Reading through the Bible together

Sunday, May 18, 2014

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I was in the British Museum in London and found myself gazing at a large stone from ancient history under a protective glass case. It was nearly black and had three different ancient languages inscribed on the surface. It was none other than the Rosetta Stone discovered in Egypt by an Archeological expedition in 1799. How did they inscribe the markings of these ancient letters and numbers so perfectly in hard stone? And why did they go through the trouble of such a very delicate and difficult task? It obviously was of such importance that they were seeking to make a permanent record of it.

The Holy Spirit of God through the prophet Jeremiah is using a powerful contrast to convey a heart wrenching reality. The sins of the nation of Judah—His very own people-- were permanently written on the horns of their altars and on their hearts. It makes sense thinking about the horns of the altars, but the tender flesh of the heart? With an iron pen and a diamond point, and all that goes with it? Is the record of our sin that permanent? No ability to erase it ever? Is hope totally gone?

How did it happen? Simple. Cursed is the man (or woman) who trusts in man. What is the inevitable result? The heart departs from the Lord.

Again there is the contrast. But blessed is the man (or woman) who trusts in the Lord! What an amazing difference!  I must have those results in my life!

But the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked! The painful cry, “Who can know it?” echoes down through time and into our own awakened consciousness. Have you ever wanted something so badly that you talked yourself into it? Then regretted it later? I have. Some years back, there was this small boat I just had to have, at least once. You can tell yourself something for so long and repeat it (even if you’re lying to yourself) that you will end up believing it!

No matter who we are, we really don’t know ourselves. “In one way only can a true knowledge of self be obtained. We must behold Christ. It is ignorance of Him that makes men so uplifted in their own righteousness”. COL 159, 160.

No wonder we hear Jeremiah burst out into prayer! So must I.

“Dear Father,
Search my heart, test my mind, heal me and save me and I will be saved! You are my only hope!  Amen.”

God leaves a little opening of the door. A last call if you will. The Sabbath, the symbol of relationship between God and man, the Creator and created, has special significance and was pointed out by Jeremiah to the leadership and the people.

The wise man Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun”. Today, in the 21st century, the stamp of sin is again being etched on the hearts of the human family.  It is being done at great speed and in a manner that is arrogant and provoking to our God who “holds our very breath in his hands” (Daniel 5:23).  And once again, the Sabbath comes into focus. What a privilege is ours, living in these closing moments of time!

I pray God’s special blessing on each person in the “Revived By His Word” family as we move through these important chapters.

Dan Houghton 
Hart Research Center