Day 216: The God of Justice and Mercy

Jeremiah 52:31-34

In the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the twenty-fifth day of the month, Evilmerodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and released him from prison. He spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon, and changed his prison garments. Jehoiachin ate bread before him continually all the days of his life. For his allowance, there was a continual allowance given him by the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.

Evidently, it took two days for king Evilmerodach to get Jehoiachin out of jail. I’m not sure about that but what we do know is that King Jehoiachin was released from jail on both the 25th and the 27th of the month. That’s because in 2 Kings 25:27 we read that Jehoiachin was actually released on the 27th. Perhaps it was officially decided on the 25th and ultimately executed on the 27th. I don’t believe that there is an error in the original text. It could be that the translation that we have of the original has an error but it appears to be more likely that the writers are writing from two different perspectives. One is probably talking about when the degree was issued, and the other is probably talking about the actual day that Jehoiachin walked out of jail. An accusation against the Bible, built on this alone, would be pretty pathetic since there isn’t enough information to prove that there is an error here. Still, I like to mention it so that no one is surprised when they see or hear about it.

The bigger thing to see here is the mercy and grace of God. Even here at the end of a book about the horrors of God’s judgment against sin, we read that mercy and grace was extended to Jehoiachin. This wasn’t just mercy toward this king. It was also mercy toward the nation of Israel. God had not forgotten them and He intended to do everything He said He would do

We have been following God’s story of the salvation of the human race. It’s no surprise that these events are followed by this amazing little passage. God is making it perfectly clear that He is a God of salvation. No one is beyond His mercy. Even after all of the sin and all of the prophesy that God performed against Judah, His grace came through in the end. This is the God that we have. I think that we know this in our hearts. God has put the truth in us that our God must be both a good judge and a merciful person. As a result we all have the same choice today. Either we will accept God’s mercy, or receive the judgment we deserve.

Day 191: A Very Foolish Choice

Jeremiah 49:7-14Of Edom, Yahweh of Armies says:“Is wisdom no more in Teman?Has counsel perished from the prudent?Has their wisdom vanished?Flee! Turn back!Dwell in the depths, inhabitants of Dedan;for I will bring the calamity of Esau on him when I visit…

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Day 189: The Moab Mirror

Jeremiah 48:39-47

“How it is broken down!
How they wail!
How Moab has turned the back with shame!
So will Moab become a derision
and a terror to all who are around him.”
For Yahweh says: “Behold, he will fly as an eagle,
and will spread out his wings against Moab.
Kerioth is taken,
and the strongholds are seized.
The heart of the mighty men of Moab at that day
will be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.
Moab will be destroyed from being a people,
because he has magnified himself against Yahweh.
Terror, the pit, and the snare are on you,
inhabitant of Moab,” says Yahweh.
“He who flees from the terror will fall into the pit;
and he who gets up out of the pit will be taken in the snare,
for I will bring on him, even on Moab,
the year of their visitation,” says Yahweh.

“Those who fled stand without strength under the shadow of Heshbon;
for a fire has gone out of Heshbon,
and a flame from the middle of Sihon,
and has devoured the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones.
Woe to you, O Moab!
The people of Chemosh are undone;
for your sons are taken away captive,
and your daughters into captivity.

“Yet I will reverse the captivity of Moab in the latter days,”
says Yahweh.
Thus far is the judgment of Moab.

The crime that Moab committed that caused them to receive this horrible punishment from God was that they dared to magnify themselves against Him. In other translations it says that they exalted themselves against God. As a result, God intended to hunt them down. He even said that if they appear to have gotten away once, He would catch them again and if they get away the second time, He will catch them again. Their children would also go into captivity.

When you look at the history of Moab, you see that they actually thought that they could fight against God by harming those He had chosen to bless. They used their abilities to find a way to wage a war against the will of God, as if they could actually win that war. As we look at others, it’s easy for us to see how foolish and horrible it is to attempt to do something like that, but I have found that when I take the same measuring stick and measure myself, it doesn’t look very good.

When I have a mind to sin, I tend to do what I can get away with too. For instance, when driving on the road, do we see how far below the speed limit we can legally go, or how high above it? My mind is quite willing to work overtime to figure out a way how to live in the flesh while walking in the Spirit, which is quite impossible. Even the concept of being “neutral” is an example of this war against God and His word. God says that those who are not for Him are against Him. If we claim that we are just being neutral, we are calling God a liar because He says there is no neutral! That’s just another war against God that He will judge. Our pride is very deep and deceptive. We tend not to see it because, of course, we wouldn’t do such a thing, would we?

The truth that God has made known to us is that we were all Moab and we still have our Moab moments. We all had that pride that guided our actions as we breathed God’s air and lived in the bodies that God made while doing things we knew He didn’t like. We were fighting against Him and both sin and death took us captive too. The wonderful thing about this passage is what it says at the end. God not only promised punishment, He also promised release. After all that Moab had done to God and His people, God determined to “reverse the captivity of Moab in the latter days.” This is a big reason for us to praise God. We all have sinned and deserve God’s eternal punishment, but God intended to free us by His grace. Praise God.