Today we will concentrate on Baruch. Baruch begins by reading his book to the king and noble families, who are struck to the heart, There were four results of the reading, the people wept, fasted, prayed and collected money to send to Jerusalem for the sacrifice. The people of Jerusalem are instructed to pray for Nebuchadnezzar and his heir, and to confess their sins.
The confession follows. In the confession,
the people admit that they had sinned against God and deserved to be
punished. They admit not only their own sins, but the sins of their
ancestors in not listening to the law and the prophets, and because of
those sins, they were scattered to the nations.
When we pray, we
need to realise there is none who does good, not not one, not without
the power of the Holy Spirit. We also need to remember our ancestors,
and plead the blood of Jesus between their sins and ourselves. We also
need to know that God moves in many amazing ways. The creation of the
Jewish diaspora, the adoption of the Aramaic language from the Indus to
Israel were all factors in the spread of the gospel. When Messianic
Jews fled Jerusalem in 72 A.D., they went to the Jewish Diaspora, in
Cornwall, Ethiopia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Arabia, and even India and
China and spread the Gospel.
The other lessons point out things for us as well. God has his own
timing. Our timing is always now, but God knows the right time. Could
it be that God allowed the Hebrews to suffer a little more, so they
would not go running back to Egypt at the first sign of trouble?
The passage from Samuel also raises questions. We often talk about
David's heart, but do we ever talk about Jonathon. Jonathon has a
kingdom to lose to David, but is always David's friend and sometime
protector. Jonathon sees in David the greatness that is needed to bind
together the 12 tribes.
I hope each of you is benefiting from
your Lenten discipline. Remember, if you fall, just start over again
the next day. We are building up our spiritual muscles. Be sure and
set goals. and there is nothing wrong with modifying those goals as we
go along. The ultimate goal of Lent, is to become more like Christ.