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First Reading: Jeremiah Chapter 39 and 40 and 41
39:1 The Fall of Jerusalem
(2 Kings 25:1-12; Jer 52:4-16)
In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem, and besieged it. 2 In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the city was penetrated.
3 Then all the princes of the king of Babylon came in and sat in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer, Samgar-Nebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergal-Sarezer, Rabmag, with the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon.
4 So it was, when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, that they fled and went out of the city by night, by way of the king's garden, by the gate between the two walls. And he went out by way of the plain. 5 But the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. And when they had captured him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced judgment on him. 6 Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes in Riblah; the king of Babylon also killed all the nobles of Judah. 7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him with bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon. 8 And the Chaldeans burned the king's house and the houses of the people with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive to Babylon the remnant of the people who remained in the city and those who defected to him, with the rest of the people who remained. 10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left in the land of Judah the poor people, who had nothing, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
11 Jeremiah Goes Free
Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan
the captain of the guard, saying, 12 "Take him and look after him, and
do him no harm; but do to him just as he says to you." 13 So Nebuzaradan
the captain of the guard sent Nebushasban, Rabsaris, Nergal-Sharezer, Rabmag,
and all the king of Babylon's chief officers; 14 then they sent someone to take
Jeremiah from the court of the prison, and committed him to Gedaliah the son
of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should take him home. So he dwelt among
15 Meanwhile the word of the LORD had come to Jeremiah while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying, 16 "Go and speak to Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Behold, I will bring My words upon this city for adversity and not for good, and they shall be performed in that day before you. 17 But I will deliver you in that day," says the LORD, "and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid. 18 For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Me," says the LORD.'"
40:1 Jeremiah with Gedaliah the Governor
(2 Kings 25:22-26)
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him bound in chains among all who were carried away captive from Jerusalem and Judah, who were carried away captive to Babylon.
2 And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him: "The LORD your God has pronounced this doom on this place. 3 Now the LORD has brought it, and has done just as He said. Because you people have sinned against the LORD, and not obeyed His voice, therefore this thing has come upon you. 4 And now look, I free you this day from the chains that were on your hand. If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you. But if it seems wrong for you to come with me to Babylon, remain here. See, all the land is before you; wherever it seems good and convenient for you to go, go there."
5 Now while Jeremiah had not yet gone back, Nebuzaradan said, "Go back to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people. Or go wherever it seems convenient for you to go." So the captain of the guard gave him rations and a gift and let him go. 6 Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, to Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people who were left in the land.
7 And when all the captains of the armies who were in the fields, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed to him men, women, children, and the poorest of the land who had not been carried away captive to Babylon, 8 then they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men. 9 And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath before them and their men, saying, "Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you. 10 As for me, I will indeed dwell at Mizpah and serve the Chaldeans who come to us. But you, gather wine and summer fruit and oil, put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that you have taken." 11 Likewise, when all the Jews who were in Moab, among the Ammonites, in Edom, and who were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, 12 then all the Jews returned out of all places where they had been driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruit in abundance.
13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, 14 and said to him, "Do you certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to murder you?" But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam did not believe them.
15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke secretly to Gedaliah in Mizpah, saying, "Let me go, please, and I will kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he murder you, so that all the Jews who are gathered to you would be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?"
16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, "You shall not do this thing, for you speak falsely concerning Ishmael."
41:1 Insurrection Against Gedaliah
Now it came to pass in the seventh month that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah,
the son of Elishama, of the royal family and of the officers of the king, came
with ten men to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, at Mizpah. And there they ate bread
together in Mizpah. 2 Then Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men who
were with him, arose and struck Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan,
with the sword, and killed him whom the king of Babylon had made governor over
the land. 3 Ishmael also struck down all the Jews who were with him, that is,
with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans who were found there, the men of
4 And it happened, on the second day after he had killed Gedaliah, when as yet no one knew it, 5 that certain men came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, eighty men with their beards shaved and their clothes torn, having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring them to the house of the LORD. 6 Now Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he went along; and it happened as he met them that he said to them, "Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam!" 7 So it was, when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah killed them and cast them into the midst of a pit, he and the men who were with him. 8 But ten men were found among them who said to Ishmael, "Do not kill us, for we have treasures of wheat, barley, oil, and honey in the field." So he desisted and did not kill them among their brethren. 9 Now the pit into which Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men whom he had slain, because of Gedaliah, was the same one Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel. Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with the slain. 10 Then Ishmael carried away captive all the rest of the people who were in Mizpah, the king's daughters and all the people who remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam. And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive and departed to go over to the Ammonites.
11 But when Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces that were with him heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done, 12 they took all the men and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah; and they found him by the great pool that is in Gibeon. 13 So it was, when all the people who were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, that they were glad. 14 Then all the people whom Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah turned around and came back, and went to Johanan the son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men and went to the Ammonites.
16 Then Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, took from Mizpah all the rest of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah after he had murdered Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the mighty men of war and the women and the children and the eunuchs, whom he had brought back from Gibeon. 17 And they departed and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is near Bethlehem, as they went on their way to Egypt, 18 because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had murdered Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made governor in the land.
120:1 Plea for Relief from Bitter Foes
A Song of Ascents.
In my distress I cried to the LORD,And He heard me. 2 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips And from a deceitful tongue.
3 What shall be given to you,Or what shall be done to you,You false tongue? 4 Sharp arrows of the warrior,With coals of the broom tree!
5 Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech,That I dwell among the tents of Kedar! 6 My soul has dwelt too long With one who hates peace. 7 I am for peace;But when I speak, they are for war.
121:1 God the Help of Those Who Seek Him
A Song of Ascents.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the LORD,Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps IsraelShall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper;The LORD is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day,Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;He shall preserve your soul. 8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
JESUS CHRIST THE FOUNDATION STONE
Part 1 of 4
SECTION I - "LORD, WILL YOU AT THIS TIME RESTORE THE KINGDOM TO ISRAEL?"
The question that the disciples asked Jesus just before he ascended to heaven seems almost out of context with our understanding of the events of Jesus' life. What did Jesus have to do with restoring a kingdom that was at it's height almost a thousand years before?
King David reigned for 40 years. After his death, Solomon his son became king for another 40 years. During the reign of Solomon the kingdom of Israel become powerful, rich, and influential. When Solomon became King, he asked God for wisdom in ruling the people. God gave him wisdom but also gave him riches, honor, and a long life. The Bible tells us that the kingdom spread from the Euphrates River to the River of Egypt to the land of the Philistines. Many countries brought tribute and Israel became wealthy. The wealth and wisdom of Solomon was legendary then and still is.
Solomon followed through with the plan of his father and built the house for God in Jerusalem. It was built on the plan of the tabernacle but as a permanent building. Unchiseled quarry stones were used with beams of cedar. The inner sanctuary was overlaid with pure gold. Finally, the original ark of the Lord was placed in the Most Holy Place. When the priest withdrew after placing the ark, a cloud filled the temple: the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
Solomon praised the LORD and blessed the people. This was certainly a time of glory for Israel. But history follows on and the Nation of Israel followed the same road as Solomon. Solomon became enchanted with "foreign wives" and their foreign gods. He who had built the temple for God also built temples for other gods and Israel followed him. The history of Israel shows the downfall of Israel and their captivity at the hands of others.
Were the disciples, when they asked the question of Jesus, looking for a restoration
to the time of Solomon? Did they, even after the resurrection of Jesus, understand
the full import of what the Messiah was to accomplish?
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