Week #103; Wed, Dec 18: Jeremiah 52:1–Lamentation 5:22
I. A personal Biblical yardstick helps study the Bible and God’s master plan.
A. Here’s mine:
1. The Lamb’s Book of Life was compiled with our names before the foundation of the world.
2. Isaiah 14 addresses the war in heaven and Satans fall along with his not so angelic followers.
3. Lucifer’s pride escaped his internal controls and he and his followers exercised their free-will to contend with God over ruling God’s kingdom, a big mistake although God knew the outcome before hand.
4. The split resulted in a ratio of 2/3 of the angels opting for God’s side and 1/3 of the angels opting for Lucifer’s side.
5. When humans were created, God gave them free-will just like the angels.
6. Our free-will to exercise our choice to follow God or not has similar consequences as the angels.
7. Yes, Jesus died for all; however, God will only accept believers back into His pure kingdom.
8. God already knows who will become a believer and He sealed their names in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world; blasphemy results in a name being deleted from the Lamb’s Book of Life.
9. God does condemn some and does not want them back in His kingdom.
10. God wants a restored pure kingdom where He will know that believers want to be on His side and not Satan’s side.
11. So, our earthly environment is a temporary testing or proving ground.
12. Yet, God knows the eternal outcome of our free-will choices that we make now here on earth.
13. He is testing us now with His free-grace to make a free-will choice to believe in Jesus.
14. God sent Jesus to die for all, but we have to believe in Him and more than that, we must develop our relationship with Him from that point on.
15. Interlocking fingers depicts how tight our relationship with Jesus should be.
16. The ones that interlock fingers and hands with Jesus will meet Him in the sky and clouds when He returns (think Chinese finger prison).
17. Death and sickness will end for eternity.
18. See references in page 7, paragraph I.E about the ones “left behind.”
19. God’s plan is consummated upon restoration of His pure kingdom.
20. He will dwell on a fire purified earth from a New Jerusalem on Mount Zion with His saints.
B. Inference: All Scripture (old and new) gets richer and richer, particularly if it is read as one voice of God from beginning to end.
C. Further, Colossians 3 isolates three important words: above, earth, and below. When directional labels are applied to these words, they render a vertical, horizontal, and transverse context for God, earth, and evil respectively.
D. So, the current Scripture topic can be analyzed in an X, Y, and Z three-dimensional Cartesian context as good, bad, or ugly. Then mentally plot coordinates for the following elements (paragraph 4.B at www.jwaministries.net pertains):
1. FINDINGS: Abnormality(ies)?
2. CRITERIA: Basis for good results?
3. CONDITION: What’s happening?
4. CAUSE: How or why did the condition happen?
5. EFFECT: Impact?
6. RECOMMENDATION: Resolution for the condition(s)/cause(s)?
E. Assess and remember the slope of the topic’s curve; use as needed.
Jeremiah 52, The Fall of Jerusalem Recounted
I. “Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For because of the anger of the Lord things came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence.” (52:1-3)
A. Inference: “And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it. And they built siege works all around it. So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled and went out from the city by night by the way of a gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, while the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. And all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and also slaughtered all the officials of Judah at Riblah. He put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in chains, and the king of Babylon took him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death. ” (52:1-11)
1. FINDING: Nebuchadnezzar seized Jerusalem.
2. CRITERIA: The anger of the Lord was kindled against Zedekiah because of the evil he did like Jehoiakim, his father, had done.
3. CONDITION: Evil of Zedekiah (52:2)
4. CAUSE: The Anger of the Lord. (52:3)
5. EFFECT: Jerusalem fell at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Give up, surrender. Turn back to the Lord.
II. The temple burned. “In the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month–that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon–Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who served the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. And he burned the house of the Lord, and king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem.” (52:12-16)
A. Inference: “And the pillars of bronze that were in the house of the Lord, and the stands and the bronze sea that were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried all the bronze to Babylon. And they took away the pots and shovels and the snuffers and the basins and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service; also the small bowl and the fire pans and the basins and the pots and the lamp stands and the dishes for incense and the bowl for drink offerings.” (52:17-23)
1. FINDING: Jerusalem and the temple of the Lord were razed by the Chaldeans.
2. CRITERIA: The anger and vengeance of the Lord
3. CONDITION: In addition to burning the temple, valuable metals were taken and moved to Babylon.
4. CAUSE: Greed over high value items inside the temple of the Lord.
5. EFFECT: The temple was decimated and all valuable metal items were stolen as the spoils of war.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Surrender to captors from Babylon.
III. The people exiled to Babylon. “And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the threshold; and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and seven men of the king’s council, who were found in the city; and the secretary of the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the midst of the city. ” (52:24-25)
A. Inference: “And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. And the king of Babylon struck them down, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.” (52:26-27)
1. FINDING: Nebuchadnezzar carried away the people to Babylon after the siege of Jerusalem and razing the temple of the Lord.
2. CRITERIA: The anger and vengeance of the Lord executed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.
3. CONDITION: Defeat and exile at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.
4. CAUSE: The anger and vengeance of the Lord.
5. EFFECT: Exile to Babylon
6. RECOMMENDATION: Surrender to captors from Babylon.
Lamentations 1, How Lonely Sits the City
I. “How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she who was great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces has become a slave.” (1:1)
A. Inference: “She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they have become her enemies.” (1:2)
1. FINDING: Jerusalem is in ruins and the people have gone into exile.
2. CRITERIA: The Lord rejected his people and his fierce anger brought them down.
3. CONDITION: Servitude and distress for grievous sins and uncleanness.
4. CAUSE: The Lord has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe.
5. EFFECT: Suffering.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Repent and obey the Lord.
Lamentations 2, The Lord Has Destroyed Without Pity
I. “How the Lord in his anger has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!” (2:1)
A. Inference: “He has cast down from heaven to earth the splendor of Israel; he has not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.” (2:1)
1. FINDING: “The Lord has swallowed up without mercy all the habitations of Jacob; in his wrath he has broken down the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; he has brought down to the ground in dishonor the kingdom and its rulers.” (2:2)
2. CRITERIA: The anger and vengeance of the Lord.
3. CONDITION: Destruction and defeat for the people.
4. CAUSE: The Lord withdrew from them his right hand in the face of the enemy. (2:3)
5. EFFECT: “In the dust of the streets lie the young and the old; my young women and my young men have fallen by the sword; you have killed them in the day of your anger, slaughtering without pity.” (2:21)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Seek the Lord, cry out to the Lord.
Lamentations 3, Great Is Your Faithfulness
I. “I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long.” (3:1-3)
A. Inference: “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord. Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (3:18-23)
1. FINDING: Although endurance is perishing, there is hope in the Lord.
2. CRITERIA: Great is the Lord’s faithfulness.
3. CONDITION: Perishing endurance and hope.
4. CAUSE: The destruction of Jerusalem and exile of its inhabitants.
5. EFFECT: “For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.” (3:31-33)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (3:25-26)
Lamentations 4, The Holy Stones Lie Scattered
I. “How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed! The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street.” (4:1)
A. Inference: “The tongue of the nursing infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the children beg for food, but no one gives to them.” (4:4)
1. FINDING: “The Lord gave full vent to his wrath; he poured out his hot anger, and he kindled a fire in Zion that consumed its foundations.” (4:11)
2. CRITERIA: “This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed in the midst of her the blood of the righteous.” (4:13)
3. CONDITION: “For the chastisement of the daughter of my people has been greater than the punishment of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, and no hands were wrung for her.” (4:6)
4. CAUSE: Sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests.
5. EFFECT: “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven: We have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven.” (4:40-42)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Surrender to the punishment of the Lord. (4:22)
Lamentations 5, Restore Us to Yourself, O Lord
I. “Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace!” (5:1)
A. Inference: “Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners. We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows.” (5:2-3)
1. FINDING: “The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!” (5:15)
2. CRITERIA: “But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations. (5:19)
3. CONDITION: “Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities.” (5:7)
4. CAUSE: Sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests.
5. EFFECT: Condition mandates a need for redemption.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Plea to the Lord thusly, “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old–unless you have utterly rejected us, and you remain exceedingly angry with us.” (5:21-22)