In keeping with the Bible reading plan we are using, the last days of each month are designated as “free days.” October 26-31 then are intended to allow you to catch up on reading you may have missed or to study passages more in depth that intrigued you during the first 25 days of the month.…

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Lamentations 4-5,  Song of Solomon 8:8-14,  John 7:25-36,  1 Peter 5:8-14   Lamentations 4-5:   “How the gold has grown dim” (4:1)! Part of the tragedy of calamity is recalling how wonderful things were before the doom fell. The author of Lamentations does that repeatedly in this chapter, but also describes the horrors of a city that…

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Lamentations 3,  Song of Solomon 8:1-7,  John 7:14-24,  1 Peter 5:1-7   Lamentations 3:   We come to the heart of Lamentations, or at least to its most famous chapter and verses. Here we find evocative words of great distress that meet the lovingkindness of the person of God. In a brilliant turn of phrase, the chapter…

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Lamentations 2, Song of Solomon 7, John 7:1-13, 1 Peter 4:12-19   Lamentations 2:   The anger of God is not a common subject these days. In fact, so rare is it that when we talk of God’s “wrath” it becomes almost embarrassing. It is like mentioning a subject that is impolite, indelicate, or inappropriate—certainly not politically correct. The result…

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Lamentations 1,  Song of Solomon 6,  John 6:60-71, 1 Peter 4:1-11   Lamentations 1: This Book of Lamentations appears initially to be little more than a rather lengthy “downer,” but once we start to understand its purpose and point, it becomes uniquely edifying. Probably written by Jeremiah (2 Chronicles 35:25), probably after the fall of Jerusalem, it…

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Jeremiah 52,  Song of Solomon 5,  John 6:41-59,  1 Peter 3:13-22   Jeremiah 52:   And so we come to the end—or so it must have seemed to many at the time. What could be worse than the litany of destruction and defeat that we read about in this chapter? The horrors visited on Zedekiah and his family, the…

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Jeremiah 51,  Song of Solomon 4:8-16,  John 6:25-40,  1 Peter 3:8-12   Jeremiah 51:   The judgment from God against Babylon is recorded in greater length and at greater extremity in this chapter. Once again, we need to remind ourselves of the yet broader context, not just of God’s judgment against all sinners who have not put…

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Jeremiah 50,  Song of Solomon 4:1-7,  John 6:16-24,  1 Peter 3:1-7    Jeremiah 50:   Babylon is famous throughout the Bible, in particular the New Testament, especially because of Revelation and its depiction of Babylon, and the use of Babylon in 1 Peter 5:13, for example. Here the reference is to the historic empire—and it is…

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Jeremiah 49, Song of Solomon 3, John 6:1-15, 1 Peter 2:18-25  Jeremiah 49: If this were all the Bible you ever read, you would leave with a very skewed picture of God. Here we read God, through his prophet Jeremiah, pronouncing judgment on all peoples, without favor or fear, and the litany of judgment on these nations is…

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Jeremiah 47-48, Song of Solomon 2, John 5:31-47, 1 Peter 2:9-17 Jeremiah 47-48: More judgment on the nations. First on Philistia (chapter 47), and then on Moab (chapter 48). For Moab, there is a final respite: “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days” (48:47). But still, this whole section is a litany of…

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