Bible Pathways 8/20/2000
Jeremiah 23 -- 25
Only a few months remained before the Babylonians would destroy the Kingdom of Judah. Judgment had been foretold upon its remaining kings. Shallum (Jehoahaz) would die in exile. Jehoiakim was promised the burial of an ass (Jeremiah 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). The prophet was led of God to proclaim: I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath (21:5). 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: 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 said 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 "very good figs" into captivity to correct them, as well as to protect them from destruction with the "very bad figs."
The Lord also proclaimed the promise of a future Kingdom when the Israelites would be gathered again from the ends of the earth (Jeremiah 30:3). Jeremiah assured those who were faithful to His Word of a future time when the Messiah King, as foretold to David, will rule the world in perfect peace and justice for all, and righteousness will prevail. This word of encouragement was given to the righteous remnant of Judah even while the armies of Babylon were besieging Jerusalem, just days before its destruction. Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, 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 whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness (23:5-6; 33:16).
By our natural birth, none is righteous, no, not one . . . for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10,23). When we accept Christ as our personal Savior He becomes The Lord our Righteousness. The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to write: Be reconciled to God. For He has made Christ (who had never sinned) to be sin for us . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:20-21).
Our Lord warned: Not every one that says unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in Heaven (Matthew 7:21; see Luke 6:46). For if you live after the (desires of the) flesh, you shall die: But if you through (the power of) the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, you shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Romans 8:13-14).
As The Lord Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6; also I Cor. 1:30; II Cor. 5:21).
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; 25:9 hissing means shame, ridicule; 25:16 be moved means to stagger; 25:26 Sheshach means Babylon; 25:34 fall like a pleasant vessel means be crushed and broken like a valuable vessel which will then be worthless; 25:35 principal means leader; 25:38 covert means hiding place.
Government Officials: Rep. John Cooksey (LA), Rep. Rubn Hinojosa (TX), and Rep. Ron Paul (TX) · BPM Staff: Shelley Robertson · Pray for Carl and Joyce Main, Cadence International · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of John Fann · Country: Bahamas (252,000) in the northern portion of the West Indies · Major languages: English and some Creole · Religious freedom · 72% Protestant; 26% Roman Catholic; 1% Afro-American spiritist · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you strength for today's need (Ephesians 3:14-16).
I John 2
Memory Verse for the Week:
II Thessalonians 2:11