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August 20

Read Jeremiah 23 -- 25




Only a few months remained before the Babylonians would destroy the Kingdom of Judah. Judgment had been foretold on its remaining kings. Shallum (Jehoahaz) would die in exile (Jeremiah 22:11-12). Jehoiakim was promised the burial of an ass (22:19). His son Coniah (Jehoiachin) is listed as a despised, broken idol (22:28) who would die in Babylon. The last king, Zedekiah, would have his eyes painfully gouged out and be taken to Babylon in chains (II Kings 25:7). It was now too late to pray for Jerusalem or the Temple to be saved from destruction (Jeremiah 7:16; 11:14; 14:11). These prophecies are all horrifying reminders that sin and suffering are inseparable and that judgment is inevitable whenever the Word of God is neglected.

As the Judean Kingdom disintegrated under the advances of the Babylonians, Jeremiah's message turned from coming judgment to comfort. To illustrate, the Lord showed him that one basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty (rotten) figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad (24:2). Concerning the faithful few, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so I will acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set My eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them (24:5-6). There were three fig harvests -- June, August, and November. The first figs, in June, were considered a great delicacy (Isaiah 28:4; Hosea 9:10; Micah 7:1). Thus the Lord was sending the chosen "good figs" into captivity to correct them "for their good."

Even while the armies of Babylon were besieging Jerusalem, just days before its destruction, Jeremiah assured those who were faithful to God's Word: Behold, the days are coming . . . when I will raise up unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper (do wisely), and will execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His Name . . . The Lord our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:16).

By our natural birth, there is none righteous, no, not one. . . . For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10,23). When we receive Christ as our Savior He becomes The Lord our Righteousness. The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to write: He has made Him (Christ who had never sinned) to be sin for us . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21).

Our Lord prayed for us the last night before being betrayed by Judas: Sanctify them through Your Truth: Your Word is Truth. As You have sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the Truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word (John 17:17-20).

Christ Revealed: As The Lord Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6; also I Cor. 1:30; II Cor. 5:21).

Word Studies: 23:10 adulterers means forsakers of God; because of swearing means because of the curse of God upon it; 23:32 lightness means vain boasting; 25:34 fall like a pleasant vessel means broken like a valuable vessel; 25:38 covert means hiding place.

Prayer Needs:
Government Officials: Rep. John Cooksey (LA), Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX), and Rep. Ron Paul (TX) · BPM Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Pray for Bud Hennessey and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KIBC-FM, Burney CA · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of John Fann · Country: Thailand (60 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Thai and English · Limited freedom of Christian ministry; Buddhism is the state religion · 92% Buddhist; 4% Muslim; 2% Chinese folk-religionist; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks for trials because then we can learn patience (Romans 5:3).

Optional Reading: I John 2

Memory Verse for the Week: John 5:24