Day 119: Nothing Trivial Here

Jeremiah 27:16-22

Also I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, Yahweh says, “Don’t listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, ‘Behold, the vessels of Yahweh’s house will now shortly be brought again from Babylon;’ for they prophesy a lie to you. Don’t listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon, and live. Why should this city become a desolation? But if they are prophets, and if Yahweh’s word is with them, let them now make intercession to Yahweh of Armies, that the vessels which are left in Yahweh’s house, in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, don’t go to Babylon. For Yahweh of Armies says concerning the pillars, concerning the sea, concerning the bases, and concerning the rest of the vessels that are left in this city, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon didn’t take when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem; yes, Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, says concerning the vessels that are left in Yahweh’s house, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem: ‘They will be carried to Babylon, and there they will be, until the day that I visit them,’ says Yahweh; ‘then I will bring them up, and restore them to this place.’ ”

I don’t believe that Bible trivia exists. I believe the Bible makes it clear that every word of God is there for a reason and because of that, none of it is trivial. Even the parts that repeat or give seemingly insignificant names and details have a purpose. Remember, the same God who made DNA in the human body, made the words we read in the Bible. There were years in which biologists believed that some of our DNA had no purpose. They even called it “Junk DNA.” Later they discovered that it did have a purpose. God’s words are like that too us as well. None of God’s words are a waste and everything God says has meaning so we can get excited about things that may seem trivial.

I learned quite a bit from the detail this time when I compared what we read in this passage to what is recorded in the history books. Here, Jeremiah records that Nebuchadnezzar left the pillars, the sea, the bases and some other vessels. The history of this event was recorded in 2 Kings 25 and in 2 Chronicles 26. If we go all the way back to the building of Solomon’s temple, we discover that the Sea was a huge fixture. It’s not too surprising that Nebuchadnezzar decided not to take it back on his first trip. The bases were pretty big too and I assume that the pillars were the ones with names. They were huge. 2 Chronicles 26:18 tells us that eventually, Nebuchadnezzar took “all the vessels of God’s house, great and small.” Going back to 2 Kings 25, we read about these big items being taken the last time and a little bit about how Nebuchadnezzar did it. It says: “the Chaldeans broke up” the big stuff. The very same items that Jeremiah mentioned here were mentioned there along with the detail of many more items.

These details are not trivial to an investigator. They help us detect the accuracy of the Bible. These writings were written by different people at different times and the details are in agreement. By putting the events and details together, we get a very specific understanding about what happened as well. A person who lies about an event usually attempts to reduce the number of details recorded so that their cover isn’t exposed. We see this practice in other “holy books.” God’s book is the opposite of that. A huge number of verifiable details are provided and they actually help scientists and historians make discoveries today. Instead of being disproven, God’s word is confirmed as more things are discovered.

Day 118: The Real Enemy

Jeremiah 27:8-15

“ ‘ “ ‘It will happen that I will punish the nation and the kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon,’ says Yahweh, ‘with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. But as for you, don’t listen to your prophets, to your diviners, to your dreams, to your soothsayers, or to your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, “You shall not serve the king of Babylon;” for they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land, so that I would drive you out, and you would perish. But the nation that brings their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serves him, that nation I will let remain in their own land,’ says Yahweh; ‘and they will till it and dwell in it.’ ” ’ ”

I spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as Yahweh has spoken concerning the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? Don’t listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon;’ for they prophesy a lie to you. For I have not sent them,” says Yahweh, “but they prophesy falsely in my name; that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you, and the prophets who prophesy to you.”

In this passage, God continues His communication with the non-Israeli nations that were to be affected by the Babylonian takeover. Once again what we have is a very simple and clear message. If the people will surrender, they will get to remain in their own land and continue to do business there. Jeremiah tells them not to listen to the false prophets.

To the king of Judah, Jeremiah said that he should obey God’s word so that he doesn’t suffer with other nations that don’t listen. When you think about it, it would be a bigger tragedy for Israel to not hear the words of their own prophet than it would be for those nations that don’t usually listen to Israel’s God. The sad thing is that Israel wasn’t going to listen. Also, notice that Jeremiah tells the king of Judah to not listen to the false prophets.

Something that caught my attention in this passage is that God was warning them all to not listen to the false prophets because they were saying false things in order to get them to sin and to force God to drive them out of their land. I believe that from the context of what we read here, that the prophets themselves were not doing it for this reason. In fact, we read that if these nations were to listen to the false prophets and not obey Jeremiah’s word, even the false prophets would end up dying and being driven out. I seriously doubt that the false prophets were doing it so that they could die, so that leads us to a question. Who was doing this so that God would destroy both Jew and Gentile and their nations? The answer is pretty obvious. Satan and his powers were behind what the false prophets were saying. Jesus told us that Satan is the father of liars. We also know from other parts of the Bible that Satan deceives people and they in turn deceive others. This demonstrates the fact that Satan isn’t a friend of any human. He doesn’t care if you are a Jew or a Gentile. He’d just as soon see you dead. What we see here is that God is trying to save all of mankind. Even when we don’t understand why God works the way He does, we can rest assured that He cares and knows what He is doing. We need to have faith and simply do what He says.

Day 3: Jesus The Creator

John 1:3 : All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made.

In the third verse, John continues to talk about Jesus as “The Word.” It says that not only was Jesus there at the beginning of the world, but that everything was created through Him. Every single thing that was created was created through Him.

It should be very clear by now that God does not think much of evolution. Notice that the word “Created” is said again three times. Not only that, this “Word” was involved in creating everything. It is very interesting that it was by words that God created. He just spoke and everything happened. There is another very interesting thing about words.

We still have words in us. We now know that our physical bodies are created by a program recorded in our very own DNA. In a very obvious way, all of life was not only spoken but written! Isn’t it amazing how important “The Word” is? There appears to be much more about this “Word” that I may never fully understand because it is so great, but that reminds me again of my great God and how much bigger than I He is. Don’t you think a God this big can help us through anything?

We also have the words of the Bible that were written for us. Jesus is the one who, through his Spirit, makes the Bible clear to us.

So from this verse we can see that Jesus was involved in the creation of the universe.

Day 1: An Unusual Title

John 1:1 : In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

In John 1:1, Jesus is given an unusual title. John, who was one of Jesus closest disciples, calls Him “The Word.” Jesus is God’s Word to man in a human form. We also learn in this one verse, that Jesus was already there at the beginning of all creation.

There is an amazing parallel with this verse to the first verse of the Bible: Genesis 1:1. Try comparing Genesis 1:1 with John 1:1 in your Bible. It’s as if God gives us more information about what was happening. Not only did God create everything, but Jesus was there and He was to be our “Word.”

This is evidence that the world was created. It did not “evolve” or change all by itself from nothing into something. The Bible clearly disagrees with the basis for evolution in that evolution depends only on chance and not a creator. God was speaking through the mind and words of John to write this part of the Bible. He says that Jesus was there at the beginning. This makes Jesus a witness of creation. History is better understood through witnesses than through science. If a scientist finds a hat in the road and says it is 10 years old and later another man comes in and says that it is actually only one year old and it’s mine. I made it. We should at least seriously investigate the claim before taking the word of the scientist who never claimed to be there.

This one little verse also tells us that Jesus was God. Obviously it is not true that the Bible never says that Jesus is God. This is one of the many places. This verse also gives us another interesting fact about God. It says that Jesus was both “with” God and that he “was” God. You might wonder how a person can both be with someone and also be that someone. This is one of the mysteries that is unique to God. I think this has to be believed because it falls outside of our intelligence. The Bible talks about this mystery quite a bit in many different places in the Bible. It is often called “The Trinity” and references the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They all together are recognized as one God. I think it’s important for us to remember that it’s Ok to believe things we don’t understand. Just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean that it isn’t real and true. There are many things like that in life that we see and accept but don’t fully understand and I believe that the Trinity is one of them.