On February 10, 2016 2:28 PM, "Stephen Williamson" wrote:

Subject: Jeremiah 29 and living in Babylon

Hi all

Jeremiah 29 and living in Babylon – that lust of the flesh-traditional desires, lust of the eyes-current desires, pride of life-bios-substance - further thoughts

Thanks for the prayer time this Chris, great to see any/all who can make it next Wednesday, at 6.30

Here’s a link to Jeremiah 29 (in “The New Living” translation) “I know the plans I have for you” says the Lord.

And at the end of 70 years in Babylon around 500BC, ok, 42360 Jews returned, but the vast majority (maybe up to a million) stayed. And doubtless, God used it for good, the ones who came back, and the ones who stayed, in accordance with that promise above. And many continued living in Mesopotamia / Baghdad as the years went by.

Right up until right now, as so many are gathering in Israel now, their current population, (not counting the occupied territories of Gaza and WestBank), at a recent census is now just over 8 million, so frustrating for the UN and so many other political organizations, with Israel’s insistence on keeping their own worldview.

So, at that census, at an ancestor "past tense" traditions level, about 75% in Israel proper are recorded as having Jewish heritage, about 20% as having Arabic heritage.

At a national "present tense" culture level, again, about 75% see themselves as being Israeli "Jews", about 20% as being Palestinian "Arabs" with many seeing themselves as living in that separate nation that is somewhat “at war”.

At a faith "future tense" hope level, again about 75% say they are Jews and accordingly subject to the Rabbinate but with many saying they embrace atheism or agnosticism, another 2% say Christian, about 18% say Muslim. But of course all faiths are at different levels, only God sees the heart.

And chatting this morning about Eve’s temptation, yes, when she added in Genesis to God’s word in that conversation with Satan, about not even being able to touch the tree. Never good to add to God’s word when you have a legalistic spirit battling you, and yes, she was then shaken, and deceived.

So she couldn’t see God, but she could see that the tree was good for food-her traditional needs (desire of the flesh), beautiful to the eyes-her current experiences (desire of the eyes), and able to make her wise like God-her future plans (pride of bios-substance).

Yes, dear Lord, keep us soft before you in these crazy times, outwardly speaking. May your kingdom come quickly. Thank you for your wisdom, we pray.

Blessings all Steve