August 19 2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36:1-21; Jeremiah 52
August 20 Jeremiah 41-44
August 21 Obadiah; Psalms 82; 83
August 22 Jeremiah 45-48
August 23 Jeremiah 49-50
August 24 Jeremiah 51; Psalm 137
Jerusalem fell and fell hard. For two years the people were under siege, but the Babylonians finally breached the walls. In all that time, I wonder if they remembered God’s words and whether anyone talked of repentance and recommitment. One way or another, it didn’t happen and the people were captured and the temple was plundered and burned. God destroyed Judah for long standing sins – the sins of King Manasseh and for all the innocent blood he shed.
Even in captivity we see how much God loves His people. God told Jeremiah to tell the people not to fear the King of Babylon. He wanted them to remain and to prosper – and if they chose to leave and go to Egypt, God promised death. The people didn’t want to hear it, and they listened to Azariah and Johanan. These two ear ticklers accused Jeremiah of lying and convinced the people to flee to Egypt. I can’t imagine how disappointed God was! God gave us free will and we can choose to obey or disobey. Once again He watched His people turn their backs on the sure thing promised by God and gamble their lives and their futures on men who didn’t speak for God.
We aren’t any different! It’s much easier (and sometimes more fun) to turn from all that God wants us to do and listen to watered down “religion”. Frankly, wouldn’t most people want to sit under leadership that encouraged our sins rather than chastising us for them? Wouldn’t we like to get that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? That’s what God’s kids did – looking at Egypt as a place of happiness and refuge, even though God clearly told them they would die.
God sends Jeremiah messages to various nations.
Egypt – prepare to be devoured. They were defeated by Babylon in 605 BC
Philistines – you will endure total destruction. Defeated by Nebuchadnezzar 605 BC
Moab – you trusted in “stuff” and now you will be exiled and put to shame. Defeated 582 BC
Ammon – you will see utter desolation, but God will restore your fortunes as He will for Israel and Moab. Defeated 582 BC
Edom (descendants of Esau) – will become a horror, taunt, waste, curse. Obadiah’s prophecies dovetail Jeremiah’s (check my post on Obadiah).
Damascus – anguish and panic as Syria’s domination from 732-609 BC is replaced by Babylonian domination after 605 BC
Kedar and Hazor (related to Ishmael) – your livestock will become plunder. Defeated 599 BC
Elam – your people will be scattered and your fortunes restored in the latter days. Defeated 597 BC
Babylon – founded by Nimrod. Symbol of the anti-God control system in the last days. There are great parallels between Jeremiah 50-51 and Revelation 17-18. This prophecy had a near fulfillment as Babylon was captured in 529 BC (Daniel 5) but the city was not destroyed. Cyrus decreed that the Jews could return to their land (Ezra 1:1-4) which was accomplished in three stages: 538BC (Ezra 1-6); 458BC (Ezra 7-10) and 444BC (Nehemiah). Babylon was ultimately destroyed by Alexander the Great in 330BC. However, the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy occurs in Revelation. God used Babylon to destroy nations, but in the final battles of the world, Babylon’s evil deeds will come back to haunt – and annihilate – her.
What did you learn from the readings of the Kings chronicles, Jeremiah, Obadiah, and the Psalmists? I’d love to hear from you via email or comment. I look forward to meeting with you again next week.