WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 36:20
Many of the Israelites must have wept and grieved bitterly when the armies of Nebuchadnezzar ransacked Jerusalem and carried most of the able-bodied men, women, and children into bondage in Babylon. To them it must have seemed like the end of the world, as though God had abandoned His people. Only the prophets, and a very select group of righteous men could see a faint outline of the big picture. That picture included the knowledge of some that God uses affliction to bring His people back unto Himself. Isaiah 26 says, “When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.” It is a pattern that we find over and over again in the Old Testament. The people fall away from God, fall into sin, and eventually into judgment as a result of their sin. God used and still uses judgment to turn the hearts of a rebellious people back to Him. Those whom He loves, He chastens.