Read Jeremiah 51 -- 52
In Today's Reading:
Judgment of Babylon; fall of Jerusalem; captivity of Judah
The spectacular empire of the Chaldeans surpassed anything the world had ever known. Its capital, Babylon, appeared invincible, with walls over 300 feet high and wide enough for chariots to ride two abreast. The empire was enjoying absolute rule over all the nations when Jeremiah declared that Babylon is suddenly fallen. . . . thine end is come. . . . Babylon shall become heaps (ruins) . . . without an inhabitant (Jeremiah 51:8,13,37; read 51:8-62).
As foretold by the prophet, the Babylonian capital "suddenly fell." This was on the night that Belshazzar the king saw the fingers of a man's hand (appear), and (it) wrote . . . upon . . . the wall of the king's palace (Daniel 5:1,5).
After the fall of Babylon, Cyrus, the conquering king of the Persian Empire, issued a decree urging the Jews to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. Most of the older generation that had been taken captive to Babylonia had died. The new generation was prospering under the new Persian rule and, consequently, only a small number felt a desire to leave.
The unwillingness of the majority of the Jews to forsake the luxuries of Babylon for the poverty and hardships they would experience in returning to Jerusalem has a modern-day parallel. How accurately this describes some who love the pleasures of the world and will not respond to the invitation of Christ, Who said: If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).
Many who seemingly consent to be "followers" of Christ drop out when things become difficult. Jesus illustrated this in His Parable of Soils (the Sower), concerning the seed sown in stony places. He likened them to the person who, when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the Word, by and by he is offended (Matthew 13:21). In contrast is Matthew, who had a very prestigious position with the government. But he knew there was something more important than living to serve self, and he immediately decided to deny himself and be a follower of Jesus. Is it possible for a person to deny himself, and take up his cross, and yet devote his time, tithes, and talents to personal pleasures on the Lord's Day? Jesus never said: "Please." Nor did He try to convince anyone to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Him. The truth is that we cheat ourselves when we give less than our best to the Lord. We may never know what blessings to others the Lord would have made of our lives if we had surrendered fully to Him.
True believers of Christ will follow the coming King. Jesus urged: I say unto you, Take no thought for your life. . . . But seek ye first (inwardly and outwardly, morally and spiritually) the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:25,33).
As the Creator of the universe (Jeremiah 51:15). By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16).
51:2 fanners = strangers; fan = winnow, scatter; 51:11 device = plan, purpose; 51:17 brutish = stupid; 51:25 mountain = power; 51:31 at one end = end to end; 51:42 The sea = The flood waters of the Euphrates; 52:31 lifted up the head = showed favor to.
BP Staff: Barbara Ann Bivens · Pray for Coleman O'Neal and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WKDX-AM, Hamlet NC · Government Officials: Sen. John McCain (AZ), and Gov. Tause Sunia (American Samoa) · Country: Poland (39 million) in eastern Europe · Major language: Polish · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 1% Eastern Orthodox; .5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray without anger or resentment in your heart (I Timothy 2:8).
Optional Reading: Revelation 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:13