A Light in the Darkness
Dear Father, before the concerns of the day consume me, I pray for You to direct, control, and guide me.
Read Jeremiah 52:1-34
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“God is present and involved in our lives even when he seems deaf or on an extended leave of absence” (James Dobson). That’s sure good to know!
This final chapter of the book of Jeremiah describes the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the death of many of its citizens. Israel’s king, Zedekiah, witnessed the death of his sons before being cruelly blinded. All the important palaces and houses were burned, while the temple that Solomon had built was emptied of all its valuables and burned. Jeremiah had faithfully warned the king and the people that their city and temple would be destroyed if they did not repent and turn to the Lord. He was ignored, ridiculed and his life threatened, but this final chapter of his book vindicated him.
This great catalogue of destruction contains one significant detail that offered hope for the future: the story about Israel’s previous king, Jehoiachin. He had been taken captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar ten years before the destruction of Jerusalem. He was not treated as cruelly as Zedekiah and was eventually released from prison and permitted to dine at “the king’s table” (31-33). The news that a descendant of David was eating at the king’s table in Babylon was a symbol that God had not forgotten his people. David’s line was still alive, and Jehoiachin pointed forward to the time when the Messiah, the son of David, would come to save his people. This story has been authenticated by the discovery of ration lists in Babylon with Jehoiachin’s name.
Even in the midst of tragedy there was this poignant reminder that God was still in control. Those who watched Jerusalem being destroyed must have thought that God was doing nothing, but throughout the Bible the times when God seemed to be doing nothing were often times when he was doing his greatest works.
What may be troubling you today? Pray about them and ask God to help you trust him even in the difficult times.
Sometimes it seems, Lord, You have hidden Yourself from me. I thank You for Jeremiah’s faithfulness and the courage it gives me to keep going in dark times.
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