Steve Ellison: Right Over These Stones

Thursday, May 28, 2020 - by Steve Ellison

Plague, pestilence, misfortune, epidemics, pandemics, and contagions of all kinds have been part of the human existence since Genesis 3 and they always will be, at least until Christ returns.  Many people observe these and see signs indicating that the return of Christ is near. That is not true.  Rather, these things are reminders of the sinful, fallen state of mankind.  These things will simply continue as sober, deadly, loving reminders that eternity must be considered.  Jeremiah 42-43 sheds light here.

Jerusalem lay in ruins.  The Temple had been destroyed.  Many of the Jews had been carried into Babylonian Captivity.  Many of the Jews who were left in Judea wanted to flee to Egypt seeking safety and security.  They believed that they could get away from the presence of God who was angry with them.  Jeremiah, speaking the word of the Lord, warned them not to go but they would not listen.  God warned them plainly, that sword, famine, and pestilence would follow them wherever they went.  The Jews did not listen. They fled to Egypt and took Jeremiah with them.

Jeremiah 43 is an interesting and pertinent record of events. In Jeremiah 43:8-13, God makes declarations and predictions that give evidence of His sovereignty. “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, 9 "Take some large stones in your hands and hide them in the mortar in the brick terrace which is at the entrance of Pharaoh's palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of some of the Jews; 10 and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, "Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy over them. 11 "He will also come and strike the land of Egypt; those who are meant for death will be given over to death, and those for captivity to captivity, and those for the sword to the sword. 12 "And I shall set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt, and he will burn them and take them captive. So he will wrap himself with the land of Egypt as a shepherd wraps himself with his garment, and he will depart from there safely. 13 "He will also shatter the obelisks of Heliopolis, which is in the land of Egypt; and the temples of the gods of Egypt he will burn with fire."'" (NASU)

In a stunning declaration of sovereignty, God had Jeremiah hide evidence of a prophecy that Nebuchadnezzar would invade, win victory, and erect his throne in an exact spot.  In verse 10, God declares that He will use whatever instrument He desires and there is nothing man can do about it. Verse 11 shows God’s sovereignty through His declaration that fleeing from His decrees is futile.  Whatever God intends will come to pass and He includes not only nations but right down to individuals. In verse 13, God gets right to the foundations.  God declares openly and without equivocation that He will show His sovereignty over all idols by destroying their sacred obelisks and temples.

If you think Jeremiah 42-43 is an interesting history lesson only, you have missed the point. This is a lesson in current events, current theology, and current idolatry.  We attempt to live according to our own desires, thinking that we will escape the discipline of God.  We will not escape.  We make idols of bad things and good things.  We idolize good entertainment and evil entertainment.  We idolize safety and thrill-seeking. We idolize freedom and security.  Perhaps we should be careful.


Sermon Topic At Metro Tab Church Is "Think Like A Warrior" Sunday

Bob Tamasy: So Busy Doing, We’re Getting Nothing Done

Worship Night To Promote Racial Unity And Action Is Oct. 2 At Camp Jordan


Metropolitan Tabernacle Church's co-pastor Reita Ball will preach on "Think Like a Warrior" in the MTC Sanctuary Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The church has cleaning of high touch point areas, hand ... (click for more)

“Don’t just stand there – do something!” When’s the last time you heard someone say that? You’ve probably said it yourself. Even when we’re on vacation, we typically feel the need to be engaged ... (click for more)

his past June, churches from all over town gathered more than 1,500 people together from different ethnicities, ages, communities, and socioeconomic statuses to pray, worship, and promote racial ... (click for more)



Church

Sermon Topic At Metro Tab Church Is "Think Like A Warrior" Sunday

Metropolitan Tabernacle Church's co-pastor Reita Ball will preach on "Think Like a Warrior" in the MTC Sanctuary Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The church has cleaning of high touch point areas, hand sanitizer stations and the coffee and conversation area is closed. There will be spaced sanctuary seating. Kidz World and the nursery are back open. There will be a meet and greet after ... (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: So Busy Doing, We’re Getting Nothing Done

“Don’t just stand there – do something!” When’s the last time you heard someone say that? You’ve probably said it yourself. Even when we’re on vacation, we typically feel the need to be engaged in some form of activity. What good’s a vacation if we’re not doing anything, right? We fill our lifestyles with action verbs, and that’s reflective of our society. For centuries, we’ve ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Senator Blackburn Says Republicans "Have The Vote" To Approve Trump Female Nominee For Supreme Court

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday said Republicans " do have the votes in the Senate" to approve a new U.S. Supreme Court justice. She said, "Once the President has made his nomination, Leader McConnell and Chairman Graham will announce the timeline and what it will be. I look forward to voting for a constitutionalist ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Investigating In-Custody Death Of Alton Young, 30

At the direction of the Hamilton County District Attorney, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation into the death of Alton Kenyatta Young, 30. Young was arrested on Sunday, at approximately 2 p.m. by the Chattanooga Police Department after being involved in a motor vehicle crash near the 7000 block of East Brainerd ... (click for more)

Opinion

No More Gift Cards

I receive gift cards on special occasions from my family and enjoy them very much as I can make purchases that I could not ordinarily afford. More than once employees of businesses have been rude when gift cards are presented. On one occasion recently at an antique mall the owner got angry when I asked that he use my gift card before my credit card was charged. He accused me ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ballot-Bearer Is Shot

Last week was a typical one for Chicago. The weekly shooting gallery was about normal for the third week of September – 100 people shot, 14 homicides and 86 wounded -- on the downtown streets. But there was one shooting that stood out. A United States Postal Service letter carrier was shot four times when she got in the crosshairs of a drive-by shooting and now the USPS is on the ... (click for more)