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God Saves the Righteous

Updated: Nov 13, 2022

January 16, 2022—During the time of the prophet Jeremiah in the land of Judah, the Israelites and their leaders were backsliding from the Lord. I discussed this in my last article, The Fall of Judah and Jerusalem. Due to the sins of the nation and its people, God said that those that became a reproach from Him, would be met “with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence… because they have not heeded My words.” (Jeremiah 29:18). For those that were not destined for the sword, they would be taken captive to Babylon, to what is known as the Babylonian Capture or the Babylonian Exile.

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon captured 4,600 men (Jeremiah 52:30) during his seventh, 18th, and 23rd years as king. In the Book of 2 Kings 24, King Nebuchadnezzar took 10,000 men in his eighth year as king. Something to point out is that these numbers do not include women or children. So the numbers are actually much higher.

Time in Captivity

The Lord told Jeremiah to tell the captives that they should make dwellings in Babylon and take spouses for themselves and begot children so that their numbers would not diminish (Jeremiah 29). The Lord also told him that the people should not “let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed” (Jeremiah 29:8), because they prophesy falsely. In this same passage, God tells Jeremiah that He will bring back the people from where He had driven them and will return them to Judah.

Life in a foreign land is difficult when you chose to go there, but when you do not choose to go to a foreign land adaptation is extremely difficult. I know this from personal experience as I am in an intercultural and an interracial marriage. My husband came my country and needed to learn English. He had to adjust to the food here, which sometimes makes him sick even meats. The sweet tooth of my country is completely different from the savory and salty meals and desserts from his country. I can imagine that his experience is similar to what my ancestors went through. My family comes from different countries throughout Europe, and I can only imagine the cultural challenges that they faced. Sometimes people face similar challenges when they move from one state or province to the next one.

For those Israelites that were held captive in Babylon, they were facing cultural and religious differences that went against their beliefs. We see an example of this in the book of Daniel where he and his comrades do not eat the meat nor drink the wine appointed by the king. Though the Holy Bible does not explain why he refused the meat and the wine, we know that the norm of the surrounding cultures was to sacrifice meat to deities that were not the Lord our God. Daniel and his comrades would only eat vegetables and drink water, to what we now call "The Daniel Diet". What is inspiring about Daniel’s choice, is despite being in a new land, under a new culture, he and his friends chose to follow God and obey God.

In addition, the Babylonians believed in multiple gods and held different religious festivals and events. This next statement is coming from me; it is likely that the Babylonian food was cleaned, prepared, seasoned, and cooked much differently than the strict laws held under the Jewish faith.

This captivity would take place for seventy years, but God would perform something amazing, which will be discussed in next week’s article (January 23, 2022).

Tying in Jesus to the Babylonian Capture

In Jeremiah 23, the Lord makes a promise of salvation:

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the Lord. “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord. “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called:


“Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”

Jeremiah 23: 1-8

This passage promised the salvation through Jesus Christ, but He would not be birthed by Mary for a few hundred years after this prophecy. Just as Jesus Christ gathers His lost sheep with the promise of eternal live, God would collect the righteous out of Judah saving them from the fate of sword, famine, and pestilence promised to those who did evil in the sight of the Lord. Those that were saved were taken into captivity to Babylon. Seventy years later, King Cyrus of Persia overtook Babylon and allowed God’s people to return to Judah. This is further explained in "Returning Home".

The Message for You

God’s promise still holds true. Jesus Christ is our savior and has been collecting His sheep, and He will come back to collect the rest of His sheep. Until that time, you are living in the captivity of this world. Some of you are discouraged due to the pandemic, financial hardships, social inequities and more, but as children of God, you should have hope:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord,

thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

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