By Richie Thetford
We have the written word to see that God most assuredly kept his promises in dealing with his own chosen people of long ago. In the same way, we can know that God will keep his promises in dealing with his people today.
Jeremiah is overcome with emotion as he writes the book of Lamentations. He is basically describing the funeral of a city that was once filled with great beauty and promise. Jerusalem was a proud city, rich in history and service to God. But now it is a city that has been reduced to rubble by the army of Babylon. Jeremiah was sent by God to prophesy to the children of Israel concerning the impending doom of Judah and the city of Jerusalem. But why? Why did this terrible thing have to happen to a beautiful city, a city that Solomon spent a fortune to build, that housed the great temple that the Jews could go to and worship the God of heaven? The answer is because the children of God turned their backs on their creator, and were carried off into the adulterous idol worship of pagan gods. They became a self-centered people that had lost their trust and faith in the almighty God! Jeremiah was a faithful servant of God and knew of the rich history of Jerusalem. He had the tough task of warning the people of God and then to actually see the city be totally devastated by a foreign army, all because the people turned their back on God, the God that loved them so dearly and wanted so much to give them nothing but blessings. But instead, God was forced to keep the second part of his promise, to punish his children for their lack of obedience!
In the book of Deuteronomy, long before Jeremiah was called upon to prophesy, God gave his word to a great leader by the name of Moses. In the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy we can read where God stipulated what would happen to his chosen people if they would obey his word and what would happen if they chose not to obey his word.
The Curses on Disobedience
In the first fourteen verses of the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, God announced all the blessings that would take place if the children of Israel would obey his words. But then in verses 15-68 the curses were announced to Moses on what would happen to these children if they did not obey. The all-knowing God truly knew what was going to take place in their history. He spent a lot of time letting Moses know exactly what was going to happen to these chosen ones. God has always kept his promises, whether good or bad, in dealing with all mankind. All of the promises that God told to Moses in this 28th chapter came true. Jeremiah was there serving as the mouth piece for God when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians because of disobedience. God’s people did not harken to the words of God and as a result paid an awful price. Many were killed by their enemies and most of the others were carried off into captivity, and would not return for 70 years.
Will Our “Jerusalem” Stand or Fall?
When I speak of our “Jerusalem” I’m talking about our soul. Have we listened to the word of God and prepared ourselves to fully obey him? We better make sure we have because Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, 21: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” The things of old were written for our learning (Rom. 15:4), so we can know how God has dealt with man. We have the written word to see that God most assuredly kept his prom- ises in dealing with his own chosen people of long ago. In the same way, we can know that God will keep his promises in dealing with his people today. The only ones that will get to heaven are going to be those that love, trust, believe, and obey God. The Hebrew writer said: “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9). We know that those that did not obey him long ago received his curses and those that do not obey God today will also receive his curses. Paul wrote: “And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess. 1:7-9).
Knowing then that God will bless us (Eph. 1:3) when we obey by providing us a home with him in heaven, and also knowing that we will be punished with everlasting destruction if we do not obey, what is the condition of our “Jerusalem”? Will it stand in eternity with God? Or will it fall, even though we have been warned and warned by God’s word what will happen if we do not obey? The out- come of our “Jerusalem”(our soul) is totally up to us!