The Abiding Gift of Prophecy

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Chapter 14—Prophets During the Captivity

Not all who were carried away into Babylonian captivity by the great king Nebuchadnezzar had been condemned and rejected by the Lord. This the records very clearly show. How many innocent, faithful ones were among the captives is not known. But of the devotion and loyalty of some, we have this beautiful testimony: AGP 144.1

“By the rivers of Babylon,There we sat down, yea, we wept,When we remembered Zion.Upon the willows in the midst thereofWe hanged up our harps.For there they that led us captive required of us songs, And they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing Jehovah’s songIn a foreign land?” Psalm 137:1-4, A. R. V.

Although in captivity in a heathen kingdom, with small prospect of living long enough to return to their cherished land and city and sacred sanctuary, they declared their eternal loyalty to their Lord: AGP 144.2

“If I forget thee, O Jerusalem,Let my right hand forget her skill. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, If I remember thee not; If I prefer not JerusalemAbove my chief joy.” Verses 5, 6, A. R. V.

How could love and loyalty be more ardently expressed? AGP 144.3

We have dwelt upon the punitive purpose of the captivity. It was brought upon God’s people as a punishment for their sinsIt was designed to bring them to repentance. But this was not the only reason why God permitted or ordained it. AGP 144.4

It had been His design that Israel, with an experimental knowledge of the true God, should be a light to the world. He placed them on a national highway, that the worshipers of other gods might behold the greatness and piety of the nation whom He had chosen for Himself. But when Israel failed to act her part as a witness for Jehovah; when contrariwise she made it her ambition to become like the other nations, then God must choose some other way of extending the knowledge of His sovereign majesty. AGP 145.1