When the Babylonian armies were gathering the people in Judah to take them to Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar gave these orders to his commander of the imperial guard.
Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had given these orders about Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard: “Take him and look after him; don’t harm him but do for him whatever he asks.” Jeremiah 39:11-12
Nebuzaradan complied with these orders.
So Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard, Nebushazban a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officers of the king of Babylon sent and had Jeremiah taken out of the courtyard of the guard. They turned him over to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to take him back to his home. So he remained among his own people. Jeremiah 39:13-14
But in our passage today, we find the Prophet Jeremiah in chains. Listen to this!
The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah. He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon. Jeremiah 40:1
Here is a very interesting encounter between this commander of the imperial guard and the Prophet Jeremiah. Here is how it all happened.
When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreed this disaster for this place. And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. Jeremiah 40:2-3
Did you hear that? This is a pagan who understands that these people of God were punished because they did not obey their God. Listen to what he says again:
All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. Jeremiah 40:3b
When pagans understand that we are at fault with our God, then we are in trouble with God. This is when what we are doing becomes an embarrassment to God.
- This story reminds me of another story in the New Testament about a believer who was living in sin. Pay attention to what Paul says:
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 1 Corinthians 5:1
Paul says, even the pagans cannot accept or tolerate this kind of sin.
- We can safely make this conclusion: By the time the pagans condemn you, God is already ticked off and judgment is already on the way.
- Is it possible that you are living in sin? Living in sin is a bad witness for the Kingdom of God. Instead of attracting unbelievers to Christ, you are turning them away from Christ. At this point, you have become a stumbling block to others. Do you know what Christ says about those who are stumbling others?
- The following words of Christ encourage us on what should motivate us to live right.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
- How else can you apply this story to your life?
- Last but not the least: what does unbelievers around you say about your relationship with God?
And now the Lord has brought it about;
He has done just as he said he would.
All this happened because you
People sinned against
The Lord and did
Not obey him.
This Is When You Know You Are In Trouble With God!
Read: Jeremiah 40:1-6
Marked: Jeremiah 40:2-3
By Pastor Shadrack Ruto