December 19

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“Though the Lord is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar” (Psalm 138:6 NKJV).

From: December 19, 2017

Though the Lord God is transcendent, high and holy above all creation, He draws near to the humble of heart. He “regards the lowly,” leaning in to “lift them up” (James 4:10). But the Lord “resists the proud” (James 4:6), fully aware of them, yet aloof.
 
Does God seem near or far from you today? If the distance seems great, God has not moved. Perhaps your pride has taken you afar. Turn and draw near. Repent of pride and self-effort. Humble yourself before the Lord in Jesus’ name. For our God is high and holy, but He is also humble, willing to stoop down and save sinners that call on His name.

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands” (Psalm 138:8 ESV)

From: December 19, 2016

The psalmist David expressed his confidence that the Lord would “fulfill His purpose” for him. He did not ask God to bring to pass his own plans, but that God would “fulfill” what He planned for David’s life. He prayed, “God use me for the express purpose for which You made me!” This can be our prayer too. We can join David in praying, “Lord, fulfill Your purpose for me.”

“The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah” (Zephaniah 1:1 NKJV)

From: December 19, 2015

Do you know your great, great grandfather’s name? Zephaniah did. Some believe he gave such an extensive lineage in his introduction to establish that he was a descendent of King Hezekiah. However, he probably would have referred to him as “King Hezekiah” if that were truly the case. Regardless, Zephaniah knew his lineage well. He had probably memorized his family’s “begats” all the way back to Abraham as this would have been part of his childhood training. Every Jew had to be able to establish their tribal identity in order to receive the lands and titles of their inheritance. Only Levites could serve as priests, only those from the Levitical house of Aaron could serve as High Priest, the throne in Jerusalem belonged to a descendant of David, and so on. The prophet Zephaniah wrote during the “days of” King Josiah, the last good king of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. His prophecy warned the people of Judah to repent because God was soon to judge them and only a remnant would be saved. Zephaniah’s prophecy of judgment was fulfilled when Jerusalem fell to Babylon. However, his prophecy about the remnant being rescued by the “Mighty One” (Zeph. 3:17) who saves is only partially complete. Jesus, the Mighty One, the Son of David and Son of God has come and will soon come again to take up His rightful place on David’s royal throne.

“So I went to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. “Yes, take it and eat it,” he said. “It will be sweet as honey in your mouth, but it will turn sour in your stomach!” (Revelation 10:9 NLT)

From: December 19, 2014

John was given a scroll to “eat” in his vision, just as the prophet Ezekiel had been given one in his (Ezekiel 3:1-3). For both of them, it was as “sweet as honey” when they chewed on it, but unpleasant when they digested the impact of its message. God’s Word is sweet to the believer whose ears are open to hear it, yet it is “sour” as they consider those whose ears will not. Our joy in God’s future plans of judgment is tempered by the realization that many that we love and care about will not escape His divine wrath. We therefore commit to keep chewing on God’s sweet Word, yielding to its work in us, and announcing its message to others. Perhaps, those we love will eventually open their ears to hear. And relieve our soured stomachs.

“For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord” (Zephaniah 3:9)

From: December 19, 2013

The prophet Zephaniah was a resident of Jerusalem prior to its overthrow by Babylon. He was probably a member of the royal family of David (see his reference to Hezekiah). His prophecy was a call to repentance and of coming judgment. Yet, in the midst of these words, he reported God’s plan for a coming “time” when all peoples would call upon the name of God with a “pure” and changed speech. A future day when the peoples of the world would serve God in “one accord.”