Jeremiah 24

Daniel 2&3

It Takes what it Takes

We now have two groups in exile in Babylon. In Jeremiah 24 God shows Jeremiah His plan. The plan was that out of the people that are taken to Babylon there will be a remnant whose faith is  built up in the Lord that will return to Jerusalem. In verse 7 God said He would give them a heart to know Him. That means God will take them through what they need to go through, however difficult and unpleasant, to bring them to the place where they will receive Him as their God and be His people.

God said He would abandon those who remain in Jerusalem, including the King, who were rejecting the warning and trying to save themselves. To remain in the land trying to hold on to what they think they have will be far more difficult. There is one more group of people who will be taken to Babylon. If I were Jeremiah, I would try to warn the people who remain that literally the end is near.

Actually the end is near. Christians believe that one day the Church will be “caught up” (raptured) to Heaven and the Great Tribulation will begin. At the end of the Tribulation Jesus will return as King and set up His Kingdom in Jerusalem and the world will experience perfect peace like it has never known. There will be no predators, or temptation. Nature will be in perfect harmony. Long life will be the order of the day when our King takes His throne.

This is the future of believers in Christ Jesus. But what about those who don’t yet believe? It is up to us to spread the word. This is the importance of prophesy. Prophesy takes up a huge portion of the Bible. Our hope and our faith in the Bible must include the prophesy regarding things to come. As Christians we need to have a fundamental understanding of Bible prophesy so we can share our hope with others. Like the remnant, God will allow us to go through tough faith building times so that our hope is in Him and not in this world.

Not only is God preparing His people he is preparing those who will rule over them. In Daniel 2 we read that Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that he did not understand. He called his magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers to tell him what his dream was about. The magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers were known for being wise men. The problem was, as Nebuchadnezzar quickly found out, they might have been clever but not wise. They did not have a clue what his dream was about. Nebuchadnezzar orders that all the wise men are to be killed. Daniel was trained to be one of the wise men and so when they came to get him he tells the king he can not only interpret the dream but tell him what the king saw in his dream. When Daniel does this Nebuchadnezzar realizes that he has a man who has been given wisdom from God. But Daniel’s God is not his God, at least not yet.

In Daniel 3 Nebuchadnezzar has constructed an image similar to the one he saw in his dream. There is one striking difference though. Instead of the image representing different world rulers this image represents Nebuchadnezzar. He thinks of himself as god and he has changed the image to represent himself. Nebuchadnezzar has all the leaders and the people of the nations assembled around the image to worship it. Anyone who does not worship the image will be cast into a furnace. When the call comes for the people to worship the image everyone bows down before it. Well, not everyone. Three Jews refuse. Their names are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abend-nego.

The three are confronted by Nebuchadnezzar but their faith is stronger than the fear resulting from his threats. So into the fire they go but God delivers them from the flames. Nebuchadnezzar realizes he has seen a miracle of God and orders the people to worship God and threatens to destroy anyone who does not follow his command. He has heard the wisdom of God and seen that God is all powerful and can overcome any furnace or threat he can make but he is not there yet when it comes to committing his life to God. He knows about God but he does not know God. That will change but we will have to wait before we read about it.

We still have a lot of the book of Jeremiah to read and we will be adding the prophesies of Ezekiel in the coming weeks. Jerusalem and the temple have not been destroyed  yet but two things are clear. God is making a way in Babylon where there seems to be no way so that the people will be ready to return when the time comes.

Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.”  NASB

We clearly see this demonstrated in these chapters of Daniel.

God has Jeremiah remain in Jerusalem warning the people of what is yet to come.

If anyone is lost it will not be because they didn’t hear but because they didn’t believe what they heard. God is doing everything He can to reach the people.

Time is short. Are you someone’s Jeremiah?

Pastor Dave