Jeremiah 51:20-40 – How God Works

Read Jeremiah 51:20-40

Unlike the promise of restoration given for Jerusalem, Babylon’s destruction is final. According to my study notes, the first four verses of this passage are likely referring to Cyrus, God’s partner for paying back Babylon for all the wrongs done to the Israelites. God is going to work through someone else to complete his purposes.

It’s texts like this that prompt people to say God is frighteningly cruel. When people avoid God saying he’s mean or vengeful, the example of his plans for Babylon is on point. I view what God is doing here as being loving toward his people. Like a protective parent rushing to defend a child being bullied, God means business.

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Jeremiah 51:1-19 – Vindicated

Read Jeremiah 51:1-19

With the fall of Babylon, those Israelites in captivity seem to have been vindicated from their guilt. Those same Israelites and the generations before them had been defiant and rebellious toward God. Their punishment for this behavior is about to end as God now crushes Babylon! I’m hopeful those in exile were repentant.

Recalling these words would give hope to those living in captivity. “For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has not abandoned Israel and Judah. He is still their God, even though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.” Have you ever felt abandoned by someone you loved or trusted? Scars from that experience run deep. It’s good to know that no matter what, our heavenly Father never abandons us. We are never alone through whatever worldly strife we may encounter. Praise be to God!

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Jeremiah 50:21-46 – Day of Reckoning for Babylon

Read Jeremiah 50:21-46

The LORD says, “For Babylon’s day of reckoning has come.” What does that even mean? According to a definition by Merriam Webster, it’s “a time when the consequences of a course of mistakes or misdeeds are felt.” Babylon had done so much harm to God’s people, it was now time to experience the consequences. They would soon see that you don’t mess around with God’s people.

The news in Jerusalem from those who have escaped is that “the LORD our God has taken vengeance against those who destroyed his Temple.” Do you think the people of Babylon realized they had been used as a “puppet” by God to bring about the destruction they did? They certainly didn’t realize that those actions would lead to their own demise, did they?

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Jeremiah 50:1-20 – Watch Out Babylon!

Read Jeremiah 50:1-20

Were you surprised to see God’s fury unleash on Babylon? Both Chapter 50 and 51 will focus on God’s plans for Babylon. Interesting that the very world power God used to wreak havoc on his people and the surrounding nations will also fall.

For the simplicity of the message, “Babylon will fall,” there is a lot of complexity to this extended prophecy. One scholar identifies thirteen prophetic units. We’ll take it in a few chunks (not 13)! We’ll notice the vivid poetic imagery used and the promises for God’s people. We aren’t told when Jeremiah wrote these words, but it is clearly written about “future” events.

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Jeremiah 49:1-39 – God’s Fury

Read Jeremiah 49:1-39

angel of death

We see five individual prophecies of doom in today’s reading. Each recipient of God’s wrath has a little different story, but what they share in common is proximity to Israel and Judah. Why do you think we need to see how God is going to deal with other nations?

It’s helpful to know God is fighting for those he loves. Sometimes it means he has to take control of those around us who are causing us harm or poised to do so. We don’t have to seek revenge. God does the heavy lifting for us. Here’s a little of what I took note of in my reflection of the text and research of who these nations were.

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