Thursday, October 13, 2011

October 13- Judging The Leaders

October 13, 2011

Scripture Reading:
Jeremiah 22:1-23:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12;
Psalm 83:1-18; Proverbs 25;11-14

Jeremiah 22:1-23:20

The Bible indicates that God raises up leaders of nations and then holds them accountable for how they rule their nations.  As we have read through the Bible thus far, you have probably picked up on the fact that God is concerned about the poor, the widowed, and the orphaned.  Over and over again God speaks about His concern for those who are in need.  God calls each person of faith to find a way to help others.  God is aware that this world system is tilted towards helping the rich and slanted towards forgetting the extremely poor within society.  Have you noticed that multimillionaires often get away with hardly paying any taxes?  They give large contributions to the politicians and manage to have policies enacted that protect their wealth. These inequities do not go unnoticed by God.  Today, Jeremiah is given specific judgments against the kings in Judah who have been corrupt. 

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

The second letter to the Thessalonians is designed to address questions that this church had as to whether or not they had missed being included in the Rapture of the Church. The Thessalonians were worried that they were actually stuck being part of the Great Tribulation.  This is because they were enduring great persecution as a church.  Many Christians have felt throughout the ages that they were experiencing the Great Tribulation because of war, famine, persecution, and hardships.  Paul lays out in this letter the teaching that there will be two signs before the start of the Great Tribulation.  The Day of Christ is the day of grace.  We are in the Day of Christ/Day of Grace on earth at this time. Included in the Day of Christ is the Rapture or catching up of the saints to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).  This event precedes the end of the Day of Christ and begins signs for the Day of the Lord.  The Day of Lord is a day that like the Jewish day in Scripture beginning with the Creation in Genesis, is a day that begins with evening.  Remember, the book of Genesis says "there was evening and morning...the first day." The great Day of the Lord begins with the "evening" of the Lord's judgment of the earth during the Great Tribulation, and the Day of the Lord ends with the "morning" of Christ's millennial reign on earth. Darkness precedes the light.  This is what the Apostle Paul will explain to the Thessalonians in this second letter.

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.

Psalm 83:1-18

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!

Proverbs 25:11-14

"Timely advice is as lovely as golden apples in a silver basket."  Love that!!

What did you learn today?  Please share.


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton 

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