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“Yet even now,” the Lord says, “return to me with all your heart—with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear your hearts, not just your garments!” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and boundless in loyal love—often relenting from calamitous punishment.
Today is about returning to the Lord. In our Christian lives, we encounter seasons that test us, that teach us, and that sometimes break us so that we can be remade anew. The question is, “Do you need to return to the Lord today?” The “rending” of your heart (vs. 13) indicates a healthy state of brokenness. Experiencing this brokenness is your first step of return. Let the truth of this verse flood your heart and lead you back to the Lord.
“But you, his son Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, although you knew all this. Instead, you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven. You brought before you the vessels from his temple, and you and your nobles, together with your wives and concubines, drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone—gods that cannot see or hear or comprehend! But you have not glorified the God who has in his control your very breath and all your ways!
The context of this verse is a King (Belshazzar) of Babylon encountering God through, “The writing on the wall.” A hand appeared and began writing unintelligible words on the wall while the King was using the treasures of God’s temple to throw a party. Here we see a strong warning to us about the worship of idols. Belshazzar was son of Nebuchadnezzar (a former king of Babylon who heard from God through Daniel on multiple occasions), thus was no stranger to the influence and power of God, or the person of Daniel. Don’t ignore God or keep idols. Worship the One who is Worthy.
The Lord God formed the man from the soil of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Your breath belongs to God. When I read this verse, I think about how merciful God is that He continues to let us all live. I know we are saved by Christ, yet how long did God continue with Israel? Multiple generations at a time would turn away from Him, yet He continued to allow them to breathe. We cannot imagine the extent of God’s mercy – especially when considering our gift of eternal life through Christ alone. Every person on this earth is breathing because of God’s gift of life. Without the breath of God, we are only dust. It is God who made us, and He makes us who we truly are.
Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
The context of Romans 1 is of how God will deal with individuals that recognize that God exists, yet do not believe in Him. Romans 1:21 says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” It is the foolish heart that sees God, yet chooses to worship idols at God's expense. Here in vs. 24-25 we see that ongoing perpetual denial of who God is results in thinking and desires that continue to corrupt. Be courageous and grasp firmly the truth about God; believe in Jesus Christ.
But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation. For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him.
This verse is found in the context of Paul warning other believers of how to live in light of the “day” that is coming: that is, the day when our Lord Jesus returns. Think of this as clothing yourself in Christ. Faith, love, and hope (NIV) are given “armor” equivalents because they protect you and will shield you from the daily attacks and hard times. You have received salvation though Christ. Be obedient to this Word so that you may live authentically and unashamed in Christ while expecting His return.