The end – sort of
Jeremiah 52: Judah went into exile, orphaned from her land.
The final pages of Jeremiah are a sort of historical wrap up. We hear about Zedekiah’s failure, the fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple, and the striping of the city of anything of value. People are marched off into exile and it seems the story of the people of Israel has ended. The epitaph is: “Judah went into exile, orphaned from her land.” It all happened as Jeremiah said it would. The nation has refused to take every off ramp it came to, steadily advancing to this point. Thus, we come to “the end.” Well, not quite. God not only promised this destruction, he also promises restoration. The final words of the book describe the kindness shown to the surviving king, Jehoiachin, by Nebuchadnezzar’s successor, Evil-Merodach. After many years of imprisonment, Jehoiachin becomes an honored guest at the Babylonian king’s table. By concluding with this account we see that even as the curtain has fallen on a horrible period of Israel’s history, the story continues with a new, hopeful episode about to begin. I find that story both by moving forward and backward in my Bible. I can go back to Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. Or, I can turn forward a few pages and spend time in Daniel or Haggai or Zechariah and continue this story. If I want I can hit the fast forward button and advance to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to find the account of God’s ultimate deliverance of his people.
Take Away: With the Lord “the end” might just also be “the beginning” – that’s true because God is the God of Second Chances.
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