Saturday, November 21, 2020

I Will Plead Thy Cause

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Our reading this morning is a reminder of the difference between a true prophet, and a false one, the false one speaking presumptuously, without the authority of God. We read Jeremiah and we find instead that even secular history proves him to be a true prophet of God.

The Persian Gulf is the depository for the waters of many rivers, the grandest of which are the Tigris, and the Euphrates. The land between these two ancient rivers is transformed into a fertile “island” in an otherwise desert region. Near modern Baghdad, Iraq, the Tigris joins the Euphrates, the headwaters of the latter which are in the highlands of central/eastern Turkey.

The great City of Babylon, 12 miles square, was a formidable fortress in the area of this fertile island in the desert, with walls 40 feet high, and wide enough to accommodate Chariot Races atop the walls! I can’t help but think of what God says about building a house on a foundation of sand. It’s unstable, and in the case of Babylon, the mighty Euphrates flowed through the city. The entire city was built on shifting sand!

Jeremiah prophecies in 595 BC that Babylon would sink! And history records that Cyrus, King of Persia, defeated the City of Babylon by diverting the waters of the Euphrates River, and making Babylon vulnerable to the Persian Army in 539 BC, causing Babylon to sink less than 60 years after Jeremiah reiterated God’s Words to encourage His people.

Jehovah has His words recorded by the Prophets, and the His people saw His word fulfilled as truth. But it does not end there. We know this because another “Babylon” rises up in the Book of Revelation.

From the hymn “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less” :
“On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”

Today's Audio Message: "I Will Plead Thy Cause"

As I look over the book of Jeremiah and see now how the final judgment of Babylon plays out, it’s pretty amazing to think about all that Jeremiah had been through in over 40 years of prophetic ministry. God had provided for him and kept him alive through it all. From the beginning when God asked Jeremiah to run with the horses, through the destruction of Judah, and Jerusalem and into captivity, God stayed true to His Word and faithful to His people and to His prophet. Jeremiah was a true prophet, and history confirms it. Every word that God spoke through His prophet is confirmed by it’s certain fulfillment.

Now in these last few verses of chapter 51, Jeremiah closes with these final prophetic words against Babylon as he asks to have the scroll read publicly and then tossed to the bottom of the Euphrates river with a stone tied to it. The symbolism, of course, is that Babylon will be no more. It would be shocking to see this powerful kingdom reduced to nothing but rubble as God brings judgement for the cruel persecution of His people, and the desecration of His temple.

At its pinnacle in 560 BC, Babylon had conquered the Assyrian Empire along with Judah and Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar ruled the entire fertile crescent of land including Arabia. Though it seemed impossible by human standards, it would all come crashing down through the hand of God.

These last few chapters have been difficult to go through, reading through the accounts of God’s judgement against those who have made themselves His enemy. Yet even so, God is faithful to address his own children with a message of hope, of mercy, of love, of restoration, and of promise of a bright future.

God is always faithful and true to His Word. He was faithful to Jeremiah, and faithful to bring his people back to Zion restoring them once again. He was faithful in bringing judgment to their enemies. He will plead their cause, and He will plead our cause as well.

As we see our own country in upheaval, the power struggle, the deception, the infighting, the division, ruler against ruler, clashing ideologies, and worldviews we must remember that  God is in control of all things. He's got this, and He’s got us and He will not let us go. No one can pluck us out of His hand!

The apostle Paul wrote,

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  - Romans 8:38-39

If we are a child of God we can have confidence in even the toughest of times, and rest in the assurance that God is in control.  "A
nd we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28 

He will plead our cause, He will save us and will bring us safely home.  Trust Him!

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