This is one of Fr. Mike’s favorite Proverbs
He’s said it maybe 20 times so far
Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
WHAT A GIFT!
So in Jeremiah we kind of flipped around a little bit, time-wise
Jeremiah Chs 20-21 is this fast-forward to basically the final deportation to Babylon
Now, we go back in Jeremiah Ch 26
It’s the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah
Remember, Josiah was the first king that Jeremiah served under
Now we are back to the second king Jeremiah served, Jehoiakim
Then we jump up to Zedekiah, which will happen soon
Here is one of the things that marks Jeremiah’s life
He is threatened with DEATH because he is willing to tell the TRUTH
The priests and prophets want him to die
When the princes of Judah hear this
Jeremiah 26:16, “Then the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, ‘This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.”
They also quote the prophet Micah who also came before King Hezekiah and told him that he needed to repent
All of Jerusalem and Judah needed to repent and they did that
So the princes and the people are saying, “Listen, this has happened before where we had a prophet prophesy in God’s name the truth that we need to repent.”
IT IS REMARKABLE!
WHAT A GIFT!
We have this account of people DEFENDING JEREMIAH
This may be one of the only times we have someone defending Jeremiah
Jeremiah Ch 27 goes to the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah
Zedekiah is the FINAL KING OF JUDAH before the final deportation
2 Kings describes how Nebuchadnezzar had come down to Jerusalem, the last thing he did to Zedekiah was he killed his sons in front of him, then gouged out his eyes before he exiled him
The last thing Zedekiah saw was his sons being murdered in front of him
Remember, Nebuchadnezzar is not a great guy
He is not a hero
At the same time, we hear the Word of God say, “Nebuchadnezzar is my servant”
Jeremiah 27:6, “Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him. All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes…”
THIS IS REALLY REMARKABLE
Jeremiah 27:8, “But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, says the Lord, until I have consumed it by his hand.”
Remember, this is Nebuchadnezzar in the role of Judas here
This is not God’s follower
This is not someone doing the RIGHT THING
This is God saying, “I am willing to use these people doing evil things.”
GOD IS NOT MAKING THEM DO EVIL THINGS
GOD IS ALLOWING THEM TO DO EVIL THINGS
IN ORDER TO GET HIS PEOPLE BACK
IN ORDER TO WIN HIS PEOPLE BACK TO HIM
That’s why Jeremiah says one of the least popular things he is EVER going to say
Jeremiah is calling the people to SURRENDER to Nebuchadnezzar
Remember the basket of good figs and bad figs from the other day?
Jeremiah is saying, “It will be good for you, better for you in fact, for you to be brought to Babylon than for you to stay here. Do not flee to Egypt. Do not try to stay here in Jerusalem. But allow Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to take you into custody. Because that is actually what you actually need to do. You need to surrender.”
Can you imagine?
Any public figure saying, “Ok I know we have this hostile country trying to invade us. The best thing you can do, because you cannot win, the best thing you can do, because God is on their side in some ways, because God is using them to punish us, to correct us, to heal us, the best thing you can do is to surrender to them.”
That would NOT be an incredibly popular thing
That is what Jeremiah says
Jeremiah 27:17, “Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon and live. Why should this city become a desolation?”
That is probably Jeremiah’s LEAST POPULAR prophecy
It PAINS Jeremiah to say this because no one listens to him
On to Daniel
Jeremiah gets a shout-out from Daniel today in Chs 8 and 9
We have the vision of a ram and a goat
When we get to The Book of Revelation, we are going to have a lot of similar visions
What does that mean?
All these things?
The ram with two horns, one bigger and one smaller is the Medo-Persian Empire
This was essentially two nations uniting their forces
One horn is bigger than the other
The Persians were more powerful than Medes
So that is why we have the ram with two horns
As we are seeing this powerful nation…
Daniel 8:5, “As I was considering, behold, a he-goat dame from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous horn between its eyes.”
This goat is the nation of GREECE
Alexander the Great
Greece completely and quickly took over all of the known world in the Middle East
So this he-goat, the ram??
Why these things instead of just specifically saying, “Here is the Medo-Persian Empire. Here is the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great.”
BECAUSE IT IS PROPHETIC
When it comes to PROPHECY, it is always shrouded in MYSTERY
It is always shrouded in IMAGERY
It almost always means something MORE THAN WE JUST SEE ON THE SURFACE
At the same time, it also means what we see ON THE SURFACE
Here are these nations rising and falling
But also God gives this word of HOPE
This power, whether the Medo-Persian Empire, or the Greek Empire, or the Roman Empire, they are going to come to an END
When they come to an END, God actually gives a TIMELINE
70 weeks of years
Almost 500 years (because a week is 7 days x 70 years = 490 years give or take 🤓)
Then the ANOINTED ONE WILL COME
There have been so many Biblical scholars who have dived deeply into this
They have demonstrated that the People of Israel are exiled for 70 years
Cyrus, the king of Persia, sends the people of Israel back to Jerusalem if they want to go back
We will hear about all this later in Nehemiah and Ezra
There is also this PROPHECY of almost 500 years after this, an ANOINTED ONE is going to come
Wait a second, is that Jesus?
The timeline actually, depending on how you interpret it
Like when did this 500 years start?
When did it end?
This is a prophecy of THE ANOINTED ONE
Not just AN anointed one
BUT THE ONE WHO WOULD COME AND ESTABLISH A KINGDOM WITHOUT END!!
Daniel has some INCREDIBLE PROPHECIES FOR JESUS
Just like Isaiah did
Ezekiel talked about that heart in us
Same with Jeremiah
That is diving deeper into the rabbit hole than we are going to do today
Have you noticed that the chapters in Daniel are quite a bit longer than in other books?
So please, pray for Fr. Mike
Fr. Mike is praying for you every single day, lifting you up in prayer
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
What a great gift to be able to walk together
IT IS AMAZING!!