aftermath of sever storm August 22 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): 2Kings 25:1-21;
2Chronicles 36:15-21; Jeremiah 39; Jeremiah 52:1-30
(note: this is such a momentous event that it is mentioned three times, with very little variation. They are all included here because chronologically they occur at the same time, although recorded by different writers)

Day of Disaster

War, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, and financial ruin—all these bring days of disaster. There is panic. Sometimes there is mass confusion. There is sorrow, despair, hopelessness, and sometimes death. Why do these things happen? Many times the answer is unclear, but our hope is that some good will come of it. Other times we know why disaster has come—it is because of our foolishness or wrongdoings.

This was the case for Israel and now is for her sister nation, Judah. Israel was destroyed and taken away, and Judah is going to suffer the same fate. Egypt provided temporary relief from the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem. When Egypt came, Babylon left, but God sovereignly brought her back. Babylon returned to finish the conquering of Judah. Afterward, she will attack and destroy Egypt.

In today's Bible reading, we learn that for two years the Babylonians laid siege on Jerusalem until there was no more food for anyone to eat.

What brought on this day of disaster? Judah did not listen to its prophets. She mocked and persecuted them, sometimes killed them, and continued in further wickedness and idolatry until for Judah there was no remedy for her sins. Samuel, the first full time prophet, said at the end of his life,

To the faithful you [LORD] show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low (2Samuel 22:26-28, NIV).

God needed to bring Judah low. Like Judah, some people experience disaster because of their pride, rebellion, and wicked actions. They, too, need to be brought low.

On the day Babylon breaks into Jerusalem, King Zedekiah and his small army hurriedly leave through the king’s gate. His army scatters, leaving the king and his sons to be captured. King Zedekiah is caught, blindfolded, bound in shackles, and taken to Babylon, where his two sons are killed before his eyes before his eyes are put out. The nobles and priests of Jerusalem are killed. Young men, women and children, and even old men and women hiding in the temple are put to the sword. Royal officials are captured, taken to Babylon and killed. The temple and its treasures are confiscated piece by piece. A month later, Babylon returns to finish the job.

The Chaldeans [Babylonians] also burned with fire the king's palace and the houses of the people, and they broke down the walls of Jerusalem. As for the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had gone over to him and the rest of the people who remained, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard carried them into exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 39:8-9, NASB’95).

Are any people saved besides those who are exiled? Yes. Jeremiah continues the account,

But some of the poorest people who had nothing, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard left behind in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at that time (Jeremiah 39:8-10, NIV).

He also saves Jeremiah and Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, who saved Jeremiah’s life. In this merciful act, Ebed-Melech demonstrates he has faith in Jeremiah’s God. His life is spared. “To the faithful you [LORD] show yourself faithful” (2 Samuel 22:26, NIV).

Lessons to Live By

  • Disaster comes upon us all, but how we respond to it is what matters. Will we accept it as from the LORD and continue to be faithful? Will we be merciful to others going through suffering as we are?
  • God proves His love to those who are faithful, but judgment is upon those who do not show mercy and who act with wickedness.
  • Mercy triumphs over judgment!
  • God will show mercy to those who turn to Him from their sins. He provides forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life (more...)

Focus Verse

2Samuel 22:26-28 (NIV)

To the faithful you [LORD] show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.

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A Look Ahead: Jerusalem's destruction is a great Loss. Is there any Hope? Join us for our Next Lesson to find out.

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