Today’s readings.. (2 Kings 1), (2 Kings 2), (Jeremiah 50), (1 Corinthians 10)

It is wonderful to see the way the Almighty – our Heavenly Father – loves his creation.  But what happens when there is – endlessly – no response to his love, no appreciation of his creation – a total denial that he created it?  Our meditations on this arose from our long chapter (50) in Jeremiah today.  Much of it is about Babylon and their king  Nebuchadnezzar; they were at the peak of their triumphs having just destroyed Jerusalem and many other cities.
The LORD’s words against Babylon contain some of the strongest language of denunciation in the Bible – both in this chapter and ch. 51 tomorrow.  We know how the book of Revelation uses the name Babylon (in Hebrew, it is most significantly the word Babel!) to describe the key evil power that is destroyed when God’s kingdom is established. Surely it also represents the world and its leader(s) turning their back on the true God – as at Babel.
In today’s chapter we read, “Set yourselves in array against Babylon … this is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance on her …” [v.14,15] and – “how the hammer of the whole earth is cut down and broken!” [v.23] The utter drama of Babylon’s final end is seen in the last verse, “At the sound of the capture of Babylon the earth shall tremble, and her cry shall be heard among the nations.”  We see a parallel in Rev. 18, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great … for all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality …” [v.2,3]  What is this world’s “passion”!? Then v.10, “… you mighty city Babylon! For in a single hour your judgement has come.”   We will see tomorrow in ch. 51 the prophecy that the future “Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, making all the earth drunken … therefore the nations went mad.  Suddenly Babylon is fallen and been broken …” [v.7,9]    The earth is “drunken” with its’ godless self-centredness – nearly all have turned their back on their Creator.
Our 1 Corinthians reading tells us that “these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction …” [10 v.11]  May we feel confident in our understanding and faith, but  specially note Paul’s next words “ … let anyone who thinks that he (or she) stands take heed lest he fall … God is faithful, and will not let you be tempted (tested) beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” [v.12,13] Let us make our faith, our convictions, as strong as possible and be ready to “endure” and see God’s “way of escape”.

 

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