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April 1, 2023 - 2 Kings 25

“In the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. . . . They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon” (25:1-7). And so is told the story of the fall of Jerusalem. Furthermore, Nebuchadnezzar “burned the house of the Lord” (25:9), that is, the temple. Oh, my goodness! The temple? Yes, the temple, because the people were trusting in it – something made of stones and wood and gold and silver – to save them. Jeremiah had warned them, “Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord’” (Jeremiah 7:4). But they did not listen. The temple had become an idol to them and could not save them.

And, so, the city fell and the temple fell and the people were carried into exile to Babylon. They had failed to live according to God’s commands. They had regularly turned to the idols and worshiped them. Jeremiah had thought it was only the poor who had transgressed but came to understand that the entire nation had turned from God: “I said, ‘These are only the poor; they have no sense; for they do not know the way of the Lord, the justice of their God. I will go to the great and will speak to them, for they know the way of the Lord, the justice of their God.’ But they all alike had broken the yoke; they had burst the bonds” (Jeremiah 5:4-5). And God did precisely what he had said he would do; he sent his people into exile. Yet, the promise is not at all threatened. The story continues . . .

Though our path be dark and drear,

All will be well;

Soon the Daystar will appear;

All will be well;

Thro’ the deep’ning shades of night,

Look beyond, where skies are bright;

Soon will dawn the morning light;

All will be well.

Lean, O lean upon the Lord;

All will be well;

Sweet the promise of His word;

All will be well;

He is greater than our fears,

He in our behalf appears,

He will wipe away our tears;

All will be well. –Fanny Crosby (1899)

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