Calamities Chase Chastisement.


Most of the world’s population can not see God at work in nations and in
human affairs simply because they do not see God at work in calamities.  
Recently the Pope made a statement about calamities like the earthquake
and Tsunami in Japan, with the nuclear disaster, indicative of the thinking
of “the world”, “You will not find God in any violence or destruction.”  The
Pope unfortunately has not read his Bible lately, and certainly not the book
of Jeremiah.  On the Word of God, and its truth, we stand; like Martin
Luther said, “our conscience is captive to the Word of God”.  And just a
little time and effort will show any reader with a grain of intellectual
honesty, that God both brought calamity on Jerusalem and brings calamity
today.

In short, the consistent teachings of the Bible are that every time you hear
of or see a calamity in the news, before that calamity there was the need
for chastisement of those people!  And only by the grace of God, and
never do we hear people say that in the news interviews, we are not those
people this time!

27-1:  God Himself Brought All the Calamity on Jerusalem.

“Thus says the LORD of hosts {always a title for God stressing His
nature as the God of all the nations}, the God of Israel:  ‘You have
seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the
cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one
dwells in them.”  (Jeremiah 44:2)

1.  Sorry Pope for a few Bible facts that interfere with your desired
prejudices toward history, GOD HIMSELF destroyed Jerusalem and the
cities of Jerusalem.  What part of this Bible statement do you fail to
understand, “You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on
Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah...” ?
2.  Behold, this day, Jerusalem and Judah are a desolation with no
residents.  If you do not see the pathos and catastrophe in these words
from the book of Jeremiah, near the end of Jeremiah, then perhaps you
will see it in the historical words from Josephus.

“...and such was the end of the nation of the Hebrews, as it hath been
delivered down to us, it having twice gone beyond Euphrates; for the
people of the ten tribes were carried out of Samaria by the Assyrians in
the days of king Hoshea; after which the people of the two tribes that
remained after Jerusalem was taken [were carried away] by
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon and Chaldea.”

And hear the words of God Himself about the pouring out of His own fury
and anger to destroy Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, making them
desolate.

“So My fury and My anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of
Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and
desolate, as it is this day.”  (Jeremiah 44:6)

3.  Jeremiah chapter 44 is a good summary of all that happened to God’s
people of Jerusalem and Judah, a good summary of the whole book of
Jeremiah, and at least here in the Word of God of chapter 44 we have a
complete explanation of why it happened.  God Himself destroyed
{granted through Babylon and His servant Nebuchadnezzar} Jerusalem,
the temple, and the cities of Judah

“BECAUSE OF THEIR WICKEDNESS WHICH THEY HAVE
COMMITTED TO PROVOKE ME TO ANGER, IN THAT THEY WENT
TO BURN INCENSE AND TO SERVE OTHER GODS WHOM THEY
DID NOT KNOW, THEY NOR YOU NOR YOUR FATHERS.”  (Jeremiah
44:3)

There is God’s own summary, through Jeremiah, of why God brought
these calamities of complete destruction on Jerusalem and Judah:

NOTE:  A Bible search question asked the other day, who is the
nation of Judah.  Well Judah, two tribes of Israel, were all that
remained after the 10 northern tribes of the nation of Israel were taken
captive or killed.

(1).  The wickedness of God’s people provoked Him to anger;
(2). Specifically they burned incense in worship and service to other gods;
(3).  Like Paul would say much later at Mar’s Hill in Greece, and as
recorded in the book of Acts, they were participating in the worship and
service of UNKNOWN gods, the people of Jeremiah did not know them,
and their forefathers did not know them.

27-2:  Like in Jeremiah, today when you consider the current history
of contemporary news, if you eliminate calamities, you also eliminate
most of history and current events.  Certainly you eliminate at least
half of God at work in the world today if you eliminate calamites in
favor of only the blessings of God!

Look at all the “acts of God” at work in the news today like the earthquake,
Tsunami, and nuclear crisis in Japan; the wildfires in Texas and New
Mexico, and the single storm that raged across 14 States spawning 240
tornadoes and killing and destroying.  Just consider what this single storm
did in North Carolina, a State because it is the home of Billy Graham and
stronghold of the Bible belt, certainly a State where they consider
themselves to be among God’s people of today, any preacher or Pope or
active church member would never, ever admit--although completely true--
that God was at work in those calamities, trying to get the attention of His
own people in the United Sates like He has been in the series of intense
calamities since 911; and furthermore God, having previously chastised
these same people, now is chasing them, like in Egypt after the destruction
of Jerusalem, with calamities to complete the chastisement.

NOTE:  What is being said is not only, clearly according to the Bible,
does God work through tornadoes, hurricanes like in Katrina, and
earthquakes--also in droughts and rains with flooding; but God is, by
these means and some other means, working out today His discipline
of His own people.  In short, (1) God chastises today often; and (2)
God uses “acts of God” and of nature to chase the chastisement with
calamites.  I think recently Governor Perry of Texas caught on when
after the Possum Kingdom Lake fire destroyed thousands of acres,
and homes, and millions of acres throughout Texas with a promise of
much more with the worse drought in Texas and New Mexico of 70
years, the Governor responding with an urge for the people of Texas
to pray.

27-3:  The Calamities as you will see in Jeremiah 44 chased God’s
people down into Egypt, the very thing they were trying to escape
after the destruction and desolation of Jerusalem.  {With a thorough
study and exegesis of some verses in chapter 44, we begin to see
how God worked with His own people to chastise them, and
therefore how God works today to chastise and discipline His own
people.}

NOTE:  First comes the verbal chastisement and warning, and then
since “Calamities Chase Chastisement”, the calamities follow to
provide the discipline of God’s own people.

How fickle God’s people were then and now?  In Jeremiah 42 the captains
of the remaining army and others in the remaining remnant of Judah asked
Jeremiah to pray to God for a blessing to go down to Egypt, saying over
and over that they would hence do whatever God told them; and when
after 10 days God gave them a negative answer (42:7), they determined to
go anyway in spite of promised chastisement and calamities from God, in
chapter 43 taking Jeremiah captive with them.

“Now it happened, when Jeremiah had stopped speaking to all the
people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their
God had sent him to them, all these words, that Azriah the son of
Hoshaiah, Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men spoke,
saying to Jeremiah, ‘You speak falsely!  The LORD our God has not
sent you to say, “Do not go to Egypt to dwell there.”  (Jeremiah 43:1,2)

NOTE:  Today and then, self-denial is the route to go when God’s
people do not get the answers from God that they want and think they
need!

“But Baruch the son of Neriah has set you against us, to deliver us
into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may put us to death or carry
us away captive to Babylon.  So Johanan the son of Kareah, all the
captains of the forces took all the remnant of Judah, who had
returned to dwell in the land of Egypt, from all nations where they had
been driven--men, women, children, the king’s daughters, and every
person whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with
Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shapah, and Jeremiah the
prophet, and Baruch, the son of Neriah.  So they went to the land of
Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of the LORD.  And they went as
far as Tahpanhes.”  (Jeremiah 43:3-7)

How different the history of Israel could have been had only this
remnant stayed in Mispah and Judah to retain a claim of continuity on
the land!

27-4:  History and the Message of God come together in chapter 44 {in
fact, we find predictive prophesy is this latest “word from God” (44;1)
of exactly what is going to happen to the remaining Jews in the nation
of Egypt}; as does the human nature of God’s own people as the
Jews in Egypt respond to God’s Message.  The answer of God’s
people in chapter 44 is divided into two parts, as you saw in the last
study of Jeremiah, (1) Jeremiah 44:15-19, answer of the men and
women whose wives were caught burning incense to other gods;
and (2) Jeremiah 44:20-30, answer to all the Jews in Egypt.

Thus chapter 44 naturally divides itself into 3 sections for the purpose of
more detailed Bible study and exegesis.
1.  Jeremiah 44:1-14:  A Summary of all the history and destruction in
Judah and the promise of more for God’s remnant in Egypt.

“Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:  ‘Behold, I
will set My face against you for catastrophe and for cutting off all
Judah.”  (44:11)

Note:  You say that you have salvation because God said so in His
Word the Bible, which by the way is true of course, without admitting
like in the verse above that God sends calamities, is very inconsistent
on your faith and belief in the Bible as both history and the Word of
God!

2.  Jeremiah 44:15-19:  the men speak up for their wives that are burning
incense to the Queen of heaven, and then the women speak.

“As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the
LORD, we will not listen to you!  But we will certainly do whatever
has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of
heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and
our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the
streets of Jerusalem,  For then we had plenty of food, were well-off,
and saw no trouble.”  (Jeremiah 44:16,17)

Wow, what will be the answer of God to the excuse for idol worship:  “then
we had plenty of food, were well-off {sounds like the gospel of prosperity},
and saw no trouble {there was peace and security in the land, or at least,
so they thought.
3.  Jeremiah 44:20-30:  God’s predictive and immediate prophesy for all
the Jews in Egypt.

“Behold, I will watch over them for adversity and not for good.  And
all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed
by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them.”  (Jeremiah
44:27)

AN END TO THEM!  Have you ever heard or studied a message of Bible
teaching where God watches over His own people “for adversity and not
for good”.  Of course not, you say because there is no need for the
discipline and chastisement of God’s people today!  Don’t you wish.  
Where do you think this long string of intense calamities since 911 are
coming from except from God?

27-5:  Look at it this way:  do you think this string of calamities since
911 could have happened without the blessings and direction of God.  
{Maybe “blessing” is not the proper word, as this intense series of
calamities since 911 are a curse, to use the proper word in the Bible
where the covenant of God for good (blessing) or bad (curse) is well
established for a nation of God’s own people.}

Recall how Benjamin Franklin said at the Continental Convention during
laborious efforts to establish a new nation, “If a sparrow can not fall to the
ground without the attention of God, it is certain that a new nation can not
rise to greatness without His blessing.  Have you listened to the news
interviews in Joplin, Missouri after the devastating tornado that ripped out
approximately one-third of the town, and before that the interviews in
Birmingham, Alabama.  One thing is obvious that people don’t know what
to say except to show the American frontier spirit that “we will rebuild”, or
“we in this community are resilient or tuff, and we will survive.”  Surely what
God wants to hear is that as a nation we have humbled themselves under
the mighty hand of God, commenced serious prayers and seeking the face
of God while turning from wicked ways and doings, that God’s people in
Jeremiah refused to do for over 200 years--especially from the wicked
way of IDOLATRY.  Thousands of Americans are beginning to suspect
that God’s people in America are doing something wrong; and for the life
of them they can not figure it out since they go to church, or if not, are in
the moral majority, and they live in a Bible belt community of many
churches.  Well, you see that is exactly what God’s people in temple
worship were saying the last years before the destruction of Jerusalem,
and the rest of God’s people that fled to Egypt, “the temple of the LORD,
the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these.”
Call the many houses of God--by the way many of which are increasingly
being destroyed in these calamities--call them a “den of thieves” like Jesus
did or in Jeremiah 7:11, call them a “hideout for bad habits” which is the
equivalent, or go to the very bottom line on the matter of IDOLATRY, You
who like Paul wrote in Romans 2:22, “You who abhor idols, do you rob
temples”.  The moral majority of that day, that is the Jewish people of the
time of Christ and Paul who considered themselves to be the most
religious of all people, and in many ways they were exactly that, did not
look at THE MORE THAN LITERAL MEANING of the 10 commandments
where they could murder without killing, and commit adultery without an
overt act, and so on through the 10 commandments to the almost pinnacle
of committing adultery by robbing temples.
Do you not see the similarity between what Jesus said and what Jeremiah
previously said from which Jesus quoted about “den of thieves ” and “a
house of merchandising”?  And perhaps you are horrified to think that you
active church members, including your leaders,  are IDOLATERS in that
you are robbing temples by using whatever house of God that you belong
to for your personal use, comfort, and status rather than for real worship
and prayer to the LORD God of the Universe, who is the Father of the
Lord Jesus Christ!  And it is more serious than that for dedicated
Christians in that you have a greater understanding of the temple of God
after the time and teachings of Christ, you can easily rob that temple by
IDOLATRY of Jesus Christ, by mis-uses not for the glory of God.  In
short, calamities are coming from God, intensely and frequently, because
church members are not serious to the point of supreme loyalty about
God, Christ, and the Bible!
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