READ: Jeremiah 50-51
THINK: Have you done any gardening or planted anything? While it may have surprised you when something actually grew, it's unlikely you were surprised by what grew. After all, it doesn't take a farmer to know that what you plant is what you'll harvest later on. This is also true in a spiritual sense. The character you develop determines the traits and behaviors that come out, and how you treat others will come back on you in some way. Babylon planted bad seeds of arrogance, self-reliance, cruelty, idol worship and immorality. As a result, the nation reaped God's judgment. The same is true in individual lives. Sins, like seeds, can grow and eventually lead to a horrible harvest. The New Testament warns: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:7).
RESPOND: Though Babylon was the predominant world power at the time, what would eventually happen to it, and why? (See 50:1 note.) What had happened to many of God's people by the time of this prophecy, and how would that change as God continued to work out His plan of salvation? (See 50:1 note, subpoint 1.) What future implications still remain for Jeremiah's prophecy about the downfall of Babylon, and when will these events take place? (See 50:1 note, subpoint 2.) Who would conquer Babylon in Jeremiah's time? (See 50:3 and 51:11 notes.) What are "those days" (50:4), and what will happen with Israel and Judah at that time? (See 50:4-5 note.) How had Israel been scattered (50:17), and how would the same thing happen to Judah? (See 50:17 note.) In what way does 50:33-34 encourage you? Why would God ensure the total overthrow of ancient Babylon, and how does this symbolize what will happen in the last days to come? (See 51:1-64 note.) Why did God tell His people to "flee from Babylon" (51:6), and how does this illustrate how Christ's followers must live, particularly in the last days? (See 51:6 note.) In what ways had Babylon planted "bad seed" and what harvest would they receive? (See 51:33 note.)
PRAY: Give God thanks for forgiving you and freeing you from spiritual captivity through a personal relationship with Jesus. Praise Jesus for His future conquest and destruction of all evil.
ACT: Treat people how you want to be treated, and don't hold them to standards you wouldn't want enforced on you.
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