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    GOD AGAIN FORSAKES HIS SANCTUARY

    It is never without warning that God visits his people in judgment. The long record of his dealings with them presents no exception to this rule. In this case the warning had been given in these words:—STTHD 158.2

    “But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.” Jeremiah 7:12-14; 26:1-7.STTHD 159.1

    What had God done to Shiloh? David answers: “When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel, so that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men, and delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand.” Psalm 78:59-61. To do the same to the temple would be to forsake it, and give it into the hands of the enemy.STTHD 159.2

    The manner in which the people received this warning set the seal to God’s purpose in this respect. “They mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.” 2 Chronicles 36:16.STTHD 159.3

    Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the first universal empire, the head of gold of the great symbolic image of Daniel 2, was the instrument God selected to carry out his purpose. In the year B.C. 606, Jerusalem was taken, the temple plundered, a part of the sacred vessels removed and placed in the temple of Belus in Babylon; multitudes of the people were transported into the land of their captors, the sons of the royal family, and the nobility of the nation were made eunuchs and slaves in the palace of the king of Babylon; the whole land was made tributary, the king Jehoiakim became a vassal to the king of Babylon, and the predicted seventy years’ captivity commenced. 2 Chronicles 36:6, 7.STTHD 159.4

    The evil behaviour of Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim, brought Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem the second time, B.C. 599, when he made still further ravages on the house of the Lord, and its sacred vessels. Verse 10.STTHD 160.1

    And lastly, the wicked course of Zedekiah, Jehoiachin’s successor on the throne of Judah, drew upon Jerusalem that terrible destruction which for a while blotted it from the face of the earth. Zedekiah foolishly defied the power of the king who had already twice taken Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar was thus brought a third time against the doomed city, determined this time to quell forever its rebellious spirit. After a siege of about one year the city fell. All the vessels that could be found in the house of the Lord, were taken out, and all the riches were secured that could be found in every house in the city. The temple and the whole city were then set on fire. The walls, fortress, and towers were overthrown, and every building in the city was leveled to the ground, till, excepting only the piles of unconsumable rubbish, the site of Jerusalem was as bare as if no human foot had ever trod thereon.STTHD 160.2

    As God had done to the sanctuary at Shiloh, he had now done to the sanctuary at Jerusalem, but with tenfold heavier judgment. In the light of these facts the following references to the sanctuary are easily understood: Psalm 74:3, 7; 79:1; Isaiah 63:18; 64:10, 11; Ezekiel 24:21; Jeremiah 51:51; Lamentations 1:10; 2:7, 20; 4:1.STTHD 161.1

    While Israel were thus dispersed among the nations, and their beautiful sanctuary at Jerusalem lay in ruins, God promised to be unto them as a little sanctuary, in the countries where they should come. Ezekiel 11:16. Toward the close of the seventy years’ captivity, Daniel prayed thus to God, “Cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate.” Daniel 9:2, 17.STTHD 161.2

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