Yes, there are shipping lists in the Bible. Some are happy ones from righteous servants of the LORD; however, some are sad ones from Israel’s enemies when they had conquered Israel and carried things off in their victory. This article is about the lessons we can learn from the saddest list of all: Babylon’s shipping list after Nebuchadnezzar had completely destroyed Judah, Jerusalem and the Temple.
Lesson #1- When God says something will happen, BANK ON IT!
God told Judah what was going to happen to them because of their sin; they just didn’t listen.
2 Kgs 20:17 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord.
Jer 20:5 I will deliver all the wealth of this city into the hands of their enemies—all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away as plunder and carry it off to Babylon.
Most of the time we just want to read about the positive verses in the Bible. The Bible is filled with positive and negative verses. We are supposed to read, believe and teach them both.
Lesson #2- God is equally skilled at both punishing sin and loving forgiveness.
God warned Judah of the punishment He would bring on them because of their sin, if they did not repent; they didn’t listen. Therefore, He used Babylon as His whip on evil Judah.
2 Kgs. 24:13-16 As the LORD had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the LORD and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the LORD.
Jer. 52:17-23 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the LORD and they carried all the bronze to Babylon. They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. The commander of the imperial guard took away the basins, censers, sprinkling bowls, pots, lampstands, dishes and bowls used for drink offerings— all that were made of pure gold or silver. The bronze from the two pillars, the Sea and the twelve bronze bulls under it, and the movable stands, which King Solomon had made for the temple of the LORD, was more than could be weighed. Each pillar was 18 cubits high and 12 cubits in circumference; each was 4 fingers thick, and hollow. The bronze capital on top of one pillar was 5 cubits high and was decorated with a network and pomegranates of bronze all around. The other pillar, with its pomegranates, was similar. There were 96 pomegranates on the sides; the total number of pomegranates above the surrounding network was 100.
So why is this shipping list heart-breaking? The destination of everything taken from God’s Temple, was one of Nebuchadnezzar’s idolatrous temples. What God intended to be used in worship to Him, would be used in Babylonia to worship false idols. That broke God’s heart back in 586 BC and it still does today. Tears fall from heaven when professing believers teach and believe that good people from the religions of the world can be saved through Christ without having any knowledge of or relationship with Him.
Lesson #3- God usually promises relief and blessing after the punishment is over.
Jer 27:21-22 … this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about the things that are left in the house of the Lord and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem: 22‘They will be taken to Babylon and there they will remain until the day I come for them,’ declares the Lord. ‘Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ ”
Ezra 1:7-8 Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. 8Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
Even after the darkest news of Babylon’s shipping list of God’s Temple items, God delivered some good news. He also did that with His prophecy of the 70 years of captivity in Jer. 29:10 by following it up with 29:11. Today God still sends warnings to nations and individuals, hoping for their repentance, so that He doesn’t have to punish them.
Jn 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
The warning? Fail to believe in Christ and you will be condemned. The good news? Genuinely believe in Christ and you will be saved. Where do you stack up? Is your life proof that you genuinely believe in Christ as your LORD and Savior? If it is, praise the LORD! If it isn’t, please repent today, don’t wait. God bless.