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Daily Scripture reading for the week is at the end of the page.
Dr. June Normil
Jeremiah 52 describes the fulfillment of God's prophetic word given through Jeremiah--first noting Jerusalem's final, futile resistance to Babylon )Jeremiah 52:1-11). The city was under siege, surrounded by a vast Babylonian army. Most notable, perhaps, is the grahic description of king Zedekiah's ultimate fate. after dealing with Zedekiah, Nebucahadnezzar turned his attention to the temple. It was a magnificant building, housing the Holy of Holies, the place of God's presence where the priest would approach the Lord once each year on behalf of the sins of the people. The temple was central to the people's worship of God. Jeremiah 52:12-23 details Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of the temple. This great wonder ofthe ancient world was plundered and destroyed. From there, Nebuchadnezzar carried many of God's people into Babylon. Later we learn that there were three such deportations (see verses 27-30). The reason for this tragic scene is vividly illusstated in Lamentations 1:8-9, with God likening Judah to a woman who is ceremonially unclean because of her monthly cycle (see Leviticus 15). She is described as shamelessly exposing her nakedness--alluding to her indifference toward her uncleanness. It was a powerful indictment against the people. They were unclean and unfit for God's prsence, yet they continued to revel in their sin. the lesson of Judah's example is clear and timeless. Unrepented sin will be judged.
LIVING IN EXILE (Psalm 137:1-8; Jeremiah 29:1-9)
HOPE FOR RESTORATION (JEREMIAH 29:10-14; 30:18-22; 52:31-34)
In Jeremiah 29:10-14, the prophet delivered a word of promise to the people. Though the current generation would live out their lives in exile, God had not forgotten His people. He would bring them back to Jerusalem. Still today, God desires restoration. for those who have fallen. But a right relationship with Him will include our response--a commitment to follow His ways. We cannot follow God and the ways of the world, any more than the exiles would succumb to false prophets and idol worship. The Book of Jeremiah ends with a note on the all-but-forgotten king Jehoiachin (52:31-34). In contrast to Zedekiah's resistance to Babylon, Jehoiachin complied with Nebuchadnezzar and spent his remaining days in good circumstances. His story ends this very sobering book on a positive note. God did not forget His people, even amid exile and judgment. His promise would endure.
We might find it difficult to understand why God allowed the estruction of the temple and the exile of His people. Yet, simply put, these acts of judgment are the consequences of sin. They reflect the reality that God desires a people who love Him and are committed to Him. This is great news for us. God is willing to restore, even when we strayed deep into sin, far from His plans for us. But His restoration and blessings will come only when we seek him with all of our hearts. take time to evaluate your commitment to the Lord. Ask Him to show you if there be any area where you hold back in service and commitment to Him. Then give thanks for the blessings of salvation and eternal life.
See You In Sunday School Next Week!!!!
Copyright Reference: Radiant Life, Volume 97 Number 3 Mar. Apr. May 2016 by Gospel Publishing House, 1445 N. Boonville Ave, Springfield, Mo 65802.
Dr. June Normil