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Jerusalem Falls (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 20, 2023 6:00 am

Jerusalem Falls (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 20, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston

How do you feel when you have a good idea? And he's not going to tell you. You're not going to air laundry. Maybe he's got a system in place that is under the leading of the Holy Spirit. Today, Pastor Rick will continue teaching his message called Jerusalem Falls. But today he'll begin in Jeremiah chapter 39.

God preserves his record about these people in the Bible. How can you not get excited about Esther saying, Well, if I die, I die. But I know what I got to do. I know what my job is. And my duty is this.

And if it kills me, it kills me. In verse 13 and 14 of Jeremiah 39, it goes on, So Nebuchadnezzar then the captain of the guards sent. And then it continues, Then they sent someone to take Jeremiah from the court of the prison and committed him to Gedaliah the son of Ahicham, the son of Shaphan.

These are meaningful names, these three characters. That he should take him home so he dwelt among the people. Jeremiah didn't want to go back to Babylon. So when the king Nebuchadnezzar says, Do to him what he wants, there's a dialogue between the two. And Nebuchadnezzar then, the captain of the guard, says, Well, what do you want? You want to go to Babylon? You want to stay here?

I'm going to stay here. Well, they end up kidnapping, not the Babylonians. His own people kidnapped Jeremiah and cart him off to Egypt. Once they find him in the prison, they take him out. They keep him in chains. And they take him to Ramah about 12 miles north of Jerusalem. And there he will be set free. And we pick that up in Jeremiah 40, where Nebuchadnezzar is speaking with him. He says, Now look, I free you this day.

I'm going to pause there a minute. Nebuchadnezzar says, You know what happened to your people. They messed with Yahweh.

That's what happened. Jeremiah's kind of like, Listen, I'm in another spiritual zone than you. Don't be preaching to me. He doesn't say that, but I would have been saying that for Jeremiah had he appointed me his spokesman.

Don't be telling Jeremiah about Yahweh. And now look, I free you this day from the chains that were on your hand. If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, come and I will look after you. But if it seems wrong for you to come with me to Babylon, remain here. See, all the land is before you.

Wherever it seems good and convenient for you to go, go there. This is the Lord just taking care of this man after he had been through so much. And for what? Been through all of that for people to vilify him and hate on him. And they were the ones that were on the wrong side of righteousness, not Jeremiah. So it is nice to see the kindness that he is receiving now. But he's more now. But he's got more work. We're going to come to that. He's going to deal with this bunch of low-class people. And you can be in an upper echelon of society and be a low-class person.

One ingredient is just being considerate. Another one is to be a flat-out liar. Verse 9, And he burned the house of Yahweh. This is Nebu-Zaradon, the historian is telling you.

And this is what he did, by the way. He burned the house of Yahweh in the king's house. All the houses of Jerusalem, that is. All the houses of the great he burned with fire. So they sacked Jerusalem. They looted and they destroyed. This is just what Jeremiah repeatedly had prophesied would happen. Now they weren't doing this to insult Yahweh. That was not their goal. The goal was to break the spirit, the national pride of the Jewish people so there would be no uprisings.

It succeeded. In verse 10, All the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down the walls of Jerusalem all around. Now these were massive stones.

This wasn't a picket fence. This would have to have taken time. Demolition work is more dangerous than erection and putting the structures up.

This is serious work. So the temple fell in about 586 years before Christ and remained in ruins until 445 years. About 140 years. It remained in ruins. The temple that fell, of course, Zerubbabel comes back, Ezra tells us, and they rebuild the temple with the help of Zechariah and Haggad, the prophet. They rebuild the temple. Well, years later, Herod, the great monster, the murderer of the innocence of Bethlehem, he just had this thing for building places and so he expanded the temple of Zerubbabel into the temple that existed in the days of Christ.

Well, the Jews kept rebelling until finally the Romans destroyed their temple 70 years after Christ's birth. And it remains in ruins to this day. There are stones there, I believe, that belong to the temple in a pile.

And these are giant, ginormous stones, big as box trucks. So it's been about 1955 years there about since the last Jewish temple was destroyed. God is not, you know, he doesn't need a temple, except to say the body is a temple that houses the Holy Spirit. And it's interesting, when Paul wrote that, the Jewish temple was still there.

And he bypasses it. He says the body is the temple, the Christian body is the temple that houses the Holy Spirit. What a profound statement. If you were a zealous Jew and you heard that, may you be blasphemed. Anyway, continuing, verse 11, then Nebuzarad, the captain of the god, carried away captive the rest of the people who remained in the city and the defectors who had deserted to the king of Babylon with the rest of the multitude. So this is the last wave of deportations from Jerusalem and Judah to Babylon. Daniel and Ezekiel had long been already gone and they're in Babylon. Ezekiel talks about the day the siege begins. So we know they're alive and there.

There's a lot here. So these defectors, they were friends of Babylon, of Nebuchadnezzar. Not personally, but they defected. Zedekiah mentioned to Jeremiah that he was afraid that harm was going to come to him from that party and their relationship to Nebuchadnezzar. And Jeremiah said, don't worry about it, it's not going to happen. But the king didn't believe him and that's where we are. So going back again, Jeremiah 5, this is sort of an overview of what's happening. And it will be when you say, why does Yahweh our God do all these things to us, then you shall answer them, just as you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve aliens in the land that is not yours. And this is fulfilled.

Now here's an interesting thing also. The church doesn't have this kind of a promise. The church is a different kind of a promise. The church is told all those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Take up your cross daily and follow me. There's nothing pleasant about the cross. The flesh despises the cross on every level and we're not told if you obey me, I will protect you from the unbeliever. Paul talks about it, he says, and the Lord delivered me from them all. But you've got to scratch your head and say, what's your standard for saying that? How do you say that? You've been stoned, you've been beaten, you've been shipwrecked.

The fears, the horrors you write or you tell us about, and you think the Lord's delivered you. This is very interesting. The church and Israel are two different entities. They come from the same source. But they have a different role, a different mission, and when the Christian embraces this, we have more power. When you don't embrace this, I think you have more confusion. And it's nice to be clear.

If you are in a profession or at work and you know your job, it's a very nice thing to know your job. And it's a very unpleasant thing when you're confused about what you're supposed to do. So we Christians, if we're confused, we can't blame the leader when we are, as Paul said, perplexed but not in despair.

Yeah, there are times I don't know what's going on, but I'm going to trust the Lord. Verse 12, but the captain of the guard left some of the poor of the land as vine dressers and farmers. Again, Babylon's intentions were not malicious in subjugating a conquered people as these that are left behind, these field workers, but it is not malicious, but it's a little selfish. You say, well, why are they staying behind to take care of the land?

There's nobody there. Well, they're going to supply the agricultural goods to the empire of Babylon. That's why. When Nebuchadnezzar wants more grain, his grain officers, they won't even talk to him about it. They'll just, this is what they did, the routines, the way they went about their procedures.

They just would take it from the lands they conquered. So it's a very real element to this because when reading the Bible, sometimes you can get to, you lose that touch with reality. That's why there's a lot of loony Christians out there.

They've lost touch with reality. You're like, God's going to do this and God's going to do that. Shut up. You don't know what God's going to do because he hasn't told you.

I can tell by the way you dress, you don't know what he's going to do. Verse 13, the bronze pillars that were in the house of Yahweh and the carts, the bronze sea that were in the house of Yahweh, the Chaldeans broke in pieces and carried their bronze to Babylon. This had to be heartbreaking to the Jews living at that.

It was heartbreaking to any righteous person at any time. But to live through this, that beautiful temple of Solomon destroyed. Verse 14, they also took away the pots, the shovels, the trimmers, the spoons, and all the bronze utensils which the priest ministered. That's interesting because when you go through Leviticus and Exodus and you talk about these items, you see the priest had tools.

We are a royal priesthood. We have tools also. We have to identify what those tools are and we use them. We work within the means that God has supplied us. And when we try to expand those resources and means, we get in the flesh.

But to stay in the spirit is to learn to live without, learn to identify what you're supposed to do, and do it and not be moved off course, which will irritate a lot of people who really just want more. Verse 15, the fire pans in the basins, the things of solid gold and solid silver the captain of the god took away. The Hebrew use of repetition. The Hebrew writers use repetition to express superlatives and totality. So if something was really big when they wrote it in the Hebrew, I'll give you an example. In Genesis 14, 10, the writer talks about the asphalt pits. That's how the translators have translated it. But in the Hebrew, it's the pits pits. Here, where it says solid gold, solid silver, it's really gold gold, silver silver. That kind of writing is what you won't learn just by reading the scripture.

It calls for a lot of investigation. If a pastor, he's reading commentaries, they're usually commentaries written by pastors, and commentaries written by men who were pastors but have become theologians, like that. And the pastoral commentaries will give you much application, good stuff, but there's another level.

And that other level is not better, it's more difficult. But that's where you get these little gems. Somebody who's taken the time to pick apart and catalog for us how the Jewish mind worked when they wrote scripture. So we come to the poetical books, Job, Psalms, Proverbs and Song, Ecclesiastes, that's in there too, although they're more the wisdom, but they're still part of it. And what makes them poetical is not because they rhyme, but because of the repetition. There's one of the variations in repetition as part of the Jewish writing. That's how they drive their points home. And so when you read in the Psalms, he said the same thing a different way in the next verse, but he said the same thing. And they do this quite a bit. So these little nuances, idioms, stuff like that tucked into the scripture, it's exciting to me. So back to this, the fire pans, verse 15, the basins of things of gold, gold, and silver, silver.

See, this is superlative language, it takes it to another level. You might be totally bored by that. I get excited when I find those kind of things. They're hard to find. And many times when you come to a section of scripture, you don't understand what it says in Hebrew. You've got to find a commentator.

He's out there somewhere who has got it. Verse 16, the two pillars, the sea, the carts which Solomon had made for the house of Yahweh, the bronze, and all these articles was beyond measure. So they hit the jackpot, did they not?

They're going to pay for their war from the kingdom. Verse 17, the height of the pillar was 18 cubits, and the capital on it was a bronze. The height of the capital was 3 cubits.

The network and the pomegranates all around the capital were bronze. The second pillar was the same with the network. So the writer is just pouring it on, sort of saying, what a shame. The artisans involved in God's house, and all of this is chopped up. They've turned the temple mountain into a chop shop. Verse 18, some of it was preserved and carried off, and we'll come back when they start repatriating, but not all of it. And the captain of the guard, verse 18, took Sariah the chief priest, Zephaniah the second priest, and the three doorkeepers. These are high ranking officials, verse 19 of the Jews. And he also took out of the city an officer who had charge of the men of war. Five men of the king's close associates who were found in the city, the chief recruiting officer of the army, who mustered the people of the land, and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the city.

So these are government officials. They have a lot of knowledge, connections, and power, and they're all going to be killed. Verse 20, then Nebu-Zaradin, captain of the guard, took these and brought them to the king of Babylon and Riblah. Then the king of Babylon struck them and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive from its own land. So it's 200 miles away, Jeremiah went only 12 miles, Riblah was further up. The historian now is documenting for the Jewish people how the exile happened.

This is what happened to you. They were apostates to the bitter end, many of these people in Israel. They came to hear Ezekiel, they said, we've got to hear this guy preach, and oh man, it's just the best exposition teach. And they just couldn't really care less about Yahweh. And Jeremiah called them out on that, you're really not interested, I'm just entertaining you. God, of course, was all over that.

And it still happens to this day. Where's the depth? Oh come let us adore him. Why do you go to church? Well so I come to church so I can find out why other people like the church. And if they don't like the church, I won't like the church. Well I thought you came to worship the Lord.

Well I do that too. That is the paramount reason for coming to church. You're going to take everything away. You can still come worship the Lord.

But if you keep everything, you have a big giant building, which would be nice. But if you're not worshiping the Lord in earnest, then you're just sounding brass. 2 Chronicles 36, Moreover, all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of Yahweh which he had consecrated in Jerusalem. Well he deconsecrated it, you could say I guess.

Well it was special once, it isn't now. They can chop it up and do what they want, I'm out of here. So I'm reading 2 Chronicles 36, 14 because I made the statement that these people that are being executed were apostates to the end. And there is where I get the statement from, Chronicles 36, 14. That the abominations that they were involved with, these are the people that would not listen to Jeremiah.

Had they supported Jeremiah, they would have lived, the temple would have remained. Again, Daniel has been in 20 years in Babylon, ministering to the Jewish people and the non-Jewish people alike. How many witch doctors did Daniel save? When he told the king, I'll tell you what you dreamed, I'll tell you what it means, but give me a minute, I'll get back to you. Nebuchadnezzar was killing the wise men. Well those are not wise men like, well they're really deep writers out there writing, you know, poems and proverbs.

No, these men were shaman, they were witch doctors, they were Chaldeans, people in the occult. But Daniel knew that the slaughter of human beings like that was wrong. He did something about it.

There's a little bit more, a lot more of the story, but that's a portion of it. Verse 22, Then he made Gedaliah the son of Ahiaacam, the son of Shaphan, governor over the people who remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon left. Now Gedaliah, he's the one that's going to be killed by his own people. You're going to kill him and you're going to kill the Babylonian guards that are with him and they're just going to do a slaughter. They're going to tell Jeremiah, just tell us what Yahweh wants, we'll do it. And then he tells them, we aren't doing that.

So we'll come to that in a moment. This Gedaliah, he comes from, his grandfather was Shaphan. We talked about him in the days of Josiah. Shaphan had three sons that were just righteous men and one that was an apostate. His father, Gedaliah's father, Ahiaakim, one of those sons, he supported Jeremiah, saved his life. Jeremiah 26, 24, Nevertheless, at the hand of Ahiaakim, the son of Shaphan, was with Jeremiah so that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death. The details about how he was hidden are not there, but I'm saying Gedaliah was a righteous man. He had a righteous grandfather and a righteous father, and yet he gets killed. Verse 23, Now when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah.

These men came to him. Mizpah, seven miles north of Jerusalem, is now the administrative center because Jerusalem is being dismantled. Verse 24, Gedaliah took an oath before them and their men, and said to them, Do not be afraid of the servants of the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you. Well, he's echoing what the prophet Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 29. I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts that I think to give you hope in the future. Well, Jeremiah said, stay in the land, plant gardens, you're going to be there 70 years.

Might as well have a good time. Well, Gedaliah is just, you know, he's a righteous man. He believed Jeremiah, he's quoting him.

Identical counsel. Verse 25, But it happened in the seventh month that Ishmael, the son of Netheniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal family, came with ten men and struck and killed Gedaliah, the Jews, as well as the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. So these complete fools decided that they were going to go to Egypt for fine relief, and they were going to slaughter people to do it.

This brought chaos and ruin to the remaining people. Well, in Jeremiah 45, they come to him. So they said to Jeremiah, Let Yahweh be a true and faithful witness between us if we do not do according to everything which Yahweh your God sends us by you. That's what they said to Jeremiah, this group.

They never intended to perform what they promised if what they wanted was not satisfied. Are there people like that today? Do they go to church?

Some of them do. Chapter 43 of Jeremiah, where the story continues, Azariah, the son of Hoshea, and all the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, You speak falsely. Yahweh, our God, has not sent you to say, Do not go to Egypt to dwell there. Well, Moses a long time ago told the people, Don't go back to live in Egypt. So, of course, they just kidnapped Jeremiah and go anyway.

They wanted God's blessings on what they liked. And I'm telling you, there are people that will say, Pastor, what do you think of this? And if I say, I don't care for it. Oh, boy. Oh, man. You won't see them again. I remember years ago when it stands out, there are quite a few.

There's probably a few for every year. It's a shack, and his daughter gave him the book, The Shack. She wasn't even a believer. He said, What do you think of this? I think it's garbage. I think it contradicts what the Bible says about Jesus Christ.

It's a misrepresentation of what is clear in Scripture. His lips quivered, his eyes teared up. I felt, Man, this is weird. It happens, and that's lesser than what Jeremiah had to do.

These guys were thugs. I'm just dealing with people who were just a little unstable at the time. You hope they figure it out.

How do you feel when you have a good idea, especially if you're a person of means? You've accomplished things in the world, and you come to the church. You see, the church does not run like the world. It doesn't run like a business either.

It's a lot of different things. If the pastors are led by the Spirit, there's going to be a whole other element of change, because you're going to think something's illogical. But maybe, maybe that pastor's looking out for somebody that you know nothing about, and he's not going to tell you.

He's not going to air laundry. Maybe he's got a system in place that is under the leading of the Holy Spirit, and you don't see it. Well, you've got to understand, they're not interchangeable. And this is why many churches, I think, are just like the world, because the businessmen run them. There are good, sound principles to leading the church for sure, but there's also a spiritual element that will say, we will suffer that loss. We'll take it. They'll take that on the chin. We won't sue. We won't do this. And the businessman will say, no way. We're going to let that go, and different things. I don't think people think about those things. That is not a criticism of the business world, not at all.

It's just the two different animals, but people think that what works over here should work over here too, and it's not interchangeable. Verse 26, and all the people small and great, the captains of the armies, arose and went to Egypt, for they were afraid of the Chaldeans. Well, fear of men caused them to reject the man who feared God, and that would be Jeremiah.

Verse 27, now it came to pass in the 37th year of the captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, that Evel Moradak, king of Babylon, in the year that he reigned, released Jehoiachin, king of Judah, from prison. Okay, a lot going on here. You look at this. You say, well, what do I need to know about the seventh day and the seventh month? Well, many times they tell us about what's happening in other parts of the history of the Jews and are very important. It's just heavy-duty reading, and without reference material, you can just get lost in the sauce. But this is Nebuchadnezzar's son now, Evel Moradak.

Evel is not an English word meaning evil, like we use the word. Thanks for joining us for today's edition on Cross-Reference Radio. This is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We trust that what you've heard today in the book of 2 Kings has been something to remember. If you'd like to listen to more teachings from this series, go to crossreferenceradio.com. Once more, that's crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just go to your favorite podcast app to subscribe. Our time is about up, but we hope you'll tune in again next time as we continue on in the book of 2 Kings. We look forward to that time with you, so make a note in your calendar to join Pastor Rick as he teaches from the Bible right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-07 09:00:19 / 2023-10-07 09:11:00 / 11

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