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Long range consequences

Jeremiah 39-43 describes Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem and the events that followed it.  Most of the inhabitants of the land were taken to Babylon but some were left.

Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, left in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time. (Jeremiah 39:10)

A man named Gedaliah was appointed governor.  He was assassinated and, fearing reprisals by Nebuchadnezzar, the Jews planned to flee to Egypt.  They first asked Jeremiah to find out what God wanted them to do.

And they went and stayed at Geruth Chimham near Bethlehem, intending to go to Egypt because of the Chaldeans. For they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.

Then all the commanders of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, came near and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Let our plea for mercy come before you, and pray to the Lord your God for us, for all this remnant—because we are left with but a few, as your eyes see us—that the Lord your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do.”

Jeremiah the prophet said to them, “I have heard you. Behold, I will pray to the Lord your God according to your request, and whatever the Lord answers you I will tell you. I will keep nothing back from you.”

Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to all the word with which the Lord your God sends you to us. Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.” (Jeremiah 41:17 – 42:6)

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The mark of the LORD

Most people who have read the Bible and a lot of people who haven’t have heard of the mark of the beast.  Here is what the Bible says about it.

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
Revelation 13:16-18

This describes something that will happen in the future, during the tribulation.  Many who have heard of the mark but know little about what the Bible says are afraid that they might take the mark by accident.  If you are one of these people I suggest you read this: 666 and RFID chips.

Most have heard of the mark of the beast but few people are aware of the fact that God places a  mark on those who worship him. Read the rest of this entry

The queen of heaven

God told Jeremiah he shouldn’t even pray for the people of Israel because their sins had reached the point that judgment was unavoidable.  One of the sins he cited was their worship of the queen of heaven.  Entire families were engaged in this worship.

As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
Jeremiah 7:16-18

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Why Jeremiah had no children

Jeremiah prophesied during the final years of Judah’s independence and lived through its final conquest by Babylon.  He suffered many hardships, one of which was being denied the pleasures of having a family.

The word of the LORD came to me: “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. For thus says the LORD concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning the mothers who bore them and the fathers who fathered them in this land: They shall die of deadly diseases. They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried. They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. They shall perish by the sword and by famine, and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth.”
Jeremiah 16:1-4

The things that happened to him would have made it hard for him to fulfill his family responsibilities.  His preaching was so unpopular that he sometimes spent time in prison or in hiding from the authorities and after the Babylonian victory he was forced to accompany some people who fled to Egypt for refuge.  But even if the circumstance of his life had been different he would have been childless because of a curse placed on one of his ancestors.

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