Jeremiah chapter 47: No matter how had we loved, we are still human beings and won’t be there always. Forgive yourself for not being everything for those you love.
It this book, we again read God’s condemnation of other countries. We started with Egypt and today we look at Philistines. Philistines had been defeated during David’s and other times but they built themselves up and by the times when this message was delivered, they were a prosperous nation once again. The message came to prophet Jeremiah before Pharaoh smote Gaza. According to the writers of Wiersbe Bible commentary, the king of Egypt destroyed Gaza either on his way to Carchemish or on his return journey (in which journey, Necoh killed Israel’s King Josiah). Other sources say that Gaza was destroyed by Pharaoh Hophra on his fruitless return journey from helping Judah against the Babylonians (which must have happened in the ninth year of King Zedekiah’s rule). According to bible odyssey website, the philistines were completely destroyed and taken captives to Babylon in 604 BC. Since we exposed that Egypt and Assyria were defeated by Babylon at Carchemish in 605 BC, then is highly probable that Gaza (one of the five cities of Philistia, others being Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, and Gath) was destroyed by Pharaoh Necho on his way to Carchemish or on his return journey to Egypt.
Earlier, we highlighted that chapters 46 and down were arranged basing on the order of city attack and thus Egypt was destroyed first, followed by Philistia, Moab and the like in that order. This further strengthens our deduction from all the above citations that Philistia was taken captive in 604 BC, just one year after the defeat of Egypt alongside its then friend Assyria by Babylon (see chapter 46). Anyway, whatever Pharaoh put down Philistia, this prophecy was announced before such war and Philistia was having good times. But, according to the prophet, times were coming when Babylon would approach on heavy and strong forces and the sound of such an attacking caravan would drive fear in all the land dwellers of Philistia. The terror would be so hard that parents won’t have time or even remember to care for their children for everyone would be running for his or her safety (verses 1-3).
Verses 4-5 tell us why the above would be possible: Because it would be the time for Philistia to experience its punishment. If time comes, no one can stop the hand of God from doing its way. Unfortunately, for Philistia, it was the time of trouble and destruction but in the same way, God can bring greatness and success in His set time and not even your greatest enemies can stop that. The set up here is that there would be no help for Philistia from other cities and the Lord was already wondering how long the survivors would carry themselves, an exclamation confirming that people would try to escape death but in vain.
People would cry and wonder when the trouble is gonna stop, they would beg the sword of God to stop the sword from cutting them down but this beseeching won’t yield any relief since it is only the Lord (the unstoppable) who would be handling the sword or having sent it to discipline the sinners. When we re-read this verse, we see that people wonder and beg the sword to stop (a kind of misguidance), instead of turning to God who is driving the sword. The problem or the enemy is not the sword (actually, the sword has no case against people) but the Lord has and He alone can offer relief when sought with a repenting heart. Jeremiah answers in place of God, “How dare tell the sword to stop yet the Lord has commanded it?”
Our today’s focus is verse 3, “They (parents) will not help their children to safety, because they will be too weak to help” This line has thousands of lessons. First, it pictures the great love of parents to their children. By comparing this disaster to parents being able to forsake their children, God was recognizing how deep the love of a parent should be. Secondly, the only being who should be relied on is God. Even our greatest friends and lovers can fail to deliver us in some situations. Only God can all the times, trust Him. Thirdly and the most important, parents do not forsake their children because they are bad or are themselves rotten in hearts not to love their own children, but because they are too weak to help. Some people confuse Christianity with supernatural being and thus fall victims of people or themselves. There are things you cannot help with, there are times you are really weak, there are days you need love than giving it, respect such times.
Being a Christian does not mean you should help everyone with everything, it simply means doing the best you can for God’s Glory. No matter how much we love and care, we cannot meet the demands of those we care about or love all the time, forgive yourself for God forgave you earlier.
I can never end without inviting you to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior. Say this prayer with me: “Oh God, I am sorry I have wronged you. I now see you sent your only son to die for me so I can live forever in happiness. I am a sinner and I regret it all. Please, forgive me Jesus and receive me in your family as your child. Thank you for loving me. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen”. If you have prayed this prayer, we believe you have been saved. Find a true church near you and be part of it for your spiritual sharing and growth.
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