August 21

 

Read Jeremiah 26

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Jeremiah's arrest; Judah's subjection to Nebuchadnezzar foretold; Hananiah's false prophecy; his death

 

During the early part of Zedekiah's reign, God commanded Jeremiah to make a yoke and put it on his own neck, symbolizing the coming captivity of the kingdom of Judah. He then announced: Now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him (Jeremiah 27:6).

 

Jeremiah proclaimed that, because of Judah's sin, along with that of Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon, God had appointed Nebuchadnezzar as ruler over all these nations (see 27:2-11; compare Daniel 2:37-38). Sometime earlier, when he had prophesied something similar, the priesthood had determined to kill Jeremiah. Then spoke the priests and the prophets to the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears (Jeremiah 26:11).

 

Jeremiah's prophecy was fulfilled and the Israelites were defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, which began the times of the Gentiles spoken of by Jesus (Luke 21:24). We are near the end of that final generation when the times of the Gentiles (will) be fulfilled. God, in His sovereign power, has caused the Jews to return to Jerusalem and once again become a nation before the coming of the Messiah, King Jesus — just as He declared centuries ago. God has not indicated when it will take place. Therefore, we do not look for signs but should daily prepare as if it could be that day.

 

Let us faithfully and diligently tell others how they too can be prepared for His return. Failure to be prepared will result in eternal damnation for all who do not receive Christ as their Savior and Lord (see Matthew 25:1-13).

 

The Holy Spirit moved the Apostle Paul to write: The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly (sensibly), righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity (lawlessness), and purify to Himself a peculiar (special) people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:11-14).

 

Christ Portrayed:

 

By Jeremiah, who was falsely accused by the priests and the false prophets (Jeremiah 26:8-9). Our Lord was threatened and falsely accused by the religious rulers of His day. The elders . . . the chief priests and the scribes. . . . began to accuse Him, saying, We found this fellow perverting (misleading) the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ a King (Luke 22:66-23:2; see also John 8:48,59).

 

Word Study:

 

26:14 meet = right; 27:19 the sea = the bronze laver at which the priests cleansed their hands and feet before entering the Temple; residue = remainder.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for Country: Liberia (3 million) in West Africa · Major languages: English and more than 20 local languages of the Niger-Congo language group · Religious freedom · 41% ancestor worship and witchcraft; 21% Muslim; 13% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that you will obey the Word of God and not be just a deceived hearer (James 1:22).

 

Optional Reading: 1 John 3

 

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Thessalonians 2:11