Saturday, August 15, 2020

The Remnant Of Judah

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

 A bit of an Epilogue to the previous chapter, today we see how obedience is rewarded as God takes the remnant left behind and sets into motion the keeping of the land for future generations.

The losses are real. Thousands were carted off to Babylon. Neighborhoods were destroyed, and landmark buildings plundered. But all these things were built by the hand of man, and God’s land remained. 
God promised that the people would return to the land, so when that happened, what would they find, were it not for the remnant left there? 

Since the time of Jeremiah’s being called of God to be a prophet to the people, Jeremiah remembered the words of God concerning Jeremiah’s purpose: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 

I can’t imagine anyone forgetting a conversation with God like that! During his 41 years of ministry, he warned the Jews and surrounding kingdoms of God’s plan, “to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” Jeremiah 1:10 

With the first part of his mission sadly complete, when given his freedom, Jeremiah knew his work was not finished. Re-building and planting was yet to be accomplished so that “the old paths” were in place, and established for when the People came home to the land given to their fathers. The remnant would tend it and keep it. 

From warnings, to encouragement, a prophet’s work is never really done. God will never leave His people without hope. For an entire nation of Prodigals, there will be always be something to come home to.

“And the LORD God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Genesis 2:25

Today's Audio Message: "The Remnant Of Judah"

Though the script of history changes a bit, the characters remain the same. There’s the faithful obedient servants of God, and there’s the stiff necked, disobedient rebels. Those who follow God and His ways, and those who follow their own way. We know what happened to disobedient Judah, God’s promised judgment had come.

Today we will see how obedience is rewarded, and how God works all things together for the good of those who trust Him (Romans 8:28). The king is carried off into Babylon, and the servant is saved!

We meet a Babylonian captain who basically preaches to the children of Israel the very things that Jeremiah had preached to them for 40 years. Here is a pagan Babylonian telling the children of Israel they were sinners! As believers, don't we bow in shame when the world publicly announces the sins of the saints?  There are many non-believers who can see God's justice and truth with regard to others, they're always quick to point out the sins of believers.  Though they may be right, they are completely blind of their own sinful condition, and do not themselves heed God's Word and His warning.

Jeremiah is freed from the prison court.  He is given a choice to stay in Judah, or go with them back to Babylon where he will be cared for, for the rest of his life. He is advised to go stay with Gedaliah.  After 40 years of hearing the voice of the Lord, I think Jeremiah already knows what God would have him to do.  There will be two more prophets that the Lord raises up in Babylon, both Ezekiel and Daniel, so Jeremiah stays, along with the remnant who are left to keep the land as God preserves it for future generations.

We will also meet Gedaliah, the good governor who is put in authority over the land.  A man who will uphold the law.  Gedaliah is later warned by Johanan of a coming coup led by Ishmael, but he is a man who thought the best in people.

Find out what happens next week!

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