Jeremiah #54 – An exposition of Jeremiah 39:1-18. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Bpatist Church on Sunday evening, February 22, 2009.
Forty years is a long time to wait for payday. After forty years of declaring that judgment was coming it is no wonder many laughed at such a notion. Crazy Jere had been preaching the same message for decades but it never came. His was the lone voice warning of an impending doom while others predicted a time of peace and prosperity. It is hard to be faithful to the message given when nothing seems to change. How long did Noah warn of a coming flood before a single drop of rain fell? For 2000 years the church has been saying, “Jesus is coming back.” An unbelieving world laughs at such a notion. An increasing number of “churches” now wonder if we’ve misunderstood what He said. The whole notion that the world is coming to an end and that judgment is to follow is a punch line to most. When you think the end of the world you think of some wild-eyed fanatic with a sandwich board sign walking the streets of downtown. Some are embarrassed to preach such an outdated message…but preach it we must for it is the Word of God.
For 18 months the army of Babylon surrounded the city of Jerusalem. The city was under siege. Yet many still refused to believe the end was near. Judah’s king repeatedly sought advice from God’s prophet, “Is there a word from God?” Yet he continued to reject God’s revelation. Surrender? Never. Now the end was at hand. Chapter 39 of Jeremiah records Judah’s final days. The army of king Nebuchadnezzar marched into the streets of Jerusalem for the last time in July of 587 B.C. Its walls were broken down the temple and the palace were destroyed by fire – and the city did not return to Jewish rule until the middle of the 20th century A.D. 2500 years later!
The fall of Jerusalem is the climax of Jeremiah’s prophecy but it was the lowest point in his life. For 40 years he declared it was coming but there was no joy in his being vindicated. His nation was destroyed. His countrymen wiped out. The prophet’s heart was broken.
On the Day of Judgment every promise God ever made about the fall of Jerusalem came true.
- God said disaster would come from the North – disaster came from the North.
- God said Jerusalem would be surrounded and besieged – it was surrounded and besieged.
- God said there would be famine – the famine was great.
- God said the whole land would be laid waste – it was laid waste.
- God said death would enter the city – death entered the city.
- God said foreign kings would establish their thrones in the city gates – they did.
Everything God promised came to pass. Many of Jeremiah’s contemporaries doubted that a day of judgment would ever come – they were wrong. Many in our own culture doubt that a day of judgment will come – they are wrong.
- What will happen when our Lord returns?
- What happen to you on the Day of Judgment?