2 Kings 25:21 Brought Into Captivity

There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. So Judah went into captivity, away from her land. 2 Kings 25:21

All throughout history various nations or groups of people have invaded the lands of other nations or groups of people. As they did this, they would conquer the nation and put many people into captivity. Those that were captured were bound up to force them to obey the new leadership and many placed in prisons or prison camps. Often those who rebelled against the new leadership were killed.

Nebuchadnezzar went into and captured all of Judah. Many were killed and the nation of Judah was placed in captivity outside of their land.

Out of the massive numbers of people and nations around the world very few will actually be brought into captivity by being overrun by another nation or group of people. Although most people are never physically captured, the majority go into captivity on a regular basis by their own personal choices.

Instead of being bound up in physical prisons, people are bound up in captivity to sin. In choosing to reject God and His ways of living, people choose to live their own way and sin against God. To many this feels like freedom, a freedom of choice to do what one wants.

Freedom in this way is short-lived. It brings pleasure for only a very short amount of time, but always ends up in captivity of death. True life and joy will always escape them. The more a person sins, the more he is bound up to sin, which ultimately leads to death.

Jesus died upon the cross and rose again to bring true freedom and true life. Turning away from sin and believing in and following Jesus breaks the captivity to sin and allows a person to live without captivity.

God has provided a life that is free from captivity and death for you. It is filled with purpose and a joy that the world cannot understand and will last for eternity.

Do not allow yourself to be captivated by the sin of this fallen world. Repent of any sins and turn from them to Jesus who has provided forgiveness and a new life for you. Flee the bondage to sin and death and take on the holiness, righteousness and life that Jesus provides.

Have you been set free? Or are you a bound captive?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will live your life for God; that God will give you strength to flee the bondage of sin; that turn from sinful living to living for God; and that you will be free to live the life God has for you.

Exodus 12:17 Celebrate Your Release

Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. Exodus 12:17

Nearly every person in every nation around the world has some type of celebration that they like to celebrate on a regular basis. It may be a birthday, a holiday, an anniversary, or something else, but people like to celebrate.

The purpose of celebrating something is to remember something or someone that was good or even great. How and what people celebrate may be different, but the heart is the same.

God told the Israelites that they are to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread every year on the day they were released from Egypt and captivity.

Most believers are just like the world in desiring to celebrate various events in their life. Some will not celebrate any events, due to the secularization of the event.

As the world celebrates often for selfish reasons, the true believer will celebrate to honor God for what He has done. The most common is celebrating a birthday that God has allowed a person to have.

One celebration that is often overlooked by many believers is the day of their salvation, the day God drew them out of the world of sin and death. Some can remember the day, but many forget the specific day, especially after many years.

It often just becomes another day, yet it was one of the greatest days in the life of a believer. Many forget who they were and where they were before following Jesus.

Taking time to remember these things and honor God with a celebration will help one to remember what God had done in them. The believer will be able to look back and see how far he has come from captivity and death.

Do you remember when you first chose to believe in and follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do you remember how He pulled you out of a life of sin and death?

Take time to remember that and celebrate that day. Give God honor and glory for what He had done and is continuing to do in your life.

Keep hope in that what God has started He will continue to do until He chooses to call you home for eternity into heaven.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will remember the day that God saved you from your sins; that you will continue to walk the path God has for you; and that you will know the hope, glory and joy of your salvation.

Jeremiah 29:7 Praying For Your Enemy For Prosperity

City buildings

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. Jeremiah 29:7 

Every group or entity has an enemy of some sort. There is someone or something in competition against them. Every business has another business that is in direct competition to them wanting to be the best and largest business. The opponent always wants to be the best.

Most people seek to have the opponent crushed and destroyed. They do not want to see the opponent prosper in any way. They are the enemy.

As God is getting ready to put the Israelites into Exile, God tells them to go peaceably and seek the peace and prosperity of the place they are going to. This is seeking the peace and prosperity of the enemy who had captured them and forced them into exile.

It is common for believers to seek the destruction of those in the world, who are living in and promoting sin. They often rejoice when bad things occur to the enemy or those who are against the church.

Thinking and acting in this way is having a short term view and showing no love.

Even though people are living in and promoting sin, they are still people who need things and need God. Seeking their destruction is not showing God’s love for them.

When the world is falling apart economically and socially, the world of the believer will also fall with There are a part of this world in that they are living in it.

Believers need to be praying for peace and prosperity for those who do not know God. This is showing that one cares for them and wants the best for them. In doing so, this allows the believer the chance to be a witness and point them to Jesus. It shows genuine care for those who don’t know God.

There will be groups or people you know who do not know or serve God in any way. Despite their not knowing God, they need to have food, housing and clothing. You can pray for their prosperity and peace to increase so that they may come to know God.

As the businesses around you prosper and have peace, you can also have prosperity and peace, allowing the gospel to be shared even more.

What are you praying for enemies to receive?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will know God’s peace; that you will understand how God wants people to prosper; and that you will seek opportunities to be His witness.

2 Kings 25:21 Judgment Occurs

Chains on feet

There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. So Judah went into captivity, away from her land. 2 Kings 25:21 

Being thrust into captivity is something that no one desires. Although whole nations are not put into captivity, individuals can be. Often it is seen in being captured by the police for doing something wrong.

When one is placed in prison for doing wrong, it is usually not his first time doing wrong. It is often something he has done many times, just was never caught or convicted of doing wrong. There are rules to be followed and many people do not follow them, thinking that they will do fine with no problems. However, there will always come a time when he is caught and put into prison or some other punishment.

The Israelites had been rebelling against God for many years. They chose to follow false gods and worship idols, rather than love and worship God. God had warned them many times of punishment coming. With minor judgments against them, the people would turn to God for a short time, then rebel again, over and over. Finally God allowed the split nation of Judah to fall and be put into captivity for choosing to rebel against Him and follow false gods.

Although God does not always use physical captivity today, He still warns against following false gods or rebelling against Him. Jesus came to remove all sins from every person. He made a way to be able to follow God and live for eternity. However, one must still follow God and not false idols.

Many people have turned from God to idols in their lives. Choosing to not obey God or do what He desires of them. The captivity this time will be eternity in hell, the final judgment.

Choosing to believe in Jesus and follow Him is the first step to avoiding being judged and cast out. You must believe that He is the one who will save you from your sins and wrongs.

Then you must allow His Holy Spirit to guide you in how to live for God. Allow your every action, thought and word be to God’s glory and purpose. As you live like that, you will not allow yourself to follow false gods or worship idols in your life.

The warning of being cast out for eternity will be removed and you can look forward to eternity with God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to guide your life; that you will remove all idol worship in your life; and that God will never have a reason to cast you out. 

Revelation 13:10 Patience & Faithfulness Required

 

Chains on feet

“If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. Revelation 13:10

God revealed to John that there would be a day in which the beast, the devil, would be given power to rule upon the earth. He would be given power to fight against all believers. During this time it is pointed out that anyone destined to captivity or dying by the sword will go into captivity or die by the sword.

Over the centuries many different leaders have led many different countries. Each one is a little different. Some are sympathetic to believers, while others fight believers directly. The world as a whole, however, does fight against believers. While it does appear to ebb and flow some, as a whole it the fight is getting stronger and stronger.

No one likes to hear that they may have to go into captivity or be killed. This is especially true for the believer, who is not doing anything wrong, yet, this is what will happen to many believers.

John is quick to point out that believers must then be patient and faithful during this time. While sitting in captivity, they must have patience in waiting on God’s move. They must be faithful all the way to the point of death.

In the end God and all His people will win the battle. However, until then, times will be rough, persecution and suffering will be great, and death will occur. No believer is to throw in the towel and follow the ways of the world. Nor are they to fear what is happening or could happen.

As you go through or see rough times, you must stay focused on God. He has given the promise to save you. He has shown you how to live your life. He has promised that in the end He will win the battle. There will be a time when all suffering and death will end.

Until that time, stay faithful to God and wait patiently for His timing. Do not be anxious or worried, God will win in the end and if you are following Jesus, you also will win the battle.

Are you being patient and faithful today?

I pray today that you will know the promises of God for you; that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will not fear the evil in this world; that God will fill you with His patience; and that you will be faithful to God.