Friday, May 28, 2010

Ezekiel - Introductions

Ezekiel 1:1 "Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God." See also II Kings 23:3 II Kings 24:11-16

We need to understand who Ezekiel was and when he lived. For this I must look to a couple of Bible scholars for help.
Scofield: "Ezekiel is the voice of God to "the whole house of Israel". As opposed to some being either to Judah or the Ten Tribes, etc.

He preached for 21 years. He was there before the destruction of Jerusalem and lived among the people in a community near a river called Chebar.

Ezekiel uses symbols to illustrate his words.
Comprehensive Bible Helps:

Ezekiel was the son of a priest and a priest himself. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah. (So we see that Jeremiah was not alone as I thought before.) His father was the priest Buzi. He was educated in Judea. He had a house and lost his wife suddenly. Tradition says he was murdered.

The symbols were a mystery until statues were unearthed in recent history that were similar to what he described. The Jews recommended not reading the book until they were 20 years old.
Ezekiel's words from God were to remind the people of the national and personal sins of the nation so that they would know why they were in captivity. It is also a book of hope that the nation will again be reborn and their oppressors would be punished.

v4 "And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it , and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire." See Isaiah 21:1 Jeremiah 23:19.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Longing - Lamentations 5

Lamentations 5:18 "Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it."

Here seems to be a look back at Zion from captivity, but I cannot be sure. I've wondered if Jeremiah made it to Babylon or if he just knew the heart of the people there.

They are turning back to the Lord.

v16 "The crown is fallen from our head; woe unto us, that we have sinned!"

This verse makes me think they are now in Babylon:

v5 "Our necks are under persecution: we labor, and have no rest."

A historical statement looking back to the happenings in Jerusalem.

v9-11 "We got our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness. Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine. They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah. v12 Princes are hanged up by their hand: the faces of elders were not honored."

So a terrible time has ended. Captivity is being endured. The good part of this chapter is that the people are acknowledging their sin against God.

v21 "Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old."

A prayer that shall be answered and was answered in part with the returning to build the wall.

Fury Accomplished - Lamentations 4

Lamentations 4:2 "The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!"

My note on this verse is: 'Better we humble ourselves, than for God to do it.'

This chapter refers back to the pitiful sight of a city under siege. Starvation was in all the city. People who had been privileged were now wandering the streets looking for food. Children were deserted or worse.

v5 "They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets; they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills."

That is what sin will do. It will take you to the heights and let you crash in your own filth. Israel trusted in idols. They were praying to the air but now what they trusted in is useless.

God raised them up. When they turned from Him, he took his hand away and they crashed.

v11 "The LORD hath accomplished his fury; he hath poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof."

So the punishment is over and now the path to restoration.

v20 "The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen."

Submission to captivity but now returning to the shadow of his care. Progress.

A note to Edom to not glory over Israel's punishment...

v21 "Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and halt make thyself naked."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Faithfulness - Lamentations 3

Lamentations 3:22-23 "It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness."

Very often a passage will start off as a statement and end up in a prayer of thanksgiving or praise, as if the one talking has been given insight while they were speaking. Psalm 23 is such a passage.

In studying Jeremiah and Lamentations (same author) we need to keep in mind that Jeremiah was sort of like a conduit between Israel and the Lord. He spoke the complaints of Israel during this time of suffering. He also spoke the words of the Lord. With that in mind, we should remember that Jeremiah was a man. He suffered like anyone else. He was a man of emotion. He felt what was going on and expressed it with tears and sadness and sometimes anger.

Here are my notes I took to summarize this in my own mind: Jeremiah is upset over the judgment in chapter 2 verse 20 until he is thrown in the dungeon by his people in chapter 3 verse 53, then he was praying for them to be punished in chapter 3:64.

2:20 "Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the LORD? See also 4:10

3:53 "They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me." See also Jeremiah 38:6.

3:64 "Render unto them a recompense, O LORD, according to the work of their hands."

So we see that Jeremiah's attitude changed as he went through these events. He was rescued from the dungeon but he learned some things. He learned just how evil the people had become. He learned that there is mercy when he was pulled from the dungeon. I learned that I am glad that the Lord is in charge because our moods change with circumstance. We would not be good judges.

Jerusalem is under siege. In this type of warfare, the enemy simply encamps around a city and waits for the inhabitants to either starve or surrender. Jeremiah had been begging them to submit to the enemy so that they could survive. The false prophets told them that they would see victory if they would but hang on. Jeremiah was right, the false prophets were wrong.

The Lord gave measured judgment. Israel had committed grievous sins but He still wished to preserve them as a nation.

v48 "Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people."

Remember that Jeremiah expressed (often) the heart of God through these events.

Jeremiah 2:13 "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."

Jeremiah 5:19 "And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours."

Chapter 3 of Jeremiah.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

His Right Hand - Lamentations 2

Lamentations of Jeremiah 2:3 "He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel, he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about."

(horn in the Old Testament is used to depict power, honor and glory)

I hear it over and over, 'why does God let this or that bad thing happen'. The thinking is reversed. The mighty hand of God holds back harm to us. It is when we run out of his protection that the enemy descends on us. We must remember that we live in an unfriendly world. Christians are in a foreign land because our citizenship is in heaven.

So in this chapter we are told that the right hand of God was drawn back and the enemy came in because of Israel's rebellion.

v1 "How hath the LORD coveted the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!"

There is no question of the love the LORD has for Israel. He raised them up and planted them in Canaan. He raised them up to the greatest nation on earth. It troubled him to punish Israel, yet he declared it in the beginning that chastening would happen if they rebelled against him.

As if from the heart of God:

v11 "Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city."

I think of Calvary and the suffering Jesus Christ suffered so that we would not have to suffer them. His heart was broken for us.

v22 "Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the LORD's anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed."

As a Christian we can find much comfort in the words of the Old Testament, it should be noted that the New Testament is a new and better way that tells us of the grace we are under and the way a Christian should live. Let me say it like this, The law was outward to the inward parts, the Christian (grace) is inward to the outward.

I'm afraid man people take the grace of God for granted but there will come a day when the door of grace will close forever. The same Jesus who died for us and lived that humble life on earth will be the judge as in the days of Israel that we have studied about. It will be a terrible day when the world is judged, we can all see the sin around us and know that that judgment will be harsh. We can read about it in Revelation, the last book in the Bible.

I plead with you that you would learn of this time of grace and take advantage of the love of God before it is too late.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Misery of Jerusalem - Lamentations 1

Lamentations of Jeremiah 1:1 ""How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!" (subordinate)

There can be no doubt that the punishment was just. Israel, Judah and Jerusalem had turned to idols. They were committing hideous acts in the name of those idols.

v18 "The LORD is righteous, for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow, my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity."

This are the words of a broken heart. As we remember past studies, with the glory of king David and Solomon, we can think of the great buildings overlaid with gold and the processions as they came to worship. All that is lost.

v3 "Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction..."

v4 "The ways of Zion do mourn..."

v6 "And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed..."

v7 "Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction...all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old..."

v12 "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger."

But remember the previous books we have studied and we will agree that

v18 "The LORD is righteous..."

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Book of Lamentations of Jeremiah - intro

Jeremiah 3:22-23 "It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness."

Scofield describes the book like this: " is the disclosure of the love and sorrow of Jehovah for the very people whom He is chastening - a sorrow wrought by the Spirit in the heart of Jeremiah."

Jeremiah 13:17 "But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and ine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD's flock is carried away captive."

From my Comprehensive Bible Helps: Chapters 1, 2 and 4 have 22 verses, each corresponding to the Hebrew alphabet, each verse beginning with the corresponding letter. The fifth chapter has 22 verses with the letters but not in order of the alphabet. The third chapter has three verses under each letter.

Lamentations is about Jerusalem and Judah. It is about necessary punishment but with no joy found in administering that punishment.

v1 "How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!"

tributary: subordinate, secondary, dependent

I Kings 10:23 "So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Zedekiah and Jehoiachin - Jeremiah 52

Jeremiah 52:1 "Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah."

I do not think that was the same Jeremiah who wrote the book.

We come to the close of the book of Jeremiah. He prophesied during the time of the end of the Jewish kingdom in Judah. He also prophesied during the captivity. He suffered at the hands of the authorities for the truth he spoke but was given his freedom by Nebuchadrezzar. He went down to Egypt and I lost his trail from there. I wonder if he made it to Babylon and met Daniel or if he went back to Judah to help in the vineyards. I do not know.

I have learned from studying this book again. I learned that Nebuchadrezzar is probably the correct spelling of the king of Babylon's name although we pronounce it Nebuchadnezzar as it was first spoken by the Hebrews.

Zedekiah was the last reigning king of Judah. However, I think Johoiachin lived the longest as described in the last part of this chapter. The real name of Zedekiah was Mettaniah. Zedekiah being given to him by Nebuchadrezzar.

Many names of the Jews were changed in Babylon. Perhaps, it was another way to wipe out their heritage. Fortunately, many remembered and kept up with their family names. I expect some who chose to stay in Babylon, when Nehemiah came back to rebuild the wall, forgot their names. Who knows, except God, where the descendants are today.

This chapter is also found in II Kings 24 and II Chronicles 36. It is the end of an era for Israel and mentioning it three times seems most appropriate.

v31-34 "And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach, king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him forth out of prison, And spake kindly unto him and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon, And changed his prison garments, and he did continually eat bread before him all the days of is life. And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Babylon - Jeremiah 51

Jeremiah 51:1 "Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;"

At the end of the 70 years of captivity, Babylon will be judged. I missed a verse in the last chapter that is a good summary of why.

Chapter 50:38 "A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up; for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols."

There are still artifacts of the greatness of Babylon as well as legions. The picture of the place is quite different. It is dried up. I do not know but I am thinking that the river must have had a different course during the time of this great kingdom city.

v7 "Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken; the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad."

Babylon could be a long study, but I will highlight only a few verses. I suggest commentaries and books of history to further fill in the details.

v58 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary."

To form a mental of the city, we can see from this verse that the walls were great and perhaps the gates were of fine wood from some foreign land. Sometimes great heaps of dirt are the remains of something magnificent.

Also we can see that the people tried to save the city but were not able to do so. They became weary.

v64 "And thou shall say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her and they shall be weary, Thus far are the words of Jeremiah."

Revelation 18:21 "And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all."

The Bible Sscholar Scofield tells us that Babylon is used symbolically to represent world power in the last days (our days).

Monday, May 10, 2010

Back to Zion - Jeremiah 50

Jeremiah 50:4-5 "In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go and seek the LORD their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten."

This is a prophecy from Jeremiah. He is looking forward to the end of the 70 years of captivity. Most of the original captives have probably died by now. When they left Zion, the people were worshipping idols and all sorts of things. I doubt there was much teaching going in in the households about Israel and Judah and the ways of the LORD. But in this prophecy there is a longing for the homeland which most of them have not even seen.

v2 "Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not; say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces."

The punished for rebellion is now over and those who took the Lord's punishment to the extreme of their own volition are now going to be punished. I cannot guess when this chapter may have been written. Jeremiah may have been in Egypt at the time but we cannot tell from this writing. Babylon is going to fall though.

v9 "For lo, I will raise and cause to come against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country; and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken; their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain."

Verse 11 explains it for us, as to why the Chaldeans are being judged after they did the Lord's bidding.

v11 "Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls,"

It seems to be that Babylon has gotten proud and boastful as if they brought themselves to greatness. They took the punishment of God's chosen beyond what God intended. We learned that the captivity was to be an instrument to keep Israel together as a people while the land laid in sabbath. The Chaldeans gave out their own punishment.

The passage is a lament over the condition of Israel.

v17 "Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away; first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones."

v18 "Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria."

Then the Promise:

v19 "And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead."

I am bringing my people home.

Not only that but I will take away their sin.

v20 "In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them whom I reserve."

I do not think this prophecy has been completely fulfilled. They came back to build the wall again (Nehemiah) but we will have to study more. There are references to Babylon in Revelation which are not all together clear to me. I do believe there was a physical Babylon and I believe there is a spiritual Babylon where the same things worshipped in the old nation are carried forward to a broader kingdom that worshipped or worships the same way. See Revelation. I will leave this difficult subject to the expert Bible scholars of prophecy.

I will leave this chapter with these two verses.

v33-34 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go. Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name; he shall thoroughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon."

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Ammonites to Elam - Jeremiah 49

Jeremiah 49:39 "But it shall come to pass in the latter days; that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD."

I've heard the term 'latter days' mentioned all my life. What it tells me is that someday it will all end and there will be a brand new day. Amen.

In this chapter we start with the Ammonites.

There were several Ammon's in the Bible. I'm not clear which one refers to the area by that name.

Amos 1:13 "Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:" So we see the Lord does remember the innocent.

I remember the Bible saying that Esau is Edom. It refers to him and to the land of Edom.
Also called Idumea when referring to the land.

v7 "Concerning Edom, thus saith the LORD of hosts, Is wisdom no more in Teman? Is counsel perished from the prudent? Is their wisdom vanished?"

So there is judgment on Edom but there is a note concerning the children.

v11 "Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me."

Amos 1:11 "Thus saith the LORD; For three transgression of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath forever;"

We have heard that name in our news many times.

What does Amos say:

Amos 1:3 "Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron;"

Kedar was a son of Ishmael. Ishmael was the son of Abraham by Haggar. Father of many of the tribes of Arabia.

v28 "Concerning Kedar and concerning the kingdoms of Hazor which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon shall smite, thus saith the LORD; Arise ye, go up to Kedar and spoil the men of the east."

Elam ( I believe this one refers to the descendant of Shem) settled in Persia.

v35 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might."

v38 "And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD."

I believe the Lord is referring to the coming defeat of Babylon mentioned in the next chapter.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Moab's Judgment - Jeremiah 48

Jeremiah 48:38 "There shall be lamentation generally upon all the housetops of Moab and in the streets thereof: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, saith the LORD."

Moab is made up of the descendants of Lot and his eldest daughter. It is divided into three parts: The Land of Moab, The field of Moab and The Plains of Moab.

Verse 7 gives some insight into the reason for the judgment.

v7 "For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together."

Chemosh: the national idol of Moabites. See Numbers 21:20

Numbers 21:29 "Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites."

In II Kings 23:13 Chemosh is called "...the abomination of the Moabites..."

Isaiah chapter 13 also describes the Moabites and their judgment.

Amos 2:1 "...because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime;"

So we an see from these scriptures that the land of Moab was a rich country but they worshipped idols and disregarded the commands of the Lord. They also did things that were directly against the Lord. They also had a heritage which regarded the Lord once, they were the descendants of Lot who walked beside Abraham.

They are given the distinction they have chosen, that being their idol worship of Chemosh.

v46 "Woe be unto thee, O Moab! the people of Chemosh perisheth: for thy sons are taken captives, and thy daughters captives."

These are not the most cheerful reading for me. The Lord created the earth and the heavens to do with as he pleases. He is truly an awesome God. He does not divide the earth up and say this is mine and that is theirs. It all belongs to Him and we would all do well to know that.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Philistines Judgment - Jeremiah 47

Jeremiah 47:1 "The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Philistines, before that Pharaoh smote Gaza."

We have entered into s series of chapters that tell of the judgment on various nations. It shows us that the entire region was shaken during the time Judah was taken into captivity. We will have to visit other books of the Bible to recall the reasons for the judgments.

v4 "Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper that remaineth; for the LORD will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphor."

Amos 1:9 "Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant;"

Some of what was going on is found in II Chronicles 28:16-18 "At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him. For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives. The philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof; and they dwelt there."

Not that I need to explain, but we can see that these judgments were not without a cause.

It also illustrates that although judgment is sometimes mercifully slow in coming, it will come.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Pharaoh and Nebuchadrezzar - Jeremiah 46

Jeremiah 46: 1-2 "The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles; Against Egypt against the army of Pharaohnecho king of Egypt which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah." See also II Kings 23:29

This begins several chapters which talk about judgments against various peoples. The words seem to encourage the armies to come together so that the judgment is sure. It reads like some of the plays I've heard with its flow of words. It leaves no doubt as to where and when it happened.

v10 "For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries; and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood; for the Lord God of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates."

satiate: to satisfy fully or to excess

Pharaoh had become, according to history, no just a king but was worshipped as a god. They also had many gods of animals and part animals as we see in the stories of the tombs. It is a part of history that seems to have stopped suddenly.

v24 "The daughter of Egypt shall be confounded; she shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north."

Not only was Egypt defeated by Nebuchadrezzar but the land was changed when they cut down great forest of trees.

v23 "They shall cut down her forest, saith the LORD, though it cannot be searched; because they are more than the grasshoppers, and are innumerable."

For the remnant of Judah that came to Egypt, the chapter closes with a word for them.

v28 "Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD; for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee; but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished."

Special attention goes to the beloved of the Lord. These are the times before Christ came to redeem the world. The last part of the Bible is called the New Testament. It represents a change in how the world is dealt with. It includes a time of grace when people can turn to Christ for salvation. The book of Revelation takes us beyond this time of grace to a time when the world is judged. Everyone should consider themselves seriously while we are given this gift of grace. I prefer this time of grace to the violent times we read about in the Old Testament and in history.

Romans 3:24 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."