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May 26, 2022 8:00 pm
In 1854, a young Russian artillery officer viewed the battlefield carnage occurring far below his cannon’s hilltop placement. “It’s a funny sort of pleasure,” Leo Tolstoy wrote, “to see people killing each other. And yet, every morning and every evening, I would . . . spend hours at a time watching.”
Tolstoy’s outlook soon changed. After seeing firsthand the devastation and suffering in the city of Sevastopol, he wrote, “You understand all at once, and quite differently from what you have before, the significance of those sounds of shots which you heard in the city.”
The prophet Jonah once climbed a hill to view the devastation of Nineveh (Jonah 4:5). He’d just warned that brutal city of God’s looming judgment. But Nineveh repented, and Jonah was disappointed. The city, however, relapsed into evil, and a century later the prophet Nahum described its destruction. “Shields flash red in the sunlight!” he wrote. “Watch as their glittering chariots move into position, with a forest of spears waving above them” (Nahum 2:3 nlt).
Because of Nineveh’s persistent sin, God sent punishment. But He’d told Jonah, “Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness. . . . Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?” (Jonah 4:11 nlt).
God justice and love go together. Nahum shows the consequences of evil. Jonah reveals God’s keen compassion for even the worst of us. His heart’s desire is that we repent and extend that compassion to others.
Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. Our reading today titled a forecasters mistake was written by Tim Gustus and at noon on September 21, 1938, a young meteorologist warned the US weather Bureau of two fronts, forcing a hurricane northward toward New England, but the chief of forecasting scoffed at Charles Pierce's prediction. Surely a tropical storm wouldn't strike so far north. Two hours later, the 1938 New England hurricane made landfall on Long Island by 4 PM it had reached New England, tossing ships onto land as homes crumbled into the sea more than 600 people died. Had the victims received Pierce's warning based on solid data and his detailed maps.
They likely would've survived the concept of knowing whose word to heed has precedent in Scripture and Jeremiah's day. God warned his people against false prophets do not listen to them. He said they fill you with false hopes.
They speak visions from their own minds not far from the mouth of the Lord God said of them if they had stood in my counsel, they would have proclaimed my words to my people. False prophets are still with us. So-called experts dispense advice while ignoring God altogether or twisting his words to suit their purposes, but through his word and spirit God has given us what we need to begin to discern the false from the true as we gauge everything by the truth of his word, our own words and lives will increasingly reflect that truth to others.
Today's Our Daily Bread devotional Scripture reading is from Jeremiah chapter 23 verses 16 through 22. This is what the Lord Almighty says do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you. They fill you with false hopes.
They speak visions from their own minds not far from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise me.
The Lord says you will have peace and to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts.
They say no harm will come to you, but which of them has stood in the counsel of the Lord to see or to hear his word who has listened and heard his word. See the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath a whirlwind, swirling down on the heads of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart in days to come you will understand it. Clearly I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message. I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. Ballots pray God so many claim to speak from you these days would you help us to learn what you really have to say make us sensitive to your spirit and not the spirit of this world. It's in Jesus name that we pray. Amen.
Thanks for listening today. My name is Wes Ward and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread ministries