Saturday, November 3, 2018

Jeremiah 39

Today's reading in our daily plan is Jeremiah 39. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Zedekiah was the last king of Judah and he was in power when Babylon attacked Jerusalem. It took 2.5 years but once part of the wall around Jerusalem fell and the Babylonians were able to invade the city directly, King Zedekiah and the soldiers fled.
  • King Zedekiah was unable to escape and was captured by the Babylonians who brought him to their king, Nebuchadnezzar, who was headquartered in Riblah which was a city about 200 miles north of Jerusalem. There, Nebuchadnezzar killed Zedekiah’s sons in front of him and then blinded Zedekiah before having him led to Babylon in bronze chains.
  • After the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem, they took many of the people to Babylon as exiles but allowed the very poor people to stay behind to care for the land and fields.
  • King Nebuchadnezzar also instructed his men to find Jeremiah and keep him safe. The Babylonians removed Jeremiah from the prison he was being held in and put him under the care of a man named Gedaliah in Jerusalem. The chapter ends with a message God gave to Jeremiah while he was still in prison: Jeremiah was to tell Ebed-melech (see Jeremiah chapter 38 for the story of how Ebed-melech saved Jeremiah’s life) that he would see Jerusalem destroyed but that Ebed-melech would be kept safe by God.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Jerusalem was so strong that the people living there believed it could never be conquered. And it took years for the Babylonians to breach the city walls. The city was protected by the strength of God but because of the people’s sins which they refused to ask forgiveness for, God withdrew his support and Jerusalem became as weak as any other city.
  • Although the consequences of the people’s sin is displayed through the death and destruction in the first half of the chapter, the second half highlights God’s grace through his protection of Jeremiah (who was faithful and obedient to God) and Ebed-melech (who showed kindness to God’s servant, Jeremiah, in the previous chapter).
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Where in your life are you depending on your own strength and defenses to guard and protect you? Does the fear of being alone keep you in a bad relationship? Are thoughts of money keeping you awake at night? Today, talk to God and tell him about your worries and doubts. Ask him to help you trust that he loves you and wants to be the strength for every circumstances in your life.