BEGIN WITH PRAYER
"Lord open my eyes and my heart."
Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.
Wisdom to chew on
Understanding to grow in
Now the leaders are condemned. Rulers, priests and prophets do not act according to what is right and true, but according to what benefits them materially (3v9-11). It's a firm word that applies today to those who lead in society, the workplace or the church. And for Israel it meant judgment. But the declaration of judgment is immediately followed by hope: The last days will bring a time of restoration, when God himself will rule according to what is right and true, so that those of the nations will come seeking these things from him, and experience peace and prosperity with Israelites. This context implies that the king from Bethlehem predicted in chapter 5v2-4 will be the LORD himself. And we know it is fulfilled in Christ and the temple of the church, to whom those from the nations now come seeking what is right and true. He would bring ultimately deliverance from the Assyrians, as they face him beyond death for judgment, and the faithful are raised to inhabit even their land (5v5-6). It's an encouragement to all who are oppressed, to put their trust in Jesus. As you read note what is said of the last days.
Finish this reading by pausing to ask yourself:
1) What’s the main thing it teaches me about God or his purposes in Christ? Then praise him for this.
2) What’s the main thing it teaches me about his will for me or the world? Then pray that home.
Devotion to offer up
You could read this aloud and perhaps as a springboard to further prayer.