Facing Consequences

Key Verse: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
—Jeremiah 6:16, New International Version

Lesson Scripture:
Jeremiah 6:16-21,

JEREMIAH BECAME A Prophet to Judah when Josiah was the king. He witnessed the remarkable conversion of the people to keeping the Law again, after the book of the Law was found in the Temple and given to Josiah. Josiah had read the Law to the people, dedicated himself to following the Law, and urged the people to do likewise. The people responded by following the teachings of the Law as long as he was king. When he died, “All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day.” (II Chron. 35:24,25) Jeremiah was left alone to keep the people from straying and tried hard to do so but lacked cooperation from succeeding kings. All were evilly disposed and led the people astray.

Our key text tells how Jeremiah told the people that they stood at the ‘crossroads.’ He advised them to take the ancient paths of following the Law as advised by Josiah. They chose not to do so. The sixth chapter of Jeremiah describes the punishment that was going to come upon them. A destructive force from the north would come, lay siege to the city of Jerusalem, capture it, destroy it, and take all those that escaped the sword captive. This was fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans took Judah captive to Babylon where they became servants for 70 years. Because Jeremiah prophesied freely about the destruction to come, he was branded a traitor and imprisoned. The people’s punishment could not be avoided. It came to pass as prophesied by Jeremiah.

Jeremiah’s prophecies, however, do not merely pertain to natural Israel and her punishment for failure to walk in the right paths. They also pertain to our time, the last days of this ‘present evil world,’ and are an indictment against Christian nations. These were to show people the right paths in which to walk. But they have forsaken the principles of Christianity, and have led to war amongst themselves.

When Jeremiah writes, “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all.” (Jer. 6:13-15, NIV) It is not only applicable to natural Israel of his day, but also to the Christian nations and Western Civilization in our day.

People today desire peace, but none is to be found. Terrorism stalks our civilization like a lion stalks his prey. The handwriting is on the wall. They have been weighed in the balances and found wanting. (Daniel 5:5,27). When God removes this civilization with its corruption, he will replace it with the “desire of all nations” (Hag. 2:7), the Messianic kingdom of Christ. It is then that mankind shall learn to walk in the correct paths, following the commandments of the Lord.— Isa. 2:3

Dawn Bible Students Association
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