06 Cruel Captivity

By John Thiel, Lessons from the Life of Nebuchadnezzar Conference, Audio: mp3

We are focusing upon the invasion of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar. We are often ignorant as to the details of this subject. Therefore we are now looking at the detail of this invasion for one important purpose, to learn the character of this king, so that in our continuing studies we may be able to see what sort of a character he had and what the Lord was doing to operate in his life. So that we may have an object lesson for dealing with our own character.

We have considered the condition of Judah in their insubordination. Their behaviour was of a nature that would arouse the ire of Nebuchadnezzar. The invasion of Judah that Nebuchadnezzar led out, and of the other nations, was a very interesting procedure. He approached the building of his empire in a very subtle and strategic way. God could use his attitudes and his nature in its unconverted state as an instrument to be a scourge of punishment upon Judah. God is saying to Israel, I am going to do this to you; but we observe again that the way in which He does it is different to what we expect.

Each actor in history stands in his lot and place; for God’s great work after His own plan will be carried out by men who have prepared themselves to fill positions for good or evil. {12MR 390.2}

When God said of Nebuchadnezzar, He is My servant to deal with Judah, it was because Nebuchadnezzar had prepared himself so that God could use him like that. His words to Judah were, “I frame evil against you.” He was framing evil against Judah in the manner that Nebuchadnezzar had prepared himself to do.

In opposition to righteousness, men become instruments of unrighteousness. But their course of action is unforced. {12MR 390.2}

He is doing things from his own motivation of his own choices, but he is fulfilling God’s plan. It is unforced. He is doing his own thing, and God is using that.

They need not have become instruments of unrighteousness any more than need Cain. God said to him, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? … {12MR 390.2}

Men of all characters, righteous and unrighteous, will stand in their positions. With the characters they have formed, they will act their part in the fulfillment of history. In a crisis, just at the right moment, men will stand in the places they have prepared themselves to fill. {12MR 390.3}

God didn’t prepare them. They prepared themselves for it.

Believers and unbelievers will fall into line as witnesses, to confirm truth which they do not themselves comprehend. {12MR 390.3}

They themselves don’t comprehend that they are actually fulfilling truth. We are seeing God in the invasion of Judah using Nebuchadnezzar who had prepared himself to do that. Just at the right time and in the right situation everything transpired. We are looking at the heathen side of Nebuchadnezzar as he invades Judah. We see how even in his heathen side he is also considerate because that was his nature – a very intelligent, considerate heathen. God could work and coordinate that kind of person to fill the position that He chose for him and for Judah.

God had told Judah through Jeremiah to submit themselves under the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah was called upon to go into the counsel where these representatives from the different nations were present with a yoke of wood over his shoulders (Jeremiah 27:1-8). He said, If you will place yourselves under Nebuchadnezzar you will continue to live peaceably in your land and Nebuchadnezzar will govern you, but you will govern yourselves as well. You will be vassals of Nebuchadnezzar. A vassal is somebody who takes care of a land belonging to someone else. Nebuchadnezzar was conquering the nations and they became his. But he had them controlling his dominion. If they would place themselves under this yoke, this is what would happen to them:

Jeremiah 27:11 But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.

God could tell them this because that was the nature that Nebuchadnezzar had, and He could use Nebuchadnezzar for this situation. But Nebuchadnezzar had another nature; he had that nature of being a bitter and hasty person, and if they would not submit, it would be an iron yoke. That is what God warned of.

Nebuchadnezzar would build up his empire by leaving the nations in their land in peace but in servitude to him if they would submit. That is not an easy thing for proud nations to do. They are ready to say, I am not going to be submissive to this king. Well, he said, okay, if you are not going to be submissive, I am going to crush you. But you are to be my empire.

Nebuchadnezzar came into the scene and began to make inroads upon Judah in such a very intelligent manner that if they would submit, it would be fine with them. One of the last faithful kings of Judah was Hezekiah. In the days of his sickness, as he was close to death (2 Kings 20), Isaiah came to him and said, You are going to die. Hezekiah said, Please, I don’t want to die. He pleaded with God, and Isaiah then came back to him and said, God has heard your prayer. Hezekiah then said, How do I know whether the Lord is going to help me? Isaiah told him that the sun dial was going to go backwards ten degrees. That event was noted all around the world. The Chaldeans, the Assyrian people in Babylon, noticed this and sent their ambassadors over to ask, “What is this? What has happened?” Hezekiah had a precious opportunity to glorify God, but what did he do? Instead of glorifying God he showed them all his wealth. He took them into the temple and into his treasure house, and they goggle-eyed it thinking to themselves, This is a wealthy nation. Although Hezekiah failed God, he repented and the Lord continued to bless him, but He warned him that Judah would be attacked and that He was going to punish Judah but not in his lifetime. When Hezekiah finally died, there came the next king, Manasseh.

Manasseh was fluctuating and the condition of Judah went worse. The people were still worshipping idols in Judah and God was going to punish them. But Manasseh ended up for a while in Babylon. These were the beginnings of the inroads of Babylon upon Judah in Manasseh’s situation. He became a captive there and because he repented the Lord released him and he came back and was a good king again.

Then came Ammon his son. Ammon was wicked. The condition of Judah went downhill so badly that after Ammon finally came to his death, through the rebellion of the people against him, the young Josiah, a little boy of only eight years old, was put up on the throne. This eight year old boy was faithful to the Lord. He got rid of all the idol-worshipping places in Jerusalem and in Judah and it was recorded very clearly that he was a faithful king. He was the last one. After him, and that is where our story commences, came the invasion of Judah.

Even though Josiah was such a good king, when he came to just under thirty years of age he did something in his weakness that finally cost his life:

2 Chronicles 35:20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Charchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. 21 But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? [I come] not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from [meddling with] God, who [is] with me, that he destroy thee not.

Isn’t it interesting? Here was another king that was moved upon by God, and he acknowledged it. He said, Why are you meddling around? I am not fighting you. Listen to God; don’t meddle.

2 Chronicles 35:22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. 23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. 24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in [one of] the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.

That was the end of the line of faithful kings. All the prophecies that were uttered by Isaiah and Jeremiah against Judah now began to take place during the life of the next king. Jehoahaz came in after Josiah but he was very soon obliterated and there came after him Jehoiakim.

2 Chronicles 36:5 Jehoiakim [was] twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD his God.

Here is where Nebuchadnezzar comes in.

2 Chronicles 36:6 Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the LORD to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. 8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that which was found in him, behold, they [are] written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead.

Jehoiakim was taken to Babylon together with a whole group of princes. It was at this time that Daniel and his friends were taken. But as Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah and took Jehoiakim, another one came on the throne:

2 Chronicles 36:9 Jehoiachin [was] eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD. 10 And when the year was expired, king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the LORD, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem.

Here is an interesting development. Zedekiah was put in his position by Nebuchadnezzar.

2 Chronicles 36:11 Zedekiah [was] one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. 12 And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD his God, [and] humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet [speaking] from the mouth of the LORD. 13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.

Here you have the line-up from Josiah, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and then Zedekiah. Jehoiakim reigned for eleven years; then for only three months was Jehoiachin on the throne; then Zedekiah reigned for eleven years. It is during that period of time from Jehoiakim through to Zedekiah that the invasion of Judah took place. We now seek for an expansion on the understanding of this from the Spirit of Prophecy, to actually see what Nebuchadnezzar was doing in this slow piece-meal in the invasion of Judah, and to discover his amazing personality in his doings.

The first years of Jehoiakim’s reign were filled with warnings of approaching doom. The word of the Lord spoken by the prophets was about to be fulfilled. The Assyrian power to the northward, long supreme, was no longer to rule the nations. Egypt on the south, in whose power the king of Judah was vainly placing his trust, was soon to receive a decided check. All unexpectedly a new world power, the Babylonian Empire, was rising to the eastward and swiftly overshadowing all other nations. {PK 422.1} 

Within a few short years the king of Babylon was to be used as the instrument of God’s wrath upon impenitent Judah. {PK 422.2}

Remember, God could use him as His instrument because He let him in his own development take this role.

Again and again Jerusalem was to be invested and entered by the besieging armies of Nebuchadnezzar. Company after company–at first a few only, but later on thousands and tens of thousands–were to be taken captive to the land of Shinar, there to dwell in enforced exile. Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah–all these Jewish kings were in turn to become vassals of the Babylonian ruler, and all in turn were to rebel. {PK 422.2}

God had sent to them and said, Place yourselves under; but they rebelled. Nebuchadnezzar was giving them their freedom to some degree, to be vassals under him and to rule the land that was now his because he had now conquered them, yet they did not submit and they did not do what God said. Do we have to do what the nations expect of us? When God says so, yes. That is the object lesson. God had said, Submit yourselves to those nations. He says the same to us today. Obey them whom God has placed over us. Don’t raise your voice against them. Same story. But because the Jewish people were not doing it. 

Severer and yet more severe chastisements were to be inflicted upon the rebellious nation, until at last the entire land was to become a desolation, Jerusalem was to be laid waste and burned with fire, the temple that Solomon had built was to be destroyed, and the kingdom of Judah was to fall, never again to occupy its former position among the nations of earth. {PK 422.2}

God had pleaded with Judah not to provoke Him to anger, but they had hearkened not. Finally sentence was pronounced against them. They were to be led away captive to Babylon. The Chaldeans were to be used as the instrument by which God would chastise His disobedient people. The sufferings of the men of Judah were to be in proportion to the light they had had and to the warnings they had despised and rejected. Long had God delayed His judgments, but now He would visit His displeasure upon them as a last effort to check them in their evil course. {PK 425.2}

God used Nebuchadnezzar because of his particular strategy of putting a process of repeated invasions over the reign of those three kings to try and bring them to their senses and submit, to punish them, and to see whether they would respond. He could use Nebuchadnezzar like that because that was his attitude of raising his empire. It was a perfect actor in God’s plan for Him to be able to do this.

Jehoiakim was taken into captivity. The philosophy of history is that the strength of nations, as well as of individuals, is measured by the fidelity with which they fulfil God’s purpose.

It was God’s purpose that Jehoiakim should heed the counsels of Jeremiah and thus win favor in the eyes of Nebuchadnezzar and save himself much sorrow. {PK 437.3}

That was God’s purpose. Did Jehoiakim show fidelity to that? No; he did as Judah were doing. They were not fulfilling the philosophy of heaven. God could have used Jehoiakim if he would have submitted. Then it would have been an altogether different history .

The youthful king had sworn allegiance to the Babylonian ruler, and had he remained true to his promise he would have commanded the respect of the heathen, and this would have led to precious opportunities for the conversion of souls. {PK 437.3}

God gave Jehoiakim the privilege to be used as an instrument to convert, maybe even Nebuchadnezzar at an earlier stage. But no. He failed. He was not in fidelity. Therefore, although he had promised to be loyal to the ruler of Babylon,

Scorning the unusual privileges granted him, Judah’s king willfully followed a way of his own choosing. {PK 438.1}

Do you notice something here about Nebuchadnezzar? “The unusual privileges granted him.” This is Nebuchadnezzar.

He violated his word of honor to the Babylonian ruler, and rebelled. This brought him and his kingdom into a very strait place. Against him were sent “bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon,” and he was powerless to prevent the land from being overrun by these marauders. 2 Kings 24:2. Within a few years he closed his disastrous reign in ignominy, rejected of Heaven, unloved by his people, and despised by the rulers of Babylon whose confidence he had betrayed–and all as the result of his fatal mistake in turning from the purpose of God as revealed through His appointed messenger. {PK 438.1}

Our strength is dependent upon, and is measured by, the fidelity with which we will fulfill God’s purpose. Here it is played out in front of us. We have the object lesson here in Nebuchadnezzar’s dealings with Judah, and in Judah’s response to this interesting king. Now comes the next ruler:

The kingdom of Judah, broken in power and robbed of its strength both in men and in treasure, was nevertheless still permitted to exist as a separate government. At its head Nebuchadnezzar placed Mattaniah, a younger son of Josiah, changing his name to Zedekiah. {PK 439.1}

Are you getting the picture of Nebuchadnezzar? He has just been rejected by King Jehoiakim. He says, You are coming into captivity, and I am taken a lot of princes with me (that was when Daniel and his three friends were taken captive).

Here is another son of Josiah, I will put him in as a vassal over the kingdom. “At its head,” at the head of the government of Judah, “Nebuchadnezzar placed … Zedekiah.” This is the man he was. I am discovering something about Nebuchadnezzar that is noble and at the same time cruel. Why was it a cruel captivity? Because these people that he put into position and who had promised allegiance to him, rebelled.

Jehoiachin [also known as Jeconiah, and Coniah], the son of Jehoiakim, occupied the throne only three months and ten days, when he surrendered to the Chaldean armies which, because of the rebellion of Judah’s ruler, were once more besieging the fated city. On this occasion Nebuchadnezzar “carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king’s mother, and the king’s wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land,” several thousand in number, together with “craftsmen and smiths a thousand.” With these the king of Babylon took “all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house.” 2 Kings 24:15, 16, 13. {PK 438.2}

The story was that right down to Zedekiah the king Nebuchadnezzar was fair-minded, even though these people were so rebellious. Like Jehoiakim, Zedekiah had precious opportunities.

Zedekiah at the beginning of his reign was trusted fully by the king of Babylon {PK 440.1} 

These Jewish people were so obnoxious to him, yet he trusted them. He trusted fully Zedekiah,

…and had as a tried counselor the prophet Jeremiah. {PK 440.1} 

King Nebuchadnezzar got to know Jeremiah and he trusted him as a good counsel for Zedekiah.

By pursuing an honorable course toward the Babylonians and by paying heed to the messages from the Lord through Jeremiah, he could have kept the respect of many in high authority and have had opportunity to communicate to them a knowledge of the true God. {PK 440.1} 

Can you now see what the background of the counsel of Jeremiah with the wooden yoke was? They could have honoured God and been effective to witness, as Daniel and his friends finally were. But these ones failed.

Thus the captive exiles already in Babylon would have been placed on vantage ground and granted many liberties; the name of God would have been honored far and wide; and those that remained in the land of Judah would have been spared the terrible calamities that finally came upon them. {PK 440.1} 

The temple of Solomon should never have been destroyed if they would have been faithful. It would have stood there continually. But no. With Nebuchadnezzar’s fair-mindedness they kept on goading him. They kept on resisting God’s counsel. Therefore God said alright then.

Through Jeremiah, Zedekiah and all Judah, including those taken to Babylon, were counseled to submit quietly to the temporary rule of their conquerors. {PK 440.2} 

They were only going to rule there during the life of Nebuchadnezzar, his son, and his son’s son; then they were to be released. So Judah were told to submit.

It was especially important that those in captivity should seek the peace of the land into which they had been carried. This, however, was contrary to the inclinations of the human heart; {PK 440.2} 

God’s word identified the Babylonians as heathens, and God’s word identifies the Papacy in its corruption, but do we have to attack them for it? That is what these people were doing. According to the natural heart they felt that it was alright to do so. So it is today. They will attack and they will write against these nations and governments that are over us today as well. This submission is contrary to the inclinations of the human heart.

…and Satan, taking advantage of the circumstances, caused false prophets to arise among the people, both in Jerusalem and in Babylon, who declared that the yoke of bondage would soon be broken and the former prestige of the nation restored. {PK 440.2}

But those were false prophets. By not heeding Jeremiah’s wooden yoke Zedekiah endangered Judah.

The unrest caused by the representations of the false prophets brought Zedekiah under suspicion of treason, and only by quick and decisive action on his part was he permitted to continue reigning as a vassal. {PK 447.1}

Zedekiah realised that they were going to raise their voices against Nebuchadnezzar, but we better step back. Nebuchadnezzar again shows his two colours. Although he could feel rebellion coming up, he says, alright. What does Zedekiah do?

Opportunity for such action was taken advantage of shortly after the return of the ambassadors from Jerusalem to the surrounding nations, when the king of Judah accompanied Seraiah, “a quiet prince,” on an important mission to Babylon. Jeremiah 51:59. During this visit to the Chaldean court, Zedekiah renewed his oath of allegiance to Nebuchadnezzar. {PK 447.1} 

Zedekiah could see that, We are going to get in trouble here; so he very quickly goes to the king Nebuchadnezzar and says, I am giving you my oath of allegiance, I am not going to rise against you. The sad story then continues.

Through Daniel and others of the Hebrew captives, the Babylonian monarch had been made acquainted with the power and supreme authority of the true God; and when Zedekiah once more solemnly promised to remain loyal, Nebuchadnezzar required him to swear to this promise in the name of the Lord God of Israel. {PK 447.2}

Is this not interesting history? Nebuchadnezzar said, You people trust the Lord God, now you promise me in the name of the Lord. That is what Zedekiah did.

Had Zedekiah respected this renewal of his covenant oath, his loyalty would have had a profound influence on the minds of many who were watching the conduct of those who claimed to reverence the name and to cherish the honor of the God of the Hebrews. {PK 447.2}

Zedekiah had a wonderful opportunity again. Can you see these precious opportunities? But because of the natural heart and the false teachers he kept on fluctuating. When he finally fluctuated for the last time, this is what happened:

But Judah’s king lost sight of his high privilege of bringing honor to the name of the living God. Of Zedekiah it is recorded: “He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the Lord God of Israel.” 2 Chronicles 36:12, 13. {PK 447.3}

Very tragically the story turns into a total, sad experience of destruction.

2 Chronicles 36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:

In the compassion that God had for them, He could use the fair-mindedness of King Nebuchadnezzar to show compassion. It is a fascinating interplay of the hand between the wheels in the midst of wheels, those complications. But although God had compassion and Nebuchadnezzar had this fair-mindedness….

2 Chronicles 36:16 …they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till [there was] no remedy. 17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave [them] all into his hand. 

Now, because of their rebellious behaviour, God was using Nebuchadnezzar’s harsh, cruel nature in response.

2 Chronicles 36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all [these] he brought to Babylon. 19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. 

Here is the description of the entire decimation of Jerusalem and of the Judaic kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar was a heathen idolater and was brought to such violent reaction. In the midst of all this, look at his magnanimous attitude towards Jeremiah. As Nebuchadnezzar was there to destroy Jerusalem, what is his instruction to his general?

Jeremiah 39:11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, 12 Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee.

Is this not a beautiful gesture? We are getting to know Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah was in prison because Zedekiah had put him there.

Released from prison by the Babylonian officers, the prophet chose to cast in his lot with the feeble remnant, certain “poor of the land” left by the Chaldeans to be “vinedressers and husbandmen.” Over these the Babylonians set Gedaliah as governor. Only a few months passed before the newly appointed governor was treacherously slain. The poor people, after passing through many trials, were finally persuaded by their leaders to take refuge in the land of Egypt. Against this move, Jeremiah lifted his voice in protest. “Go ye not into Egypt,” he pleaded. But the inspired counsel was not heeded, and “all the remnant of Judah, . . . even men, and women, and children,” took flight into Egypt. “They obeyed not the voice of the Lord: thus came they even to Tahpanhes.” Jeremiah 43:5-7. {PK 460.2}

Jeremiah was protected, and he remained in the area of Jerusalem even though it was destroyed in general, because Nebuchadnezzar had said, protect him. This is the caliber of the king Nebuchadnezzar in the invasion of Judah. As he revealed his nature, God saw something in Nebuchadnezzar that he could save. He knew Nebuchadnezzar all along, and we are now actually observing what He was seeing.

The eye of the Lord is upon all the work, all the plans, all the imaginings of every mind; He sees beneath the surface of things, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is not a deed of darkness, not a plan, not an imagination of the heart, not a thought of the mind, but that He reads it as an open book. Every act, every word, every motive, is faithfully chronicled in the records by the great Heart Searcher who said, “I know thy works.” {TM 463.3}

He says to Laodicea, I know your works. In the demonstration of Nebuchadnezzar we can see what God could understand about him so that He could use Nebuchadnezzar. He knew exactly how Nebuchadnezzar would react. He knew something about Nebuchadnezzar that was so noble and so good that He could actually help and restore and convert this man.

Every soul is the object of the loving interest of Him who gave His life that He might bring men back to God. This earnest, persevering interest expressed by our heavenly Father teaches us that the helpless and outcast are not to be passed by indifferently. They are the Lord’s by creation and by redemption. If we were left to ourselves to judge, we would regard many who are degraded as hopeless. {WM 246.2}

Have you ever seen somebody and you thought, This is a hopeless case? If you had looked at Nebuchadnezzar you would have probably thought, What a hopeless case; every time he gets stirred up he gets wild and he goes and destroys. But underneath God sees other things, and we are to learn that lesson with each other and with others around us. Hopeless case? No, stop thinking that way! This is not for us to do. These people are “the Lord’s by creation and by redemption. If we were left to ourselves to judge, we would regard many who are degraded as hopeless.

But the Lord sees the value of the silver in them. {WM 246.2}

The Lord saw the value of the silver in Nebuchadnezzar and we’ve seen it demonstrated what sort of silver he had. God sees it, and we are to see and look for the silver inside of every person. By God’s true method we are to bring it forth into function, as He did with Nebuchadnezzar, and we are to learn the lesson by studying Nebuchadnezzar.

Though they do not look for help, He regards them as precious. {WM 246.2}

Have you ever judged somebody with all their characteristics and you thought, They’re not looking for help, so why should I help them? Can you see what we are to learn here, what sort of an attitude we are to have to people around us that we write off because it’s left to our own human judgment?

Though they do not look for help, He regards them as precious. The one who sees beneath the surface knows how to deal with human minds. He knows how to bring men to repentance. {WM 246.2}

He knows how to bring men to repentance, don’t you try and do it.

He knows that if they see themselves as sinners, they will repent and be converted to the truth. This is the work we are to engage in.–Letter 80, 1898. {WM 246.2}

This is the work we are to engage in.” Here we have the punchline of this study. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah. He was intelligent; he was wise; he was cruel; and yet there was something there which God could use and save. It is according to this object lesson that we are to regard every human being around us. Every time you hear somebody denouncing another person as hopeless, remind them of the study we have had here. “Don’t do that, remember Nebuchadnezzar.” Here in Nebuchadnezzar, we see revealed something that Jesus came to save.

Luke 19:9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

God could see in Nebuchadnezzar so that he could become a son of Abraham. God could see, and therefore Jesus was sent to come and seek that element and save that which was lost. This that we have concluded here will continue to be the object of our contemplation. The long-patience with which we are going to see God dealing with Nebuchadnezzar is the object lesson for us to deal with one another. People failing again and again, showing conviction and then going wrong, showing conviction and then forgetting and becoming just as bad as what they were before. We are going to watch through the rest of these studies how God could save that which was lost. This is to be our work, learning how God dealt with Nebuchadnezzar, and functioning in harmony with God.

May the Lord help us to take these lessons to heart and never ever again communicate negativities, not after we have meditated upon this beautiful subject, this is my prayer.

Posted on February 6, 2015, in Nebuchadnezzar Life Lessons and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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