Read Jeremiah 46
Focus on verse 27
Back in the days before electricity people would light lamps and candles to light their homes after dark. I am fairly old, but not old enough to remember those days personally. I do however, remember being told that in winter, when it was bitter cold and the wind would blow the snow around outside, that some people place a candle in the windows of their home after dark in case anyone might be lost out in the darkness so that they could see the glimmer of the candle and find their way to a warm safe place.
At this point in the book of Jeremiah the mood is fairly dark. Doom and gloom for Judah and Israel. Doom and gloom for Egypt. Doom and gloom at the brutal hands of the Babylonian armies that were over running the nations of the Middle East like a raging flood. Amidst all this prophetic darkness and gloom, we periodically find a candle in the window; “But fear not, O Jacob my servant, nor be dismayed, O Israel, for behold, I will save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid.” (v. 27)
Here in the midst of prophetic warnings of utter destruction we find a message of hope for those who choose to believe it, like a tiny candle in a window serving as a beacon of hope for those who may find themselves lost in the outer darkness of the storm.
When the storms of life assail us in the cold of winter’s frost,
And the darkness overwhelms us ‘til we think that all is lost,
God continues to be faithful, though it’s hard for us to see,
There’s a candle in the window placed there just for you and me.*
The candle is always there, it never goes out…but we often don’t see it. The Psalmist writes “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
Even these gloomy prophetic warnings are given to us to be a light to our path. For those who heed the words and walk in the light, all will be well. If we choose to ignore the light and wander off into the darkness, perhaps we should not be surprised when we stumble and fall into hard times. As always it is our choice.
(* original verse written as part of this devotional)