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Bible Pathways 8/29/2001

August 29

Read Jeremiah 51 -- 52

The spectacular Empire of the Chaldeans surpassed anything the world had ever known. Under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon, the 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 declared that Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed. . . . for her judgment reaches to Heaven. . . . to destroy it. . . . your 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 (Jeremiah 51:8-62).

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 old 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, they 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 where they had never worshiped. The majority had become morally and spiritually accustomed to, and a part of, the 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 has become the habitation of devils. . . . And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that you 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 support to Christ (who) is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23). Followers of Christ will keep their eyes on the coming King. There is never a reason to allow the pressures and problems of life to depress us. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (I Thessalonians 5:18).

When Satan attempts to bombard you with gloom and doom, then lift up your heart in adoration; lift up your voice in audible praise to God; say aloud with the psalmist: Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You (Psalms 63:3).

God is not glorified by our silence, our fears, our doubts, our frustrations, or our confusion. He is glorified by our praise. Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord. Praise 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 (Col. 1:16).

Word Study: 51:2 fanners means destroyers; 51:3 brigandine means armor; 51:11 device means plan, purpose; 51:17 brutish means dull-hearted; 51:25 mountain means power; 51:31 at one end means on every quarter, end to end; 51:42 the sea means the flood waters of the Euphrates; 52:31 lifted up the head means pardoned.

Prayer Needs:
Government Officials: Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Gov. Tause Sunia (American Samoa) · Pray for Bryan Smeathers and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WMTA-AM, Central City KY · Country: Uganda (23 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: English and Luganda · Religious freedom · 51% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 10% animist; 7% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that the Lord will enable you to comfort and encourage others (II Corinthians 1:3-4).

Optional Reading: Revelation 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 3:8

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