Cover to Cover
God is merciful. Over and over and over He had sent messages through prophets, inviting them to turn their hearts and warning of the judgment He would allow unless they would repent. Their number of years of their captivity was significant:
1. Every seventh year, Israel was instructed to let the land rest (Leviticus 25:2-7)
2. They failed to do so for 490 years, and as a result, their captivity would be one year for every year they missed (2 Chronicles 36:20-21).
3. Jeremiah prophesied the 70 year captivity in Jeremiah 25:11.
The number 490 is not a random number. It is 70 x 7, a number we see more than once in Scripture. For example, we see 490 years (70 sets of seven) in Daniel’s prophecy to the Jews. We see 490 in Acts 13:20-21 from the time God established judges, allowed King Saul, and anointed King David. In addition, see 70 x 7 in Jesus answer on how many times to forgive a repentant brother in a day. (See also Lamech in Genesis 4:23-24).
The Hebrew word for seven means full, complete. It is a number that represents the rest or the grace of God. Even in numbers, God expresses our need for Him and His desire to meet that need.
2 Timothy 3
Pastor Timothy was forewarned that the hearts of men and women would change in the last days, but Paul encourages Timothy in verses 10 through 17 to stand strong in faith, being equipped by the inspired Word of God for every good work. Paul says, “ALL who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Paul speaks of Timothy’s loyalty, not only in the good times, but the times of afflictions and persecutions as well (verses 10-11). Even through there will be persecutions, living godly sets us in alignment in our intimate relationship with God and His blessing. It also has a power available that some have denied through sinful living. Let’s be like Timothy, keep our eyes on Jesus, not people, and live our lives as consecrated and set apart for the Lord’s use.