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Bible Pathways 08/29/2002

August 29

Read Jeremiah 51 -- 52

In Today's Reading:

Prophecy against Babylon; fall of Jerusalem; captivity of Judah; fate of certain people.

Verses for Today:

Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed. . . . for her judgment reaches to Heaven. . . . to destroy it. . . . thine end is come. . . . to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant. . . . for the spoilers shall come . . . from the north. . . . none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it shall be desolate for ever (51:8-62).

The spectacular empire of the Chaldeans surpassed anything the world had ever known. Under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon, its capital, appeared unconquerable, with walls over 300 feet high and wide enough for chariots to ride two abreast. The empire was enjoying absolute power over the nations of the world when Jeremiah foretold that Babylon would be defeated.

As foretold by the prophet, at the end of Judah's 70-year captivity, the famous Babylonian capital "suddenly fell." This was on the night that Belshazzar, the king, saw the handwriting of God on the wall (Daniel 5).

Most of the older generation that had been taken captive to Babylonia had died. The new generation, no longer in bondage, was prospering under the new Persian rule and, consequently, felt no desire to leave. The familiar idols that had surrounded them as they grew up did not seem offensive, and they felt no sense of loss for the Temple that was destroyed in Jerusalem for they had never worshiped there. The majority had become morally and spiritually accustomed to, and a part of, the prevailing world system.

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 religious people who love, above all else, the influence, wealth, and power of the world rather than responding to the call of Christ,Who said: If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me (Matthew 16:24).

While in exile on the Isle of Patmos, the Apostle John wrote: Babylon the great is fallen . . . and is become the habitation of devils. . . . And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins (Revelation 18:2-4).

There are some who profess to be Christians, yet devote their time, tithes, and talents to personal pleasures on the Lord's Day, giving little or no loyalty to a local Church even though Christ is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23). In contrast, true followers of Christ will be obedient to His Word and keep their eyes on their coming King. There is never a reason to allow the pressures and problems of life to depress us. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

When Satan attempts to depress you with gloom and doom, lift up your voices in audible praise to God and say aloud with the psalmist: Thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise [You] (Psalms 63:3).

God is not glorified by our silence, our fears, our doubts, or our frustrations. He is glorified by our praise. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (Psalms 150:6).

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 = dull-hearted; 51:25 mountain = power; 51:31 at one end = on every quarter, end to end; 51:42 the sea = the flood waters of the Euphrates; 52:31 lifted up the head = pardoned.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Gov. Tause Sunia (American Samoa) · Pray for the President · Country: Spain (39 million) in southwestern Europe · Major languages: Castilian Spanish and Catalan · Limited religious freedom · 94% Roman Catholic; .5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Realize that prayer is one of the ways God uses to strengthen you in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:18).

Optional Reading: Revelation 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:13

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