Scripture reading – Jeremiah 25

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Our chronological study of the Scriptures continues in the prophetic Book of Jeremiah. The events recorded in Jeremiah 25 occurred before Zedekiah was king (the last king of Judah before the Babylonian captivity). They offer us a historical perspective on Judah during the beginning of a great time of upheaval and sorrow.

It was the 26th year of Jeremiah’s 42-year ministry (Jeremiah 25:3). Jeremiah 25:1 gives us the timeline and setting. We read, “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon” (Jeremiah 25:1).

Babylon’s first incursion into Judah occurred the year before “in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah” (Daniel 1:1). Nebuchadnezzar’s father, King Nabopalassar, was elderly, and his son undertook the war against Egypt (Jeremiah 46:2) and the invasion of Judah. At this time, the young prophet Daniel and other young Jewish men were taken to Babylon (Daniel 1:1).

Jeremiah 25

The citizens of Jerusalem and Judah were seeing come to pass the troubles and sorrows Jeremiah had forewarned. Today’s Scripture recorded Jeremiah’s appeal to Judah to repent and three indictments he brought against the nation (Jeremiah 25:2-7).

Three Indictments Against Judah (Jeremiah 25:2-7)

Three Indictments Against Judah (Jeremiah 25:2-7)

Addressing “all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (Jeremiah 25:2), Jeremiah rehearsed the LORD’s longsuffering with the nation and how the people rejected the prophetic warnings of His judgment (Jeremiah 25:2-3). The people refused to hear the other prophets (Jeremiah 25:4). When God’s ministers said, “Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings…6And go not after other gods to serve them” (Jeremiah 25:5-6), the people refused to repent. They provoked God’s wrath and continued in their sins (Jeremiah 25:7).

Babylon’s Invasion, the Seventy Years of Captivity Before Deliverance (Jeremiah 25:8-14)

Revealing the LORD’s sovereignty over the nations, Jeremiah declared His warning: “I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land [Judah], and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations” (Jeremiah 25:9). Jeremiah prophesied that all the joys of life would be extinguished and the “whole land [would become] a desolation, and an astonishment” (Jeremiah 25:10-11)

God’s people would be in servitude to the kings of Babylon for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11). At the end of the seventy years, the LORD declared that He would punish Babylon “for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans (i.e., Babylon), and will make it perpetual desolations” (Jeremiah 25:12). Because of that nation’s wickedness, the scope of God’s judgment would be so great, that Babylon would never be rebuilt (Jeremiah 25:13-14).

The Wrath of God’s Judgment (Jeremiah 25:15-38)

Describing God’s judgment as “the wine cup of this fury at my hand” (Jeremiah 25:15), Jeremiah recorded the names of the cities and nations that fell to Babylon’s army. In addition to “Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah” (Jeremiah 25:18), Jeremiah named the Gentile nations conquered and destroyed by Babylon. History reveals how Babylon’s utter destruction of its neighbors eradicated all of the ancient nations except Israel, which was wonderfully and mercifully restored and fulfilled God’s covenant with His people.

False prophets in Judah lied to the people and proposed that Judah would be spared. However, the LORD warned that should the people believe the false prophets, Jeremiah would admonish them, “Ye shall certainly drink” from the symbolic cup of God’s judgment (Jeremiah 25:28-29).

Pictures of God’s Wrath (Jeremiah 25:30-38)

Pictures of God’s Wrath (Jeremiah 25:30-38)

The LORD portrayed Himself as a roaring lion (Jeremiah 25:30). He commanded Jeremiah to prophesy that He would come “against all the inhabitants of the earth” (Jeremiah 25:30) and crush the nations underfoot as though in a wine press (Jeremiah 25:30b). The images of God’s judgment was likened to a courtroom, where God served as both as a pleading and executing judge (Jeremiah 25:31). A great storm (Jeremiah 25:32) and a refuse dump were also given as portraits of the LORD’s judgment, with the latter serving as a place where the bodies of the slain would be left unburied and with no one to mourn (Jeremiah 25:33).

Finally, a heart-rending portrait was that of the “shepherds” (i.e., leaders of the nations), weeping and wailing for their people were scattered like broken shards of pottery (Jeremiah 25:34), crying hopelessly for their scattered flocks and destroyed pastures (Jeremiah 25:36-37).

Closing thoughts –

Judah and its people were running out of time. If the nation did not repent, it would face God’s judgment. Nevertheless, we are again reminded of God’s character and how He addresses the sins of people and nations.

Believers should be encouraged that as the LORD was with Judah, He is with us in our generation. He “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Nevertheless, be forewarned that though the wicked seem to pursue sin unimpeded, we should remember that the LORD is patient. Every soul and nation will inevitably face God’s judgment.

Romans 14:11–12 – “11For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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