Jeremiah 50:18 Therefore, the Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: I’m going to punish the king of Babylon and his land,
just as I punished the king of Assyria.
But I will restore Israel to their pasture;
they will graze on Carmel and Bashan;
they will eat their fill
in the highlands of Ephraim and Gilead.
In those days and at that time,
declares the Lord,
if one searches for the sin of Israel,
they will find nothing;
if one seeks out the wrongdoing of Judah,
they will look in vain.
I will forgive those I have spared.
Hebrews 4:14 Also, let’s hold on to the confession since we have a great high priest who passed through the heavens, who is Jesus, God’s Son; 15 because we don’t have a high priest who can’t sympathize with our weaknesses but instead one who was tempted in every way that we are, except without sin.
16 Finally, let’s draw near to the throne of favor with confidence so that we can receive mercy and find grace when we need help.
O (Observation): In both the Old and New Testaments, we see God’s grace and mercy cycling into the lives of God’s people. In Jeremiah’s words, God has broken Babylon, finally, so that God’s redeemed people will be welcomed back into their homeland once again. God has mercy, blots out the offenses of God’s people’s past, and brings them to a new hope.
In Hebrews, we now understand that hope as coming through Jesus Christ, the one who speaks to God on our behalf. We can certainly speak to God directly, but if Jesus does that for us, then all the better. The result of Jesus speaking directly to God? Mercy, grace, help.
A (Application): So many times I feel overwhelmed: a new job with high demands, family life, my family of 5 living with mom and dad until renovations are complete for our new home (thanks, mom and dad!), cars that need repairs, physical health that ebbs and flows, finding a new church home. These aren’t complaints. These are life issues that we all encounter.
Ordinary life can seem to shatter us, break us, almost.
Yet, reading these Scripture today takes me outside of my own world. I get a broader view of life. I see beyond my own sphere. Because Jesus is busy reminding me, today, that mercy and grace come to me in my time of need, in my family’s time of need, and in the Church’s time of need.
God is always with me, and so, I can tend to that which needs tending, full of confidence and hope.
These daily meditations are a way of re-orienting my approach to life: family life, work life, play life, and more.
Here is an example of the play life I experienced with my family last night at the Gwinnett County Fair! (A good reminder that life can be fun, even in the midst of craziness!)
P (Prayer): Merciful God, re-orient my life daily toward you and my neighbor. Amen