The Righteous Branch of David

Open Your Bible

Jeremiah 23:1-40, Jeremiah 24:1-10, Exodus 12:33-38, Colossians 1:13-14

I’m sitting at my dining room table on the verge of tears. It’s been a good day, really. I slept in, made breakfast for my family, went to the gym, ate a nutritious lunch, and now, the toddler is napping and I’m sitting here, feeling so empty I could cry.

Some modern-day advice-givers would be quick to point out my many blessings; for one, my family is intact and loving toward one another. Other people might try to help by pointing me in the direction of self-help guides, books to help me cope better because people like me shouldn’t be feeling any existential or emotional angst. Still others might remind me that the universe “has my back,” that in the end, everything is going to be okay. But is it? On the surface, my circumstances don’t justify this level of emotion. And yet, I have this sense, deep down, that something is wrong, that even though everything on the surface seems okay, everything on the surface isn’t all there is.

That’s what’s happening in this cryptic chapter of Jeremiah. The people of Israel had been led astray by false teachers—teachers that Scripture likens to “evil shepherds.” These teachers told the people that everything was fine. Even if they lived lives of evil, these teachers promised that God would grant them peace (Jeremiah 23:17). The false teachers encouraged people to persist in their godless actions, and when the people felt the inklings of sadness creep up—sadness that might lead them to repentance—the evil teachers distracted the people with stories of their dreams and false words wrongly attributed to God.

And here’s something important to take away from this passage: God has no patience for people who speak on his behalf, and speak falsely. As I write this devotion that a large community of women from all around the world will read, I should take this warning to heart. Those who attempt to communicate truths from Scripture are held to a high, exacting standard.

Sometimes, a shepherd must strike the sheep with his crook in order to keep the flock together. Sometimes those are acts of mercy. Words of kindness and encouragement have their place. Words of discipline and correction are just as valuable. But I need a doctor that won’t sugarcoat my diagnosis. I need a friend who can look me in the eye and say, “Yes, this sadness that you feel is real, and it’s stemming from the fact that your entire life is structured around serving your own needs and desires, rather than serving others.” I need teachers who will tell me the truth, even when the truth hurts.

We live in a culture that longs for God to be all-merciful, all-healing, all-loving—and He is. And yet, over and over again in Scripture, He uses images like the good and bad figs (Jeremiah 24) to represent the reality that there will come a judgment day when our actions will be measured and weighed. Knowing this, the Lord again provided another way so that one day, His sheep will no longer be afraid or discouraged, nor will any be missing. He declared:

“Look, the days are coming”—this is the LORD’s declaration—
“when I will raise up a Righteous Branch for David” (Jeremiah 23:5).

Our lives here matter. Our choices here matter. And when we go astray, our God doesn’t shout orders to us from afar to get us back to where we belong. No, our Savior came to us to provide a way to God the Father. And when we go astray, Christ doesn’t shout that He loves us from afar; He provides a way to God on our behalf, one that stretches between the Father and us. Through Jesus Christ, “he has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13–14).The end goal isn’t just heaven someday. It’s being close to God right now, today.

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82 thoughts on "The Righteous Branch of David"

  1. Jacques Ghoorahoo says:

    Hi my name is jacques ghoorahoo born 25th of September (janus) 1995 Hebrew name is Jacob born from a father and 2 uncles

  2. Tes Aguirre says:

    I’m praying Psalm 91 over my life, that of my family and those we love. I think it’s a scripture that goes en par with this reading. Hoping it may be a blessing to you.

  3. Cara Pond says:

    Dana: Praying for peace on you and over you for your family. It doesn’t matter if it’s 80 years or 28 years, grief hurts. Our 28-year old daughter was murdered last August. She was a “bystander in a neighbors quarrel.” I can tell you that my quiet time with the Lord in the early mornings since that awful day last August has really helped. God is carrying us through this horrific time and I pray he does the same for you. We may never know this side of heaven the why, but knowing that He is always here for us makes it a little more bearable.

  4. Shawna Hawkins says:

    Amazing to me that the Lord allowed this to be our reading at this crazy , frenzied time in our world! He always sends us the words and direction when we need it!!

    1. Fleur Bragaglia says:

      Totally agree!

  5. Rachel Mayor says:

    He gives us a heart to know Him. What a beautiful gift. May we lean into Him each day because today matters.

  6. Katherine Lopez says:

    I’m starting a discipleship study with a young lady, a new believer. I pray for the wisdom to know how to guide, teach, and encourage, and when to point out sin. I’m tempted to focus on God as simply loving and gentle, but he hates the sin in us just as much as he did when we were lost, if not more. God is uprooting sin in my life too, and I need his grace and forgiveness every day.

  7. J Collins says:

    My GOD…. this was mighty. As a clinician I see people at their best and at their worst, but it is so easy for me to tell them to feel the emotions, work through the pain, trust yourself through it…. but when it is my turn, I can’t. The loneliness, the sadness, and the despair is so heavy that I often forget to feel and work through ignoring or obtaining distractions. I love the transparency Dana shared as it is difficult at times to really focus on the good we have because of the sorrow. I have found myself very much so aligned with the text of Jeremiah, wondering what else can I do Lord!

  8. Parasa says:

    Let’s look at God for our redemption and forgiveness.

  9. Andrea Atkinson says:

    Prayers to you Dana! May you feel the peace of the Lord during this difficult time. Xoxo

  10. Bridgette Alvarez says:

    I’m praying for all of you who have lost love ones. It’s been a little over 5 months since I lost my husband. It’s not easy. I cry every day but it comforting to know that I serve a God who is near (Jeremiah 23:23) and He is over every storm and heart ache. Keep your eye on Jesus. He is able.

    1. Jane K says:

      Bridgette thank you for sharing about your loss. Losing a spouse must be so hard. Praying that God continues to stay close to you and gives His peace.

    2. Monica Hailey says:

      May God comfort you!

  11. Churchmouse says:

    Cera, praying too for you and your family as you support your mother in her battle against cancer. How much your loving presence must mean to her! I pray that you know Jesus is near even when you can’t feel Him. I pray you know he whispers “I love you. I am with you” even when you can’t hear His voice. Praying for strength for you all in this difficult journey.

  12. Churchmouse says:

    Dana, I pray the sweet presence of Jesus brings you peace and comfort in your loss. You will have a great and glorious reunion with your dad in heaven one day.

    Pam, I pray that one day you will have a sweet reunion here on earth with your grandson, that he would be freed from the chains of addiction and that he would be made whole in body, mind and spirit.

    Dana and Pam, I pray for strength for you both as these are difficult days of grieving for you. I pray you lean on the strong arms of Jesus. You can do all things, even get through all this, through Him. He’ll give you the strength you need.

  13. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I’m so glad the Lord has given us his Holy Spirit. The Spirit leads us into all truth. We can discern the truth in other’s words and our own. I pray I would accurately speak out your truth Jesus.

  14. Melanie Rastrelli says:

    I know your heart is broken precious Dana. May God bless and heal you to make it through this very sad time in your life. Praying for you sweetness. ❤️

  15. Pam Williams says:

    Please pray for me today. I almost daily am overwhelmed with tears As I pray and as I read the word, often with my Realization of how weak my Flash is And yet how great my God’s love is for me. On Monday we picked up our oldest grandson,, Who was adopted out of Foster care as 6 years old. Hes now 24, Worshiping at the idol of drugs, been living on the streets for the past couple of years, and just finished a 6 month stent in the county jail. So we picked him up and delivered him to our local gospel rescue mission to hopefully enter a program. Unfortunately we learned last night that he left to meet with his parole officer and has never returned. These passages in Jeremiah are being played out in his life. We were guardedly hopeful, as he seemed to be trying to mend his relationship with his parents and us. We’ve practiced tough live in the past, asking the Lord to humble him so that he will return. I understand and trust God’s bigger plan, but its still hard to once again have our hopes dashed.

    1. Jane K says:

      Praying for you Pam, your family, and your grandson. We have adopted too and I know some of the hurts and pains that can come with that. I also know some of the joys. Praying he turns from the sins of this world and runs to the arms of his savior.

  16. Claudia says:

    Dana, my deepest and sincere condolences to you and your family. May God wrap his loving arms around you and your family and bring comfort and peace. You will be in my prayers.

  17. Pam Williams says:

    Praying for you, Dana. I suddenly lost my dad when i was only 25. Tho I knew he was with Jesus, it was like a dream. Praying God’s strong arms will be around you.

  18. Dorothy says:

    Dana, the loss of a family member suddenly is hard. My mother died suddenly after a car wreck and it was hard. Remember you will see him again in Heaven one day. I’m praying for you and your family.
    Love what you said in your second post Angie. Kristen and Pursued by God your words touched me. Churchmouse your words really sparked me — WOW.
    Amen Meagan, Mari V., and Kelcy Pryor

  19. Dorothy says:

    Claire’s devotional really hit home for me to day. It made me think about what type of friends and acquaintances I hang out with. I have friends who say they are Christians and friends who I know are Christians. What really stood out on this devotional though was in Claire’s last paragraph, “Our lives here matter. Our choices here matter. …The end goal isn’t just heaven someday. It’s being close to God right now, today.” After reading this I had tears in my eyes because it reminded me how much I was loved by my God and Christ. It also made realize the only friends I really need in my corner are God and Christ. Sisters we are blessed to a loving and caring God who will keep taking us back no matter how many times we sin or how often we stray. We are also blessed to have each other and SRT to share and lean on each other with.
    Father in Heaven thank you for sending Your only Son. Thank you for having Him die on the cross for my sins. Thank you for Your written word to learn more about Your love for us. Also, Lord hank you for my sisters and friends through She Reads Truth and those who started it and those who work to keep it going. In your name I pray Amen.

    1. Kacy K. says:

      Dorothy, I was thinking something along the same lines. I have friends that I know don’t walk closely to the Lord, picking and choosing where they want to obey (I’ve been this person before, too). But there’s this part of me that says it’s none of my business, but this reminded me that it is. We have to be truthful with those we love when we know they are headed for disaster. I, too, loved that sentence you quote. It gave me the same reminder that no matter what happens here on this earth that I am loved by God and I belong to Him.

  20. Kelcy Pryor says:

    Dana I’m so sorry for your lost. I lost my father when I was very little and it’s so hard but we have a father who loves us and gives us peace and strength to overcome anything. Stay strong and pray, I’ll be praying for you❤️

  21. Kelcy Pryor says:

    I think (correct me if I’m wrong) that God used the fig referenced to uplift Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 24:6-7 I think he knew how down and overwhelmed he must of been from people trying to kill him and mock him. He knew he needed a little hope to keep in going, that later in life he will help those he sent away.

  22. Elle says:

    Amen, Claire! Your words are always a blessing to me!

  23. Churchmouse says:

    So much doom and gloom in Jeremiah and rightfully so given the numerous sins of Israel. But there is comfort also. “Look, the days are coming” was surely an encouragement, a ray of sunshine in the midst of all the darkness. So too for us. There is much darkness in this world and we know it’s only going to get worse. We’ve read the Book. But there are golden promises shining brightly. Wrongs will be made right. Suffering will end. There will be no more tears. The days of complete restoration are coming. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. Jesus will reign victorious. Glory is coming!

    1. Jessica McIlhenny says:

      Amen! He has overcome!

    2. Monica Hailey says:

      Times such as these focus our attention toward the source of that complete restoration. It is therefore a blessing and I am reminding myself of that when fear or worry try to steal my thought space.

  24. Calli Chambers says:

    Dana, I am praying for you ♡

  25. Courtney says:

    May you and your family feeling the loving and comforting arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ during this difficult time. I am praying for you.

  26. Cera says:

    Needed to be reminded of this today. I’m struggling to hold Jesus close as my mother continues to battle a rare cancer. It’s been almost a year and a half and we are loosing hope and faith in this fight. In the process I have noticed how distant I have become from God. I want to numb and shield myself. Fortunately I am very involved in church, especially in leading worship, and feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit in those moments. Asking for prayer to feel Jesus again, to want Him again.

    1. Stephanie Dietz says:

      Praying for you Cara. It’s so hard when you become numb, it distances you. I understand you feeling that way. Praying that your eyes will be opened to just how close God is. Just reach out to him, no matter how distant or numb you feel- keep reaching. He is right next to you.

  27. Katarina Santiago says:

    I’m so sorry for your lost and will be praying for you and your family.

  28. Alexis says:

    Praying for you Dana. God please wrap your arms around her and hold her as she grieves. May she know that you are always near, even in the darkest moments. You never leave.

  29. Mari V says:

    I don’t want be anywhere else but close to God!

  30. Wendy says:

    So sorry for your loss, Dana. Have prayed for you

  31. Wendy says:

    Mom to Many, I can completely relate to your thoughts. My DH is also a Financial Advisor and self employed. These are incredibly tumultuous times and it is exhausting for him to spend all day trying to reassure clients who are watching their life savings and retirement slip away.
    Joining you in prayer that our eyes would be fixed on Jesus, that He would be our peace, that we would not give into fear and always put our hope and trust in Jesus above all else. He is Sovereign over all.

    1. Laurie Crary says:


  32. Mom to many says:

    Asking for prayer for peace in this tumultuous time in the world. My dh works in financial services and he is our family rock but I pray for order in the chaos. I pray constantly for the Lord to remind me that my trust is not in money but in Jesus. Lord grant wisdom in these days. I repent for even thinking that money is more important than you Lord. Please replace fear and anxiety with your peace. I know you will never leave us or forsake us.

    1. Monica Hailey says:

      Praying for you!

  33. Meagan says:

    I felt God speaking to me when I read today’s devotional. I so often try to find relief from my struggles and difficulties in this world with everything except the word of God – in movies, books, friendships, advice from well-meaning friends, etc. Why does that so often seem like the best way? God’s way is best. I pray that we all can remember that, and seek Him instead of worldly things that only provide momentary comfort.

    1. Nancy Hubbard says:

      So true!

    2. Jen Brewer says:


  34. KLT says:

    Praying for you Dana. I too lost my dad 19 years ago when i was 32 and I miss him everyday.

  35. Jenna says:

    Praying for God’s peace and presence for you, Dana!

  36. Catherine Surratt says:

    Dana, my heart is so heavy for your loss. May the Lord wrap you in His arms of comfort, providing His supernatural peace that surpasses all. This community of women is praying for you!

  37. Anne Jones says:

    Praying for you Dana. God’s Peace and love on you.

  38. Beth H says:

    Overwhelmed by God…who didnt shout from above but reached down provided His Son. My life and choices matter. Lord thank you for rescuing me from darkness, would I walk in your strength today. May my words point people to you. Would my actions not be self motivated but God motivated.

  39. Sara Terry says:

    I am praying for you this morning and will continue to as you start the journey of mourning your father . I lost my mom very suddenly from an aneurysm when I was 22 and she was 51 , and it was the darkest time of my life , but it was also a miracle in itself because it , through a long road , brought me in to the light of knowing Jesus . While reading todays passages , it struck me how God promised he would ultimately bless the Israelites who were exiled to Israel and not the ones who stayed behind or went to Egypt . I’m thinking , in the moment , those exiled Israelites probably didn’t feel very blessed , especially in comparison to their counterparts who stayed behind . Gods plan often looks the opposite of how we want it to , but there is always beauty and truth in His long game . I pray the Holy Spirit brings you peace and comfort and trust in Him during this trying time , and radically blesses you and your family somehow, someway through this trial . Amen.

  40. Pursued by God says:

    This devotional hit home today. I have, what on the surface, appear to be really good days. Then I sit down and read my Bible and realize the day was all about me. I didn’t give God credit for any of it throughout the day. I took credit. I stole God’s glory.

    Father, forgive me for focusing on me and not you. Thank you that you love us so much that even when we focus on ourselves instead of you, you still pursue us and return us to you. I love you!

  41. Jami Moser says:

    Praying for you Dana.

  42. Angie says:

    Lord, I thank You for the preparation yesterday morning that we are in a war. Thank You for readying my heart for the stand I would need to take. Thank You. I trust that the words were truth, but also love, for You promise to give the words. I praise You for the scripture cards from church that You placed before me when I returned to my classroom. Thank you for the song that played immediately about You being the power in facing the giants…and then replayed first when I got in my car to go home. Thank you for your Word, and examples throughout scripture. I’m thinking especially of Daniel. You go before us. You give/gave peace. You are present in the moment, and will march with us in the coming days. This battle is yours, Lord. Thank You Lord, continue to guide your warrior child. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

  43. Angie says:

    Dear Father, God, I pray your presence over Dana. I ask that she find her refuge in You, that your wings would cover her and give her peace. I thank you for the deep love she and her father shared. Flood her mind with the good and precious. Give her strength for decisions. Give her hope for tomorrow, and thank you for the 8 years of better health he had since the bypass. What a blessing Lord. Be near her I pray. Amen.

  44. Searching says:

    Praying for you Dana!

  45. Kristen says:

    Prayers for Dana and her family. Thank you, Claire for reminding us that judgement is coming. Thank you for reminding us that our choices here matter. God is loving, so loving He sent Jesus. Jesus loves us so much that He was obedient to the point of death on a Cross. God is loving, but I do not want to forget that He is Holy and Just. May He help me to live a life pleasing to Him. I can’t do that on my own. As Jesus said, He will send His Holy Spirit to help us. May the words of my mouth and my actions not quench or grieve the Spirit. May I lead people to Him and not away. Amen

  46. Tricia C says:

    Praying for you Dana.

  47. Jenn says:

    Praying for you Dana. May the Lord wrap His arms around you and lift you up and may you find peace.

  48. Tina says:

    Dana, lifting you and yours up in prayer. Praying you know the loving arms of God the Father, tightly wrapped around you, and His peace that surpasses all understand envelope you..
    Sending love wrapped hugs to you at this sad sad time Dana..❤

  49. Indiana Christina says:

    Oh, dear Dana. My heart hurts for you. I was wondering why God woke me from sleeping only 4 hours after going to bed. Perhaps He wanted me to see your prayer request and lift you up in prayer. I know how you feel. My dad passed away in 2013, and it felt like a nightmare.

    May our Loving Father provide you and your family comfort and an awareness of His presence during this tough time. May He give you the glory strength..”the strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us” (Colossians 1:11b-12, The Message). May He bless and keep you.

    Sending love and hugs to you, Dana.

  50. Dana says:


    Asking for prayer please. My 80 year old dad passed away suddenly early this morning from a fluke esophageal tear that went unnoticed and he was on blood thinners. And I am missing him so very much. I am 49 years old and I still need him. Grief is so difficult to go through and I wish I could wake from a dream. I’m so grateful for his life and the extra time we were given (he had a triple bypass 8 years ago that gave him a whole new lease on life and he’s done wonderfully!). Anyway, just feeling a little lost tonight. Thank you for listening and for any prayers said on our behalf.

    1. Kristin Dovbniak says:

      Lifting you up in prayer ❤️

    2. Linda J says:

      Praying for you and your family.

    3. Ashley McCoy says:

      Dana I am praying for you sister. ❤️

    4. Emily Lemons says:

      Holding you in prayer today, Dana. I’m so sorry

    5. Crislyn Petzoldt says:

      Praying for you at this time of heart ache

    6. Stacey Wilson says:

      Saying a prayer for you right now

    7. Dee Wilcox says:

      Grief can be so lonely. Know that your SRT sisters are standing with you and holding you up in prayer

    8. Jonelle Olson says:

      I’m so very sorry. I have a dad in his 80’s and I know dear is near but one can never be prepared for such loss. I’m praying for you tiday.

    9. Jennifer Cummings says:

      Prayers of comfort for you Dana. I lost my mom suddenly 3 years ago and I understand that grief. May you feel the nearness of the Lord today ❤️

    10. Stephanie Spay says:

      Praying for you, Dana!

    11. Allison Reed says:

      Praying for you right now Dana. Praying you will feel your the Lords nearness and provision!

    12. Shasta Moczulski says:

      Dana, my prayers are being lifted now for you and your father. I am so very sorry for your loss.

    13. Jane K says:

      Praying for you Dana. May God wrap you in His arms and give you His peace and comfort as you go through this season of grieving. May you be a light to those around you as you mourn the loss of your father. Keeping you in my prayers.

    14. Mari V says:

      Praying for a Dana! I know your pain. Next month April 12 will be 12 years since my daddy went home to be with Jesus. He would be 89 years. As much as it hurts, please know that our daddies are healed completely! I’ll be praying for you sister!

    15. K D says:

      Praying for you right now Dana.

    16. Sam Campbell says:

      Hi Dana. I am 26 and my dad is on hospice currently and is expected to die any day now (stage 4 cancer). I’m praying for you right now and so sorry for your loss. I’m dreading it terribly. You are not alone in your pain and the Lord is going to keep giving you and I both enough strength and grace for each day.

    17. Cristina Higgins says:

      Praying for you Dana. The loss of a beloved parent leaves such a hole in our lives. That hole will become smaller with time, but we don’t want it to completely go away. Store your precious memories in there.

    18. Joyce Smith says:

      Dana I am lifting you up to Our Father. Please know you are so very loved. I will continue to pray for comfort and peace for you and your family.❤️

    19. Julia L says:

      Praying! For comfort and for strength to walk through the fog of grief and know that whether you can hear His voice or not, Jesus walks with you.

    20. Monica Hailey says:

      Praying for you, Dana!