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August 7 Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 25-27
“Nebuchadrezzar the King of Babylon — My Servant”
O my soul, take comfort in this, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, though a mighty and a pagan king, was but the servant of the Lord of hosts, my God and Savior! Yes, Nebuchadnezzar was Jehovah’s servant, an instrument in his hand to chastise his people. Though he knew him not, like Cyrus, he was unwittingly the servant of God. So it is with all his creatures. — “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain” (Psalm 76:10). All things, all creatures, all events, all men, all angels, all demons, everything in heaven, earth, and hell is ordered by my God, and serves him, exactly according to his purpose of grace toward his elect.
In Jeremiah 25 we are again reminded of the fact that God’s prophets are always despised by men who hate God. Prophets of deceit the world adores. Faithful men the world despises, especially faithful men. As it was in Jeremiah’s day, so it was when the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Prophet of God, our Redeemer and Savior, the Lord of life and glory, “came unto his own, and his own received thee not.” Jerusalem, the holy city, killed God’s prophets and despised his Word, when he would have gathered her people, as the hen gathers her chickens under her wings, because they would not be gathered to him. Self-righteous, devoted to the worship of their own works, they would not have the Christ of God. Going about to establish their own righteousness, they would not submit to the righteousness of God. Instead of embracing him, they crucified him!
Yet, God’s patience was not exhausted. His love was not quenched. There was among the very men whose hands dripped with the Savior’s blood “a remnant according to the election of grace!” In the very moment of his death the Lord Jesus prayed for those chosen, eternally loved ones, saying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do!” Oh, for grace always to keep in remembrance that love of Christ which passes knowledge! As God had his remnant in Jeremiah’s day, and in the days of our Savior’s humiliation, there is still “a remnant according to the election of grace,” a remnant which must be saved.
Though Babylon appears to triumph, Babylon shall surely fall; and all shall fall with her who are made drunk by the wine of her fornications, by the wine of freewill/works religion (Revelation 18:4-10). And in the end, like Nebuchadnezzar of old, it shall be demonstrated to all that Babylon was but the servant of the very God she despised, and of his people (1 Corinthians 11:19).
Let us ever remember God’s grace to his chosen during the seventy years of Babylonian Captivity. Remember, too, his fulfilment of his covenant promise in bringing his people out of Babylon. All his promises, like the great Author and Finisher of salvation himself, remain eternally and unchangeably the same, yesterday, and today, and forever! Let the Lord our God be blessed and adored in all his faithfulness and truth made to a thousand generations. Let him be forever blessed by his redeemed in the enjoyment of his mercy, love, and grace in Christ Jesus!
Let every gospel preacher learn from Jeremiah 26 the blessedness of being found faithful. Solemnly enlisted under the banner of Christ, let us devote ourselves to our Savior’s cause, and earnestly contend for the faith of the gospel. Child of God, pray for those pastors and preachers God has given to his church, pastors according to his own heart, who feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Almighty God, stand by your servants, and give each one grace to stand by you, serving your people, your gospel, and your glory faithfully, for Christ’s sake. Make them a sweet savor of Christ unto you. Though a gazing stock and a proverb of derision to the world, own and bless their labors to the conversion of sinners and the comfort and edification of saints, for the glory of your great name.
The wretched state of false prophets is held before us in Jeremiah 27, that we might the more cherish faithful men, and highly esteem them in love for their works sake (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13). False prophets serve their own bellies. Faithful men serve your soul. False prophets seek to please men. Faithful men seek to please God. False prophets prophesy lies, the lies of freewill/works religion. Faithful men always proclaim truth, the Truth, Jesus Christ crucified, and the gospel of God’s free, sovereign, saving grace in Christ Jesus. False prophets are hirelings who care not for the sheep. Faithful men are true shepherds who care not for themselves.