October 17, Reading 2 – Jeremiah 52

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Jeremiah returns to the fall of Jerusalem for a reason. The Temple is dismantled and all its articles taken away. This is the real horror – the Glory of God had departed, and no one realised! Jehoiachin is a fruitless branch of David – he has no surviving sons. The heirship of David passed to a distant line coming from Solomon’s full brother Nathan (Luke 3:31). How thankful we should be that God sent Jesus! The Glory returned!

SJA Notes

Here we read of an end to the wealth and splendour that Solomon acrued.

The captain of Nebuchadnezzar’s guard took away all the gold, all the silver, and it seems most of the bronze (v20, beyond weight).

In 1 Kings 7 we read, “And Solomon left all the vessels unweighed, because there were so many of them; the weight of the bronze was not ascertained.”

Far greater in change though is what the Babylonians did with the people in Jerusalem.

V26 of our passage ends with “… So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.”

So here is the last exile of this age, after Samaria, and previously from Jerusalem.

However it is exile with a crushing blow – The removal of the leadership.

King Zechariah’s sons were killed, his own eyes put out. The leadership of the church and state (v24-26) were taken and then put to death.

A terrible loss.

Except that they had been warned, generation after generation, by the Lord. Warned of the consequences of their turning away from Him. Exhorted to return to the God of Israel, to put away evil practices, to stop following idols.

And so this terrible loss was the just outworking of God’s word of judgement.

Our nations and states, even our towns and communities – They need Jesus! They need to heed God’s word!

* Gracious Father,

To You we cry, please save our nation, our state, our cities and towns, our communities.

Please may Your word go out like a rising wave, Your Spirit reviving dead hearts and seeking out lost souls.

Please O Lord, prepare us for the harvest.

Amen.

October 16, Reading 2 – Jeremiah 51:25-64

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Verse 26 is a strong statement regarding the future – our hope will not be in any world power. The Babylons of this world will never be the foundation or cornerstone for the future. Christ is the cornerstone that counts! Again, verses 45-48 remind us of Jesus’ words re Jerusalem in Matthew 24.

SJA Notes

“Therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will plead your cause and take vengeance for you.'”

We can see this truth echoed previously in a song of Moses, “… Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly.”

And more, “… I will take vengeance on my adversaries and will repay those who hate me.”

These truths here are part of our sure and steady hope in God!

That we can lean on the LORD for justice, just as we do mercy. As much as the world loves the story of the lone vigilante fighting against injustice – That is not our truth!

We are never alone, and we have a God who takes care of vengeance. Because our enemies in Christ are HIS ENEMIES, our fights of faith and doctrine are HIS FIGHTS.

Let’s be encouraged in this, exhorted and convicted.

As Paul says in Romans, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'”

* Gracious Father,

As we seek to live as Your people, remind us of Your love, Your grace, Your mercy, and indeed Your JUSTICE.

Put within us each day Your Spirit, teach us each day what You want us to know from Your word – That we would not be overcome by evil, but that we would, in You, overcome evil with good.

Amen.

October 15, Reading 2 – Jeremiah 51:1-24

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

The Babylonians released Jeremiah because he told Israel to submit to Nebuchadnezzar. Everyone on both sides thought that Jeremiah was pro-Babylonian. They were wrong – he was God’s prophet. Meditate on verse 19.

SJA Notes

Before politics, before ideologies, before social standing and wealth and power – Before anything else, we must be people of God (men, women and children).

“It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.”

And more, “Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. They are worthless, a work of delusion;”

Once we have God set in His rightful place, as King and Lord of our lives – Then all other things will be framed correctly.

Politics shouldn’t consume us. Neither should man-made ideologies, nor wealth, power or fame.

Because these things will fail. We see here in this passage the great and mighty Babylon has fallen. The hosts of Assyria have come, and Babylon is no more (or will be).

Think of our politics today, and those who seethe with anger at what the powers of the world are doing (from any perspective, any party, any standing).

These will pass away. As Babylon, so they will be.

Instead,

“Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name.”

Let’s work out our faith with fear and trembling before GOD, with a true perspective of who He is, and who we are.

* Lord God of Hosts,

You made the earth – Praise Your Name!

You established the world by Your wisdom, and with Your understanding Your stretched out the heavens – All glory be to You!

Please Lord, keep us from idolatry of any kind – Convict and straighten us Lord, to continue to put You first, as Head of our lives, King and Lord and Saviour.

Thank You for Jesus, the Good Shepherd, through whom we have that most excellent inheritance, eternal life!

Amen.