Jeremiah 38&39

2 Kings 25:1-24

Ezekiel 25-26

Trouble and Tribulation

In our study today we read of the fall and destruction of Jerusalem. God was willing to intervene and spare the city even up to the last moment but King Zedekiah was afraid of the people instead of fearing the Lord and obeying God’s word to him through Jeremiah. Even with the walls being torn down and the city on fire God saved those who were faithful to Him including Jeremiah and Ebed-Melech who saved Jeremiah from starvation when he was in the cistern.

At this point in our study we return to the book of Ezekiel. His prophesy is now aimed at the surrounding nations of Judah who were rejoicing at the fall of the nation. Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, and Tyre are covered in our chapters today. These nations thought that by being rid of Judah they would be getting what they wanted. How wrong they were. Ezekiel proclaims that they are the next target of Nebuchadnezzar.

The judgment that came on Judah and the exile of the people to Babylon is similar to the day when the antichrist comes to power at the start of the Great Tribulation. Presently, although the spirit of the antichrist is at work in the world, the antichrist, or the lawless one as Paul calls him in 2 Thessalonians 2, is being held back from coming and taking power. One day the Church will be taken out of this world and be caught up to heaven to be with our Lord Jesus. This is known as the Rapture. When the Church is gone the world, like these nations, will rejoice thinking they are getting what they want. Instead they will end up in great tribulation and distress as they face the wrath of God. In reality the presence of the Church was what was holding back the antichrist and the wrath of God.

The same is true for the nations mentioned in Ezekiel’s prophesy. While Judah remained a nation Nebuchadnezzar was being held back from attacking them. With Judah gone these nations will experience the invasion, war, and devastation they were rejoicing about when Judah was under siege, while the exiles live in relative safety and peace in Babylon until they return to Jerusalem 70 years later. Like the exiles living in safety, the Church will be with the Lord for the seven years of the Great Tribulation. At the end of seven years our Lord will return as King of Kings and put an end to the Tribulation. When He returns the Church will return with Him and He will set up the millennial kingdom where the world will be in perfect harmony because the Creator of the world will be the Ruler of the world.   

The prophesy regarding the Great Tribulation and the second coming of the Lord Jesus as King awaits fulfillment. We are faced with the same choices the people of Judah were faced with when Jeremiah and the other prophets were prophesying. We can believe the prophesy or reject it and live as if it is not going to happen. But it will happen. The fulfillment of the prophesies made in the Bible tells me one thing. God says what He is going to do and He does what He said. His track record is perfect. That is just one of the many reasons I believe in Him and have made Him my Lord and Savior.

What about you? Is Jesus your Lord and Savior?

Pastor Dave