Bible In One Year-Day 153 (Monday, June 2, 2014)
Commentary: Jer46-48. The reading of these chapters clearly shows why God gave the warning to the remnant of Judah not to go to Egypt and other nations but to submit to the King of Babylon. Recall from previous readings;
Jeremiah 27:6 “And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.”
Jeremiah 27:8 “And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.”
The hand of Nebuchadnezzar was ordained and anointed for special assignment. The assignment was that God’s judgment was going to be executed through the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. The warnings given to the remnant of Judah against their running to Egypt was because Egypt was already judged and for this reason God told Jeremiah not to pray them out of submitting to Nebuchadnezzar for their good;
Jeremiah 14:11 “Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good.” The remnant thought submitting to Nebuchadnezzar would be too oppressive, insulting, and that running to Egypt would be a succor. Little did they know that all nations had been judged and the only place of security and peace was Babylon. Beloved, our difficult and seemingly oppressive moments could be the best for us, especially if you are the praying type. Haggai was told to go back to Sarah while she was running away from Sarah. As at the time she was with Sarah, though oppressive, she still had her conveniences taken care of. But on fleeing, it was more difficult to live to the point that she abandoned her son to die.
Many of us run away from places that seemed unbearable for another place that seemed good without asking God for divine direction. Not all that glitter is gold, as the saying goes. Three nations were mentioned so far in these three chapters; Egypt, Philistines and Moab. Egypt was a nation thought to be very strong in security and warfare not knowing that as far as heaven was concerned it was powerless;
Jeremiah 46:17 “They did cry there, Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise; he hath passed the time appointed.”
Philistines was looked upon as a place of recreation and strong military attainment, but a flood of destruction has been prepared as a standard against her ability;
Jeremiah 47:3 “At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses, at the rushing of his chariots, and at the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers shall not look back to their children for feebleness of hands;”
Moab was unusually peaceful and lacked no food. Moab was praise before nations to the point she arrogated her achievement to her intelligence. But as far as heaven was concern, a garment of shame and ridicule was already prepared for her. Her pride was taken away and her praise withdrawn (Jer48:2, 7, 11, 13 and 29 ). Her shame would be so resounding that people who hear would wonder;
Jeremiah 48:42 “And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the LORD.”
The difficult times we go through does not mean that God will not visit us, but from what we have read, it is to shake some things that would have harmed us and which we hold tightly onto out of our hands. He has His ways of humbling us. The sin of all this nations was idolatry and this was why He dealt with them in favor of Israel initially but they also turned out to be culprits.
Leviticus 18:24-26 “Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:”
It is good for us to learn from these chapters. There are yokes that are convenient; these are God’s yokes.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest to your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
God’s yoke and burden are the only inconveniences that lead to rest and comfort. Jeremiah’s ministry was very painful but that was the only thing he could do on earth that would give him a good end. He asked God some questions because he never thought he had to suffer if he was doing the will of God;
Jeremiah 15:17-18 “I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?”
You cannot escape painful experiences whilst bearing Christ’s cross; you only need to stay focused and not be distracted. The convenience in it is that His grace will sustain you; what could have ordinarily killed a person becomes a means of pruning and preparing for another level of glory to be revealed.
Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
If you are going through some difficult times, it is better for you to prayerfully seek the Lord’s face to know the source of it; if it is demonic attack or your personal mistake due to ignorance, cry for the Finger of God to rescue you from its grip and torment. But if the yoke is God’s, count it all joy because the end of it is always glorious; that is an approved enemy. It is not kill you but to prepare you for the next level.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Not every pain we have to pray to be removed. Jesus also concluded after much travail in prayer that the cup before Him was the will of His Father and therefore had to drink it; the end was glorious. Every glorious destiny has its convenient yoke that drags it to the glorious rest. Apostle Paul’s approved enemy was the thorn in the flesh. Any yoke that keeps you on your knees praying to God or that keeps you closer to God is a good yoke. The one that is making you to prefer holiness and righteousness to sinning is a good one. However, whichever is dragging you further and further from God towards destruction is not of God but demonic and must be broken for your total deliverance. Joseph had his approved enemy at every stage of his life until he got to the seat of fulfillment.
Let us seek for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. May the Lord give us the grace to overcome our weaknesses in the name of Jesus. Our reading for today is Jer49-52. Keep the fire burning and alive.