Scripture reading – Jeremiah 50

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I have found the Book of Jeremiah to be an incredible record of the LORD’s longsuffering with His people and a testimony to His faithfulness to His Covenant promises. We have followed Jeremiah’s life from his calling and ordination as God’s prophet to Judah and the nations (Jeremiah 1) to the fall of Judah, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and his exile in Egypt. He has modeled courage and faithfulness for all who aspire to serve the LORD.

Jeremiah 50 – The Vengeance of the LORD Against Babylon

Jeremiah 50 is an incredible passage foretelling the destruction of Babylon. What a striking prophecy this must have been to Jeremiah. Much like my country, the United States, Babylon was the lone superpower in its day and would have seemed invincible to the prophet.

The Prophesy Against Babylon (Jeremiah 50:1-3)

Babylon would bring under heel all the nations of the Middle East. Nevertheless, Jeremiah was tasked with declaring “among the nations” the demise of Babylon, saying, “Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; Her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces” (Jeremiah 50:2).

None came to the aid of the great city, and its idols would prove as weak as they were lifeless. Jeremiah’s prophecy foretold a coalition of nations “out of the north” would come against the great city, bringing desolation (Jeremiah 50:3, 9, 41-42). From history and the Scriptures, we know that the collation of nations would be the Medes and Persians under the leadership of King Cyrus. The Book of Daniel gives us the record of that fateful night when Babylon would be overthrown, and the great city would become unfit for man and beast (Jeremiah 50:3; Daniel 8).

Declaration of God’s Vengeance Against Babylon (Jeremiah 50:11-46)

The Prophesy of Israel’s Liberation and Homecoming (Jeremiah 50:4-10)

Jeremiah prophesied how the “children of Israel” would be liberated by the “nations out of the north” and would return to their land (Jeremiah 50:4-7). We read, “Going and weeping: they shall go, And seek the Lordtheir God. 5They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord In a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten (Jeremiah 50:4-5).

With the tenderness of a shepherd, the LORD looked upon His people as “lost sheep” whose shepherds led them astray (Jeremiah 50:6). They had turned from their covenant with the LORD and became prey to “their adversaries” (Jeremiah 50:7). The LORD urged the Jews to flee Babylon (Jeremiah 50:8), warning that He was raising an enemy against Chaldea and that Babylon would “be a spoil” (Jeremiah 50:10).


Declaration of God’s Vengeance Against Babylon (Jeremiah 50:11-46)

Babylon’s fate was sealed, for that nation had “rejoiced” and been “destroyers” of Israel and Judah (Jeremiah 50:11). The ruins of that great city would become a monument to the LORD’s vengeance. The city would become “wholly desolate” (Jeremiah 50:13). “Babylon [would] become a desolation among the nations” (Jeremiah 50:23).

No nation, great or small, can stand against the “Lord God of hosts” when He has declared, “I am against thee” (Jeremiah 50:31). Babylon had defied God, and now He would take vengeance on that nation (Jeremiah 50:24-32). The fall of Babylon was prophesied to be so great that “the earth is moved” by her fall (Jeremiah 50:46).

Closing thought – The LORD Keeps His Promise (Jeremiah 50:33, 34)

Though Israel and Judah were scattered among the nations, God would not forget His people. He warned the nations that Israel’s “Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name” (Jeremiah 50:34).

I have heard 21st-century leaders employ the adage, “Too Big to Fail!” Oh, foolish men, no nation or people is so great they can stand when God has set Himself against them!

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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