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JEREMIAH: STAYING UPRIGHT AMIDST EVIL PRESSURES
Part XIII: Prophecies Against The Sinful Nations Around Judah
E. Prophecy Against Babylon For Mistreating Judah And Exhibiting Pride Against God
Lesson: In bringing the Babylonians against His people in judgment, God did not want His people to give up hope, so He predicted He would SURELY FOREVER DESTROY Babylon for her abuses against them and for her pride against God, and that He would restore Judah in the end.
- God may use mistreatment by other evil parties to punish His people like He did when He let the Babylonians destroy Judah's land and capture His sinful people.
- Yet, God does not want His people to give up hope if facing such discipline; rather, He wants them to know He will judge their foes who have mistreated them and bless them in righteousness in the end:
- Prophecy Against Babylon For Mistreating Judah And Exhibiting Pride Against God, Jer. 50-51.
- God revealed He would destroy Babylon forever for her mistreatment of Judah when the Babylonian army invaded the land and for her pride against Him, and that He would restore Judah in the end, 50:1-51:58:
- Since Babylon was the long-term, fearful foe of the people of Judah thoughout Jeremiah's 40 year ministry, Jeremiah's last and longest, most detailed prophecy of destruction against a Gentile nation was reserved for Babylon; it covers 110 verses in the Bible, being found in Jeremiah 50:1-51:64.
- That prophecy carries seven major themes that are repeated throughout its declaration (as follows):
- First, Babylon and her god, Bel (Merodach) would fall in battle while experiencing the shame and fear that formerly only her enemies had known, Jer. 50:1-2, 21-23, 43-46; Jer. 51:30-33, 47-48.
- Second, Babylon would fall to a Gentile nation in the "north," the direction the people of Judah saw as a key route for her invaders to take, Jer. 50:3, 41-42; we know this was the Medo-Persian empire that was then located north and east of Babylon, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Jeremiah 50:3.
- Third, Babylon's fall would come because God would judge her for mistreating Israel and for exhibiting great pride against God, Jer. 50:11-12, 14-18, 24-38; Jer. 51:1-28, 34-35, 49-56.
- Fourth, Babylon would fall never to be restored regardless how hard she tried to rise again since she had mistreated His people and exhibited great pride against God, 50:13, 39-40; 51:29, 36-44, 57-58.
- Fifth, the people of Israel, the Northern Kingdom and Judah, the Southern Kingdom, would repent after their punishment by the Gentiles (Assyria and Babylon) and return in blessing, 50:4-5, 19-20.
- Sixth, in the meantime, the Babylonians would be used as God's vehicle of punishment for His people due to their own rebellion against the Lord, Jeremiah 50:6-7.
- Seventh, God would restore His people to their land, Jeremiah 50:8, and that in stark contrast to His destruction of their Babylonian captors, Jeremiah 50:9-10; Jeremiah 51:45-46.
- God had Jeremiah supply this message of hope to Judah's captives with an object lesson, Jer. 51:59-64:
- The Jeremiah 50:1-51:58 prophecy about Babylon's fall was made just prior to Babylon's taking her Judaean captives to Babylon, and it was given to the captives as they went off to Babylon, 51:59-61.
- Jeremiah gave the scroll with the words of this prophecy to a Judaean official, Seraiah with the order for him to read it to the captives when they arrived in Babylon; then he was to announce that the Lord had predicted Babylon's future permanent destruction, Jeremiah 51:61-62.
- Having done so, Seraiah was to tie a stone to the scroll and throw it into the Euphrates River where it would sink, and so announce that God's coming permanent judgment on Babylon, Jeremiah 51:63-64.
- To emphasize the CERTAINTY of Babylon's coming, lasting destruction, Jer. 51:64 KJV repeats the last phrase of his prophecy back in Jer. 51:57-58 KJV, "they shall be weary" [ veyaayphu, Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 806-807; B. D. B., Heb. and Eng. Lex. of the O. T., p. 419], to emphasize the fact that regardless how hard men tried to keep Babylon from forever falling, their efforts would fail!
- [By application, efforts by men like Saddam Hussein to rebuild Babylon have proved to be futile!]
Application: If facing God's discipline at the hands of cruel, evil foes, we are not to despair; God will punish our foes and restore us in accord with His plan. Thus, we are to HOPE in God and REPENT!