Sunday, June 9, 2019

Blessed Jews in Babylon (GL44)

    'Appreciating God's Love'

Israelites Accepted Defeated
Jer 27:12-13,17  I also spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying," Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live! Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the Lord has spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? ...Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city be laid waste?"
    God commanded Israel to surrender to the Babylonians so that they would be allowed to stay behind and tend their land. Otherwise, Jerusalem and Judah would be annihilated and the Israelites would be killed or made slaves in distant lands.
    So when Jerusalem and Judah were annihilated and the Israelites captives were herded to Babylon, they believed the prophecy of Jeremiah. They were then ready to serve the Babylonians faithfully for the next seventy years.
Note: – many prophets had prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem because of the Israelites refusal to repent of their sins, idolatry and abominable practices.

Told You Beforehand
John 14:29  "And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe."
    Our Lord taught us that if any event is shared before it happens, then when it comes to pass, the person will believe. It is very important to teach Jesus' end time signs and events so that the faith of Christians will be strengthened when they see the fulfillment of each prophecy.

Jewish Slaves alongside Princes
Dan 1:3-4 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king's descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.
    Besides the descendants of the king and nobles, Jewish youths were also chosen to be trained to serve in the king's palace. Why only the Jews and not the captives from other nations?
    The Jews by their good conduct, behaviour and acceptance of their fate must have convinced King Nebuchadnezzar that they were truly loyal citizens. They were also educated, refined and God fearing.
Note: All Jewish youths are supposed to be educated and knowledgeable in the laws of God for every parent was mandated to teach their children. In fact, Jewish children were expected to memorise and to understand Moses' laws.
     Even in time of their defeats, slavery and captivity, God could raise His faithful servants to be respectable and powerful officials serving in the king's palace.

Faithful to Your Calling
Eph 4:1-3  I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
    Brethren, in all circumstances be faithful to your calling, just as with the Jewish youths, nothing is impossible with God.

Overcame Hypocrisy of Leaders
Hos 4:1-3  Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel, for the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: "There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land. By swearing and lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery, they break all restraint, with bloodshed upon bloodshed... My people ask counsel from their wooden idols, and their staff informs them. For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray, and they have played the harlot against their God.
     Just like the sufferings of Lot living among the sinful and immoral Sodomites, these godly Jews had to endure much sufferings seeing the wickedness, lies and abominable practices of their Jewish leaders.
     They held onto His words, promises and the prophecies of Jeremiah. They were praying that the Babylonians would soon come to cleanse their hypocrisy and abominable practices. Thank God for their great faith for they were delivered and rewarded.
Jer 27:14-15, 17  "Therefore do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon,' for they prophesy a lie to you; for I have not sent them," says the LORD, "yet they prophesy a lie in My name, that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you... 'Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city be laid waste?"
    Similarly, Christians living in the last days are facing much lies, hypocrisy, wickedness, worldliness, abominable practices and heresies of Christian leaders. Just like those godly Jewish youths, we must not compromise His word but stay faithful to Him and endure to the end. During World War 3, we will be rewarded to be participants in His greatest harvest ever and also witness the cleansing of His house.