Israel had rejected God and wanted a king. God granted their wish and for century’s after they rejected God once a again and served idols. King after king lead them deeper into sin, occasionally one restored worship to God, but again they turned back to baal, ashtoreth etc… God then sent judgment upon them - first Israel was taken by the Assyrians then Judah by Nebuchadnezzar.
Jer.27:4-11-“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: This is what you shall say to your masters: 5 “It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me. 6Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him. 7All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes. Then many nations and great kings shall make him their slave. 8 “ ‘ “But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the Lord, until I have consumed it by his hand. 9 So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10For it is a lie that they are prophesying to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish. 11But any nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave on its own land, to work it and dwell there, declares the Lord.” ’ ”
Jeremiah prophecy’s Judah’s exile here. God is saying that he has sent Nebuchadnezzar and that all should obey him. God uses Neb. to spank his people. Should they resist His punishment even more judgment and worse times would come upon them. If they headed the voice of the false prophets and do no submit to Babylon, God would judge them even more. Basically, Nebuchadnezzar’s power comes from God.
Now if we look in Kings we can clearly see this displayed. Three times Babylon invaded Israel, all during a different reign of a different king.
- The first time Babylon came against Judah was during the reign of Jehoiakim (2 kings 24:1), who rebelled against him, not heeding the Word of God delivered by Jeremiah. As a result God sent many other nations against him, destroying Judah.
- When Nebuchadnezzar came against Judah a second time, Jehoiachin, the king, submitted and was taken prisoner (2 Kings 24:8-12). But later on when a new king set up in Babylon, he was released and set upon a high place in the palace of Babylon (2 Kings 25:27). Because he had submitted to those whom God had sent as a punishment he was later greatly blessed.
- One last time Nebuchadnezzar came up against Judah, this time during the reign of Zedekiah, whom he had placed on the throne. Zedekiah rebelled (2 kings 24:20) and did not heed the voice of Jeremiah. It cost him his life and his sons. Nebuchadnezzar, this time, completely destroyed Judah and the temple, and carried away all that was left.
How does this apply to us? –
When I look at our government, I see one that is quickly spiraling down hill. They promote abortion, homosexuality, high taxes and so many other unbiblical things. I have always had a rebel attitude towards it all…after all why should we obey them? But when I saw all this in our class, my attitude somewhat changed. Our situation is very much like that of Israel’s. We may have many Christians but we have an unbiblical government right now. Our enemy’s (gov.) have much power, military power. Should we rebel against our government? Should we rebel against what God may have set up as a judgment upon a wicked people, who have forsaken Him? These questions plagued my mind.
I believe now that a Christian’s duty should be to promote their city’s welfare, not rebel against it. We should accept judgment, seek the welfare of our cities, and work/wait for opportunity to rebuild what has been lost. We should continually strive to right what was been wronged. We should continue to build the kingdom of God!