Daily Update #185

Pause:  As we prepare to look at God’s Word let us quieten our minds, so that His Holy Spirit may speak to us today.

Readings:  Jeremiah 23 : 5 – 8;    Psalm 71 : 3 – 8;    Luke 1 : 5 – 25

“The days are coming…”

This short passage, from the middle of the book of Jeremiah, is one of the Messianic prophecies found throughout the Prophetic writings in the Old Testament.  The promise of a Messiah, one who would restore our relationship with a holy God, begins in the Garden of Eden and, of course, meets its fulfilment in the Person of Jesus.

In these verses from Jeremiah the Lord sends the message that He will raise up a righteous Branch for David, a King who will reign wisely and who will do what is just and right in the land.  In one sense the promise is for the people of Judah and Israel, as we see in the first half of verse 8, but the verse ends with this King being called, “The Lord Our Righteous Saviour.”  That we can take this to be a promise of the coming of Jesus is clear if we consider the words in these verses.  For instance, although there have been good rulers, and we are truly blessed in this country at the moment, there is no ruler throughout history who never made errors of judgment, or who only did what is right and just.  Also, the title “Saviour” implies the ability to save, and only Jesus is the One who came to save us all from the penalty of sin.  As no doubt we shall sing sometime in the next few days:
                   Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die,
                   Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth;
                   Hark, the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the new-born King.’

The reading from Luke’s Gospel also speaks of the fulfilment of a prophecy, not of the Saviour who is to come but of His forerunner.  In Isaiah 40 verse 3 we read of the one who will be a voice calling: ‘in the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord:’ and this was, of course, John the Baptist.  He knew his mission of preparation, and he also recognised Jesus as the Messiah. When Jesus came to John to be baptised John said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  John was fearless in his part of God’s plan, and as Matt reminded us on Wednesday it was to cost him his life.

Although the writer of Psalm 73 didn’t know Jesus, obviously, he did know God, who had proved Himself to be totally trustworthy.  He speaks of God as his refuge, his rock and his fortress, his hope, his confidence, and his deliverer.  As Christmas approaches, in this year of great uncertainty, we too can know the security the Psalmist writes about.  Even more so really, because if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour then we can be absolutely assured that He is with us, whatever the world throws at us, that He will never leave us or forsake us, that He is truly our Saviour, and that our eternal future is safe in His loving hands.

Lord, we watch, we wait, we look, we long for you.  Dispel any clouds or darkness and awaken us to your glory, that we may always walk in your light.  Amen