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Bible Pathways - Aug. 29, 2009

  • 2009 Aug 29

August 29

Read Jeremiah 51

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Let's sum it up! Jeremiah wrote it all down, so you're able to read the condemnation God declared against Babylon (51:60) as payback for what the nation did to the people of God (51:24). Note: Babylon was in modern-day Iraq! The Temple is destroyed (52:12-13).

The empire of Babylonia surpassed anything the world has ever known and Nebuchadnezzar appeared to be invincible. The empire was enjoying absolute power over the nations of the world when Jeremiah declared that Babylon is suddenly fallen . . . it shall be desolate forever (51:8,13,37,62). At the end of the kingdom of Judah's 70-year captivity, as foretold by Jeremiah, the Babylonian Empire was defeated by the Medes and Persians and Cyrus king of Persia urged all Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the House of the Lord (Ezra 1:1-3).

Most of the generation taken captive into Babylon had died, and the new generation was freed from bondage. The familiar idolatries surrounding the Israelites were no longer offensive to them, and they did not feel a sense of need or desire to rebuild the Temple.

The unwillingness of the majority of the Jews to leave their homes for the poverty of Jerusalem has a modern-day parallel. The Babylonian lifestyle illustrates the False Church, a worldwide, ecclesiastical, politically-motivated, religious, and commercial system, riding upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy (Rev. 17:3-5).

The False Church relies upon the beast — that is, the world system — for support, safety, and prestige. This describes religious people who trust in the power, influence, and wealth of the world rather than in the Lord. John, on the Isle of Patmos, wrote: Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins (18:2-4).

Some professing Christians devote their time, tithes, and talents to the pleasures, and objectives of the world system despite the Lord's warning: Love not the world (I John 2:15). They can be recognized by their compromising associations, seeking their favor to avoid suffering, and living in self-indulgence instead of self-sacrifice.

The False Church and its members pride themselves on acceptance by the world. They are in striking contrast to true Christianity and its Founder who said: If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me (Matt. 16:24).

Thought for Today:

Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe (Prov. 29:25).

Christ Revealed:

As the Creator of the universe (Jer. 51:15). All things were created by Him, and for Him (Col. 1:16).

Word Study:

51:2 fanners = strangers, destroyers; fan = scatter, disperse; 51:11 device = plan, purpose; 51:17 brutish = foolish; founder = metal caster; graven image = idol he has made; 51:25 mountain = tower; 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 of = showed favor to.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Rep. David Reichert (WA) • Country: Benin (6 million) in western Africa • Major languages: French and tribal languages • Some hostility toward Christians • 59% animism and voodoo; 17% Muslim; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Trust in the Lord; He is your refuge (Ps. 15:1-4).

Optional Reading: Revelation 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 10:33

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