Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20051019.htm
JEREMIAH: STAYING UPRIGHT AMIDST EVIL PRESSURES
Part XIII: Prophecies Against The Sinful Nations Around Judah
A. Prophecies Against Egypt, Judah's Unbiblical Institutional Idol
Lesson: For errantly failing to repent of her idolatry, but rather seeking to rely on the nation Egypt for protection from God's judgment at the hand of invading Babylon, faithless Judah saw God make Egypt, their false institutional idol, first decline and then fall as Egypt herself was steeped in idolatry!
- The first of the Ten Commandments, a rule that God applies to us in our dispensational era, calls us to have no God besides the God of Scripture as our God, our Source of fulfillment, cf. Ex. 20:3; 1 John 5:21.
- However, as implied by 1 John 5:21b, and though the format may be different, we today still face the same temptation to make a kind of idol out of institutions that Old Testament Judah did; like the people of ancient Judah who looked to the institution of the nation, Egypt as their crutch of military safety rather than heed God so that the Lord had to judge both Judah and Egypt, herself an idolatrous institution, so we are tempted to rely on a nation's power, a church or family institution as our "idol" in place of the Lord!
- Jeremiah's prophecy of Egypt's fall thus addresses a timeless need to avoid making institutions our idols:
- Prophecies Against Egypt, Judah's Unbiblical Institutional Idol, Jeremiah 46:1-28.
- When the Lord initially delivered the people of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, He ordered Israel never again to seek its military aid nor to return to the land of Egypt for safety or fulfillment, cf. Deut. 17:16.
- However, opposite this directive, Judah sought a military defense treaty with [Assyria and] Egypt to hold off the threat of a Babylonian invasion, cf. Jeremiah 2:18 with Jeremiah 1:15-16.
- Accordingly, God not only brought the Babylonians to invade Judah for her sin, but He dealt out judgment upon Egypt, Judah's unbiblical institutional idol for her own faithless idolatry, Jeremiah 46:1-26:
- Through Jeremiah, God predicted the defeat of Egypt by Babylon at Carchemish north of Syria, a strife that tipped the balance of power in Babylon's favor so Egypt would decline as an institution, 46:1-12:
- The same year Judah's king Jehoiakim brazenly burned Jeremiah's scroll that contained God's prophecies against Judah and other nations for their sins (Jer. 36:1-3, 23), God had Jeremiah predict the defeat of Egypt at the hand of Babylon at Carchemish, Jeremiah 46:1; since Egypt had installed Jehoiakim on Judah's throne (2 Chr. 36:1-4) and Egypt herself deserved judgment as a land steeped in idolatry, the Lord countered what trust Jehoiakim had in sinful Egypt's institutional power that might have emboldened him to defy Jeremiah's word, and that by having Egypt defeated in battle.
- The prediction of that defeat is given in graphic detail in Jeremiah 46:2-9, 10-12; though Egypt is there shown trying to copy her Nile River that rises and floods the land in powerful conquest around it, God would cause the seemingly unstoppable Egyptians to be defeated and flee before Babylon!
- Yet, when the faithless remnant of Judah rejected Jeremiah's word from God to stay in Judah and trust God's protection, and instead they fled to the land of Egypt for safety in its institutional boundaries from Babylon, God had Jeremiah predict Babylon's invasion of Egypt to ruin it as a nation, 46:13-26:
- Jeremiah 46:13-26 predicts Babylon's invasion of Egypt when the faithless Judaean remnant fled to Egypt for protection in its institutional boundaries from the Babylonian army, cf. Jer. 43:1-13.
- Accordingly, Egypt, the nation that had become the crutch of safety for these faithless exiles, would herself fall as a land to Babylon for her own idolatry, Jeremiah 46:13-26, esp. verse 25.
- Egypt would eventually be reinhabited, but probably in Christ's Messianic Kingdom, Jer. 46:26a,b.
- However, in view of Egypt's demise, the fall of Judah's errant institutional idol, God promised the remnant of Judah would not be eradicated, but temporarily punished for their idolatry, Jeremiah 46:27-28! Being Judah's true and Sovereign God, Judah's fall was only temporary; God would raise her up again!
Application: (1) May we not look to an institution, be it a nation, church, family, business, etc. as our final source of blessing, for that is just another form of idolatry opposite God's call in 1 John 5:21! (2) Rather, may we rely on God ALONE as our Supreme Source of blessing; otherwise, He can remove that institutional "idol" upon which we have come to rely so we will HAVE to trust in Him ALONE!