47:1 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh struck down Gaza.
2 “Thus says the Lord:
Behold, waters are rising out of the north,
and shall become an overflowing torrent;
they shall overflow the land and all that fills it,
the city and those who dwell in it.
Men shall cry out,
and every inhabitant of the land shall wail.
3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions,
at the rushing of his chariots, at the rumbling of their wheels,
the fathers look not back to their children,
so feeble are their hands,
4 because of the day that is coming to destroy
all the Philistines,
to cut off from Tyre and Sidon
every helper that remains.
For the Lord is destroying the Philistines,
the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.
5 Baldness has come upon Gaza;
Ashkelon has perished.
O remnant of their valley,
how long will you gash yourselves?
6 Ah, sword of the Lord!
How long till you are quiet?
Put yourself into your scabbard;
rest and be still!
7 How can it be quiet
when the Lord has given it a charge?
Against Ashkelon and against the seashore
he has appointed it.”
Prophesying the utter destruction of the Philistines didn't take Jeremiah long. A great & swift power from the north will come at God's call and mangle their might. Goliath-Gaza would fall. Sorrow overflowed its banks when the sword of the Lord flailed the Philistines, humbling such proud power to death.
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you— 7 for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. 8 For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?
11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
Paul testifies of his source of comfort in affliction: the faith of the saints! How he longs to see those who love him & Him, that he might supply any lack in their faith through the merciful ministry of God's Word.
Consider the specific words Paul employed to describe the hope he received from Timothy's report of the Thessalonian church: good news, faith, love, comfort, thanksgiving & joy. In the midst of great persecution, Paul proclaims the power of faithful Christian witness upon his life.
O saint, never underestimate the triumph of Christ over sin through the prayers & proclamation of His people. Through testimony, God provides credibility & encouragement for His sons & soldiers in the trenches.
Need some? Got some?
What kind of soldier are you? Pray the Victor will help you be obedient, encourage the fainthearted, not shirk, bind up the wounded, take enemy territory through prayer and witness and LOVE! Zach.4:6