Reading through the Bible together

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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Prophets were not only asked to deliver messages verbally, but were sometimes challenged to dramatize their messages. Jeremiah 27 is an enacted prophecy, serving to warn the people about the coming period of captivity under the Babylonians.

In our day, there was a time when preaching was drawing the attention of everybody in a city. Today this is not the case in many cities of the world. While preaching remains the core method, some have found creative ways of packaging the message to draw the attention of the people.

Jeremiah was instructed by God: “Make for yourself bonds and yokes, and put them on your neck” (v. 2). Jeremiah 27 is among the passages that present God as Creator and Sovereign Lord over all the nations. God is in charge, He now uses Babylon to punish Judah. This was not a pleasant experience for Judah. But Babylon in turn would also be judged by God and taken over by the Medes and Persians.

The nations of the world today may pretend to be on automatic drive, but God is in charge. Sometimes God brings a wakeup call to be recognized that it comes from Him.  Sin has caused deterioration to our planet. Sometimes God allows calamities to bring the nations of the world to their knees. Ultimately every nation and every individual living on this planet will recognize that God is in charge.

Submitting to God’s judgment would reduce the level of suffering. But rebellion against God’s judgment would make suffering more severe. In v.13 King Zedekiah is encouraged: “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him and his people, and live.” Through this redemptive kind of discipline God seeks to restore His people back to a healthy covenantal relationship with Him.

There are times when we have to individually or corporately submit to God’s redemptive judgment. This may come on a person-to-person or church-to-person level. We need to submit to God’s discipline by submitting to a spiritual person that He may send our way to restore us back to a healthy relationship with Him.

The false prophets gave the false impression that they were defending God’s cause by the deceptive messages that the vessels taken from God’s house by the Babylonians will be returned shortly. God had allowed the Babylonians to take these items from the Temple, but this did not indicate that by allowing this He was submitting to their gods. God was still in charge, for He says, “They shall be (in Babylon) until the day I visit them…then I will bring them up and restore them to this place” Jer 27:22.

“Lord, help us to have faith in Your plan for our lives and believe that the restoration will come just as You promised.  Amen.”

Michael Sokupa

Assoc. Professor and E.G.White Research Center Director

Helderberg College, South Africa

South Africa