Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing

Part XXXIV: Hoping In God's Final Astounding Deliverance Of Mankind From Idolatry

(Jeremiah 16:14-21)


I.                 Introduction

A.    While considering the expression of God's wrath in the future Babylonian invasion of Judah, the prophet Habakkuk pleaded with the Lord that "in wrath" He would "remember mercy." (Habakkuk 3:2c)

B.     God's grace, being infinite, truly accomplishes precisely that as described in Jeremiah 16:14-21, and we view this great truth about the Lord for our insight and edification (as follows):

II.              Hoping In God's Final Astounding Deliverance Of Mankind From Idolatry, Jeremiah 16:14-21.

A.    Verse 14 opens with the preposition la joined to the adverb ken to form laken, "according to such conditions, that being so, therefore," Kittel, Bib. Heb., p. 735; B. D. B., A Heb. and Eng. Lex. of the O. T., p. 486.

B.     Since Jeremiah 16:14-21 with its preceding context of Jeremiah 16:10-13 is prophetic material, the prophecy of Jeremiah 16:14-21 is built on the Jeremiah 16:10-13 predictions (Ibid., B. D. B.), and since Jeremiah 16:10-13 predicts God's judging Judah to go into far off captivity for great idolatry, and Jeremiah 16:14-21 predicts God's deliverance of the nation from captivity (cf. v. 14-15), the expression laken in verse 14 signals a shift FROM judgment in Jeremiah 16:10-13 TO deliverance in Jeremiah 16:14-21 based only on God's GRACE:

1.      Thus, "that [Jeremiah 16:10-13 judgment] being so," the days will [graciously] come when it will be no longer said "The Lord lives Who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt," but "The Lord lives Who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north [Babylon], and from all the lands" where He had driven them, bringing them again into the land He gave to their fathers, Jer. 16:14-15 ESV.

2.      Meanwhile, short-term, God would send for many fishers to catch His people and for many hunters to hunt them for judgment, for His eyes were on all of their sins that were not hidden from Him, and He would repay them doubly for all of their sins in having polluted the land with their detestable idols and filled the inheritance of His land -- not Israel's -- with her abominations! (Jer. 16:16-18; B. K. C., O. T., p. 1151)

3.      Clinging to God's promise of Judah's restoration in Jeremiah 16:14-15, the prophet Jeremiah expressed strong feelings of hope in God's deliverance and his repudiation of Judah's idolatry in Jeremiah 16:19-20:

                             a.         Addressing God as "O Jahweh, my Strength and my Stronghold, my Refuge in the day of trouble," the trouble of the coming Babylonian invasion (Jeremiah 16:19a ESV; Ibid., Kittel), the prophet Jeremiah in poetic form (Ibid.) relished in the hope that one day all nations from the ends of the earth would come and say: "Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit," Jer. 16:19b. 

                            b.         Jeremiah summed, "Can man make for himself gods?  Such are not gods!" (Jeremiah 16:20 ESV)

4.      The Lord in His great sovereignty and grace responded to Jeremiah's poetic expression, claiming in still another prophecy introduced by the expression laken (Ibid.), "Therefore," based purely on God's grace, "I will teach them -- this time I will teach them my power and might," Jer. 16:21a NIV.  At that time the whole world would know that God's name is the Lord, the only true God opposite any idols! (Jer. 16:21b)

5.      In view of the immediate and wide Scripture context, this prediction takes on enormous force (as follows):

                             a.         When God had brought Israel up out of Egypt in her first Exodus (Jeremiah 16:14), she was supposed to have learned from that event not to trust in the false gods either of the land of Egypt that she had left  nor in the false idols of the land of Canaan she was to enter and possess.

                            b.         However, God's people had neglected to learn that lesson well, so in the repeat deliverance of Israel from Babylon and from her worldwide dispersion after the Great Tribulation (Jer. 16:15), in her second "Exodus," Israel and the nations of the whole world will SURELY learn of God's power and might through His tremendous deliverance from the antichrist at Christ's Second Coming following the traumatic Great Tribulation and catastrophe of the  Battle of Armageddon!  Idolatry will be obliterated at that time!!


Lesson: Though God would discipline Israel with the Babylonian Captivity due to her incessant reliance on false gods, God's GRACE would yet deliver her AGAIN at the Second Coming of Christ.  However, in DELIVERING His people this final time, God would use INTENSE suffering to CLARIFY to ISRAEL and the WHOLE WORLD their need to abandon false gods and cleave to Him ALONE, a lesson with great clarity and force.


Application: (1) May we rest in the GRACE of God to finish His work regarding us.  (2) However, may we heed His Word as SOON as He FIRST gives it to AVOID His LATER, REPEAT lessons of much greater SEVERITY!