Concerning the Ammonites.
Thus says the LORD:
“Has Israel no sons?
Has he no heir?
Why then has Milcom dispossessed Gad,
and his people settled in its cities?
Therefore, behold, the days are coming,
declares the LORD,
when I will cause the battle cry to be heard
against Rabbah of the Ammonites;
it shall become a desolate mound,
and its villages shall be burned with fire;
then Israel shall dispossess those who dispossessed him,
says the LORD.
“Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai is laid waste!
Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah!
Put on sackcloth,
lament, and run to and fro among the hedges!
For Milcom shall go into exile,
with his priests and his officials.
Why do you boast of your valleys,
O faithless daughter,
who trusted in her treasures, saying,
‘Who will come against me?’
Behold, I will bring terror upon you,
declares the Lord GOD of hosts,
from all who are around you,
and you shall be driven out, every man straight before him,
with none to gather the fugitives.
“But afterward I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, declares the LORD.”
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
“Is wisdom no more in Teman?
Has counsel perished from the prudent?
Has their wisdom vanished?
Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths,
O inhabitants of Dedan!
For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him,
the time when I punish him.
If grape gatherers came to you,
would they not leave gleanings?
If thieves came by night,
would they not destroy only enough for themselves?
But I have stripped Esau bare;
I have uncovered his hiding places,
and he is not able to conceal himself.
His children are destroyed, and his brothers,
and his neighbors; and he is no more.
Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive;
and let your widows trust in me.”
For thus says the LORD: “If those who did not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, will you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, but you must drink. For I have sworn by myself, declares the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a horror, a taunt, a waste, and a curse, and all her cities shall be perpetual wastes.”
I have heard a message from the LORD,
and an envoy has been sent among the nations:
“Gather yourselves together and come against her,
and rise up for battle!
For behold, I will make you small among the nations,
despised among mankind.
The horror you inspire has deceived you,
and the pride of your heart,
you who live in the clefts of the rock,
who hold the height of the hill.
Though you make your nest as high as the eagle's,
I will bring you down from there,
declares the LORD.
“Edom shall become a horror. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters. As when Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities were overthrown, says the LORD, no man shall dwell there, no man shall sojourn in her. Behold, like a lion coming up from the jungle of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make him run away from her. And I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me? Therefore hear the plan that the LORD has made against Edom and the purposes that he has formed against the inhabitants of Teman: Even the little ones of the flock shall be dragged away. Surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate. At the sound of their fall the earth shall tremble; the sound of their cry shall be heard at the Red Sea. Behold, one shall mount up and fly swiftly like an eagle and spread his wings against Bozrah, and the heart of the warriors of Edom shall be in that day like the heart of a woman in her birth pains.”
“Hamath and Arpad are confounded,
for they have heard bad news;
they melt in fear,
they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet.
Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee,
and panic seized her;
anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her,
as of a woman in labor.
How is the famous city not forsaken,
the city of my joy?
Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares,
and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day,
declares the LORD of hosts.
And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus,
and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.”
Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon struck down.
Thus says the LORD:
“Rise up, advance against Kedar!
Destroy the people of the east!
Their tents and their flocks shall be taken,
their curtains and all their goods;
their camels shall be led away from them,
and men shall cry to them: ‘Terror on every side!’
Flee, wander far away, dwell in the depths,
O inhabitants of Hazor!
declares the LORD.
For Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon
has made a plan against you
and formed a purpose against you.
“Rise up, advance against a nation at ease,
that dwells securely,
declares the LORD,
that has no gates or bars,
that dwells alone.
Their camels shall become plunder,
their herds of livestock a spoil.
I will scatter to every wind
those who cut the corners of their hair,
and I will bring their calamity
from every side of them,
declares the LORD.
Hazor shall become a haunt of jackals,
an everlasting waste;
no man shall dwell there;
no man shall sojourn in her.”
The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might. And I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven. And I will scatter them to all those winds, and there shall be no nation to which those driven out of Elam shall not come. I will terrify Elam before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, my fierce anger, declares the LORD. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them, and I will set my throne in Elam and destroy their king and officials, declares the LORD.
“But in the latter days I will restore the fortunes of Elam, declares the LORD.”
(Jeremiah 49 ESV)
Vindicate me, O LORD,
for I have walked in my integrity,
and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
Prove me, O LORD, and try me;
test my heart and my mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
and I walk in your faithfulness.
I do not sit with men of falsehood,
nor do I consort with hypocrites.
I hate the assembly of evildoers,
and I will not sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence
and go around your altar, O LORD,
proclaiming thanksgiving aloud,
and telling all your wondrous deeds.
O LORD, I love the habitation of your house
and the place where your glory dwells.
Do not sweep my soul away with sinners,
nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
in whose hands are evil devices,
and whose right hands are full of bribes.
But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground;
in the great assembly I will bless the LORD.
(Psalm 26 ESV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the LORD will take me in.
Teach me your way, O LORD,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
(Psalm 27 ESV)
This One Thing
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
Those of us who trust our Lord and have confidence in His perfect character feel free to ask Him almost anything and to come to Him with what seems to be heavy on our heart. And while our God has encouraged us to come to Him like this, we can learn a great deal about the condition of our heart, mind and soul based on the things we continually seem to ask of God.
Do most of our requests fall into the category of earthly gifts or things associated with eternal glory? Do we find ourselves regularly asking for 'daily bread' but rarely for 'thy kingdom come'?
David was certainly not a perfect man, but the psalms help us see why God praised the sincerity of his heart. David declares that there is one thing that he wants from God above anything else -- to dwell in God's presence and to simply gaze upon His perfection. People travel all over the world to gaze upon various landmarks of wonder, but David wants nothing more than the opportunity to gaze upon His God. Do we desire this one thing? And are we asking God for it? May we not settle on mere belief in God but in prayer seek to experience Him and to see Him in all His perfection.