The reference to seventy years begins to lessen the tension of being doomed “forever.” Thankfully their judgment is not meant to be an absolute timeless void of time, but more like the “foreseeable” future. Seventy years is still a long time! This whisper of hope does not lessen the unpleasant judgment they will soon endure.
Jeremiah put into perspective for us how long he has been speaking the message of repentance. For twenty-three years he and others sent by God have been risking their lives, obediently listening and repeating the communication they have been given by God. I have a hard time accepting when people don’t listen to me the “first” time I make a request.
These words of Jeremiah are a bit different than we’ve seen before. A lot of specifics are shared along with the fact that God’s anger is burning because of the people’s lack of repentance. When we’re given such information, we can better imagine what is happening at that moment in history.
What did you think about what God is planning to do to Babylon? If there had been any question about who God was going to use to destroy Judah, that’s all cleared up now. “I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy.” But this assignment will not last forever. Babylon will also fall prey to destruction when God’s purpose for them is complete. The ruins of Babylon can be found in present day Iraq.
Other than getting a clearer understanding of how God was moving amongst his people, what stood out to you from today’s passage?
For me, I am again moved by God’s love and interest for his people. He was doing everything he could to get the people’s allegiance. How God was moving in Jeremiah’s day shows us how much God desires to be known. While he might not be using “positive reinforcement” to get his people to pay attention to him, he has given them many chances to get it right.
How many chances has he given us? We have the Bible to teach us what happened before. We can choose to learn from their mistakes or be as blinded by the world’s temptations as those in Judah were.
Not much has changed really in terms of our sinfulness. What has changed is that Jesus came to save us from our sin. Jesus’ name alone means, “the LORD saves.” Romans 10:13 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” Titus 2:11 says, “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.”
Let’s pray … Lord, you are so good, and your faithfulness astounds me. Thank you for loving me despite my sinfulness. I am so glad that I have had the luxury of knowing you and drawing closer to you each day. I can’t imagine seventy years of being in captivity. Open my eyes to see you anew today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.