October 13, 2011
Jeremiah 22:1-23:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12;
Psalm 83:1-18; Proverbs 25;11-14
Because they have violated their covenant with God, the Lord is telling the royal house of David that He intends to destroy the palace and city of Jerusalem. The first king prophesied against is Jehoakim. His father was good King Josiah, who found the Book of the Law as a boy king and rid the land of idols. Unfortunately, his son did not follow his example. Jehoakim is rebuked by the Lord for building his wealth on the backs of his people. "A beautiful palace does not make a great king." Jehoakim is called greedy, selfish, and dishonest. In judgment, this king will be killed and buried like a dead donkey. He will be dragged out of the city in disgrace and dumped outside the gate. No one will even care that he is dead.
The next king prophesied against is Jehoachin, also called Jeconiah. The Lord simply calls him Coniah because "Je" indicates God and God wants nothing to do with this evil man. God plans to abandon Jehoachin and through Jeremiah, God tells Jehoachin that his life will amount to nothing. No child of his will ever sit on the throne of David. It should be noted that Jesus is a son of David through the line of Nathan. Mary was a descendant of Nathan, not Solomon. Jehoachin is a descendant of King Solomon. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is going to expel this king and his mother from the land. They will die in the foreign country of Babylon.
Jeremiah is told to speak about the fact that the sheep of Israel have been led astray by bad shepherds, but one day a Good Shepherd will be raised up to lead His people. This shepherd will be a Righteous Branch from the root of King David, who will rule on David's throne in Jerusalem. He will do what is right and just throughout the land. His name will be: The Lord is Our Righteousness. In this future kingdom, the Israelites will no longer remember their rescue from Egypt through the Passover. They will now focus on the rescue they have experienced from all over the earth to be brought back to the Promised Land of Israel. This will occur in the end times. Israel will be gathered back to the land and will endure the Great Tribulation prior to Christ's millennial reign on earth. Please note that this prophecy of Jeremiah indicates that the Shepherd will gather back a remnant that He leads into the new millennial reign (Jer. 23:3). This is a Biblical principle. Remember, the gate is narrow that leads to life and only a few find it (Matt. 7:13-14).
Jeremiah staggers like a drunk man under the vision of the destruction of the priests and the false prophets. Their abuse of power will be judged by God. Do you feel that our modern day pastors or televangelists who are living in luxury off of the gifts of poor believers will be judged by God? They will. And these false religious leaders were judged as well.
Here is the final statement, "The anger of the Lord will not diminish until it has finished all his plans. In the days to come, you will understand all this very clearly." (Jeremiah 23:20)
You and I live in the day of grace when the offer to all of mankind is to come to Jesus Christ and receive forgiveness for sin. One day the day of grace will end and the day of judgment will begin. God is watching. He is measuring each life. His mercy, justice, holiness, and sovereignty are constant. In the end His love dictates that justice must prevail. The wicked will be punished. This story in the Old Testament teaches us this truth.
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
At the beginning of this letter Paul acknowledges that the Thessalonians are enduring great persecution. They are being faithful in the hardships they are suffering. Paul states that they are being made worthy to be part of Jesus' upcoming Kingdom through this suffering and that God will judge their persecutors. The evil will receive everlasting destruction and eternal separation from God.
Paul prays that the Lord will be honored by the behavior of the Thessalonians, even in their suffering. This is only possible through God.
Do you realize that God uses your suffering for a variety of purposes, including making you worthy of His future Kingdom on earth? Remember the Sermon on the Mount and consider Christ's words.
The psalmist lists enemies that are plaguing Israel. As we look back in history we see that God conquered this list of enemies. He will conquer our foes, too!
"Timely advice is as lovely as golden apples in a silver basket." Love that!!
What did you learn today? Please share.