This read is a short but you need to sit still for a minute and read every word. 231 days ago you started this read and this just might be one of the hardest reads on your heart and the most uplifting at the same time.
Four months ago we started the books Chronicles and 3 months ago we started Kings. We weaved the History books with most of the Minor and Major prophets. Today we are closing 2 Books as we wrap up the end of the Captivity. We close both Kings and Chronicles today.
Ok, this visual is amazing! By the end of the week I will post it in “Handout”- I promise. Take a minute to study this! Find where we are. The year is 586 BC.
This is the climax of our Summer reading. I really have no words. We can sit here and read it from the view of His chosen people being brought into captivity, the priests and the Temple being burned and destroyed, the prophets giving their life to warn the people, or from Nebuchadnezzar as he takes the land OR we should look at it from’s God’s view. Re read the ending one more time. God is Love. People are so undeserving of His promises. You can read this as the Fall of Jerusalem or you can read this as God made a promise; a covenant that he will never break.
The Fall of Jerusalem
15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.
20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.
22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
23 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’”
150 years ago God sent Isaiah to preach a word of Repentance. BY NAME God said in Is. 45:
13 I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness:
I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
says the Lord Almighty.”
I have tears reading this. When God makes a promise He keeps it. We live with a Peace that no matter what mistakes we make God will never let us out of his hand. John 10:28 says: 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
I pray that you are forever changed by this read. I pray we never see the captivity as a punishment. When you hear the words “taken into exile” or the “Babylonian Captivity”, you will now hear “Covenant, Promise, Remnant, Love, Restoration”.