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Tevet is the fourth month of the Jewish calendar. While the first week sees the end of Hanukkah, the rest of the month takes a more somber feel. It is the month when Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem. It ends on a high note, however, as we celebrate the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek (the Septuagint) and remember that the gift of communicating in different languages is a tool God has given us to share the Gospel.
Sunday, December 9, 2018 | Tevet 1, 5779
Hanukah / The Festival of Lights / The Feast of Dedication
“If you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself?” – Romans 2:19-21
Lord Jesus, help me to never be so arrogant to think that I know everything about the Christian faith. Help me to continue learning and growing in You so that I can shine Your light for others to see.
Monday, December 10, 2018 | Tevet 2, 5779
Hanukah / The Festival of Lights / The Feast of Dedication
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” – Ephesians 2:8-11
Father, You have brought me out of darkness and not only put me in the light but made me the light. Help me to shine for You.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 | Tevet 3, 5779
“Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep His commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.” - 2 Kings 23:1-3
What a glorious reign was King Josiah’s in the history of Your people! Make me like him. Give me a heart whole devoted to You, and a passion to share Your Word with others.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | Tevet 4, 5779
“Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his predecessors had done.” – 2 Kings 23:36-37
As glorious as Josiah’s reign was, many of the kings of Israel and Judah failed You. Help me to recognize the mistakes of others and learn from them to follow You better.
Thursday, December 13, 2018 | Tevet 5, 5779
“The Lord sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by His servants the prophets.” – 2 Kings 24:2
Lord, Your punishments are just. Help me to accept Your punishments in my life as warnings and opportunities to grow.
Friday, December 14, 2018 | Tevet 6, 5779
“Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command, in order to remove them from His presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord was not willing to forgive.” – 2 Kings 24:3
Father, I know that You are a loving God, willing to forgive my sins. But neither do You ignore my sins. Jesus had to die to take my punishment. Inspire me to fall deeper in love with Him for His innocent blood shed on my behalf.
Saturday, December 15, 2018 | Tevet 7, 5779
“In the eighth year of the reign of the king of Babylon, he took Jehoiachin prisoner. As the Lord had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the Lord and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the Lord. He carried all Jerusalem into exile: all the officers and fighting men, and all the skilled workers and artisans—a total of ten thousand. Only the poorest people of the land were left.” – 2 Kings 24:12-14
Holy God, Your punishments are meant as lessons. And You are so in love with us, that You humbled Yourself to allow Your temple to be desecrated. Not only that, but You humbled Yourself to die for me. All to bring me to Yourself and teach me to follow You.
Sunday, December 16, 2018 | Tevet 8, 5779
“Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as Jehoiakim had done. It was because of the Lord’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end He thrust them from His presence. Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.” – 2 Kings 24:18-20
Why can’t we learn? Why are we so hard-hearted against You? Give me a spirit that responds, a heart that feels, and a mind that isn’t afraid to acknowledge You.
Monday, December 17, 2018 | Tevet 9, 5779
“So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it.” – 2 Kings 25:1
Lord, You know that there are times when I feel besieged by the enemy. Yet, You are my guardian, my strength, my protector and sustainer.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018 | Tevet 10, 5779
“The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.” – 2 Kings 25:2
Sometimes, my time of trouble seems to go on and on, like it will never end. Help me to keep my hope in You and know that You have better things for me than what I might be going through at any one time.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 | Tevet 11, 5779
“By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat.” - 2 Kings 25:3
Sometimes, it seems that I’m at the end of my rope. I have nothing left to live on. It’s then that I learn to lean fully on You.
Thursday, December 20, 2018 | Tevet 12, 5779
“Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Babylonians were surrounding the city.” - 2 Kings 25:4
How fickle humans can be. Those who were meant to protect the people fled! And those who are meant to stand by my side sometimes fail me. But You never do, Lord. Help me to put my trust in You alone.
Friday, December 21, 2018 | Tevet 13, 5779
“They fled toward the Arabah, but the Babylonian army pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered, and he was captured.” - 2 Kings 25:5-6
Though I might try to run from Your discipline, You will always catch me, just as Your punishment caught up to the wicked king. Give me a heart of bravery that will accept Your punishments and learn from them rather than fleeing from them and refusing to acknowledge You.
Saturday, December 22, 2018 | Tevet 14, 5779
“He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where sentence was pronounced on him. They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.” - 2 Kings 25:6-7
Holy Spirit, even though Zedekiah sinned against You, I can’t help but feel sorry for him. Help me to feel compassion toward those who don’t You. Give me a heart not of judgement but of love toward them.
Sunday, December 23, 2018 | Tevet 15, 5779
“On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, an official of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down. ” - 2 Kings 25:8-9
Father, You allowed Your temple to burn to teach Your people a lesson. You allowed Your Son to be crucified to teach me a lesson. Help me to take Your punishments on my behalf, and my relationship with You, seriously.
Monday, December 24, 2018 | Tevet 16, 5779
“The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile the people who remained in the city, along with the rest of the populace and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon. ” - 2 Kings 25:10-11
The Babylonian army broke down the walls around Jerusalem to humble them and keep them from fighting back. Break down the walls of my heart so that I can’t fight against You.
Tuesday, December 25, 2018 | Tevet 17, 5779
“But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields.” - 2 Kings 25:12
Lord, You never punish beyond recovery. You always leave a remnant to carry on Your mission and to receive Your promises and blessings. You are a faithful and merciful God.
Wednesday, December 26, 2018 | Tevet 18, 5779
“The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank and the three doorkeepers. There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. ” - 2 Kings 25:18, 21
Jesus, I think about these priests and wonder how faithful they were to You. Were they warning the people? Were they confronting the kings with their sin? Help me stand up for what I believe so that I won’t be a false witness bearing Your name.
Thursday, December 27, 2018 | Tevet 19, 5779
“So Judah went into captivity, away from her land.” - 2 Kings 25:21
The people have felt as if they were going away from You as well. There are times when I feel as if I’ve left You, but You always come back to me. Your love never leaves me, and You return as soon as I reach out to You. Keep me close to You, Jesus.
Friday, December 28, 2018 | Tevet 20, 5779
“In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison. He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. ” - 2 Kings 25:27, 28
Even when all seems lost, Lord, You can bring new life. Help me to keep trusting in You, no matter what I’m going through.
Saturday, December 29, 2018 | Tevet 21, 5779
“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.” – Genesis 11:1
Father, as I reflect on how Your Word was first translated into Greek this month, I am reminded that we were once blessed not to need translations. We all spoke the same language and understood each other. I’m looking forward to the time when all Your people will communicate with one another clearly again.
Sunday, December 30, 2018 | Tevet 22, 5779
“The Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” – Genesis 11:5-6
How much would have been possible for us if we had acknowledged You from the beginning instead of building a tower to our own pride? Break my pride, Jesus, and give me a spirit of unity toward my brothers in sisters in Christ so that we can accomplish the impossible in Your name.
Monday, December 31, 2018 | Tevet 23, 5779
“So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world.” – Genesis 11:8-9
We are nothing without You, Father. You give us breath. You give us speech. And You can take it all away. Yet You only punish us when it would be for our own good so that we might learn to follow You. Give me a soft heart learn Your lessons before punishment is necessary.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 | Tevet 24, 5779
“Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?” – Acts 2:7-8
Holy Spirit, just as You confused our language at the beginning, so You blessed us with the gift of overcoming that curse and communicating with one another through Your gifts and talents. Show me how to reach out with Your Word to those who speak other languages.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 | Tevet 25, 5779
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues.” – Mark 16:17
Whether by supernatural means or by study, help me to communicate with those who are different from me, so that we can all be one in You.
Thursday, January 3, 2019 | Tevet 26, 5779
“Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?” – 1 Corinthians 14:6
Jesus, Your gifts are always to build up Your people or bring Your children to You. Give me the right words to say to anyone I meet.
Friday, January 4, 2019 | Tevet 27, 5779
“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” – Acts 8:26
Father, I pray that You would give me such clear instructions. Pull me so close to You that You can communicate with me and tell me Your will.
Saturday, January 5, 2019 | Tevet 28, 5779
“So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.” – Acts 8:27-28
Lord, I know You are working on the hearts of people before I even meet them. Help me to see what You are trying to accomplish, and do my part to bring others closer to You.
Sunday, January 6, 2019 | Tevet 29, 5779
“Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. ‘How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’ So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” – Acts 8:30-31
Whether it be reaching out to someone who speaks another language or someone who is simply ignorant of Your ways, help me to explain Your love and salvation to everyone You put in my path.