Friday, August 23, 2013

August 23 – Jeremiah 49-50

Below are my thoughts from the daily Bible reading of the West Side Church of Christ. Today’s reading comes from 46-48. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word. Also above in the tabs is a link to the Bible reading plan.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

I love projects where I can see immediate results. That is what I loved about my high school job. When I would mow a lawn, I immediately saw the results of the cut grass. With each pass of the mower beautiful stripes were put into a lawn. With each pass of the mower I was one step closer to being finished with that particular lawn. That brought about a lot of gratification.

My other high school job was working at a movie theater. Sometimes that work seemed like it was never done. When selling concessions it seemed like as soon as one customer was served, the line was only getting longer. It was really difficult to enjoy the job at the movie theater because there was no immediate gratification.

In our reading it has been hard to see exactly what God is up to. Just imagine if you were living it as Israel and Judah did. The once proud (in the proper context of proud) nation of Israel has been torn in two, and now because of sin has been completely destroyed. As we have read it can be a challenge to see what God is doing through all of this. Sometimes it is simply hard to read all the death and destruction God is planning to dish out. No wonder so many people read the Bible and walk away confused.

At West Side we are doing a thirty-one week study through the Bible based on the book The Story. Through our study we have talked about God’s upper story and God’s lower story. The lower story is what is happening to the people in their every day lives. The upper story revolves around God’s overall plan. The lower story often supports the upper story. Sometimes it can leave you scratching your head to figure out how God will use the lower story to fulfill his upper story plan.

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
What I love about God is the fact that there is a plan. Even when the lower story seems a mess, like it does right now for Israel, God has not been thwarted. God has a plan, a prosperous plan of hope for Israel … ““In those coming days,” says the LORD, “The people of Israel will return home together with the people of Judah. They will come weeping and seeking the LORD their God. They will ask the way to Jerusalem and will start back home again. They will bind themselves to the LORD with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten.” (Jeremiah 50:4-5 NLT). God’s plan was restoration; a restoration that would allow Him to continue in His upper story plan of bringing hope to the entire world.

So how can you look at your lower story and find hope in God’s upper story? Maybe right now the daily pains of life are hard to bear. Maybe right now it is hard to see any hope. Maybe those days are behind you or have not come yet. Maybe for you the best hope you can turn to is the promise of spending eternity in the presence of God in Heaven. I do not know about you, but that is a pretty good hope to me. 

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