Jeremiah Devotions #11: “Therefore”
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah Chapters 37-40.
“And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him: “The Lord your God has pronounced this doom on this place. Now the Lord has brought it, and has done just as He said. Because you people have sinned against the Lord, and not obeyed His voice, therefore this thing has come upon you.” (Jeremiah 40:2-3).
In the preceding chapters in Jeremiah, he has been prophesying that God would bring judgment upon Judah for her sins, and that she would be taken away into captivity in Babylon. This finally happened in chapter 39. In this passage, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the Babylonian guard now recites back to Jeremiah a summary of his prophecies against Judah. Nebuzaradan says, “God brought this judgment on Judah just as He said He would.” But why did this happen?
When I was a Bible Research teacher at Pacific Life Bible College several years ago, I always taught my students to look for important connective words. One of them is in this passage: “Therefore.” Captain Neb says here, “Because you people have sinned against the Lord, and not obeyed His voice, therefore this thing has come upon you.” Whenever you see the word ‘therefore’ in the Bible, ask yourself – what’s it there for? Here, it connects an action with a consequence. The action: The Jews had sinned against the Lord and not obeyed His voice. The Consequence: God judged them and let them be led away into captivity.
The God who created this world has also written a book – the Bible. In this holy book, He gives us wisdom and direction for living life on planet earth. When we walk in obedience to God’s Word, His will, and His ways, we are blessed. But when we choose to rebel, there will always be negative consequences for our sin. The wages of sin is death. Therefore – because of this truth – we would be wise to read the Bible, to learn God’s ways, and walk in them. When we do this, we will be blessed.
Lord, I’m so thankful for all of the biographies in the Bible – the stories of the men and women of faith who walked with you before me. I thank you for all of the positive examples that can inspire me to bold act of faith and obedience. But I also thank you for the stories of their mistakes and failures, that I can learn from. Help me to trust the wisdom of your word, and walk in obedience to you every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.