Thursday, August 4, 2011


This post begins with an explanation of how Israel lost their way spiritually.

Jeremiah 50:6–7 “My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace. All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.”

God compares the people to lost sheep without good shepherds to lead them according to the law of God. In fact, their spiritual overseers, their shepherds, were responsible for leading them away from the truth of God’s word. They’ve wandered among the different kingdoms on earth, both large and small, and have forgotten their spiritual roots. They have forgotten that their “restingplace” can only be found in covenant with God.

Leviticus 26:3–12 “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them….ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid….For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you….And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.”

Verse 7 seems to be saying that the Jews would face hatred and enemies everywhere they went. These enemies would justify their mistreatment of them based upon their sin against the LORD, the very One in whom their founding fathers had invested their faith and hope for the future.

It’s interesting to me that the wording is such that, though Jesus was not to come until hundreds of years later, application can be made to the abominable actions of the “Christian” church towards the Jewish people throughout church history. Even today, many protestant denominations have determined that God has rejected the Jew and regard them with disgust or irrelevance accordingly.

Jeremiah 50:8–10 “Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks. For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain. And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD.”

This section of verses is a call to the people of God to get out of Babylon in light of the coming attack of an enemy conglomerate of nations from the north. “He goats” lead the flock. The call is to lead the way out; don’t wait to be led out. This enemy is seen as possessing arrows that sound very much like the smart guided missiles of today; they will always hit their mark. This enemy army will then proceed to spoil the land of all its treasures.

I don’t believe the reference is to the attack of the Medes and Persians because God had already identified Cyrus as the vessel through whom the Israelites would be encouraged to return to Israel and rebuild the temple and allowed to take many of the temple treasures with them. There was no reason for them to flee at that time.

Ezra 1:1–8 “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem…. Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.”

Though the call for God’s people to flee Babylon sounds very similar to the call described in Revelation 18, I don’t think application is specific. In Revelation the people of the world respond to the destruction of Babylon with mourning because of the economic impact. There is no mention of a great military attack by an alliance of nations against them; it is clear that their destruction will come at the hand of Almighty God through death, famine, and fire. The destruction is to be complete with no opportunity for taking any loot.

Still thinking………(to be continued)

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