Daily Reading: 4-20-16
Jeremiah 50:17-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
Jeremiah the prophet was given a word from the Lord concerning Babylon. Babylon was a mighty empire in Jeremiah’s time. In fact, God used Babylon to punish Judah for her sin. When God was done with Babylon, it was destroyed by the Medes and Persians around 539BCE (Daniel 5:30-31). In our passage below, we can discern a message that spiritually applies to a time when God will wipe out all sin forever; called the end times. It is a message of Hope found in Messiah!
Jeremiah 50:17-20 Hope for God’s People
“The Israelites are like sheep
that have been scattered by lions.
First the king of Assyria ate them up.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar[a] of Babylon cracked their bones.”
Therefore, this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
the God of Israel, says:
“Now I will punish the king of Babylon and his land,
just as I punished the king of Assyria.
And I will bring Israel home again to its own land,
to feed in the fields of Carmel and Bashan,
and to be satisfied once more
in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead.
In those days,” says the Lord,
“no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah,
for I will forgive the remnant I preserve.
So let’s revisit some of my earlier comments. First, Assyria is mentioned in this passage as having attacked the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Later, Babylon comes along to overthrow Assyria and destroys the Southern Kingdom of Israel. The word “Assyria” is used in Scripture as a symbol of human reasoning for spiritual things. The word “Babylon” is used in Scripture as a symbol of all evil. Let’s put some things together in a spiritual context: Our human condition apart from the Spirit of God is to use human reasoning to interpret spiritual truths. When we try to use our “unredeemed” reasoning, we can allow evil to permeate and manipulate our thoughts by throwing down spiritual realities. (God’s thoughts and ways are HIGHER than our thoughts and ways!). The goal of God’s spiritual enemies is to get us in our heads and away from our hearts because the heart is where the Spirit bears witness to the truth. But here is the Good News! Jesus the Living Word has empowered a way for us to not only recognize and conquer wrong thinking and reasoning with Truth, but to resist every form of evil. The word “Bashan symbolizes a fertile or fruitful place. We can live in wholeness (shalom) with God. The power Source is the Holy Spirit—the third person of the Trinity; our Companion and Helper. The Spirit brings us Home again to God and satisfies us with every good thing for eternal life. And, because of Jesus, God remembers our sins no more! Hallelujah!
Prayer: Lord, thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to bring me to spiritual awareness and feed me Truth. I give You my heart, my thoughts, and I stand against every form of evil that tries to distract me from depending upon and loving You and others. Holy Spirit, help me to keep watch over my thoughts, today. Cause me to lean on Your Word that brings my thinking in line with Your heart. I love You, Lord! In Jesus’ name. Amen.