Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing

Part LXXXIII: God's Judgment On Ammon's Arrogant Covetousness

(Jeremiah 49:1-6)


I.                 Introduction

A.    Covetousness and stealing are opposed by two of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:15, 17).

B.     The people of Ammon had arrogantly coveted and seized what God had given to others, what countered the righteousness of God on two important issues, so God predicted His severe punishment of Ammon in Jeremiah 49:1-6.  We view this prophecy for our insight and edification:

II.              God's Judgment On Ammon's Arrogant Covetousness, Jeremiah 49:1-6.

A.    To understand the prophecy of Jeremiah 49:1-5, we view the historical setting as follows:

1.      Assyria took the Northern Kingdom of Israel captive in 722 B. C., leaving portions of Israel's territory vulnerable to seizure by neighboring Gentile nations, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1197.

2.      Assuming that Israel's people would be absorbed into other people groups of Assyria so that they would not return as Hebrews to repossess their former land, the Ammonites coveted and seized the nearby land that God had given to Israel's tribe of Gad in Moses' day, Ibid.; Deut. 3:12-29.  This territory ran east of the Jordan River from the Sea of Galilee up north to near the Dead Sea down south and stretched eastward from there to the land of Ammon, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, Map 4: The Twelve Tribes of Israel.

3.      For this reason, God led Jeremiah to ask the Ammonites if Israel had no sons, no heir, so that Ammon's king had presumed to inherit Israel's tribal territory of Gad with his people to live in its cities, Jer. 49:1.

4.      For coveting what God had given to the people of Gad so as to take possession of it, the sins of covetousness and stealing, God promised to cause the alarm of war to be heard in Ammon's own capital city of Rabbah, Jeremiah 49:2a; Ibid.  Rabbah itself would become a desolate heap of ruins by the invasion of foreigners into its territory, with Rabbah's surrounding villages being burned with fire so that Israel would dispossess the Ammonites who had dispossessed them of the territory that the Lord had assigned to Israel's tribe of Gad, Jeremiah 49:2b ESV.

5.      For this reason, the inhabitants of Heshbon on the border of Ammon and Moab would wail since the nearby town of Ai in the region had been laid waste (this Ai is different from the one west of the Jordan River that Joshua conquered, Ibid.) and the people of Ammon's capital city of Rabbah would cry out and put on the mourning garb of sackcloth, running back and forth among the hedges in dismay since their formerly presumed protective god Milcom had gone into exile with his priests and officials, Jer. 49:3 ESV.

6.      Jeremiah 49:4 reveals that the sin behind Ammon's brash covetousness and theft of Israel's tribal territory of Gad had been fueled by her arrogant pride: she had boasted in her productive valleys and treasures, claiming no enemy would thus have the courage to come against her. (Ibid.)

7.      God would thus counter such pride, bringing terror on the Ammonites from all the Gentile nations around her, and such foes would drive the Ammonites out with none to gather Ammon's fugitives, Jeremiah 49:5.

B.     Nevertheless, in great grace, and just as He had done in grace with the Moabites, God promised to restore the people of Ammon to their former territory, Jeremiah 49:6 with 48:47.  Since God will restore the Moabites in "days to come," a phrase implying restoration in Christ's coming Messianic Kingdom (Ibid.), the context would argue that the restoration of Ammon will also occur in the Messianic Kingdom of Jesus Christ!


Lesson: For arrogantly trusting in her own resources and false god Milcom that led to her coveting so as to seize Israel's territory of Gad once Assyria had taken Israel into captivity, God promised to judge the nation of Ammon with an invasion by foes of her own land and her loss of its possession to others.  Nevertheless, in great grace, God promised to restore the Ammonites to the land He had granted them in Christ's future Messianic Kingdom.


Application: (1) May we never trust in our own natural resources or power, but always trust in the Lord Who freely gives us such things.  (2) May we not become proud for possessing such things, but recall that they are God's gifts to us.  (3) May we not covet what belongs to others so as to seize their possessions.  (4) May we thus not trust in our own power or resources so as to become proud and so covet and seize what belongs to others, for all we have is from God, and we must humbly thank Him for our possessions and respect the property of other people as God's gifts to them.  (5) If God lets us LOSE what once belonged to us, as in the case of Ammon, we should test ourselves to see if we have seized what belongs to others, and if so, to confess it as sin to the Lord and restore the property.