All three readings today are thought provoking. First, in 1 Kings 3 we have Solomon’s choice of wisdom when God appears to him and says, “Ask, what I shall give you” (1 Kings 3:5) and he responds, “Give your servant an understanding mind to govern your people” (1 Kings 3:9) and God gives him that and more. What mind will those in the kingdom be given?

Then in Mark 4 we have a succession of parables by Jesus beginning with the sower and an explanation of its meaning. Note the different types of soil, and one applicable to today – the soil where “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word” (Mark 4:19).

And then in Jeremiah 30 we read some fascinating long term prophecies which climax in the last verse with, “in the latter days you will understand this”. Jeremiah is told, “Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. For behold days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the LORD, and I will bring them back to the land, that I gave to their fathers’ they shall take possession of it.” (Jeremiah 30:2,3).

Then God says, “We have heard a cry of panic, of terror and no peace … Why has every face turned pale? Alas! that day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:5-7). Israel was not saved out of trouble in the days of Jeremiah, nor after they rejected their Messiah and put him to death. But we live “in the latter days” and those who truly fear God and understand “the intentions of his mind” should be gaining that inner strength of true faith so they possess a face that does not “turn pale”.

The time is coming when Jacob (Israel) will at last have “quiet and ease none will make him afraid” (Jeremiah 30:10). And those who know God’s word will have the same experience for the kingdom will be established.