God’s Promises

 

‘They shall come back from the land of the enemy.’ Jeremiah 31:16 NKJV

When we’re facing tough times, or a rock-hard situation in our lives that never seems to end, we can sometimes start to lose hope. We feel like things will always be this way and that there’s no possibility of anything changing. In fact, we may have been praying for years and not seen any change whatever. It can be sooooo discouraging and frustrating. When we lose hope, we lose the ability to see beyond our circumstances. We can become consumed by fear, disappointment and resentment over our unchanging situation.

But God says He ‘will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.’ (Hosea 2:15 NIV) Achor means trouble. So here God is saying that He’ll turn trouble into hope. And the Bible says that ‘those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’ (Isaiah 40:31 NIV) When the Israelites were in exile, captives in Babylon, there must have been days when many of them doubted whether they would ever be allowed to return home. They may have even thought that God had abandoned and forgotten about them. But Jeremiah prophesied: ‘They shall come back from the land of the enemy.’ The word ‘shall’ is a definite; that was what was going to happen—and it did. And we can have that same expectancy. When God promises us something, He’ll always come through. He is faithful and always keeps His promises. He has the power to completely change our situations and turn our trouble into hope.

SoulFood: 1 Chr 1–2, Lk 11:14–28, Ps 78:56–64, Prov 20:7–10

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2018

Today’s Readings

1 Chronicles 1–2 (Listen)

1:1 Adam, Seth, Enosh; Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared; Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech; Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.

The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. 10 Cush fathered Nimrod. He was the first on earth to be a mighty man.

11 Egypt fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 12 Pathrusim, Casluhim (from whom the Philistines came), and Caphtorim.

13 Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth, 14 and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 15 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 16 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites.

17 The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. And the sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech. 18 Arpachshad fathered Shelah, and Shelah fathered Eber. 19 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg (for in his days the earth was divided), and his brother's name was Joktan. 20 Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan.

24 Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah; 25 Eber, Peleg, Reu; 26 Serug, Nahor, Terah; 27 Abram, that is, Abraham.

28 The sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael. 29 These are their genealogies: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth, and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael. 32 The sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine: she bore Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. The sons of Jokshan: Sheba and Dedan. 33 The sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the descendants of Keturah.

34 Abraham fathered Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel. 35 The sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. 36 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, Kenaz, and of Timna, Amalek. 37 The sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.

38 The sons of Seir: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. 39 The sons of Lotan: Hori and Hemam; and Lotan's sister was Timna. 40 The sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. The sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. 41 The son of Anah: Dishon. The sons of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. 42 The sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan. The sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran.

43 These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the people of Israel: Bela the son of Beor, the name of his city being Dinhabah. 44 Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his place. 45 Jobab died, and Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his place. 46 Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, reigned in his place, the name of his city being Avith. 47 Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his place. 48 Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates reigned in his place. 49 Shaul died, and Baal-hanan, the son of Achbor, reigned in his place. 50 Baal-hanan died, and Hadad reigned in his place, the name of his city being Pai; and his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. 51 And Hadad died.

The chiefs of Edom were: chiefs Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 52 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 53 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 54 Magdiel, and Iram; these are the chiefs of Edom.

2:1 These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. The sons of Judah: Er, Onan and Shelah; these three Bath-shua the Canaanite bore to him. Now Er, Judah's firstborn, was evil in the sight of the LORD, and he put him to death. His daughter-in-law Tamar also bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all.

The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul. The sons of Zerah: Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara, five in all. The son of Carmi: Achan, the troubler of Israel, who broke faith in the matter of the devoted thing; and Ethan's son was Azariah.

The sons of Hezron that were born to him: Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai. 10 Ram fathered Amminadab, and Amminadab fathered Nahshon, prince of the sons of Judah. 11 Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz, 12 Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse. 13 Jesse fathered Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, 14 Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, 15 Ozem the sixth, David the seventh. 16 And their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. The sons of Zeruiah: Abishai, Joab, and Asahel, three. 17 Abigail bore Amasa, and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.

18 Caleb the son of Hezron fathered children by his wife Azubah, and by Jerioth; and these were her sons: Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. 19 When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20 Hur fathered Uri, and Uri fathered Bezalel.

21 Afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old, and she bore him Segub. 22 And Segub fathered Jair, who had twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead. 23 But Geshur and Aram took from them Havvoth-jair, Kenath, and its villages, sixty towns. All these were descendants of Machir, the father of Gilead. 24 After the death of Hezron, Caleb went in to Ephrathah, the wife of Hezron his father, and she bore him Ashhur, the father of Tekoa.

25 The sons of Jerahmeel, the firstborn of Hezron: Ram, his firstborn, Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. 26 Jerahmeel also had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. 27 The sons of Ram, the firstborn of Jerahmeel: Maaz, Jamin, and Eker. 28 The sons of Onam: Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai: Nadab and Abishur. 29 The name of Abishur's wife was Abihail, and she bore him Ahban and Molid. 30 The sons of Nadab: Seled and Appaim; and Seled died childless. 31 The son of Appaim: Ishi. The son of Ishi: Sheshan. The son of Sheshan: Ahlai. 32 The sons of Jada, Shammai's brother: Jether and Jonathan; and Jether died childless. 33 The sons of Jonathan: Peleth and Zaza. These were the descendants of Jerahmeel. 34 Now Sheshan had no sons, only daughters, but Sheshan had an Egyptian slave whose name was Jarha. 35 So Sheshan gave his daughter in marriage to Jarha his slave, and she bore him Attai. 36 Attai fathered Nathan, and Nathan fathered Zabad. 37 Zabad fathered Ephlal, and Ephlal fathered Obed. 38 Obed fathered Jehu, and Jehu fathered Azariah. 39 Azariah fathered Helez, and Helez fathered Eleasah. 40 Eleasah fathered Sismai, and Sismai fathered Shallum. 41 Shallum fathered Jekamiah, and Jekamiah fathered Elishama.

42 The sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel: Mareshah his firstborn, who fathered Ziph. The son of Mareshah: Hebron. 43 The sons of Hebron: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema. 44 Shema fathered Raham, the father of Jorkeam; and Rekem fathered Shammai. 45 The son of Shammai: Maon; and Maon fathered Beth-zur. 46 Ephah also, Caleb's concubine, bore Haran, Moza, and Gazez; and Haran fathered Gazez. 47 The sons of Jahdai: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah, and Shaaph. 48 Maacah, Caleb's concubine, bore Sheber and Tirhanah. 49 She also bore Shaaph the father of Madmannah, Sheva the father of Machbenah and the father of Gibea; and the daughter of Caleb was Achsah. 50 These were the descendants of Caleb.

The sons of Hur the firstborn of Ephrathah: Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim, 51 Salma, the father of Bethlehem, and Hareph the father of Beth-gader. 52 Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim had other sons: Haroeh, half of the Menuhoth. 53 And the clans of Kiriath-jearim: the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites, and the Mishraites; from these came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites. 54 The sons of Salma: Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab and half of the Manahathites, the Zorites. 55 The clans also of the scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites. These are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.

Luke 11:14–28 (Listen)

14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” 16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. 18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; 22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. 23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Psalm 78:56–64 (Listen)

56   Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God
    and did not keep his testimonies,
57   but turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers;
    they twisted like a deceitful bow.
58   For they provoked him to anger with their high places;
    they moved him to jealousy with their idols.
59   When God heard, he was full of wrath,
    and he utterly rejected Israel.
60   He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh,
    the tent where he dwelt among mankind,
61   and delivered his power to captivity,
    his glory to the hand of the foe.
62   He gave his people over to the sword
    and vented his wrath on his heritage.
63   Fire devoured their young men,
    and their young women had no marriage song.
64   Their priests fell by the sword,
    and their widows made no lamentation.

Proverbs 20:7–10 (Listen)

  The righteous who walks in his integrity—
    blessed are his children after him!
  A king who sits on the throne of judgment
    winnows all evil with his eyes.
  Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
    I am clean from my sin”?
10   Unequal weights and unequal measures
    are both alike an abomination to the LORD.

Mon 06 August, 2018


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