November 2 | Daily Devotion

November 2 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, ‘Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.’ But you have not paid attention or listened to me.” ~Jeremiah 35:15

The Babylonian siege would last about a year and a half. The capture of a well-fortified city required patience, determination, and skill. The aggressor could at anytime lose his kingdom! If the aggressor stayed too long, he risked another enemy assaulting his home city. Before word of the threat reached his encampment, it might already by too late to rush home to defend hearth and home.

Inside the besieged city, a king had to manage multiple threats: starvation was a constant threat, sanitation was usually a problem, and disease could break out at any time. Keeping up the morale of the people, especially the troops, was also a concern. People like Jeremiah running loose preaching doom and gloom could spark a coup, which is why the king has him under guard. The siege of a city was a high-stakes game of Chicken.

Jeremiah isn’t silenced completely though. He preaches a sermon using a nomadic family as an example. The Rekabites sought safety inside Jerusalem’s walls, but the clan was famous for living off the land. Their forefather instructed them not to drink wine, build houses, or plant vineyards so they didn’t. They remained nomads as he had ordered. The Lord’s word to His people was this: The Rekabites dutifully obeyed man-made rules given by their ancestor, but I, your Creator, have given laws to bless you and to keep you, to bestow my goodness upon you, and these you have questioned and disobeyed (Jer. 35:6-19). Isn’t it amazing the things people will do for lesser causes than devotion to God? Athletes will literally punish themselves daily to win games. Students will sacrifice sleep, time, and money in order to obtain a degree. Soldiers will shave their heads and say YES SIR to every unreasonable request for their country (or just to get through boot camp!). Our great God often asks less and promises more. Yet we give Him more grief and less devotion than He deserves. May God help us to repent and avoid His discipline!

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.