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Sept 4: 2Ki 9 | Lam 5 | 2Cor 3-4

Reading 1 - 2Ki 9:35,36

"But when they went out to bury her [the abominable, idolatrous, immoral Jezebel], they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands... This is the word of the LORD that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel's flesh" (2Ki 9:35,36).

But they did not eat everything! There is undoubtedly a lesson here, expressed symbolically: so wicked was Jezebel, that even the wild scavenger dogs of the streets -- capable of eating the most disgusting garbage and offal -- did not consider her head (symbolizing her thoughts), her feet (symbolizing her walk), or her hands (symbolizing her actions) fit to consume! When these dogs, which may readily consume their own vomit (Pro 26:11; 2Pe 2:22), turn their backs on any "dish", then it must be abhorrent to the last degree!

Reading 2 - Lam 5:1-4

"Remember, O LORD, what has happened to us; look, and see our disgrace. Our inheritance has been turned over to aliens, our homes to foreigners. We have become orphans and fatherless, our mothers like widows. We must buy the water we drink; our wood can be had only at a price" (Lam 5:1-4).

Is it far-fetched to suppose that, in His mercy, God might bring such reproaches on His Ecclesia before it is too late? Loss of homes and wealth, break-up of families, destitution... But the flesh's failure can become the Spirit's successes. And if we as God's children need the lesson reinforced that we are still "strangers and pilgrims" on the earth, with no permanent dwelling-place, and no "fine prospects" in this wicked generation -- then, most assuredly, God will see that it is done.

Reading 3 - 2Co 4:17,18

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2Co 4:17,18).

"There can be no comparison between a temporal and an eternal object, since the finite can never be compared with the infinite. It is a fact, however, that in all temporal objects men pay great regard to the time required for the endeavour and the durability of the finished work. Who would not be willing to endure a single second of suffering in order to secure some substantial advantage for the rest of life? Yet even a second is a proportion of our allotted span. The fraction can easily be expressed in figures, and not such an appalling array of figures either. Sixty seconds to the minute, sixty minutes to the hour, twenty-four hours to the day, three-hundred-sixty-five days to the year, and then seventy years for a human life. But the whole history of mankind does not constitute a fraction of eternity. The realization of this fact helps us to see something of God's point of view, and we can understand why that which seems like the most awful suffering to us can be described as a 'light affliction which endureth but for a moment' " (Islip Collyer, "Convictions and Conduct" 125,126).


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