m not going to paste the whole passage here, but as always, I encourage you to read it for yourself. The Bible should ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS be our ultimate go-to and since I haven’t said it in a while, let me remind you — if you’re only reading this or some other devotion but not reading the Bible for yourself, please — stop reading and go read your Bible. There is NOTHING I (or anyone else) can say that is more important than what God will say to you if you read His Word directly.
Sorry y’all — I’m full of rabbit trails this morning…
A few key points from verses 1 – 9 about the people of Jerusalem:
- They are not grieved by their choices. (v.3)
- They refuse to acknowledge correction. (v.3)
- They are hardened. (v.3)
- They refuse to return to God. (v.3)
- They are foolish. (v.4)
- Their transgressions are many. (v.6)
- They continue to backslide. (v.6)
- Despite all that God has done for them, they turned against Him. (v.7)
This is what it looks like when a nation turns its back on God. It’s not new. God’s Word includes the details of Israel’s backsliding and rejection for us to learn from. And yet — humanity is stubborn. We don’t learn lessons from the past, and right now, since the fashionable thing to do is erase the past, we have no hope of learning from it. But here’s the truth — the Bible makes it clear that God will bless those who will turn to Him and follow Him. He’s promised that blessing on nations who have befriended His chosen people — part of the reason I get very upset with those government leaders who don’t support Israel (Genesis 12:3, Deuteronomy 28:1-68; Zechariah 2:8-9 to cite a few examples in Scripture). When you look at the history of America and the times when we support Israel and the times we haven’t — this promise/consequences are seen.
And as we reflect on the National Day of Prayer and realize the leader of our country did not even mention God in his prayer yesterday — I want to weep but am reminded of our call to pray for our leaders.
I admitted to my Bible study friends, and I’ll be honest with you too — I have a hard time with this command. There are a lot of people in Washington D.C. that I vehemently disagree with and dislike. But just because I dislike them doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love them. So I am working hard to remind myself that the people I disagree with and who make choices that do not reflect my values are not my enemy. We spoke last night of how the enemy wants to come between Christians, but he’s also working to cause discord among people in general. The more we see each other as enemies, the more distracted we get from our nation’s values to be a country founded on God’s laws.
So I’m going to wrap it up with a reminder — as we reflect on the rebellion of the Israelites and see a 21st-century form of rebellion and rejection of God — let us remember and pray:
- 1 Timothy 2:1-2: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” Whether we like them or not.
- James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Let’s pray for wisdom for ourselves and for our leaders.
- Psalm 85:6, “Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?” Pray for revival.
- Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Remember who the real enemy is, and again, pray for our leaders.
- Finally, let’s remember the words of Jesus in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” And in Him, we have hope no matter how bleak the circumstances.
Today, as you pray, thank God that no matter who sits in the White House or represents America in Congress — we know He sits on the throne. We know that ultimately, He is in charge. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you trust in Him even when things feel out of control. And ask Him to help you pray for our leaders every time you start to complain about them. Given how much many of us complain, those can turn into powerful prayers.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.