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Saturday, February 9 2013
Lamentations: The Desolation Of The Rebel Kingdom
Judah's rebellion against the LORD ended with the fall of Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah in 586 BC. The LORD permitted the Babylonians to inflict total devastation upon the kingdom that refused to repent and not have it happen to them.
"36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers [i.e. Jesus Christ; see The Kingdom Of The LORD God] sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
Despite his being falsely accused to the contrary, Jeremiah had been one of the most patriotic citizens of the Kingdom of Judah (see Jeremiah: The Prophet's Conception) - certainly far more than those who were "leading" the country to its doom. He had spent many years pleading with the political and religious leadership of the country to repent of their evil and thereby save their nation. They refused, and so Jeremiah witnessed the destruction of the kingdom, the capital city of Jerusalem, and the Temple. Ironically, the enemy Babylonians respected Jeremiah's courage and patriotism - so much so that they let him go free, while killing, torturing or taking into exile all of the "leaders" who ignored Jeremiah's prophecy to save the nation.
"40:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were carried away captive unto Babylon. 40:2 And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The LORD thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place. 40:3 Now the LORD hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you. 40:4 And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were upon thine hand. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come; and I will look well unto thee: but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land is before thee: whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to go, thither go." (Jeremiah 40:1-4 KJV)
So it was that the Book of Lamentations was written. Jeremiah knew that the kingdom of Judah would return after seventy years (see Jeremiah's Letter To Babylon), but the city as it had been, and all of the rebels, were gone forever.
"1:1 How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!
Studies For The Book Of Lamentations
Fact Finder: Was the prophet Daniel among those taken away to Babylon?
This Day In History, February 9
474: Zeno was crowned as co-Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
1267: The Synod of Breslau (at the time, a city in German-occupied Poland) ordered Jews to wear special caps in public.
1540: The first recorded horse race meeting in England was held at Roodeye Fields, Chester.
1667: The Truce of Andrusovo, a treaty between Poland and Russia that briefly ended their war for control of the Ukraine.
1674: King Charles II of England signed the Treaty of Westminster, bringing the war with the Dutch to a conclusion.
1757: The Treaty of Alinagar; it was the prelude to the British seizure of Bengal.
1788: The Habsburg Empire entered the Russo-Turkish War on the side of Russia.
1807: Much to the astonishment of French Christians and Jews alike, a "Sanhedrin" was established at the explicit orders of Napoleon Bonaparte. In return, the 40,000 Jews of France were expected to give up their efforts for a separate state in "Palestine."
1849: Giuseppe Mazzini proclaimed Rome a republic.
1917: During the First World War, the infamous Mata Hari (the stage name of a Dutch "exotic dancer"; her real name was Margaretha Zelle) was arrested by the French as a German spy. She was executed by firing squad in October of that year.
1934: The Balkan Entente was signed; a mutual defense agreement among Greece, Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia to guarantee the signatories territorial integrity and political independence against attack by another Balkan state (i.e. Bulgaria or Albania). It proved ineffective against German influence during the 1930's and Adolf Hitler's arrogant treaty-ignoring aggression (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) leading up to and during the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1942: The French passenger liner Normandie burned and sank at its pier in New York City.
1966: The National Hockey League (NHL) announced that it was expanding from 6 teams to 12. The original 6 teams (Toronto, Montreal, Detroit, Boston, New York and Chicago) would be joined by the California Seals, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and the St. Louis Blues.
1978: Canada expelled 13 Soviet "diplomats" after they tried and failed to infiltrate the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
1994: Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa.