(46 verses, 7:40 to read)
What I am about to READ
The Lord’s pronouncement of judgment on Babylon
MARK and LEARN
This chapter is a word of woe to Babylon, but a word of comfort to the Jews who endure near constant oppression from her. Both chapters 50 and 51 comprise a bulk of woes spoken against Babylon by the prophet Jeremiah.
Though the Lord would use the Babylonians as his “servant” to punish his own rebellious people (cf. 25.9) by taking them captive, his justice would still be served for their own worship of false gods like Marduk and Bel (vs. 2) and for oppressing his people.
Jeremiah indicates that the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Babylonians, which would indeed come to completion in 587 BC. He also predicts the future destruction of Babylon. Interestingly, Jeremiah speaks here in the past tense concerning both these events as if they had already happened, indicating the finality and certainty of these events in the providence of God.
It must have been a comfort for the people of God to hear that their enemy who was in the process of conquering them would also be conquered according to the Lord’s time, and also a cause for repentance and faith in his promises and covenant. The Lord whose hand is swift to execute justice is also gracious and merciful toward his people. The Lord’s word is also trustworthy, for the word that he speaks in 39-40 proves true even to this very day:
“Therefore wild beasts shall dwell with hyenas in Babylon, and ostriches shall dwell in her. She shall never again have people, nor be inhabited for all generations. As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares the LORD, so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her.”
The ancient city of Babylon is a ruin even now.
Think on how God uses both his Law of judgement to execute justice and to cause his people to repent of their sins, and how he uses his promises of comfort to strengthen their faith.
Pr. Brandon Ross
Faith Ev. Lutheran Church