3 For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith Yahweh, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;

We have now come to the final years of the kingdom. Zedekiah plotted and intrigued with Egypt against Babylon, until Nebuchadnezzar decided that the only solution was the complete destruction of Judah. We see how step by step the stubborn wickedness of this people brought catastrophe upon them.

The final events now move swiftly. Nebuchadnezzar's army comes and besieges Jerusalem; the king of Egypt set out to relieve them; the Babylonians go to meet him,leaving the city free .

At this point Zedekiah sends to Jeremiah to seek counsel from the Lord. It is strange, but perhaps very human, that all the way through this people seem to recognize that Jeremiah

is a true prophet of the Lord, but still they hate him for his prophecies, as if they were his own personal opinions. The answer of God was devoid of any comfort-

"Deceive not your self: the Babylonians shall take this city and burn it with fire."

While the Babylonian army was gone to meet the Egyptians. Jeremiah tried to leave Jerusalem and go to the land of Benjamin but was halted at the gate and charged with deserting to the enemy.

Why he decided to go we cannot tell. Apparently God's will was that he should remain with the city to the end, and this would seem more fitting in view of his appointed position,

though it was very hard on him, and his desire to leave this hopeless, condemned place was very natural and understandable.

His greatest trials and dangers now begin. It seems that in his own body he must suffer to the full the increasing calamities that are befalling the city. He is beaten and then cast into a miry dungeon as a traitor and, we read, he remained there "many days." Many days in the dismal filth of this dungeon, not knowing what the next day would bring, nor if he would ever again see light.

When we compare our prosperous, easy, comfortable lives, and the many luxuries we so take for granted, with the faithful, suffering pilgrimage of the holy men of old, we are overwhelmed with shame and unworthiness.

We have largely degenerated to the conception that life is a self-pleasing matter of fine homes, fine cars, light social intercourse, picnics and games. What can arouse us to the terrible realities before it is too late?

Bro Growcott - BYT 4.17.

33 And they have turned unto Me the back [oref], and not the face [panim]: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened [paid heed] to receive instruction [musar].

Why should not man be at liberty to choose his own way, and follow his own bent? Why should his doing so be a cause of divine anger? The answer is at once of a boundless depth and of Sunday school simplicity. God has made all things for Himself, and especially man. The earth is not for man, except man fulfil the end for which God placed him on it, which was that he might glorify God and taste the true sweetness of his own nature in rendering to Him the submission of a loving obedience and the homage of a sincere worship.

If we ask why should God make His glory the governing consideration in the regulation of human destiny, even to this, reason has a clear answer. God is the essence of all things: He is the fountain of life, the beginning of being, the means of universal subsistence. Any life we now have is His and by His permission. Any life we hope to have in the resurrection state is His and by His permission. Without Him, there can be no life and no anything. God only has life and wisdom and power in Himself.

All substance, all organization, all beauty, all excellence of adaption, whether in the constitution of small objects like plants and animals, or in the arrangement of the gigantic bodies and movements of the universe, are due to Him, and of Him, and in Him. It is, therefore, most reasonable that His will should be law.

What man who had laid out a fine estate and built a palace on it and filled it with adjacent houses for dependents to live near by his favour, would not desire his will to be the law of the place? What reasonable tenant would demur? And if it would be considered reasonable that a man's will should be law in such a case, though the man made not the ground, nor the stone, nor the people invited to live near him, how much more reasonable is it that God's will should be law, who has made heaven and earth, and sustains all things and creatures in being by His power?

Bro Roberts - God Will Avenge Gentile Disobedience