TODAY’S READING: JEREMIAH 50-52
God’s judgment upon Babylon (50:1-51:64); the fall of Jerusalem and Zedekiah’s torment (52:1-11); the Babylonians destroy the Temple (52:12-23); the people are exiled (52:24-30); God has not forgotten and will not forsake David’s descendants (52:31-34).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
To this point, Babylon has been the tool God used to mete out His judgment upon the many nations we read about in chapters 44-49. In chapter 50, Jeremiah prophesies God’s judgment upon Babylon and her many gods.
Once Babylon would be defeated, the chosen people of God would once again be gathered and returned to their homeland. This was partially fulfilled in 538 B.C. when Cyrus made a decree permitting the Jews to go back to Jerusalem. The context, however, points to the fulfillment of God’s promises to the Jews during the Great Tribulation (notice in 50:4 – “in those days”; 50:15 – “it is the vengeance of the LORD”; 50:20 – “in those days”; 50:28 – “the vengeance of the LORD our God”; and 50:30 – “in that day.”)
That “last days” fulfillment continues in chapter 51. As well as detailing Babylon’s judgment in like fashion as does Revelation 17 and 18, God also points to Israel’s restoration. Despite all of Israel’s defiance against God, He still loves Israel, and has every intention of blessing them. Though the conflict(s!) in the Middle East rages today, Jeremiah (and John in Revelation, not to mention Isaiah, etc., etc.) points to the fact that in the very near future, the conflict will be over, and Israel will be sitting on top. That certainly is not to say that everything Israel does and is doing today is right, but don’t ever forget to factor into your equation the EVERLASTING (!!!) Abrahamic Covenant: “And I will bless them that bless thee (Abraham, or Israel), and curse him that curseth thee” (Gen. 12:3). Non-Christians think that is a fatalistic viewpoint. Fatalistic it may be, it won’t change the outcome! Anyway you slice it, folks, Israel’s going to end up on top, and !
her King and Messiah (and ours, hallelujah!!!), will rule the entire world from His throne in Jerusalem! America has made some incredibly sinful and stupid decisions in the last half a century (or more!). Perhaps the only reason God has not unleashed His judgment upon us is our faithfulness to bless Israel. When/If we curse them, Katie bar the door! I’m afraid we will have sealed our own doom!
In 51:59-64, one last time God wants Jeremiah to give His message via an object lesson. Jeremiah wrote “all the evil that should come upon Babylon” and then told Seraiah to take it and read it in Babylon. After reading it, he was to take the scroll, tie it to a rock, and cast it into the Euphrates, explaining to the people that that’s exactly what God was going to do to them!
The Book of Jeremiah concludes in chapter 52 with a somewhat lengthy explanation about the fall of Jerusalem. It is almost word for word with II Kings 18-25, 30, and very similar to what was detailed in Jer. 39:1-18. It recounts the city’s fall, Zedekiah’s attempt to escape, his capture, the murder of his sons “before his eyes” (52:20), just before he lost his physical sight.
Back in I Kings 9:1-9 after Solomon built the Temple, God promised to keep His name there as long as they served only Him, “But,” He said, “if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a by word among all people” (I Kings 9:6-7). The people did not live up to their end of the bargain, but as you might imagine, God did live up to His. Jeremiah 52:12-30 is the fulfillment of God’s warning to Israel in I Kings 9:6-7.
The Book of Jeremiah does end, however, with just a flicker of hope. After 37 years of being exiled in Babylon, Jehoiachin king of Judah, is shown preferential treatment. It is a reminder that God has not forgotten the Davidic Covenant, and just as Jeremiah 30-33 made clear, God would ultimately fulfill His promises to bless Israel.
SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO “THE DAY OF THE LORD”:
51:2 – “In the day of trouble.”
51:6 –“The time of the LORD’s vengeance.”
51:11 – “It is the vengeance of the LORD.”
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As the REDEEMER WHO PLEADS OUR CAUSE – Jer. 50:34 (Luke 1:68; Rom. 8:34)
As the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE – Jer. 51:15 (Col. 1:16)