King James Bible Study – “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
Date: Sunday, August 18, 2019
Chapters: Jeremiah 38-40, Psalms 74,79
Message: Christ’s Sheep Among the Wolves
Hello My Friend,
In reading the chapters for today, I could not help, but think of what Jesus said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” – Matthew 10:16-20.
“but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” It is the Holy Spirit inside of us that tells us what to say, and how to respond to those wolves who attack us. And the truth is, they will persecute us, and many of us are going to die defending our faith, and those who stand for Christ, but we need not fear them because God is with us every step of the way. Judah is in utter chaos, most of the Jews had been taken captive to Babylon, there was no food, the cities were full of disease and impoverished, and the Chaldean’s were coming for the king, his sons, and the rest that remained. And what do they do? Instead of repenting, they go after Jeremiah, he was already in the prison, but they wanted him dead for causing all this. They went to the king to have him executed, the king, too cowardly to tell them to listen to Jeremiah, tells them to do what they want with him.
“Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt. Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do any thing against you. Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire. Ebedmelech went forth out of the king’s house, and spake to the king, saying, My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city. Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die.” – Jeremiah 38:4-6,8-10.
“for the king is not he that can do any thing against you.” Here is the king, the leader of the country, and he is saying that his hands are tied, and cannot go against the majority who are blaming Jeremiah. Does this sound familiar? Pilate did the same thing when the Jews wanted Jesus killed for simply telling them that unless they repent they will die. The wicked do not want to hear the truth, and since they cannot directly go after God they go after His faithful. Nevertheless, no one can intimidate or force us into submission, we do have the God given right to tell and live by the truth. And even though it may seem like we are all alone, there are still some willing to risk their own lives in their faith to help us. Now, after the Ethiopian, and the men helped pull Jeremiah out of the dungeon, the king secretly went to Jeremiah to know his fate. Again, either they surrender, get carried away into Babylon, and live, or fight, get captured, and die. Of course, they would not surrender, got captured, and although Zedekiah did not die, he had to watch his sons get executed, then his eyes were taken out, and he was carried into Babylon as a prisoner. The rest of the people were carried into Babylon, but a few remained, including Jeremiah and the Ethiopian.
“Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with the rest of the people that remained. But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time. Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee. Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Go and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished in that day before thee. But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the LORD: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid. For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD.” – Jeremiah 39:9-12,15-18.
“because thou hast put thy trust in me,” God assures the Ethiopian that even though he would be in the midst of all the evil taking place as He judged the nation, and would be a prey to them because of his faith, that He will deliver them from their hand. Those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Saviour will always be a prey for the wicked, many have died for their faith, but let me tell you, the oppression they faced in their religion far outweighed the death they faced for their faith. Do you see what religion has done and is still doing to our nations, nations that swear by God? Oppression, poverty, famine, disease, war, it is socialism in the worst way, but the world is too blind to see that. And while we who are faithful are in the midst of all this, we too can wonder where God is, especially after we see one church after another fall away from Him and get destroyed.
“Maschil of Asaph. O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt. They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground. They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever. Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name. Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.” – Psalm 74:1-2,7-8,19-22.
“Have respect unto the covenant:” Maschil means instruction, this Psalm was written for instruction to the Jews as they see Jerusalem, the synagogues, and temple burned and destroyed by the Babylonians. We may not always understand why God has us where we are, some are left in the midst of the impoverish to lead others to Christ, some are sent into strange lands to do the same, and some will die for their faith doing the same thing. We must never forget that we are not alone, Jesus is with us, and He will deliver us from the enemy one way or another. Yes, we will be a prey for the rest of our lives for our faith, be we are to never be ashamed to proclaim our faith, for to be absent from the body means to be present with the LORD. Amen! God did not leave Jeremiah behind, he was finally set free, and got to choose whether he wanted to stay or go to Babylon.
“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were carried away captive unto Babylon. And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The LORD thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place. And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were upon thine hand. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come; and I will look well unto thee: but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land is before thee: whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to go, thither go. Now while he was not yet gone back, he said, Go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people: or go wheresoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward, and let him go.” – Jeremiah 40:1-2,4-5.
“So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward,” You see, we might get sent out in the midst of the wolves, and we might even get captured and devoured by them, but we need not fear them because God is right there with us. Remember, Christ is our salvation, we are forgiven, purged of our sins, and we are never, ever forsaken. We can join in with the Psalmist and praise God for preserving us. “O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed. Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die; And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord. So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.” – Psalm 79:8-13.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.” – Jeremiah 38:20.
Today’s Prayer: God, How amazing is Your indescribable love and grace that You should love a sinner such as I. Though I deserve death, You granted me eternal life by believing in and accepting Your Son into my soul. Now, I am accepted as one of Yours through my obedience of accepting Your Son. Lord, Let me learn from the example of Christ who suffered more than anyone else for crimes He did not commit to remain faithful to You, and Your Word no matter what I face. Lead me and guide me, fill me with Your words, let me not be afraid or ashamed to speak them, and give me Your power, mercies, grace, strength, and wisdom to defend myself and others for their faith. I love You Lord, and ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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