Showing posts from November, 2016

Dry Bones

Ezekiel 37:1-14 [i] Ezekiel wrote about a vision he had of a valley full of dry bones.  The old song “Dem Bones” tells the story of the bones coming together and coming to life.  It is a remarkable and captivating picture, and even more importantly, it carries a message of hope, restoration and life! This message came from an extraordinary man. Ezekiel was from the family of a priest named Buzi.  (Ezekiel 1:3)  He was born in or around Jerusalem, but the Babylonians took him captive around eight years after Daniel and his friends were taken captive.  From that time on, he lived in the country of the Babylonians.  Ezekiel prophesied to the exiled Jewish people living in Babylon for more than 22 years. (Compare Ezekiel 1:2 with Ezekiel 29:17-21)  His ministry started during Zedekiah’s reign, at which time his contemporary, Jeremiah, would have been ministering in Jerusalem. Ezekiel knew from the start that his message would not be received.  In Ezekiel 3:7-9, God t

Nothing Could Be Done

2 Chronicles 36:11-21 [i] “Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king.”  (2 Chronicles 36:11) Zedekiah was a son of Josiah and brother of Jehoiachin’s father, Jehoiakim. Josiah had been a brilliant and godly king.  His reign lasted 31 years.  He became king at age 8 and died at the age of 40 when he challenged Egypt on the battlefield. At that time, the two super-powers of the region were Babylon and Egypt.  Pharaoh Neco marched against the armies of Babylon in 605 B.C.  Josiah went out and confronted Pharaoh’s army and was defeated and killed.  Josiah’s son, Jehoahaz, assumed the throne, but Pharaoh deposed Jehoahaz three months later and put his brother, Jehoiakim, on the throne.  Jehoiakim reigned for 11 years, but then Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and took Jehoiakim captive.  Jehoiakim’s son, Jehoiachin, assumed the throne, but his reign lasted only 3 months because Nebuchadnezzar did not agree.  Nebuchadnezzar replaced Jehoiachin

A New Covenant

Jeremiah 31:31-34 [i] God is a covenant God.  By “Covenant God,” I mean that He makes promises to His people.  He deals with humanity according to His covenants or promises.  His promises never fail.  Jesus said, “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”  (Matthew 5:18, ESV) This echoes the concept taught by Isaiah when he says, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”  (Isaiah 40:8, ESV) The everlasting nature of God’s word flows naturally from God’s character.  He is omnipotent.  Therefore, nothing can move or shake Him.  He is all-knowing.  Therefore, nothing can surprise, rattle or catch Him off guard.  There has never been a time when God said, “I never thought of that.”  He is sovereign.  Therefore, nothing happens out of His control.  God is Holy.  He is separate from His creation, and pure.  Therefore, He never lies.  Beca

God's Calling

Jeremiah 1:1-10 [i] Jeremiah was born into the family of a priest, a man named Hilkiah.  His hometown, Anathoth, was about four miles north and east of Jerusalem. [ii] [iii] Jeremiah 1:2 says, “The LORD first gave messages to Jeremiah during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah.”  The thirteenth year of Josiah was 627 B.C.  The Assyrians conquered Samaria in 721 B.C., deporting all its citizens.  Therefore, Jeremiah began his ministry approximately 94 years after the Northern Kingdom of Israel ceased to exist.  Over the more than 40 years of his ministry, Jeremiah saw his beloved country lose power and eventually be conquered by Babylon, and Jeremiah was present when the city of Jerusalem was sacked. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet.  Jeremiah’s message brought him sorrow and sadness.  Three times, God tells Jeremiah, “Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah.”  (Jeremiah 7:16, 11:14, 14:11)  God had decided to judge the nati