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Jerusalem Falls (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
September 21, 2023 6:00 am

Jerusalem Falls (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 21, 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 day? 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 in 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, at 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, broken 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 guard took away. The Hebrew use of repetition, the Hebrew writers used 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 a 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 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 taking the time to pick apart and catalog for us how the Jewish mind worked when they wrote the scripture. So we come to the poetical books, Job, Psalms, Proverbs and Song, Ecclesiastes, it'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 this 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 and 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 three 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 door keepers. 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 60 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-zahredan, 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.

Oh man, it's just the best exposition teaching. 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.

That's what 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. 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 can 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 am 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 to 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 and Gedaliah's father Ahiaacam, one of those sons, he supported Jeremiah, saved his life. Jeremiah 26, 24, Nevertheless, at the hand of Ahiaacam, 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 I think towards you, thoughts that 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. And 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 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. The 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 this.

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 a business mind will say, No way. We're going to let that go. 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. 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. 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. Verse 28, He spoke kindly to him, gave him a more prominent seat than those of the kings who were with him in Babylon. Well, who's influencing this guy? Daniel's still alive. Daniel's gonna be alive until the Persians come, man.

He's just like, he wouldn't die. He just stayed there in Babylon doing stuff for the Lord. There's no way you could read the book of Daniel and say, well, that's all there is to the man. If anybody could see what he saw, there's a lot more ministry going on that you can't put down in writing. And that's true of all of them.

What do you think? Obadiah just had that one thing. He just wrote the prophecy of Obadiah about Edom, but did nothing else.

Not at all. He was known as a prophet of God, or else they would not have published and preserved his writing. This Jehoiachin, he was king in Judah for three months and ten days. Someone made sure they got that in. And he was such a mess that Babylon just arrested him and his mama, because Kaniyia is his name also, and took them to Babylon. And they're in jail for 37 years. That's, you know, we get the seventh day of the fifth month.

That's how we're getting these things. Verse 29, so Jehoiachin changed from his prison garments, and he ate bread regularly before the king all the days of his life. So certainly the son of Nebuchadnezzar had a different approach to reigning, and he felt that, you know, hey, there are other people from conquered people that could probably be useful to me. When the Persians get in power, they're going to take that to another level, and it will benefit the Jewish people. Others too, but mostly the Jews. Well, not so at Zedekiah.

We talked about him. He saw his sons killed, and then they gouged his eyes out. Jehoiachin's release from prison, it concludes the story of the kings of Judah and Israel with a glimmer of hope, because he's David's royal line, though he's going to be bypassed, but by legal right, the line continues to go on. And so we read in Matthew 1, the book of genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Well, if the Assyrians and the Babylonians succeeded in wiping out the Davidic line, we wouldn't have Matthew 1-1. So God is totally, as I mentioned on top of everything here, the kings of Judah and Israel concludes, this concludes the story of the last kings, and here we have this alumni of the Babylonian prison system. He is sitting as a defeated prisoner king at another king's palace.

It should not have gone this way. I've got a little bit more to say, but let's look at verse 30 now. And as far as his provisions, there was a regular ration given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life. So he goes out in comfort, and he may have, we're not told of his spiritual state for whatever reason. We have no reason to say he repented or not.

We just don't know. So the prophets and the priests and the kings, all taken out of the promised land, even Jeremiah, taken out to Egypt, Jeremiah 29-10, for thus says Yahweh, after 70 years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform my good word toward you and cause you to return to this place. And so in the midst of all of this captivity and kidnapping of the prophet Jeremiah, he knows that it's a 70 year punishment. Daniel picks up on this and quotes Jeremiah.

He was reading Jeremiah, and he was asking for understanding, and we're not going to take time to go into that. This checkered story of the kings, and it is a checkered story, nearly 500 years worth of it, of wasted opportunity, it ends disastrously. It ends with their kings, you know, one being maimed and the other prisoner at the table of a king, the sack of Jerusalem, the fall of the monarchy, the removal of the people to Babylon, and all that made Judah the kingdom of God gone, chopped up, and carted away. The nation that was called to be a peculiar people, a special people of honor, became a scattered people.

They were peeled like a banana because of their unbelief. And the Bible tells us many sad stories under the sun. What if we only had kings and chronicles and lamentations?

Oh man, what hope would come out of that? So when the prophets come along, especially Isaiah, he talks so much about the millennial reign of Christ when the Messiah is on the throne, and the people getting hope from that like we do when we talk about the rapture and heaven. Had we only those books, we would be left to conclude that man is in such a pitiful state, there's no hope, but we have another book. We don't just have those, we have the Lamb's Book of Life, and I'll close with this reading from Revelation 21.

So I think it's just a fitting ending to bring light to a sad story. But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light.

How can you say Christ is a created being when He is the Lamb and He is the light? Anyway, coming back, the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor to it. So this is New Jerusalem He's talking about, and those that will survive the tribulation period, be born in the tribulation period, and the light of New Jerusalem will be something that illuminates, and they will recognize this. It continues, its gates shall not be shut at all by day, there shall be no night there, and they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.

There will be festivities to acknowledge the righteousness of the Lord and the work of the saints. It continues, but there shall by no means enter in it anything that defiles or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. So there's another book.

This book may end in tragedy, but not that one. Let's pray. Our Father, as always, Your word, so full of insight and promise and hope and fact and reality, things we otherwise might not want to face, yet we have a God that not only faces it all, but reigns supreme. We love and worship You, and we ask these things in Jesus' name.

Amen. 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 09:11:00 / 2023-10-07 09:21:12 / 10

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