Friday, December 12, 2014
“For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire” (Jeremiah 21:10 KJV).
Jerusalem, the Babylonians are coming, the Babylonians are coming!
We hear Jeremiah 29:11 quoted quite often in today’s lukewarm Christianity: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” However, who quotes today’s Scripture (found in the same Bible book)?
Before JEHOVAH God could have good thoughts toward Jerusalem and the nation Israel, He had to first deal with their sins. Rather than relying on God’s grace—God freely giving them everything they needed—they agreed to enter into a covenant with Him. This was the Old Covenant, the Mosaic Law (part of it was the Ten Commandments). Israel contracted to perform perfectly to gain His blessings and acceptance; to fail in a single point was to merit His wrath and curses. Israel was doomed to fail right from day 1, but God loves freedom so much that He gave them exactly what they wanted. They wanted religion, and they got just that, along with the consequences of weak human nature.
So, we reach the time of today’s Scripture. Nine hundred years after the ratification of the Mosaic system, and Israel (technically, the southern kingdom of Judah) is entering the fifth course of judgment. What began in the book of Judges (because of her pagan idolatry) is now in its fifth and final phase—after four previous attempts of JEHOVAH trying to reform them with chastisement, Leviticus 26:27-39 says Israel must now be removed from the Promised Land. Today’s Scripture is Jeremiah’s message from God to warn Judah that the Babylonian armies are coming: Jerusalem will be sacked, its walls burned to the ground, the Temple destroyed, and the Jews will be led away captive to present-day Iraq. The Jews are instructed not to fight but rather capitulate to their enemies’ desires. In 586 B.C., Jerusalem was decimated—the Babylonians cleansed JEHOVAH’S land of idolatry.
Jeremiah 29:11 is Israel’s hope in such a hopeless condition!
Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is the Holy Spirit a Person or a force?”
NOTE: All 9 messages (~12 hours) of the 2014 Slidell Grace Bible Conference are now available on YouTube! Speakers were Richard Jordan, Ed Yarber, Frank Redman, and myself (Shawn Brasseaux). You may find all those videos here.