November 3



Captivity begins as Jerusalem Falls

Read 2 Chronicles 36; 2 Kings 24:8-25; 26

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 36:15, 16


            Captives now in Babylon, some of the people of Judah remembered the scathing prophecies of Jeremiah. “He was right,” they said; “we should have listened to him instead of mocking him and the other messengers of God.”

            But it was too late. Jerusalem had fallen. The walls of their precious city had been torn down. Hundreds of their families and friends had been killed, the temple and all their buildings reduced to rubble.

            King Nebuchadnezzar’s army had virtually destroyed the sacred city. All the sacred vessels of the temple, and the treasures of the palace, had been confiscated and taken to Babylon as spoils of war.

            Why had this destruction and captivity come about? Because the people of Judah ignored the warning God gave them through the prophet Jeremiah and other prophets. God had borne patiently with the sins of the people for over 800 years. Finally he released his wrath and punished the people for refusing to turn from their wicked ways.

            The people had not met one day and decided to ignore God. They simply drifted farther and farther away from the covenant God had made with them. They became selfish, mistreated the poor, disregarded the commandments of God, and lived for their own pleasure.

            Simply put, they ignored God. They acted as though God did not exist. They went their own way instead of the way of the Lord. They were content to eat, drink, and be merry. What of the priests, those whom God expected to lead the people spiritually? We are told that they were no better than the heathen! One scholar says the priests were devoted to “freedom of religion.” They did not object if some of the people preferred to worship Baal or other pagan gods.

            Ignoring God like everyone else, these priests conducted whatever pagan ceremonies people wanted. No wonder it was written of them that they “polluted the house of the Lord”!

            Such conduct cannot help but remind us of what is going on in America today. Some ministers of the gospel have shamefully conducted worship ceremonies for people whose standards come from our godless culture, not those standards which God has given us in Holy Scripture.

            Some priests of our day are more concerned about being “politically correct” than about honoring God. Little wonder that some of our churches are withering and dying.

            We had better wake up. We had better remind ourselves and our people that a society that ignores God will bring disaster upon itself. We had better get on our knees and ask God to give us the courage to honor Him regardless of the cost. We had better get busy proclaiming the gospel and inviting people to turn to Jesus. Jerusalem fell. America can fall too – if we continue to ignore God. +++