Jeremiah 40

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While there will be a remnant that will hold true to the Scriptures, these Bible-believing Christians will be a minority. As has always been the case throughout the history of the body of Christ, persecution and ridicule await those who refuse to accept Kingdom Now and utopian theologies. As the world prepares for the man of peace, those who hold fast to a biblical view of the end times will be seen as trouble-making oddballs and a menace to society and world government.

As the world becomes more and more resentful toward Israel, the view that the church takes the place of Israel, leaving Israel no prophetic significance (replacement theology), will become increasingly accepted within Christianity at large. Those who believe the Book of Revelation predicts an apocalyptic future will be considered a danger to society and the well-being of this new kingdom of God.

The ecumenical nature of the emerging church indicates the process to reunite with Rome has already begun. As many embrace experience-based spirituality through the promotion of contemplative/mystical prayer, what we know right now as the Christian faith (based upon God’s Word) will transform to a faith based on subjective experiences. – Roger Oakland, Faith Undone

Continuing on this holiday weekend with Jeremiah Chapter forty…

The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan captain of the bodyguard had released him from Ramah, when he had taken him bound in chains among all the exiles of Jerusalem and Judah who were being exiled to Babylon. 2 Now the captain of the bodyguard had taken Jeremiah and said to him, “The Lord your God promised this calamity against this place; 3 and the Lord has brought it on and done just as He promised. Because you people sinned against the Lord and did not listen to His voice, therefore this thing has happened to you. 4 But now, behold, I am freeing you today from the chains which are on your hands. If you would prefer to come with me to Babylon, come along, and I will look after you; but if you would prefer not to come with me to Babylon, never mind. Look, the whole land is before you; go wherever it seems good and right for you to go” (Jer 40:1-4 NASB).

This man must have carefully studied the Prophecies of Jeremiah! He had far greater knowledge of Jehovah God than most and may well have accepted Jehovah and his God and thereby denounced the Babylonian deities.

As Jeremiah was still not going back, he said, “Go on back then to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the cities of Judah, and stay with him among the people; or else go anywhere it seems right for you to go.” So the captain of the bodyguard gave him a ration and a gift and let him go. 6 Then Jeremiah went to Mizpah to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam and stayed with him among the people who were left in the land (Jer 40:5-6 NASB).

Jeremiah hesitated as to his decision. He was probably financially destitute and the “reward” was more than likely money, though the specified amount is not made known.  But the Prophet preferred poverty and obscurity with the hostile and rebellious Hebrews to the fame and comfort among the admiring Babylonians.

Now all the commanders of the forces that were in the field, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam over the land and that he had put him in charge of the men, women and children, those of the poorest of the land who had not been exiled to Babylon. 8 So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah, along with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite, both they and their men (Jer 40:7-8 NASB).

These appear to be individuals who had escaped the city during the siege or during its actual destruction and were now filtering back in. Some would prove to be of evil heart.  And they came to meet with the appointed governor Gedaliah.

Then Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, swore to them and to their men, saying, “Do not be afraid of serving the Chaldeans; stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, that it may go well with you. 10 Now as for me, behold, I am going to stay at Mizpah to stand for you before the Chaldeans who come to us; but as for you, gather in wine and summer fruit and oil and put them in your storage vessels, and live in your cities that you have taken over.” 11 Likewise, also all the Jews who were in Moab and among the sons of Ammon and in Edom and who were in all the other countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant for Judah, and that he had appointed over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan. 12 Then all the Jews returned from all the places to which they had been driven away and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and gathered in wine and summer fruit in great abundance (Jer 40:9-12 NASB).

Gedaliah professes the validity of the Prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the Will of God for them to serve the Babylonians.

Now Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces that were in the field came to Gedaliah at Mizpah 14 and said to him, “Are you well aware that Baalis the king of the sons of Ammon has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take your life?” 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 and kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and not a man will know! Why should he take your life, so that all the Jews who are gathered to you would be scattered and the remnant of Judah would perish?” 16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, “Do not do this thing, for you are telling a lie about Ishmael” (Jer 40:13-16 NASB).

Gedaliah was an upright man who determined to rule with fairness and justice. As well, he was a friend of Jeremiah.  But is seems he did not seek counsel from Jeremiah concerning this matter, and the outcome would not be good.

Hold fast the form of sound words, which you have heard of me, in Faith and Love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto you keep by the Holy Spirit which dwells in us.  This you know, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes (II Tim 1:13-15 KJV).