Text: Jeremiah 50:1-17
Verses 6-7 captures the theme well. God is lamenting; ‘my people have been lost sheep. Their Shepherds have led them astray’. This is what led Israel and Judah into captivity. It was their leaders, both kings and priests, that deceived the people and led them astray. By going astray, they walked out of God’s covenant. They lost their protection. All of God’s goodness and care is given to us on the basis of covenant. When they walked outside these boundaries, they became naked and vulnerable; all who found them devoured them (verse 7). Leaders everywhere especially in churches and homes must be careful how they handle the responsibilities given to them. Every action we take, contrary to God’s word, will have debilitating effects throughout a generation. It does not affect just one person but a whole generation.
Today God faces Babylon, that great city of both material and spiritual importance. Jeremiah is in verse 2 commanded to declare it among the nations. It is not a private affair at allm. At the height of its magnificence, wealth, dominion, power and glory, Babylon is coming down. All her worthless idol gods in whom it trusts is being made into a heap of rubbles. Verses 3 and 9 were specific; destruction is coming to Babylon from the North. Its God’s decree. No one can change it. Babylon plundered Israel and danced before their gods for victory, but it was God’s plan that Israel should suffer at their hand. Because they were glad (verse 11) and rejoiced over God’s heritage God is set to punish them beyond what a man’s mind can conceive. This judgement was immediate on physical Babylon and also far reaching to the time of the end, for every structure that tries to equate itself with God must be judged.
We must not be like the heathen nations who rejoiced over Jerusalem’s destruction. Even in judgment God reserves mercy for anyone who will return in repentance. He punishes in order to correct not to kill and destroy. (Remember the story of Nineveh). Repentance must precede restoration (verse 4-5). The children of Israel must first return to God before they can return to their home. May we not fall into the error of becoming proud or cynical over those who are, apparently, reaping the fruits of their evil deeds. Rather, we should behold God’s eternal plan through Jesus and mourn over such calamities as Jeremiah did, interceding for the lost, suffering and perishing soul. May God’s love always be our driving force. Happy new month to all God’s people. Amen!
More on the lesson: watch video by Pastor Todd.