Sunday, June 9, 2019

Israelites in Captivity (GL43)

    'Appreciating God's Love'

Those Who Believe His Prophets
Jer 27:8-9, 17 'And it shall be, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish,' says the LORD, 'with the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, "You shall 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?"
     Israel had always rejected the warnings of God's prophets to repent, and believed the lies of the false prophets.
    The final prophecy by Jeremiah was for Israel to surrender to King Nebuchadnezzar and serve him for seventy years otherwise they would be killed at the annihilation of Jerusalem and Israel.
    Although those who believed Jeremiah were prevented from leaving Jerusalem, yet together with Daniel they were protected and delivered by God during the fall of Jerusalem and Israel.  
    Thank God that He is always faithful to His words and promises.

Wise Israeli Youth
Deu 11:18-19 "Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."
       All Jewish youths were 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 supposed to memorise and to understand Moses' laws.
   Since Israel rejected the word of God and refused to repent of their evil ways, the Israelites, out of their unbelief, did not teach their children the word of God.
    Without the word of God and truth, these youths could not believe that it was God's will for Jerusalem to be conquered by the Babylonians. So all those who believed the false prophets who promised them victories, peace and God's deliverance were all killed trying to fight off the enemies.

Similarly, Christians who refuse to believe that we are living in the last days will not teach nor talk about this truth to their children and congregations. Just like the cleansing of Jerusalem, God will use the fourth Seal (world War 3)  to cleanse His church of hypocrisy, idolatry, worldliness, carnality, covetousness and heresies. Because of their lack of knowledge of end time signs and events, many will be caught in the judgment of WW3.

Highly Favoured in Babylon
Jer 29:6-7 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters -- that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace."
      Israelites who had witnessed the depravity of Israel shown by their sinful kings and the abominable Jewish leadership, could believed Jeremiah's prophecy of the impending judgement of God.
      They could accept God's will for the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah, and they would be ready to be made captives and to faithfully serve the Babylonians for seventy years. They had decided to live in peace and serve the Babylonians faithfully as though they were serving God. Because of their obedience, peace-loving and faithfulness, they were treated more favourably than the captives from other nations.
    God fulfilled His promises that when they believed Him, He would established them and when they believed Jeremiah His prophet, He would prosper them. The Jews had a respectful, peaceful and prosperous time during their captivity.
2 Chr 20:20  So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper."