God Provides for Jeremiah
Read Time: 9 Minutes
God is willing and able to provide for His people no matter the circumstances surrounding them. During the time of Jehoiakim the adversary has tried to destroy the Word of God and disrupt the Christ-line by dispersing God's people throughout Babylon and Egypt. That will not stop God from taking care of His people. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are taken care of in Babylon and end up influencing King Nebuchadnezzar which has a profound affect in Judah. Even though Judah could no longer believe as a nation to repel conquering nations God still took care of those who believed and stood for Him.
After Jehoiakim's death, his son, Jehoiachin reigned for three months and then was taken away to Babylon and Jehoiakim's brother, Zedekiah, reigned in his stead. This is a very corrupt family that has no regard for God. Jeremiah still continues to deliver the messages that God gives him in an attempt to turn God's people back to the Word.
II Chronicles 36
:11 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign,
and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
:12 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God,
and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet
speaking from the mouth of the LORD.
:13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar,
who had made him swear by God:
but he stiffened his neck,
and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.
14 Moreover all the chief of the priests,
and the people,
transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen;
and polluted the house of the LORD
which he [Jeremiah] had hallowed in Jerusalem.
:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers,
rising up betimes, and sending; [betimes: that is continually and carefully]
because he had compassion on his people,
and on his dwelling place:
Nebuchadnezzar had commanded Zedekiah to worship God but he refused. As it turns out Zedekiah is afraid of his princes. He would go secretly to Jeremiah to ask him what God said and even though he had Jeremiah in prison at least he took care of him. Zedekiah was afraid to embrace God. How about that, a foreign king commanding a Judean king to worship the one true God. Zedekiah was weak and let his princes control the kingdom. Even amidst this unbelief God was always sending someone to help His people, why--He had compassion on His people.
:16 But they mocked the messengers of God,
and despised his words,
and misused his prophets,
until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people,
till there was no remedy.
During the reign of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, Jeremiah was thrown in prison for speaking the Word of God--telling them what they needed to do in order to survive. They accused him of treason and put him in prison (Jeremiah 37, 38). He continued to do the will of God and the princes put him in the dungeon and lowered him down into the mire where he couldn't survive very long. However, God wouldn't let this be his demise and He sent an Ethiopian eunuch to his rescue. Zedekiah King of Judah allowed Jeremiah to live in the prison and fed him He stayed there until Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. During this time Zedekiah inquired of God what he should do. This he did secretly so the princes wouldn't put Jeremiah to death. God told Zedekiah to get along with the princes of Babylon and he would live and the city would not be destroyed, but if he didn't he and the city would be destroyed. When the Chaldeans came Zedekiah did not do the will of God and he paid with his life.
When they walked away from God, He couldn't do anything else for them.
:1 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month,
came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem,
and they besieged it.
:2 And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah,
in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, [18 month siege]
the city was broken up.
II Chronicles 36
:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees,
who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary,
and had no compassion upon young man
or him that stooped for age:
he gave them all into his hand.
:18 And all the vessels of the house of God,
great and small,
and the treasures of the house of the LORD,
and the treasures of the king,
and of his princes;
all these he brought to Babylon.
:19 And they burnt the house of God,
and brake down the wall of Jerusalem,
and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire,
and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.
:20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon;
where they were servants to him and his sons
until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah,
until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths:
for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath,
to fulfil threescore and ten years.
:6 Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes:
also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah.
:7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes,
and bound him with chains,
to carry him to Babylon.
:8 And the Chaldeans burned the king's house,
and the houses of the people, with fire,
and brake down the walls of Jerusalem.
:9 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard [chief of the executioners or slaughterman]
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.
:10 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.
:29 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar
he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty and two person:
The first time Nebuchadnezzar came through he carried away treasure and the craftsmen like Daniel in the third year of Jehoiakim. The second deportation Nebuchadnezzar removed Jehoiachin and his household. Above is the third deportation or carrying away unto to Babylon. The people have had about 11 years to recover. This may be long enough for people to rise up to fill the positions that were vacant when the first craftsmen were removed.
This is a great tragedy for God's people to be scattered throughout the nations. Jeremiah had foretold of the consequences of their actions and he saw it come to pass while being kept prisoner for speaking the truth. God still took care of Jeremiah. He even influences a foreign king and officer to do so.
:11 Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon
gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan
the captain of the guard,
:12 Take him, and look well to him,
and do him no harm;
but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee.
Nebuchadrezzar had heard of Jeremiah via Daniel who was carried away to Babylon 11 years ago.
:13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent,
and Nebushasban, Rabsaris,
and Nergalsharezer, Rabmag,
and all the king of Babylon's princes;
:14 Even they sent,
and took Jeremiah out of the court of the prison,
and committed him unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan,
that he should carry him home:
so he dwelt among the people.
It looks to me that a foreign king has more respect for God and His prophet than the king that was in Jerusalem.
Now God takes care of the Ethiopian eunuch that saved Jeremiah's life during the reign of Zedekiah.
:15 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah,
while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying,
:16 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.
:17 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.
:18 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.
The children of Israel have had an impact on the Babylonian empire, here Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard that was sent to Judah, recognizes the power of God.
:2 And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him,
The LORD thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place.
:3 Now the LORD hath brought it,
and done according as he hath said:
because ye have sinned against the LORD,
and have not obeyed his voice,
therefore this thing is come upon you.
:4 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.
:5 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.
:6 Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah;
and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.
Even after the third invasion of Judah, Jeremiah was spared; Daniel has had some influence on Nebuchadnezzar which will be discussed later. God is protecting the only prophet he has in this area. This must be essential for the Christ line. The Believers have been scattered all over Babylon and some into Egypt. The only ones left in Judah are the poor. The valiant ones and strong young men and women (the ones that could have led an uprising against Nebuchadnezzar) were taken away the first and second time. Zedekiah and his company were removed to Babylon in the third deportation because of disobedience. God told him to get along, those that adapted survived. The believing of the people was not sufficient to repel Nebuchadnezzar, so in order to preserve the Christ-line God protected the remnant of His people--the ones that still believed on Him.
We are in a new time now. God has chosen not only Israel to be His children but has made available His spirit to the gentiles also (Col 1:27). Most of us fall into the gentile category. We are also scattered throughout the nations. We are scattered throughout the world. Many times we do not have believing rulers. But God still works for us individually. Wherever we are God is with us and can prosper us. Daniel is a great example of that and we shall study Daniel next.