Today Jeremiah tells the people, who would never heed God’s words, the horrors that will occur when Jerusalem is besieged. There will be a great famine and the people will resort to cannibalism – “I will make this city desolate and a hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of all its plagues. And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his friend in the siege and in the desperation with which their enemies and those who seek their lives shall drive them to despair.”
The Lord has Jeremiah break a potter’s flask in front of the people to symbolize their inevitable calamities and say to them – “Behold, I will bring on this city and on all her towns all the doom that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their necks that they might not hear My words.”
Pashhur the priest becomes angry when he hears the word of God. So he beats Jeremiah and throws him in the stocks until the next morning. When Pashhur releases him, Jeremiah tells Pashhur that he and all his family will be taken as captives to Babylon where they will die along with his friends “to whom you have prophesied lies.”
Jeremiah’s calling upon his life creates quite a personal struggle for him. If he shares God’s words he is mocked and beaten. But Jeremiah says he can’t stay silent because, “His word was in my heart like a burning fire.” Jeremiah’s calling causes him so much angst that he even curses being born. However, Jeremiah will stay faithful to the Lord, no matter the cost.
God never promises that life will be easy, but He does promise to be with us through the difficult. Jeremiah remembers God’s faithfulness in the midst of his persecution – “But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten. But, O Lord of hosts, you who test the righteous, and see the mind and heart, let me see Your vengeance on them; for I have pleaded my cause before You.”
We will see more examples of God’s faithfulness to His people through hard trials with Daniel and his friends as we enter the Captivity Era. The Captivity of Judah occurs in 3 waves: 1) 605 BC when Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are taken to Babylon, 2) 597 BC when Ezekiel and King Jehoiachin are taken to Babylon, and 3) 587/586 BC when most of Jerusalem is destroyed by Babylon. Today we begin the Captivity Era with the book of Daniel as the first wave is taken into exile.
In 605 BC Babylon besieged Jerusalem, and Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, tells the master of his eunuchs (a eunuch is a man who has been castrated to serve in the court), “To bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.”
Daniel and his friends are determined to serve and honor the Lord in this foreign land, so they do not defile themselves with the king’s delicacies or wine. And since “God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs,” they were allowed to drink water and eat vegetables which made them healthier than the other men.
“As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams… And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.”
Keep reading to see how the Lord will use the knowledge and understanding He gave to Daniel and his friends to further accomplish His plans and purposes. (Jeremiah 19:1-20:18, Daniel 1:1-21)
Creation Era (Gen 1:1-11:26) ✔️
Patriarch Era (Gen 11:27-50:26 and Job) ✔️
Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) ✔️
Conquest Era (Joshua) ✔️
Judges Era (Judges, Ruth) ✔️
Kingdom Era (1,2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, 1 Kings 1-11, various Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) ✔️
Divided Kingdom Era (2 Chronicles 10-36, 1 Kings 11-22, 2 Kings, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and some of Jeremiah) ✔️
Captivity Era (the rest of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) up now!
Eras to follow:
Return, Silent, Gospel, Church, Missions, and End