Jeremiah 52:12-34; Titus 3:9-15; Psalm 100:1-2; Proverbs 22:1
OT: “On the tenth day of the fifth month — which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon — Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guards, entered Jerusalem as the representative of the king of Babylon. He burned the Lord’s temple, the king’s palace, all the houses of Jerusalem; he burned down all the great houses. The whole Chaldean army with the captain of the guards tore down all the walls surrounding Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guards, deported some of the poorest of the people, as well as the rest of the people who remained in the city, the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen… Now the Chaldeans broke into pieces the bronze pillars for the Lord’s temple and the water carts and the bronze basin that were in the Lord’s temple, and they carried all the bronze to Babylon. They also took the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, sprinkling basins, dishes, and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. The captain of the guards took away the bowls, firepans, sprinkling basins, pots, lampstands, pans, and drink offering bowls — whatever was gold or silver… The captain of the guards also took away Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest of the second rank, and the three doorkeepers… Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guards, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. The king of Babylon put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah went into exile from its land.” (Jeremiah 52:12-15, 17-19, 24, 26-27 CSB)
The book of Jeremiah ended with the recording of the demise of Jerusalem. The words of the Lord and the warnings of Jeremiah came to pass. After two years of siege and famine, Jerusalem fell as the Babylonian army burst through the walls of the city. All of the city was burned to the ground, including the temple of God. The priests in the temple were taken captive and later executed. All of the treasures in the temple were carted back to Babylon along with the thousands of people who were holed up in the city.
Though the city of Jerusalem had fallen, God had not. Though the temple was burned to the ground and the priests were executed, the worship of God still flourishes across the globe, and the purposes of God are still being accomplished every day. The Lord God is not confined to the four walls of a holy structure. He does not exist in an edifice made with human hands. His worship is not dependent on a line of priests. His purposes do not come to an end because of the failure of a group of people. Though the fall of Jerusalem was tragic, it did not bring about the end of God nor the failure of His will. If anything, the fall of Jerusalem, though tragic and unfortunate, was necessary for the uncompromised and unadulterated fulfillment of His promises and purposes. Though the enemies of God will try to snuff out His people and His progress, they will never bring an end to His worship, nor to His word, will and ways. In the words of Julia Ward Howe, “Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on.”
Jeremiah was faithful to the Lord to the end – and because of that, his life was spared, his words have been preserved, and his name has been revered for millennia. The question before us is whose side will we be on? God’s kingdom will not be stopped and His purposes will come to pass – with us or without us. By remaining faithful to Him, it may at times seem like we are on the losing side, but in the end, He always wins.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You are not a god made by human hands. Your existence is not contained within a temple of wood and stone. You are the God of all creation. Nothing and no one can silence Your worship nor bring an end to Your purposes and plans. Not only are You The God, You are my God, and I choose to remain faithful to You and worship You always. May Your truth march on, and may I be found faithful to the end. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.