JUGS AND GEESE!

kathylarkman,
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Hannah Spruijt, contributor of today’s post

How do we serve, love and encourage others when we are feeling in need of encouragement ourselves? It is so much easier to serve others from a place of assurance, confidence and contentment, and much harder when feeling broken! I have been struggling with anxiety and health related issues again in the past few weeks and have often felt unable to ‘give’ any more. But God has been reminding me of His truth when we feel this way.

jug-2An image that came to my mind when talking about encouraging and loving one another is that of a jug or vessel, filled to the brim with God’s love that can pour out into other’s lives. God is so gracious and loving towards us; He loves us SO much that He gave us Jesus, not only as the perfect example to live by, but as the perfect sacrifice to take our place and die for our sin (John 3v16). The Bible also tells us that He has given us all we need (Phil 4v11-13); in the face of difficulty we are more than conquerors in Him (Romans 8v37); and we do not need to be afraid because He has promised to never leave or forsake us (Deut 31v8). What powerful truths! They fill us with hope, and Romans says that “hope will not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom 5v5 HCSB). With that love filling our hearts, we are able, like a jug full to the brim, to pour out God’s love into the lives of those around us. I sometimes feel like ‘my jug’ is cracked, not pretty and certainly not beautiful, shiny and crack-free, as I perceive some of you lovely ladies around me to be! But do you know what? It doesn’t matter! God still fills me to the brim with his love, and no matter how cracked I’m feeling, I can still POUR! My challenge is to remain rooted in His love, like Colossians says: “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude”.

As I have been trying to put this into practise, I am finding God’s word to be true where it says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12v9).  When I feel like I don’t have the strength or energy to meet with someone for coffee, or cook a meal for someone, or help lead our life group, it is in those times when God has poured out His strength and enabling power. And I often find He totally blesses me through those things too! (NB. I should also say that sometimes I just need to say no and take a rest, and that is equally ok. God gives us the Holy Spirit to help us discern what He wants us to do).A

geeseOne last thought. Last night as I lay in bed I heard a flock of geese pass over the house, calling to one another.  In my imagination, they were flying south and migrating towards warmer weather. I’ve since looked it up and they do tend to fly at this time of year in V formation; their calling to one another in the dark is a way to let the others know they are still there and to encourage onward flight. As I lay there, I thought how much we need each other as a body of believers; we are ‘flying’ to a heavenly destination (Phil 3v13-14), often flying in spiritual darkness and we need to be calling out and encouraging one another to keep going! Let us keep calling to one another and pouring out His love as we take this journey together.

 

 

ONE ANOTHER STUDY AND FRIENDSHIP IS TONIGHT!

kathylarkman,

one+anotherHappy Monday Girlfriends,

Tonight’s study is focused on Forgiving One Another. Don’t let this subject scare you away! I believe you will be refreshed and renewed as a result of coming tonight.The Scripture is one of hope and good news!  And who knows, you may make some new friends! Join us! There will be cuppa, cake, and probably a little craziness!

WHERE: Corsham Baptist Church, Church Hall

WHEN: Tonight, 28 November

TIME: 7:30PM

New site for Steve & Ruth

Tim Stephenson,

The Lancasters have a new blog site

lancsintanz.aimsites.org

but you do not need to do anything, because posts will appear here automatically.

Ruth says they have hit the ground running, with Steve travelling lots and both are heading to language school for a refresher course. More soon…

Daily readings from Jeremiah: week commencing 27th November

Eddie,

As you read each passage, pray for God’s help. Ask yourself:

  • What does God reveal about Himself?
  • How is your own heart revealed?
  • How does this passage underline the wonder of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, and your own need of Christ as Saviour and Lord?
  • Turn these truths into prayer and praise.

27 November Jer 49:23-39

The chapter concludes with brief oracles of judgement on various nations. The familiar themes of terror, destruction and depopulation are highlighted, the ugly fruits of human sin that upend God’s good purposes for His creation (Ge 1:27-31). Notice that, as ever, God singles out for special attention the things in which we wrongly put our confidence: Damascus relied on its fame (v.25); Kedar on its remoteness and mobility (vv.29,31); Elam on its archers (v.35). False refuges! When will be learn that “God (alone) is our refuge and strength …” (Ps 46:1)?

28 November Jer 50:1-10

The oracles against the nations end with the doom of Babylon, the tyrant that has loomed over the whole book. Although God made use of Babylon as the instrument of His judgement, she will herself judged. Her violence will not be the Lord’s final word in history. God will again bring salvation and blessing to His people (vv.4-5), for the earth belongs to the Lord, not to the gods of Babylon (Bel and Marduk, v.2).

29 November Jer 50:11-20

While the Lord grieved at the judgement He brought on His people, Babylon rejoiced and mocked (v.11). Her arrogance will be repaid as God turns her arrogance to shame (vv.12-13). Babylon will suffer the violence she has inflicted on others (vv.14-15). Freed from her tyranny, people of many nations will be free to return to their lands (v.16). In contrast to the fallen empires of Assyria and Babylon, God’s people will be forgiven and restored (vv.17-20). Good news – gospel – indeed!

30 November Jer 50:21-32

The Lord’s holy war against Babylon is vividly depicted in vv.21-27. God’s action is a direct judgement on Babylon for its destruction of the temple (v.28). Although the burning of the temple was God’s own judgement on His people for their backsliding, it was simultaneously Babylon’s blasphemous rejection of the Lord’s rule over all the earth (v.29). God’s triumph over Babylon’s arrogance (vv.29-32) is therefore a vindication of His sovereignty over all nations.

1 December Jer 50:33-46

God’s judgement on Babylon is simultaneously an act of redemption for His people (vv.33-40). The term “Redeemer” (v.34) recalls Israel’s law by which a widow or orphan might be adopted by another family member (e.g., Ruth 4). In this personal, costly way God redeems His people, not only from Babylonian captivity, but ultimately from sin and guilt through our Lord Jesus Christ. Note the irony that Babylon, “from the north” (1:13-14), is now herself hunted by a northern army (v.41).

2 December Jer 51:1-19

What gospel grace God shows to His people (v.5)! And how devastating is His judgement on Babylon (vv.11-14). Yet there is a note of sadness over Babylon’s incurable condition (v.9), reminding us that judgement is God’s reluctant resort when all else has failed. The folly of idolatry contrasts starkly with the glory and grace of our God (vv.17-19). When will we learn?

3 December Jer 51:20-44

God uses Babylon’s horrible violence in judgement (vv.20-23) yet also judges Babylon for its violence (vv.24-26). Babylon will be devoured (vv.27-33), an apt punishment for the nation that devoured God’s people (vv.34-35). How are the mighty fallen (v.41)! Thus passes this world’s glory.

Notice sheet for 27th November 2016

Louise,

Thank you

Wendy Rowe would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who provided cakes/biscuits and helped out in any way at the last two mission events.

Christmas Cards

There are two Christmas cards, for our missionaries, at the back of church which you are encouraged to sign – one for the Bryants and one for the Lancasters. If anyone would like to make a donation for a parcel for the Lancasters, please see Wendy Rowe.

Ladies’ Bible Study

The next ladies’ bible study notes are available on the table at the back. Please take one in preparation of the study which is taking place tomorrow night, 28th November. Contact Kathy Larkman or Anne Holmes for more details on these meetings.

The Craft Group

The Craft Group will meet on Saturday 3rd December and we will have the opportunity of making Christmas Cards or carrying on with quilt blocks for the next quilt! If anyone has any scraps of cotton print material they wish to clear out, the craft group could make use of them for the next quilt which will be for Steve and Ruth. Any donations of materials can be given to Pam Mitchell or Kathy Ewins.

Toddler Group

The Toddler Group is praying for someone to lead the team. They are also in need of more helpers. It is held on Thursday mornings following the school calendar.  Please see Kathy Larkman for details.

Midweek Service

This will take place on Wed 30th November from 2-3pm. Please speak to Eric Seager for further details of these services.

*** Town Carol Service ***

Each year a different church in Corsham organizes the town carol service and this year it is our turn!  The event, which takes place through the High Street and ends at St. Bart’s, is on Tuesday 20th December, starting at 6:45pm. Thanks to the few people who have signed up to help…we now really just need someone to put the banner up in a few weeks’ time. Please contact Louise if you can do this. Thank you.

Men’s Christmas Event

There is a men’s Christmas event on the 29th November at Priory Street at 7:20pm. Sign up!!

Bible Society’s Advent Challenge

This starts on Monday 1st. Please join our online Advent calendar which challenges you to do a small, practical act of kindness every day, to share goodwill and make a difference in this season of Advent. Sign up by visiting adventchallenge.org.uk or visit the Bible Society Facebook page. Last year 13,000 took part, so don’t miss out this year! Any questions, ask Susan Wingrave (Church on the Green) or Alan Kember (9.15am at Priory St).

Carol Service Band

Do you play an acoustic instrument? – strings, woodwind or brass? If so, it would be great to include you in this year’s Carol Service Band which will accompany the carols on the evening of Sunday 18th December. There are likely to be a couple of practices beforehand, one of which will probably be on the afternoon of the carol service itself. The band last year were brilliant, despite some struggles along the way. If you’re interested in taking part, please either speak to David Morrell, or email him at davidsuemorrell@gmail.com – and let him know what you play, and roughly what standard you’re used to playing (so he doesn’t write parts that are too hard this year!!).

Prayer in Chippenham

This evening in Chippenham at St Paul’s church there is a prayer meeting from 7-9pm in conjunction with SAT7 and Open Doors to pray for Hope in the Middle East and North Africa. You can drop in at any point during the 2 hours. More details on the St. Paul’s website (http://www.stpaulsweb.org.uk)

Christmas Cards

“Christmas Cards for persecuted believers” available at back of church. Please take one and send with a verse of encouragement. (Open Doors). Please contact Vanessa Naish if you need more information.

Ladies Bible Study – Christmas event

Monday 12th December @ 7:30pm at CBC.

If you would like to attend this year’s event, please sign up using the sign up sheets at the back of the church. A buffet style meal will be provided – please indicate any dietary requirements you may have. We need helpers to move chairs (men can help too!) after the evening service on 11th Dec plus setting up and helping with cooking. Please sign up on the sign up sheet at the back if you are able to help in any way or speak to either Vicky Stephenson or Roz Shillaker.

Opportunities for Regular Giving

If you would like to give to the work of the church on a regular basis, you might wish to consider setting up a standing order through your bank. Alternatively, some people find it helpful to use a weekly numbered blue donation envelope for their offering. Moreover, if you are a UK tax payer, then the value of your gift can be increased by 25% at no extra cost to yourself, if you complete a Gift Aid Declaration.

If you would like to enrol on the blue envelope scheme for 2017, or would like to set up a standing order or make a Gift Aid Declaration, do please speak to one of the Treasury Team: Roger Hammett (Priory Street 11:15 service); Lynne Little (Church on the Green, Rudloe) or Michael Prior (Priory Street 9:15 service). Many thanks.

 

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 9:30am; Ladies’ Bible study, 7:30pm

Tuesday: Rudloe Tots, 10am, Rudloe Centre; Men’s Quiz and Pizza night, 7:20pm

Wednesday: Morning prayer, 7:15am; midweek service, 2pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10:00am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm.

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion 8.30am; The Craft Club, 10am; Café on the Green, Rudloe, 2:30pm

 

…Looking ahead…

4th Dec: Prayer evening – praying for the persecuted church, 6pm

10th Dec: Tree decorating 3-5pm

12th Dec: Ladies’ social, 7:30pm

13th Dec: Seniors’ Christmas meal, 12pm

14th Dec: Midweek Christmas service, 2pm

17th Dec: Nativity service, 5pm @ Priory St.

18th Dec: Carols by Candlelight, 6pm

19th Dec: Missions’ prayer, 7:45pm

20th Dec: Corsham Town Carol Service, 6:45pm

24th Dec: Christmas eve service, 6pm

25th Dec: Christmas day joint service @ Priory St, 10am; no evening service on Christmas day

1st Jan: Joint service at Priory St. @ 10am; no evening service on new year’s day

 

There are small leaflets at the back of church which list all the Christmas services and activities taking place at Priory Street. Take one either for your own use or take a few for friends, family & neighbours.

 

HOW DO I KNOW I’VE FORGIVEN SOMEONE?

kathylarkman,
_MG_9161_2015

Sharon Durant, contributor for today’s blog

Sometimes I know I have forgiven someone for sinning against me because we are reconciled – everything is hunky-dory again, hugs and air kisses all round, it’s like it never happened. Pukka.

What about when there is no chance of reconciliation? What if the person who hurt me has moved to another country? What if they’ve died and I’m hoping they’re in hell? Is that forgiveness? What if they offended me indirectly by hurting someone I love? Do I still have to forgive them?

The Bible teaches us to forgive, not because it is easy but because it is godly and good for us. We were God’s sworn enemies when He extended forgiveness to us. This is the costly and painful model of forgiveness – to forgive as the Lord forgave me (Ephesians 4:32).

There is great freedom in forgiveness; the alternative is bitterness (Hebrews 12:15). If we are struggling to know if we have forgiven someone, it might be easier to spot bitterness in our hearts instead.

In the case of my mythical offender who has moved away, I still need to forgive them. This does not mean sending a Christmas card or giving a false compliment and then patting myself on the back for being forgiving. Publicly it looks like forgiveness (“Oh look how brave Sharon is, forgiving when she was so hurt by XYZ!”) but inside I’m looking for a carving knife to stick in her back, or at least a chance to accidentally spill my drink down her dress…

Dear friends, this is not forgiveness. This is bitterness disguised (very poorly) as forgiveness.

Real forgiveness is a choice, often a daily choice, a painful choice, not to go over that person’s sin internally and keep it fresh. Not to rehearse vengeance privately. Not to drag it up at every opportunity. Not to look for ways to remind them of it. Not to hold it against them. Forgiveness is a choice to let God deal with someone and humbly allow God to be God.

Forgiveness is a chance to rely on God’s power at work in me, to ask his Holy Spirit to break down the pride in me that will not let this offence go and pray for his blessings on the offender.

It may be unwise to resume a friendship with someone if that will put me in harm’s way; it may be impossible to reconcile if they have moved away or died. Jesus’ command is still to forgive one another, to make the daily choice to forgive and have a heart attitude that prays God’s blessing for those who wrong us.

How do I know I’ve forgiven someone? When I remember that Jesus died for them as much as he died for me. Jesus died for them; Jesus considered them worthy of forgiveness; who am I to set my standard higher than God?

Notice sheet for 20th November, 2016

Louise,

Baptism Services

We are happy to announce that four people are being baptized today – one at the 9:15am service and three at the 11:15am service. We welcome their friends and family to this special occasion.

Persecuted Church Sunday 20th November

This afternoon we will have a special event focusing on the persecuted church. Tea and cakes will be served at 4:30pm, and we will be welcoming David and Sue, an experienced couple who have worked for some years in both Ghana and the Middle East, as our speakers. They are now involved in outreach to migrants in the UK and beyond. They will give a short presentation at around 5.20pm and will share further during the evening service, with David preaching.

Ladies’ Bible Study

The next ladies’ bible study notes are available on the table at the back. Please take one in preparation of the study on the 28th November. Contact Kathy Larkman or Anne Holmes for more details on these meetings

The Craft Group

The Craft Group will meet on the first Saturday in December and we will have the opportunity of making Christmas Cards or carrying on with quilt blocks for the next quilt! The first quilt for Tanzania is well on the way now and when completed we hope to show it to the church folk before it is taken out to Tanzania. If anyone has any scraps of cotton print material they wish to clear out, the craft group could make use of them for the next quilt which will be for Steve and Ruth. A couple of people have suggested we visit charity shops and buy good quality cotton skirts, or similar, to use! Any donations of materials can be given to Pam Mitchell or Kathy Ewins.

Toddler Group

The Toddler Group is praying for someone to lead the team. They are also in need of more helpers. It is held on Thursday mornings following the school calendar.  Please see Kathy Larkman for details.

The Ark

You are invited to the Ark Christmas Party on Saturday 26th November 10-11am at Corsham Baptist Church. Puppets, songs, games, food, party bags and the Christmas story. Please bring an adult to stay with you for the party. Aimed at 0-7 but all welcome. We are excited and look forward to seeing you there! If you want to know more, please speak to Alexa Simm or Heather Chilcott.

Town Carol Service

Each year a different church in Corsham organizes the town carol service and this year it is our turn!

The event, which takes place through the High Street and ends at St. Bart’s, is on Tuesday 20th December, starting at 6:45pm. Louise would like help with the following activities:

  • 3 x stewards to crowd manage
  • 3 x helpers to heat up mince pies
  • 4 x helpers to hand out mince pies
  • 2 x helpers to erect and remove banner from town
  • This is a lovely community event but quite big to organize so please sign up on the sheet at the back if you can help, or contact Louise in the office. Many thanks to those people who have already done so!

Short Refugee Video Clips

Recently there was a feedback session from Neal and Lesley regarding their time in Austria. These are the links to the videos that were shown.

How can one mend a broken heart?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCz912ObieE

Children have a right to claim international protection

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3a2a9EESeg

Men’s Christmas Event

There is a men’s Christmas event on the 29th November at Priory Street. Please sign up at the back if you want to attend.

Carol Service Band

Do you play an acoustic instrument? – strings, woodwind or brass? If so, it would be great to include you in this year’s Carol Service Band which will accompany the carols on the evening of Sunday 18th December. There are likely to be a couple of practices beforehand, one of which will probably be on the afternoon of the carol service itself. The band last year were brilliant, despite some struggles along the way. If you’re interested in taking part, please either speak to David Morrell, or email him at davidsuemorrell@gmail.com – and let him know what you play, and roughly what standard you’re used to playing (so he doesn’t write parts that are too hard this year!!).

Bible Society Christmas Aids

The Bible Society has wonderful Christmas aids again this year for spreading the Good News.  Steve and Heather Chilcott’s daughter, Emma, designed the Bible Verse Calendar and costs 50p and a new ‘free’ set of stickers for your Christmas cards.  The ‘free’ stickers from last year are still available too.  biblesociety.org.uk/Christmas will show you what’s available or call 01793 418300.

Christmas tree decorating!!

Invitation to all (young and old!) to come and help decorate our church Christmas tree on Saturday December 10th, 3-5pm.  Crafts, food and some carol singing!

Nativity Service

This year the Nativity will be held on Saturday December 17th at 5pm at Priory Street.

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 9:30am

Tuesday: Rudloe Tots, 10am, Rudloe Centre

Wednesday: Morning prayer, 7:15am

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10:00am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm.

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion 8.30am; The Ark, 10am; Café on the Green, Rudloe, 2:30pm

…Looking ahead…

28th Nov: Ladies’ Bible Study, 7:30pm

29th Nov: Men’s “Christmas Chili” night, 7:15pm

30th Nov: Midweek service, 2pm

3rd Dec: Craft Club, 10:00am

4th Dec: Prayer evening, 6pm

10th Dec: Tree decorating 3-5pm

12th Dec: Ladies’ social, 7:30pm

13th Dec: Seniors’ Christmas meal, 12pm

14th Dec: Midweek Christmas service, 2pm

17th Dec: Nativity service, 5pm @ Priory St.

18th Dec: Carols by Candlelight, 6pm

19th Dec: Missions’ prayer, 7:45pm

20th Dec: Corsham Town Carol Service, 6:45pm

24th Dec: Christmas eve service, 6pm

25th Dec: Christmas day joint service @ Priory Str, 10am; no evening service on Christmas day

1st Jan: Joint service at Priory Str. @ 10am; no evening service on new year’s day

HAPPILY EVER AFTER?

kathylarkman,
VICKY PHOTO

Vicky Stephenson, contributor for today’s blog

Do you ever feel like you must get to the “happy ever after” bit soon??

Last month we focused on the one another command to encourage one another. I find it encouraging hearing of others’ struggles and victories; so I thought it might be encouraging to you if I shared some of mine.

I had fairly typically miserable, tough and secular teenage years; pressure, loneliness, feeling lost and not knowing who I was. So off I went to university; but I wasn’t lost to Jesus and after many happy “coincidences,” I found my way to Him.  So I finished university ready to be a doctor – my lifelong passion – married to the man I loved and following my Saviour secure in my salvation and identity as a child of God. All ready for happy ever after!!

But no, it was still a struggle and life was tough with lots of bumps in the way. We joined a church in London where I had fantastic fellowship; I grew as a Christian and learnt about the Holy Spirit and sanctification. I felt so close to God, surely this must be the start of happy ever after?

Alas no. There were good times and bad times and many years of struggling to start a family. However now I have my wonderful twins, still married to the man I love (17 years and counting), a good job and a nice home…. This must be it! Happy ever after!!

Of course for years I have had the head knowledge that the Christian life is not easy but has that really rooted itself in my heart? Maybe if I truly accepted in my heart the words of Jesus “pick up your cross and follow me… this is a life of sacrifice.” I would get less tired, frustrated and irritable always looking for quick fixes and easy ways out to get to happy ever after.

I know happy ever after is waiting for me at the resurrection, and it is a longing of my soul for the peace and joy of the intimacy of relationship with God in eternity and it will never be found in this life. I just need to live that knowledge out.

I pray this encourages you. You are not alone in thinking “If only…” or “When I get here…” then my spiritual life will get easier, I will be full of joy and peace.

In the past, I used to see life as a trudge up a slippery muddy hill pushing a heavy rock. I would do well for a while then something would happen and I would slip and the rock would be back at the beginning and I felt I was starting over again.

woman-helping-handNow God inspires me to see life as a path through a winding valley, sometimes I wander off down a track to see a waterfall, then I am blessed when someone comes along side me and encourages me “Yes, it is a lovely waterfall but there is so much more to see. Keep moving forward”. Other times when I find someone sat on a rock by the road I can sit with them and say “I know you are tired but see how far you have come, lean on me and we can travel this next bit together”.

That is what encouragement feels like to me, how does it feel for you?

What practical ways can we help one another back to the track and keep moving forward?

Vicky

BIBLE STUDY 3 NOW AVAILABLE

kathylarkman,

Happy Monday girlfriends,

Just to let you know that this month’s Bible study, 3 Forgiving One Another, is available on this blog and on hard copies at the churches.

I encourage you to get with your study buddy in the next few weeks to study this together and catch up over a cuppa! If you don’t have a study buddy, please let me, Kathy Larkman, or Anne Holmes know, and we will assist you!

Remember our night together is 28 November…

Keeping our eyes on Jesus, who is faithful and true,

Kathy xo

Daily readings from Jeremiah: week commencing 13th Nov

Eddie,

As you read each passage, pray for God’s help. Ask yourself:

  • What does God reveal about Himself?
  • How is your own heart revealed?
  • How does this passage underline the wonder of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, and your own need of Christ as Saviour and Lord?
  • Turn these truths into prayer and praise.

13 November Jer 46:1-12

The closing chapters of Jeremiah address the surrounding nations, in line with his calling (see 1:10). He warns that Babylon’s expansion will bring God’s judgement on all the nations (chs.46-49), but promises that in the end Babylon too will be judged (chs.50-51). In 46:1-12 he foresees Egypt, in which Judah had place so much false hope, being exposed. The surging pride of vv.7-9 leads not to glorious victory over Babylon but to painful defeat (vv.2-6). That day belongs to the Lord, not Egypt (vv.10-12).

14 November Jer 46:13-28

Jeremiah’s next oracle warns of a Babylonian attack on Egyptian territory. Egypt’s mercenaries desert her (vv.16, 21), her own armies flee in disarray (vv.20-24), and Pharaoh will be a figure of contempt (v.17). The judgement is on Egypt’s gods and kings, and on those who place their hope in them (v.25), including the Jews who have sought refuge from Babylon by fleeing to Egypt (43:7). Yet God still speaks a word of hope even to Egypt (v.26) and to the scattered Jewish remnant (vv.27-28).

15 November Jer 47:1-7

The general upheaval of nations in Jeremiah’s time had dreadful consequences for many. Pharaoh (v.1) was no match for the Babylonians but he could still wreak havoc on the much smaller Philistine nation (vv.2-3), possibly on Egypt’s return from the battle of Carchemish (46:2). This is seen as God’s judgement on the Philistines (v.4-7). Note vv.6-7: as long as human mutiny persists, how can the sword of the Lord rest?

16 November Jer 48:1-10

Moab had ties of kinship with Israel but frequently behaved as an enemy. The frequent place-names in this chapter are locations in Moab. Jeremiah describes Moab suffering invasion just as Israel and Judah had done. Verse 7 highlights the bitter fruits of false trust, namely exile and the removal of the image of their false god, Chemosh, and his servants. Moab’s destruction by Babylon is the Lord’s judgement (v.10).

17 November Jer 48:11-47

The picture of Moab that builds up in this chapter is chiefly one of arrogance. Her prosperity had bred complacency (v.11) rather than godly character. Her pride will be brought low (vv.14-25), especially her pride against Israel (vv.26-30). Jeremiah wails for her, as he once did for his own people (vv.31-39). The eagle of v.40 is Nebuchadnezzar, God’s instrument of judgement. Yet the final note is one of grace and renewal to those who have been God’s enemies (v.47).

18 November Jer 49:1-6

Ammon, like Moab, was an ancient enemy of Israel. Ammon’s sin (v.1) was to seek to dispossess Israel of her territory, and all in the name of their god, Molek (or Molech). God will act in judgement (v.2), resulting once again in the exile of the people and the humiliation of their god (v.3). Boastful – and false – trust in wealth is condemned (vv.4-5). Yet once again there is the prospect of ultimate mercy (v.6)

19 November Jer 49:7-22

The proud Edomites were more used to inspiring fear than experiencing it (v.16). Yet God speaks of total disaster that will befall them (vv.9-11). We find the reason for this judgement in Obadiah vv.11-14: Edom had assisted Babylon against Judah and gloated over Judah’s downfall. This was particularly reprehensible given their kinship (Edom being descended from Jacob’s brother Esau). Now Jeremiah warns that all Edom’s famed wisdom cannot avert this judgement (v.7), nor can they hide even in this land of hiding places (vv.10,16).