Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012 … Lawlessness When God Lifts His Grace of Protection

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 233

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Jeremiah 41-45 [NLT] To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 41: 1-3; 7; 10-14 :[NLT] … 1 But in mid-autumn [in the seventh month, of the Hebrew calendar in October and November 586 B.C.], Ishmael son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama, who was a member of the royal family [of Judah], arrived in Mizpah [a Judean town near Jerusalem] accompanied by ten men. Gedaliah invited them to dinner. While they were eating, 2 Ishmael and his ten men suddenly drew their swords and killed Gedaliah, whom the king of Babylon had appointed governor. 3 Then they went out and slaughtered all the Judean officials and Babylonian soldiers who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah. … 
7 But as soon as they were all inside the town, Ishmael and his men killed all but ten of them and threw their bodies into a cistern. … 
10 Then Ishmael made captives of the king’s daughters and the other people who had been left under Gedaliah’s care in Mizpah by Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard. Taking them with him, he started back toward the land of Ammon. 11 But when Johanan son of Kareah and the other guerrilla leaders [another band of rogue Jews from occupied Judah] heard about Ishmael’s crimes,12 they took all their men and set out to stop him [Ishmael]. They caught up with him at the large pool near Gibeon. 13 The people Ishmael had captured shouted for joy when they saw Johanan and the other guerrilla leaders. 14 And all the captives from Mizpah escaped and began to help Johanan.  
Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 42: 1-3: 10-11; 19-22 :[NLT] … 1 Then all the guerrilla leaders, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniaht son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, approached 2 Jeremiah the prophet. They said, “Please pray to the LORD your God for us. As you can see, we are only a tiny remnant compared to what we were before. 3 Pray that the LORD your God will show us what to do and where to go.”... 
10 [God’s response to Jeremiah’s prayer] ‘Stay here in this land. If you do, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you. For I am sorry about all the punishment I have had to bring upon you. 11 Do not fear the king of Babylon anymore,’ says the LORD. ‘For I am with you and will save you and rescue you from his power. … 
19 [Jeremiah’s prophetic response to Johanan and the band of Jews who’d asked him to pray for them] “Listen, you remnant of Judah. The LORD has told you: ‘Do not go to Egypt!’ Don’t forget this warning I have given you today. 20 For you were not being honest when you sent me to pray to the LORD your God for you. You said, ‘Just tell us what the LORD our God says, and we will do it!’ 21 And today I have told you exactly what he said, but you will not obey the LORD your God any better now than you have in the past. 22 So you can be sure that you will die from war, famine, and disease in Egypt, where you insist on going.” 
Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 43: 1-3: 7; 10 :[NLT] … 1 When Jeremiah had finished giving this message from the LORD their God to all the people, Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the other proud men said to Jeremiah, “You lie! The LORD our God hasn’t forbidden us to go to Egypt! Baruch son of Neriah has convinced you to say this, because he wants us to stay here and be killed by the Babylonianst or be carried off into exile.” … 
7 The people refused to obey the LORD and went to Egypt, going as far as the city of Tahpanhes. … 10 [God through Jeremiah] … Then say to the people of Judah, ‘the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will surely bring my servant Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, here to Egypt. I will set his throne on these stones that I have hidden. He will spread his royal canopy over them.  
Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 44: 1-2; 7-8; 26-28 :[NLT] … 1 This is the message Jeremiah received concerning the Judeans living in northern Egypt in the cities of Migdol, Tahpanhes, and Memphis,t and in southern Egyptt as well:2 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: You saw the calamity I brought on Jerusalem and all the towns of Judah. They now lie deserted and in ruins. … 
7 “And now the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, asks you: Why are you destroying yourselves? For not one of you will survive—not a man, woman, or child among you who has come here from Judah, not even the babies in your arms. 8 Why arouse my anger by burning incense to the idols you have made here in Egypt? You will only destroy yourselves and make yourselves an object of cursing and mockery for all the nations of the earth. … 
26“But listen to this message from the LORD, all you Judeans now living in Egypt: I have sworn by my great name, says the LORD, that my name will no longer be spoken by any of the Judeans in the land of Egypt. None of you may invoke my name or use this oath: ‘As surely as the Sovereign LORD lives!’ 27 For I will watch over you to bring you disaster and not good. You will suffer war and famine until all of you are dead. 28 “Only a small number will escape death and return to Judah from Egypt. Then all those who came to Egypt will find out whose words are true, mine or theirs! 
Highlight Passage: Jeremiah 45: 4-5 :[NLT] … 4 [Jeremiah to his scribe, Baruch] … “Baruch, this is what the LORD says: ‘I will destroy this nation that I built. I will uproot what I planted. 5 Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people; but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the LORD, have spoken!’”

Reference Study Passage : Romans 1: 18-32 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -

My Journal for Today: Another big gulp from the Prophet Jeremiah’s journal (i.e., Book in the Bible), which relates historically what happens when a formerly God-honoring people fall away from seeking God’s will and relent to pursuing their own will and ways instead of God’s protective commands.

In Chapters 41-45 of Jeremiah we read of a band of the Jewish underground, remaining in Judah (near Jerusalem) during the times of the Babylonian captivity, who came in to Mizpah, a town near Jerusalem, and, like a gang of marauders in the old west, wiped out the designated Governor of Judah and the Babylonians living there. But then, being the foolish and selfish rebels they were, they went to Jeremiah, who was still in Judah, for God’s blessing through the Prophet. And Jeremiah gave them God’s word that this band of Jewish fighters should remain, protected by God, in Judah. However, they were intent upon hearing that they could/should go to Egypt; and they rejected Jeremiah’s prophesy, setting out for Egypt anyway, taking Jeremiah as a captive with them. Well, as we read in these chapters, God left them to their own desires; but the Lord took care of them, as He had prophesied through Jeremiah; and they were ultimately consumed by God’s wrath of abandonment as the Lord allowed Nebuchadnezzar to prune these rebels from God’s kingdom when they were in Egypt.

 And as I read these historical passages, dictated by Jeremiah, 600+ years before Christ, and penned by his scribe, Baruch (see Chapter 45), my mind was taken to a New Testament passage, Romans 1: 18-32, where much the same warning is given by the Apostle Paul to New Covenant believers as was given through Jeremiah to Judah in his times.  

THE WARNING: If we CHOOSE to do life OUR OWN WAY, God will visit His wrath of abandonment on those who mock or rebel against His will and His ways from His word.

And it’s scary for me to see how much of our country fits in to the ways and warnings of the passage in Romans, which you can study using the link I’ve provided for you above. Just like the Judean rebels in Jeremiah’s day, so much of the world, and that includes even the so-called “church,” will not listen to the clear warnings from God through His prophetic teachers/preachers. They will not seek, let alone follow His word, the only real and practical source of God’s truth. And because of this, God will do exactly what He did to those rebels in Jeremiah’s day in Judah or what Paul warns us about in the passage in Romans 1.

Oh, how I pray – as I do so often – that we’ll get the warnings, … that our leaders will surrender to God’s will and follow His ways, … and that God’s people in this country will be captivated by His word and follow the Lord again. The prognosis, unfortunately, seems grim; but God’s promise of deliverance always provides hope. So, we must continue to pray for God’s merciful deliverance in these days of evil.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, that is my prayer today … that You would have mercy on this country and deliver the remnant of believers into a time of revival of seeking Your will and Your ways from Your word. Amen

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