THOU SHALT KEEP THE SABBATH DAY HOLY (Part Four)
THE CURSING AND ITS RESULT
Continuing the message of Jeremiah, the Prophet, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 17 KJV):
27. But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; THEN I WILL KINDLE A FIRE IN THE GATES THEREOF, AND IT SHALL DEVOUR THE PALACES OF JERUSALEM AND IT SHALL NOT BE QUENCHED.
. . .
And guess which offer the inhabitants of Jerusalem chose?
So war came. People outside of the city of Jerusalem were carried captive to Babylon and the city itself was besieged. In spite of having supplies of food and underground cisterns of clean water, after two years of siege people starved, fought each other for food, and parents killed and ate their own children. When Jerusalem finally fell, most of the remaining inhabitants in the city were killed by the sword. Over 1,500,000 people perished as a result of the siege. Thereafter the temple was desecrated when the priests were forced to sacrifice pigs on the altar, it was then razed and its treasures taken to Babylon. The remaining people were carried captive as slaves into Babylon.
King Zedekiah was forced to watch all of his sons be ceremonially killed, after which his eyes were put out. The blind king was then taken to Babylon to live as a prisoner in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace where he was also made to eat at the King’s table with the very man who murdered his family.
And they could have been saved had they simply kept the sabbath day holy.
The people of Judah would not be allowed to return home for forty years, and the Kingdom would never again be whole and strong. When the forty years were fulfilled, Cyrus, the Persian, would send some Jews home, and the prophet Ezra and a few others would return and rebuild some of the walls of the temple and establish a presence in the land. Priests were ordained but served in a conquered land. As was their custom, the Babylonians would move captives from other conquered lands into the former Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. These displaced persons decided to worship the same God as the previous inhabitants so they pretended to be Israelites. They were called Samaritans and were hated by the Jews who were left in the land. Even in the time of Jesus the Samaritans were outcasts from life among the people of Judah.
Again, the question for us remains. Do we still need to keep the Sabbath Day holy? Will our land and people change if we do? How will it help us as individuals?
Do you know how to keep the Sabbath Day and do you believe it would help our land remain free?