Day 179 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue in Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 40 & 41 – In chapter 40 we see again a revenant of Judah remaining as Jeremiah is allowed to stay in the land.
It’s not long before confusion and power struggles follow the destruction of Jerusalem in chapter 41. The governor appointed by the Babylonians is murdered. Such events show the chaos that ensues when the clear word of God through His prophet is ignored. It is folly to try to control history without consideration for God’s sovereign control over all. Proclamation in the New Testament of events yet to come makes it clear that no purpose of God in world history can be eluded.
Many today make the mistake of trying to interpret the New Testament message of the gospel and the end of this present age in terms of current historical events. History cannot interpret the Bible; the Bible must interpret history. The history of our broken world is the history of a human race in rebellion against God—a race that tries to order events without heeding God’s prophetic word. Because God’s plan is to unite (or “sum up”) all things in Jesus (Ephesians 1:10), because all things hold together in Him (Colossians 1:17), and because Jesus is appointed heir of all things and upholds the universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:2–3), we must conclude that the totality of human history has meaning only in relation to Jesus. He is the interpretative key to the history of the world.
How do you remember to view all that happens through the lens of the Gospel?
Jeremiah 42 – When Johanan and the people with him ask Jeremiah to pray that God will have mercy, the prophet agrees to do so. He reminds them that God is rich in mercy to those who hear His word and respond. Then Jeremiah issues another stern warning from God: the remnant of the people in Judah should not look to Egypt for salvation. There is the danger here that the remnant left in Jerusalem will presume on their status as a remnant saved from exile. But they are reminded that they must be a faithful remnant.
There is a similar danger that we will presume on being the people of God in the world while failing to trust in Jesus. At stake here is the integrity of the word of God mediated by the prophet. Unbelief is a culpable refusal to acknowledge God (Romans 1:18–32). Salvation can be found only in the Lord as He works out His sovereign will according to His word. We have that word now in inspired Scripture. All attempts to find salvation in empires, religions, denominational identities, philosophies, politics, or self-help schemes will inevitably fail.
How do you keep all these things in their proper place and remember your salvation is found in Jesus alone?
Jeremiah 43 & 44 – Johanan and his followers refuse Jeremiah’s words of assurance and warning. To the prophet it must seem that he is helpless in the power of these rebellious people. Johanan leads the remnant (that is no true remnant) to Egypt, taking Jeremiah with them. The prophet continues to proclaim the word of the Lord in the Egyptian city of Tahpanhes. The Egyptians who have received the Jerusalem rebels now come under judgment. The Babylonian king is referred to by the Lord as “my servant” just as Cyrus is the Lord’s “anointed” (Isaiah 45:1). He will serve the Lord in bringing judgment to these godless people.
We may not be able to discern the details of God’s plan in the world today, but we do know that our God “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11). He rules nations and the affairs of men. The bottom line is, we know that God is bringing in His kingdom. Indeed, the kingdom has already quietly dawned in the coming of Jesus (Mark 1:15). Man-made plans for salvation will always be overtaken by the infallible purposes of God.
How does knowing that God is complete control give you assurance of your future with Him?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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