Judah's days as a nation are numbered. King Jehoiachin, his family, and 10,000 of his people have been "hurled out" of the land and taken prisoner to Babylon. While the remnant under Zedekiah think that they have experienced a reprieve, in truth the nation has less than a decade to live.
The LORD foretells of a coming Seed in the Creation Era. He promises Abraham a great nation in the Patriarchal Era. He fuses Jacob's twelve sons together into a nation in the Exodus Era, and gives them the land of Canaan as an inheritance in the Conquest Era. The Conquest Era chronicles Israel's conquest and division of the land. After Joshua dies, Israel enters the Judges Era, which lasts approximately 350 years. Numerous cycles of sin, oppression, repentance, deliverance, and peace characterize this period in their history. God faithfully delivers them from their oppressors when they cry out to him. The birth of the prophet Samuel ushers in a new era, where Israel demands a king like the nations around them. The Kingdom Era records the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon. After Solomon dies, the kingdom splits-ten tribes form into Northern Israel, and the two remaining tribes become Judah-creating the Divided Kingdom. Like the daybreak hugging the horizon, the Captivity Era rises in Judah's immediate future:
"O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD!" cries Jeremiah (Jer. 22:29). "'Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, 'that I will raise to David a branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth'" (23:5).
God has covenanted with His people to give them a land of their own, but His covenant is conditional upon Israel's loving and obeying Him. These moments are rare in Israel's history. Jeremiah foretells of a day when a King will "execute judgment and righteousness in the earth."
Israel has a rich history that covers more than 1300 years between her conquest of Canaan and her establishment as a nation, up to the time of Christ. All of these years are spent in the land of Canaan, except for the seventy years spent in Babylon. Forty years after Jesus ascends to the Father, the Temple in Jerusalem is destroyed, and the Jews are "hurled out" once again from the land. Nineteen hundred years pass before the Jews return to the land to become a nation once again.
No other nation has such a history with God. Israel's history is not a record of their faith but of God's faithfulness to His covenant, and His desire to glorify His Son Jesus. One day He shall fulfill the promise and restore the kingdom under the true Ruler, the Root and the Offspring of David.
What do Jeremiah's messages to Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar and Hazor have in common? What will these nations understand about God when they are destroyed?
What allegation does the LORD make toward Judah's shepherds? Describe the Shepherd-King who will arise to lead His people. What promise does Jeremiah make regarding this Shepherd-King and the people whom He leads?
Describe the spiritual leaders during Judah's final years.
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