November 6 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials, did in the towns of Judah and in the streets Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm.” ~Jeremiah 44:16-17

OLD TESTAMENT

Egypt was an attractive destination for people who lived in the ancient world. It was a land of pyramids and palm trees known for its architectural beauty and warm climate. The cosmopolitan cities were cultural melting pots. Famine was relatively unknown as the Nile River and the Nile Delta (near the Mediterranean Sea) watered the land. Egypt was also politically stable, unlike Israel, which attracted warring nations and ambitious kings because it was a gateway to the Orient and had excellent ports for ferrying goods.

However for all of Egypt’s attractions, God wants His people to stay in Jerusalem, and He promises to bless them if they do. He wants them to build houses and plant vineyards and have families and worship Him. The people will not listen. They will not believe that their misery has nothing to do with their geographic location. They are miserable because of their rebellion. The land is overrun because God is trying to get their attention. But they will not deal with the issues of the heart. Instead, they just keep on running from the problem. Going to Egypt isn’t going to fix their hearts or make them happy, but they refuse to believe otherwise. “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord!” (Jer. 44:16). What a stubborn lot!

There is nothing in this world that can bring greater joy to our lives than obeying the Lord right where He has sovereignly placed us. Nothing! I am not saying that it is wrong to move if God wants to place you somewhere new. What I am saying is that the most important component of our joy is loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind in the place where we find ourselves. That is the good life. That is the land flowing with milk and honey!

NEW TESTAMENT

What do we need to do when we are discouraged in our faith? We need to spend time with each other. Community is one of the “means of grace,” that is, one of the ways God encourages us. We must encourage each other daily so that we all remain true to the Christ who has saved us (Heb. 3:13).


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.