Southern Baptist Convention

Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem, And burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire: And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down all the walls of Jerusalem round about (Jer. 52:12-14).

The once great and powerful nation of Israel had fallen to Babylon. The death toll was high, and all those who were not killed were enslaved. The brightest and best that Israel had to offer were forced into servitude to a wicked king and the leaders that surrounded him. The army of Israel had been known all over the world. Other nations had feared her as they heard of how God had blessed her. Now, however, all of that had come to a close. Both Israel and Judah lay in ruins, crushed by the power of God. As a result of their centuries of disobedience and evil deeds, God's promise had been fulfilled.

The Lord had cultivated this great nation from the roots of obscurity. From His covenant with Abraham, on down through Isaac, Jacob (Israel) and his descendants, the Lord grew a strong nation. Throughout this time, the Lord's miraculous power was at work in the lives of His people, increasing the worldly reputation of the Israelites and their one true God.

After their arrival in the promised land, the Lord continued to work through them, sending judges to help guide their way. Although the people seemed determined to sin, God saved them time and again, and the nation of Israel grew and flourished. Soon God provided them with David, from whose lineage would spring our Savior. Even so, they sank deeper into sin and depravity with each passing year. The power of the Lord had created this impressive nation, and the power of the Lord is what eventually brought her to her knees.

Behold, the eyes of the LORD GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us (Amos 9:8-10).

Just as the Israelites had been offered a chance to repent, we too, have been offered an opportunity to turn from sin. God sent Jesus that we might receive eternal life through Him. We simply need to repent and ask Jesus to be our Savior. Whenever souls are redeemed by the blood of Jesus, they become pilgrims and strangers in this world (Phil. 3:20; I Pet. 2:11). The first effect of redemption is separation from this world. Although we have not yet left this world as a place, we have already been set free from it as a system from which we do not belong.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (I John 2:15-16).

Thought for Today:

As Christians we live in the world; but we don't have to live by its standards. If I whet My glittering sword, and My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My enemies, And repay those who hate Me (Deut. 32:41).

Christ Revealed:

As the Creator of the universe (Jer. 51:15). All things were created by Him, and for Him (Col. 1:16).

Word Studies:

51:2 fanners = strangers, destroyers; fan = scatter, disperse; 51:11 device = plan, purpose; 51:17 brutish = foolish; founder = metal caster; graven image = idol he has made; 51:25 mountain = power; 51:31 at one end = from end to end; 51:42 The sea = The flood waters of the Euphrates; 52:31 lifted up the head of = showed favor to.

Prayer Needs:

Pray For Staff: Tifany Edwards • Government Officials: Gov. Eddie Calvo (Guam), Sen. John McCain, III (AZ), Rep. Steven Horsford (NV), Rep. David Reichert (WA), Jacob Lew, (Dept. of Treasury) • Country: Bahamas (321,834) North Atlantic Ocean ¥ Major Language: English ¥ Religious Freedom ¥ 69.9% Protestant; 12% Roman Catholic; 13% Other Christian; 0.6% Other; 1.9% None; 2.6% Unspecified • Prayer Suggestion: God wants to be exalted through you (Ps. 46:10).

Devotion courtesy Bible Pathway Ministries