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Bible Pathways 08/29/04

August 29

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. . . . your end is come. . . . Babylon shall become heaps (ruins) . . . without an inhabitant (Jeremiah 51:8-62).

As foretold by the prophet, the Babylonian capital "suddenly fell." This was on the night that Belshazzar the king made a great feast. . . . In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote . . . upon . . . the wall of the king's palace. . . . God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it (Daniel 5:1,5,8,13,17,26). After the fall of Babylon, Cyrus, the conquering king of the Persian Empire, issued a decree urging the Jews to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. 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 concerning the seed sown in stony places and among thorns. He likened such people to those who, when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, by and by he is offended, and of others the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, chokes the Word (Matthew 13:21-22). Is it possible for a person to take up his cross daily (Luke 9:23), and yet devote his time, tithes, and talents to personal pleasures on the Lord's Day?

There is no man that has left house, or brethren . . . or lands, for My sake, and the Gospel's, But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time . . . with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (Mark 10:29-30).

Christ Revealed:

As the Creator of the universe (Jeremiah 51:15). For 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).

Word Study:

51:2 fanners = destroyers; 51:11 device = plan, purpose; 51:17 brutish = no wisdom; every founder = every metal caster; by the graven image = by the idol he has made; 51:25 mountain = power; 51:31 at one end = from end to end; 51:42 The sea = the flood waters of the Euphrates; 52:31 lifted up the head = showed favor to.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for BP Staff: Barbara Ann Bivens · Government Officials: Sen. John McCain (AZ), and Gov. Tause Sunia (American Samoa) · Country: Pakistan (138 million) in southern Asia · Major languages: Urdu and English · There is no freedom to convert Muslims to Christ. Pakistan is an Islamic republic · 97% Muslim; 2% Christian; 1% Hindu
Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be content with and thankful for the things you have (Hebrews 13:5).

Optional Reading: Revelation 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 12:1

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