Read Jeremiah 19
God speaks to (1) Judah, that's you (Jer. 19:3-15); (2) Zedekiah and the rebellious people, Babylon wins (21:7-10); (3) the Royal Family, do right or else (21:11—22:5); (4) the Palace, destroyed (22:6-9); (5) Jehoahaz (Shallum), you're gone (22:10-12); (6) Jehoiakim, you're dead and no one cares (22:13-23); (7) Jehoiachin (Coniah), exiled, no heirs, nothing (22:24-30).
When Nebuchadnezzar surrounded Jerusalem with his army, Zedekiah urged Jeremiah to inquire of God as to what would be the outcome. The Lord replied: Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abideth in this city shall die . . . but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans (Nebuchadnezzar) that besiege you, he shall live. . . . saith the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire (Jer. 21:8-10).
Centuries earlier, God had spoken to the Israelites through Moses before they entered the promised land: I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live . . . that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them (Deut. 30:19-20)! This was a gracious contrast of life or death, a merciful choice between a life blessed with the Lord's favor or a horrible death because of their idols and disobedience. How different were the circumstances when God later spoke through Jeremiah, who prophesied the results of the choices the Israelites had made! They had neglected the way of life which would have preserved them from captivity. Now the only way of life was slavery at the hands of the cruel, fierce Chaldeans, or death by famine and the sword within the city's walls. Like many today, they chose death.
Before a person is saved, the choices may appear equally difficult; but surrender to Christ in obedience to His Word is the way of true life. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (II Cor. 5:17).
Heaven or hell are before you, and you are advancing closer every day to one of these eternal destinations. What reception can you look forward to: Well done, good and faithful servant, or Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, (Matt. 25:23,41)? Is the way you are living worth dying for?
Ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin (Rom. 6:17-18).
Thought for Today:
What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose (Ps. 25:12).
As the One who pronounces judgment upon those who refuse to obey His Word (Jer. 19:15). The Father . . . committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).
19:3 his ears shall tingle will be utterly stunned by the news; 19:9 straitness anguish, distress; 20:3 Magor-missabib terror on every side; 20:11 mighty terrible One awe-inspiring One, heroic Champion.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Government Official: Gov. Richard Snyder (MI) • Country: Swaziland (985,000) in southern Africa • Major languages: English and siSwati • Religious freedom • 67% Protestant; 19% animism, spirit-possession cults, and divination; 11% Roman Catholic; 3% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Call to the Lord for help; He will save you out of your troubles (Ps. 34:17).
Memory Verse for the Week: