The Judge of all the Earth

Jeremiah 46-52

I. A severe word of Judgment against Egypt 46:1-26 – This prophecy and those that follow against other nations could well be the content of the message delivered when Jeremiah came before Zedekiah in 27:1-11.

A. Scenes of Panic among the Egyptians 46:1-12

B. Nebuchadnezzar the instrument of punishment 46:13, 25-26

C. But it is the Lord’s work – 15b, 18

C. Israel would be preserved though chastened

1. Jacob is assured of their return and their “quiet and ease.” Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 21,2 that we should pray for political leaders that we might live “peacable and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way.”

2. The nations that were God’s instruments of chastisement for Israel will be punished thoroughly - 28

3. Jacob will be punished for the purpose of discipline. Out of all the peoples of the earth, God chose Abraham, and through Abraham, Isaac, and from Isaac Jacob. Jacob’s family formed the nation of Israel through whom the Messiah would come and find his human lineage and fulfill all of God’s covenants established successively through the generations. This preservation and chastening established the historical and theological context into which Christ would be born. Israel must be preserved, must be disciplined, and the words of the prophets must be established as the Word of God.

 

II. The destruction of the Philistines by Egypt - 47

A. The horror of the devastation is given in both visual and auditory images, but the most impressive figure is this: “The fathers look not back to their children, so feeble are their hands.” 3b “Baldness has come upon Gaza” – the phrase makes an image of emptiness and devastation out of the common practice of the Philistines to shave their heads. Delilah was a Philistine, Goliath was a Philistine. At the conquest, the Hebrews did not destroy any of the great cities of the Philistines (Joshua 13:3; Judges 3:3) and they were a constant threat to Israel and a perverting influence. During the time of Eli they captured the ark; David carried out raids on them and in fleeing from Saul lived among them for a while. The last biblical mention of the Phil. is Zechariah 9:5-7, where their devastation gives way to hope through the concept of their being a “remnant for our God.”

B. This is the work of God – 47:6, 7.

 

III. Judgment on Moab 48

A. Moab was the son of Lot by an incestuous relation with his daughter after their escape from Sodom. Moab was the country from which Ruth came. Its country was located on a plateau east of the Dead Sea. The Moabites refused to let Israel cross their plateau as they approached entrance into the Holy Land. Balak, King of Moab, sought help from Balaam to curse Israel. Moabite and Midianite women seduced Israelites [Numbers 25.] Fluctuation between oppression by Moab and freedom from Moab, control of Moab by Israel and Moab’s independence punctuate the OT [2 Sam 8; 2 Kings 3:4-27; 2 Chron 20

B. The description of the devastation carries an oppressive power for its thoroughness, naming city by city that are shrouded in terror. Interviews with those fleeing add to the impression. “Ask him who flees and her who escapes, ‘What has happened?’” [19]

C. They ceased to exist as an independent nation sometime after Nebuchadnezzar’s attack and their subjugation by the Persians al though they were recognized as a people group. [cf. 48:42, 47]

D.  The thoroughness of their subjugation and the horror involved in it came from their corrupting influence on Israel, their hostility to Israel [26, 27], their own idolatry [35], and the wasting away of any opportunity they had to learn of the one true God. Ruth the Moabitess came to trust in the God of Israel through the influence of Naomi, and said “Your God shall be my God.”

 

IV. Judgment on Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Elam – Jeremiah 49

A. All of these were people that had sought to repress Israel, were in opposition to Israel’s peace and safety, and sought the be corrupting influences. [e.g. Judges 3:13, Judges 11, 2 Chron 20

 

V. Judgment on Babylon 50-51

A. Initial announcement 50:1-3

B. God looks on the distressed state of Israel. This antiphonal return to discussion of Israel occurs 4-7; 17-20; 28, 29; 33m 34;

C.  Babylon peculiarly guilty because they came against God’s heritage.

D. Babylon becomes an image of arrogant hostility to God – Revelation 18

 

VI. Narrative of the Fall of Jerusalem Jeremiah 52; cf 2 Kings 24:18-25:21

A.  Zedekiah, having been installed by Neb. As king, rebelled. Neb laid siege to the city, Zed. Sought to escape, was captured, saw his sons and Judah’s officials killed before his eyes, and had his eyes put out. He was imprisoned until his death. – 1-11.

B. the Temple was burned and the walls were destroyed. – 12-16

C.  All the accoutrements of worship were broken down and carried to Babylon 17-23

D. An account of those killed and those taken into captivity – 24-30

E. The prophecy of Jeremiah about Jehoiachin fulfilled 31-34.

VII.  Observations

A. God’s rule over the nations does not extend just to those to whom he has given special privileges of revelation.

B.  All nations, and all people, and every person, ae responsible to God for all their actions and will judged in accordance with and exact standard of truth. None will be held guiltless, but some will incur greater judgment because of the greater advantage they had

C.  God claims to be the active cause of the events of judgment. He may use nations and people as he sees fit. His activities in this world are not limited to displays of mercy, or to proclamation of his word, but the “terror on every side” so often announced by Jeremiah was from the direct will of God. Severe judgment here is only a faint reflection of the unending and merciless infliction of wrath in hell.

D.  Though judgment is severe and in accordance with divine justice, Jeremiah is not without the message of hope that breaks through periodically. God will maintain a remnant and even has a place for representatives from all these pagan nations among his people.

E. Though opposed from the start, the book of Jeremiah ends with the evidence that Jeremiah was true prophet of God; Jehoiachin, after thirty-seven years was taken out of prison and treated kindly, but never returned to Judah, nor did any of his sons reign. His grandson, Zerubbabel was responsible for rebuilding the temple.