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aftermath of sever storm August 22 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 2Kings 25:1-21;
2Chronicles 36:15-21; Jeremiah 39; Jeremiah 52:1-30

Day of Disaster

War, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, and financial ruin - all these can lead to a day of disaster. There is panic. Sometimes there is mass confusion. There is sorrow, despair, hopelessness, and sometimes death. Why do these things happen? Many times the answer is unclear, but our hope is that some good will come of it. Other times we know why disaster has come; it is because of our foolishness or wrongdoings.

This was the case for Israel and now is for her sister nation, Judah. Egypt had provided temporary relief from the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem. When Egypt came, Babylon left, but God sovereignly brought her back. Babylon returned to finish the conquering of Judah. Afterwards, Egypt would be destroyed by Babylon. For two years the Babylonians laid siege on Jerusalem until there was no more food for anyone to eat.

Why this time of disaster for Judah? God proves his love to those who are faithful, but judgment is upon those who do not show mercy and who act with wickedness. Judah did not listen to its prophets. They mocked them, persecuted them, sometimes killed them, and continued in further wickedness and idolatry until for Judah there was no remedy for her sins. Samuel, the first full time prophet, said at the end of his life,

To the faithful you [God] show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low, (2Samuel 22:26-28, NIV)

The nation of Judah needed to be brought low. As Judah, pride and wicked rebellion are reasons why some people experience disaster.

On the day Babylon broke into Jerusalem, King Zedekiah and his small army broke through the king’s gate and fled but were soon captured. The army scattered. King Zedekiah was blindfolded, bound in shackles and taken to Babylon, where his two sons were killed before his eyes, and then his eyes were put out. The nobles and priests of Jerusalem were killed. Young men, women and children, and even old men and women hiding in the temple were put to the sword. Royal officials were captured, taken to Babylon and killed. The temple and its treasures were taken piece by piece, the city was burned, and the walls were destroyed.

The Chaldeans [Babylonians] also burned with fire the king's palace and the houses of the people, and they broke down the walls of Jerusalem. As for the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had gone over to him and the rest of the people who remained, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard carried them into exile in Babylon. (Jeremiah 39:8-9, NASB’95)

Were any people saved? Yes. Jeremiah continues the account,

But some of the poorest people who had nothing, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard left behind in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at that time (Jeremiah 39:8-10, NIV).

He also saved Jeremiah and Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, who saved Jeremiah’s life. In this merciful act Ebed-melech showed he had faith in Jeremiah’s God. He was rewarded by having his life spared. “To the faithful you show yourself faithful,” (2 Samuel 22:26, NIV).

Lessons to live by:

  • Disaster comes upon us all, but how we respond to disaster is what matters. Will we accept it as from the LORD and continue to be faithful? Will we be merciful to others going through suffering as we are? Or, will we be destroyed because of our foolish choices and our lack of mercy?
  • God proves his love to those who are faithful, but judgment is upon those who do not show mercy and who act with wickedness.
  • Mercy triumphs over judgment!
  • God will show mercy to those who turn to him from their sins. He provides forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life (more...)

Today’s Bible memory verse: 2Samuel 22:26-28

To the faithful you [God] show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low. (NIV)

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