Today’s Scripture: 2 Kings 24:10-16, 25:8-9; Jeremiah 29:13-14
If we’re not careful, worship can become a routine rather than a heartfelt expression of our love and devotion to the Lord. We need to be intentional, not robotic.
The Israelites had turned worship into an automated ritual. Over time, they even collected other gods and idols that pulled their devotion away from the One True God. As a result, the Lord allowed them to be turned over to their enemy—the dreaded Assyrians.
Nebuchadnezzar, the Assyrian king, was not a nice man. He raided the city of Jerusalem, took people captive, destroyed the walls, and plundered and burned the temple. Now where would the people worship? Their routine had been to travel to the temple mount and offer sacrifices. Instead they were being carried away to a foreign land sans temple.
Jeremiah had often warned the people about their looming captivity, but he also spoke words of encouragement. Yes, they would lose their freedom, but they would always be free to worship. He assured them if they would seek the Lord with all their heart, they would find Him in their imprisonment, and He would return them to Israel.
God is omnipresent. He is with us in our freedom and in our captivity. He’s with us in our joy and our sorrow—our ups and our downs. He can be worshipped anywhere, anytime, by anyone. He is also true to His word. After seventy years, the people were released from captivity. One of the first things they did was rebuild the temple so worship could be restored.
When we emerge from a dark experience, we should do the same—restore worship and call on the name of the Lord.
- How do you respond when you are in the midst of a difficult season? What is the first thing you do when you emerge?