Sunday, December 16, 2018

Jeremiah 52

Today's reading in our daily plan is Jeremiah 52. 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?)
  • The final chapter of the book of Jeremiah provides more detail of the destruction of Jeremiah that is recorded in chapter 39. It recaps that King Zedekiah was the final king of Jerusalem and during his rule, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Jerusalem for a period of two years.
  • Zedekiah tried to escape the city of Jerusalem under the cover of nightfall, but he was captured by the Babylonians who murdered his family and officers in front of him and then gouged out his eyes before bringing him in chains to Babylon.
  • Nebuchadnezzar tore down all the walls of Jerusalem and burned the temple of the Lord to the ground. The Babylonians took everything made of bronze, silver, and gold and nearly everyone remaining in Jerusalem was sent into exile in Babylon. The poorest of the people were allowed to stay behind to maintain the vineyards and fields.
  • The passage ends with a description of how the king of Babylon showed kindness to Jehoiachin who was a descendant of King David.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The book of Jeremiah shows us that to the world, Jeremiah looked “unsuccessful”. He had no money, family, or friends. He prophesied the destruction of the nation, the capital city, and the Temple but the political and religious leaders would not accept or follow his advice. No group of people liked him or listened to him.
  • Yet as we look back, we see that he successfully completed the work God gave him to do. Success must never be measured by popularity, fame, or fortune. In comparison, King Zedekiah lost everything by pursuing selfish goals. God measures our success with the yardstick of obedience, faithfulness, and righteousness. If you are faithfully doing the work God has given you, you are successful in his eye.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How do you define “success”? Will you be successful when you have X number of followers on social media? When you reach a certain $ in your bank account? When you’re married with 2.3 kids and a dog? Jesus said we are successful when we “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (read Mark 12:28-31).
  • Today, pause to talk to God and ask him to change your heart to understand “success” as he defines it.  
Here's a helpful video from a great resource called BibleProject that reviews and summarizes the book of Jeremiah: