You are my hammer and weapon of war:
with you I break nations in pieces;
with you I destroy kingdoms;
with you I break in pieces the horse and his rider;
with you I break in pieces the chariot and the charioteer;
with you I break in pieces man and woman;
with you I break in pieces the old man and the youth;
with you I break in pieces the young man and the young woman;
with you I break in pieces the shepherd and his flock;
with you I break in pieces the farmer and his team;
with you I break in pieces governors and commanders.
—Jeremiah 51: 20-23

hammerScary words to Babylon! This nation was just an instrument, a hammer,  in God’s hands to bring about God’s plan.  God is sovereign over all.  Babylon is simply the hammer that God is using to break others in pieces.  And Gods’ wrath turns on them for the evil they have done.  Jeremiah 51:29 says, “for the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand.”

God is sovereign, wise, purposeful and brings about His plans using whatever means He pleases. He chooses and uses the hammers He pleases.

October 20 

1 Peter 3:8-12 (ESV)

Suffering for Righteousness’ Sake

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For

“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

October 20 

John 6:25-40 (ESV)

25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

October 20 

Song of Solomon 4:8-16 (ESV)

Come with me from Lebanon, my bride;
come with me from Lebanon.
Depart [1] from the peak of Amana,
from the peak of Senir and Hermon,
from the dens of lions,
from the mountains of leopards.

You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.
10 How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much better is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
11 Your lips drip nectar, my bride;
honey and milk are under your tongue;
the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12 A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
a spring locked, a fountain sealed.
13 Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
with all choicest fruits,
henna with nard,
14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
with all trees of frankincense,
myrrh and aloes,
with all choice spices—
15 a garden fountain, a well of living water,
and flowing streams from Lebanon.

16 Awake, O north wind,
and come, O south wind!
Blow upon my garden,
let its spices flow.

Together in the Garden of Love

She

Let my beloved come to his garden,
and eat its choicest fruits.

October 20 

Jeremiah 51 (ESV)

The Utter Destruction of Babylon

51:1 Thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer
against Babylon,
against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai, [1]
and I will send to Babylon winnowers,
and they shall winnow her,
and they shall empty her land,
when they come against her from every side
on the day of trouble.
Let not the archer bend his bow,
and let him not stand up in his armor.
Spare not her young men;
devote to destruction [2] all her army.
They shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans,
and wounded in her streets.
For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken
by their God, the Lord of hosts,
but the land of the Chaldeans [3] is full of guilt
against the Holy One of Israel.

“Flee from the midst of Babylon;
let every one save his life!
Be not cut off in her punishment,
for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance,
the repayment he is rendering her.
Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand,
making all the earth drunken;
the nations drank of her wine;
therefore the nations went mad.
Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken;
wail for her!
Take balm for her pain;
perhaps she may be healed.
We would have healed Babylon,
but she was not healed.
Forsake her, and let us go
each to his own country,
for her judgment has reached up to heaven
and has been lifted up even to the skies.
10 The Lord has brought about our vindication;
come, let us declare in Zion
the work of the Lord our God.

11 “Sharpen the arrows!
Take up the shields!

The Lord has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance for his temple.

12 “Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon;
make the watch strong;
set up watchmen;
prepare the ambushes;
for the Lord has both planned and done
what he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.
13 O you who dwell by many waters,
rich in treasures,
your end has come;
the thread of your life is cut.
14 The Lord of hosts has sworn by himself:
Surely I will fill you with men, as many as locusts,
and they shall raise the shout of victory over you.

15 “It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
16 When he utters his voice there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
17 Every man is stupid and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,
for his images are false,
and there is no breath in them.
18 They are worthless, a work of delusion;
at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
19 Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob,
for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
the Lord of hosts is his name.

20 “You are my hammer and weapon of war:
with you I break nations in pieces;
with you I destroy kingdoms;
21 with you I break in pieces the horse and his rider;
with you I break in pieces the chariot and the charioteer;
22 with you I break in pieces man and woman;
with you I break in pieces the old man and the youth;
with you I break in pieces the young man and the young woman;
23 with you I break in pieces the shepherd and his flock;
with you I break in pieces the farmer and his team;
with you I break in pieces governors and commanders.

24 “I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea before your very eyes for all the evil that they have done in Zion, declares the Lord.

25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,
declares the Lord,
which destroys the whole earth;
I will stretch out my hand against you,
and roll you down from the crags,
and make you a burnt mountain.
26 No stone shall be taken from you for a corner
and no stone for a foundation,
but you shall be a perpetual waste,
declares the Lord.

27 “Set up a standard on the earth;
blow the trumpet among the nations;
prepare the nations for war against her;
summon against her the kingdoms,
Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz;
appoint a marshal against her;
bring up horses like bristling locusts.
28 Prepare the nations for war against her,
the kings of the Medes, with their governors and deputies,
and every land under their dominion.
29 The land trembles and writhes in pain,
for the Lord’s purposes against Babylon stand,
to make the land of Babylon a desolation,
without inhabitant.
30 The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting;
they remain in their strongholds;
their strength has failed;
they have become women;
her dwellings are on fire;
her bars are broken.
31 One runner runs to meet another,
and one messenger to meet another,
to tell the king of Babylon
that his city is taken on every side;
32 the fords have been seized,
the marshes are burned with fire,
and the soldiers are in panic.
33 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor
at the time when it is trodden;
yet a little while
and the time of her harvest will come.”

34 “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me;
he has crushed me;
he has made me an empty vessel;
he has swallowed me like a monster;
he has filled his stomach with my delicacies;
he has rinsed me out. [4]
35 The violence done to me and to my kinsmen be upon Babylon,”
let the inhabitant of Zion say.
“My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,”
let Jerusalem say.
36 Therefore thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will plead your cause
and take vengeance for you.
I will dry up her sea
and make her fountain dry,
37 and Babylon shall become a heap of ruins,
the haunt of jackals,
a horror and a hissing,
without inhabitant.

38 “They shall roar together like lions;
they shall growl like lions’ cubs.
39 While they are inflamed I will prepare them a feast
and make them drunk, that they may become merry,
then sleep a perpetual sleep
and not wake, declares the Lord.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,
like rams and male goats.

41 “How Babylon [5] is taken,
the praise of the whole earth seized!
How Babylon has become
a horror among the nations!
42 The sea has come up on Babylon;
she is covered with its tumultuous waves.
43 Her cities have become a horror,
a land of drought and a desert,
a land in which no one dwells,
and through which no son of man passes.
44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon,
and take out of his mouth what he has swallowed.
The nations shall no longer flow to him;
the wall of Babylon has fallen.

45 “Go out of the midst of her, my people!
Let every one save his life
from the fierce anger of the Lord!
46 Let not your heart faint, and be not fearful
at the report heard in the land,
when a report comes in one year
and afterward a report in another year,
and violence is in the land,
and ruler is against ruler.

47 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming
when I will punish the images of Babylon;
her whole land shall be put to shame,
and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 Then the heavens and the earth,
and all that is in them,
shall sing for joy over Babylon,
for the destroyers shall come against them out of the north,
declares the Lord.
49 Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel,
just as for Babylon have fallen the slain of all the earth.

50 “You who have escaped from the sword,
go, do not stand still!
Remember the Lord from far away,
and let Jerusalem come into your mind:
51 ‘We are put to shame, for we have heard reproach;
dishonor has covered our face,
for foreigners have come
into the holy places of the Lord’s house.’

52 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will execute judgment upon her images,
and through all her land
the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven,
and though she should fortify her strong height,
yet destroyers would come from me against her,
declares the Lord.

54 “A voice! A cry from Babylon!
The noise of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans!
55 For the Lord is laying Babylon waste
and stilling her mighty voice.
Their waves roar like many waters;
the noise of their voice is raised,
56 for a destroyer has come upon her,
upon Babylon;
her warriors are taken;
their bows are broken in pieces,
for the Lord is a God of recompense;
he will surely repay.
57 I will make drunk her officials and her wise men,
her governors, her commanders, and her warriors;
they shall sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake,
declares the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.

58 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
The broad wall of Babylon
shall be leveled to the ground,
and her high gates
shall be burned with fire.
The peoples labor for nothing,
and the nations weary themselves only for fire.”

59 The word that Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah king of Judah to Babylon, in the fourth year of his reign. Seraiah was the quartermaster. 60 Jeremiah wrote in a book all the disaster that should come upon Babylon, all these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah: “When you come to Babylon, see that you read all these words, 62 and say, ‘O Lord, you have said concerning this place that you will cut it off, so that nothing shall dwell in it, neither man nor beast, and it shall be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this book, tie a stone to it and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates, 64 and say, ‘Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the disaster that I am bringing upon her, and they shall become exhausted.’”

Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

In the passage for today, 1 Peter 3, marriage is discussed.  From the Mars Hill Church website:

“This section of scripture is exceedingly controversial. Peter discusses the role of women in marriage and their relationship to their own husbands. This is a must see sermon for all married couples, and will help unmarried people arrange their lives in a way that will prepare them for a godly marriage.”

TEXT: 1 Peter 3:1–6
PREACHER: Pastor Mark Driscoll
DATE: March 15, 2009

Introduction

Three general categories that describe many marriages:

1) Non-Christian Feminism
No distinction between the roles of husband and wife. They live parallel lives, legally married but functionally single.

2) Christian Egalitarianism
No distinction between the roles of husband and wife. They also live parallel lives, but often share some unifying, ephemeral elements (e.g. kids, hobbies, church).

3) Christian Complementarianism
Husband and wife fulfill distinct and equal roles. They live as one together under God’s authority with unified purpose.

Wives are to follow their husband’s leadership

Husbands are commanded to love their wives as Jesus loves the Church (Eph. 5:25); Jesus died for the Church. Jesus’ example guards against chauvinism and other abuses of the principle of submission.

Ways a husband can handle disagreements with his wife:

  1. Pray and discuss with your wife. Be patient. Wait for her to come around.
  2. Appeal to a higher authority (pastor/counselor).
  3. If the matter is pressing and/or a decision cannot be reached, the husband must decide. His wife should submit to the decision.

Wives are to preach wordless sermons

Those who have unbelieving husbands should not nag or be preachy, but rather love, serve, and respect their husbands, praying that God would use these actions to soften the husband’s heart.

Wives are to cultivate true beauty

There is nothing wrong with outward beauty, but it is “fleeting and deceptive” (Prov. 31:30). Holiness is true beauty. Godly wives have a quiet and gentle spirit; they are not silent, but prudent (knowing when and where to speak).

Wives should seek to know exemplary women

Peter gives Sarah as an example, and the Bible is clear that she is flawed. She is exemplary for her honesty and repentance, not because she is perfect; she ultimately did submit to God and to her husband.

Wives should fight fear

Fear (what if it doesn’t work out? what if I’m unhappy? what if my husband makes a bad decision?) makes life miserable and should be fought against by faith.

Submission Does Not Mean:

  1. A husband is in ultimate authority.
  2. A wife does not have independent thoughts.
  3. A wife does not seek to influence her husband.
  4. A wife must obey her husband’s command to sin.
  5. A wife is less intelligent or competent than her husband.

Submission Does Mean:

  1. A husband and wife are equal with complementary roles.
  2. Wives are to submit like Jesus did in Gethsemane (Luke 22:42).
  3. Husbands are to lovingly lead like Jesus does the Church (Eph. 5:25).
  4. A single woman should only marry a man she can follow.
  5. Christian marriage shows the Trinity and the gospel.

Book Recommendations:

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. —John 6:16-18 ESV

J. C. Ryle comments on this passage at Grace Gems:

We are told that they were sent over the lake by themselves, while their Master tarried behind. And then we see them alone in a dark night, tossed about by a great wind on stormy waters, and, worst of all, Christ not with them. It was a strange transition. From witnessing a mighty miracle, and helping it instrumentally, amid an admiring crowd, to solitude, darkness, winds, waves, storm, anxiety, and danger, the change was very great! But Christ knew it, and Christ appointed it, and it was working for their good.

Trial, we must distinctly understand, is part of the diet which all true Christians must expect. It is one of the means by which their grace is proved, and by which they find out what there is in themselves. Winter as well as summer–cold as well as heat–clouds as well as sunshine–are all necessary to bring the fruit of the Spirit to ripeness and maturity. We do not naturally like this. We would rather cross the lake with calm weather and favorable winds, with Christ always by our side, and the sun shining down on our faces. But it may not be. It is not in this way that God’s children are made “partakers of His holiness.” (Heb. 12:10.) Abraham, and Jacob, and Moses, and David, and Job were all men of many trials. Let us be content to walk in their footsteps, and to drink of their cup. In our darkest hours we may seem to be left–but we are never really alone.

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. —Song of Solomon 4:7    

In today’s reading, Solomon summarizes his impression of his bride by declaring that there is no flaw in her. Is love  blind?  Perhaps when we look through the eyes of love, we gain such a perspective.   If we look at this passage from a spiritual view, we see Christ as the groom and we, the Church, as His bride.  The Bible says that for us, perfection is both a gift and responsibility.

We’ve seen this many times already in our readings this year.  Here again we see “already, not yet.”  When it comes to our “legal” standing before God, there is a sense in which Christians are already perfect. We who know Jesus as Savior have been reconciled to God through the death of Christ. God sees us through the lens of Jesus’ perfections. We have His righteousness credited to our account. (Theologians call this “imputation.”)  As a result, we will be presented to Jesus, our Groom, “without blemish and free from accusation” (Col. 1:21). In Hebrews we read, “By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Heb. 10:14).

However, practically speaking, there is still room for improvement. We certainly are not perfect.  Not yet.  The apostle Paul’s goal in ministry was to present believers to Christ as “a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish” (Eph. 5:27). Similarly, we are commanded to “aim for perfection” in the way that we live (2 Cor. 13:11).

How do we “aim for perfection”? One of the most important is the discipline of studying God’s Word.  Paul wrote that one of his chief aims in preaching God’s Word was to “present everyone perfect in Christ” (Col. 1:28). The one who studies the Bible will be “thoroughly equipped” (kjv: “perfect”) for every good work (2 Tim. 3:17).

If this website has been helpful to you in knowing more about God and His Word, share it with someone who may also desire to “Know God Through His Word…Day by Day”  If you have questions or comments, please send to “comments at bible-daily dot org”

“In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve”   (Jeremiah 50:20).

Charles H Spurgeon, in “Faith’s Checkbook”

A glorious word indeed! What a perfect pardon is here promised to the sinful nations of Israel and Judah! Sin is to be so removed that it shall not be found, so blotted out that there shall be none. Glory be unto the God of pardons! Satan seeks out sins wherewith to accuse us, our enemies seek them that they may lay them to our charge, and our own conscience seeks them even with a morbid eagerness. But when the LORD applies the precious blood of Jesus, we fear no form of search, for “there shall be none”; “they shall not be found.” The LORD hath caused the sins of His people to cease to be: He hath finished transgression and made an end of sin. The sacrifice of Jesus has cast our sins into the depths of the sea. This makes us dance for joy. The reason for the obliteration of sin lies in the fact that Jehovah Himself pardons His chosen ones. His word of grace is not only royal but divine. He speaks absolution, and we are absolved. He applies the atonement, and from that hour His people are beyond all fear of condemnation. Blessed be the name of the sin-annihilating God!

October 19 

1 Peter 3:1-7 (ESV)

Wives and Husbands

3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you [1] of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.