man sealing document August 20 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 37-38; Ezekiel 29:1-16; Ezekiel 30:20-26; Ezekiel 31:1-18

Irrevocable Plans

Sometimes life decisions cannot be undone. A trust, contract or another legal document may be irrevocable. The consequences for bad behavior and even crimes are irrevocable. When this happens, just consequences must be meted out. If not, something worse will happen. That is the way it was for the nation of Judah when she was almost on the eve of her destruction.

Jerusalem was built on a hill and well fortified. Zedekiah was her king, her last king. Jerusalem would soon be destroyed, and Babylon was God’s instrument of judgment. God had been patient with Judah for over 100 years after Israel was captured and deported. He was waiting for her to return from her rebellion and wickedness to Him, her good and gracious Almighty God. It didn’t happen. Instead, Judah was becoming more and more wicked and wretched. Already, Babylon had twice attacked and taken her king, nobles, soldiers, and much of the people away into exile, along with much of the palace and temple treasuries. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, appointed Zedekiah to rule over Judah. After ten years, King Zedekiah forged an alliance with Egypt and rebelled against Babylon. Babylon was irate and besieged her city so that Jerusalem experienced famine. Her fate was irrevocable. God had sent messages by his prophets time after time, warning her of coming judgment, but she would not listen. Babylon would soon attack and destroy her. This was the prophecy of Jeremiah to a people and king who were not listening.

The message of Jeremiah was not well received. After he delivered the message, he sought to get his share of some property in the former territory of Benjamin. He was caught and accused of disserting to the Babylonians and was put in a dungeon. Though released by the king, Jeremiah’s message did not change. The royal officials complained Jeremiah was discouraging the soldiers and the people. The king gave them permission to deal with Jeremiah as they thought best, so they seized Jeremiah and lowered him into a dry well. Jeremiah sunk deep into the mud and was left to starve to death. But Ebed-Melech, a royal official, told the king, and Jeremiah was once again rescued. Though Jeremiah suffered for his negative message, it did not change. God’s plans were irrevocable. He is holy and righteous and he expects his people to be the same.

The king had one chance to save himself and his people - surrender to the Babylonians. If he did not do that the people would be killed and Jerusalem burned.

Zedekiah was relying on Egypt to help Jerusalem break the siege. Though Egypt would give Jerusalem temporary relief, it would not last. Babylon would come back and destroy Egypt. From that time on Egypt would be a weak nation, never arising as a world power. Her actions, too, were irrevocable. God says, “Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign LORD,” (Ezekiel 29:16, NIV). Is the Almighty your God ? Do you rely upon Him, or everyone else and everything else but Him? Those who trust in God are not disappointed. There is mercy for those who turn from their sin to Him for their salvation. He gives forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life (more...).

Lessons to live by:

  • Before the consequences of our sins become irrevocable, we need to repent! We need to turn from our sins and turn to God for forgiveness and salvation (more...).
  • The LORD is holy and expects his people to be the same.
  • Giving God’s holy message is not always safe. God can, however, be our protector and defender as he was with Jeremiah. Trust in Him today.
  • Those who mistreat or are unfair to God’s people often suffer for it.

Today’s Bible memory verses: Psalm 33:10-11 “The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” (NIV)

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