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November 16 | Jeremiah 23:1-8

DAILY READING:


For more help use this Bible Study method

 

REFLECTION


The Shepherd on the Horizon

by Dan Kidd


Today we’re hearing from the prophetic proclamations of Jeremiah. Israel is in a bad way and Jeremiah is heartbroken. The land is cursed—parched and withered—and the people have been shepherded towards destruction. Both prophet and priest are godless, and the temple is mired in terribleness. Jeremiah, who speaks on behalf of the Lord, has had enough and he is issuing a decree that God will take action to undo this mess.


Jeremiah knows the heart of Yahweh. He knows that the person after God’s own heart is a good shepherd—one who makes the people to lie down in green pastures. Jeremiah looks to the example of David at his best: the shepherd who protects the vulnerable, who lulls darkness away in song, who humbles themselves before the Lord, and delights in the law and way of God. Jeremiah is looking ahead—long into the distance of time—and he sees the hope of a righteous Savior. And what’s more, Jeremiah saw the hope of a splendid homecoming.


Even as he stood squarely in the center of desolation, famine, and Israel’s utter depravity, Jeremiah looked to the horizon, longing for the branch to sprout from the line of David to be the perfect King that Israel wanted but could never have because no king could ever compare to the anointed Son of God.


If Jeremiah can stand in the very worst of circumstances and take heart in the promise of the Messiah, how much more so are we invited to trust in the One King of kings who put death to death? We have a Good Shepherd who to keeps us close in his care and leads us to walk in his path.


What does your Shepherd have for you today? Where might he lead you? How might he attend to you?

 

PRAYER PRACTICE


Breath Prayer : Take 2-3 minutes today to pray a simple breath prayer. Get somewhere quiet and relaxing. Breathe in deeply, and then breathe out fully. As you breathe in, ask God to attend to your needs and provide you the sustenance you need for the day. As you breathe out, ask the Lord to guide you in his path, to draw you near to him, and to keep watch over you throughout the day. Pray this way for a few minutes, in the presence of God, as you reflect on the Good Shepherd.



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