God’s Word for You
by Pastor Timothy Smith on Thursday, April 9, 2015
19 For this is what the LORD of Armies says about the pillars, the sea, the bases and the rest of the vessels that are left in the city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take away when he carried away Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim king of Judah captive from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem— 21 yes, this is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel says about the vessels that are in the house of the LORD and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem: 22 They will be taken to Babylon, and there they will stay until the day I come for them, declares the LORD. Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.”
False prophets tried to comfort the people of Judah by promising them that the temple furnishings that had been captured by the Babylonians would be brought back in a year or two. Perhaps they had in mind the account of the Philistines returning the Ark of the Covenant. In those days—the end of the time of the Judges—the Philistines were in a panic after they captured the ark, because no matter where they moved it the Lord’s hand was against them. In Ashdod, the temple of Dagon was desecrated again and again and the people were afflicted with sores or tumors (1 Samuel 5:1-9). When they tried to move it to Ekron, the people were terrified. Once again they were afflicted with tumors, and people began to die (1 Samuel 5:10-12). After seven months of agony, they finally sent the ark back to Israel on a cart (1 Samuel 6:1-12).
If the false prophets of Judah hoped that God would return the temple furnishings the same way, they were mistaken. In fact, God assured them through Jeremiah that the Babylonians were far from finished confiscating their censers, stealing their silver and grabbing their gold. They were going to come back and plunder the pair of pillars that Solomon had built to stand in front of the huge temple doors.
But even here, there is a hint of a gospel promise. The temple furnishings, the dishes, even the pillars, would all go into captivity. So would most of the Jews. But God would end it all; he would bring them back. And when the time came, it would be God’s action and God’s doing that would bring it all about. Nothing that the false prophets could say could save one single spoon from going away, and nothing that the false prophets could claim could shave a single minute off the time God had appointed for the exile. God would be the one to show the people their sins, and then to rescue them all and bring them back.
So it is with our salvation. Nothing that a false teacher can claim or say can change anything about our sinful status before God. But God himself, when the time was right, sent his Son Jesus to rescue us, to reclaim us from our bondage to sin, to death, and to the power of the devil. Jesus paid the price for our rescue, and we are free through faith in him.
“When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law” (Galatians 4:4,5)
Pastor Timothy Smith
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