Today we are praying for the U.S.A. Please help us lift up this nation to the Lord today. You can follow the two links below to learn more about the nation and its unreached people groups. You can watch the video below to help guide you in your prayers.
Please take time to meditate on the devotion for today as well.
Please join us in praying for this nation by joining in prayer with the video below.
God chooses to highlight his love for the descendants of Jacob by contrasting it with his hatred for the descendants of Esau, the nation of Edom. He says through Malachi in the latter portion of verse 2 and verse 3, “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob; 3 but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness.” The Apostle Paul quotes this truth in his letter to the church at Rome: “Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED” (Romans 9:13). His answer to Israel’s doubt is, I have loved you by choosing you above your brother Esau. I have loved you by choosing you apart from anything you have done. While you were still in your mother’s womb, I chose to love you (Genesis 25:24). I have loved you by choosing you according to my free and sovereign grace. The point is this: Based on what you and Esau were in yourselves I could just as easily have chosen Esau as you. Isn't he your brother? Weren't you twins? Isn't he in fact the oldest of you two? But I chose you, and passed him by. This is where you could be if I had not chosen you.
We read on in verse 4, “Though Edom says, “We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins”; thus says the LORD of hosts, “They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the LORD is indignant forever.” The Lord of Hosts will bring final judgment on Edom and bestow great love on Israel. Edom can do its best to preserve itself, but God’s judgment is final. Amos wrote in Amos 1:11-12, “Thus says the LORD, ‘For three transgressions of Edom and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, While he stifled his compassion; His anger also tore continually, And he maintained his fury forever. 12 So I will send fire upon Teman And it will consume the citadels of Bozrah.’” Jeremiah 49:10 declares, “But I have stripped Esau bare, I have uncovered his hiding places So that he will not be able to conceal himself; His offspring has been destroyed along with his relatives And his neighbors, and he is no more.” We read in Obadiah 1:18, “Then the house of Jacob will be a fire And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau will be as stubble. And they will set them on fire and consume them, So that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau,” For the LORD has spoken.” It could be, and possibly should be it seems, Israel who was facing the final, and complete judgment, but instead it was Edom. Jacob could have been judged and Esau blessed, but God, in His special, sovereign love for His people demonstrated His love for Israel by rejecting and executing final judgment on Edom. Neither the nation of Edom nor the Edomites as a people exist today. The Lord of Hosts has executed His judgment upon them as a demonstration of His special love and care of His chosen people.
God declares His love for the people of Israel. They deny it, so God demonstrates it in the way His treatment of Israel contrasts with His treatment of Edom. Finally, we see that the people of God will declare His glory when they grasp this truth. We hear Malachi proclaim in verse 5, “Your eyes will see this and you will say, “The LORD be magnified beyond the border of Israel!” When you realize that you are not an equal partner in this affair…When you see God’s love for you…you will be stirred to declare it! The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 96:3, “Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.”
The Lord of Hosts has the freedom, right, and power to bestow His love, mercy, and grace on whomever He chooses. Likewise, The Lord of Hosts has the freedom, right, and power to bestow His anger, wrath, and judgement on whomever He chooses. How does this apply to us today? Thankfully, Paul has taken this text and applied it to us in Romans 9:10-24.
Please carefully read and meditate on Romans 9:10-24. How could we doubt God’s love for us, when He came to this earth and lived the life that He required of us, died the death that our sin demands, and rose from the dead on the third day so that all who repent and put their faith and trust in Him can experience His love and grace and blessing in their lives. When we see and understand this love, we will be moved to declare it! John Piper said, “Let us give him the glory—all the glory—for our salvation. And let us never grow weary in savoring and strengthening and spreading the vision of our God, for "Great is the Lord beyond the walls of this church!” May we celebrate how He has demonstrated that love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. And may we be so captivated and overwhelmed by this unmerited favor and love that we are moved to declare His glory beyond our borders and to the ends of the earth!
Tomorrow, we will hear from Robby Rikard, Pastor of FBC Wiggins, MS. You won't want to miss it! Until then...
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