Going Into Captivity
And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace – Jeremiah 29:7
Jeremiah wrote to the captives in Babylon instructing them to move ahead with their lives and to pray for the heathen nation that enslaved them. Jeremiah reminded the exiled community that ultimately it was God, not Nebuchadnezzar , who had caused them to be carried away captive to Babylon. The exiles were instructed to seek and pray for the peace, or well-being of Babylon and the other towns where they were deported. As a results, they themselves would live in peace as beneficiaries of God’s gracious sovereignty over the nation.
The people of God had come into the temple of God as they normally do, but this time the word of the Lord came to instruct them of the devastation that was coming to them by the prophet Jeremiah if they didn’t turn from their sins. The people were living in sin, so were the priests and the prophets, but God in His mercy was forewarning them if they didn’t turn from their sins what would happen.
If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, and that I may repent (relent) me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. – Jeremiah 26:3
God had sent His prophets to them, informing them, if they didn’t turn from their sins, the judgment of God was coming upon them, but they wouldn’t listen to the warning.
God allowed king Nebuchadnezzar to take them into captivity because of their sins.
And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. – Jeremiah 27:8
Although king Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t submissive to God’s word, yet with all of his military might and conquests, the king of Babylon was still a servant of the God of Israel, carrying out the Lord’s purposes, namely judgment of Judah.
Because the people wouldn’t submit themselves into God’s instructions they were taken captive by the Babylon king. Now they would be his servant, and would have to submit themselves to his rules. Satan is the god of this world, and he has many captive by sin because they wouldn’t submit to the written word of God. They wouldn’t listen to the prophet, evangelist and pastor, they wouldn’t go into the house of God to learn about God’s instructions for His people, so they have been bound with spiritual fetters and chains. You can’t see with the naked eye, but can see their captivity through their behavior and character.
The house of God is the place where we come to worship and hear the instructions God has given for His people, it’s not for entertainment, it’s not for a social gathering, but to get instructions and encouragement to live according to God’s will and instructions which is His word. Teaching against sinful actions must be taught, if not, the people will not know what is sin in the eyes of God. They must be instructed to read and study the word of God to get to know Him and His instructions. Once this has been done, if the people decide to reject the word of God, the ministers will not be held responsible for the sins of the people. We go into the house of God to be taught God’s status.
And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the profane (unholy), and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. – Ezekiel 44:23
God doesn’t change nor does His word, as Christians, we don’t suppose to serve or bow to any other god but God. The God we serve is a jealous God and He doesn’t want His people to serve Him and Satan. God will allow His people to go into captivity when they continue to reject the instructions of His written word. Many professing Christians are bound and going into captivity by drugs, alcohol, and all forms of lust because they continued to dip and dab in sin until it takes complete control of their will. Confessing and repenting for sin and continue to run to it will not set you free, but when we confess the sin and ask God to give us the strength to discontinue the sin, He will give us the strength we need. We don’t have to be captive in sin or with anyone, Jesus came to set the captivity free, all we have to do is receive and accept what He has given us.
According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue. – 2nd Peter 1:3
God’s judgment comes through who we have placed them for Him. The very thing and people we placed before God will be our god, and God will allow that god to rule over us. God’s desire is for everyone to be saved, but He will not push Himself on anyone, religion is speaking the word of God and not living by them, let us not continue to go into the house of God, and hear the word of God and reject what we hear. Hear the word, then be a doer of the word!